Can story be the one and only reward? I was reading Syp’s post today, and it inspired a theory.
I show up for either a great story… or great goodies. I don’t just do things because they’re there.
My thought is that perhaps there’s a hard line somewhere of just how much of both you can get. Jack of all trades and master of none. If you try to make the perfect extrinsic system of advancement/rewards, and also inject the perfect story, the result will be good but never spectacular.
Perhaps there is an inherent attitude. If the game is supposed to be about the story (TSW), then they play with that attitude. If the game is supposed to be about the system of advancement (WoW, and just about everything else), then you end up with players that don’t care as much about lore or story, even when you give it to them. You go to a sushi restaurant and they serve burgers — no matter how good the burgers are, you were expecting sushi, and so you aren’t impressed.