Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Nay of the Ether.8913

Nay of the Ether.8913

Copy/Pasted from another thread.

After playing this game for over a year I would like to give an example of what I believe a true living world should be.

First and foremost it NEEDS REAL consequences for failure. If you have centaurs taking over a town when you fail, why must they end there? If given long enough the centaurs can and should take the whole kitten map, enslaving and forcing the npc’s within the areas to be hostile to the PC’s (similar to a flipped keep in WvW). Waypoints, once the map is taken, should all be contested, making the trip to that map impossible save for entering through a nearby map. And why stop there, if the centaurs form an alliance with the dredge they could start controlling even more of the maps. If however they are at odds with the dredge we could form a temporary alliance with one side to defeat the other or at very least see then openly at war with one another.

(rest of post snipped for brevity)

As much as I personally would like this, I suspect the majority of actual PvE players would not. PvE players tend to prefer “static” locations; they like to go into a place and know [x] is a safe place that will always have certain things.

I can only see that idea leading to frustration and players quitting.

Don’t assume. I, as well as most PvE players I know, would love this. Obviously, this wouldn’t be implemented in starter zones, at least not on a large scale, but it would be a welcome addition to the world (and already exists in a mild form, but not quite to the extent Tommyknocker was talking about)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: chemiclord.3978

chemiclord.3978

Don’t assume. I, as well as most PvE players I know, would love this. Obviously, this wouldn’t be implemented in starter zones, at least not on a large scale, but it would be a welcome addition to the world (and already exists in a mild form, but not quite to the extent Tommyknocker was talking about)

You honestly think your average player will zone in Gendarren Fields, see every waypoint contested and every settlement hostile and think, “I must fight back?”

I don’t. I see them saying, “Kitten this” walking away and leaving entire zones even more abandoned than they already are. It’s a wonderful idea in theory, but I think in a real world setting having zones that could be completely overrun would be a disaster.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: kodama spirit.2380

kodama spirit.2380

Don’t assume. I, as well as most PvE players I know, would love this. Obviously, this wouldn’t be implemented in starter zones, at least not on a large scale, but it would be a welcome addition to the world (and already exists in a mild form, but not quite to the extent Tommyknocker was talking about)

You honestly think your average player will zone in Gendarren Fields, see every waypoint contested and every settlement hostile and think, “I must fight back?”

I don’t. I see them saying, “Kitten this” walking away and leaving entire zones even more abandoned than they already are. It’s a wonderful idea in theory, but I think in a real world setting having zones that could be completely overrun would be a disaster.

They will if the rewards are there. Right now this game is (in my opinion) rewarding a kind of play that isn’t in line with the spirit of having a living world. Change that, you have a chance to change how people approach maps, content and actually seeing reason to doing events and making the world dynamic (hopefully) in the end.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: IndigoSundown.5419

IndigoSundown.5419

Apologies in advance if all of this has been said, I don’t have the time to read every post.

Story delivery, especially in the LS, is plagued by issues inherent to the type of game GW2 is. In MMO’s, players want to play for massive numbers of hours over long periods, and expect the developer to provide stuff to do. This expectation means developers have to work on a production schedule that to some extent meets those expectations, or they risk losing players and being bad-mouthed with the dreaded “nothing to do” complaint. A shorter production schedule limits what you can do.

Well-written stories take time. If the story ties into existing lore, research has to take place. Potentially, the story would need to be rewritten more than once as conflicts surface. Creating new villains, or using existing ones that are peripheral to the existing personal story, means fewer potential conflicts that could push delivery past the deadlines. This is, I think, why we see the Krait/Nightmare Court, the Molten Alliance, the Aetherblades and Scarlet rather than the Risen, Branded and Icebrood taking center stage.

In order for the LS content like invasions, dungeons, etc. to be accessible through the story, that story has to funnel everyone to the same places. Even in a SPRPG like DA/O you fight the big boss at the end. MMO’s also have to address this issue, which puts constraints on player choice.

I’ve seen lots of complaints that GW2 LS lacks a sense that our characters are more than just lackeys “helping” the NPC’s by clicking a few things and fighting mobs. SPRPG’s and ToR accomplish this by using dialogue options that give characters a different feel. Writing dialogue options also takes time, but this could pay dividends if players feel a greater connection to the story because they are addressing it on their terms. I doubt voice acting could be used due to both time and budget constraints, but dialogue boxes worked fine for this kind of thing for may years. It also might mean more time between story patches, and/or a shift in resources (i.e., adding a writer or replacing another specialty with a writer). Still, I think it’s possible more of the community would appreciate this suggestion than wouldn’t. It could also lead to more use of the personality choices the game already has. Those who don’t care would probably just click past the dialogue options anyway.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: chemiclord.3978

chemiclord.3978

They will if the rewards are there. Right now this game is (in my opinion) rewarding a kind of play that isn’t in line with the spirit of having a living world. Change that, you have a chance to change how people approach maps, content and actually seeing reason to doing events and making the world dynamic (hopefully) in the end.

Well, that poses the next question. What IS proper rewards? Let’s face it, even in other MMOs, your usual quest rewards are garbage. The enticement of “better loot” is even LESS effective in a game like GW2 that has such a narrow power creep. Would you REALLY be enticed to go free an entire zone for one rare? One exotic? One Ascended? TWO Ascended? 1 gold? 5 gold? What?

There’s a length that Arena.net won’t be willing to go in terms of rewards so that it doesn’t throw the economy even more out of whack than it already is. You start adding another huge influx of gold and gear… yeah. People whine about the price of precursors now… wonder how they’ll react when inflation drives them over 1500g.

So, the rewards really aren’t (and some would argue SHOULDN’T) going to be increased too much further than they already are. And that’s apparently not nearly enough for most players as it is.

I mean, I really like the concept. I personally would love it. But it would most likely kill the game.

(edited by chemiclord.3978)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Seras.5702

Seras.5702

I would like to see a continuation of our hero’s journey, to combat more dragons, and an evolving world that reflects our efforts.

I think it’s a majority concensus that the pre-Orders personal story was the best part of it because it felt, well…personal. I’d like to continue that personal journey.

The dragons are supposedly the most important evil right now. It’s what’s drawn an uneasy truce amongst the humans and Charr. It’s the basis of 2 of the GW books (and the catalyst to the 3rd). It feels like we’re ignoring them atm. I’d like to continue to fight the super-evil.

We’ve been questing throughout Tyria for over a year now. We’ve defended outposts, helped farmers, defeated centaur leaders, and fought with countless dragon minions. Yet we’ve seen no reflection of our efforts. I’d like to see some sort of change to the zones in Tyria that introduce new DEs, begin a healing change to Orr, witness an aggresive push by Jormag’s minions, something to make me feel like my efforts are truly pivotal to the world.

Right now the Living World does not feel like it is evolving. Since launch, nothing in the world has changed based on the Living Story except a single dungeon path in TA. We’ve had the addition of a single area, Southsun Cove. I was initially very excited about this area, but it has had no evolution and serves merely as the arena for large scaled LS events.

LS chapters feel like temporary acheivement rushes right now. We spend 1-2 weeks racing to unlock the achievements, get the meta, and then complain about the temporary content. I’d rather see an evolution of the game as a whole, rather than constant little events that force everyone to zerg an area for 2 weeks and then return to life as usual. It trivializes the content too.

Flixx Gatebuster (Engineer)
[HATE], Yak’s Bend(NA)

(edited by Seras.5702)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Nike.2631

Nike.2631

You honestly think your average player will zone in Gendarren Fields, see every waypoint contested and every settlement hostile and think, “I must fight back?”

They might if the event scaling in this game wasn’t complete rubbish.

Many people loosely define heroism as the ability for one person to make a difference.

It’d be nice to be heroic for a change.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Raine.1394

Raine.1394

We’re not talking much to each other here. I’d like to ask everybody a question of my own:

What if Living Story steps didn’t have “conclusions” at all? What if something just happens and we’re left to deal with it indefinitely? Would you enjoy playing the content even if you don’t get to “win” or “defeat” somebody during a patch cycle? Or is some sort of conclusion, even just a mini-conclusion, a necessary piece for you to enjoy content?

In effect you’d either 1) be adding to what already exists in the game (persistent content that has to be “dealt with” whenever you come across it) or 2) you’d introduce the kind of real-life tedium that makes people want to get away into books or movies or video games.

A good example of this is Scarlet’s invasions. Even on SoR we don’t see organized attempts to complete them, and when they pop in an area I’m presently trying to run around in, it’s more of an annoyance than an interesting twist.

