Showing Posts For ColinJohanson.2394:

Thank you from Digital Professional Sports!

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Thank YOU for helping make the tournaments of legends!

Feedback/Questions: MegaServer

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Just want to quickly add for those who missed it, we’ll be covering the answers to the bulk of the questions in this thread in the blogs over the next two days after today.

We’ll also continue to monitor and adapt the megaserver system once it’s fully enabled to ensure it provides the best experience possible, so once you’ve seen it in action please make sure to leave comments, feedback, and suggestions as always!

Megaservers and RP

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

To maximize your odds of running into other RP players more often, you’ll want to make sure you’re on the same world (generally TC and Piken are viewed as the RP worlds), and in guilds with other RP members also on that same world. For example, everyone from TC currently will be set to high priority to sort together, same thing goes with people who are all a part of the same guild (so guild up RP folks!)

We’ll continue to monitor, adapt and update the system as we go forward as well, for now I’d suggest seeing how it works once we enable the mega server system across all maps and then giving comments and feedback when you see it in action!

(edited to add Piken!)

(edited by ColinJohanson.2394)

Narrative Lessons From 15 Months of Scarlet

in Living World Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Great post! Though we did a CDI to discuss Living World and covered many of these topics and concerns in there as well, I think it’s always good to stop and brainstorm and give feedback on how to improve the living world experience. A lot of very valid points in there, and things we generally agree with as well in retrospect on season 1.

Constructive criticism with great feedback and suggestions is exactly what these forums exist for, +1 to you OP!

"Expansion sized" patch

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

We’ll go into more detail soon, just to re-iterate so it’s clear:

“The next round of major features will be bundled together into a large “feature only” release that will come after the first season of the Living World 2014 has finished.”

A feature release is not an expansion, it’s a release focused on game features. Examples of game features we’ve done in the past would be: guild missions, account achievement system, spectator mode, new pvp maps, daily world boss chests, removing culling and giving visibility options, the WvW WxP system, etc.

**Spoiler** What did scarlet do?

in Battle for Lion’s Arch - Aftermath

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Mordremoth.

I just have to wonder how Colin thought this was a “one in a million” prediction.

As resident Colin, I said this back when the world thought it was Primordus or a time travel story line, as more clues came out the theories got MUCH more correct, by mid-february the correct theories were certainly far more plentiful. Also the one in 10-20K number was about the entire story in the final 2 releases, not just one specific part of the ending. Only a couple of folks correctly guessed LA getting nuked before we gave any of the hints for example.

Above all else, I just want to say how much fun it has been watching everyone theorize over the last few months. It’s one of the coolest parts of the living world experience to me. Where it goes from here….well you’ll just have to wait to find out!

Collaborative Development: Ladders & Seasons

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Colin im going to let you in on a secret that is worth tens of thousands of dollars, but since I like you ill give it to you for free.

Put in capes and the people will come. Especially good trimmed capes for the upper tiers.

Everyone will be jelly and want to know how to get one and if you can only get them through pvp people will come. So they would be good rewards.

I love me some capes, agreed!

Collaborative Development: Ladders & Seasons

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Not sure if this is the right thread to say it, but the major problem of why i don’t like pvp is because isn’t a complete deathmatch. It’s a team effort to capture things instead of a war to kill the other team before yours die. I’d love an Arena of 1vs1 deathmatch or something like that, with no teams.

Technically it isn’t no, this is a thread to discuss leagues and ways to accomplish successful leagues. Pop back and read the directions on CDI threads and it’ll help you understand how to use this format. Since you asked nicely, I’ll help you get started on how you could phrase it in a way that’d be ok for this discussion →

- I’d really love to participate in a PvP league, but I simply wouldn’t do so unless it was a death match based league. If it was a death match based league, I’d love to see the league function like this: <your ideas go here using the format on page 1>

Thanks!

Collaborative Development: Ladders & Seasons

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

How is it that you don’t (or refuse to) understand that good, quality, and well-made pvp will attract players in and off itself, and that rewards should really just be that final cherry on top (unless we’re talking millions of $$$, I guess, but that would still not make a pvp ‘good’), or at least better thought out (prestige/fame bring SO much more to the table than gold/money, although the former shouldn’t preclude the latter, and they are also not mutually exclusive in any kind of manner).

