August 4, 2010 at 1:44 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 22 Comments
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I’m a great guy. No really, I am. I’m charitable, smart, funny, charming, devilishly good looking, a demon in the sack, and most of all modest. I’m really not one to sing my own praises.

That’s the way I like to play my characters anyway. A heavy dose of sarcasm, irony, and self-deprecation. That’s closer to who I am.

I guess that’s why I’m a little disappointed that Arenanet says there’s only really 3 kinds of personality.

Will you play a charming friend to all with a quick tongue and sharp wit, a dignified visionary who puts loyalty first, or a thug who solves everything with his fists?

Or as they said in an earlier interview…

We measure three major personality categories; ferocity, dignity, and charm.

I wish games went into that a bit more. There should be more to Shepard in Mass Effect than Paragon, Renegade, or completely blank nobody. Just like there should be more to my Guild Wars 2 characters than bully, saint, or scruffy looking nerf herders.

At least I know why its impossible. Video games are hard. To accommodate 4 or 5 kinds of personality would take an extraordinary amount of work. Still, it doesn’t stop me from feeling herded into responding in ways I don’t want to respond.

I do appreciate the effort on Arenanets behalf to create more of a role-playing experience of course. In fact some parts of it do sound good.

When you decide to con a free weapon out of the local lumberjacks, that choice moves you more toward being known as a scoundrel. Inspiring some war-weary guards to carry on the fight moves you more towards being known as honorable or even noble. Perhaps you will boast and bully your way through Tyria and become known as barbaric. Your actions will sometimes allow you special responses or interactions with the world. Barbaric characters, for example, can occasionally just cut to the end of a conversation with a punch to the face.

Ahhh that punch to the face sounds familiar.

Oooh pretty

Using personality to influence the world around you is a solid addition to Guild Wars 2, but I can’t help thinking people will use personalities to get specific things, not to role-play. Check out the example below.

For example, in the persistent world you may find a norn mercenary who likes your style and decides to follow you exclusively for a while, without charging his normal fee. Along the way, you might talk a farmer into parting with some strength-granting pies, or you may even meet a local dignitary who offers to double your experience gain or boost your speed for a short time.

How often will someone use their charm personality to talk that farmer out of his pies and then resell them, just as an example. I’m sure other players will have to buy the pies but they’ll be at a disadvantage when selling them competitively against the guy who got them for free. I guess that’s just my mind wandering, who knows if it even works that way.

In Eye of the North, Tarnished Haven has an npc that calls out funny lines about the titles you’ve acquired. Well he calls out lines anyway, I don’t know about funny. They seem to be furthering that by quite a bit.

As you grow your character from your starting personality, you’ll also unlock some of the first titles available for display. Many NPCs in the game will then begin to recognize and react to you, even if you’re not talking directly to them. They may talk admiringly about you as the new hero of Queensdale, or they may cower behind their merchant stalls, afraid of your brutish ways.

Queensdale, a new Krytan town it sounds like. I wonder how extensive these reactions really are. Sometimes I get the feeling in MMOs that everythings geared towards those first 10 levels. I wouldn’t be surprised if reactions to your personality begin to severely decline long before endgame.

Charr and a fire elemental

Anyway, while I do feel herded into personality types in most games, I get to change my personality whenever I like in Guild Wars 2.

Unlike story choices, your personality is constantly changing; so, while you might play the brute today, you could at any time begin to reform your ways, rally the troops, fight the good fight, and eventually go back through the same areas you had previously visited and receive different reactions from the inhabitants.

This only makes sense in the ongoing world of an MMO.

I guess with every boon comes some problems. Add a more engrossing, personalized story, get saddled with generic, bland, personality archetype #3. I’m glad personality exists, but after a while I’m going to be the guy punching people in the face to skip the quest info.



  1. Where was the option to punch Shiro/Abaddon/Lich/Great Destroyer in the face, to get to GW2 faster?

    • the option to do that will be added to guild wars original when its ready.