What makes stories so compelling to humans is the concept of beginning and ending. Idefiniteness is both uncomfortable and unappealing. Conclusions in the LS don’t have to be hard conclusions, but there has to be some resolution to one part or another to convince players that the LS is worth doing.

That’s as I understand it.

Now, if you’re meaning a consistent addition of Heart-like events, or new and evolving dynamic events added throughout, I think that’d certainly be interesting. It’d create more value in exploring old areas. BUT it wouldn’t advance a LS. The DEs as they stand hardly do anything to tell as story, other than “someone screwed up, must fix it, fixed, wait for them to re-screw up.”

There’s potential there, but it’d have to be done very, very well.

In college, before I realized I would eventually have to make a living, I was an English major. I remember analyzing works simply from beginnings and endings—as you say it’s actually quite important to story. As you move through a story you are always in relationship to beginnings and endings.

One of the things i liked about your idea of emulating expansions in a previous post is that it would allow incremental arcs to be told in the context of a broader story. In my example, the expansion level involved a march to Cantha for some reason. That reason would drive us forward through various beginnings and endings (all having overall purpose and meaning). It just would be really cool if we had some expansion level mission to inform and guide our steps through the story segments. I’m actually getting excited just thinking about it. It has the potential for a very rich telling of the story.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Orpheal.8263

Orpheal.8263

So a fun question to ask to help direct the conversation a bit: What aspects of your favorite television shows would you think would be cool to see reflected in a game medium?

If you view at GW2 like some kind of TV Series where every Living Story Patch is like some kind of new “Episode” (which they aren’t, cause currently every LSP misses the connection to the main story, the pilot movie likely to say …)

So what aspects would I want to see in my favourite tv show?
To answer you this, I’d have to tell you first, what currently my favourite tv show is, and why this is the case.

My current most favourite TV show since multiple YEARS, to say it outright, since the year of 2005 is the anime series of Naruto.

Why is it the case? The reasons are simple:

1) The series is full of awesome unique and very interesting deeply thought out characters full of charme, humor, intrigues and mysteries that make them always INTERESTING to up to the point, that you get the feeling, that you want to keep learning more and more things about them, their personality, their backgrounds and histories, you want to see them evolve personally and how those characters change over time

2) The series has a very good thought out story, so extremely immersive, full of emotions, that can make you really cry out of empathy, if you are a person, that is weeping easily due to feeling all of those emotions within the story, that comes together with outstanding songtracks that always catch the right mood

3) The series has some very outstanding epic battles within its story, which just fascinate you, while you watch them as they are presented to you full of action and style that is interestign to look at and lets you want to see more of it

4) The series progressed in time, so you always saw with the epiodes more and more, how the characters in it evolved also within time, especially when the series moved forwards from Naruto to Naruto Shippuuden (Cyclone Chronicles)
Time passed by and characters grew older. Something thats currently missing in GW2, you have absolutely no feel of time in this game and how the living world with its stories progressed and evolved within it … a concept that we saw already also too in other animes, like Dragonball > Dragonball Z > Dragonball GT

So to make it brief and to show you as an overall answer to that “fun question” what I think about it, will be the best answer to it, I’ll cut the answer down to just a few key words:

1) Emotion
2) Progression
3) Fascination

Emotions lead to Progressions that will fascinate You.
Progressions that fascinate You, will make things interesting and compelling so that it will keep players interested to the point, that they always want to know – “What comes next?”
Fascination progresses so more Emotions you put into the Game that help to feel being truly part of the story.
Here in Germany we would say a slogan for that feeling like “You’re in the middle instead of thereby” and thats what I think is very important for the Living World and their Stories, because currently I feel like being permanently being thereby only, instead of being in the middle.

This is my personal triangle ethos of creating interesting stories! Maybe it will inspire you

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Nike.2631

Nike.2631

Well, that poses the next question? What IS proper rewards?

I’d say the most successful example of rewards in the game to me are the dungeon tokens. Unlike the 99 flavors of RNG loot bag/chest, you know EXACTLY how much you’ve advanced towards your goals, and there’s NEVER a time when the RNG gods get to say “Nope, you did the time, but you haven’t moved forward 1 iota. Suck it up and pull that slot machine handle one more time baby!”

If DEs gave even a single dungeon token relevant to the enemy being fought (stomped the Inquest Psilithium experiment in the Bloodtide shores? Have 1 CoE token), I’d be all over that action. It’d take a month of Tuesdays to get anything, but at least I’d feel like I was moving forward.

(edited by Nike.2631)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: kodama spirit.2380

kodama spirit.2380

They will if the rewards are there. Right now this game is (in my opinion) rewarding a kind of play that isn’t in line with the spirit of having a living world. Change that, you have a chance to change how people approach maps, content and actually seeing reason to doing events and making the world dynamic (hopefully) in the end.

Well, that poses the next question? What IS proper rewards? Let’s face it, even in other MMOs, your usual quest rewards are garbage. The enticement of “better loot” is even LESS effective in a game like GW2 that has such a narrow power creep. Would you REALLY be enticed to go free an entire zone for one rare? One exotic? One Ascended? TWO Ascended? 1 gold? 5 gold? What?

There’s a length that Arena.net won’t be willing to go in terms of rewards so that it doesn’t throw the economy even more out of whack than it already is. You start adding another huge influx of gold and gear… yeah. People whine about the price of precursors now… wonder how they’ll react when inflation drives them over 1500g.

So, the rewards really aren’t (and some would argue SHOULDN’T) going to be increased too much further than they already are. And that’s apparently not nearly enough for most players as it is.

I mean, I really like the concept. I personally would love it. But it would most likely kill the game.

I’m not a person who typically goes along the lines of reward creep, nor do I expect an ascended weapon drop for everything I do. I’m not advocating increase the rewards of Dynamic Events. I’m saying certain types of gameplay that are not in line with a Living Story, and also taking too much of the population focus should instead be nerfed. If people want to farm the same champions in a baby map like Queensdale, again and again and again, fine. But it shouldn’t give people a sense that “this is the ideal way to gain such and such”. Nothing in low level areas should reward as well as higher level areas. I understand they need to not punish 80s from being in those areas, but the balance is nowhere near correct right now. Frankly I would be embarrassed and insulted if I was the game designers who spent so much time on all these maps that get no consistent play all at the expense of Queensdale. Temple runs are ignored and champ runs in live. They need to start looking at loot and rewards in a way to spread the population over more maps, and more types of content. I love the feeling of fighting a champ in Queensdale with 20 other people, actually feeling part of an active world. But then I also think to myself, it REALLY would be nice to be able to do this on say one of the dozen maps that have a population of 0. The scarlett minion stuff at least people to play on non-played maps, only problem is, the events had nothing to do with those maps, and was the same event everywhere. Each map should have an evolving and distinct personality from the others, and have valid reasons for being in all of them at any given time.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: EverythingXen.1835

EverythingXen.1835

Television moves a lot faster.

I dont mean airing new content every week instead of our two. I mean the plot, character development, etc happen much quicker than in our LS.

Regarding the plot… it feels like it hasnt moved at all. From Flame and Frost to now, the plot of the LS can be summed up as “Scarlet does some stuff, usually behind the scenes.” This story has gone on since March with no discernable progress. Any curiosity I had towards Scarlet’s motives has pretty much evaporated… I feel if I havent gotten an answer in 8 months then there likely isnt one. It’s a lot to ask of me to stay invested in a story where very little progress has occured in so long.

A weaker story could be carried by memorable characters… but character development has moved at an even slower pace than the plot has. Rox is exactly the same charr I met at the hatchery. Braham’s tension with his mother and missing love interest have been completely dropped, he’s actually regressed to a generic fight lovin’ norn. Majory and Kasmere havent had much impact… Faren is the only character developed at all, going from bungling pansy to comedic hero at the Jubilee.

Pretty much anything interesting about those characters is told outside the game. What TV show keeps the interesting, relatable, and unique aspects of their main characters out of the program completely? Something as simple as a few lines of dialog from Rox about why she doesn’t want to mess around with the bombs in the Molten Facility… a bit of explanation why Majory prefers to work independently… Braham can mutter to himself how he’d rather be out in Divinity’s Reach than back around the mother who abandoned him… Scarlet dropping credible threats beyond “I’ll teach you a lesson” and “I know something you dont know”

This is the stuff that I feel any update to an MMO needs… and also what every episode of a television program needs. It needs to either progress the over arching plot (at the very least give the viewer/player the feeling it is) or develop the shows/games characters… at the very least providing a bit of insight about them within the context of that episode. As an MMO, there’s even the third and fourth options of developing/advancing the world itself with something like new zones or advancing the game itself through skill updates, new game types etc.

