BioWare's philosophy on MMORPG development has been formed by the lack of purpose in the titles on the market today.
BioWare designer and Star Wars: The Old Republic writing director Daniel Erickson really wishes that there was more to most MMORPGs other than killing 20 ravenous giraffes to satisfy a nondescript NPC's quest text. Speaking to CVG, he says that MMORPGs often forget about story, giving them "no point."
MMORPGs first came along with the promise of a single-player RPG that was much larger. However, Erickson feels that many left out an important component, saying: "It was the ruleset to an RPG: There was combat, and there were areas, but that was all ... There was no story, there was no point. You just kind of wandered around. And that hasn't really changed all that much over the years. "
He cares a lot about the issue because he's developing the next big MMORPG hope with The Old Republic. Erickson says that BioWare is not forgetting what an RPG should be: "Old Republic should be all the things we thought an MMO would be in the first place - which is all the parts of an RPG."
Primarily, Erickson believes The Old Republic "should just be fun," and shouldn't force players to "ignore all of the content to get to the end as fast as possible." BioWare genuinely wants to put the fun of a single-player RPG into the fun of an MMORPG, despite resistance from people saying it was "sacrilege" to "put interesting bits in an MMO."
BioWare surely has been talking as if it knows it's cracked the eternal problem of crafting a great story that fits with the gameplay of an MMORPG. Hopefully, all the money EA is putting into BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic will ensure it does have a point, along with the expected thousands of Sith Lords kicking the crap out of innocent droids.