Originally Posted by Metrolike
To a certain extent, playing an MMO is all about improving your character. The games are addicting because you're always working towards that next reward that's just "oh so close". If you want a storyline, you need to be playing a single player RPG where you [and your party] are the centerpiece and the savior(s) of that RPG universe. 10,000,000 people can't all be "The Hero". Another huge part of an MMO is the "epeen" factor, which is just a way for people to feed their ego to an extent that would be completely impossible in their real lives.
Bioware has never failed with a game, but I really worry they might not do very well with The Old Republic. I really hope I'm wrong.
You're right when you're talking about 10,000,000 people. The MUD I played on had a population of about 500 active players, usually maxing out at 100 or so online at the same time. Even at that, it was extremely intensive on the staff side of things to keep realistic, interesting storylines going ingame, but it worked. But for 100 players online, we had a staff of like 20, so you're looking at 20% of your people online being responsible for playing NPCs, keeping the storyline going, and managing making the game environment respond realistically to player actions. Basically a lot of the stuff that MMORPGs handle with code, we'd handle manually... but that manual handling allowed for it to be more unique, unpredictable and interesting. Not sure that an MMORPG on the scale of WOW will ever be able to pull off a truly great story-based roleplaying game.