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Story is not that Dark or Jaw dropping

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#121 Red_Falcon

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

I think the best job of a storyline should be creating empathy.
I'm not noble nor a hobo, have parents, a sister and never thought of working for a circus. There goes all the empathy.
Most of us can't relate to these I bet, it's pretty rare to have a relative die early in your life and is there really anyone who would want to work for a circus in this forum?
They could have put a romantic storyline (most people had a troubled love story), a brother/sister to compete with or take care of (most people with bros/sis can relate), story of a shy person trying to make friends (teens can relate), story of a person wanting to wander and explore the world (20+ can relate), etc etc.


Meh. Hope the main story is much better.

#122 InfiniteRetro

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 09:51 AM

delivery and epicness of lines is comparable to the bold and the beautiful. gw1 did it far better.

#123 transtemporal

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, as an earlier poster pointed out OP, they're probably aiming for a PG 13 or equivalent rating with GW2. I wouldn't hold your breath for a Heavy Rain style MMO anytime soon.

#124 Ironfungus

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

View PostCastellan, on 19 June 2012 - 12:11 PM, said:

What I mean is that from what I've played (three different personal stories)... Story is not that engaging due to a lack of violence and truly heinous acts. If the story was a bit more wicked, I think that the player would feel more emotional towards the events that are occurring.

Now, if the story gets better as it goes then I'm fine. But I have yet to see it.

We get you kinds of players with every game nowadays.

"Herp durp," you say. "The story isn't all that great," yet no one seems to have any issue when we reminisce about the amazing video games we grew up with and the supposedly memorable stories they had. Are they really all that different? Was it not the adventure itself that made the stories -- which gave you a reason to adventure -- memorable? I've come to the conclusion that you players don't know what you want, so stop acting like you do. Random acts of violence or "truly heinous acts" are not a writer's formula for success.

#125 Kairo

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:23 AM

View PostChabby, on 19 June 2012 - 01:21 PM, said:

Well, you know, they presented GW2's storyline as the awakening of the Elder Dragons and the fact that Tyria is now in chaos. I was hoping to get involved in the dragon issues faster. In the end the lands are at peace with small bandits and sunshine. lol. We'll see at release how it goes, I just hope it gets better after lvl 20.

I look at the state of the zones as the "calm before the storm". It's the standard before ultimate chaos, which we'll see in personal stories/dungeons where instanced versions of those peaceful and sunshined lands turn into a sh**storm.

#126 Kerdain

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:11 AM

I don't expect anything special from the story, as long as it's not completely dumb and poorly done I'll go with it. After all it's not Tolkien, but just another generic high fantasy setting with very cool art design :)

#127 DuskWolf

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:22 PM

View PostToby_from_Midgard, on 19 June 2012 - 01:51 PM, said:

And after the searing it doesn't get much worse. :P
But you are right, the searing was very emotive. It's why I will never play a Charr in GW2.
Except the Foefire wasn't the thing that killed a majority of the Ascalonians. In fact, if Rurik hadn't guided the civilians away, mad bugger Madelbern would have had even more ghosts.

I mean, let's see... killing everyone, then rising them all as slaves to your will? Yeah, that's a pretty good reason to not play a human, wouldn't you say? Except that I know that the Foefire was because of Madlebern, just as I know that the Searing was because of the Flame Legion.

Crazy Ol' Madelbern doesn't represent humanity. Likewise, the Flame Legion have been outcasted and are a considered a living mark of shame to all charr.

The fact of the matter is is that 'species' in a game is just a cultural delimiter, at the end of the day they're all just people, regardless of species. And you get groups of good ones, and groups of bad eggs. Relegating that to one species? It makes your hate look witless, shallow, and petty.

(Typos. Still getting used to chiclet keyboard.)

Edited by DuskWolf, 23 June 2012 - 10:24 PM.


