Mordhau

Lore questions that are still on everyone's mind

Baron 1601 5082
  • 18 Jun
 Lincs
  • What set this war into motion?
    • How long has the war been allowed to persist? Are people tired of fighting? Has the war just begun, and is it backed by the bloodlust of the soldiery?
  • Who are the major stakeholders? Which side is better funded/justified/better liked?
    • One of the voice lines is "For the king!" but what king?
  • What separates the Iron Company and the Free Guard? (I had to quickly Google the names just now, in case you were wondering about how unique and distinguishable the two factions in the game are)
    • What is the chain of command in the Free Guard like? Who currently commands it? What is the group culture like? What are some of their goals, their defining values? What is their current objective?
      • What is the chain of command in the Iron Company like? Who currently commands it? What is the group culture like? What are some of their goals, their defining values? What is their current objective?
  • What is the significance of the castle in Grad and what does the Iron Company stand to gain from taking it/the Free Guard stand to lose from being routed from it?
  • What connection do the two factions have to the factions/stakeholders that hired them?

These are important questions and as of now, they're sitting unanswered. There's not much substance to the game besides me red man smoosh blue man, get head feather. That's all fine and dandy, I just expected more background to my murder. It's the kind of stuff that immortalizes a game in the grand scheme of things. How many years later are we still talking about the characters and jokes from TF2? It would be a fun game without the personalities, but with them it became truly timeless.

129 141

Hey Jax/Trit why not grab a new hire on a short term contract to write some Lore for the game? Submit the above questions as a template ^ and ask them to answer it as an application. Find a sketch for the world that sounds exciting and hire that person to flesh it out.

721 545
  • 19 Jun
 esturias

It's a game that really doesn't need or fit any lore. Neither of the sides has ANYTHING to tell, apart from "Random blue army is at war against random red army, now fight!". All you see in the game is just random and replacable. Neither of the side has anything special going on. That might change in the future, but right now it's nothing but "RED vs. BLUE".

Knight 466 909
  • 19 Jun
 wierHL

Tbh I liked TF2's approach to lore, where the motivation for combat came from the team's employers and the people who suffered from their collateral damage. The team (teams? it's not very clear) is just doing the job and having a good time doing it.
Then again, TF2 had an actual set of characters the story could fall back on. Mordhau's mercs are completely made by customization. The voices give personality but it's hard to weave a story based on the mercs when they're pretty much blank slates.

That's why I propose keeping the personality traits of the merc companies minimal, while focusing the lore and character on their employers and victims.
I wanna see lords that start wars over petty disputes.
I wanna see aristocrats trying to take out their rivals.
I wanna see mayors trying to keep some form of order in their unrest-stricken cities.
I wanna see a military savant trying to make their name in an ongoing conflict.
I wanna see peasants who are sick of getting caught in the crossfire and pool all their resources into hiring a company to beat up a dickhead lord.
I wanna see self-proclaimed grand rulers who believe their cause and people are righteous and will do anything to destroy the enemies who threaten them, oblivious of what damage their zeal may cause.
And in the middle are the mercs doing their thing, laughing and insulting rival companies as they go.

523 566
  • 19 Jun
 Deadmode

OP, not every game needs lore behind it. You don’t need some role play motivation to enjoy a game like this. It wouldn’t matter the answer for any of those questions you raised and none would affect the gameplay if different answers given. The questions you posted are not important players are thoroughly enjoying the game without any lore whatsoever.

It literally is about killing the enemy, and that’s it. Sure, some games had some story, but it isn’t necessary in every case.

I also wonder why you ‘expected’ lore to be in the game? I saw no mention of it in any promotional material anywhere.

274 320
  • 20 Jun
 DrGert

@esturias said:
It's a game that really doesn't need or fit any lore. Neither of the sides has ANYTHING to tell, apart from "Random blue army is at war against random red army, now fight!". All you see in the game is just random and replacable. Neither of the side has anything special going on. That might change in the future, but right now it's nothing but "RED vs. BLUE".

Someone never played stick death as a child.

