Storytelling in Path of Exile

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ghamadvar wrote:
Woah, ambush! I am nobody, let's leave it like that. Relax ...

I changed the posting of mine. It was too aggressive and unfair. Sorry Sabranic. So a little bit more kind: I don't agree with your last paragraph. That's it.

WRPG: Western Role Playing Game. I hope. He/She used it. If it means something else, i don't know what.


If there is anything I can deal with, it's critique. You're free to disagree as you like. I deal with editors daily, and am far beyond getting upset over criticism.

And yes, WRPG = Western Role Playing Game.

I graduated from Hillsdale College in 2000, with degrees in English Literature, Journalism, and a minor in Graphics Design and Political Science.

My day job involves writing news articles for several online publications, but I take other gigs as they come up. Several of them have been contractual roles churning out dialog trees for a Canadian developer. Fun work, lousy pay.
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ghamadvar wrote:
Woah, ambush! I am nobody, let's leave it like that. Relax ...

I changed the posting of mine. It was too aggressive and unfair. Sorry Sabranic. So a little bit more kind: I don't agree with your last paragraph. That's it.

WRPG: Western Role Playing Game. I hope. He/She used it. If it means something else, i don't know what.


If there is anything I can deal with, it's critique. You're free to disagree as you like. I deal with editors daily, and am far beyond getting upset over criticism.

And yes, WRPG = Western Role Playing Game.

I graduated from Hillsdale College in 2000, with degrees in English Literature, Journalism, and a minor in Graphics Design and Political Science.

My day job involves writing news articles for several online publications, but I take other gigs as they come up. Several of them have been contractual roles churning out dialog trees for a Canadian developer. Fun work, lousy pay.

Classy, thanks mate. Was a lousy move by me. And thanks for the insights.
The Sirus fight is a disgrace.
Will the Storytelling in PoE include my story of "How I have been threatened with a ban" ?!

Please make a video about it. I am willing to participate with full story covering it.

As well I have a statistics of "How and why PoE allows selling of in-game items when it is actually prohibiting it."
and "Why and how out there is about 3 million Mirrors on sale, while it drop rate is below 0.0001% chance!"
You are looking at one of the peoples which changed the game,
gave a ton of new ideas about number of expansions,
spread the word, and blast an advertisement campaign.
And for which I finally get threatened with a ban.
I am not playing anymore, just waiting for a nice excuse.
"
I am a writer, and I've composed a story treatment for a sequel pitched to Obsidian, and I've written hundreds of dialog trees for various WRPG's.

Objectively speaking, I would not consider PoE's story and lore "great." I can refer to it as "technically sufficient" without being overly charitable. The narrative provides pretext to slaughter the next group of foes, and does so without too many inconsistencies in terms of NPC/PC motivation. The lore does not contradict itself, and flows consistently from era to era.

In the final tally, PoE is not embarrassingly bad, yet its certainly no masterpiece. (Which is not intended as an indictment of the product). Good enough is "good enough" for a day at the office. Masterworks are inspired and rare. Path of Exile's narrative clocks in at 9:00 am and puts in an honest eight hours of work.

It is my belief the story's strongest points are the first four acts. You are introduced to the antagonists, and they actively work to hinder the hero as they advance, making periodic appearances to remind the player there are larger machinations at play in the world. This yanks the player back into the narrative when they might otherwise find themselves lost in act-centric fetch quests and build/gear number-crunching.

The story's weakest areas are its tendency - particularly in the later acts - to slip into anvilicious intersectionalist undertones. While relatively mild compared to a lot of what we see in modern cinema/games, it's still jarring and out of place in a world as brutal as Wraeclast. A writer needs to always remember that their personal views only belong when they serve to advance the story - injecting them for any other reason destroys immersion. I'm looking at Jun and Irasha in particular. They're thinly veiled author's avatars, and if your NPC's are going to start soap-boxing about menstruation, it had better be important to the plot.


Look at this mans writing: clear, structured, engaging & meaningful, I want you @Sabranic_SilverDeth , to write the story for poe because of the level of standard you bring.
The current "storytelling" team is just not fit for the job; the last few years of "story" I tolerated with an assumption that GGG had no writers.. but this is just unacceptable & insulting.
I want to see a real investment in "quality player experiance" & qualified professionals doing the job; I'm worried about the future of poe2. Frankly, presentation was really bad; it boggles my mind they are in charge of a story.


I just had a procrastination-induced thought about PoE and storrytelling. I thought about the previous comments, the positive and negative ones (the ones considering storrytelling at least). I completed the achievement of listening to all the dialogue up to act 5 (There weren't more back then), so the lore is a bit of interest to me. But I'm definitely not the all lore consuming type of player, that get's lost in every decently written world that's presented to him.