It’s just that from my perspective, there’s been very little of that… and as a result little reason to invest myself in this story, world, or game.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Haragoth.8079

Haragoth.8079

This is definitely a topic that needs discussion, I capped my first character back in the spring of this year and haven’t came back since. This game is an awesome, spectacular and unbelievably beautiful game, but its main story and lore are a little weak. While I did cap my character, I never finished the main story because I didn’t feel involved in the story, I felt more like a fan at a sports game, I can shout and scream all the day long, I might shake the opposing team up a little bit, but I won’t be changing the game at all. I realize that the main story is the pillar of this game, so I can understand if it is an unchangeable part of the game, thankfully there are other ways of leveling up your character.

As for the world itself, as in the design, its just amazing, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful in a game. But there’s something missing, I don’t know if its due to the holes in the lore, but it lacks that deep mystery that you feel when you discover a new land. I compare it to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I realize that this is not middle earth, I think that there’s this feeling of enchantment and mystery in Middle Earth that is essential to any book, movie or game set in a fantasy world. GW2 lacks depth and darkness. Evil feels more like a juvenile evil in GW2, it doesn’t feel truly dark. Also, I realize that there is a steam punk element to this game, but there are things that are a little far out there like those watch knights, they kind of hurt the lore a bit as they were just down right stupid and it hurt the long history of the different human organizations. And then there are the stupid races…like quagans, I realize that there are mixed views as to whether they are good for tyria or not, but as far as I’m concerned, little creatures with baby’s voices just destroy the lore, change their voices at least or make a dramatic living world event in which they are driven to the edge of distinction with only a few left that you can find through the world. : ) So in other words, try to work on giving the world a deeper darker feel and shed the childish element that raises its head from time to time.

As for the world events, I think that the period between them should be longer, make an event last for three weeks, or a month. I’m not able to play very often and when I do, I don’t want to be in a rat race trying to get the achievements before the event ends and I’d like to be able to breathe between events. This would also give Area Net and advantage as they would have even more time to prepare an event. There should be a basic set of achievements that are not as difficult to reach for the causal players and then make a harder set or do like WoW where you can go back and do what you already did on an even harder level, this would be for those players who do want to spend all of their time going after achievements. There should be special weapons and resources that are available once a year on a certain month, that way you’d have resources that would be worth a lot over time as they were used up.

There’s my take on it, I’ll probably post more as I continue to brainstorm. : )

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Aye.8392

Aye.8392

Event-related daily achievements, beyond those available in a single day, should not be required for the meta-achievement. The introduction of daily achievements that count towards the meta-achievement was a great idea for people who find a handful of the base set of achievements overly onerous, but it should not be required to complete dailies over several days to get the meta. Someone who, for whatever reason, can only play during one day during the period should at least have a chance.

I’ve said this many times. I completely understand the reasoning behind having it so that players with only a short time to play each day can still achieve the Meta. Having a daily event fills that need. But, when daily events are required to be able to complete the meta it completely overrides the needs of the players at the other end of the spectrum — those that can’t play for an hour everyday, but have 6 – 8 hours available to play on a weekend. We who play in blocks of time should have the possibility to win the Meta reward too. Currently, even though we devote as much time overall as other players, we lose out on a great deal of rewards: laurels, achievement points, and crafting the high tier items.

Signing in with a block of time to play, heading out to enjoy the new content and then discovering that there is no possibility of achieving the LS Meta Reward really hurts.

More buildup. We saw how much attention the little teaser for Tower of Nightmares got. Imagine if that had been built up over a couple of months. Start with new events involving the krait collecting lumber and slaves. Somebody shows up to investigate the increased krait activity just as the barrier and illusion goes up. Next update the tower is taller, and the full cast (including that golem’s owner, who is planning a reconnaissance mission close to the barrier) has shown up and is discussing it. Finally, in the last update before the full reveal, the illusion reaches its full height, and the golem’s owner, who we had an opportunity to meet in earlier teasers, has gone missing – basically, at the point that it was at a fortnight ago.

As much as I agree with the previous point I wholeheartedly disagree with this one. Too much build up ends up with too slow a story. Any more than a week of the Tower teaser and I would have simply lost interest, kinda like following those refugees around looking for their lost items. It was too drawn out. I sure don’t mind seeing things change a little at a time, but those changes need to occur over the course of days, not weeks.

(edited by Aye.8392)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Eragon.1283

Eragon.1283

It would be fun to open the Crystal Desert and do living story with the tengu and later add the tengu as a race that we can play.

Or add more creature on Orr than zombie walking around and attacking people.

I like this game very much the design is amazing and the dynamic events are fantastic.

And add a creature like Cyclops maybe idk but it would be fun to had more creatures

(edited by Eragon.1283)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Rama.6439

Rama.6439

Honestly I think you all at Anet need to get back on track with the real story on GW.

I mean if this LS stuff isn’t heading anywhere, why follow it? I quit doing them after F&F, cause all they are is temp fixes for achievement junkies and I don’t want anymore achievement junk in my bank. I would like to see a LS that is actually based on lore, that could actually be building up to an expansion or the intro of another dragon, and I would like harder LS stuff with better rewards for veterans, at least there should be choices for people, I really dislike running around and dancing at fires and smashing piatas, and riding in air balloons, what does any of that have to do with fighting dragons?

Arcubus Balefire – 80 Guardian
Välkyri – 80 Warrior
JQ[Lulz] – Kill fur Thrillz…

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Phoenix.3172

Phoenix.3172

Honestly I think you all at Anet need to get back on track with the real story on GW.

I mean if this LS stuff isn’t heading anywhere, why follow it? I quit doing them after F&F, cause all they are is temp fixes for achievement junkies and I don’t want anymore achievement junk in my bank. I would like to see a LS that is actually based on lore, that could actually be building up to an expansion or the intro of another dragon, and I would like harder LS stuff with better rewards for veterans, at least there should be choices for people, I really dislike running around and dancing at fires and smashing piatas, and riding in air balloons, what does any of that have to do with fighting dragons?

What would be harder LS stuff for you? Could you give a few examples on this?
The achievements for the Aetherblade Retreat weren’t easy to get, the response to that has been complaints about content for pro-gamers only.
Whould you split the rewards in “easy to get” and “hard to get”?
If thats what you meant, what would be a appropriate reward for each?
Would a title be enough to show off, or does it have to be at least a skin of some sort?

(edited by Phoenix.3172)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Aye.8392

Aye.8392

Reading the update notes and seeing in the Living Story that the beginning instance is solo makes me incredibly unhappy. I play this game with my girlfriend, with family, with friends and with my guild. While there might be times that I play alone because I want to, there should never be an instance where I play alone because the game designers of an MMO decreed it to be so. Seeing “solo” makes me want to toss the game in the trash. There are other platforms for solo games.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Haragoth.8079

Haragoth.8079

The stories need to return to the lore, also, it would be cool if the areas that are open for the living story events would remain there afterwards, except the enemy mobs would be gone as well as anything that pertained to the quest line. For instance, back during that big Cutthroat Politics event, there was that huge city kind of structure set up out in the jungle, it would be nice to see something akin to when a fair leaves town, tons of junk strewn all over the place and such. I know that this is a small thing compared to what is being discussed now, but I just wanted to throw it in. : )

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Calae.1738

Calae.1738

Scrap the personal story and you’ll see exactly how much more freedom of creativity you’ll have. It’s not even funny. The only obstacle in your way will be the resources you allocate to it.

If you scrap the personal story you’ll have carte blanche on virtually anything…

-A meteor could strike at the center of Divinities Reach turning it into a huge creator and nesting place of a new threat.

-Invaders from the Ring of Fire islands torch The Grove making Sylvari an endangered species and no longer selectable as a playable race.

-Pirates turn Lion’s Arch into a hostile fortress of pirate invaders and actually STEAL player items and gold.

I could go on forever, there is no limit to what you can do, only what you want to do.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Morfedel.4165

Morfedel.4165

You know, I just skimmed all this, but I saw several things that reflected my own thoughts.

#1: Dragons. Seriously, how long did they spend building up all the lore about the elder dragons before GW2 released. Since then, we’ve been able to campaign against… one.

And since then, we’ve had rumors… rumors that they aren’t even planning it, or don’t expect to see anything about new elder dragons until at least year xxxx, etc. But we didn’t buy GW2 to fight Scarlet. We bought GW2 to fight dragons.

Seriously, I’m hoping that the no news thing is just because you have something big under wraps, because if the Living World is just going to be the same stuff we are seeing now, with no new campaigns to be released… or even being planned… well, then it makes the Living World feel like a stopgap.

Now, if the LW was a way of slowly, subtly introducing the next dragon campaign out, now THAT is something I can get behind. Of course it ruins the surprise if you told us too early… but tell me, if we were to go through this thread, how many requests for the Dragons would we see already? I suspect that should be telling you much about what we are really wanting to see.

