MMO devs: Stop going big with your stories. Go small instead.

Bio Break

MMORPGs as a storytelling delivery system are an interesting beast. Unlike movies and novels, they aren’t concentrated and focused upon a single, unbroken tale that’s experienced from start to finish. Unlike many other games, they are vastly longer and have a lot more filler and other diversions that take players away from whatever grand story is being told.

Without drawing this thesis out — which is exactly what MMOs do — I’ll just say that these big, huge, sprawling, super-epic mega-stories don’t really fit with the MMORPG format. For one thing, it’s too easy to lose track of what’s going on when it’s been perhaps days between stages or the devs are spinning their narrative wheels to keep players from getting through it too quickly.

For another thing, these massive tales (and I’m speaking primarily from my own experience and anecdotally through others’ who have said something along this line)…

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