Interview: Escaping The Grind In Guild Wars 2

By Alec Meer on May 18th, 2011 at 6:48 pm.

Does a town explode in the woods if no-one is there to see it? In Guild Wars 2: yes

Hello! I recently had a sit’n'chat with ArenaNet’s Martin Kerstein in search of deeper detail about Guild Wars 2, an MMO for which we seem to have been waiting forever. Most of that chat was firing questions from RPS readers at him, which I’ll be posting on the morrow (that’s how people in fantasy games speak, you see. They’d never say ‘tomorrow’), but my own probing about Guild Wars 2′s oft-repeated promise that it’s escaped the usual MMO treadmill of questing and grinding bears a standalone post. Will this really be the long-promised MMO rapture, the online world that’s free from the increasing irritatingly traditions of this oft-static genre? Let’s find out…

RPS: What are your thoughts on WoW’s recently-announced subscriber decline – is it just recession ills, or could the world perhaps be tiring of the ephemeral nature of the virtual rewards most MMOs are built around?

Martin Kerstein: I don’t think it’s a sign of being a recession or anything, it’s just a couple of other games came out, people get older… I mean, World of Warcraft’s had an amazing run, but it’s an older game as well – some people are maybe just tired, they’ve had a kid or got married and don’t have time to play anymore. So I think it’s rather natural that they lose some subscribers at some point.

RPS: What about MMOs in general, is there any worry that the bloom’s come off the rose not just in terms of subscriptions but in terms of the very appeal of these games, the way experience points and virtual rewards are attached to everything else now?

Martin Kerstein: Well, what we try to do with Guild Wars 2 anyway is to break a lot of the existing conventions, like by getting rid of quests and basically totally focusing on dynamic events. So you just run through the world and happen on stuff, and that stuff has an impact on the world. It’s not just there’s this one guy standing with an exclamation mark and you go there, he says ‘hey, those evil bandits over there have been threatening me for the last 15 years, like I told the other thousand people before you…’ Then you go there and they’re not actually doing anything. So you kill them then come back, so the guy says ‘thanks, everything is fine now’ but you turn around and the bandits are back… Our dynamic events will actually have an impact on the world, so if you defend a village it’s safe. It’s more like a living, breathing world.

RPS: Is that a personal shard system, so it’s resolved for you but for everyone else the bandits are still attacking?

Martin Kerstein: No, no. That’s another thing – we also have a personal story, where you make decisions at character creation that determine how your personal playthrough will happen, and at certain points in the story you come to forks where you have to make a decision that then takes you one way or another. But those dynamic events in the world, obviously they have to be cyclical in a way, because if they were to be permanent you would probably need 10,000 game designers making content 24/7 for their rest of their lives. Definitely, though, that cycle is not constant – and also there are event chains, so if you do one thing it triggers something else, and if you follow that up it triggers something else. There are even events that stretch across the whole map.

RPS: What about the permanency, or lack thereof, for rewards? Historically, Guild Wars has been good at having players select the skills they want rather than just whatever’s unlocked most recently, but when you grab a new weapon or armour is it going to ephemeral, something that quickly loses all meaning and has you immediately desiring something better?

Martin Kerstein: There’s different ways in which we’re tackling that. The thing is there are lot of people out there who still really like getting new gear, so obviously as you progress across 80 levels you get new gear, better gear that you find or can craft. But we also have less hardcore rewards – achievements and titles and stuff, similar to Xbox achievements, so just by doing things in the gain you get them. And one thing we will do is have something called Transmutation Stones, so if you have a sword you like and you really, really want to keep it but the stats are not as great, you can basically transfer the look and skin to another sword. So you can keep your favourite sword even if the stats are no longer that good. In general, we try to make the game as fun for people as possible, and not feel as though the game is work – that’s bad. If you go home you want to play, you don’t want to feel as though you have a second job.

RPS: You were talking about needing 10,000 designers to make a proper solo experience – what’s the comfortable middleground between having that meat of content and where you have to have some of the traditional MMO treadmill content purely to be practical?

Martin Kerstein: The good thing is that events are, like I say, cyclical but the cycles vary. We have small events, which might cycle a little faster; we have really big challenging events… I don’t know the exact cycles, but it really isn’t like you hand in your quest and then you see a respawn of exactly the same thing. You defend the fort against Centaurs and you push them back, all of a sudden you will see the NPCs and the merchants come back, they bring in guards and you keep pushing the Centaurs further, maybe back to their stronghold. Then as long as you keep them confined, your village is safe. If the players then decide ‘ah, I don’t want to stay here anymore’ and go somewhere else, then all of a sudden the centaurs find there’s nobody there to keep them from taking over the village so they start pushing forwards.

