By David Campbell August 13th, 2010 The MMO Manifesto video sent shockwaves of awesomeness through the gaming world this week. This lavish video showcased all the core features, design philosophy, and incredible artistry that we’ve been talking about for the past months into one jaw-dropping package for the world to see. Due to the widespread coverage on the web, the MMO Manifesto put Guild Wars 2 on the radar of many people who had never previously considered playing an MMO, which pleases us immensely. Mike Fahey from Kotaku said it best: “From now on, whenever anyone asks me what excites me about Guild Wars 2 as an MMO player, I’ll save myself a lot of time and just point them to this video.” ArenaNet’s bold reinvention of the MMO and the incredible gameplay footage piqued the interest of players around the world, and was the topic of countless enthusiastic blog posts and forum discussions. It wasn’t only fans who were excited – media sources like GamePro, Kotaku, Gamespot, IGN, Game Trailers, and Game Informer all had in-depth coverage of the video. Some players out there did have questions about the extent to which players’ actions have a lasting effect on the world around them. For example, when Ree says in the video that players can permanently change their world, she’s talking about making a permanent impact on a player’s personal story, which is reflected in instances, particularly a player’s home instance. You know what? Lead Designers Eric Flannum and Colin Johanson are really good at explaining stuff like this. Let’s ask them! Eric: Thanks, Dave. Yeah, in the video Ree is speaking about the player’s personal story, whereas Colin is talking about dynamic events. We like to think of personal story choices being permanent and dynamic event choices being persistent. The difference being persistent choices will remain until something comes along and changes them. So for instance, in the personal story you may choose to let an NPC die, that NPC is likely to be an important story NPC that the player feels some attachment to, their death will be permanent and will have repercussions on the characters story. This would be reflected in instances. In the persistent world a dynamic event might result in an NPC being killed. This will be a more generic NPC like a merchant or a soldier who will likely be replaced once some other event takes place. Colin: Right, when Ree refers to, “players will kill a boss and they won’t re-spawn 10 minutes later,” she is saying when playing through your personal story line if you kill a boss, that boss will stay dead and your personal story will reflect this. It’s not really physically possible to make each dynamic event permanent, because the game needs enough content for everyone to play, and we don’t have 10,000 people making content for Guild Wars 2, event chains need to cycle and events need to repeat to ensure players have enough to do in the persistent game world. Our goal with events is to ensure that when an event ends, you feel like it actually has some sort of outcome on the game world for all players, if even for a short period of time, where traditional MMO quest in persistent areas generally have no affect on the world. Great, thanks Eric and Colin! I hope that clears up any confusion out there. We had a fantastic week at ArenaNet, and next week is going to be even better – we’re launching the world premiere of the hands-on, playable Guild Wars 2 demo at gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Keep watching this blog for up-to-date news and more GW2 goodness!