Breaking The Waves

May 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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Giant Robot?

I’ve been reading Kill Ten Rats for quite some time. Long before I ever started blogging about MMOs. Guild Wars was my first step into the genre and KTR was one of the few places that actually blogged occasionally about the game.

Ravious posted about Guild Wars 2 over at Kill Ten Rats yesterday. He actually went ahead and did that whole, emailing the Studio about the subject you want to talk about so that they know you exist and might actually respond to your thoughts, thing. Crazy.

He talks a bit about the change in function, the loss of quests and specific purpose, and then goes on to post a lengthy description from Eric “Surprise” Flannum of how an actual tester played through the game for a bit. It’s a pretty interesting insight into the mind of a player in GW2. People going right by obvious events because they’re too used to looking for quest markers. Avoiding clues to events and heading straight toward more obvious signs. Actually finishing a quest but not pressing further into the events that follow. There’s the first mention of titles here too, actually.

It’s a fairly good read and I like Ravious’ take on it. The comments that follow are a bit too doom scenario for me. People worried that somehow the wiki will funnel people to the path of least resistance, therefore the game is ruined! It just seems silly, every game out in the past couple years has a wiki, and of course people will speed through it, on their second or third go around. It doesn’t worry me at all.

Syncaine seems to think Arenanet doesn’t get how the mainstream MMO player plays through things, but coming from someone who is completely at odds with most mainstream MMOs I’m not sure that argument has much weight. He’s an advocate of Sandbox games (rightfully so) yet for some reason, at least when it comes to GW2, he’s completely against removing the hurdles and treadmills of amusement park MMOs.

Julian, another author at KTR, agrees with Syn. He’s convinced people will avoid Events and do the least work possible. Part of me agrees on some level, but I’m really not worried about it. How is this any different from people power leveling alts, or otherwise gaming the system in any game?

I don’t think it will be quite that easy anyway. Lets say the optimal route is to do a poisoned resevoir Event. Guess what? Somebody did that a half hour ago and now the bandit cave Event is going on. You know what else? The bandit cave event wasn’t active last time. I guess that means you’re doing new content.

I could go on to mention that a lot of people criticizing the Event System aren’t even reading the material about the Event System, but I guess I shouldn’t expect everyone to be super informed about a game that’s at least 8 months away.

Personally I think Arenanet knows exactly what the mainstream, wiki reading, min/maxing, optimal path players are doing and this is their attempt to change that.



  1. The way I understand it, events aren’t necessary for story progression. They seem to me to be interesting, dynamic content available in the “sandbox” environment that is a fantastic alternative to pulling mobs and slaughtering X monster groups to level your character. As far as getting through the game, most of that content, again, from what I understand so far, happens via character progression in order to tell your own “personal story.”

    Are people interested in zooming through the game? Sure. I tend to take it slow the first time while there is new content and zoom through on alt characters. I think the new format Anet is using will actually encourage people to explore on alt characters as well, rather than simply zoom.

    I am (im)patiently awaiting more information about personal stories and ways I can customize my gaming experience through character creation and decisions. I’m not sure there’s much more info regarding dynamic events that is worth reading since it is mostly people worrying and whining about how they will miss out on something or be taken advantage of. These are problems in other MMOs that Anet has already considered and are taking into account. Seriously people.

    • Personally I just wish people would groundlessly speculating in an entirely negative way about the whole thing. I have a healthy dose of skepticism myself but if you’re going to blog about it, at least do the research.

  2. I’m so glad someone else posted about this so that I don’t have to! I completely understand being cynical or wanting to see it in action before passing judgment (I choose to be hopeful and excited), but it almost feels like some would rather no game dev even so much as try something different, all the while bemoaning the state of MMOs and WoW-alikes today.

    • I know exactly what you’re saying. They’re quick to praise before explaining why they’re 100% convinced it won’t work.

  3. I agree with both the above posts. I’ll take it a bit further and express one of my fears about GW2.
    min/maxing and grinding at max speed are a result two things:
    – Damage over brains, ie time over skill; and
    – 80 levels of crap that you have to grind through to get to the blessed ‘end game’;
    They have tried to get rid of this way of thinking before with GW and I believe they succeeded more than they thought they did.
    Giving a very low maximum level (ie. getting off noob island = max level) results in getting rid of grind and making the game more skills based. The problem with this is that people think you then also loose out on character developement (i disagreed with this but apparently I was wrong).
    I am afraid gw2 is going to have a huge level cap and its going to effect my play. My friend never does an area of wow until he’s 5 levels above the minimum because he never wants a challange, he just wants the xp and to get another level. boring. grinding. fail.
    god i hope they change that more than anything else. I want people to do an area and be challanged by it, not treat it like a boring stepping stone to get another level and get closer to the ‘real game’. I want my real game to start from when i double click the icon, not months later if I pass the brain dead test.
    I like this event system, but i’ve disliked the ‘if they are a few levels higher then itll be easier’ stuff.

    • apparently melski theres a reverse side kick system going to be in play. When high level characters go to a low level zone, say a level 20 goes to a level 5 area, they’ll come down to something like level 8. still powerful but not crazy.

  4. I think that in order to gain xp you will have to travel and find events.
    I hope they will not be at set times but random so the wiki will not ruin it.

    • Yeah I’m thinking something along the same lines. It sounds like the events will be almost completely based on player decisions, with a few being set off by random events, weather cycles, day/night

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