The good thing is those events run even if there are no players involved – if there are no players, the enemy will take over and you’ll have to get it back before you can actually do anything. That’s why it feels more organic and breathing. If you log out in the evening and you know ‘ok, we had control of that stronghold over there’ but you look in the next day and it’s ‘holy crap, what happened? Where did all these monsters come from, where are the merchants, what happened to this town?’ It’s changing all of the time, not having the exact same guys standing in the exact same spots, always saying the same stuff.

RPS: How can you prevent what happened with Warhammer Online, where the public quests sort of fell apart as players levelled up and left them behind so anyone coming along later had no-one to tackle them with?

Martin Kerstein: Those had the problem that they were not scaling. Our dynamic events scale, from an individual player up to how many players are taking part, and they dynamically scale. So if you start out on your own, obviously you have less opponents, but if a bunch of other players come by – and that’s another good thing, all the people participating in those dynamic events, whether they’re grouped or not, get rewarded, so you’re always glad to see another player. It’s not like ‘hey, there’s another player, which means I’m going to level slower because he’s killed my mobs and I have to wait for a respawn.’ Instead it’s ‘hey, there’s another guy, so it will be more challenging and more fun, or we’ll do it faster’… So if other players come along it will scale up, and if they leave it will scale down. It’s all dynamic.

RPS: So that’s true of the rewards, too? I remember that weird roll-off thing in WAR where just a couple of guys would end up getting great loot and everyone else was left with nothing, even if they’d fought really well.

Martin Kerstein: Yeah, when you’d put all the effort in and then rolled, but then you were like fifth and got nothing, that wasn’t fun. No, everybody gets rewarded in our dynamic events.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

The reader inquisition interview with Martin will follow tomorrow.

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50 Comments »

  1. Mashakosha says:

    Yay GW2! And the news also that a beta is in the works for the second half of the year… very happy. Also sad, as my first year of uni is steadily slipping away before I’ve even started. Far too many great games on the way.

  2. Crescend says:

    While its always nice to read some more from Guild Wars 2, this article tells nothing new from the game. I wish they got around to revealing the next profession already :/ So hard to wait for your favourite game to be released…

    • Dominic White says:

      95% chance that one of the two unannounced classes is the Mesmer, as they’ve appeared in the GW2 prelude books (apparently, not read them myself) and are kinda iconic to Guild Wars, and some sort of gunner class, as we’ve seen screenshots of player characters lugging around huge flintlock-esque rifles, which aren’t a usable weapon type for any other class.

    • Nick says:

      Uh, pretty sure warriors can use rifles, no?

    • Dominic White says:

      Ah, true, true – didn’t notice that. Still, it seems to have been hinted at in a fair bit of info so far. But yeah, Mesmer is a given.

    • Dajs says:

      Ordinary rifles, yes, these look more akin to portable cannons.

    • paterah says:

      Tbh, if RPS was a bit more educated about the game they could have avoided questions like “Is that a personal shard system, so it’s resolved for you but for everyone else the bandits are still attacking?”, seriously that’s the first thing you learn once you hear about the game. That dynamic events are not instanced, they are in the same world as everyone. And also “How can you prevent what happened with Warhammer Online, where the public quests sort of fell apart as players levelled up and left them behind so anyone coming along later had no-one to tackle them with?”, that was like asking for the obvious answer. Which is scaling. And everyone knows that too. Weren’t there better questions to pick from? That’s the most basic information.

    • The Hammer says:

      @paterah:

      You do realise that this isn’t a Guild Wars 2 fansite, don’t you?

      A lot of people’s only knowledge about this game will come from reading Rock, Paper, Shotgun. As a reader who is interested but not engrossed enough to bookmark the Guild Wars 2 homepage, I appreciate the layman’s angle.

      Or, more pertinently: you’re assuming Alec was asking the questions to inform himself, and not RPS’s audience.

    • Maltose says:

      @ Hammer:
      Took the words right out of my mouth.

    • Kent says:

      I didn’t know so much about how they were going to solve this and I didn’t care that much but I would personally rather be more interested in a coverage over the new guns classes which are new to the GW world.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I really like the sound of those dynamic events, it has me excited about an MMO for the first time in a long while.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s potentially hugely ambitious.

