Once again, I have run into someone who dismisses the need for lore of any sort for a role-playing game. "Players will ignore it" is a phrase I have heard so often, I tune it out. So, I've collected my thoughts on the subject, and feel the need to explain why it is that MWM has pushed to produce a rich backstory and history for our world.
In its simplest state, Lore shapes the world. Did you know the backstory behind the original Donkey Kong? Most people do not. However, it is what shaped the game into what it was. Mario mistreated his pet gorilla, Donkey Kong, who then kidnapped his girlfriend. A simple story. But that story is what then gave the game's designers the flavor for making a coherent product. Games which fail to keep a coherent vision fail to work, mechanically. And the best way to maintain a vision is through the oldest tool mankind has - the story.
It should surprise noone then that the largest games in history are role-playing games, games built around the story. While some can argue for simulations, they simply do not have the staying power of the story driven titles. How many hours have been spent lost in Clouds pursuit of Sepiroth in Final Fantasy VII? How many people have been entranced by the view as they exited that first cave in Skyrim? Who has not had their hearts brought to pounding crescendo as they defeated that first asylum demon in Dark Souls?
Are there Madden NFL conventions? How about Microsoft Flight Simulator or Sim City? But there are conventions and gatherings and more for a variety of RPG's, around the world, every year. People become emotionally engaged, and seek out those who have shared that experience. This is the core of the MMO, the heart of our entire genre, the story, the lore, shared and enjoyed by all.
Our ambitions, hopes, and dreams, are huge, I will admit that. As I get frustrated over weird AI, compile problems, code so fragile at times it feels like even a moved parameter could cause the entire thing to fail, I go to our internal wiki, and just read what has been written and it helps push past those problems. We all have a story to tell, and our goal is to give you the world in which to tell yours. We are not making the City of Titans story, only setting the stage.
Ultimately, this is your story.
Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider