This Time It’s Personal

May 27, 2010 at 1:06 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 4 Comments
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With the article on personal story in Guild Wars 2, came a lot of interviews. Instead of 5 different posts on it though, I’ll try to make this in to one.

IGN’s article is actually pretty short, with nothing new to offer other than this quote which directly addresses my own concerns about just how unique the stories can be.

How varied can one player’s story be from another’s? “They’ll branch pretty wildly.” Says Soesbee, citing that even the way players go about defeating the final villain – or even whether or not there will be a final villain, will vary depending on your choices.

I’m still not convinced. I’ve never played a game where the endings varied so wildly and differently I felt compelled to play through again for that reason alone. In an MMORPG I’m more likely to do so but not because of story.

Computer And Video Games was an equally short interview but it did have a few things to consider. In the GW2 website article they mention that one of the choices you make is a sort of affinity for a lesser race. They mention here how that affects the game world.

because you chose certain options, the Graw in the world know that you’re friendly, and they’ll walk up to you because you have that reputation and they’ll interact with you that way.”

They talk about how often and what kind of choices you get to make as well.

They’re promising Mass Effect-style strategic options for quests – choosing to attack at nightfall, or to call a truce for talks, or to charge in spells blazing – and hinting that those choices will haunt you for better or worse via your home instance. Soesbee has confirmed that there’ll be a level of strategic, moral, or narrative choice in every story event.

Doesn’t that sound a bit like what the fans of Star Trek Online want? A little diplomacy or at least non violent options?

Ruh Roh! G-g-g-g-ghosts!?

Changing directions for a bit, Zam’s latest interview has to do with combat mechanics. When did Zam get to be a big site anyway? I never heard of them before 6 months ago. In any case it’s actually kind of enlightening on a few things. How the designers come up with skills, code them, difficulties in balancing and generally the mindset behind things like Environmental Weapons.

’ve always thought of those weapons as a blast back to games like Double Dragon or Final Fight. You could be randomly wandering around the world and suddenly you’d pick up a whip or a knife and you’d be stronger for it.

Double Dragon!, a German site (and big referrers of mine) got an interview as well, and excuse the translation but there were of course one or two interesting things. For instance, just how do some of the questions you answer affect your story?

If you create an Asura for example you will get the question “Which was your first successful experiment?” Now you get three or foru possible answers. Later in the game it might happen that an NPC approaches the player and says “Hey, we know that your first invention was a weather control machine. We got that machine there and it’s behaving weird. It would be nice if you could help us with the problem.”

Does it seem like that quest would be extensive or a one shot? I’m not sure how far this would go to make your story unique. One quest? Perhaps if it goes further than just one quest.

I found some of their other examples of biographical questions interesting but the following full on intriguing.

One player might decide that his character never knew his parents, another might have another idea of his character and might want a family or decide that his guild members are blood relatives [Editor’s Note: RP families rejoice].

That’s an interesting move. I’m not much of a role player, but, allowing for that sort of game play in a story heavy game is great. Commendable even. Perhaps GW2 is making a push for the role playing crowd?

My instincts about whether or not Payer Housing is a simple house or something else seem a little bit confirmed in this paragraph.

Concerning the personal instances we can say the following: The Black Citadel, in our example the home of a Charr character is 90% open world identical for all players. Through the character’s own home it’s possible to access the last 10%, the personal instance. Either alone or with friends who have been invited into the group. The look of the personal instance depends on the personal story, maybe there are buildings which wouldn’t exist otherwise. One meets NPC characters who usually aren’t there and one can display throphies to show achievements ingame.

It’s not just a house, it’s 10% of your home town.

That’s about all I could gleam from the various interviews. Sometimes it seems like I don’t have time to just sit back and relax and wildly speculate about tiny details any more.

Hail Cthulhu!



  1. Is it me or have the screen shots got more awesome this week?
    Anyway, your a little more sceptical this week. I am quite relaxed about it all. As far as I am concerned there was just one choice in GW and that was whether to skip two missions in prof. Anythings an improvement on that; WOW has nothing that Id bother mentioning.
    Having said that I, again, think they have dismissed the greatness of presearing. This was an area where you were free to go out and wonder through an essential safe area. It is here that the player can PLAY and discover their origins – not select drop down boxes. Much more fun, and the reason why the charr were such great enemies.
    I still fail to see why I am going to play with charr nicely. If I am a monk those charr had better have good heals, dont suppose firewalls burn your team?

    • A couple of the screenshots are awesome this week, if you go over to and look at his recent post I think you’ll find the majority are not.

      I’m all for more story, and I have no doubt arenanet will provide good story, but a unique story for every person? i have to admit i’m doubtful.

      you can skip a couple of missions in each campaign if you recall

  2. Heh looking at that second screenshot there I notice a few dogs next to rangers. Logical conclusion we will have actual dogs for pets. Judging by their appearance I predict thousands of pet names such as XxScoobyxX, Rubeydoo, etc etc ad nauseam, similar to all the hundreds of variations of Drizzt in every damn MMO.
    On topic the personal story aspect of the game sounds awsome to me. Together with the event system, dungeons, main game story and all the other myriad of things they say we will be able to do the game is sounding like it will be very engrossing.
    My only concern is that so many options will be a bit overwhelming and I am worried about a lack of clear direction and purpose within the game. Hopefully that will be a non issue though.

    • Those dogs are insanely scooby doo/marmaduke like aren’t they? I don’t understand why they’re all great danes but whatever.

      As for non direction, i had the same thought but, the personal storyline is probably long enough that it sends you on a very direct path all through the game I’m thinking. direction will come from those storylines if not anything else.

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