#128 Dawbles

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:46 PM

From what we've seen thus far (which is not a lot, I'll admit), you're mostly forced to play the hero, the only option you get is choosing between the "badass hero" or the "knight in shining armour hero".

#129 Sovereign

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:55 PM

View PostDuskWolf, on 23 June 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

Crazy Ol' Madelbern doesn't represent humanity. Likewise, the Flame Legion have been outcasted and are a considered a living mark of shame to all charr.

The fact of the matter is is that 'species' in a game is just a cultural delimiter, at the end of the day they're all just people, regardless of species. And you get groups of good ones, and groups of bad eggs. Relegating that to one species? It makes your hate look witless, shallow, and petty.
I hope I didn't say "I hate all Charr"at some point. I said I won't play them because they destroyed my beautiful Ascalon tutorial world. :>
I know that the mastermind behind their attacks was Abaddon.
Besides, racism exists because some people look and behave slightly different than other people. So I'm pretty sure something similar exists for species that are vastly different from other species. :> (though I'm not going to RP a racist character)

#130 Yosuke

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:47 AM

View PostRed_Falcon, on 21 June 2012 - 09:11 AM, said:

I think the best job of a storyline should be creating empathy.
I'm not noble nor a hobo, have parents, a sister and never thought of working for a circus. There goes all the empathy.

This made me laugh a little, but I think you're right. It's not so much that the game characters' backgrounds are important or have to mirror our own, but there have to be some characteristics and actions that you can empathize with as the player in an RPG, and especially an MMORPG.

I've played through a bit of all of the three BWE races' quest lines, and I think that also introducing static dialogue for your own character takes away from that ability to empathize. If they are going to give limited background/motivation/personality options at character select, it would be nice if they had dialogue options during cutscenes.

In many single player games, the character you play as has their own background and personality, and you understand that. You understand that it isn't your character, and part of the experience is finding out about that character's story and personality. However, in RPGs, and especially MMOs, you want to be able to identify somehow with that character being an avatar or an extension of yourself, and not a completely separate entity. Thus, the RPG tag. Even with Mass Effect's Shepard, who is written pretty well and has his/her own character, you have some control over what you say.

I was instantly out of touch with my norn from the moment she started spouting nonsense about wanting to win so much glory, and from that moment onward it seemed like I was just following the story of some other pre-written character, not playing my own. That would be completely fine if I was playing a SP game like Assassin's Creed, where there's fairly deep character development; in an MMO, however, it's just very jarring and creates a big disconnect between player and a somewhat shallow character which is forced upon you. I found it difficult to play in the open world and try to build some sense of individuality for the character, but then periodically go back to the personal storyline, where I was forced into a specific role, with a preset personality.

I've said it elsewhere, but yeah, the personal storyline was a bit disappointing for me too. That's not to say I won't enjoy it at all, and I don't agree with the OP that it necessarily needs "darker" aspects to make it better, but it seems very out of place to me. It's almost like I'm playing two different games, and have to switch back and forth; one is the MMO in the open world, and one is more like a single player experience where they take my MMO character and do with him/her as they like.

So what are the options? Deliberately ignore the personal quest line or find a race whose preset characters you can somewhat empathize with, I suppose. Norn is out for me, then, and I didn't find the charr or humans too engaging, but their characters at least weren't completely antithetical to my own and would be bearable. Here's hoping the sylvari were written to have personalities more like my own, as I'm not a fan of the asura look. I could wish that they would add Mass Effect-style dialogue options to the game so that you still have a sense that it's *your* character you're playing during the personal story, but that would be a lot of work for Anet to work in at the eleventh hour.

Edit: typos :surprised:

Edited by Yosuke, 24 June 2012 - 02:33 AM.


#131 Shamadamun

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:15 AM

View PostYosuke, on 24 June 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

I was instantly out of touch with my norn from the moment she start spouting nonsense about wanting to win so much glory, and from that moment onward it seemed like I was just following the story of some other pre-written character, not playing my own.