  2. Sounds nice, I’ll go for anything like this. However, at the very basics it just sounds like 3 different titles that are linked with each other to ensure you can get to far in one without loosing the other (like luxon/kursik).

    I hope they don’t start off like WOW and have bound items to get around your issues above. Bound stuff cannot be traded with other players, or characters – ie its stuck to you only. That way people can’t farm stuff the way you have mentioned. WOW binds most stuff now days and its not much fun in the auction house due to it. All quest rewards, all dungeon loot, all major drops are bound now (there are two types of binding now days too; account bound and character bound). Yucky stuff.

    • Yeah I’m not a fan of binding, its lazy. Even in the limited customization of gw original i get annoyed that I can’t trade things or uncustomize stuff.

  3. Ehm, Hunter…

    It’s more than just 3 personalities. They said “Whether you’re in it for love, legacy, or loot, Guild Wars 2’s personality system will help you get it done with charm, with dignity, with ferocity, or with something in between. After all, it is your story.”

    “…Guild Wars 2’s personality system will help you get it done with charm, with dignity, with ferocity, or with something in between…”

    “…with something in between…”

    Your personality is actually a mix of 3 personalities, and it changes all the time based on the choices you make for your personality. There are probably quite a number of questions for each NPC situation. It’s not as flat as you seem to think it is, but it’s not as great as we all want it to be. But it’s still pretty amazing.

    • From the sounds of it, to me, it is just 3 personalities, with 3 different responses, and perhaps some bland, non personality option. Even if there are “something in between” options, i doubt the end result will differ much.

      • I have a feeling there will be 3 types of responses (one for each personality type) and the game will keep track of which type you choose primarily. So, let’s say, you’ve made 60 decisions. 30 of them have been dignity, 20 have been charm, and 10 have been ferocity. They game and NPCs will prolly consider you to be a dignified person or perhaps a combination of dignified and charming, since those are the choices you’ve most often made.

        • This is exactly what I think, and it’s what it comes across as from the blog post.

  4. Oh and on your NPC response thing… The whole game is going to be the ‘endgame’ in GW2, so that’s kind of impossible. And plus, ArenaNet really enjoys making this game and they want to make it right, so I don’t believe that.

    Though, I’ll admit it if I’m wrong.

    • the whole game is not the end game. by level 15 you’re just starting to unlock traits (i think it was traits, maybe it was another mechanic) not to mention each race is bound to have a starting area where they learn the game. this is where i believe personality options will be plentiful.

  5. Drat. You posted before me :). I’m excited about this system and I have high hopes for it. I’m hoping it lives up to them. My concern is similar to yours: that the NPC interaction will taper off as the game progresses.

    That’s it from me. I’m going to go and figure out which of my characters will be fierce, which will be dignified, which will be charming, and which will be some combination therein. /nerd

    • wow, you’re getting started early. I haven’t even settled on a race, class, or name.

      • It’s what I do! I have all 8 characters named and a general idea of what professions they will be. Character creation has always been my favorite part.

        • you must be planning on buying character slots as well?

          • Yeah, I plan on having a character for each profession. Extra character slots are a great money maker for ANet anyway.

    • Where are you posting?


        • Thanks Hunter. I didn’t catch that until now.

        • It also just occurred to me that I titled my post the same as yours. That was totally unintentional 🙂

          • its only logical.

  6. Sounds cool, actually. AoC has different possible responses during conversations, but they all seem to lead to the same end. As far as NPC reactions, WoW seems to stack them all toward the end–in BC and WotLK–and then they depend on reputation as opposed to personality.

    • yeah i’m not a fan of reputation systems locking out different kinds of content, I understand why game designers like them but its just an annoying hurdle to me.

      i suppose it makes sense with expansions when you’re making that sort of content to stack at the end, but with gw2 needing to make that good early impression, i think it’ll be at the beginning.

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