Which kind of story tells SotA?

Discussion in 'Quests & Lore' started by Sir Cabirus, Oct 14, 2017.

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  1. Sir Cabirus

    Sir Cabirus Avatar

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    First let me say that I have absolutely nothing against the MMO aspects of this game. I played MMOs (Guild Wars, Guild Wars II, Lord of the Rings Online) for many years. But as the years went by, MMO games are not longer my cup of tea - I'm here for the story. And yes, this is nothing new - I guess, most of you know this already ;)

    Let me explain why I backed this game and what my problem is. In 2013 I saw these videos during the Kickstarter campaign, you can still watch them on the Kickstarter page of SotA (near the bottom of the page).


    Starting at 03:00 minutes
    Richard Garriott: "To create a story-driven soloplayer experience that harkens back to somewhere between Ultima IV and Ultima VII, but it also has the ability to play online"
    Warren Spector: "Okay that sounds great ... I've always had just personally a little problem with the traditional MMOs .. I don't want to be surrounded by 10000 of my close personal friends. And there really hasn't been something that lets me experience the real role-playing against that I feel, when I sit down with five or six of my closest friends. And you know me, I'm a single player guy ...."

    So I'm in good company :)


    Starting at 0:42 minutes
    Richard Garriott: "we tell you a story-driven basically soloplayer experience akin to Ultimas IV, V, VI and VII"

    I had understood that SotA should have many aspects - and that the story would be just one of them. However - a story-driven solo-player experience, akin to Ultimas IV to VII and designed by the creator of the fantastic Ultima series himself was exactly what I was looking for. And so I backed the game and even paid more money after the end of the KS campaign to support the development of this game furthermore.

    Recently Richard Garriott stated that SotA has a multiplayer story.

    And now I'm confused.

    There is / will be NO re-write, it is not needed. The story IS a multiplayer story, as will be clear... in time.

    How does a basically soloplayer experience match with a multiplayer story? I'm not talking about the quality or the current state of the story. I'm talking about a basic design decision! Where is my story-driven basically soloplayer experience akin to Ultimas IV, V, VI and VII? What happened to the game? Which kind of story tells SotA?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  2. Stundorn

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    Hm, i think , although i maybe missed some detail because of language in the story , this "MP Story" is not that bad even if you are a SP, but yes it maybe lacks some logic in the offline SP , but not sure, i maybe missed something and I don't want to spoiler.
    I was somewhat surprised in the end, not overwhelmed but surprised and pleased, but i cannot compare to Ultima's , i never seriously played one of them.
    I cannot even rate the style of writing, i was happy if I got the sense right in some Conversations. Not all, but some.

    I wouldn't say it that bad and maybe the "new" and unique thing about it is, yes it can be understand as both, an Avatar story for MP and SP.
    Just play it and rate for yourself .
    There are maybe some flaws, but you can play through the story and help to improve it!
    I'm sure your feedback would be very helpful and constructive.
     
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  3. Paladin Michael

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    As I started a thread on steam about illogical statements about SotA, I received a lot of #!*$#! (in novia would that be death magic or chaos magic energy drawing arrows?;))

    These people didn't knew me, so I felt, something must be wrong: ... so much death - ehm I mean ... disappointment and despair behind all the words, which had nothing to do with my person or my thread.

    As I got closer to some people's thoughts it was more clear:
    People had expectations - others than mine, of course. And so I tried to understand, where these expectations came from?

    After a lot of club and abuse (it was hard, this to be said, but not as hard as the hardened Archers and Mages and the following death decay whip ;)
    I got it:

    Most people writing in a negative way about this game due to the the same reason!
    1. They were/are great fans of Ultima (not necessarily UO)
    2. They were early backers for SotA
    3. They refered to statements (I didn't knew), which gave them the expectation for a more Ulitma IV - Ultima VII succssor

    Well, from their point of view I couldn't disagree (I just did it in their behaviour and the illogical statements against a game in early access, which was the reason for missing stuff).

    And what I really wished, was that these people ask in a good way about what they really care.
    (Equal if here, on steam or this other red... forum ;))

    Now, for the first time, I read this in a clear statement from @Sir Cabirus and I appreciate the way he tells about what confused him,
    and I think, a lot of other persons, too:

    What was said and what kind of expectations provoked this?

