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  1. #1

    What will standard gameplay be like?

    We've heard about the dynamic events system, which sounds like a great idea and which probably will be very exciting, keeping the game fresh and alive for a long time to come. And we've heard about that there will be instances in the persistent world: dungeons to explore, smaller sections like Thackeray's office where the personal story will unfold, and the home-town instance, which will evolve as your character goes about his adventures.

    But... what about the rest?

    What "rest"? Well, let me explain what I mean. In a classic MMO - and in GW too for that matter - you always know what to do next. There's the guy with an exclamation mark over his head, and you go and talk to him, and he'll tell you what to do. Or there's the mission outpost, which is more or less the same thing. Or there's the dungeon - well, you get the idea. You might have a choice of what to do, but once you pick, you must do as you're told (more or less).
    Except, of course, for farming. You can always just go kill some monsters and take their money.

    The dynamic event system is said to replace quests. Things are no longer waiting for you to ask them what to do, things will now happen on their own and you can respond to them, or not.

    So far, most of us have been assuming that we can go about our business, and then an event occurs, and we get to respond to the event. Maybe save a village from bandits, maybe help people get out of a burning house, maybe catch an ox that escaped from its farmer... Whatever.

    But what other business would that be?

    There will be no quests. And the dungeons and storyline missions will be instanced (and you wouldn't want them to be interrupted anyway). In other words, will our normal, everyday business of the day be totally undirected by the game? Are we supposed to hang around in towns, waiting for an event to happen close enough for us to notice it? Will there be so much storyline-related content that we'll be occupied anyway? Will we be supposed to farm while we wait? Will the events be so huge (on the scale of Canthan new year or so) that they'll gather every player who can even reach the event anyway? Or will standing around in towns to chat see an unprecedented upswing in popularity in GW2?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, what is there to do, when there is nothing to do, except wait for something to do?

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    In GW1, there's the storyline which is mainly instanced missions and dungeons, plus a few quests to get you to places. And there are quests, which give you extra stuff to do in explorables.

    In GW2, there's the storyline which is mainly instanced missions and dungeons, plus a few quests to get you to places. And there are events, which give you extra stuff to do in persistent areas.

    What's your question?
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    I don't see a problem. It isn't as if the personal storyline is completely separated from the persistant world. You will have to travel through the persistant world, encountering events, on your way to the next stage of your personal story. We were even given some examples of this:

    * Your personal story might require you to go rescue someone from a centaur camp, requiring you to adapt to the ongoing events in the area

    * Dealing with bandits poisoning a town's water supply (dynamic event) could give you useful information in finding their hideout for a task required by your personal story.

    The story and the events will interact in various ways, though neither will be dependant on the other. (You won't have to wait for a specific event to proceed with your story, for example. There will always be some way of finding the bandit hideout even if they aren't currently poisoning the water.)

    In GW1 you follow a chain of primary quests and missions. But, unless you're in a hurry, you usually don't follow the quest or start the mission right away after arriving in a new location, because you want to explore the area and do any side quests being offered. In GW2 I imagine things will work much the same except that the next step in the storyline is obtained by something other than looking for an NPC with a quest or mission symbol over his head. I believe we've been told that NPCs may come to visit us in our personal instances. Perhaps there are other methods as well: a message pinned to your door by a knife, further instructions given by the NPC who rewards you for a mission, being suddenly teleported into the presence of the Hermit Wizard who has been watching you in his scrying device, etc.

    Following the story could actually be a much smoother process than what we see in GW1. There are places where it's easy for a first-time player to get lost in GW1 and not know how to proceed or where to go to find a quest giver. I suspect the GW2 storyline goals will come to you as soon as you finish something or will be triggered when you next enter your personal instance. My guess is that there will always be the equivalent of having a primary quest in your log until you complete the story, so there will be no waiting and no confusion about what to do. You will always have direction, but you will still have the option of doing something else -- exploring the area, farming, etc. -- instead.

