Playing Star Wars the Old Republic I am often tempted to dive into the lore at random moments. There are lore entries to unlock, a feature that I’ve always loved in MMORPGs; whether it is the lore codex entries that dot the landscape in SWTOR, the ‘lore honey-comb’ icons in The Secret World or the many books in Elder Scrolls Online.
The potential negative with such background story fragments is that they can actually be quite the distraction from actually playing the game. Certainly trying to read all the books in Elder Scrolls was never that practical – there are just so many of them and some are pretty long too. I’d normally start reading every book but abandon any that were not of particular interest.
The lore fragments in TSW I got out of the habit of ever reading as I collected them because you usually find them in a random order and reading entries as you find them makes for confusing reading or even means spoilers for later details. In Secret World we often never got around to reading the lore because there’d always be one fragment we’d missed in that zone, dungeon or mission instance. Yes, finding them via wiki look-up was always an option, but we were generally too focused on progress to repeat instances or go back.
Of the three games the SWTOR codex entries are generally quick to read and directly related to the story at that moment so they’re more immediately digestible. I always will make a direct line for any lore object that I notice, killing enemies if they’re in the way. That said I haven’t as yet made any efforts to specifically hunt them or check what I’ve missed.
The temptation to dive into lore goes beyond just the games themselves and in-game presentations. Spotting a species in the background of SWTOR can have me reaching for Wookieepedia or similar websites to remind me what it is called. It all adds to the attractiveness of the game in my book, I most enjoy rich and diverse worlds to game in – not bland and sparse playgrounds where other players are the only content.
What’s your relationship with in-game lore and out-of-game sources for the same?