While I agree we still have a lot of work to continue to improve the PvP experience as well, this is a thread dedicated entirely to talking about leagues and how they would function, and my entire post was focused on the discussion of rewards within those leagues.

As for competitive and casual and my definitions, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one! Regardless, I think the more important discussion and the entire point of this thread is: What players do we have who play PvP and how do we make leagues that motivate them, and what players do we have who don’t currently play PvP who would: and how do we motivate them.

While I understand your point and think discussions around game modes and types that can succeed is a great topic for us to continue to discuss, since we’ve done so once already, I’d encourage you to remember the goal of this CDI discussion. Remember, this is your chance to discuss leagues (and in particular, my question was rewards for those leagues) not everything else you have concerns with.

I will add a fun fact: When rewards were updated in December, PvP saw a 40% growth in player numbers that has stayed solid ever since, the largest single jump in player participation in any game content type as a result of an update we’ve ever seen. This growth was almost entirely players who didn’t play PvP before, who suddenly became interested once it was rewarding, and I’d argue it’s not even that rewarding yet. To discount rewards as meaningless might be true to you as a player, but we consistently hear very different feedback from other players, and they make this very clear in their actions. We need to make sure players who truly care about prestige and being the best are catered to, and we need a way for players who aren’t that yet can become excited and invested and someday potentially become part of the first.

I’d encourage you (in this thread) to focus your brainstorming and ideas around how we can make leagues that you’d be excited to play in, since that’s the entire point of this discussion! If prestige/fame is what motivates you for example, tell us what kind of prestige and fame systems you’d like to see in a league?

Collaborative Development: Ladders & Seasons

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Sorry, there is no such thing as a competitive casual player. There is just a casual player who plays to win, and a casual player who plays for fun/to kill time.
Moreover, ‘competitive’ usually implies you also have a regular team you play with, because you cannot really be competitive with 4 deadweights on your team…unless you’re up vs an opponent team of simlar skill level (read pve/beginners).

I think you’re using a different definition of competitive, and casual/hardcore than I would, so by your definition I agree with you, but using my own definitions I do not

We tend to think of our players in various categories, and one of the goals of any league system (or PvP in general) is to try and engage as many of those players as possible, because today’s casual player can be tomorrow’s top tourny player – if they reach the top.

My definitions, and why I think you need to think of rewards that motivate each of these groups to help encourage their participation, since they are often motivated by different things are:

Competitive Hardcore (the guy I set next to at work) – Want to win, and want to be the best. They fight for the top of the ladder, want to win tournaments, and be the best in the world.

Competitive Casual (Me) – Wants to win, don’t care bout being the best in the world and will never have time to do so, won’t ever be on top of the ladder. However, I want to be the best among players of my similar levels of interest/time, so any league that allows me to compete with people of similar skill sets/interest is one I’d participate in. If I have to also fight against the competitive hardcore, I likely wouldn’t participate. Has the potential to someday become competitive hardcore.

Casual (the gal who sits behind me at work) – Wants to play to unlock rewards, doesn’t really think they have a chance of winning or being very good and openly recognize it. Will play as long as the rewards exist, for example there are people who play PvP each day and get their daily, then run off to their next goal some place else in the game. Has the potential to someday become competitive casual.

And ideal league structure would provide motivation for people in each of these groups (by my definition of what they are) to maximize the player participation, and increase the odds that players in each category might move to a more dedicated category of player at some point.

Hope that helps explain in a bit more detail what I’m saying when I say competitive casual, and also what groups I think need to be included in a league structure – and why they may need different rewards based on their different motivations.

CDI- Fractal Evolution

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

But on to the point of explorable modes not being heavily story driven. Why does the new aetherpath in Twilight Arbor still have unskippable cutscenes and needlessly long dialogues? This is a major reason a lot of players avoid the path.

This is a perfect example of why heavily driving a lot of lore and story into something that is intended to be a group re-playable experience isn’t a great idea, and something typically we try and avoid. Thus the challenge here, to get across these cool stories, without the cost of the pacing of the fractal experience!

