[GW2] Jonathan Sharp Talks Underwater Combat

Discussion in 'Guild Wars 2' started by F U R I E, Jun 24, 2011.

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    F U R I E Veteran BOON


    My name is Jonathan “Chaplan” Sharp and I’m a game designer here at ArenaNet. Today we’re going to go beyond the X and Y axis and dive into the vast underwater world of Guild Wars 2. Ready to get your feet wet?

    Just Breathe

    Here at ArenaNet we don’t think breathing is fun. We figure that you have to breathe every day IRL (in real life), so why should you have to work to breathe in a game – even underwater?
    There’s a huge amount of underwater content in Guild Wars 2, and we want you to be able to explore it all without stressing about drowning. When you dive underwater, a breathing apparatus is instantly put all up on your face. We provide you with a default breathing apparatus, but you can find all sorts of cool gear to help keep you exploring the depths of the ocean.
    When you’re underwater, you don’t need to worry about breathing until your health goes to zero. When this happens you go into a “drowning” state, which functions like the “downed” state you experience when above water. When you are drowning, you have three ways to recover:
    • You kill an opponent, which will cause you to rally.
    • An ally can revive you, just as they can above water.
    • You reach the surface of the water, where you will stop drowning and regain health. When your health bar fills all the way you’ll be revived.

    Dive! Dive! Dive!

    The transition from swimming to not-swimming is something we’ve really focused on. We want the transition to be seamless and immersive, so we’ve put a lot of effort into giving the player control over swimming. If you just need to cross a body of water to get to the other side, you can swim at the top of the water without diving below. Be careful though! While swimming on the surface you can’t fight and are fair game for any enemies lurking below the surface.
    If you want to go full-on underwater, just tilt your camera down and keep moving forward – you will dive below the waves. When this happens, you will automagically switch to your underwater weapon set, your underwater skill setup, and your breathing device.
    For the more adventurous among you, there are other ways to go straight into underwater combat. Imagine you’re running away from enemy mobs towards a cliff’s edge. They’re getting closer… arrows are flying by you, barely missing you. Spells explode behind you, singing your clothes. Rifle and pistol bullets richochet past you, nearly taking your legs out from under you. There’s nowhere to go…. until you jump off the cliff and land in the water far, far below. The second you hit water you’re ready to go – you switch to underwater mode, pull out your underwater weapon, and start swimming while your pursuers yell and curse!

    Swim Around a Little

    The world of Tyria is a beautiful, dangerous place, with a ton of places to explore. We didn’t want the undersea zones to feel like a secondary experience compared to the land zones, so you’ll experience the full, ahem, depth of Guild Wars 2 content underwater. In addition to a wide variety of dynamic events, most dungeons have underwater content, and your personal story will also occasionally take you under the sea.
    You’ll discover spectacular sights, diverse challenges, and powerful enemies while underwater in Guild Wars 2.
    In a recent blog post Ree Soesbee described one of the many races you’ll encounter under the sea, the totally evil krait, but we’ve got a lot more up our proverbial wetsuit sleeves. Although the shark from Jaws was unable to make an appearance (conflicting schedules due to his current projects), we’ve enlisted a myriad of equally fearsome underwater dwellers, ill-tempered fish, and fantastic sea monsters to fill out our underwater world. From thundershrimp to icewater barracudas, we’ve got you covered for underwater mobs – which means you need to be able to fight.


    Fighting in a 3D Space

    From the beginning, we knew that if we wanted to do underwater right we couldn’t just graft our land-based combat directly into the undersea realm.
    Above ground, you’re usually fighting an enemy on the same plane, even if they’re above you in a building or below you in a pit. Fighting underwater challenges the player by introducing the Z-axis and throwing danger at you from any angle, but it also opens up a lot of tactical opportunities for players as well. Area of effect skills can be used to hit foes on top of one another. You can use skills to force enemies up to the surface, or drag them down to the ocean floor. We really wanted underwater skills to take advantage of the 3D space!

    Weapons That Work While Wet

    Time to talk about those underwater weapons I mentioned earlier. We really wanted fighting underwater to be a new experience for the player, so we created a bunch of new weapons that you use ONLY underwater. This opens up a whole new spectrum of skills and tactics that you can use underwater and really distinguishes the feel and pacing of underwater combat from land combat.
    Let’s take a look at the pointy underwater weapons:

    Spear – Close quarters melee weapon
    Used by:
    • Warrior
    • Necro
    • Ranger
    • Thief
    • Guardian
    Trident– Long range magical weapon

    Used by:
    • Necro
    • Guardian
    • Elementalist
    Harpoon gun– Long range mechanical weapon

    Used by:
    • Engineer
    • Warrior
    • Ranger
    • Thief

    You’ve Got Underwater Skills

    Of course, there is more to your skill bar in Guild Wars 2 than just your weapon skills. That’s why we whenever you dive beneath the surface, the skills in slots 6 through 10 automatically change to underwater skills. As you might imagine, not all your land-based utility, heal, and elite skills work underwater, so we’ve come up with some really cool underwater equivalents of these skills.
    We’re not kidding when we say that the underwater experience in Guild Wars 2 is going to be a vital, important part of the game. You can’t experience everything the game has to offer without getting wet, so grab a breathing device and a trident and hit the beach! Life is much better down where it’s wetter, under the sea.