#2: New Zones. We look at the map, and see all these named but unexplored regions. The Deldrimor front, for instance. We want more PERMANENT stuff, not temporary material. Start opening up these “mysterious” zones, and start letting us have more world to explore, more things to do, not just for 2 weeks but forever.

#3: The LW stuff is great, in one regard. It gives us new stuff to do. But its all temporary. It adds no real impact to the world, and it gives us something to do only for the short term. Sometimes I havent even felt the desire to explore the new content anymore.

Frankly, I’m waiting for the next Elder Dragon to slay. Another year of this may see me losing interest. I do suppose the LW has kept my interest up a bit where it would have disappeared already, but its a temporary thing.

Dragons. New Regions. Permanent content. Oh, and content that casual players can pursue too.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: gidorah.4960

gidorah.4960

i think alot of people have said great things here in this thread here is what i agree with most
*the living story pacing is just bad there is no way to sugar coat it
*scarlet is a terrible villain no one is afraid of what she will do next they just don’t want to see her ever again hopefully she dies soon or just goes away never to be heard from again
*it seems like you are emphasizing quantity over quality for each aetherblade retreat dungeon and motlen alliance dungeon there is a canach lair and bloody prince thorn “dungeon” in fact it seems the good dungeons where from the beginning when the teams had time to work on stuff and now we are getting unfinished content to meet a deadline
*some of the acheivements are waaaaay too grindy 300 holograms press f near something 50 times just because people do them doesnt make them fun at all
*2 weeks works for some patches and not for others there is no need for you guys to be so strict on this. look at this years halloween patch its been here too long already and its so disappointing for content this light it would really have been fine to just have it for the week of halloween and then remove it by the time halloween gets here in 2 days no one cares anymore and then it still sticks around.
*your marketing over promises and your developers under deliver. remember what was said right before we got 2 months of hitting signs “the living story will give an expansions worth of content” i dont feel like we have gotten an expansions worth of content yet and certainly 2 months of hitting signs directly after that statement was really disappointing.

(edited by gidorah.4960)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: smitske.4912

smitske.4912

I find it a bit odd that for living story you went the direction you did. I mean the original game left so much open potential to build onto, yet the decision was made to add a seemingly completely disconnected new bad entity to the game of which we know nothing about and about whom the story always seems to be. Which I find an odd choice because the original gw2 left such a great open opportunities to build on, which would naturally result in things I think people really want, namely a new playable race, new kinds of weapons, new maps that stay. There are pretty much 2 places where this can be done, one being to retake the territory that was taken from the Kodan, resulting in those maps + Kodan as playable race or the Tengu opening up to us leading to their maps and as a playable race, new weapon types can go either way. But instead of building on a strong story that was already there, the decision was made to build something new, told in little pieces that are seldom tied together at first sight, which can be nice but not if it takes too long like is the case with the Scarlet Arc.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: gidorah.4960

gidorah.4960

Event-related daily achievements, beyond those available in a single day, should not be required for the meta-achievement. The introduction of daily achievements that count towards the meta-achievement was a great idea for people who find a handful of the base set of achievements overly onerous, but it should not be required to complete dailies over several days to get the meta. Someone who, for whatever reason, can only play during one day during the period should at least have a chance.

I’ve said this many times. I completely understand the reasoning behind having it so that players with only a short time to play each day can still achieve the Meta. Having a daily event fills that need. But, when daily events are required to be able to complete the meta it completely overrides the needs of the players at the other end of the spectrum — those that can’t play for an hour everyday, but have 6 – 8 hours available to play on a weekend. We who play in blocks of time should have the possibility to win the Meta reward too. Currently, even though we devote as much time overall as other players, we lose out on a great deal of rewards: laurels, achievement points, and crafting the high tier items.

Signing in with a block of time to play, heading out to enjoy the new content and then discovering that there is no possibility of achieving the LS Meta Reward really hurts.

More buildup. We saw how much attention the little teaser for Tower of Nightmares got. Imagine if that had been built up over a couple of months. Start with new events involving the krait collecting lumber and slaves. Somebody shows up to investigate the increased krait activity just as the barrier and illusion goes up. Next update the tower is taller, and the full cast (including that golem’s owner, who is planning a reconnaissance mission close to the barrier) has shown up and is discussing it. Finally, in the last update before the full reveal, the illusion reaches its full height, and the golem’s owner, who we had an opportunity to meet in earlier teasers, has gone missing – basically, at the point that it was at a fortnight ago.

As much as I agree with the previous point I wholeheartedly disagree with this one. Too much build up ends up with too slow a story. Any more than a week of the Tower teaser and I would have simply lost interest, kinda like following those refugees around looking for their lost items. It was too drawn out. I sure don’t mind seeing things change a little at a time, but those changes need to occur over the course of days, not weeks.

well it can be done right they just havent done it in a while. the halloween last year was just the right amount of buildup. the hit a sign for 2 months was obviously way off the mark. but with the poor track record of anet i would rather they just scrap buildup they haven’t gotten it right in a long time.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Nahath.3415

Nahath.3415

To start, I want to second several others. I want a sandbox. Not a TV show.

There are two main things that I think would making living world much better:

1. More content that is beaten by player skill and clever use of your character’s abilities: Most LW content is either beaten by grind, large zerg size, or learning a minigame that has nothing to do with the character you’ve built (all fine in moderation but overused). This has been done right a couple times like the new Twilight Arbor path, or half-right like Queen’s Gauntlet (would have been great if retrying could be done quickly, but the long waits between matches really hurt an otherwise excellent idea).

Of course, this type of content needs to last longer than a month because it takes time to figure it out.

2. New ways to get existing currencies, rather than introducing new currencies: Instead of chasing candy corn or watchwork sprockets, give me an alternative way to collect dungeon currencies (capped, of course, so I still need multiple runs through the dungeon). This allows people who feel like they have fallen into a mega-grind (such as the 20+ runs through a dungeon for a full armor set) to pursue their goals without just repeating the same content.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: rodadams.5963

rodadams.5963

I’m actually fairly intrigued with this notion of “Living Story as a TV Show” Metaphor. I think a similar metaphor could be a series of fiction books.

I’ll break my thoughts out into various features of TV stories.

Seasons or Books
At this level, you have an overarching plot, where you’re able to pick a new setting/cast of characters, and put the actors through the paces, with build up, climax, denouement, etc. You typically get an opening action sequence to whet your appetite and introduce you to the world, and then off you go.
You can buy the DVD box set, or the Book itself, and relive it as many times as you like, at your leasure.
For the most part, you can start watching Season 2, or reading Book 3, and follow along just fine. Sure, there might be some added insight or in jokes for those who followed from the beginning, but it gives a good anchor to “hook” in those new to it.
There’s also often reasonable time breaks between each season being aired or book being published.

Episodes or Chapters
This is a chunk of content that you can comsume in one sitting. It typically has a plot and development all it’s own. There’ll be some challenge or cause to overcome, and complete (or fail for plot reasons) by the end of the it. Some episodes will be “arc” ones, others will explore some subplot, and how the larger story affects them. An excellent example of this is the “Gropos” episode of Babylon 5.
It’s generally not expected that watching an episode in the middle of the season make complete sense, nor reading a chapter in the middle of a book.

Specials or Short Stories
These are things that typically come out between seasons or books, and are set in the same universe, but are generally just something to keep people going, and are usually fairly self contained.

Translating this to a Game
A Season/Book would be on par with what’s typically an “Expansion”. Moving to releasing at an episodic rate is fine, as long as a Season is of Expansion Heft.
Zhaitan could be considered “Season 1” of GW2. Scarlet is appearing to be “Season 2”.
Destiny’s Edge romp through the Dungeons might be a separate season, as well.
Episodes are individual releases.
During a season, the episodes should build on each other, expanding on the story, much as you attempting in the phases of Flame and Frost. Have a smooth progression, with perhaps the occasional side story thrown in (still very much part of the story, however).

A key thing to consider, however, is that people will want to play in the way things are now… but also go back and explore how they were. For this to happen in GW2, I’d suggest some form of “portal stone” or whatever, where a player can choose to go back to a former state of the map, which corresponds to the state of the universe back then. This could perhaps be handled like the overflow zones, where they are region wide, and spawn “as needed”, but still shared with other players. IMO, this ability only really needs to be available at a per-season level, and can wait for the end of the season to be able to “go back”. I get very annoyed how I’ve killed Zhaitan several times, yet he’s still spawning Risen all over Tyria.

