Moo Tang Clan: Measuring progress in a story based MMORPG?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Measuring progress in a story based MMORPG?

Evizaer posits that popular MMORPGs invert the advancement/story structure of PnP gaming such that story is simply a means to an end instead of the point of the game (and advancement being the means).

He does suggest that it would be possible to design an MMORPG where story is the point, setting the structure right again. My question then is what game mechanics might be designed to record and measure this story-based progress?

With advancement based games it's easy to see progress - the game is full of stats and abilities which can be enumerated. If I wanted to display and explain the story based progress of my WoW characters though I would have a hard time. The best I could do is point to my Achievements and to all the bric-a-brac cluttering my bank. I have very few screen-shots stashed away (the game doesn't directly facilitate keeping visual mementos), my quest log is now empty (completed quests simply disappear). It's a lot of work I have to do to show off my story progress, no wonder then that I don't.

What game mechanics would you want to see to facilitate measuring story progress?

1 comment:

Verilazic said...

Well, I think part of story is the character development. But that presents another problem: how do you create meaningful character development and interaction with a developer-created character, when the player is surrounded by the real thing all the time in an MMO?