Ok, I agree that asking you to decide the fate of an NPC's life after an hour is abrupt. I'd prefer if you decided something less permanent, like if he goes to jail, and then they bring him back 40 levels later or something to have you make that decision. I just am not sure if that's possible, since (now I'm speculating) I believe every chapter of your story is going to be modular and independent of everything that came before. I'll be happy if that's not the case, but I won't be surprised if it is.
Well... Yeah, ok, but I want a good balance of both. Even in my example (Mass Effect) we start the game as being someone with people we know. It's not about having a prestory or a small reputation already, but how the storytelling is handled. In the human storyline, it fails in my opinion. We have too much of a reputation already and we know our friends too much, it doesn't give the chance to the player to link with his character and the other NPCs.
Anet took it to an extreme. Not only we already have friends, but they decided it that way so much to a point we're not allowed to get to know them more.
They made me friend with Quinn and one hour later I have to decide if I want to see him dead or no. Having a prestory isn't completely a problem, it's normal and I can live with it somehow, but Arenanet wanted our character to have friends to a point they didn't even allow the player to know them. As a player, I wanted to know Quinn, to be friend with him, to know where he comes from, how we met, if he ever had feeling for someone, I don't know, but he's just an empty dumb character we're supposed to decide if he lives or not because we're not given the chance to get close to him or whatever. The decision (his death or not) would have had a bigger emotional impact on the player if he had the time to get attached to him. This time/possibility isn't given.
The same goes to Logan. That's why I said I'd rater get to meet them as a player before being given the prestory thing. A good balance is the key. In the human storyline, there is not. Well, if some of youi enjoyed the storyline, good and I can live with it too (I played all the human storyline in the beta), I'm still curious enough to continue. I just hope it gets better in later levels. If not, we'll see in the expansion packs with the feedbacks and such. It could have been handled better, but it could be worse too. For a MMO we're still given lot of choices, so I won't complain to death lol, it's not that bad.
I don't agree about Thackeray. Your character doesn't know him except by reputation at the beginning of the game (and you can even hear some of this reputation for yourself if you listen to the conversations around Divinity's Reach), and he doesn't know you at all. I think they build his character, and your relationship with him, quite well over the first few story missions. He grows to respect, and then trust you believably (IMO). I think it rankles a lot of people that their character basically has to come off as trustworthy in order for the human story to "work".
Edited by Skyy High, 19 June 2012 - 03:34 PM.