Baron 1601 5082
  • 20 Jun
 Lincs

@Deadmode said:
OP, not every game needs lore behind it. You don’t need some role play motivation to enjoy a game like this. It wouldn’t matter the answer for any of those questions you raised and none would affect the gameplay if different answers given. The questions you posted are not important players are thoroughly enjoying the game without any lore whatsoever.

It literally is about killing the enemy, and that’s it. Sure, some games had some story, but it isn’t necessary in every case.

I also wonder why you ‘expected’ lore to be in the game? I saw no mention of it in any promotional material anywhere.

You'd rather there be no lore?

Knight 567 1922
  • 20 Jun
 LuxCandidus

@Deadmode said:
OP, not every game needs lore behind it. You don’t need some role play motivation to enjoy a game like this. It wouldn’t matter the answer for any of those questions you raised and none would affect the gameplay if different answers given. The questions you posted are not important players are thoroughly enjoying the game without any lore whatsoever.

It literally is about killing the enemy, and that’s it. Sure, some games had some story, but it isn’t necessary in every case.

I also wonder why you ‘expected’ lore to be in the game? I saw no mention of it in any promotional material anywhere.

Story does not affect gameplay, but it has a monumental impact on one's enjoyment of a game. It contributes to the immersion and atmosphere of a game, which do enhance your experience, even if you are not aware of it due to it occurring in the background. It is also what leaves a lasting impression in your mind, ensuring that ten years later you will recall the game fondly - because it is not the gameplay, but the 'texture' of a game that sticks with us, namely the atmosphere it creates. Basic questions such as the ones @Lincs asked having answers is what separates a game that feels like an actual, complex world from a game that feels like a silly sandbox to mess around in for a week and move on.

523 566
  • 20 Jun
 Deadmode

I’m not disagreeing but my point is that not every game needs it and will have that benefit. I have games for over 3 decades and can tell you from experience that great games stand on their merits, be it great gameplay, lore or both.

I have played amazing games that had little to no lore whatsoever, and what lore there was was utterly needless save for an excuse and a legacy need to explain the setting of the game (Doom, Quake, UT).

Then there’s games that have incredible stories that do everything you mention (Half Life, The Last Of Us) and games that hide their lore to make it even better, like Dark Souls.

Personally I find Mordhau to be of the same experience as the old arena shooters I mention. Sure, a little backstory wouldn’t hurt, but the lack thereof is not hurting the game.

721 545
  • 20 Jun
 esturias

@LuxCandidus said:
Story does not affect gameplay, but it has a monumental impact on one's enjoyment of a game. It contributes to the immersion and atmosphere of a game, which do enhance your experience, even if you are not aware of it due to it occurring in the background. It is also what leaves a lasting impression in your mind, ensuring that ten years later you will recall the game fondly - because it is not the gameplay, but the 'texture' of a game that sticks with us, namely the atmosphere it creates.

That's true, and I'm a big fan of games with good stories and all.
But those stories have to fit the game and the game has to fit the story. Do you really want some brittle and shallow lore that fits the game, just for the sake of it? The game in its current state barely shows some tiny little elements that you could turn into a few sentences of lore, but that's it. What then?

Long story short: If you want a story, go talk to the devs. They need to weave it into the game. Otherwise it would just be some pointless fantasy story that has no real source in the game.

Baron 1601 5082
  • 20 Jun
 Lincs

I have to partially agree with you, Deadmode. There are games where lore is not necessary. In sandboxes like Minecraft or Rust, the story is what you make of it. And yes, some of the best old arena shooters didn't have a lick of a story to them. I don't believe that Mordhau is that kind of game, however. There's plenty of little moments and artifacts in the game that seem to indicate that there's more lore out there that we haven't seen yet.

Knight 466 909
  • 1
  • 20 Jun
 wierHL

How about writing a small backstory for each map and including that in the loading screen? Doesn't have to be a lot, has to fit on the screen after all. The purpose would be to tell the players why the Iron Company and Free Guard are here.