CDI- Fractal Evolution

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

How about Story Mode fractals, where you could pick a fractal you want to experience. Then upon arriving to said fractal we could experience the story behind thus level hence learning more about the history and idea behind the design of each and every fractal. To make it actually rewarding we could have a achievement system in place for each level, so everyone would play it at least once. And maybe a reward at the end (30s should be sufficient as it would be much shorter than a regular dungeon story mode) and some experience. It would also help new players get a hang of fractals a bit more understanding the layout and mechanics behind every level.

We could do something like this, but when ends up happening is the work involved ends up being a lot of additional work to basically build something people play one or two times and then are done with it. In that time, we could have probably half built another real fractal, which I think probably would be better for the game over-all. Maybe the real question would be → How do we try and get across better lore and stories with the current fractal system?

CDI- Fractal Evolution

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Using fractals to tell story:

Proposal Overview
Fractals should be used to tell as more about the lore/history of Tyria.

Goal of Proposal
Increase the amount of lore used for the fractals and creating new fractals which story and background informations. This is such a good oppertunity to tell us about things that happende before GW2, things that could happen in the future, things of an alternate version of Tyria.

So an interesting challenge we always face when trying to make any type of dungeon content more lore heavy, is they are by their very nature highly repeatable content. Historically our design philosophy around group content that falls into that category is to try and provide enough context for the experience to make sense, but not heavily attempt to tell deep story in these instances.

While the core concept of using fractals to continue to show great moments in the history of Tyria is indeed totally in line with our own thinking as well, the struggle we always face is how much of that story we can really put there. Once you play it once or twice, you really just want to actually play the content and not wait around for all the story moments, scenes, cinematics, etc. This can lead to a problem we used to run into in Gw1 where some people in the party really wanted to see the story, and others had played it before and wanted them to hurry the heck up.

Our work around for this for Thaumanova for example was to provide a story version of it that was around during the living world release with far deeper exposition, and the current fractal version today that tries to focus on the game play. Similarly, story dungeons are really intended to be played a handful of times to get the story, and explorable mode dungeons are very story light since they are intended to be re-playable based on the core content.

What kind of fun ideas can you come up with to help allow us to get more story into the fractal experiences, without the cost of slowing down the core re-playability of the game play that is at the heart of the fractal content?

Collaborative Development: Ladders & Seasons

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

So an open question to add to the brainstorm, when considering leagues rewards is always going to be an important component to driving participation. There is some great ideas in this thread on rewards already, but it’s worth delving deeper into what type of rewards will motivate different types of players in the league structure. Top tier players might be motivated only by $$$ for example, while lower tier players may be driven primarily to earn levels/gold. (These are just random examples)

With that in mind, what rewards would you like to see for a pvp league structure based on player categories who would be motivated by those rewards at different tiers?

I’ll give myself as an example: I consider myself competitive casual. I will never join a top PvP team to compete in tournaments to be the best in the world, I will however play in any solo play league or rated solo play if the rewards are compelling enough. I generally play hot join and custom arenas as my core game mode type.

For me, unique skins for my character that I can only earn from participating in a league structure would be the biggest motivating factor. This would allow me to show off to others that I was there, and also feel like I earned something unique and exciting for my time spent. Similarly, any rewards that help speed my progress towards building a legendary would provide a large amount of motivation for me. And gems would always be nice, can I always seem to be finding more on the gem store I want to buy than my wife will be ok wit

(edited by ColinJohanson.2394)

what characters the developers play?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Sandwichmancer of course.

And it’s super OP right now.

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

  • Adding new content to the existing maps (or re-using existing moments) that serves the purpose of being a bit like skill challenges, content on demand that allows you to overcome challenges to allow you unlock various abilities/masteries.

A bit like skill challenges, but while skill challenges are just “boss” fights, it would be cool if this kind of content generated entire chains of events with some more gameplay diversity and an interesting scenario behind them.

A lot of the ideas boiled down into variations of one of these two options, and really both have a lot of cool concepts and ideas. Can folks think of anything else that’s a bit more outside the box for something bigger?

Remember GW1’s Hall of Monuments, where the winning team got a game-wide chat message announcing their victory? Using that as an inspiration, but thinking of something completely different (without involving pvp), what about some content being unlocked at the end of epic dynamic events, and rewarding access to unique content?

But hey, this already happens with some mini-dungeons, don’t they? Maybe this concept could be expanded upon.

