Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Take the Story, I don’t Want It

There’s a ton of content in MMORPGs that is simply not for me. Holiday events? Meh. PvP? Pff. Minipets? Yeah, right.  Achievements? Are you kidding me? No. All of that I’m fine with because I simply get to ignore those parts and focus on what I care about (i.e. group content.) I always found it a bit strange to claim that raids need to be accessible to everyone when clearly that content is the one bit that is meant for people like me, not them. Why would they take my raids away and give them to the Dalaran coin fishing crowd as well? One claim I often hear (in the comments on this very blog in fact) is that raids deliver the story of the game and only raiders get to experience that. You know what, take it. I don’t care about it. Put the entire story into single player content but leave my raids alone.

If you think about it, the combination of story and hardcore content is a rather bad idea. Not that I don’t like a good story, but min-maxing, strategizing,  and farming for loot take a lot of the fun out of being told a story. In general, achievers should not care about stories while explorers should. Raid content, however, is aimed at achievers. That seems to be a rather stupid concept to me.

Additionally, raiding doesn’t even lend itself well to storytelling. We all know that we are going to kill the big bad boss in the end after dispatching some lieutenants. Sure, you can have the odd twist ending in which someone else comes in and kills the boss (been there, done that) or the boss is convinced to join your side (yawn) but your overall storytelling capabilities are quite limited.

I doubt that many raiders would mind if raids were just a collection of cool looking bosses with challenging abilities and no further connection between them. That is what raids really are anyway, historically. The bigger question is whether the more casual crowd would be happy with such a change. If story really is the reason they demand access to raids, they should be happy. I have a nagging feeling though that not everybody asking for accessibility really cares for the story but that they are rather unwilling to accept that there is content in the game that just isn’t meant for them.

The “Loremaster” achievement is just as inaccessible to me as difficult raids are to the casual player. They are not willing (or able) to put the effort into hardcore raiding and I’m not willing (or able) to do all those quests. Even if I still played WoW, I would never have access to a purple proto drake, the “Salty” title, or top tier PvP gear. That content is simply not made for me. If we removed the story from raids, would players be willing to accept that raids are not for them?


  • That’s a very good point, Scrusi.

    I’d like to add to it:
    There’s content that I will (probably) never access that adds to my gaming experience. And there’s content I will (certainly) never access that does not add, and often diminishes my gaming experience.

    An example for the first would be gladiator titles or ‘First Warlord’ or titles for the most hardcore raiders.

    An example for the latter are overly un-immersive mounts, pets, achievements and the like.
    Nils´s last blog post ..When Team B took over

  • “Put the entire story into single player content but leave my raids alone.”

    Heartily endorse. As far as I’m concerned, the story content really *should* be open to everyone. I have no problem with some *gameplay* being sectioned off to those who will appreciate it. Seems natural to me, in fact.

    …though I maintain that I want my MMOs to be more about *my* story than the *dev* story. If I want good dev stories, I play single player RPGs (also known as movies with gameplay interludes).
    Tesh´s last blog post ..Akimi Village

  • Agreed Tesh, except that I have yet to find an MMO that tells “my story” well, except for the mundane part. I don’t really feel as if I’m building a character with a story in these games, but maybe I’m just too jaded for that. If jaded is the right word.
    scrusi´s last blog post ..Quote of the Day

  • you snob!


    p.s. I have no issue with raid access for all, as long as it stays hard, comes with attunements etc. unfortnately when the devs talk of ‘access’ they mean something other than me; they mean accessible as in easy – easy enough for everyone. in my mind, raids have always been open to everyone…in theory.
    Syl´s last blog post ..Why you really want attunements Or- Watch your keys- friend

  • Snob, that’s me 🙂

    And yeah, raids are and have been open to anyone with sufficient interest in raiding. The same is not true for story, I suppose. (Since interest in raiding and interest in story don’t necessarily coincide.)
    scrusi´s last blog post ..League of Legends as a Spectator Sport