We’ll see how long THAT lasts. I’ve been waiting for this game’s release since it was first announced and logged more hours and own more editions of Phantasy Star Online than anyone here… I’m excited, but I won’t even think for a minute that they’ll hold true to this. Such a feature is too demanding.[/quote]
Well part of the 15$ monthly fee will most definitely go to the staff that their new job (or one of their jobs) will be to actively be creating content like that for the game. How is it any more demanding than creating a new game (it’s less actually)? It’s a job and someone can most definitely do it, it’s not like they’ll say “ok we got bored of it so no more quests guys, sorry”.
This is a part of the press release that can be seen here:
sega.com/corporate/corporate … _20050408a
"The game features a game world that will evolve with new content over the course of several years."
Now, I do hope they actually have a PLAN for this rather than just think “it will be cool if we would do that so, yeah! Rock on, let’s say we will!”
As long as the game is popular then they can pull it off. If it doesn’t sell much or if people’s interest doesn’t remain high in the course of time then of course they will not be able to support such a feature since it won’t be worth while to them.
Really it’s all about keeping interest for the gamers. Such a feature will help that which in turn will help them continue having that feature since they’ll keep getting monthly fees from the players that like the quests and be able to keep the same kind of support.
It’s not like each quest will be a full single player adventure or something. They have a huge ammount of already done in the past things to draw inspiration from to make interesting quests for PSU. I doubt anyone expects innovative plot for them, just more interesting than the standard “fetch item, kill monster, rescue guy, flip switch” quests seen in action RPGs. Hell, just combining all these simple things into a single quest with some sort of jibberish reasoning/goal to tie it all together will be “more-interesting” enough for most people…
As for the story in PSO, I didn’t get too deep into the game but it felt more like discovering the setting of the game rather than seeing through a real evolving story… And from reading through various boards most people don’t really consider it a worthwhile story either. I read that Episode 3 tried to go a little bit deeper story wise but failed due to the quality of the story.
As for all the points you made about why you can’t have a single player style story for a multiplayer game… Well, who exactly were you arguing with, I don’t recall asking/wondering about that or showing that it can actually be done and should have been done.
(Feel free to stop reading right here. Everything from now on is just an afterthought, not the point I was trying to do with this (or my previous) post at all.) -
Though it actually can worksomewhat, in PSO only you and your team had access to the areas you were going to so they could easily add a progressive story that would make you and your friends feel like the main characters and the heroes that saved the world or whatever they fancied.
You’d pick a story quest similar to how you pick normal missions (by talking to the right person, by having completed the right previous story based quest) then you and your friends would go together to complete it, be praised by NPCs, be feared by enemies, open up the next story section for all of you, etc, etc, like in a regular SP action RPG.
The downside is that you could propably replay story missions as much as you wanted but it would be worse if they tried to limit it since that would force some people to go solo or make an effort to find new decent people if all his friends had done the story quests and he hadn’t yet.
Perhaps to be able to replay a story mission you would require atleast one party member that hasn’t played it yet in your party. Maybe that would be an OK fix (though I think the restriction of not being able to do an advanced story mission if only the rest of your party and not yourself had reached that point of the story should be strict).
And the “random instead of standard character” issue is not really an issue, most PC RPGs let you create characters from scratch just like in a MMORPG but offer deep and engaging and involving storylines for you to go through.
Guild Wars is kind of doing that I think. Depends on how much ‘plot’ the various quest areas have in the finished game which I haven’t played.
Anyway you can propably argue with a lot of parts of this thought but it’s still very possible with some compromises here and some work arounds there. I didn’t sit and think through the whole game mechanics, I’m not going to create this thing. I just thought of a few basic things/examples to show it’s possible.