Knight 567 1922
  • 20 Jun
 LuxCandidus

@esturias said:
That's true, and I'm a big fan of games with good stories and all.
But those stories have to fit the game and the game has to fit the story. Do you really want some brittle and shallow lore that fits the game, just for the sake of it? The game in its current state barely shows some tiny little elements that you could turn into a few sentences of lore, but that's it. What then?

Long story short: If you want a story, go talk to the devs. They need to weave it into the game. Otherwise it would just be some pointless fantasy story that has no real source in the game.

You think Mordhau's story will be flimsy and unfitting due to there not being enough to work with in the game? I disagree, and Chivalry is a good example of contextualising a game by taking what scant, story-related substance it has and making a story out of it. Despite being just a few paragraphs, Chivalry's lore manages to fulfil the important functions of:
a) explaining the identity of the characters and factions
b) explaining the setting and current events going on in the world
c) driving the story forward by giving reasons why every playable map is a contested territory, and what both factions hope to accomplish there, which also allows the story to develop with the addition of future maps

Whether the developers wrote the story first and then implemented the characters and maps or vice versa does not matter. What matters is how similar of a situation Mordhau is in, because it has a similar premise, and needs answers to the same questions. And, like Chivalry, Mordhau's story can continue to expand over the years with the addition of new maps. We know there will be DLC set in the Holy Land, and that gives us even more to work with, such as: What is this Holy Land? Does Jerusalem exist in the Mordhau universe or will it be a fictional location with a similar history? Why are the mercenary groups fighting there? In fact, are they the ones fighting or will there be different factions? How does this impact the rest of the game?

You can see the sheer flexibility for story here. There can be as much or as little lore as the developers want, but what is important is that there is some, because without it, the game is going to feel absolutely barren and lifeless.

523 566
  • 20 Jun
 Deadmode

Just because the game could have lore, doesn’t mean it should have lore.

Some game experiences absolutely need some degree of exposition and narrative to justify the gameplay you will partake in and to invest the player more in the experience by emotional attachment to characters and situations. Without the lore in these games, the gameplay alone isn’t enough to create a wonderful experience.

Mordhau stands proud on the combat alone. We don’t need to know why we are there. We don’t need to know what we’re fighting for. It’s not a game that needs to you attach yourself emotionally to characters, situations or plights. It literally is just a game of swinging weapons at other people swinging weapons.

Barren and lifeless? Hardly. If you cannot play a game and enjoy it in the merits it has without there being a lore element, or cannot tell when a game is in need of that connection to the player; I’m afraid that is your own shortcoming and not the game’s.

Knight 567 1922
  • 20 Jun
 LuxCandidus

The game is fine without lore ergo it should not have lore? Great line of reasoning. While we are at it, the game is pretty fun as is, so let us never add more maps and weapons, nor make any balance changes, because it does not need them. Development on the game should just end because the game is enjoyable enough.

I find the lifelessness of the game in its current state to be quite clear to anyone who has played Chivalry. I am far from the only one to point out how Mordhau lacks that distinct charm and more cohesive world. It is a very stark contrast observable by anyone coming from Chivalry, but for whatever reason, you seem to misconstrue that observation as the game not being enjoyable. It is; But it could be so much more.

721 545
  • 1
  • 20 Jun
 esturias

@LuxCandidus said:
You think Mordhau's story will be flimsy and unfitting due to there not being enough to work with in the game?

Exactly. It's quite laughable lore if you don't find any of that in the game.

@LuxCandidus said:
[...] Chivalry is a good example of contextualising a game by taking what scant, story-related substance it has and making a story out of it. Despite being just a few paragraphs, Chivalry's lore manages to fulfil the important functions [...].

I didn't play Chivalry, but from the few things I know I can say that the game had a lot more to create a lore from.

@LuxCandidus said:
And, like Chivalry, Mordhau's story can continue to expand over the years with the addition of new maps.
[...]
You can see the sheer flexibility for story here.