I had to stop reading what you said just to quote this. This is exactly how I feel.

With games like - let's just say - Skyrim, you aren't really given much heavy dialogue, but that's because who you are is reflected upon what you constantly do. In both Oblivion and Skyrim I was the hypocritical and selfish hero, with a touch of whole-heartedness. Most of the time I would do missions to make the world a better place, but I'd usually do it for my own gain, and sometimes I wouldn't hesitate to kill innocents - yet there were times when I found someone so interesting I would go above and beyond the call to make sure that certain people got everything they ever wanted and more.

It's an MMO, I don't expect much really, but the fact that I'm following a pre-written character makes me lose touch with who I am playing, and it gets harder for me to feel empathy for what I'm doing.

Here's to hoping the Sylvari are naturally awesome and I can feel empathy toward how they act and what they believe in.

#132 Trei

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:29 AM

View PostYosuke, on 24 June 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

I was instantly out of touch with my norn from the moment she started spouting nonsense about wanting to win so much glory, and from that moment onward it seemed like I was just following the story of some other pre-written character, not playing my own. That would be completely fine if I was playing a SP game like Assassin's Creed, where there's fairly deep character development; in an MMO, however, it's just very jarring and creates a big disconnect between player and a somewhat shallow character which is forced upon you. I found it difficult to play in the open world and try to build some sense of individuality for the character, but then periodically go back to the personal storyline, where I was forced into a specific role, with a preset personality.
My experience parallels yours for the Norn story.

However, are you playing a Role-Playing Game to play yourself..? Or the role you selected out of a handful of choices?
I do fully understand that the topic of roleplaying is core deep into subjective territory though.

The toon you are playing isn't you, but someone whose shoes you are walking in, whose story you are experiencing.
At least for GW2 that is how I rationalise the personal story.

It makes things more palatable once I get myself into that frame of mind lol.
Glory! Take it! Its yours! <_< .

#133 4arsie4

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:46 AM

My main problem with the Norn personal stories is that the NPC make such a big deal about something that took me 3 min to do, most of which I spent in the Downed State, not knowing what I did wrong (or what the Down State buttons did). So suddenly I am the Slayer of Issormir, as if its a big deal. It's a big fat lie. Everyone bought it, everyone is calling me the Slayer. Whoopdeedoo. I would have preferred it if the NPCs all bagged me because Issormir was just a wuss, that I better aspire to greater things in the future. I wish Eir actually said, ya know, Issormir was already dying, we just make newbs fight him so that they can feel better about themselves and gain some confidence, or whatever. Something more realistic.

The Charr story is a little more logical, in the sense that, the character has only bought the Charr a couple of weeks before Duke Barradin will be trouble again. No big deal, soldier, get back in line and keep doing your job, the ghosts aren't gonna kill themselves.

The Human one was not bad either, because of all the peasants running around, I actually feel that, even though I was in a Downed State for most of the earth elemental fight, that I did contribute a little bit to saving these poor helpless peasants.

#134 Ghostwing

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:52 AM

View PostYosuke, on 24 June 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

I was instantly out of touch with my norn from the moment she started spouting nonsense about wanting to win so much glory, and from that moment onward it seemed like I was just following the story of some other pre-written character, not playing my own. That would be completely fine if I was playing a SP game like Assassin's Creed, where there's fairly deep character development; in an MMO, however, it's just very jarring and creates a big disconnect between player and a somewhat shallow character which is forced upon you. I found it difficult to play in the open world and try to build some sense of individuality for the character, but then periodically go back to the personal storyline, where I was forced into a specific role, with a preset personality.

That's pretty much par for the course in theme park MMOs though, where your character gets handed a quest and you go fulfill it. It's either that or remove the quest, by which I mean the scripted story element (in GW2 they call it the "personal story") altogether and have something like Eve or Ultima Online, sandbox MMOs, where the devs don't make a story for you.

