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Lore Vs Gameplay in Regards to MMOs


Started by Balkoth
Post #43409
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I know this is a hot topic for many of you and has been seeping into the discussion in other threads, so I thought Id bring it to its own thread.

We all know and it's been stated clearly that certain concessions/sacrifices had to be made with "lore" and what we've come to know of game play in the ES series.
Its also been said though, that they (ZOS & Bethesda) wanted TESO to be an Elder Scrolls game thats an MMO, not an MMO thats Elder Scrolls themed.

So Im wondering where everyone weighs in on this subject.
-Is there room for certain concessions?
- Was there NO CHOICE but to make certain sacrifices?
- Should lore be the absolute first concern in making TESO (ie. stick to the lore and make the rest fit however) ?

So...OK, lemme have it. :)


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Post #43411
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Lore first, definitely. The single player games we know and love are based around this amazing world that has these stories and events going on that just suck you in. Without the lore, this isn't an ES game.


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Post #43412
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I understand the perspectives of lore, but if it means watering the game down then I would sacrifice the lore.


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Post #43414
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Gameplay first. This isn't a single player game so it won't be like a single player game. I'd rather play a fun game then a shitty game just for the lore. You can't expect the same unique, detailed quality of a single player game in a mmo.


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Post #43453
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(February 21st 2013, 10:11 PM)Infamous Wrote: Gameplay first. This isn't a single player game so it won't be like a single player game. I'd rather play a fun game then a shitty game just for the lore. You can't expect the same unique, detailed quality of a single player game in a mmo.

Call me naive, but I don’t see why not. I can understand why there might be sacrifices in graphic detail due to bandwidth limitations, but that should not have to affect the quality of storytelling – or lore, for that matter.


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Post #43455
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Depends on which perspective this thing comes from. To me, balance is secondary to lore and sense. I mean, a halfling having the strength of half-giant for the sake of PvP balance? Go eat bonemeal.


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Post #43464
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Aahh thats a toughie. I'd say lore. Black and white wise, but a ratio of 60 lore/40 gameplay would be swell. We've all played different games, and unless this gameplay is so incredibly revolutionary, I would keep coming back for the lore.


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Post #43467
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(February 21st 2013, 10:06 PM)8thWonderOTW Wrote: Lore first, definitely. The single player games we know and love are based around this amazing world that has these stories and events going on that just suck you in. Without the lore, this isn't an ES game.

(February 22nd 2013, 01:32 AM)Mqarr Wrote:
(February 21st 2013, 10:11 PM)Infamous Wrote: Gameplay first. This isn't a single player game so it won't be like a single player game. I'd rather play a fun game then a shitty game just for the lore. You can't expect the same unique, detailed quality of a single player game in a mmo.

Call me naive, but I don’t see why not. I can understand why there might be sacrifices in graphic detail due to bandwidth limitations, but that should not have to affect the quality of storytelling – or lore, for that matter.

I agree with @8thWonderOTW and @M'qarr -- lore is what makes TES games so enjoyable.

I wonder what they're removing/changing? I've heard that racial bonuses will be removed, which I can live with. Other things might be stuff about the et'Ada, diseases, or perhaps mythology in general. I hope they don't too much. It's supposed to be canon and it's supposed to contradict existing lore. I guess we'll just need to wait.


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Post #43478
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The lore of the TES games is made to accomodate a game.
thats a thing.

We have stuff like the Dragon Breaks and CHIM to explain various ret cons, inconsistencies and gameplay element.
twice vekh seems to be fully aware that his incarnation in morrowind lives in a video game.

The reason the lore is trimmed down in ESO has nothing to do with the gameplay itself, but rather with them wanting different lore to appeal to a more massive audience.
The three factions are not lore breaking, this has been discussed alot. They are just new lore from a time unrecordet, the only realy annoying thing is the aldmeri dominion wich goes against the timeline, but at the end of the day is only a minor thing as we knew nothing about the sumurset isles before that anyway.
All of the lore in the games is deliberateley designed in order to be bendable, by declaring everything an in-universe source. wich is a clever move.

However there is a difference between a good retcon and a lazy one.
examples for a good retcon:

The Warp in the West: explanation for the 9 different endings in daggerfall
the Red King once jungled: Explanation for Cyrodiil not beeing a jungle in the third era.
The Ra'Gada: Honestly, they are great. The Redguards used to be "Black people" but by the time Redguard rolled out they just addet so much good lore to them that everything was forgiven.

Examples of terrible retcons:

transcription error: why the fuck is cyrod a jungle before talos even lived? (i know the theory with CHIM changes past retroactiveley, but they did not state that as the reason) They stated a "transcription error" i mean come on. Of course you can get some minor details wrong. But a whole damn province just beeing MISTAKEN for a jungle? by someone living there? I dont think so.

no explanation at all: Why are there no kahjiit subraces? And especialy: why is there no cannibalism?

we know the answer to these questions. it has NOTHING to do with gameplay. It has only to do with one thing: $$
Cannibalism completeley fucks up the rating. And what they want is a Teen rating. So cannibalism had to go.
Wich is bullshit.
This post was last modified: February 22nd 2013, 03:10 AM by Sordak
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Post #43485
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When did they say they would be making lore concessions? I missed it.