After each season… take a break. Let people blow off steam. Have some of the non-story fun events, like SAB or Zephyr Sanctum. Maybe put out a teaser for the next season.

Big rewards should be for participating in the season. Each episode can contribute to the season progress, but you should be able to still “skim” some chapters. This allows you to still put out the nifty skins and back items, but at a slower pace, and give people time to build for them. How many back skins do we really need?

Where the Metaphor breaks down
People like having choices in games. TV/Books typically do not allow for this.
However, following the current personal story model, there could be 2-3 “paths” for any given stage, which diverge and contract at various time. Someone can play through once, and have “experienced” the story, but then later come and play through again, for some alternative flavor.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Vox Hollow.2736

Vox Hollow.2736

What aspects of your favorite television shows would you think would be cool to see reflected in a game medium?

TV Shows with No Main Character

When the show is basically a series of character-driven interactions that slowly unveils the mysteries of the world, with episodes focusing on the perspective of different characters in an ensemble cast.

Examples of this are the anime Baccano! or HBO’s Game of Thrones.

How this translates from one medium to another is that the instead of being a viewer a player would be one of the ensemble cast. The player writes elements in the story by interacting with NPCs via the Personality System. But all the other NPC characters interacting with eachother each have an equal say in how a story unfolds, so the player is ultimately playing a largely linear story written by the other NPC characters.

This also means the same NPC can’t be the force driving the story forward for too long, and a player needs to spend time with multiple NPCs instead of going back to same one over and over again. Driving the story forward is a burden that has to be shared by ‘buddying up’ with multiple NPCs, for reasons that make sense with their motives and personalities.

________________________________________________________________

Using the Dragonbash Murder Mystery as an example.
Which already did a pretty good job of using multiple characters that were driven by their motives and did actions that made sense with their personalities.

How it actually panned out:
- Witness the Murder
- Meet Marjory
- Speak to NPCs, having Personality driven responses
- Bring Kiel along to beatdown suspect in a dungeon fight and ultimately arrest them.

How I’d revise it:
Charisma
- Witness the Murder
- Meet Marjory
- Speak to NPCs gaining immediate cooperation
- Go into dungeon with several NPC guards on loan from the dignitaries you just spoke with and attempt to reason with Mai Trin, ending up in a fight. Horrik will surrender after Mai Trin goes down instead of needing to be fought.

Ferocity
- Witness the Murder
- Meet Marjory
- Fight the NPCs
- Forge off into the dungeon on your own for vigilante justice and have to be stopped just short of killing Mai Trin by Kiel who needs her for due process.

Dignity
- Witness the Murder
- Meet Marjory
- Splits half the list of suspects with Marjory only having to do the last 2
- Bring Kiel along to beatdown suspect in a dungeon fight and ultimately arrest them.

And that changes how these NPCs interact with you in the future. Like;

  • During the election Kiel would treat Ferocity players differently, maybe trying to clear the air, but they could still ultimately choose to vote for her or not vote for her.
  • If in the future Mai Trin made a reappearance, Charisma players would be able to skip a story step by asking Horrik chilling out in a Lionguard prison what information he knows.
  • If Marjory came back again with a new mystery she might be well aware Dignity players aren’t likely to do much groundwork, and instead asks them to do an entirely different story step.

The events are still predetermined with the same big picture end-result, but through the personality system the player becomes a character other characters are interacting with instead of just sort of being along for the ride.

(edited by Vox Hollow.2736)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: minbariguy.7504

minbariguy.7504

If you are going for the dramatic impact of a television show, you are going to have to find a way to do more high-quality cinematics at key story points — something you have already said takes too much time and resources (which, of course, is true if you are going to insist on a 2-week release schedule that many people do not want). If you want your in-game story to have impact, website stories are not going to cut it.

Also, while we should certainly find ourselves wondering what is going to happen next in the story (that’s half the fun of any story, right?) we should never find ourselves wondering what the heck is going on right now, or what we are supposed to be doing. Similarly, we should seldom find ourselves wondering how large chunks of the story even connect to each other.

Of course, all of this is assuming that I will even log in to play a Living Story chapter, which, presently, I won’t. As I’ve said many times, the 2-week pace is too fast, and forces people to rush to play the game your way, on your schedule.

And that…is a deal-breaker.

If you cannot find a way to either allow us to play through at least the MAJOR points of a Living Story chapter at our own pace, then this is simply not a game I see myself playing in the future.

Then there’s the matter of disappearing rewards that people who were not able to play during those 2 weeks are no longer able to earn. I shudder to suggest yet another form of currency here, but…can’t we do something like make all the current and past Living Story rewards (skins, minipets, etc.) available from an NPC Living Story merchant, similar to a karma vendor?

I get that you want everyone to have their Super Special Stuff that says “I was there!”, but the reality is that the ONLY people who like this are the ones holding on to their Super Special Stuff.

To all those who were excluded from an event through no fault of their own, what it actually says is:

“I was there! And you weren’t.

(edited by minbariguy.7504)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: perilisk.1874

perilisk.1874

Keeping it short (per-point, anyway):

  • It’s a hell of a lot to keep up with for casuals/part-timers.
  • Permanently missing out on things might pressure (term chosen advisedly) players into sticking around, but discourages people from joining/returning too.
  • Moderate alt-friendliness and profession/race differentiation is probably more conducive to stickiness.
  • Need some way for people to catch up on story — TV shows relying on past episodes often start out with something like “previously, on Living World”, with some explanatory clips.
  • Scarlet is a plot device, not a character. Unlike Story Dungeons or (some of) the Personal Story, the bulk of LW gameplay doesn’t involve decent, visible characters. Fine for, say, SAB or Teq 2.0, but not for the other updates.
  • Storywise, better to add depth and detail to existing lore, factions, characters; not just add random new things for the sake of having something new.
  • Only persistent character in story is player avatar (and Tyria itself); need to work around it — turn avatar into a character by developing relationships with LW characters, or something.
  • Too much emphasis on extrinsic rather than intrinsic rewards. You shouldn’t have to bribe people to do something new and fun. If you do, maybe it’s not as fun as you think.
  • Recommend a one or even two-month cycle with bigger, tighter LW; but release each episode in phases like Halloween 2012 to keep things fresh while still allowing ample time.
  • Maybe have some phase gating based on difficult server-wide achievement, to increase ownership of content and sever camaraderie.
  • Some sort of way to store fluff items like Tassi’s relay golem without using bank space would be nice (like the Personal Story trophies)

Re: Colin’s TV question. The Story Dungeon arc was pretty good (aside from the player being sort of a sixth wheel). Putting the player into a small, recurrent group like DE (say, Pact special forces), sending them on missions, and developing player-NPC relationships over time might result in stronger content. It could also lead into a GW1-lite situation, where NPCs in instances can be a powerful, helpful hero, or get downgraded to scenery as more players are involved.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: BobbyStein

Previous

BobbyStein

Guild Wars 2 Lead Writer

Next

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who posted constructive and/or detailed feedback regarding the Living World story and characters in this thread. While I can’t post spoilers about future content, I would like to address some of the opinions that have been brought up. Bear in mind I may have touched upon these topics in other threads that were tied to previous releases (or mentioned within interviews on external Web sites) but I’ll put my most recent thoughts here for discussion.

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly and/or that the themes and plots feel disjointed between releases. I somewhat agree with this sentiment.

We took a long time to build up the various alliances before we revealed Scarlet’s involvement. Some of this was due to factors external to the team, but some was by design. We first wanted to show changes in the open world with “teaser” content like in the Flame & Frost releases and then add the bigger content later once the teams and development pipelines were up to speed.

One of the challenges of the semi-monthly release cycle is that we’re limited in how much content we can put inside each one. This can be a good thing if the story is very focused and doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. The problem we ran into is that we needed to develop a larger cast of non-player characters to account for every playable race, and then create the content in which to put them. That sort of build up takes time and incurs an amount of long-term development debt.

The end goal was to have multiple arcs going simultaneously like on more modern television shows, but where a weekly drama might have 20 – 40 minutes of character time to get things moving, we have maybe half that (or less). So after a few releases it started to feel like there were a lot of unresolved plot threads out there and you (the player) had no way of knowing which ones would be resumed.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to start and resolve each arc before introducing another.

The upside to all of this is that we are aware of the items that we introduced but haven’t finished yet. We’re planning on resolving as much as we can by the time the Scarlet arc concludes. (Yes, there will be a conclusion.)

Scarlet
If memory serves me, we foreshadowed Scarlet’s existence through a comment Mai Trin made during one of the summer releases. This got some folks speculating on who she was, her part in all the attacks, etc. Scarlet debuted in August during the Queen’s Jubilee and has continued to make appearances here and there that slowly reveal her role in the overall plot.