    I think it is really important to make it clear for all concerned.
    These people who trusted in statements and don't have the feeling the game fits to them - yet.

    May be there will be a big surprise - and after the online story is included, the offline polish with more (UIV - UVII like feeling) features will be implemented?

    I don't know. But I really hope to see a story told in the mentioned way for all of those people who trusted and willing to pay for it.

    Not only, because of the money - but in the name of the virtues - the reason why we love(d) Ultima and Shroud of the Avatar ...
    There are paths which crosses other ones, like courage, truth and love :)
    And as we follow them, we may learn: there is no reason to Black or White people, or to split in Bad or Good.
    This was a meaningful point, Ultima VI: The False Prophet, told us ...

    There is no coincidence in life, people don't (re)act per coincidence ... this is another kind of our story :)
    I really hope (as I wrote on steam, too) the responsible will make it clear, what everyone can expect in (near and far) future and what not ...

     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  4. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    What @Sir Cabirus wrote reflects my thoughts 100% so I don't want to repeat what you can read in his post anyway.

    I just want to add those thoughts: I love the SP Ultimas and I loved Ultima Online. The idea behind this project (SotA) in the beginning, before the KS and during the KS campaign sounded awesome! "What?? I can have both the single player awesomeness of U4-7 AND a new Ultima Online once I am done with my SP campaign? sign me up!!" And I did, sign up that is, I pledged a LOT of money for my gaming hero, @Lord British , to create the game of his and my dreams.

    And you know what? if this game WAS the promised U4-7 experience and the "UO part" would not be good yet then I would defend this game to death. Give them time for the online part, I'd say... This is something that has never been done before, I'd also say, but.... as it is now (and sorry, but after all those years and with the release happening very soon, it matters how it is NOW) I can't defend it. I was "betrayed" and so were many others. I doubt is was willful or devious, I am certain it was not. I can not judge what happened internally between those inital plans and what was acutaly developed, I can only judge the outcome, and the outcome shows me that a LOT has changed and this is not the game I spent money for. I'd don't care for Ultimate Collector 2 "now with houses".

    And you know what? Even though it is so obvious that it does not "harken back to U4-7" I still hope for a miracle, I still, secretly, hope that in 2018 when it's being released magically everything falls into place and I will have Ultima X in SotA. Silly right? Yeah it is.
     
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  5. Poor game design

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    If you watch around the 3 minute mark in the Warren Specter video, Richard literally says that he wants the game to be as "MMO as you want it to be". He's talking about allowing the player to have the ability to be FULL MMO or not MMO at all.

    In the second video around the 1 minute mark he's talking about it being a persistent virtual world like UO, and that there are fans from both sides that want BOTH THINGS.

    Seriously, I get it, you want it to be single player only. But that's not what it was sold as, it was ALWAYS sold as a sliding scale (single player to MMO) and that's exactly what they're delivering.
     
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  6. Ristra

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    Am I the only one that is expecting "story" beyond the 40 hrs in the truth love courage quest chains? All that space in between each episode?

    I don't see how the story that will be on going with each release can be the same as those 40 hrs.
     
  7. Sir Cabirus

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    Wrong, I never have said that! I know that SotA is a selective multiplayer game.

    During KS campaign:
    Richard Garriott: "To create a story-driven soloplayer experience that harkens back to somewhere between Ultima IV and Ultima VII, but it also has the ability to play online"
    Richard Garriott: "we tell you a story-driven basically soloplayer experience akin to Ultimas IV, V, VI and VII"

    Now:
    Richard Garriott: The story IS a multiplayer story, as will be clear... in time.

    I just wanted to express the difference between these statements before and after the KS campaign and I asked how a basically soloplayer experience match with a multiplayer story.
     
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  8. Kpopgurl

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    Are you from Munich ;)?

    I heard exactly that example in a game design course on my uni.

    But Story is such a hard thing to judge. If the writing is bad, it is bad... I think they can't upgrade the presentation and phasing for different decision etc. because of technical limits?

    So what would be a way out of this for you? You don't like MMO quest style in general?
     
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  9. Nick

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    I believe for @Sir Cabirus, Underworld Ascendant when it is out, would be the way out for him. :(

    Really appreciate what he and LD does, to remind the Port (and Richard) not to downplay the single player aspect of SOTA. In my opinion, it truly has the potential to be a really really great (offline?) single player game if it is not burdened by the limitation of the multiplayer mode. A world where your decisions impacts Novia to a certain degree.