      More cynically, it might just wind up like Rift, with a bunch of random mini-events that are just about providing mobs to slaughter, without any palpable effect on the game world.

    • Jeremy says:

      Very true.. I hope they pull it off better than Rift and WAR. Seems cool in theory, but it didn’t end up being nearly as good as it sounded.

    • Brainstrain91 says:

      I just finished the 7-day trial of Rift (meaning I hit the max trial level), and while Rift and Invasion events are interesting and Trion really put the effort into implementing them right…

      They’re basically two dynamic events, and the game has decided that that’s enough to name itself after. I think Guild Wars 2 has the potential to be Rift^10, with combat that isn’t YET ANOTHER carbon-copy of WoW with unique but questionably balance-able implementation to boot.

  4. Dominic White says:

    To expand on the last couple of questions, the rewards for dynamic events are actually not the usual item drops you’d expect. Depending on how much time you spend contributing to an event, you either get a Bronze, Silver or Gold rewards, which primarily consists of gold (the trade currency) and karma, which you can use to exchange for zone-specific special rewards.

    So they’ve also bypassed the problem of ‘Thank you for dying fifty times in the process of saving our town! Take this sword which clearly has weaker stats than the three you found saving our town! Thanks, bye!’. Clever design all round.

  5. Flobulon says:

    LOVE that transmutation thingy. So much I so that I put the word ‘love’ in capitals.

    • The Hammer says:

      Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhh.

      Fantastic idea. Guild Wars 2 really does seem to be seeking to please its players with the abolishment of MMO conventions that ought to have been cast aside years ago.

    • Arglebargle says:

      The standard trope is a waste of art assets, and tends to lead to everyone looking the same. I guess the old style is part of the treadmill, but the transmutation thingee will keep the drops useful, while giving you a lot more control over your character’s ‘look and feel’. Great addition!

    • Jeremy says:

      They’ve also just blown wide open the doors on the secret truth of all MMO players. We like to play dress up with our dolls. And in the game?

    • TheSaddestSort says:

      Just as a note to temper the potential blowback, transmutation stones are (as of the last information I heard) a cash shop item. Meaning that if you want to swap the stats onto that piece of gear that you’ve really grow attached to, you’ll have to fork over a small fee. Personally, I think it’s a great idea and falls under the umbrella of being a cosmetic option, which is what fans have implicitly stated they want cash shop items to be limited to. There was quite a bit of forum drama over this, however, so just throwing this out the before any hopes and dreams are crushed.

    • Nick says:

      To be fair, Its not like some other games don’t have, for example, a system that gives you appearance slots that you can put whatever you like the look of in and get no stats from, but it overwrites your actual armour/weapon looks. Which is free. So its not that great tbh.

  6. The Hammer says:

    “But those dynamic events in the world, obviously they have to be cyclical in a way, because if they were to be permanent you would probably need 10,000 game designers making content 24/7 for their rest of their lives. Definitely, though, that cycle is not constant”

    Hmm. I’m a bit suspicious of this. I have to say my eyebrows raised when I heard that quests were entirely absent from Guild Wars 2, which might end up making the game feel… I dunno… piecemeal in its narrative. I suppose that’s what the ‘personal story’ is about though, but even then: how will you get the sense that the entire world, rather than each zone at a time, is changing? I hope it doesn’t feel like a bunch of disparate stuff going on.

    Still madly excited about this, anyway. Want, want, want.

    • Shadram says:

      From watching all the videos filmed at the various conventions last year, it appears that, while there are no people handing out specific quests, you still have people coming to talk to you and pointing you in the direction of the events. The real difference is that you don’t know what you’ll find when you get there: the village could be fighting off monsters, or overrun with monsters, or protected but asking for people to go take the monster’s lair, etc.

      The walkthroughs were posted on this site towards the end of last year (around September, I think) and are well worth watching. That excitement you expressed, though? It will increase. ;)

    • Nollind Whachell says:

      Agree with Hammer. And my question is this. Are there local and global dynamic events that will provide some variety on a specific local level? Even more so, how varied are each of these dynamic events themselves? Here’s an example to explain what I mean.

      Say I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 for a month and I decide I want to make this town that’s attacked by centaurs my “home town”. In effect, I like it so much I want to return to it daily to ensure it’s always protected and safe. My greatest concern here is what will I have experienced in this local town and area after six months to a year of game play? Will the only dynamic event for this town be the centaurs attacking? Or will there be a variety of dynamic events at the local and global level that affect it (i.e. everything from a swarm of rats in a locals house all the way up to a nearby war encroaching on the town).