The operative word here is “slowly” and judging from all the responses, many feel that the plot is moving ahead at a glacial pace. That Scarlet is nothing more than a cardboard cutout villain.

I will readily acknowledge that her presentation has elicited some strong reactions in the community. Some people love her. Others hate her. While that kind of polarizing view can sometimes be an asset, it brings some polarizing baggage to the conversation every time her name is brought up. Here’s where I think we could have done a better job with her.

  • Tone: Scarlet is crazy, but she sometimes comes off as over-the-top and madcap. While that works in a lot of scenarios, it’s not something that’s been extensively explored inside of Guild Wars 2 before. There is a reason to her madness but we haven’t revealed it yet. Perhaps it would have suited her character better to have shown that somewhere alongside her introduction. Scope had something to do with it in her debut, but honestly we knew she would be featured in multiple future releases so…
  • Pacing: …we made the conscious decision to pace out her character development over multiple game builds. In other words, we haven’t gotten to that part of her story yet, but since nobody outside the building has an idea of what’s to come I can understand the reactions that she’s “one-dimensional” or conveniently powerful. We’re aware of the perception and feel that future releases will have content that develops her character.

Dragons
Guild Wars 2 has a dragon on the box cover. The primary motivation for players on their 80-level journey is to kill a dragon. So yeah, giant, winged beasts are a part of Tyria, they’re core to the game, and we haven’t forgotten about them. That stated, I can’t say when we’ll return to them—only that we will. There is a plan in place.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: BobbyStein

Previous

BobbyStein

Guild Wars 2 Lead Writer

Next

Player Agency
For many players, their feelings of “playing second fiddle” likely began with Trahearne’s introduction in the Personal Story and have persisted somewhat with the Living World releases. This is partially by design and partially due to constraints both budgetary and technical. The quote below is from a forum response I posted after launch.

“Q:What do you guys think about the incredible negative feedback you got for Trahearne?
A:Narrative Designer Scott McGough and I talked about this very topic some time ago. In short, Trahearne was intended to fill a very specific role that, in terms of both gameplay and story, the PC could not fill—an order-neutral character with extensive knowledge about Orr and the magic of undeath who could coordinate a global war effort and make the necessary plans, thus leaving the actual gameplay up to the player. Further, Trahearne’s character design was intentional in that he would be a reluctant hero who, through interacting with the player, evolved into someone who could step up to lead the Pact.

This didn’t resonate well with some players for a variety of reasons. We’re comparing external feedback with our own, since we have plans for Trahearne and other existing characters in future live updates and expansion content. We won’t spoil what we’re discussing, other than to say we’re looking at many different options for his current implementation and beyond.”

In regards to the Living World constraints, there are a few factors at play that prevent the player from speaking:

  • With our current tech, the PC cannot speak outside of a cinematic conversation (which were featured inside the Personal Story at ship) or contextual chatter (crippled = “My leg!”). We intend to explore possible solutions in the somewhat near future.
  • Our revised cinematic technology does not currently support player voice variants (i.e. 10 different PC voices).
  • The text of every player line has to be translated 10 times per language to account for each player race/gender combination.
  • The VO of every player line has to then be recorded 10 times per voiced language. (In other words, it’s freakishly expensive to voice the PC as 1 PC line in English = 10 English voiced lines + 10 German voiced lines, etc.).
    That stated, the player doesn’t need VO in order to have agency in the story but we are limited in what we can track since it gets added to the player’s record, which is already large.

We have a few things planned for upcoming releases that should make the player feel like more of a driver and less of a passenger, but please remember that it takes upwards of four months for content to go from concept to completion. Nothing I say here will happen immediately due to the nature of how we build things.

Thanks much.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Randulf.7614

Randulf.7614

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly and/or that the themes and plots feel disjointed between releases. I somewhat agree with this sentiment.

We took a long time to build up the various alliances before we revealed Scarlet’s involvement. Some of this was due to factors external to the team, but some was by design. We first wanted to show changes in the open world with “teaser” content like in the Flame & Frost releases and then add the bigger content later once the teams and development pipelines were up to speed.

One of the challenges of the semi-monthly release cycle is that we’re limited in how much content we can put inside each one. This can be a good thing if the story is very focused and doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. The problem we ran into is that we needed to develop a larger cast of non-player characters to account for every playable race, and then create the content in which to put them. That sort of build up takes time and incurs an amount of long-term development debt.

The end goal was to have multiple arcs going simultaneously like on more modern television shows, but where a weekly drama might have 20 – 40 minutes of character time to get things moving, we have maybe half that (or less). So after a few releases it started to feel like there were a lot of unresolved plot threads out there and you (the player) had no way of knowing which ones would be resumed.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to start and resolve each arc before introducing another.

The upside to all of this is that we are aware of the items that we introduced but haven’t finished yet. We’re planning on resolving as much as we can by the time the Scarlet arc concludes. (Yes, there will be a conclusion.)

Dragons
Guild Wars 2 has a dragon on the box cover. The primary motivation for players on their 80-level journey is to kill a dragon. So yeah, giant, winged beasts are a part of Tyria, they’re core to the game, and we haven’t forgotten about them. That stated, I can’t say when we’ll return to them—only that we will. There is a plan in place.

It’s possible it worth reading out the storyline as it unfolds to someone in private, much like authors do with a family member/friends. It seems what you are saying is that looking from your perspective the story meshes ( a good sign for things to come), but it isn’t unfolding that way fro us. Bouncing a chapter story off someone not involved directly with the project like a family member/trustowrthy friend for eg would help give the perspective we have without giving away spoilers for us.

Glad to hear dragons are somewhere on the agenda!

Twilight Gathering (Gunnars Hold)
No sparkly vampires

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Psycho Robot.7835

Psycho Robot.7835

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly

Wait, what? Too slow? Is that what you got from the past 10 pages? All I see is person after person saying that the pace is too fast. Its nearly unanimous so far that the development feels rushed, and its not flushed out or properly refined. Plus, even the people who do feel that its too slow likely only feel like that because there is actually very little story in each patch. If you slowed down you could actually give enough story in a patch to last for a month, rather than deal with time constraints so overbearing that you can’t even fill two weeks worth.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Faowri.4159

Faowri.4159

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly

Wait, what? Too slow? Is that what you got from the past 10 pages? All I see is person after person saying that the pace is too fast. Its nearly unanimous so far that the development feels rushed, and its not flushed out or properly refined. Plus, even the people who do feel that its too slow likely only feel like that because there is actually very little story in each patch. If you slowed down you could actually give enough story in a patch to last for a month, rather than deal with time constraints so overbearing that you can’t even fill two weeks worth.

I think what Bobby meant was the pace of the story is too slow. Separate issue to the pace of releases.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: BobbyStein

Previous

BobbyStein

Guild Wars 2 Lead Writer

Next

It’s possible it worth reading out the storyline as it unfolds to someone in private, much like authors do with a family member/friends.

We do table reads for our voiced content, and review plot points with each feature team at the outset. Things often change or are adjusted as development goes on, so some of what you’ve seen so far deviates from our original plan due to a variety of circumstances.

It seems what you are saying is that looking from your perspective the story meshes ( a good sign for things to come), but it isn’t unfolding that way fro us. Bouncing a chapter story off someone not involved directly with the project like a family member/trustowrthy friend for eg would help give the perspective we have without giving away spoilers for us.

Kind of like a usability test. Not a bad idea.

Glad to hear dragons are somewhere on the agenda!

Me, too!

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: BobbyStein

Previous

BobbyStein

Guild Wars 2 Lead Writer

Next

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly

Wait, what? Too slow? Is that what you got from the past 10 pages? All I see is person after person saying that the pace is too fast. Its nearly unanimous so far that the development feels rushed, and its not flushed out or properly refined. Plus, even the people who do feel that its too slow likely only feel like that because there is actually very little story in each patch. If you slowed down you could actually give enough story in a patch to last for a month, rather than deal with time constraints so overbearing that you can’t even fill two weeks worth.

I think what Bobby meant was the pace of the story is too slow. Separate issue to the pace of releases.

Correct. I’m talking about story pacing, not release pacing. Big difference!

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Morfedel.4165

Morfedel.4165

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who posted constructive and/or detailed feedback regarding the Living World story and characters in this thread. While I can’t post spoilers about future content, I would like to address some of the opinions that have been brought up.

Dragons
Guild Wars 2 has a dragon on the box cover. The primary motivation for players on their 80-level journey is to kill a dragon. So yeah, giant, winged beasts are a part of Tyria, they’re core to the game, and we haven’t forgotten about them. That stated, I can’t say when we’ll return to them—only that we will. There is a plan in place.