    Original Post: Jonathan Sharp Talks Underwater Combat
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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    What is the current transition from night to day? How long does each last?
    (Answered by Colin Johanson at the Fan Day dinner): Day and night cycle is currently two hours.
    1:20 of daylight and 40 of night. Possibly will change before release.

    Is movement speed while weapons are unsheathed still being adjusted?
    A little bit. Something like speed will actually affect you while you're in combat, outside of combat it doesn't so that people can just run down the road really quickly. We're still playing on whether or not we want to keep it the same or adjust it. Right now it's the same.

    Does every profession have a different base amount for health and energy, or do they all have it the same? How do you determine these numbers?
    Yes, right now they all do have different intrinsic numbers. Every class can still adjust those numbers as they want, but they'll have different base numbers. For instance, a warrior will have a higher base HP than an elementalist would. We determine these a lot of times by the feel we want a class to have. Like a warrior should be a little more beefy and strong than an elementalist should be.

    The guardian wards are supposed to make your enemies think twice before approaching you, that is, to make them change their strategy. Most of the wards in the demo lasted a few seconds. Is combat so dynamic that such a short change on the battlefield can produce fruitful results? Can you please give us an example?
    Being able to throw down wards like that and things on the ground to control positions are very important because sometimes you can put those down, and someone else can then immobilize somebody inside of it so that they would take full damage. It is very powerful, but we're still playing with those numbers. We might increase the duration for a lot of those if we need to. Based on past demos I can't say that's exactly what we're going to ship with, so we'll have to see.

    Can Glue Shot be used to prevent knockdown, and could the oil slick skill be used to quickly slip through enemy lines?
    Right now what Oil Slick does is that it creates a line behind you and if anyone hits -their- knockdown, that's how it works right now, so it wouldn't necessarily help you through an enemy line. Right now Glue Shot just immobilizes people. The idea is that it would just keep people locked in that area.

    Are there any new and more diverse cross-profession combinations?
    We are coming up with some new skills that will actually really augment the skills that you have. So as the skills are augmented, for instance AoEs, it can help your allies because they're going to be stronger based on the traits that you have equipped to make your base skill stronger. We're actually putting in a lot more combos as we speak, though I can't go into detail because we haven't finalized some of the names for those yet.

    Can anyone else pick up the turrets the engineer lays such as with the warrior banners, or only the engineer that summoned them can do this?
    Only the engineer that summoned it can actually interact with it.

    Have there been any changes have been made to the thief's weapon skills, and their layout, as well as any additional traits and utility skills?
    Yes, there are a lot of changes that are in the works right now that you will not see in the current demo. We have a lot of things coming for the thief that are going to be changing.

    Outside of the bar brawls and other usual suspects (mini-games), are there any skills that are influenced by consumables such as alcohol as it is the case in GW1, or do these consumables just provide an attribute or other bonus?
    A lot of times consumables do give you attribute bonuses as well as buffs. You can get a lot of buffs. For instance, the engineer has a lot of elixirs and potions and things like this. We might have other activities down the road that will also use that system, but right now the bar brawl is the one that uses it chiefly.

    Outside of burning buildings and siege weapons, how are environmental objects such as buildings, trees, gates, etc. used in dynamic events? They won't always be in need of defense or repair or putting out, will they?
    Sometimes they can be destroyed so you'd have to repair those as well. Sometimes they can block the way and need to be blown up, sometimes you'll need to repair a bridge to be able to use it again. In World vs. World we have a lot of areas where most of the props can be destroyed - they can be knocked down, they can be repaired by the players. You can set up seige weapons to attack and then set up defensive seige weapons to defend against those as well. In events we sometimes have that, but not as extensive as in World vs. World.

    Will it be possible to change any pet's appearance, other than the animal companions?
    I believe you can change colors but I'm not sure what we're saying right now. I haven't played with the pets in a while.

    Is there anything else you'd like to add; anything the fans over at GW2Guru should know about the game?
    The biggest thing is that we are always iterating the game. Right now we have a lot of big plans to make some changes to some systems that we've talked about. Keep your eyes and ears open because we're making a lot of fundamental changes to things. The reason for this is that we're perfectionists and we want to iterate, we want the game to be fun for our players. So just keep giving the feedback, keep asking the questions because we really take those things into account as we're playing. If you're at a tradeshow, come up and talk to us, give us some ideas. We always love to hear what people have to say.

