Waiting for Star Wars: Lore and the Codex
Is there an MMO without lore?
At the very least, every MMO has some backstory explaining the reason why your characters are fighting and what's happening in the world.
Better MMOs tend to have richer lore. While rich, detailed lore doesn't guarantee success, it does help engage players and draw them deeper into the MMO.
Games such as Star Trek, Warhammer, and Age of Conan were able to depend on large audiences at release partly due to their pre-existing stories and lore. Players were drawn to the games because they wanted to be part of the story.
As those games demonstrated, lore alone is not enough - you still need to deliver a good product - but lore is important to an MMO's success. Why? Because most players want a story. Players revel in a game's lore. They want to discover it all, know as much about the story as they can.
Are you an MMO explorer? Do you want to uncover, learn, and greedily consume every detail of your MMO's lore? Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) looks like it's ready for you.
On his latest blog entry, Damian Schubert, Principal Lead Systems Designer on SWTOR, talks about the SWTOR codex.
Looking to Dragon Age and Mass Effect for guidance, the SWTOR design team has taken the best of both, combining the story-telling elements of the Dragon Age codex with the encyclopedic codex of Mass Effect.
"For The Old Republic, we took the best of both systems, using our codex to not only elaborate on the settings you fight in and the creatures you kill, but also to plant seeds of knowledge relating to key personages and concepts from your class story and long-lost lore..."
"Current estimates of our codex are around 120,000 words of text. By comparison, the average Star Wars novel comes in at around 100,000 words."
It sounds like the BioWare team is hard at work, striving to provide gamers with a rich storyline.
Will SWTOR be a lore aficionado's paradise? You'll have to wait until the MMO release to be sure, but all signs are encouraging.
You can read the entire blog entry here.