By David Campbell September 15th, 2010 When you’re playing Guild Wars 2, and you find yourself in the Timberline Falls area, locked in a deadly undersea struggle with the villainous krait, thank the fans who attended our Designing Dynamic Events Panel at PAX! The purpose of this year’s panel at PAX was to offer insight into how Guild Wars 2 designers create events in a living, dynamic game world. And who better to offer that insight than designers Eric Flannum and Colin Johanson, teamed up with lore master Jeff Grubb? But this wasn’t just a panel discussion about designing dynamic events. This was a collaborative workshop, where everyone in the audience was invited to participate. Together with the designers, they created an event chain that will actually be developed and placed into the game itself. With panels like this, you need to have a small audience of people who are invested in the game, so passes were distributed to winners of the previous day’s Guild Wars Quiz Show. We ended up with a small crowd of enthusiastic players who had loads of questions and ideas, which was ideal. Eric Flannum kicked things off by reviewing the dynamic events system to make sure everyone was on the same page. Then, Jeff Grubb jumped in and gave some background on the three available regions that the audience could choose as the setting of the event chain. By consensus, the audience selected Timberline Falls, a mountainous region with huge lakes populated by water creatures such as the krait and quaggan. So we settled on creating underwater events involving these two groups. A docile, underwater race—who look a bit like chubby, four-legged dolphins—the quaggan are slow to anger, but as Jeff Grubb explained, “If you make them angry, they will hulk out. Their lips peel back, and huge jaws come out, and they feel really bad about it afterwards. But when you have an angry quaggan, you have your hands full.” The quaggan in this region are constantly preyed upon by the sinister krait, who first appeared in Guild Wars: Eye of the North. The krait are slavers who build undersea towers, rising high out of the water, where they store their air-breathing prisoners. To add to the awesomeness, these slave towers are guarded by sharks! After providing the framework, it was time to get specific and create some interlocking events that had a natural progression and consequence in the game world. Colin Johanson fielded ideas from the audience, writing them on a whiteboard. Much like the design brainstorming sessions at ArenaNet, everyone tossed around ideas and expanded on those provided by others. After an hour and a half of discussion, the designers and audience had created and diagrammed an entire storyline that revolved around saving the quaggan from the krait. The event chain combined assaults on krait structures, recruiting nearby allies, forging an undersea super-weapon, hulked-out quaggan, a boss creature known (for now) as Mega Uber Shark, and much more. As I mentioned, the best part is that the concepts and elements decided on during the Designing Dynamic Events Panel will now make their way into the game. Writers, artists, and designers will flesh out the details, and when Guild Wars 2 launches, you’ll be able to play this event chain in Timberline Falls. That may be the best swag of all from PAX! To view more pictures from PAX and the Designing Dynamic Events panel, be sure to check out our PAX 2010 Flickr gallery.