Guild Wars 2 is shaping up to be a truly innovative piece of work, with every new tidbit of information forming an ever more original online world. Whether it’s dynamic events and a personal story system, a unique combat system and an interesting new take on the elementalist, or simply a design manifesto – each article and interview seems to paint a picture of a better future for MMO gamers.
As a result, I’ve taken to jotting down the important new bits of information as they come out. In this case the sources would be a new ArenaNet blog post on dynamic events, as well as a more general interview conducted by ZAM at ArenaNet headquarters. As usual I’ve only included the key points and you should really visit those sources for the full story, all of the new examples and the new media that accompanies these sources.
Eric Flannum, the lead designer on Guild Wars 2, has also taken the time to answer some dynamic event questions over at the ArenaNet Blog, which has resulted in a few additional points below. ZAM also looks to be posting more Guild Wars 2 coverage in the coming days, so keep checking back there.
- Guild Wars 2 will feature cinematics, but they will not be as jarring as Guild Wars’ cinematics. One of the big problems with GW is that one player can hold back a party if (s)he’s watching the cinematics during missions, which should supposedly be solved for GW2. Great news for the impatient and intolerant masses of modern-day MMOGs.
- It’s unlikely that we’ll see phasing – such as Guild Wars’ transition from pre-searing to old ascalon – be employed in Guild Wars 2. It splits the community of a server and ArenaNet is ‘trying to avoid’ such a situation.
- The Sylvari act like the newcomers that they are: inquisitive, curious and excited – perhaps even slightly naive. They look like elves, but they act nothing like the weary and ancient staple fantasy race.
Dynamic Events System
- Dynamic events do not have a permanent impact on the world, but a lengthy temporary impact. This means that players will see changes long enough to feel like they’ve made a difference, but eventually the event chain will reset. So dead NPC characters might be revived by players or automatically respawned to kickstart a new instance of the same event chain. An example is of killing the centaur commander in a centaur base assault event, which will eventually lead to the centaur choosing a new commander and the chain of events restarting.
- Temporary world changes as a result of dynamic events can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several months. As a result the impact of player decisions may not be permanent, but in many cases will seem like they are. It will also result in a different play experience for each character, especially because many events aren’t just started by in-game variables, but also dependent upon player actions.
- Dynamic events are sparked by in-game variables/player actions only. This can be anything from a lightning storm, or a night on a graveyard (time-of-day and weather matter!), to a player removing an item from a secret cave.
- Players in all regions of the world will have an equal change to experience every event, because they’re only sparked by in-game variables. Real-world time of day has no impact on any dynamic event.
- Dynamic events can merge into another and players can then participate in both events at the same time, which can also result in different outcomes from the ordinary singular events. The example is of a group of players escorting a merchant with a beer shipment for the town of Beetletun. When they near the town they find that it’s under attack by centaurs, so they move to aid in the defense of the town. Their success will result in even more grateful villagers (they saved the town and the beer shipment) and the merchant temporarily setting up shop in Beetletun, rather than heading straight back home after delivering his goods.
- Contrary to earlier indications, loot items are not rewarded for participating in dynamic events. Instead players will gain gold, karma and experience points. ArenaNet has chosen for this approach in order to avoid situations where players may be unhappy because they missed an event that carried loot they wanted.
- Monsters that are killed during events do drop items, so they’re simply not an event reward but players will still gain loot during events.
- Players will always receive a reward for participating in an event at the end of the event. Even a failed event results in a karma/gold/experience reward, albeit smaller than the rewards for a successfully completed event.
- Changes in the world occur during play, not after some cutscene or phase moment. The example is of players invading Orr, with them pressing into enemy territory as NPC allies build up fortifications on the beach. Players will see catapults being built and supplies carried in as they battle their way inland, rather than having to wait for a cutscene to expose all of these changes.
New General Info
- There will be achievements in Guild Wars 2.
- At least some, if not all, personal story missions will be instanced.
- There are three types of PvE content in Guild Wars 2: the personal storyline, dynamic events and dungeons. The personal storyline is most like quests in other MMORPGs, but will somehow be different in execution. Dungeons are much like raids in other MMORPGs, but will again be different in execution.
- Players can earn and discover traits, which sounds like it might work a bit like Lord of the Rings Online’s trait system.
- Players can acquire collections. There’s been no word on what these collections entail, nor what the benefits to having them are.
New Dynamic Events Info
- In order to prevent players and guilds from gaming events to set the event chain going down a different path, there will be no way to actively work to fail an event. So we won’t see any events where stealth is required, which might result in players actively alerting the guards in order to trigger a fail state and alter the event chain. The goal is to have all participating players working towards a successful outcome.
- Karma, which is one of the rewards for event completion (successful or otherwise), is a non-tradable resource that can be used to various ends. The example given is of merchants that only accept karma (not gold) in exchange for their goods or services, but it is implied that there are other uses as well.
- Achievements are never tied to any specific event, but some can be gained by participating in an event. Players will not be forced to try to game the dynamic event system in order to acquire every achievement in the game.
- Event scaling only occurs in response to group size, not level. So a group of 4 lower level players will have a harder time of an event than 4 higher level players would.