Today we started work on the Epic Story. We've decided that the game will feature a unique story written specially for the game. This decision was not taken lightly. There are good reasons why games are often based on existing licenses, for example, a famous fantasy book series. However, while this helps the sales of the game initially, it can hurt the game play in the long run.
By writing a unique story for the game itself, we believe we can make a world and epic story that has timed revelations that consistently progress the story over the long term play of a MMORPG.
We have assigned the writing of this story to a fantasy novelist, who is also a game designer. The combination of game designer and author gives him a unique perspective on writing the story to work as a novel worthy tale, and as a game story.
It is important to note that this is not a back story. Many MMOs have a back story that is just window dressing for the game, and once you start playing in the static world the back story really doesn't matter. Because of this most people don't read or care about the story of the game.
In CoS we are designing the story to happen in real time for each player. You will not only 'live' through the story, but you will be a major character within that epic story.
If this were Lord of the Rings, you would play the part of Aragorn, or Frodo, for example. Yet, you would make you own decisions and guide your own destiny. We can do this because our game is NOT static. There is a real calender, and time marches on every day. The world lives in real time, as the story progresses.