    So far, most of us have been assuming that we can go about our business, and then an event occurs, and we get to respond to the event.
    I'm not sure that is exactly the case. You make it sound like events are going to be an ocassional thing and that there may or may not be anything going on any time you step out of town. My impression is that there will always be something happening somewhere in any map, and you will always be walking into the middle of one or more ongoing event chains.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    In GW1, there's the storyline which is mainly instanced missions and dungeons, plus a few quests to get you to places. And there are quests, which give you extra stuff to do in explorables.

    In GW2, there's the storyline which is mainly instanced missions and dungeons, plus a few quests to get you to places. And there are events, which give you extra stuff to do in persistent areas.

    What's your question?
    Nnnnope... That's what GW1 started out as having, and that's the reason people complained and said that "there's nothing to do". Well, there simply wasn't anything to do, because they never expected people to want to - I even remember Gaile saying that the devs were surprised to hear that people clocked 1000 hours. By now, there are those who spent 20 times that in-game and more, and they are still playing.

    GW1 has a couple of elite areas, a bunch of repeatable quests, some casual-friendly PvP (AB, JQ etc.), and of course titles. Zaishen dailies were added to recycle content, and lately we are seeing the War in Kryta ongoing "event" (which is frankly the best content update I never expected to see).

    In GW2, the dynamic event system will make all this, especially repeatable/daily quests, obsolete. It (along with "world vs world PvP", whatever that will be ) will be the thing to do, after you completed the storyline that is.

    The problem is... Old-school quests are always available. You walk up to the guy with the big ! and he tells you what to do. Events are only available when they occur, on top of that, they are only available when they occur near enough to be noticed (including the "friends distance" - people you know might tell you that an event is happening, if it's major and they think you are interested).

    My question is: what will there be to do, when there is no event ongoing where we are at the moment we log in? Do we stand around and wait? Or will there be some menial task to do to pass the time, even if it's just for a few minutes? Will we be supposed to work on our titles while we wait for something to come along?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrettM View Post
    I'm not sure that is exactly the case. You make it sound like events are going to be an ocassional thing and that there may or may not be anything going on any time you step out of town. My impression is that there will always be something happening somewhere in any map, and you will always be walking into the middle of one or more ongoing event chains.
    From the developer's perspective: Zipf's law. Everything works.

    From the player's point of view: either waiting for the next event to occur, or running from event to event if they happen frequently enough, but I'm asking, what happens in between? What is the expected gameplay?

    Maybe I'm thinking too much about this, but I'm curious!

  5. #5
    GWOnline.Net Member Scutilla's Avatar
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    To quote one of the blog articles:

    A zone or map (which is how we refer to what I think players tend to regard as a zone) is never empty of events. Events occur pretty frequently so an empty map wouldn’t stay that way for very long.
    So the situation you're describing where you're sitting around waiting for an event to come along should be pretty rare. And even then, there will be events that are triggered by player actions (such as coming across an artifact), so you can always go out and look for the event trigger.

    And again, events aren't "the only thing to do" as you describe. There's dungeons, title progression, some sort of crafting, minigames, and of course people come up with tasks of their own like farming.

    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam View Post
    I even remember Gaile saying that the devs were surprised to hear that people clocked 1000 hours. By now, there are those who spent 20 times that in-game and more, and they are still playing.
    20,000 hours is an exaggeration, that's 11 out of 24 hours every day since release

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaris View Post
    What I'm most curious about is how achievements / titles will be handled. Most titles in GW actually provide a goal so I get the most replay value. Guardian and Protector for example get me to play all the missions. MotN encourages me to do all dungeons and content in EotN... and so on.

    It'd be hard to have a title for doing all events, so instead that will likely be replaced by a counter. I do prefer when titles are for doing everything, rather than for repeating something over and over. I'd sooner like to see an event title for doing X events in each possible location... so you're forced to experience new content.

