Aug 15, 2011

No, I am not the Hero!

I recently forked out some Brit Coins on a Star Wars: The Old Republic pre order, not the super swish collectors edition, as I am not made of wonga, but the Digital Collectors Edition off Origin.

After making my purchase, I decided to watch every official video on the official TOR channel on the YouTube.  I had ignored most of the information coming out and bought the game on the whim of a madman, so I thought I’d best have a bit of prior knowledge before it all kicks off at some point in a gala… no, not doing that!

It all looks really good fun, exciting and full of drama, adventure and the most important bit, choice.  One thing stuck out, the fine Doctors Muzyka and Zeschuk kept mentioning that they want the player to “feel like The Hero,” “make decisions to change the entire course of events on this planet” and other grand things that all Heroes do.

No! You’re doing it wrong!  I do not want to be a Hero, or Anti-Hero, or whatever.  One person, contributing to a cause,  this is what I want.  Being the Hero is fine in a singleplayer RPG like Knights of the Old Republic, but it doesn’t sit well with me in an MMO like The Old Republic.

My personal Star Wars fantasy would be carving out an existence on some outer rim planet, and hearing rumours about battles several hyperspace jumps away, maybe the battles come to my own system, then I would take up arms, and then maybe, just maybe, become the Hero of [Insert System Name Here], or maybe, the battles don’t come my way, and I continue doing whatever it is that I do.  The original trilogy of Star Wars films had loads of very rich Oral History, just a few words from the great Sir Alec Guinness had you thinking of far off worlds.  I have an imagination, hearing about great events performed by others is cool, I don’t need to be at every major event in the history of that Galaxy that’s far, far away…

In making You, the Hero, the centre of attention, it takes away from the importance of certain events.  If everything you do is “Heroic”, because it will be, as you are the Hero, then what distinguishes your “normal” activities from your “Heroic” ones?  Moreso, in a Universe where everyone is also a “Hero”, what makes you “Heroic”?

Everyone being the Hero works in Fantasy MMOs, daring deeds is a staple of the genre, and those Superhero MMOs like Champions Online and D.C Universe, but Star Wars is full of people getting by, smugglers and pod racers.  Not everyone is a Sith Lord fighting for the Empire, or a Jedi Consular saving the Galaxy one Cantina at a time.  I don’t need every action I take having far reaching consequences that are felt for generations to come, or somesuch blurb.

Really, I want Recettear as an MMO, in a Star Wars setting.  Who’s with me?!

Yep, just me.

3 Comments

  • I'm with you! I had the exact same comment when Rift came out. I hate games that try to celebrate an individual's achievement like it's some amazingly awesome thing, even though EVERY other player in the game will accomplish that with ease.

    Case and point.. the whole, 'becoming an ascended thing'. "You are chosen by the Gods to save the world, it is up to YOU!"

    The problem is, when everyone's a chosen, special hero – no one's a chosen, special hero. One of the only MMO that approached this differently was WAR. In warhammer, you are not the hero, but the grunt. Every quest wasn't a 'Only you can save us all from the invading forces!' – it was more along the lines of 'Back to the front you dogs! You're all gonna die anyways!' Personally, I'll take everyone being a peon, over everyone being savior of the universe any day.

    Aion for all it's considerable flaws did one thing that I found interesting. The factions had ranks based on pvp that the whole server could see. He who earned a certain amount of honor or whatever, actually earned a certain rank and had certain privileges associated with it. WoW did this when it was still a fun game (lol) back in Vanilla. This was an interesting way of setting apart the true heros.

    So I agree with the OP. The MMO I will love to death will be the one that allows me to play a Rogue who's really just a wheeling-dealing lowlife rogue in the streets. Or a warrior who doesn't get that shining plate and become a grand knight, but rather has to live life bounty to bounty, with only maybe one or two pieces of gear that are actually worth a damn. And the mage who doesn't have gold encrusted robes with ruby rings and a dragon bone staff, but rather an old scraggly robe and a dusty hat with more patches than original fabric, and busted staff with a flicker in it's glowy gem.

    TL:DR – I agree.

  • "Recettear as an MMO, in a Star Wars setting"

    Heartily seconded. I want MMO worlds to live in, not save. There's a difference.

  • @Tesh Very well put!

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