[quote:c4d2edd715]ThaÃ¯s ~ my question is... is there any development in a MMO*** game, without fellow role-players? That is, is there a plot, a story going on, does the world change? Or does all of that depend on humans providing "plot energy"? [/quote:c4d2edd715]
I've been trying to think how to answer to your question, and then Fairlight went and beat me to it.
I don't believe there is a hero in the MMORPG games that I play. I really don't. Especially an MMO like Star Wars, where you CANNOT be Luke Skywalker. You're just another grunt on either side (or none) of a galatic civil war, and the challenge is to survive. When I play a game, I'm there to explore, to create my own internal story, where I'm just a supporting player. I'm not the person interested in the end game, or any goal in the game, other than that of learning about a new world and everything in it.
If you accept quests, then YOUR world changes. Depending on the quest/story, your actions don't necessarily impact the world for the rest of the players, but the world as you live it does change and evolve.
An example: In the "newbie" villages in Warcraft where your character starts, everyone gets to do the same basic quests to learn how to play and help your avatar grow. All day long, the villagers make people find plants or go wack sleeping employees over the head. Once you do the quest, the villager will always thank you for your help, and propell you to the next stage of development. That doesn't affect the guy who wanders along an hour later, but it does affect you. These are the majority of the quests.
However, there are exceptions. One good example was the "war effort" on Azeroth, where each side was trying to collect the needed materials to fuel a massive military expedition. If you gave the recruiters a bundle of wool, or collected a particular herb, then your efforts impacted the rest of the players. The game was tracking which side currently had the advantage, and there was a worldwide push by players to get everyone to participate since it affected gameplay server-wide (there was a reward).
I hope that made some kind of sense. I'll keep thinking on it and post as I become more coherant. The heat has baked out my brain.