And that’s what I wanted to hear. I am sorry if I was a bit of a jerk, but I’d read from several sources over the last several months things like "a new campaign isn’t being planned at this time, " or somesuch.

This was very discouraging. If you guys have something in the works, even if its too early to announce anything, well, that makes me happy.

So, sorry if I WASN’T one of those with positive feedback.

Anyway. To be honest I AM enjoying the LW stuff, at least some of it, and at least a little. So, its got some good to it, and that’s good in and of itself.

Your touching on pacing is important though. The two week release is good… but it feels like some story elements are glacially slow and needs to be revealed sooner. See, in TV, we have significant plot elements revealed in an hour’s time frame, with commercial breaks.

Here, we get some playable content…. but very little advancement to the plot, especially considering two weeks before the next “episode.” I DO want more activities, don’t get me wrong, but I want a little faster story development too, a bit more revealed.

Anyway. My real desire is dragons and new regions opened up heh. You working on those, even if its some time off, and I’ll be happy

Oh, and BTW – I don’t have a problem with Scarlet at all. Furthermore… her “I know more about you than Faolin, does that mean we’re dating?” Had me roaring with laughter!

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: EverythingXen.1835

EverythingXen.1835

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who posted constructive and/or detailed feedback regarding the Living World story and characters in this thread. While I can’t post spoilers about future content, I would like to address some of the opinions that have been brought up. Bear in mind I may have touched upon these topics in other threads that were tied to previous releases (or mentioned within interviews on external Web sites) but I’ll put my most recent thoughts here for discussion.

Story Pacing & Continuity
There are some folks who feel that the Living World story is moving too slowly and/or that the themes and plots feel disjointed between releases. I somewhat agree with this sentiment.

We took a long time to build up the various alliances before we revealed Scarlet’s involvement. Some of this was due to factors external to the team, but some was by design. We first wanted to show changes in the open world with “teaser” content like in the Flame & Frost releases and then add the bigger content later once the teams and development pipelines were up to speed.

One of the challenges of the semi-monthly release cycle is that we’re limited in how much content we can put inside each one. This can be a good thing if the story is very focused and doesn’t have a lot of moving parts. The problem we ran into is that we needed to develop a larger cast of non-player characters to account for every playable race, and then create the content in which to put them. That sort of build up takes time and incurs an amount of long-term development debt.

The end goal was to have multiple arcs going simultaneously like on more modern television shows, but where a weekly drama might have 20 – 40 minutes of character time to get things moving, we have maybe half that (or less). So after a few releases it started to feel like there were a lot of unresolved plot threads out there and you (the player) had no way of knowing which ones would be resumed.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to start and resolve each arc before introducing another.

The upside to all of this is that we are aware of the items that we introduced but haven’t finished yet. We’re planning on resolving as much as we can by the time the Scarlet arc concludes. (Yes, there will be a conclusion.)

This is what I dont get. I dont see the cadence of releases as a challenge. To be blunt, I see it as Anet cutting off their nose to spite their face (to incorrectly use the analogy).

This game is huge. If the next part of the Living Story has a lot of content in it, hold off for weeks and put it in! There’s a WvW Season that can take up my playtime. I’ve got alts I want to gear and level. I have sPvP to attempt to stop sucking at. There is so much other content that ISNT Living Story to keep, at least myself, occupied.

And if I know there’s a good, fleshed out “chapter” on the way, the anticipation for the next one will be much higher… especially now.

(edited by EverythingXen.1835)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Chlupac.4936

Chlupac.4936

Just a few words I would like to say. I don’t think it’s necessary to write two pages about things that already has been said – it’s supposed to be discussion! :-/

It all started as “Living Story”, but than after some time the story element almost disappeared and now it’s called “Living World”.
In my opinion these are 2 different things -but both really important for success.

Living World is something that was promised to players since the begining – one action leading to another with visible impact on the world.
That is almost what events does and should do. We were promised event chains that can go on even for weeks or whole month. Most of those events are there, but just not connected as they should be and they reset all the time so players can run them again – or they ignore them totally.
This could be accomplished by adding just a few large event chains with some greater impact and connect them to event’s that are already in game. In the time you could always slowly expand this by adding something new.
For example the Fort Salma events or events in Gendarran field are a good start! I really really love those, because I can see all those things happening and I can try to change the outcome of those events.
BUT those chains are too short with no long-term impact.
Maybe a not bad idea to think about is to enhance this to war of “fractions” – where players would get penalties or rewards for keeping other fractions at minimum influence – like svanirs, centaurs, risen and you could see on some special map what areas they do control, where are their outposts and with help of the event system fight for those territories – which is also not a bad idea to attract players to all-lvl zones.

Living Story – for me it’s all about the story in the game. I do like frequency of the new patches, but you should not try to make everyone so “big and cool”.
Make 1-3 just as small one’s – preparing us and the world for the main thing (like chopping those forests in Kessex, adding few NPC’s talking about something that they saw/heared etc.), move it slowly forward and than tell us the story!

so… the last update is looking good so far!!!

I think it’s important to think about this as 2 different aspects – LS =/ LW.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Psycho Robot.7835

Psycho Robot.7835

I’m sorry for my mistake. Its just frustrating when you feel this game’s biggest problem is the self-imposed two week release cycle, yet you hear the devs talking about speeding things up.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Nike.2631

Nike.2631

So, you know there are DIRE problems with both your Sylvari wunderkin…
…But you’re pressing forward with them anyway.

This dialogue we’re having… It’s not really reassuring me that you’re hearing us .

(Hint for shuffling Trahearn off stage forever – his great spell in the artisan source? It withers if he leaves Orr for more than a week or so. Our illustrious commander can never leave if he is to keep his great victory. Its time for the three order leaders to be treated as more than squabbling 8 year olds and move forward together – WITHOUT a messianic stand-in.)

You say "We took a long time to build up the various alliances before we revealed Scarlet’s involvement. " How so? From my perspective the Molten alliance got some sound development via tidbits in the dead drops, and various other sources of in game dialogue, but the Aetherblades basically sprung so fully formed on to the scene I largely assumed they were from a parallel universe or future timeline. The ‘build-up’ to the watch-knights was all of about 20 seconds long and about as predictable as the sun rising and setting. The Toxic Alliance… well, now pretty much every character that has anything to say about them is hanging a lampshade on how preposterous the combination appears even to the character in-setting. They at least had 2 weeks of properly subtle foreshadowing and we’re having to sing the praises of that modest effort because its that much better than what has become your standard.

(edited by Nike.2631)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: perilisk.1874

perilisk.1874

Player Agency
In short, Trahearne was intended to fill a very specific role that, in terms of both gameplay and story, the PC could not fill—an order-neutral character with extensive knowledge about Orr and the magic of undeath who could coordinate a global war effort and make the necessary plans, thus leaving the actual gameplay up to the player.

As true as that is, I think it really comes to the difference between being a superior and being an advisor.

Meaning, compare:

Trahearne: “Undead magic works like this, so we should do that.”
Player: “Ok, boss.”

with

Trahearne: “Undead magic works like this”.
Player character: “If what you say is true, then we can do that.”
Trahearne: “Hey, good idea.”

Player doesn’t decide anything, of course, but player -character- is still central.

As for Order-neutral, you could have-had a single junction point at the end of the Order-specific arc where a small group of forces from the three Orders get backed into the same corner and learn to survive by working together under the player’s leadership, and that battle forms the core of the Pact. Then the next arc would be bringing people from outside that battle on board with the idea.

Really, Trahearne’s story should have been separate from, but entertwined with the Pact and Personal story (like Destiny’s Edge). It could have even been a different mode (as DE was Story Dungeon mode). Have him relay his knowledge of Orr in the form of flashbacks, like the books in GW1 where you replayed the experiences of a lore character through their eyes, and with their abilities. Maybe if people -were- Trahearne while he was stealing the spotlight, they wouldn’t mind so much.

Anyway, that was more on the topic of Personal Story than Living Story, but many of the points carry over.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Morfedel.4165

Morfedel.4165

I will add that, with a Living World concept, I’d like to see some permanent changes: some content changed “Those kitten ed Aetherblades burned down a whole section of Caledon Forest, and now the Nightmare Court are… replanting…. that area…..”

Or new regions opened up. IE Southsun Cove, only as an important place to go visit rather than a side trip kind of thing. “So, there’s a cave that opened up that might eventually open up to the Deldrimor front. Destroyers infest it, and you can actually HEAR Primordis and the Dwarves fighting from vents leading far below…. Anyway, there are some merchants there selling some unusual things you cannot find anywhere else….”

