Dungeon CrawlJune 26, 2011 at 5:21 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 13 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
One of the first things we heard about the dungeons in Guild Wars 2 was that there would be more than one mode. There would be a story mode, telling the story of Destiny’s Edge, iconic game characters. And there would also be an explorable mode, a means by which you could play through the dungeon a second time in a different way, with different objectives and a different story.
This is something Arenanet has been interested in for a long time. Starting with areas in Factions, you could explore some mission areas after you were done with them. This continued in Nightfall, and I vaguely recall Arenanet talking about how wasteful it all seemed to be, to have that one mission or dungeon that you play through once and never really return to.
Of course if they’re not giving you explorable versions of missions, they’re giving you reasons to go back to missions. They have bonus objectives attached to titles, they have books that record your victories and are turned in for rewards, in Eye of the North story areas become dungeon areas. Sound familiar?
I have to admit it is clever. You’re getting more bang for your buck out of the work you put into something. There will certainly be opportunities to see new things that you missed on the second and even third time through these dungeons.
How many times do we go through a dungeon and only notice what is right in front of us because we’re too busy playing.
But are there negatives to repurposing a dungeon for several different objectives?
I think we’ve all crawled through the same dungeon time after time in other MMOs. Looking at the same aesthetics, the same strategies, the same schemes can get quite mind-numbing. Monotonous. Dreadful.
I guess this is where Arenanet turns things on its head by changing up what a dungeon is.
Each of our dungeons is divided into story and explorable versions. The story version of each dungeon comes first, and completing it unlocks the ability to run the explorable version. In turn, the explorable versions of the dungeons have several options (usually three), each of which creates a different set of challenges and goals in the game. So, when we say that there are currently eight dungeons, we really mean there are thirty-two dungeons, as each dungeon has a story version and three explorable versions.
Not only are you given a reason to go back beyond “I need that loot drop”, you’re given multiple reasons to go back.
If that weren’t enough, there is this.
We’ve also brought the dynamic event system into the dungeons. Even in story or explorable modes, the dungeon has bonus events that can be triggered by player actions, by location, or even by random chance. Even when you’re adventuring again in the same dungeon and making the same choices, you can get a different gaming experience as a result of these bonus events.
And essentially that is all you need to know about Guild Wars 2 dungeons.
No they didn’t solve the problem of having to look at the same dreary visuals a million times but they did the only practical thing they could. They changed everything else.
They changed the goals, the objectives, the story, the strategy, who and what you encounter.
Which just leaves a couple of unanswered questions.
Will the differing content trump the fact that you are essentially in the same place doing the same things? Will it be enough diversity to keep people busy, keep people happy, keep people playing and most importantly, keep people buying the game?
I guess we’ll see.
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