#135 Kairo

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:00 AM

I agree with many of the comments here. Don't need darker necessarily. Violence is already happening. Doesn't need to be more grotesque or gory or bloody or anything like that. People are dying unnaturally in Tyria due to a number of things...kids are growing up in this world where a dragon resurrects the dead to do its bidding. Families are getting destroyed by losing loved ones to centaurs who are definitely not only throwing their captives in cages and waiting for them to get rescued, they're brutally killing them too.

What the story needs and hasn't shown yet (which hopefully is only due to it being the BEGINNING of the story...) are complex relationships. Complex relationships which we can relate to on some level. Shades of gray in difficult decisions that have to be made. The dilemma of having to be the hero, but having to fail at times as well but persevere and achieve victory. Losing loved ones, whether that be characters that your individual character (and hopefully you) grow to appreciate or having to watch characters you enjoy suffer inner or outer turmoil when dealing with their problems and losses.

I'm not going to say the story doesn't have these things yet, because obviously we have no idea. I do have faith that these types of elements will be present in the story.

#136 pharazon

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:07 AM

I don't know if it needs to be more "dark" but it certainly isn't very gripping... yet. The story in GW2 is largely revealled through DEs so perhaps once I experience levelling 1 to 80, I'll have a different opinion.

Not sure why, but Arena Net always misses the mark with stories for me. Prophecies was boring; Nightfall and Factions were pretty awesome but no where near the most fun story in a video game or anything.

Bear in mind that I am not asking for violence or angsty stuff like in BioWare games... I feel we as a society focus too much on "gritty". GW2 doesn't have to be Game of Thrones... but it'd be nice if the story had some gravitas like The Wheel of Time series.

#137 GearsPowered

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:22 AM

I did feel that the human storyline was a little dissapointing to be honest. I just skipped through it when I could.
Then again, all I could think about was "All I have is 60 hours, I can pay attention to this at release".

I hope Anet takes the authors that wrote the GW2 books and get their input. I absolutely loved the books, and felt compelled with the characters. (And my two favorite characters had to die ;~; )

The only cutscene I've enjoyed thus far is the intro to ascalon catacombs dungeon mode. Even the explorable mode cut scenes felt a little "meh"

#138 BaconSoda

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:14 AM

View PostYosuke, on 24 June 2012 - 12:47 AM, said:

Spoiler

To me, it seems like you should have probably read the racial descriptions when you make a character:

Quote


If you wanted to be the quiet hero who went about his business saving people and leaving before they could even say thank you, that description could not have spoken to you. "Enthusiasm for life and the hunt" and "Achieves legendary rewards" are not really prerogatives of the quiet hero.

You're a Norn. Achieving legendary awards is your prerogative. You wear clothes not because you're cold but because it gives you glory by honoring the spirits. You go out to cleave your name in history. That's what Norn do. They weren't really my cup of tea either.

Not to be a jerk, either, but some people like a disconnect between themselves and their characters. I personally could never blow up Megaton. I felt bad when I told Moira Brown her book was a waste of time. Most of my friends, though? They blew up Megaton. I never would expect them to really do this. How could they possibly empathize with blowing up a town!? Sometimes you just wanna be a giant dude who is really famous.

View PostKairo, on 24 June 2012 - 07:00 AM, said:

Spoiler

I dunno what you picked or how far you got, but I think we've got a fair share of these.

Spoiler

Those are all pretty grey choices to me.

One thing I'd appreciate, though, is some more active conversation choices with NPCs while in your home instance. Talking to Lord Faren after I did cool stuff resulted in a generic response. That was kind of lame. Just having the potential for an NPC or a guard in my home instance to say something like:

Spoiler

or if Lord Faren would start a conversation tree like:

Spoiler

or something. That'd be neat, even if it wasn't voiced. Lord Faren's generic greetings were just a little underwhelming. Talking to him about the things I did and the things I still need to do would be much better. It also means just a little bit more when Brelyna Maryon tells me that she doesn't see the point in finding the Staff of Magnus or a Guard tells me that he wonders who the Dragonborn is rather than an Ordinator telling me that he's watching me, the scum, for the 10,000th time in Vivec City or Ranis Athrys, a person I have talked to a million times, asks me, the outlander, what do I want.

