Success Or Failure

July 5, 2011 at 12:57 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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Success in Rift is hard to avoid. It means solid rewards, a hectic pace, and a bit of excitement. I’ve failed few rifts over my time in Rift, but in all honesty there was only one way to do so. Take it on by yourself, and let the clock run out while you try to kill everything.

Even then it isn’t really a defeat. Out of time, you kill off the remaining wave you’re working on and the rift disappears. The rewards are disappointing and you find yourself wishing you had never bothered to do it at all.

Don’t get me wrong, the rifts of Rift are the best part of the game. Their variations, randomness, rewards, and ability to send out invasion parties are all fun and even exciting. It’s just given the right conditions they weren’t very… challenging. I think their attraction lies more in zerging content with a large mix of people. A sort of mob mentality and race to make sure you get good rewards.

Once you’ve gotten used to rifts however, you’ll run right by them all the time. You’ll see invasion parties coming towards you, stand aside to let them pass, and continue on your way.

Which brings me to Guild Wars 2.

Success or failure in Guild Wars 2 will be slightly different but I am worried it might suffer from similar problems. Or even new ones.

For instance, what is the difficulty going to be like? In Rift even if you fail, you will likely close the rift, or it will close on it’s own.

Will you want to run by dynamic events as soon as you get used to them?

Is failure going to be as uninteresting as in Rift?

In Guild Wars 2 dynamic events are different from rifts in that they are chained to further events upon success and failure. That certainly fixes some problems. Instead of a boring result and lackluster loot, you get a whole new activity to try to defeat.

Guild Wars 2 counters people just running by dynamic events by making dynamic events the majority of the content, there are no quests.

Unfortunately Arenanet themselves have mentioned that at times people familiar with more traditional MMOs tend to just run by things, looking for exclamation marks.

I think they have one of the best possible solutions beyond those tweaks however. A stronger and better motivation to not just sidestep dynamic events. You are rewarded with new content. Maybe even a stage of the event you’ve never seen before.

This would make success fun not because you’re zerging with a mixed group, or because of the rewards, but because you get to experience something new. In addition failure wouldn’t mean an anti-climactic finish, but a continuation of the struggle.

What is better than going into an MMO and seeing something you’ve never seen? Content you’ve never played?

I think people will always run by things they’re used to. There is no changing that, but it might take people longer in Guild Wars 2.

The difficulty is probably going to be the most challenging thing in the game to balance. I don’t envy anyone with this job.

Finally, I think success or failure in GW2 will be more interesting than in any other MMO including Rift. You can’t top content as a reward.



  1. I’m inclined to agree, especially because, really, there’s two rewards: New content, and the regular reward of swag. I have high hopes for dynamic events, and from what I’ve seen of demos, it’ll live up to it.

    On a side note, this reminds me of when I first started playing Guild Wars. I was bright-eyed and wanted to wander around. I found a few pieces of cool scenery, and that was it. It lasted only a week or two into the game. And then I realized there was no real reward for going anywhere that wasn’t quest- or boss-related. There’s just nothing there, and my sense of exploration and adventure was killed. Guild Wars 2 will have the opposite, and I’m extremely excited. Wherever I go, there will be dynamic quests to be done. Awwww. Yeaaaaahhhh.

    • I always felt that finding cool stuff outside of the rewards in guild wars was fun. Out of the way corners with random npcs or whatever, i was always hoping to find stuff like that.

  2. Well I can think of another plus in the rewards given from DEs (at least compared to Rift). In doing DE in GW2 you won’t be getting fifteen different types of the same loot reward determined by which zone you’re in. Karma is much simpler than zone specific badges or whatever.

    • On the one hand I agree, but some of the random rewards from rifts were cool, i really liked some of the damaging items or heal items.

      • Those items were fine because they were pretty much consistent from all rifts in all zones. it was those zone specific rewards that i had a bone with.

        • I guess we’ll just have to disagree a bit. I understand what you’re saying but i enjoyed the zone specific rewards, even if I had a different big problem with them.

          My problem was the rare sourcestones were too hard to get. I kind of liked that there were special rewards per zone otherwise. especially if i could get them early in my time in the zone.