Agreed. In the future. Not now. Now you still don't have anything but three lines of text.
So, again: I'd wait and see if the devs take some steps in that direction. Would even be interested into that kind of thing, too, as I used to write for games in my past. But some crude half-assed lines sucked out of one's fingers to describe something that isn't really existent in the game? Nah. That's lame.

523 566
  • 20 Jun
 Deadmode

@LuxCandidus said:
The game is fine without lore ergo it should not have lore? Great line of reasoning.

You've entirely missed the point. You are assuming that all games should have lore and I'm saying you're wrong. I was saying that the absence of lore clearly has no effect on the game from an enjoyment and longevity standpoint.

Tell me how this game is lesser for not having lore? Tell me how my experience would be improved by it? Tell me how this would expand the game's lifespan?

For me, I couldn't care less because the game in it's design is not based around a particular setting, scenario or story. It is purely made to pit people against each other in combat. The lack of lore, or an inclusion of it down-the-line, would not affect the core experience. As long as there are plenty of varied ways and locations for us to kill each other in varied outfits then that's all we need for Mordhau which, incidently, makes your second attempt at belittling my point moot...

@LuxCandidus said:
While we are at it, the game is pretty fun as is, so let us never add more maps and weapons, nor make any balance changes, because it does not need them. Development on the game should just end because the game is enjoyable enough.

...because currently those are the things Mordhau is missing are is affecting the playerbase and enjoyment as there is not enough of that content currently.

@LuxCandidus said:
I find the lifelessness of the game in its current state to be quite clear to anyone who has played Chivalry. I am far from the only one to point out how Mordhau lacks that distinct charm and more cohesive world. It is a very stark contrast observable by anyone coming from Chivalry, but for whatever reason, you seem to misconstrue that observation as the game not being enjoyable. It is; But it could be so much more.

Chivalry is a different game made by different people. Sure, this is a spiritual successor, but it has taken what was fun and core to Chiv, improved on it and brought it to 2019. The story didn't make the cut because, well, I guess it wasn't a necessary and big enough part of the experience in Chiv to begin with.

Some games are great because they have a simple series of mechanics that are fun to play on their own. Do you stand over a pool table and create a reason as to why you are both facing off on the baize? no, you just play pool because it is fun in its very nature and story would be irrrelevant. It's the same here.

If you were telling me that controlling Lara Croft as she runs around dusty tombs fighting wild beasts and collecting artifacts gets boring real fast because of a lack of story and reason behind the scenario, I'd bloody agree with you. A game like that is nothing without a solid narrative and lore, even if the gameplay is fun. It's the story that creates new and exciting reasons to visit new places and repeat the gameplay.

A story in Mordhau literally makes no difference whatsoever. Would it ruin the game to include some? No, of course not. Does it suffer for having no lore as it stands? Absolutely not.

Duke 547 907
  • 1
  • 21 Jun
 Goatie

Dude ffs half the reason most of us played chivalry for thousands of hours was NOT the combat alone. It was the charm and atmosphere you got from sound and storytelling in the maps and getting to 'role play' those sides. We have a living breathing example of an EXTREMELY similar game and what made it replayable. Don't deny something away as if it weren't important when it was HUGE to the games longevity. The lore and sound etc didn't make the cuts because of budget, time and their core goal being combat first. Saying a game doesn't need lore does not add to the conversation and is just a blunt statement. Me and dozens of people on my friends list can attest to these things making us play chivalry for so long. Mordhau does suffer from no lore because why should I care about dudes fighting over a thing because. All humans need direction and context.

Baron 1601 5082
  • 21 Jun
 Lincs

@esturias said:

Agreed. In the future. Not now. Now you still don't have anything but three lines of text.
So, again: I'd wait and see if the devs take some steps in that direction. Would even be interested into that kind of thing, too, as I used to write for games in my past. But some crude half-assed lines sucked out of one's fingers to describe something that isn't really existent in the game? Nah. That's lame.

Yeah dude, that's what this thread is for

We want the devs to incorporate lore into the game gradually and do it well, and we're asking them to take note of player interest in more lore in the future. Not asking them to snap their fingers and shoehorn a story into the next build.