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The Daily Grind: Do you want elaborate lore?

Eliot Lefebvre

Most games have lore. Sometimes the lore is exceptionally simple, but then you have games such as Lord of the Rings Online, in which the lore is thick enough to fill several books with artificial languages. Sometimes the lore is that thick even when you don't have a series of books to base the game on, such as Final Fantasy XI's expecting you to read up on the history of the Crystal War and the three nations and the conflict against the beastmen long before you start getting into more obscure pieces of information like Altana and the Hydra Corps and so forth. The question is, is it actually a benefit?

Certainly, it's nice to have a sense of why you're doing something in a game world, but in the immediate sense, you usually just need to know that you kill that guy with ice magic because he's immune to fire. Giving you a huge amount of lore for every part of the game does wonders for immersion, but it also can shackle you with either required reading to follow what's going on or huge blocks of quest text just to go kill 10 rats. How detailed do you really want your game's lore to be? Do you prefer something detailed and robust, or just something that gives you the vaguest necessary reasons for why you should kill a guy immune to fire?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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