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The problem with storytelling in SWTOR

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
The problem with storytelling in SWTOR

Bsunholy's Avatar


Bsunholy
05.26.2013 , 12:08 PM | #1
I've finished four main stories and have almost finished a fifth. Still I find it hard not to skip through conversations. Often I'll find myself mid-planet, heading into a cave or lab or vault with no idea why I was going there. It's way too easy to get lost or disconnected from what's going on and just rely on the mission objectives listed on-screen.

I think the issue is that there are simply too many NPCs or story nodes that distract you from the story. You can only deal with so many new names and faces before they become a featureless wash.

Think about it. You hit a planet. You wind up visiting five outposts. Each outpost has one persistent story line and 3-4 other minor quests given from different NPCs. By the time you're hitting that final battle, you've been barraged by 20-25 new names to keep track of.

It would work much better if storylines were driven by companions. Instead of dealing with ensign blabbity blah and Darth no-name, let our companions be integrated in planet quests and objectives. It would also greatly increase playability because each class would be different. Plus, we get more depth to our character's companions.

I know it's too late to do it now, but maybe the next expansion could focus on companions? You don't have to force people to fight with a certain companion, they can be the center of the story just by being in the cut-scene.

Jenzali's Avatar


Jenzali
05.26.2013 , 12:32 PM | #2
You're correct (especially if it's your first time playing through those quests), but keep in mind there's also the option to pick and choose which quests you do, and in which order.

For the ultimate "story" experience, for each planet you can do all your class quests in a row (this often makes the most sense since the class quests are usually the most urgent story-wise), then do the planet storyline, and skip the others if you like. With XP perks, boosts, or supplemental warzones/flashpoints you should have more than enough experience to progress to the next planet.

For the ultimate "immersion" experience, you can do every single quest in order. I actually like it this way because I am good at remembering the names, faces, and missions but I understand it's not for everyone. It makes the world feel the most alive this way, for me.
Dashto Vant - Arsenal Mercenary - The most dashing bounty hunter in the galaxy.

zzoorrzz's Avatar


zzoorrzz
05.26.2013 , 12:40 PM | #3
I think it's you mate. Maybe you're somehow distracted during playing or you have some problem with attention. Sometimes I have to check the objectives, but that's mainly after 1-2 days offline when I get back. Other than that, I never had any problem to follow the story.

Bytemite's Avatar


Bytemite
05.26.2013 , 01:28 PM | #4
I usually only have thirty minutes to an hour a day to play, so I really have to prioritize. However, taking each quest in such a small bite actually helps keep track of what's going on.

Darth-Obvious's Avatar


Darth-Obvious
05.26.2013 , 07:26 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Bsunholy View Post
I've finished four main stories and have almost finished a fifth. Still I find it hard not to skip through conversations. Often I'll find myself mid-planet, heading into a cave or lab or vault with no idea why I was going there. It's way too easy to get lost or disconnected from what's going on and just rely on the mission objectives listed on-screen.

I think the issue is that there are simply too many NPCs or story nodes that distract you from the story. You can only deal with so many new names and faces before they become a featureless wash.

Think about it. You hit a planet. You wind up visiting five outposts. Each outpost has one persistent story line and 3-4 other minor quests given from different NPCs. By the time you're hitting that final battle, you've been barraged by 20-25 new names to keep track of.

It would work much better if storylines were driven by companions. Instead of dealing with ensign blabbity blah and Darth no-name, let our companions be integrated in planet quests and objectives. It would also greatly increase playability because each class would be different. Plus, we get more depth to our character's companions.

I know it's too late to do it now, but maybe the next expansion could focus on companions? You don't have to force people to fight with a certain companion, they can be the center of the story just by being in the cut-scene.
The "problem" is that it's an MMO.

There are numerous design decisions made to keep you in the world(s) for longer and longer stretches of time. Things like lengthy cool down times on fast travel or gigantic planets filled with vast stretches of emptiness.

