Something shared by a game reviewer I follow the other day struck me - how many games confuse Story with Lore. In order to achieve a feeling of epicness, they force a story onto the players. We witness this in many games, where you are "The Chosen One" or "The Lone Survivor". But, this is an MMO, where you are literally one of thousands. By forcing every player down the same story, it discourages the multiplayer aspect of things. Then they have to force it, typically through raids or quests which require multiple players.
To me, this defeats the purpose of an MMORPG. The goal is not to play the developer's story, it is to make up your own. We, as developers, are there to give you the tools needed to build that story, arcs, quests, tips, etc which can be woven together. Recall the opening to Final Fantasy X, when the words of wisdom given to the hero was not to defeat the dragon, or conquer the kingdom, but "This is your story."
That is our goal. We are not here to tell you a story, to prattle off a tale of adventure with a mask marked "you" over the generic protagonist as we see in so many other games. This world we are making is not there for our ourselves, we make the bits and bobs, but we cannot bring it to life. For that to happen, we want you to tell your story.
For another perspective, The Hive Leader in his "My Dream MMO" series, discusses just this point. I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to hear his ideas. While most of his ideas are not applicable to us, in this case, they are on the money.
Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider