GW 2 Events: De-Compartmentalizing (KTR)

Discussion in 'Game Discussion' started by Acina, Nov 21, 2010.

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    Acina Admin Officer

    Kill Ten Rats
    a group of adventurers on an epic quest

    Ravious on May 20, 2010

    There are a lot of great effects stemming from the Guild Wars 2 event system. Constant activity, grouping by just playing with nearby players, and a dynamic world are some of the biggest features. Yet, in a game without the exclamation hat-wearing questgivers a lot of compartmentalized functionality that quests embody could be lost. We are so used to modularity; will we be ready for the leap to a dynamic world MMO?

    The biggest change in functionality is at the start and end points. A quest is started punctually with a lead-in story. There are wolves in the walls, and Farmer Neil and his pig cannot sleep. It is irrelevant when the wolves got there because as far as you are concerned, the problem just arose. Sure, Farmer Neil might’ve told tale of how he has not slept in days, but you are there now. The world is as Farmer Neil told. So, you go around the farmhouse, crawling into nooks and crannies, killing respawning wolves, and looting [jam-filled socks] off their dying wolf bodies, and after ten dead wolves or so, you return to Farmer Neil with a new look above his face. He tells you how grateful he is to be able to sleep, gives you some money, and the module ends. The story might continue with word of the biggest, fattest wolf on Tooba Hill for the next quest, but during Farmer Neil’s quest, a complete compartmentalized story was told.

    Now, place Farmer Neil and his pig in to a dynamic, event-based MMO world. You arrive for the first time, and Farmer Neil has been sleeping soundly at night for days. No wolf trouble (event) here. Or, what if Gothmog the Warrior (a player) arrived 5 minutes before you and triggered the event. Wolves start creeping in from the surrounding fen to go snuggle in poor Farmer Neil’s walls. Gothmog has been hacking away with Farmer Neil crying out his woes (and story) for quite a few minutes. You see your pal, Gothmog, and you see a good farmer crying, and you see enemy wolves with red names that need killing. You basically already skipped the start-point quest text. Did I forget to mention the part where Cinderegolas (another player, but we don’t like her) braved the wolf fens and gave Farmer Neil a few crates of meat jelly, and he put the meat jelly in his house while the eyes of the enemy were watching? The story is not nearly as compartmentalized, and if you log off before Farmer Neil talks about the biggest, fattest wolf on Tooba Hill who ran off with his wife, the Queen of Melanesia, you might never know that the story continues past the simple defense event.

    So, you head to the wiki to learn about the event chain. What’s its name? Where does it start? Does the event end somewhere or just cycle in a loop? Can you get to Event 527 (with the juicy lore tidbits) without losing Event 429? Will you get a better event, with a bigger story, if you can get five more people to show up? The mind starts to boggle at the unraveling that could occur for some players, like the completionist Explorer (cut from the Explorer-Achiever ilk).

    It’s a scary prospect to step away from the amusement park rides that compartmentalized quests seem to create. People in sandbox games have been splashing in the ocean waves for some time, never knowing where one story ends and one begins. Will Guild Wars fans, and PvE fans, be able to step towards the unbounded beach?

    I asked ArenaNet if they wanted to talk on this new leap of faith and gameplay within this post, and they came through big time. Eric Flannum, sixth god of Sacrifice and Lead Designer for Guild wars 2, comments below:

    Thanks, Eric, for stopping by! Be sure to check out ArenaNet’s blog for tons of info (and more fun examples) on the Guild Wars 2 event system.


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