There’s the Great Divide!

Yeah, I found it this morning while working at “Nikria’s Menace” Storyboard for my Personal NANO.  Why “NANO” still?  well, it doesn’t necessarily mean “Novel” anymore, it’s more symbolic by now. Anyway, so yeah I’m doing it for this Storyboard, to help myself get the discipline I need to get this thing done with.

Ha ha, I just noticed I passed my goal for the day of 4hrs… ok I’m impressed there.

So back to this divide.   Remember I was talking about Story vs Game last month?  I’ve gotten in “Nikria” to the point where a) Player is finally done with the volcanic explosion, and b) Player is in the land of Shiend with the distasteful Spaud.  So Player meets Spaud who’s doing his best to ignore you because you’re an “underling,” a “servant” of the Prince’s “‘or whatever you people call that,'” and therefore he just drags the Prince off not seeming to care (he does, but you won’t find that out till later) whether or not Player is following.   So, in most games I can think of, whether they’re “MMO X” or “Name an RPG”, or even a more puzzle-related game such as “Myst” or “Monkey Island“, this is around where you the Player could happily just go exploring or you could follow your Prince, who’s clearly in over his head (*G* he’s supposed to be).  Not here; the characterization of the Player says you are the Prince’s Advisor, trusted companion, and well yeah you’ll get your chance to do stuff in Sheffing but not just yet.

The curious part of this came up while I was discussing this very post with my husband.  He did note that, while more modern RPGs/MMO’s have a trend going of more fluid, open questing formats (“Final Fantasy“‘s later stuff, for instance, or “World of Warcraft“), a lot of older games had more linear ones.  So even though I could go at level 4 and try to kill the dragon and rescue the princess in “Dragon Warrior” – yeah, I’ve tried it, DON’T DO THAT – a great deal didn’t allow for that type of shenanegans (if I read him correctly).  This type of difference might be why it is that many people – ok including myself – who play LOTRO – are frustrated as all hell about later expansions such as Dunland and Great River (and worse, Rohan), where Player is absolutely forced into this one line of questing.  We’re not used to it anymore!

It isn’t something I intend to do to Player in my games, either.  You’re following the Prince around for the first parts of Shiend, but believe me it’s because of characterization and story, and yeah you do also get choices of things to do while following His Highness.   And the Player will definitely get to go out and do other things in Sheffing in a bit, some of which are directly dependant on what choices you’ve made during this short time.

An interesting thing.

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