    We have (I hope) 5 episodes. I've given up on ep 1. My hope is that they make the remaining 4 truly great.
     
  10. Vyrin

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    Let me give an example about why we need to argue fairly, and why single player/story fans sometimes feel shut down:
    Thanks, Sir Cabirus, for staying interested and providing your feedback.
     
  11. Kpopgurl

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    I wonder why this person in perticular can still attack people and isn't hold responsible for it. He did the same on PVP and other topics concerning sandbox elements.
     
  12. Poor game design

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    Here's the problem.

    This is what Sir Cabirus said...
    Read it. He asks "How does a basically soloplayer experience match with a multiplayer story? I'm not talking about the quality or the current state of the story. I'm talking about a basic design decision!"

    He goes on to say, "Where is my story-driven basically soloplayer experience akin to Ultimas IV, V, VI and VII? What happened to the game?"

    How is that NOT saying that the game he purchased is not what SOTA is?

    Sir Cabrius continues...
    So let me get this straight. Using your own words so that no one can confuse the issue as "arguing unfair" or saying something you never said.

    Sir Cabrius says:
    "I just wanted to express the difference between these statements before and after the KS campaign"

    I'm saying there is no difference. That you and others are clearly ignoring what was said in totality in the very videos you put in the OP.

    Show me where Richard wasn't talking about Multiplayer, Persistent Virtual Worlds, and features that were found in UO?

    Show me how a mulitplayer story can not also simultaneously be a single player story?

    Show me how you're not saying that you want the game to be single player only when it comes to the story. Clearly you want the story to be single player only, correct?

    If I'm wrong, you would have to say "I don't mind if there is a story that is for both multiplayer and single player. I understand that this was always the way it was during the Kickstater." If that's how you feel, ok, I'm not trying to "shut you down" I'm only trying to point out that neither of those things jives with reality. In both the videos that you point to Richard talks about multiplayer and virtual persistent worlds, and he never once says anything about the "story" being only for single player.

    "Basically solo-player driven experience" is not 'Totally 100% a solo-player driven experience. Especially when the next words out of his mouth are all about multiplayer and UO.
     
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  13. Spoon

    Spoon Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I think that for the game to be successful it really needs the story part to stand out in a good way.
    If the world makes sense and if there is atmosphere and flavor then that creates a grand backdrop for everything else.
     
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  14. Lord_Darkmoon

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    "Basically solo-player driven experience" is not "basically a MMO driven experience". There is a fundamental difference. Basically soloplayer implies that this is the focus, that this is the basics. This is not the case in the game we have now. Would Richard have said that SotA would be a "basically MMORPG with the option to play offline" then I would not have pledged. Because then I would have known what we would get would be what SotA is now. A MMORPG with standard MMO quests - I don't need this again after having played so many MMORPGs... But by saying (basically single-player) it implied that this would be the focus. That we would BASICALLY get a Ultima 7 like game in which we can add some friends and maybe enter a MMO-like world, too. Basically a single-player game and if we wante we could add some friends or play in an online world. What we got now is the complete opposite. We have a MMORPG in which can play alone.

    We have a story in which everyone rescues Charlotte. In which everyone brings the murderer to justice and in which everyone delivers the one and only artifact to the guard captain. How can this be a single-player story, too? What is so special here?
    Where is the great new narrative in which players don't have to pretend that others didn't do the exact same things as Tracy Hickman said?
    Where are the "REAL consequences" that were mentioned on the Seed Invest page?
     
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  15. Poor game design

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    Everyone would rescue Charlotte if it was only a single player game, it would just be on their version of the game. And if you're playing single player mode, then how is this even remotely different than the Ultimas?

    All the Ultimas worked the same way.

    There's absolutely no difference. The distribution of the story can be single player, friends mode, multiplayer, it doesn't matter. UO didn't have a story, SOTA does. But that's exactly what was pitched during the kickstater, and that's exactly what we have now.

    If you want to argue that the quests are not good, I agree. If you want to argue the story line isn't finished, I agree. If you want to argue that the kickstarter sold you/promised you something else, I disagree. The facts don't jive with that.
     
