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?


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