  3. I think of dynamic events all the time while playing wow. Firstly I want to say that exploring is it’s own reward seeing new stuff and dreaming up a story this keeps me happy even in gw1.
    What also interests me is phasing and questing. It’s currently wows version of dynamic events. Take firelands questing hub. You fight off a wave hand it in and you see how things change as a result. It’s missing the flow that we’ll see in gw2. I I hate how everyone kills 10 enemies then mounts up and flies off. I always think ‘but they’re still attacking.. Who would kill 10 and leave? But on the flip side do you want to have to clear 20-30 mobs before something happens? How do I know somethings going to happen next. Last time I use iPhone to reply… Argh

    • except phasing is more permanent and kind of a one shot show. nothing to see there after you’re done with it.

  4. I am also included to think that its not failure, its just not success. You try again, and again till you get it. In GW, they have worked out how to fail yet not have that failure a negative for the player. Its just now you have a different goal, I suspect you also loose somethings like vendors but you dont loose points like you would xp in diablo or the more extreme mmos. Indeed maybe later on in leveling the failures well be more anoying… I like it, I suspect in many cases your failure is also going to mean a walk from the nearest res point I hope they ensure that doesnt turn into massive walks from nowhere and having to rekill respawned stuff.
    I am not sure I like the respawn thing, I like the body walk in wow a bit more (on the surface) seems less serious since you can keep going from where you died but I guess we’ll see.
    From the videos I see that the local events popup on the top right of the screen so you can see your involved in something but I suspect that indeed many people well choose not to get involved in an event. Its the same as not acepting a quest I guess. You still need to ensure that people would want to be involved in the event, for the rewards and while I expect that many people like yourself and me just want to see the content its not my experience. People want their loot and xp and everything else is pointless, thats been my experience (stupid wow). I do expect to see lots of people not into the events.

    • From seeing the in-game map from one video where the dev died, there are plenty of spawn points, and he pointed out you will never have too far to walk.

    • I’m not really a big fan of removing failure as a whole, but realistically i’m betting most people will love it.

      They give you the downed state and the ability for everyone to res someone, so even if you did have to respawn a big distance, and you don’t, theres plenty of ways out of it.

  5. I think that the biggest thing that GW2 has to stop ppl from just running past the events is that there are no quests. From what i understand rifts in Rift are pretty optional and the quests are the main thing that gives you the exp and so people can just run past it. But since in there are no quests in GW2 this is less likely to happen, running past an event in GW2 is like running past a quest in any other MMO, do ppl do it, yes but it’s a rare occurrence at least where I come from.
    So the max level players probably will run past the low level events but anyone who is starting a new character is pretty much forced to do them.

    The difficulty however is something that also worries me. I don’t want all the events to be cakewalk, I want to be forced to play well even outside dungeons and PvP, i want hard events, events that take a lot of work and even then you could fail them. Of course I realize that this can’t be the case with all the events, and that’s not what i’m expecting or wishing for but at lest a quarter of them should be hard despite the players being in giant unorganized groups roaming through the world of Tyria.

    Actually it would be really cool if the events were marked with the difficulty, so you could have something like easy medium and hard events……. actually never mind I remember seeing the elite events in the demo and an interview in which one of the developers said that there will be “event difficulties” so everything wrote in this last paragraph is unimportant.

    • Rifts are optional but again they’re also the best part of the game, and people still run by them. Rifts in general may not dole out as much xp but the rewards are usually far better.

      Yeah I’m not sure if no quests is a plus or minus though overall, not because quests don’t suck, they do, but not necessarily a lot of direct motivation either. it’ll be interesting to see how most people deal with it.

      • I’m not saying that rifts aren’t fun, it’s just that if you are aiming for max level in as little time as possible (as most people are) you are going to skip them and just go for the quest exp, especially if they already have a max level and just want another one.But in gw2 they won’t be able to ignore them because it will be the fastest way to level up if you are running around the world (i guess).

        Now I’ve never played Rift and as a result I only know the basics about rifts so if I’m not getting it I apologize, I’m not saying Rift sucks because I just don’t know enough about it.

        • No no, I get what you’re saying. I partially agree, but with fast travel being a big factor and crafting, dungeons and personal quests as a side activity… well we’ll see is all I’m really saying.

  6. Additionally, there IS no ‘traditional’ quest content. With fast travel too almost everyone out in the countryside is going to be out there for the dynamic events. I big problem with sidestepping the Rifts is just trying to get from point A to B in a reasonable amount of time.

    • I think its the other way around. with fast travel, that makes side stepping events even easier.

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