      Even with regards to the local events, how different are they when they eventually cycle back around? For example, is the event scripted so exactly that the centaurs always come from one area and always attack the town the same way, which is obviously repetitive and boring even if you’ve experienced only once before. What I would like to see is variety in each dynamic event itself, so the centaurs don’t always attack from the same direction and don’t always attack the same way (in effect, with at least some mediocre sentient brain power).

      Even more so, imagine a dragon in a local mountain cave that no one knows about until someone stumbles upon it and awakens it. The frequency and chance for this dynamic event to occur would be extremely low. But even if it was “triggered” by an individual finding the dragon through exploration and the dragon was eventually “chased off”, would people only have to go back to the same cave and keep checking for the dragon to show up again? Or would a variable within the dynamic event cause the dragon to appear in one of twenty other possible cave locations in the area, so yes it might return six months later but appear in a completely different local location. Or even better, maybe the dragon went to neighboring zone and found an empty cave there, thus adding some spice and variety to that local area.

    • tstapp1026 says:

      let’s clarify the dynamic event scenarios and how they play out in the game, shall we? First things first… don’t get too concerned about losing ground on a dynamic event. While they may be cyclical, keep in mind that the cycles depends on a number of events. Some cycles may only have a handful of events while other cycles, as it is noted in the interview, may have so many events that it manages to cross the entire game map. Using the example of the Centaur attacking a village: It may not be the first village. It could have been the 3rd village in a loot-n-pillage campaign these particular centaur are on. The event’s arc is based on the outcome of the current event in the cycle. So if even one thing has a different outcome prior to the cycle reaching your location, it could change the course of events entirely. Also, on a progression standpoint, it’s not likely that you would stay in one place and repeat the same event over and over. You would do that event and follow the cycle. This would ultimately lead you to the end of that cycle of events and you are surely to meet a new cycle along the way.

  7. Jumwa says:

    Their bit about people working together on dynamic events was music to my ears. I’ve been saying for years now that the grouping mechanic for quests in MMOs is broken and antithetical. If someone wanders up doing the same quest as me it should automatically be counted as us working together on it. It makes no sense for the quest giver to ignore our joint efforts, and it runs contrary to the spirit of MMOs as a social game.

  8. sendmark says:

    Being non-sub really helps them here, no need for pointless timesinks as it’s all about providing value for the players so they will keep buying new expansions and replaying the game (and buying extra character slots and other trimmings to do so).

    I can only see subbed mmos surviving if they start providing incentives outside of the content to stay with the game, there are signs of this with blizzard’s titan aiming to be very heavy on the social side.

  9. Wolfos says:

    Wow, this is the biggest amount of non-news I’ve read in a whole time. We already knew all of this.

    • Outsider says:

      Actually, there were one or two things I didn’t know. Also, there’s no real reason I can see that you need to be a sarcastic jackwad about the article.

      Lastly:

      The reader inquisition interview with Martin will follow tomorrow.

    • Maykael says:

      I have not followed everything about this game every day. I did not know much of this information. You’re not the only one who reads this site, you know…

  10. Surgo says:

    If you log out in the evening and you know ‘ok, we had control of that stronghold over there’ but you look in the next day and it’s ‘holy crap, what happened? Where did all these monsters come from, where are the merchants, what happened to this town?’

    The more I hear about Guild Wars 2, the less and less I want it. They talk a lot about removing grind (and they did a great job of this in the original game), but here we’ve got something that punishes you for not playing. Do not want.

    • Rii says:

      Well that’s a spectacularly uncharitable interpretation of things. One wonders why you were *ever* interested in this game, given that the idea of a living world where shit happens regardless of whether you are around or not to witness it is pretty integral to these MMORPUGR things.

      EDIT: Hey, RPS has decided to let me post this comment! Must be because I didn’t say anything bad about RPS in it. Go figure.

    • Surgo says:

      I think my interpretation is pretty valid, regardless of how charitable or not it is. The concept of avoidance is a well-known extension to the classic Skinner’s Box. Some people might be fine with it, but if I didn’t like it when it showed up in Animal Crossing (and made me give up on the original and every future incarnation of the game), why would I be okay with it here? Having stuff happen while you’re not logged in is one thing. The trick is not punishing the player for not playing. Which this overused example appears to completely fail at.

