Bioware has a history of producing great single-player RPG’s with excellent stories. For their MMO, they’ve said many times that they are focusing on story. Sounds good to me, I’m really curious about the details. There are lots of problems involved with having an impactful story in a multi-player environment. I’m sure instancing and/or phasing will play some roll, but will they be able balance that against having players play together? Or will we end up with a massively singe-player online RPG?
One problem occurred to me last night that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere (either by Bioware or other bloggers). How will they handle end-game content? All single player games have an ending. All stories must having endings. So what happens when you’re Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Commando, or Jedi/Sith completes their epic story arc? Having a raiding end-game seems like a big let-down after experiencing however many levels of an epic single-player story arc. Maybe Bioware is counting on players to re-roll and play though the other class epic arcs to give them time to add expansions. They could stick to the standard raiding, or maybe open the end-game up to a PvP focus between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The choices Bioware make for their end-game should be a good indicator of if and how much their game move the genre forward.