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Emotional Connections in Guild Wars 2

Concept Art

In a new blog post today, Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb talk about what it takes to make a game emotionally compelling.

Jeff: The question of emotional connection in a game is a tough one to answer, I think. How do we keep people from saying, like in Alice in Wonderland, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards” and dismissing the game entirely? How do we engage the players and make them care?

Ree: I think one of the first things any game has to do is to encourage the player to connect with their avatar in the game. In order to get the player to invest in the game world and think of the NPCs as compelling characters, the player has to think their own character is interesting and worth spending time with.

You can read the whole article at the official ArenaNet Blog.


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  • Have to say they failed in my case. Not that I mind, it’s not really what I’m looking for in a game.

  • Rob Van Der Sloot

    “And one of the challenges I see for creators in an MMO is that you want the character to be as accessible as possible to a variety of players, without making them bland and forgettable.”

    I’m sorry, but judging by the Beta preview we got, they failed. The player character IS bland and forgettable, without any personality what so ever. I’m disappointed in how they handled the personal story. The whole approach of assuming the main character is this flawless perfect hero without any backbone, is what makes the main character so uninteresting. They could have really taken some lessons from Mass Effect. I’d rather play a character who isn’t always the hero, and who punches people in the face. What GW2 delivers instead is a main character that is always polite, always does the right thing, never sees any obvious trap coming, never gets angry at anything, and never shows any emotional investment in anything.

  • Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb will be live at http://www.twitch.tv/guildwars2 in just one hour! (11:00 a.m. Pacific time) If you’ve got a question about storytelling within a player-driven narrative, leave it here. You just may get an answer from Ree and Jeff! ~RB2

    Starts in 15 minutes from this post — just leave a question on their Facebook page.