    Likewise, meta-titles (KoaBD, GWAMM) and the whole XP/levelling is something I want to know more about. GW2 will be great regardless as far as I can tell, but these little replay details are also nice to get right for title-hunters.
    Not sure if you've read it, but the Kill Ten Rats article does mention titles/"achievements" in passing. Specifically, killing a specific type of monster, using a specific type of weapon, and participating in events.

    No idea which event title model it would use, but I think if there was a title for viewing every unique event that would have the unfortunate side effect of people wanting an event to go one way or another to lead into another event, and then becoming angry when the rest of the people in the area don't play out the event the way they wanted. On the other hand, a "counter" would encourage farming of an easy event with a short cooldown time. Not sure which would be the lesser evil.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Scutilla View Post
    So the situation you're describing where you're sitting around waiting for an event to come along should be pretty rare. And even then, there will be events that are triggered by player actions (such as coming across an artifact), so you can always go out and look for the event trigger.
    No matter how rare it is, people will find it odd when nothing is happening. And I don't think it'll be that rare - because if it were, events would collide with each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scutilla View Post
    And again, events aren't "the only thing to do" as you describe. There's dungeons, title progression, some sort of crafting, minigames, and of course people come up with tasks of their own like farming.
    Yup, this is what I mean. Will there be titles, will there be farming opportunities, etc. Now I don't think ANet will tell us where to farm lol... But they could tell us if there is going to be titles, and so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scutilla View Post
    20,000 hours is an exaggeration, that's 11 out of 24 hours every day since release
    Ah c'mon it's possible!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam View Post
    The problem is... Old-school quests are always available. You walk up to the guy with the big ! and he tells you what to do. Events are only available when they occur, on top of that, they are only available when they occur near enough to be noticed (including the "friends distance" - people you know might tell you that an event is happening, if it's major and they think you are interested).

    My question is: what will there be to do, when there is no event ongoing where we are at the moment we log in? Do we stand around and wait? Or will there be some menial task to do to pass the time, even if it's just for a few minutes? Will we be supposed to work on our titles while we wait for something to come along?
    They've already mentioned Achievements, Crafting and Mini-games as additional ways of passing the time, some (most I expect) requiring you to travel (encountering Events along the way). Of course, there's also WvW and PvP, but I'm guessing you mean PvE things to do.
    Secondly, I theorycrafted in-some-thread-or-another which has probably been merged with the official event thread, that with all the attention given to crowds in towns they'll be functionally equal to quest givers. They'd gossip where nearby events are happening and if you want you can travel there and find out for yourself.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberry jam View Post
    No matter how rare it is, people will find it odd when nothing is happening. And I don't think it'll be that rare - because if it were, events would collide with each other.
    Actually, I think they intend for this to happen. Didn't we get one example of a thunderstorm coming up and generating lightning elementals while in the course of dealing with a centaur attack? Two independent events that overlap.

    Also, what about events triggered by some player finding an object (e.g., reading the hidden spell book in the wizard's castle) or changing some situation (e.g., killing the last deer in the forest, causing hungry monsters to go in search of food)? Would all the events triggered by a timer, or event chains already in progress, suddenly come to a screeching halt? Or would the new event be put on hold, maybe for hours, until all other events in the area were complete? I think not.

    I see no reason to think that events are going to be some kind of discrete packets of activity, never overlapping.

  9. #9
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    Events are basically a way to make sure monsters in persistent areas just don't stand there and wait to be slaughtered by farmers who bring specific builds for the task.

    Think randomly-generated explorables. Except, it's not randomly generated, it's generated by a complex interaction between players and event chains. So if you stay in an explorable area (persistent area in GW2), you see it evolve, and you can even influence it... to help generate its next state.
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  10. #10
    GWOnline.Net Member Scutilla's Avatar
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    Agreed with Alaris, I don't see the problem. Personal story replaces missions, events replace one-shot quests, and dungeons will likely be similar to GW1. Nothing's being lost, as far as I can see.

    In a way, there will be even less of "nothing to do" than GW1, since events cycle, while GW1 quests are unrepeatable.

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