MMORPG: General Background story.
Much like the Real Universe, there are many worlds in the game. Do not worry we are not focusing on any but the main one.
Every world is different, yet they all share many things. Their are hundreds of thousands of world in the universe, and that is before we even get into other planes of existence like the Abyss or Fey worlds that are attached to many planets. Also some worlds have Gods, and some do not. As with how every world is a little different, so is the way magic works. Magic is Magic, but its a little different in how its created in each world. Taking Idea's from some of my Fave novels, we can use as examples.
In The Black Magician Trilogy (actually 7 books in the series), people create Magic themselves. Some people have more than others. Its a life essence and you can die from draining completely. Over time you rebuild (basically Mana). In another Series by the same author, Magic is created by Creativity. A City that is heavy on Artists and performers makes lots of Magic. Cities heavy on technology Drains it.
So every world is a little different. The Players come from a world where they used magic heavily, but never learnt what created it. When a worlds magic starts to get depleted, the world itself starts to die. Cataclysmic natural disasters start, and they get worst as the magic continues to deplete. The Planet literally will rend and tear itself apart with no magic to hold it together. This caused wars among the races, which in turn used up magic faster. When they finally realized this was the cause it switched from open war to cold wars.
Realizing they could not save the planet, the humans decided to dump everything they had into creating a portal to get offworld. It was a one way portal, they had no idea where it was going, and of course, the magic drain from this destroyed thier planet as they left.
The Portal landed the players in the place where the game takes Place. However much like their Magic on their world, they also did not understand what happens to planets that die. They crumple, they fall apart, and they get sucked into what is essentially a purgatory for parts of planets. Known as The Void. As you can imagine most life on these chunks of planets known as shards gets wiped out. But things that survive grow, and rebuild. If a shard (a chunk of a world) can collect enough magic again, it will start to attract other shards and the world will start to rebuild itself from random shards. The Portal in gave enough Magic to this world to start the process.
This can also explain why Biomes that do not make sense to be near each other happen. They are literally parts of other worlds. There also seems to be a time delay on the portal. Some people came through right away, others have not come through yet at all. This also can explain why new players appear.
The Original people to come through, came through into the ruins of an old city. They explored, found some books, carvings, etc, and started to rebuild. They learnt about shards, and quickly found out they are not alone on this shard. Goblins, Orcs, and other creatures live here, and for the most part..... They are not friendly. They also learnt what creates magic on this world from the books. Creativity and Building amazing things. The Government body has put a lot of time and money into making sure people who can build stuff gets to.