Edited by BaconSoda, 25 June 2012 - 01:33 AM.


#139 rd1102

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:39 AM

maybe they could get bioware as their consultants in writing story lines.

bioware know their shit when it comes to enaging story writing , just don't get them to write your endings as well.

#140 Gannadene

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 01:32 PM

What the OP is referring to is emotional investment and being grounded within the context of the story. The player needs to care about what he or she is doing. If the story cannot create this connection, it's failed. The most basic thing a story needs is an emotional attachment to the characters. GW2 obviously isn't that kind of story, but you still need to care about what's happening around you.

In this case, for example, when showing up at DR, you're told your old friend is being slapped around by OGs, or similar. Being told he's your friend does not make him your friend. You, the player, have to like the guy. Which means prior to these sorts of things happening, you need to establish context with the player that makes you upset that he's being harassed.

Now, I know Team ANet Fanboy will rush to defend poor writing decisions, but this is a very basic rule of writing. The viewer/reader has to care about the events depicted, and it's your job to make sure that happens.

Making it "dark" won't achieve that. That's just something bad writers do to try to leapfrog carefully constructing story elements, because they don't know how to make readers care about what's happening. It's writer's impotence.

What the game really needs is more time establishing ideas, rather than hurling the player into situations they, of course, will not be shedding tears over. This of course assumes ANet gives two craps whether you like these people or not. Which they probably don't. This is a MMO, after all. Maybe they should sell emotional context in their cash shop.

#141 Kairo

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:28 PM

View PostBaconSoda, on 24 June 2012 - 08:14 AM, said:


I dunno what you picked or how far you got, but I think we've got a fair share of these.

Spoiler

Those are all pretty grey choices to me.

One thing I'd appreciate, though, is some more active conversation choices with NPCs while in your home instance. Talking to Lord Faren after I did cool stuff resulted in a generic response. That was kind of lame. Just having the potential for an NPC or a guard in my home instance to say something like:

Spoiler

or if Lord Faren would start a conversation tree like:

Spoiler

or something. That'd be neat, even if it wasn't voiced. Lord Faren's generic greetings were just a little underwhelming. Talking to him about the things I did and the things I still need to do would be much better. It also means just a little bit more when Brelyna Maryon tells me that she doesn't see the point in finding the Staff of Magnus or a Guard tells me that he wonders who the Dragonborn is rather than an Ordinator telling me that he's watching me, the scum, for the 10,000th time in Vivec City or Ranis Athrys, a person I have talked to a million times, asks me, the outlander, what do I want.

I completely agree with your suggestions for more active NPC conversations. I feel like that's what is necessary for the modern RPG. Our stories branch out like a tree depending on the decisions we make, so why can't conversation do the same thing? I like the examples you gave. If the NPCs view of you is supposed to evolve, the things they say to you or you to them should do the same.

And yes those are difficult "gray" decisions, but the problem is they are too general without context. Yes in theory it's a difficult decision to choose a town getting poisoned (and possibly killing the young and elderly) and saving my best friend...wait, my character's best friend. That's the problem. I don't know Quinn. And certainly don't care for him yet, so the story involving him doesn't move me. At that point I'm just choosing what I or what my character would think is the best choice with no real investment. GW2's lore and story has PLENTY of potential to exhibit a stimulating story experience. I'm hoping I won't have to only rely on the books and fanfics to feel it.

#142 tankzipit22

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:39 PM

Story is just fine. A game is just that. People who feel its for "little kids" i must say. I hear it often for a wide range of games. Its extremely stupid. Just like older people watching cartoons. Or anime. Its for whoever enjoys it.





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