      As for my historical excitation, I’ve been barraged by the Guild Wars 2 hype machine ever since I started playing Guild Wars 1 (which is an absolutely excellent game). As Guild Wars 1 is so good, I started off pretty interested under the impression that it’d be more of the same. My interest started to die when they started releasing information that they’d be removing the sort of features that drew me to Guild Wars 1 in the first place (namely, instanced everything).

    • Shadram says:

      It doesn’t punish you for not playing. If the village is overrun, it means that nobody on your server helped defend the village, or that those who tried failed the event. Reclaiming the village is the quest (albeit an unspoken one) and the merchants that return there are the reward. And like he says, this sets up a chain for the next event, and so on. They don’t expect you to be online 24/7, they’re just ensuring that when you do log on, there’s something for you to do.

    • Surgo says:

      Erm, Shadram, in the example given, when you logged out for the night you were at a certain point (merchants were there). When you logged in the next day, you’ve moved backwards. By not playing, you’ve lost the point that you had reached earlier.

      It might not be a particularly awful example of avoidance, but it’s unequivocally an example of the concept.

    • Dominic White says:

      How is that ‘punishing’ the player? It’s giving you a new quest that you might not have otherwise seen. New content in old areas is something to be applauded, not complained about.

      Unless of course, you’d rather go back to ‘saving’ a village, only to have the monsters keep wandering around on, but the villagers act to you like they’re living a peaceful, monster-free life now.

    • The Hammer says:

      @Dominic: That all depends on if it repeats itself over and over and over again.

      So you end up having to save the same village multiple times.

      (Well, not “having to.” The way it’s explained suggests that by that time you’ll have moved onto a different area, but still)

    • Dominic White says:

      Well, like they said – you want a MMO with scripted quests that have permanent repercussions for all players on that server, forever? Pony up the cash so they can hire another 10,000 mission creators. Otherwise, this is the best we’re going to see until games can procedurally generate plots that don’t read like rejected madlibs.

    • The Hammer says:

      @Dom:
      I’m pretty sure it’s not as binary an issue as you make out. If a stronghold is involved in just one dynamic event – however many stages that event has – then it will get old pretty quick, just like Warhammer’s novel but quickly grating public quests. No one likes to see their progress completely undone, and when these resets (if that is what they can be called) happen, then it’s easy to see the game as undermining its own stated aim of letting players having a tangible effect on the world. It really depends on how long these cycles take to go back to square one. If we’re talking hours… naff. If we’re talking days… ugh. If we’re talking a few days… sure, and if we’re talking an entire week, then that’s amazing and I am suitably impressed. In reality, I reckon it’ll fit somewhere between “days” and “a week”. But I could be being overly optimistic.

      Someone mentioned before that, every time ArenaNet has talked about dynamic events in interviews, they use the “centaur attacking the village” scenario. You’ve got to wonder what the range and variety in these dynamic events are.

      It is okay for people to be sceptical about this: it is, after all, the latest in a long line of games that promise big, genre-changing stuff. While I don’t think it’ll disappoint as much as Fable or Bioshock did, there is still a real chance that these dynamic events may come off as repetitive, artificial and able to be “gamed”.

      Telling the sceptics to provide the money for these features which you appear to think implausible isn’t very constructive. Guild Wars 2 is billing itself as a top-notch MMO, possibly even the leader in terms of quality and polish. People should scrutinise this, while still remaining potential fans and, in my own case, future buyers.

  11. Gnoupi says:

    While I’m still very impatient to play it, and to experience these “dynamic events”, I would like people from Arenanet to give another story from it.

    Because the centaurs which are attacking the village, the stronghold and all that, it’s the same friggin’ example for more than a year!

  12. jplayer01 says:

    Transmutation Stone? ……..
    This is a first day purchase for me. :D

    I wonder if it only applies to weapons though. I hope it also works on armour/clothing. I’ve had some great looking pieces in WoW which became outdated much too quickly.

  13. Seal says:

    generic questions, simple answers.why not, why do weapons determine skills, limiting us in a way,or tell use how uniqe weapons will be found?is it going to be similar to FF where you need a party of people to rampage out one boss only to have to roll for that spell book or great sword or prized armor. whats the next character to be release, when can we expect a solid release day, will you push back the current release date once more? there are the questions we all wish to know.not how the basic system is going to be. we have all waited for GW2 for so long, in my honest opinon this can ruin the market for the game, as there is hardly new information on it, and people are tired of waiting.it was stated above, WoW had subscription loss.players are getting bored, is anet hoping that by delaying they can produce a better market by teasing the dog with a bone? there is such a thing as biting the hand that feeds you. we are looking for something more, something solid, not repeats of information, or redirected twisted information to try and smooth things over. the MMO world is waiting….dont wait to long anet, or it could dry up.

