Moral Ambiguity

May 12, 2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 9 Comments

You fill out a biography at character creation time that defines your background and your place within the world, and that starts you on your path. Then the choices you make will take the story in different directions. Each time you play through the game, you can experience a different storyline.

Does that not sound like a direct quote from someone talking about a Bioware game? I’ve played many of their games and they often personalize your origin. Granted the choices you make often have minimal effect on the story, a reference here, a line of dialogue there. In the end the essential story of the game is told and whatever you do it doesn’t tend to change the outcome. Feel free to mention all the instances where I’m wrong in the comments.

The quote above is not from Bioware, it’s from Arenanet. To me it sounds like they’re directly taking a page from them. Not a bad thing. Star Wars: The Old Republic is taking a few cues from Blizzard themselves, huge marketing, 2 opposing sides, polish the crap out of it and boom World of Star Warscraft.

Bio B. Ware

I’m sure TOR will be it’s own unique game, especially since I’m sure it will have a personalized background and moral choices.

With 2 games moving into that territory I can only guess at what problems arise from moving from an rpg to an mmorpg. Will people in groups be watching cinematics that differ from each other? Or will they only see personalized stories while alone or inside personalized instances? How will other people interact with our background?

Arenanet has said you can choose to play through story content as a group but when you do so you choose to play through a particular person’s story. Is that how Bioware will handle it I wonder? Does that mean you can play through story content by yourself? You could do that in Guild Wars, but only with Henchmen & Heroes.

Arenanet has also said they won’t be letting people make evil choices. That’s been the staple of the Bioware model, good vs evil. Which continues with TOR and the evil Sith child molesters.

Okay honestly I know nothing about the moral choices of either game. I’ve only seen a few examples from GW2 and none from SWTOR, other than Sith vs Republic. I also don’t know just how much an effect these choices will make on the actual story and enjoyment of the game. But if we’re talking about brand new stuff in mmorpg’s, you’d think people would be talking about this a bit more.



  1. It is true, it’s difficult to let people make big choices without splintering your player base. WOW had the guts to do it in it’s first expansion you would have to choose either Aldor or Scryer giving you differing loot and different home bases.
    Anet has done something like it too with the Luxon and Kirzick sides – though it was much easier to change sides.
    I can imagine that this would be one easy way to make the players differences mater, through their standings with various groups. I hope both new games take it a bit further how though I am not sure of. It can be taken further than both of these examples. You could find yourself alone on the battlefield or with friends by your side.
    You of course have your base building in GW that was nice and your own little cupboard (or house) where you store your achievements/descisions.
    These are all fairly major things that even some RPGs don’t have. I don’t think your giving MMORPGs enough credit.
    Obviously with their event scaling it doesnt matter if you have 1 or 50 people so its not an issue having henchies or not.

    • its difficult to create varying story in a one person rpg, let alone thousands upon thousands of people in an mmorpg. It might be easy for them to screw up

  2. i’m also interested to see how they’ll merge the storytelling with the mmorpg elements.

    • so you’re going to be playing TOR then?

  3. I wonder, does eating an “evil” food make one good (for removing it from the world) or evil (by absorption)? Or vice versa.

    • Eating evil food makes you evil or haven’t you ever spoken to a vegan?

      • I guess that means evil tastes good.

        Then again, vegans are pretty much grass-grown, I bet they’re delicious.

        • This conversation here is full of win.

        • Ahhh but a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet? I personally have never been able to tell the difference between organic or free range by taste alone.

          @mmogc sarlacc is you isn’t it? don’t lie.

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