- Reply with questions and answers only.
- Do not mention whether you feel this will work or will not. Do not mention why this won’t work or why this will work. There are an infinite number of reasons either way and that is not a discussion.
Blizzard has done a great job, more than any other MMORPG – making our characters relevant to the story. Not just one of us, all of us. We’re there. We exist, in all our numbers.
At World of Warcraft’s height there was north of 10,000,000 of us collectively, divided into hundreds of timelines (Servers/Realms). If divided evenly, which it wasn’t, that would mean approximately 40,000 player characters per server (timeline / reality). Split evenly between the Horde and Alliance, that makes 20,000 Adventurers per faction – this number is not exact, but its approximate.
Divide that 20,000 even further by the 13 races of each faction in the game, and you have something like 1,500 Player Characters (Adventurers) per race. These are considerably good figures. It doesn’t seem unrealistic when compared to the NPC population in lore (not accurately represented in game). The approximate population of the city I live in is 155,000, a little cramped, because there’s no where to live, but it still doesn’t feel like there are a lot of people but doesn’t feel like a ghost town either.
Of those 1,500 on each faction, only a select number (unspecified but indicated) go up against the raid bosses. Blizzard did a great job saying we do exist in the story - all of us, but has not scripted it good enough to keep all of us included in the story every course of the way. It currently exists so that among a number of Roleplayers, considering yourself thee Player Characters in the story is not good RP. 100% acceptance of someone roleplaying the player character doesn’t occur due to some measure of ambiguity in the consistency of the player characters involvement.
The point: The Player Characters involvement in the story should be undeniably the right of every player character to state that they contributed in the way the story allows for the player character to participate. It should be as undeniable as saying that Anduin Wrynn became King of Stormwind after Varian Wrynn died. It cannot be argued or debated by any player – it is considered cannon.
The unique deviations we make up that deviate from the ‘cookie-cutter’ role blizzard has laid out for the Player Character in the story is what should be considered by players as potentially taboo. Because the player is going into grey area of what is considered possible for the Player Character.
In short: The Player Character involvement needs to be more non-cannon proof. Every quest, every dungeon, every raid, every battleground, every arena. Everything the player character does needs to be equally assertable by every other Player Character. It cannot seem like it’s impossible for that to be the case, or that all Player Characters are carbon copies of each other.
An example: The Artifact weapons & order halls introduced in Legion. While I feel that the story does indicate that there are more than one Highlord, it doesn’t do it quite well. To the degree where it can be debated among the players whether every Paladin Player Character can be considered a Highlord. This contention is unacceptable and creates a divide among one Player Character to others on whether that is the case.
While we can’t all wield the same exact weapon at the same exact time. We can have replicas. The story could have been better worded to say that Player Characters got capable copies of the original Artifact Weapons. Made with similar materials as the original.
A slight difference in wording. Made clear in quest dialogue. Make dialogue of NPC with Player Characters more Conscious of the entirety of the Player Character population. NPC must acknowledge that more than one of us are going to contribute and get involved.
That: “You are not the only one Prince of Darkness!” It changes the narrative to the degree that all Player Characters can comfortably say in RP: “I have an Ashbringer.” The player character hasn’t really made decisions other than to contribute with what is asked for by the NPC.
The Player Character either does the quest or does not. That is the extent of most decision making in the game. Dragonflight looks to be changing that with the Wrathion & Sabellian conflict for leadership. We’re deciding who to support, not who is going to be leader.
It works, and Blizzard could keep it that way. The Player Character will have to live with whoever Blizzard decides on losing the conflict. But that can lead to variety in Player Character stories. Some of us decided to support Wrathion - others Sabellian.
I dare to suggest that Blizzard would give Player Characters real influence over the decision made. In a game with multiple servers this would require each story being able to support alternative instances. In one server Player Characters actions lead to Wrathion becoming the leader, in another it was Sabellian. It would be unique and amazingly dynamic.
Please consider implementing clearer NPC dialogue that is conscious of all Player Characters. With quests that are carried out inside a party have the NPC conscious of this fact. Have the dialogue change ever so slightly to indicate the NPC recognizes he or she is speaking to a group of Adventurers that have banded together rather than the lone wolf adventurer. If the group is in one guild, in different guilds, all of them are un-guilded, some are in guilds and some are not, have the NPC conscious of all these factors and proceed with the dialogue accordingly.
Include a feature that allows you to start a quest all at the same time if in a group. One person clicks on the NPC and the others in the group who click on it after can be joined in the dialogue and start the quest together. If a member drops from the group before the quest is completed have consciousness from the NPC that expresses awareness of that. Implement not just consciousness of all Player Characters, make NPC expressive of that awareness.
More consciousness, and more expression of that consciousness. It would make for a richer game. It would be amazing to feel more part of the story in a game that has multiple players than any other MMORPG. I am confident you will look upon this dialogue and take the discussion into consideration going forward with game development and its storytelling.
A Player Character