  14. mmalove says:

    Sounds cool. I tried out RIFT’s demo, and while I like the idea of dynamic content, the invasions repeated themselves way too often. I’d be excited if development went 100% towards making different variations of these, and leaving the traditional kill 10 boars for some stupid backstory quests completely off the table. I’m doubly excited that it’s going to be guild wars, since that means no sub fee in addition to breaking the stale MMO grindfest.

  15. IchTobFugie says:

    I can not wait for this GW2. No more wasting time getting into a raid for a world event just to have 2 items drop, which one of both of them could not even be for your class of character, and then you have to fight it out with the rest of the raid to even maybe get one of those items.
    The best part is that you are actually rewarded for for the amount of effort you do. If someone wants to be some type of class that can maybe hide among everyone else and not really do anything then they can do that….their reward will also be “hopefully” equal to the amount of work they did.
    One thing I have not heard about is if GW2 has any type of achievement system. I don’t care if it does or doesn’t have this, but if it does I hope it doesn’t turn into the crap that it did for WoW. It’s nice to have something that can show things that you have accomplished, but it was turned into a way for people that might have just had their guild carry them through a raid, they then would use this to set a standard meaning you could not raid with them unless you had this achievement.

  16. Binho says:

    I wish there was a dev out there who would attempt a proper simulated world, instead of yet another WoW/EQ-alike rollercoaster ride.

    I’m really jaded with MMORPG’s, tbh. Nothing really that interesting or truely fresh has come out since…WoW really. Neither gameplay-wise or graphically. It’s all so…stale.

    Aside from one or two very pretty visuals, i’ve found this game just plain….mehh. Most of the gameplay changes to me just seem to be tweaks of what people found annoying in WoW. And the character art seems to be inspired by the fantasy school of skimpy-armour-’n-giant-pauldrons-on-stylized-sexy-ladies/men-wielding-overly-large-weapons-with-some-anthropomorphic-animals. Nothing really new, at least to my eyes.

    Am I the only one? Seems everyone else is having multiple orgasims about it. Am I just getting old and cynical?

    Darn kids!

    • IchTobFugie says:

      What do you have in mind for something new? You have big, bulky, fantasy characters with a cartoon type look in WoW. Futuristic / space type in SWTOR or if you want old school Anarchy Online (fail). Past with a little fantasy and not so cartoony there is DAoC. There is also modern day in The Secret World when it comes out, but I’ve seen talk about them giving into seeing what sells and they might turn it fantasy. Pretty much everything has been covered at one point or another. It’s just that whenever I see new MMOs come out I have not see developers taking the best or new ideas from past MMOs and combining them into one game. Why not take castle building and singeing, like from DAoC and Shadowbane for communities to come together and do something else besides raiding if they want to. Or being able to make your character’s stats exactly the way you want them be like in EQ. If I want all my stats to be in mana and nothing else then that is the way I could make them. I could go on and on, but maybe one day we will see a MMO that is for us all…..ya right.

  17. xeridian says:

    To Quote: “If you go home you want to play, you don’t want to feel as though you have a second job.”

    AION, I’m looking at you…

  18. Yosharian says:

    Cyclic quests are still repetitive quests.

    It’s going to take a bloody revolution to make MMORPGs interesting games to play, beyond a loot hunt.

    • tstapp1026 says:

      they are to a point Yosh, but the design is to keep you moving and developing your story. Specifically, they are offering us the ability to feel like we made a difference. If you are staying in one place simply looking for the exact same cycle to start all over again, then you may want to consider how you are playing the game as an issue rather than how the game is designed. I, for one, am ecstatic about happening upon a town in distress, helping it, and being able to see the effect of it. Where as in every other MMO I have played, nothing you do changes a thing.

      In regards to loot hunting, Guild Wars has done an incredible job with the “awcrapmyweaponsucksIneedabetteroneNAO!” syndrome. In GW 1, the weapons have max stats. One you have a weapon of that caliber (and it is simple to get it), it becomes more of a collection issue rather than a playability issue. Mind you, I’m not knocking collectors, I’m just saying a sword is a sword is a sword when it comes to 3 of them that look different and have the exact ame stats.

  19. Dances to Podcasts says:

    If you get the chance to ask questions to a GW2 dev, please don’t start with a question about WoW’s subscription numbers. I know it’s the big name in the industry, but do we really want to know what everyone else in the industry thinks about it?