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  16. Lord_Darkmoon

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    With the exception that it is not straight into my face if others are not around, rescuing her, too and nothing ever happens to her afterwards...
    Also still the question remains, how is this different to other MMORPGs like Tracy Hickman said?

    I don't think that we can find common ground here. For you what Richard Garriott said in the videos is what we got and for me it isn't. For me the wording "basically single-player" does obviously have a different meaning - yet I am not alone in this.
     
  17. Paladin Michael

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    You are right.

    You are right, too.

    What I think, Lord_Darkmoon meant:
    Beside the reality, everybody is the hero in offline play = everybody is the hero in online play,
    there could be moments, which make scenes unique.

    For example: A murder happens at 4 a.m.
    The Guards run around until 6 a.m. searching for him.
    Only players - online at this time - will see this scene. And only the players can see the crime scene with the dead body on the floor. And only these players could run around and -perhaps- seeing the murder / finding clues, foodsteps, thrown weapon ...

    Players arrving at 5 a.m. won't find the dead body on the floor, may be only blood.
    They can't follow the foodsteps, because the Guards and others run over.
    May be this player could find a clue ...

    Asking the beggar, who slept at this time could give false statements, because he wants some gold.
    BUT: The player, often spending some gold to the beggar, would receive a good information.
    Further: The player, spending very much gold to the beggar before, could receive a piece of evidence ...
    And may be, the murder was sank in the swamp, before another player could reach him ...
    And consider: You are standing at the swamp: a murder is in and asks for help.
    Would you show compassion and help him?
    Or let him find his end here, enjoying the view?
    May be, if we help him, we receive a wonderful item or a secret map or ...
    ... and may be, he isn't the murder? ;)

    I think - correct me, if I am wrong - that's what people mean about real consequences and what was said:

    From this point, the question of the thread is right, isn't it?

    If you havn't the expectation like a lot of others, Baron Drocis Fondorlatos, you're right, too :)

    Well, at this point, I am really not sure, what is "right":
    Was it a mistake of Tracy Hickman, who confused a lot of fans with this sentence mentioned above?
    And also the words of Richard?

    I don't think it was a mistake. I think, there are different expectations. And to be fair:
    Players of Ultima (not UO - you're exactly right, Baron Drocis Fondorlatos: there was no story) could expect more, because of the games they played and because of these statements.

    I didn't knew these statements, so I had no expectations.
    But I would appreciate such "uniqe" story elements, too.

    May be, after feedback and polishing from all of us beta tester we will have story elements like a lot of people wish to see, like Lord_Darkmoon tried to describe ...

    As we know, the "real" consequences are still under progress.
    We will get the results with next releases and then we will see, what kind of story SotA tells ...

    So, constructive feedback is the key, we all have to use next weeks and months ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  18. Poor game design

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    Other MMORPGs don't have a story.

    You may not be alone, but I'm not alone either so that's not much of a defense. There are also plenty of people that thought this would be the second coming over UO and are surprised that it's not shaping up that way. To those people I say the same thing, stop hearing what you want to hear and start from the position that the game is exactly what was advertised.

    I'm happy to get player feedback from Sir Cabrius, yourself and others when it omits the idea that SOTA is somehow not what it said it would be. To me, that's where a line is crossed, a line that is not backed up by the facts. If you don't think the single player version of this game is up to par, that's always been fair game.

    Personally, I think it greatly undercuts your argument to ignore the facts. The OP being a perfect example. It's a litigation of what the game was supposed to be, it's not a feedback session to make the game better.
     
  19. Paladin Michael

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    And to be fair and honest to Richard:
    In the Warren Spector Conversation he said
    I am absolute sure he wanted and wants the story to be a great part of SotA.
    And may be Episode I should start "small" to expand it with each release?
    I don't know - I still hope :)
    As all of us know: hope dies last ...
     
  20. Lord_Darkmoon

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    World of Warcraft doesn't have a story? Neverwinter doesn't have a story? The Elder Scrolls Online doesn't have a story? Revelation Online and Guild Wars 2 don't have stories?


    And again. If YOU think it is exactly as advertised then great for you. But this doesn't mean it really IS exactly as it has been advertised. For example I am still missing "adventure in an interactive world where their choices have consequences", "create a virtual world more interactive than Ultima VII" or "A fantasy role-playing game that will focus more on player choices and discovery than on level grinding."
     
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