Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Countdown: 10 Days

Yesterday left our countdown at ten days. Only ten more days until the final release of Guild Wars 2. I wanted to write this up yesterday but I was tied up with a group of things, however I didn't want to leave readers without the entire final ten days before release. I thought that I would post up the top ten features of Guild Wars 2 that I am most looking forward to, going into detail about each feature along with why I believe they are great features. I will try to get either ten and nine posted today and continue from there or get nine and eight done tomorrow to get in time with the countdown. So here we go, starting with Dynamic Events (DEs), one of the key features of Guild Wars 2.
10. Dynamic Events

DEs are one of the key element that makes Guild Wars 2 such a different experience from other massively multiplayer online games. So what are they? Well, they are Guild Wars 2's questing system. They change, move and alter the world around you, from attacking an opposing forces' camp to helping a farmer with his rabbits there really is a massive variety. A great example to help in understanding DEs is the centaur example ArenaNet have used many, many times. You wont walk into a town and see a character with an exclamation mark above his head, click on him to be shown a wall of text explaining that the town is under attack by centaurs and they have taken his wife. Then see that on the outskirts of the town there are a little group of centaurs aimlessly wandering around waiting to be killed. You'll walk into the town to see that it literally is being invaded by a large group of centaurs, the houses will be burning, people running around screaming for their lives.
"You will then see a man's wife being pulled from his arms as he attempts to save her from capture."
You will then see a man's wife being pulled from his arms as he attempts to save her from capture. If you don't help to save the town; it will be left to fall as the centaurs take over. As you can imagine, the world then feels a great deal more alive and immersive, you will never know what is going to happen. You may think; what if another player joins the event? Well, they scale in difficulty based on the number of players in the area and from what we have seen in the betas and stress tests; they are very good a deciding whether a player is actively participating or just running past the event. Another issue people get worried about when introduced to DEs is lazy players, players might join an event but just stand in one spot and hope to get experience and rewards from the events.

ArenaNet have been careful with event rewards and have built in a contribution system; players must reach a certain amount of "contribution" to get any experience or rewards at all. There are three tiers of contribution brackets, these are bronze, silver and gold. So if a player decides to join an event you're in and do nothing toward the event; that player simply won't get rewarded for it! This system is also used generally throughout several areas of the game, for example when killing a mob around the world; another player might come and help kill that mob. This is an issue in other MMOs because the experience from that kill is then either given to a single player or shared between both players which means that generally players are penalised for attacking the same mob. In Guild Wars 2, this is different, if a player helps you kill a mob; dependant on each individual players' input, everyone will gain the full experience for the kill.

That's all for dynamic events, I will leave you with ArenaNet's video, look out for the next countdown post.