Also, some people should realize that game balance isn't meant to break your lore. There is nothing wrong with the removal of racials and having PvP balance. A Nord shouldn't hit harder then a Breton in the game when facing off against eachother with 2H hammers, even if it does make sense. There would be no diversity between class/combat-style and races then, everyone rolls cookie-cutter to compete in PvE/PvP. Not to mention some factions themselves would be lacking balance because of it.

Gameplay will always clash with what should make sense with lore and story anyway. Take the older games for example, when gameplay just wasn't that advanced. Piss off some guards in High Rock and watch them chase you with swords. They are carrying bows and arrows but for some reason don't know archery, some of them should know magic but nothing there either, just chasing. I'm sure lycanthropy is another good example, I doubt timelimits and cooldowns would exist in the lore (though don't actually know), but for gameplay balance it just makes sense. Anyway, you have to disconnect the gameplay and story/lore/rational sometimes, take the written accounts and questlogs as lore and if gameplay conflicts with that, just don't let it bug you.




(February 22nd 2013, 03:09 AM)Sordak Wrote: no explanation at all: Why are there no kahjiit subraces? And especialy: why is there no cannibalism?

we know the answer to these questions. it has NOTHING to do with gameplay. It has only to do with one thing: $$
Cannibalism completeley fucks up the rating. And what they want is a Teen rating. So cannibalism had to go.
Wich is bullshit.

Did you see this article in December? Both are touched on:
http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/news/po...ion-part-1

On Khajiit they basically just say only Suthay-raht at launch. I mean this isn't a non-answer, it is just a "not yet" which is pretty typical for MMOs.

On Bosmer:
Q: How do you intend to portray the cannibalism of the Bosmer?
A: For the Wood Elves, cannibalism is a matter of ritual significance, and typically quite private within a family or tight-knit group.
-
Not a lot of details there, but telling us how they plan on portraying it does mean they will portray it at least. It just might not be extremely obvious or commonly discussed thing in the story.
This post was last modified: February 22nd 2013, 04:07 AM by decoy
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Post #43493
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(February 22nd 2013, 03:52 AM)decoy Wrote: snip

wrong.
Thats just PR talk for: NOPE not gonna happen.
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Post #43496
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Well then it doesn't matter what they said if they are just accused of lying.
What a depressing outlook.
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(February 22nd 2013, 05:12 AM)decoy Wrote: Well then it doesn't matter what they said if they are just accused of lying.
What a depressing outlook.

you think they will have cannibalism? you think that?
they wont. they will have none of that.
And the Q and A proves it. the wording clearly states that they will not show it.
Wich goes against the lore by the way.

Also they did not change Cyrod to what it should look like in the lore because they didnt want to alianate the people that played oblivion.
And im fairly sure they only have no kahiiti subraces because it would be too weird for the retards that make up 90% of human population to handle.
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Post #43514
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I dont see why we cent haw good gameplay that follows Lore. The only reason they creating "balance" is to get more people playing the game. I personally prefer to play unbalance game that actually follows logic, so what if Breton dosent hit as Hard as Nord, but he will cast magic bather, that is lore balancing its self, but since people want to haw Breton's to hit as hard as Nord just so they be viable as 2h Hammer wielding PvP/PvE options the ga me has to take some sacrifices.
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Post #43519
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Lore vs gameplay is an illusion. Sacrificing lore for gameplay is just lazy. A Nord should hit as hard as an Orc. Both should hit harder than everyone else. You don't strip races of their unique physicality and call it balance. You balance their bonuses. Bretons fighters get an equally weighted bonus to magic def, etc. Make the bonuses small, but don't strip them. Keeping bonuses small makes balance easier, but maintains the unique flavor.

If you want to make a good fantasy MMO without the existing lore of an IP, go do that. If you're going to go through the trouble of making an ES MMO, then it needs to be an ES MMO.

All that being said, we need to remember 2 things.

1. We have no clue what will and will not be in the beta, let alone the final release. Everything we've read/seen/heard about the alpha, and "confirmed" for the beta is meaningless. In the culture of game development literally anything can happen to a game everyday.

2. If we want an ES MMO, even with some of the lore being nothing more than platitudes, then this game has to succeed in a business sense, which means appealing to as large an audience as possible. Some MMO hard cores with big wallets have never played an ES game. Some ES fans with big wallets have never played an MMO.


I hope they find a middle ground, and this game is all we hope it will be. We will be disappointed. We will also be elated. Let's hope more the latter than the former.


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