Personal Story In Guild Wars 2

May 26, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | Comments Off on Personal Story In Guild Wars 2
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For a week or more now I’ve been waiting on Ree Soesbee’s introduction to the personal stories of Guild Wars 2. They’ve said in the past that the story will be much more personalized but haven’t really elaborated.

This left me to imagine something along the lines of Bioware storylines, where different choices in background or a dialogue choice lead to minor changes in what happens. Often it ends up being one line from one character, but it can also be something more.

The impression I get from Arenanet is that they’re taking a page right out of that book. For instance a choice in your background might correspond to how the average NPC responds.

In order to develop your character’s personality, the biography also has questions that are applicable to all races and classes. If you describe your character as intimidating and unfriendly, the reactions of NPCs will be different than if you choose to portray yourself as charming and kind.

There’s a lot of talk about how personal story will be your driving force, a reason to play, your motivation for living, blah blah blah corny stuff. That’s all well and good, but lets get to some details.

They say there’s possibly thousands of possibilities, but I think that generally, the variations are not going to be that big. How can you have vastly different endings and still end the story in the same place for everyone? That very reality undermines just how different personal stories will be from one another.

In any case it does sound like you will have a personal story, the story of your race, the story of Destiny’s Edge, the story of the Order you choose (Vigil, Whispers, and Priory, each fleshed out a little more in the article) and the grander story of defeating Zhaitan. Differences will arise from the class you choose, the race, the heritage within that race, your personality, and other factors you choose. There are around 10 biography questions with 3 to 5 answers each. You will also get to make choices during the storyline that will alter the outcome.

None of the choices you make have an effect on gameplay. They won’t make your character more or less powerful than anyone else, but you may receive tangible rewards. Like stuff in your house.

Dozens Of Super Nerds Will Have Translated The Sign By The Time I Go To Look

Player housing. I speculated about this a while back, but here it’s sort of confirmed. It’s not quite what I was expecting, sounds more like a room your achievements are stored in. Or maybe not even a room since they keep dancing around the word housing. They call it a Home Instance. At times their description reminds me of the Hall of Monuments and the Guild halls of Guild Wars.

Choosing specifics of your character’s biography, or making decisions during a storyline, will alter your character’s story within the game. Some of these differences will be tangible, like having special NPCs or merchants in your home instance, getting pretty town clothes, or seeing special cinematics. On occasion, completing a storyline might give you less tangible ‘prestige’ rewards, such as titles or revealing special lore.

Cosmetic clothing it sounds like. Hardly surprising, but a welcome addition.

I’m glad that Guild Wars 2 will have a lot of story. It was one thing Guild Wars did well and I’m interested in having more. However, should there be this much emphasis on it? I agree that other MMOs don’t have anything close to this kind of story for your character, but beyond minor changes in storyline or dialogue, will it be all that personal? Especially with thousands upon thousands of other people running around? How much can they hype this aspect of their game without letting people down when it turns out to not be all that unique compared to other people.

Even the most varied game choices lead to the same place, you defeat the bad guys and live to fight another day. Unless it’s Mass Effect 2 where technically you defeat the bad guys, but it’s possible for you and everyone else to die.

Permadeath? That would be awesome. Or terrible.

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