    Now the team composition for the tournament play is 5v5: Is it actually made more accessible from what it was in Guild Wars? What are the differences?
    One of the things that happened in Guild Wars is that essentially you had two things that were required at all times: primarily you needed a warrior, or somebody that could cause Deep Wound, and you needed a monk to keep that person alive. Then you'd basically establish a frontline, a backline, and then you would fill up your midline. In Guild Wars 2 that's not as important. We said before as a company that picking the right class is not what's important. Knowing how to play your class well, that's what's important. This really comes into play a lot in the PvP that we're doing internally. Somebody could have the perfect composition and not be as good as somebody in a thrown-together group with people that are really good with their position and really good with their class.That's much more important in Guild Wars 2. it's not about builds as much anymore. It's about how well you play your class.

    Can we talk a bit about objective-based PvP?
    Right now one of the primary things that we're testing is basically taking over conquest points or objectives and holding those and scoring based on how long you've held them. We'll have a lot of secondary objectives that flow throughout the map. I can't give any details yet but we want the game to feel fantastic. In this sense what I mean is that, for instance, you're seiging a castle. We want it to feel like you're really seiging a castle and moving through and taking different points and things like that. If you're fighting in an area, let's say it's an underwater area or it's the brand, we want it to feel like you're really underwater or in the brand or somewhere else, like a forest. We want it to really feel like a forest. We really want it to feel immersive, even when you're playing PvP. We're trying to make these competitive game types feel like you're actually role-playing these battles in these really cool areas.

    Other than the team death match, will there be any other free-for-all game mode?
    Our PvP is broken into two major types - World vs. World and competitive PvP. The competitive PvP is broken into two types as well. You have the competitive 5v5, which is where we jump in with our builds and challenge you. There's also more of a freestyle type. You can imagine a FPS where you just jump into a map and pick it up and play.

    One of the mechanics you've talked about for structured PvP are potion drops around the map, since the players have a set amount of potions. How are you progressing with this idea?
    Right now we are. It's one of those things that we are still looking at if it adds anything to the game. If it feels like it doesn't add enough to the game we might take it out but at this point it is still in.

    Are there any plans for introducing different maps for WvW, or will the outlook always remain the same for the four maps?
    The idea, right now, is that the four maps will be the same. We don't have any intentions right now of altering those maps. The reason for this is that because World vs. World is so big and expansive, we don't want new players to have to memorize four new maps every time. We want them to learn their home map and be comfortable with it and then travel to other maps and then become comfortable with those. We want to keep it consistent so that they players aren't overwhelmed.

    Is there underwater combat in PvP?
    There are plans for that but we aren't showing it right now. We do plan to add stuff later down the road.

  3. Offline

    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    20 minutes long demo.

    EDIT: Never seen such a well polished underwater system, most of the times swimming feels just thrown out there for the sake of it but this one feels like a different game within the game.
    Tbh it seems better implemented than the whole flying system of Aion.
    The cave was awesome :O
    Like someone else said, shut up and take my money!
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    Fozia Veteran BOON

    give submarines!
  5. Offline

    F U R I E Veteran BOON

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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

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    Fallanx Tactical Veteran

    i'm glad they pushed the release date to add underwater content.
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    Domain Veteran BOON

    yeah, it gives more depth to the choices available and gives us a whole new type of scenarios that we usually dont play in, cant w8 to see how they will adjust it to pvp.
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    Tvar Veteran BOON

    I'm not :(
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    Miyo Community Member

    I wonder what they're going to change... :eek:

    http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2337/dsc00110fn.jpg its pic from their studio, some say that its not a some random date :X
  11. Offline

    Ebel Veteran BOON

    Finaly some NEW news.
    getting tired of people using the same info over and over again.
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    Shantotto Guest

    BUT, can you jump over sharks?
  13. Offline

    Domain Veteran BOON

    you can, but you might leave something behind :p
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    Merketh The MerkBot

    nice stuff right there
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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    Elementalist in action underwater.
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    Allstar Just A "Member"

    The most interesting thing about that for me is the party frames.

    Have we seen these before?
  17. Offline

    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    Well technically some of us did, but probably its their first appearance in videos.
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    Hehe. :p
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    Domain Veteran BOON


    something interesting, is that they seem to have changed the 3 race/profession skills to look like glyphs, or its just a coincidence that they actually have glyphs equipped there?

    i would like to see "air/lightning" skills under water ^^.
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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    One of the air skills underwater is a bubble that forces the target to emerge, which is interesting.

    Engineer gameplay btw.

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