Was thinking about how detached the storry feels from the game and yet at the same time capable of making meme-worthy one-liners. For me the thing that will stick with me forever is Malachai's voice. That pompous tone when he speaks his own name after every letter just sticks with you for some reason. I thought about how D2 delivered their storry in similar fashion, through dialogue options in town yet everyone seems to think, that it does way better job regarding this. So out of the blue came two questions/suggestions regarding immersion and storytelling.

So first, what i think could be the most effective one. Cinnematics. At least one at the start of the game, so you don't just start as a passed out guy on a beach. You are an exile, sent from Oriath to Wraeclast to suffer. For what? It feels like those three lines of text at the character selection screen is just not enough. Like with the ranger. She get's exiled for poaching. That's it? She's lived there up to her age (Heck if I dare to guess how much is that), in a world that seems filled with nightmarish technology, magic, treacherous politics etc. This implies that there is a backstory to every one of the characters, yet we as a player wander the Twilight Strand, supposed to think, that this is proper punishment for shooting a rabbit in a forrest. A short video of some sorts before throwing us in the fray would work spectaculary IMO.

And second, it always confused me why are we supposed to see other players in towns? I am very much a single-player oriented guy, so for all this time the other players in towns have been just a way too shiny nuisance that serves no other purpose but to glitch you out-of-date laptop from time to time. And as soon as you walk out of the towns gate BAM! You are alone, exile. The whole world depends on you. There is no other, who could do it. Oh yeah? How about that shiny-as-hell Sauron lookalike with two demon dogs and a cherub as pets back at the encampment (I don't use cosmetics myself)? I think immersion-wise this breaks things a lot. We have eventboards for notices and public parties. We have external websites and hideouts for our trading needs. We have arenas for PvP. Why should I need to see all those random people randomly running around or idly stacking their character models next to the stash chest? I guess there is a technical reason for this, like no need to create separate town instance for every player, when for everyone the town is the same. But this just breaks the immersion for me. Might be just a personal preference though, but anyways, I think that this would help one to feel more into the story.
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Niiyos wrote:


Look at this mans writing: clear, structured, engaging & meaningful, I want you @Sabranic_SilverDeth , to write the story for poe because of the level of standard you bring.
The current "storytelling" team is just not fit for the job; the last few years of "story" I tolerated with an assumption that GGG had no writers.. but this is just unacceptable & insulting.
I want to see a real investment in "quality player experiance" & qualified professionals doing the job; I'm worried about the future of poe2. Frankly, presentation was really bad; it boggles my mind they are in charge of a story.




When I was watching the presentation, at one point I thought to myself :"Wow, the storytelling in this game is similar to the gameplay. It doesn't hold your hand and makes you to deduce some conclusions for yourself, without ever giving you confirming "You're right, he was the bad guy all along"."

But thinking it over once again, after reading the negative comments here I've come to a conclusion. PoE gameplay is hard even if you don't consider the endgame. And it comes mainly from the fact that you must do all kinds of research and understandings on your own. And I like that. I like that there is still a game like that around. But is the storytelling supposed to be as hard as that, if your games main focus is Hack'n Slash mechanics? Does the story have to be demanding or punishing or confusing when you are not playing an adventure or text-based puzzle? I would put my money on the "No".
funny how this presentation aged like milk. the theory is good, but execution in 3.9 was pretty lackluster. the shaper end elder just swept under a rug, their lore buried or removed and everything replaced by some dude that is never really introduced and noone knows what he actually awakens.

i'm sorry for this guy who probably had lots of things mapped out, but it had to be cut and shipped - to be fixed two leagues later, maybe.
thankyou.
JeckNoTree
Very interesting information.

I always had a feeling that game intentionally designed to give players less lore than i would like to know. In this talk, such approach is explained by dividing players into speedsters and lore scholars, so limited lore is for speedsters. I personally can't fit myself into neither of those two categories - i guess i'm somewhere in between of them. I'd like to have more lore during normal gameplay process, but i also wouldn't spend months collecting various pieces of lore from internet one by one.

Speaking about flavor texts on unique items, I've heard that players who had opportunity to design unique item were able to specify name and flavor text of that unique item. This means, flavor text on unique items doesn't necessarily represent lore of the game. I personally don't want to spend my time guessing if flavor text is actually relevant to the lore or is it some random text some other player put into the game, so my decision was to ignore any flavor text on all unique items. Same with divination cards for same reason.

Anyway, it is nice to know that people who work in GGG are so passionate about this game. Thanks for publishing this talk.

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