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Phenn.5167

Phenn.5167

~snip~

The end goal was to have multiple arcs going simultaneously like on more modern television shows, but where a weekly drama might have 20 – 40 minutes of character time to get things moving, we have maybe half that (or less). So after a few releases it started to feel like there were a lot of unresolved plot threads out there and you (the player) had no way of knowing which ones would be resumed.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to start and resolve each arc before introducing another.

I’m glad that it’s becoming obvious, but yes, this was a rather poor decision. When it comes to a book or a TV show, the reader/watcher fully expects to have details revealed in a slower process. That’s part of what makes people keep reading/watching.

When in it comes to a video game, however, players need to be motivated to participate in what’s immediately in front of them. For that to happen, the particular instance of the story needs to have reasons and logic for the player to want to take part in that instance. So you have to accelerate the characterization and/or introduce other plot elements that will contribute toward this story-motivation.

Ultimately, yes—introduce one storyline at a time and develop that. It’ll hook and hold players far better.

~snip~

  • Pacing: …we made the conscious decision to pace out her character development over multiple game builds. In other words, we haven’t gotten to that part of her story yet, but since nobody outside the building has an idea of what’s to come I can understand the reactions that she’s “one-dimensional” or conveniently powerful. We’re aware of the perception and feel that future releases will have content that develops her character.

Along the lines of what I mentioned above, if the desire is for players to want to get in Scarlet’s face and stop her shenanigans, the player has to be given a reason to do it. At the moment, the lack of development in the name of drawn-out character development results in a flat character not worth the time of day. She’s comical, and thus, easily written off.

Once a Necro, always a Necro.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Morfedel.4165

Morfedel.4165

Player Agency
In short, Trahearne was intended to fill a very specific role that, in terms of both gameplay and story, the PC could not fill—an order-neutral character with extensive knowledge about Orr and the magic of undeath who could coordinate a global war effort and make the necessary plans, thus leaving the actual gameplay up to the player.

As true as that is, I think it really comes to the difference between being a superior and being an advisor.

Meaning, compare:

Trahearne: “Undead magic works like this, so we should do that.”
Player: “Ok, boss.”

with

Trahearne: “Undead magic works like this”.
Player character: “If what you say is true, then we can do that.”
Trahearne: “Hey, good idea.”

Player doesn’t decide anything, of course, but player -character- is still central.

As for Order-neutral, you could have-had a single junction point at the end of the Order-specific arc where a small group of forces from the three Orders get backed into the same corner and learn to survive by working together under the player’s leadership, and that battle forms the core of the Pact. Then the next arc would be bringing people from outside that battle on board with the idea.

Really, Trahearne’s story should have been separate from, but entertwined with the Pact and Personal story (like Destiny’s Edge). It could have even been a different mode (as DE was Story Dungeon mode). Have him relay his knowledge of Orr in the form of flashbacks, like the books in GW1 where you replayed the experiences of a lore character through their eyes, and with their abilities. Maybe if people -were- Trahearne while he was stealing the spotlight, they wouldn’t mind so much.

Anyway, that was more on the topic of Personal Story than Living Story, but many of the points carry over.

This. This could have been implemented too; Trahaern as advisor rather than general. And your role with one of the three orders?

“Sir, if you are to lead the entire alliance, you cannot be seen favoring one over the others.”

“You’re right, of course. I’ll remove myself – the defeat of the Dragon is far more important!”

I think with a little care and forethought, it could have been worked differently even with the technological limitations – just rethink the relationships. Even if it was a tiny bit unrealistic in some regards, the fact YOU are the hero would have made it far more palatable than merely being the second in command for the hero of the story.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Faowri.4159

Faowri.4159

Player Agency
<snip>

I think the main thing I’d say on this topic is that even if it’s hard for technical reasons to have the player character central to and fully voiced in cutscenes, sometimes the plot could have been restructured to allow the player character to take a more central role.

We often become personal assistants to the latest NPC in each story release, but I think you could attain a lot more player agency if the NPCs helped us. Like, we stumble across evidence of the Bloody Prince and then accidentally dig him up. We start investigating a murder we witnessed, because the NPCs recognise we’ve accomplished a lot of stuff and can probably handle it.

It’s a subtle reframing, but one that could potentially be quite powerful – especially if we can get technical improvements that will allow our characters to be voiced and active in the story-related content in the future.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Morfedel.4165

Morfedel.4165

Player Agency
<snip>

I think the main thing I’d say on this topic is that even if it’s hard for technical reasons to have the player character central to and fully voiced in cutscenes, sometimes the plot could have been restructured to allow the player character to take a more central role.

We often become personal assistants to the latest NPC in each story release, but I think you could attain a lot more player agency if the NPCs helped us. Like, we stumble across evidence of the Bloody Prince and then accidentally dig him up. We start investigating a murder we witnessed, because the NPCs recognise we’ve accomplished a lot of stuff and can probably handle it.

It’s a subtle reframing, but one that could potentially be quite powerful – especially if we can get technical improvements that will allow our characters to be voiced and active in the story-related content in the future.

Again, this!

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: cesmode.4257

cesmode.4257

@BobbyStein: Thanks for taking the time to write up that post.

Concerning story pace..good topic and thank you for that explanation. Understandable that there is a lot that goes into concept to production. Completely understand. And it is understandable that there are significant financial woes that would go into it, via multi-language translating.

The problem I then have with all of this DOES fall back to the pace of the releases. We the players, from the looks of things around here, would rather have cinematics and story telling similar to our personal stories. They were well told and we were engaged. If your current 2 week cadence is too fast where you do not have the budget to pay for all of the development and translating, then the release pace is too fast. If your budget does not allow you to give us the quality that we want, then your release pace is too fast. If you are having technical issues with having the PC take on more of the hero role without the gap-filler of trahearne in a Living Story setting, then your release pace is too fast.

I for one would rather Arenanet take its time with the story, and give me chunks of it every one, two, or even three months with quality cinematic story telling…rather than crumbs of story telling via a paragraph or two in a mail in game, a sentence or two on my HUD, and a brief dialogue exchange via some NPCs.

Arenanet is now open to soliciting our feedback on a grander scale, as evident in this developer(director) created thread. Take it a step further, give us a poll… 1-3 month cadence with storytelling via cinematic or two week cadence with bread crumbs story telling.

So in short: release cadence and storytelling cadence go hand in hand even with budget constraints. My theme in this thread all along has been this: Take your time, give us quality stuff. Id rather wait than have things shoved in my face every 2 weeks without getting a chance to peel back the layers of the onion on my own time and at my own pace.

Thats the best I can do to explain it.

Thanks!

Karma is as abundant as air, and as useless as the Kardashians.

(edited by cesmode.4257)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: perilisk.1874

perilisk.1874

Player Agency
<snip>

We often become personal assistants to the latest NPC in each story release, but I think you could attain a lot more player agency if the NPCs helped us. Like, we stumble across evidence of the Bloody Prince and then accidentally dig him up. We start investigating a murder we witnessed, because the NPCs recognise we’ve accomplished a lot of stuff and can probably handle it.

One thing they could do is put a fair amount of stuff into different areas of the game so that you run into it in normal gameplay (doors or candy nodes for halloween, for example). Then, with PC having seen something amiss, have a go-to character in the personal instance (across all LW content) who can do research and give the player character enough direction that they can take it from there.

Lore Guy: “The phenomenon you describe seems to be related to Mad King Thorn, though it’s unlike what we’ve seen in recent years. I contacted the Priory, and they informed me that their resident expert on the Thorns is currently on an expedition, investigating the Nolani Ruins in the Black Citadel. I suggest you confer with her for more information.”

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: Guhracie.3419

Guhracie.3419

Without a powerhouse of ensemble-cast writing at your disposal (I’m talking about the calibre of Aaron Sorkin or J. Michael Straczynski, or even Joss Whedon), it’s pretty ill-advised to try and take that on in the gaming medium. Particularly when you’re not even utilizing the game mechanics to tell those stories. If I watched a TV show that required me to visit a website to get essential exposition to the story, I’d never go anywhere near it. That is sloppy handling. There’s a difference between having extra tidbits on a website and key plot elements there.

I agree with many other people who are saying that the way in which the player character interacts with the story could be improved to make the player the focus of the story.

Also, the idea of having these multiple stories play out at the same time… by the time you get back to one thread, I’ve forgotten about it. You’re absolutely right that the pacing of the storytelling is too slow. I’ve not only forgotten about it, I’ve forgotten about why I should care enough to refresh my memory.

I also think it would be really good to have a sort of “previously on GW2” to more easily link how the stories connect. I don’t know how that might be implemented, but it would go far to diminish that sense of, “I wasn’t here for the previous six parts of this story, so why bother with this one?”