Note the fact that the game possesses the ability/tech to allow you to turn in nearly every quest via holo, but only when grouped. The only reason you can't turn in quests via holo while soloing is so that they can keep you in the world longer.

The other part of it is that the class quests come so few and far between the later you get in the game that it gets harder and harder to keep track of things especially when it takes you 5 minutes to travel across a single area/zone for a number of the planets in the game (Hoth, Belsavis, Corellia)

Having your companions as quest givers is a good idea but it would make the planets seem more bare and lifeless then they already are, not to mention having to come up with reasons why your companions are giving you a reason to take out munitions in a bunker or whatever.

The way Makeb was designed was a good step in the right direction for doing new story content as you generally only had two quests per area, main and side, both of which fed into the same overall story for the most part.

spectreclees's Avatar


spectreclees
05.27.2013 , 02:18 AM | #6
Nevermind, misread op.

platinumruggo's Avatar


platinumruggo
05.27.2013 , 02:35 PM | #7
I would have preferred if the stuff that happens on the planet missions actually affected your main story line in some way. It doesn't have to be extreme, but something at least should happen. This way, maybe different dialogue options if you're a sith lord versus being a bounty hunter, they all affect your story differently and depending on how you handle it, light or dark side and what not. This is one of the reasons I started pvp'ing more because the planet quests get really repetitive and boring after the 5th or 6th time doing them on many different alts.
Quote: Originally Posted by Capt_Beers View Post
I guess without the effect and all the sabers flying around it could tough for him to tell which one was his. Wouldn't want to catch the wrong one. My friend lost a EWH saber that way. Caught someone else's Recruit saber and then the other quit and logged out.

SithKoriandr's Avatar


SithKoriandr
05.27.2013 , 10:22 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by platinumruggo View Post
I would have preferred if the stuff that happens on the planet missions actually affected your main story line in some way. It doesn't have to be extreme, but something at least should happen. This way, maybe different dialogue options if you're a sith lord versus being a bounty hunter, they all affect your story differently and depending on how you handle it, light or dark side and what not. This is one of the reasons I started pvp'ing more because the planet quests get really repetitive and boring after the 5th or 6th time doing them on many different alts.
What happened in my class storyline for my Agent, effected a line of dialogue with a side quest giver on Nar Shaadaa.
"It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more...than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so *********** what." - Stephen Fry

Jenzali's Avatar


Jenzali
05.27.2013 , 10:46 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by platinumruggo View Post
I would have preferred if the stuff that happens on the planet missions actually affected your main story line in some way. It doesn't have to be extreme, but something at least should happen. This way, maybe different dialogue options if you're a sith lord versus being a bounty hunter, they all affect your story differently and depending on how you handle it, light or dark side and what not. This is one of the reasons I started pvp'ing more because the planet quests get really repetitive and boring after the 5th or 6th time doing them on many different alts.
There are a few instances where a planet storyline can affect your class storyline, or vice-versa. They are rare, though, and often times difficult to find because it may depend on the order in which you do the particular class and planetary quests. These were difficult to discover without multiple playthroughs, even for someone like me who tries every possible dialogue branch and even resets entire quest chains to see all the different outcomes.

Example (contains major spoilers for Bounty Hunter and Imperial Corellia):
Spoiler
As the poster above me said, there are a decent number of dialogue lines from planetary NPCs that may change or mention the actions in your class story, but actual plot branching is extremely rare.

You're right that it would be nice if this was a more common occurrence. But it's unlikely that the 1-50 story experience will ever change at all in the future, and as far as future story content goes... all signs point towards class stories being discontinued in favor of having one generic, unchanging story for each faction.
Dashto Vant - Arsenal Mercenary - The most dashing bounty hunter in the galaxy.

cool-dude's Avatar


cool-dude
05.28.2013 , 03:26 AM | #10
Solution: skip side quest dialogue and cut scenes, only watch class story.
"Sarcasm is strong in this one"