SW: TOR - How I would approach it if I were Bioware
Posted by SERIAL GANKER [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 May 2010, 2:20 pm
There has been some talk on different blogs about the upcoming Star Wars MMO.  The overall concern is that Bioware has been on record as describing the upcoming game as a "storyline" RPG similar to what they have done in the single-player versions.

The thought here is that a "story" is only temporary and doesn't work well in an MMO.  After all, what does a player do when the story ends?

Valid concern.

As I wrote on Syncaine's blog today, I think if I were Bioware, my focus as a developer would be on setting up some methodology that would allow me to quickly and easily build out lots of content.

Specifically, some sort of story "toolkit" that content managers could use to create new content.  Notice that I didn't say content developers but content managers.

In my mind, that's the key.  This "toolkit" needs to be easy to use and not require a lot of hardcoding development on the part of the content manager.  They simply write the questlines, provide the NPC interaction dialog, work with voice actors, and then choose the locations, monsters, items and such that the player will deal with in their "adventure".

In a way, this isn't any different than the "Map Editor" toolkit we saw for Warcraft 3 or other similar types of things.  Heck, I even recall a Dungeon Contstuction Kit on my old Apple II (or maybe it was on the Commodore 64?).

The point being is that the only way that I see "story" driven content working in an MMO is if there are LOTS and LOTS of stories.

And the only way to do that is to make it easy to CREATE the stories themselves.  And that means giving the people who will be creating this content simple, easy-to-use tools in order to create it.

Now, this might make for some "cookie-cutter" adventures and might not be the MMO that I want to play, but I think there is a market for it.  As I wrote on Syncaine's blog, just think of all the people that mindlessly complete the same Daily Quests day-after-day.

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