CONCEPT FOR OPEN-WORLD MINI-SCENARIOS

The teams that would complete specific and long challenging dynamic event chains would unlock access to unique mini-dungeons, with some interesting stories, scenarios and challenges behind them, all leading to a mini-story conclusion and a flavored reward to those players. The reward could be anything, including a new subclass tier, or mastery, or something.

Unlocking an open-world mini-dungeon would be map-wide, a message would automatically be generated in the chat warning players about it, and everyone could join and get the “normal reward”, but only the teams that have participated in the specific events that lead to them (and have met a specific condition) would be allowed to get the unique “mastery” reward, and a ray of light would shine upon them for all other players to see. Another message would automatically be generated in the map, this time announcing the players who have advanced through a mastery, and all other players in the map would be like “wow, how did you get your name in the chat? What did you do to get that mastery? I want to get it too!”

The dynamic events leading to those unique open-world scenarios (let’s call it that) would work as discussed: they would either start automatically from time to time, or start on demand if the player has met a specific condition. However, even though they could be started on demand, they wouldn’t be easy, with a high chance of failure for the unprepared, making them more special.

And finally, for a player to meet the specific condition to start those events on demand (and thus to get the “unique” reward from the end of the mini-scenario later unlocked) could be received from the also-discussed Orders quest system, or something.

There you have it, I proposed a new idea (mini-dungeons/ scenarios unlocked from events) and fused this concept with the two other ideas the community has been discussing (unique on-demand events and orders quests).

Very cool, something we’ve discussed a lot internally as well in regards to some of our concepts of what future maps would look like

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

A lot of the ideas boiled down into variations of one of these two options, and really both have a lot of cool concepts and ideas. Can folks think of anything else that’s a bit more outside the box for something bigger?

I had suggested several times about Global Dominance system. Similar to WvW…we as players and as a server, complete events across the entire map of Tyria and receive passive bonuses based on the % of the map that we control as players. So if we leave entire zones(say the lesser traveled zones) to be completely occupied by centaurs, for example, we won’t be receiving maximum benefits. And you can use most of the existing dynamic events to accomplish this. There are many DEs that take over way points and camps that we as players can complete and push enemy NPCs back…thus acquiring a larger portion of the world.

This encourages players to play in more than one zone, get sthem out in the world, etc.

On top of this, put in a reward system for completing unique(different) dynamic events in a month. I.E. Complete 90 unique dynamic events in January and receive a Cesmode mini(just kidding). But you get the picture.

Is that big enough and outside the box?

The global dominance is a really interesting concept, and something we played with a bit back in Gw1 with the luxons/kurzicks but never really pushed far enough to make into a compelling system. Some questions and challenges that immediately come to mind with this would include: How would players playing in an overflow map make a difference, or feel like their time is being well spent? How would this work if we pursued underflow servers? How would this work for worlds that have relatively medium/low populations, or for players who play at off hours (say Australians). ? How would new players understand, and be motivated by this system, and should they be? And most importantly: How would this result in unlocking an advanced profession or advanced horizontal progression for your character? [I get how a system like this could be used for more world bonus specific rewards which is really cool, but I don’t fully see the character specific journey which was my original question]

The event idea is an interesting one, but it doesn’t feel like a “grand journey” so to speak. Do you feel like if we asked you to do 90 different events in a month, and that allowed your ranger to say become a Druid, you’d feel like that was a cool system?

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Thanks folks lots of really great ideas, concepts and discussion here!

I think the biggest thing I was trying to get at with my question is: what should the journey towards an alternative system of horizontal progression really be like?

Folks talked a lot about different ways you could say acquire skills other than the current system, but that’s really more a change to an existing skill acquisition system, as opposed to the journey of unlocking something like an advanced profession (or masteries) as some of you discussed.

Say for example, we decided to allow your profession to gain an additional mastery as Nike and Chuggs in particular discussed above. I think we have a lot of fun ideas in here for the journey unlock specific aspects of that mastery, but what if you first had to unlock the core “mastery” track, which then allowed you collect the smaller components? What kind of experience do you think would be compelling here as an over-all journey?

Some of the ideas I’ve really enjoyed so far from this thread include →

  • Additional story lines with your orders that allow you complete or unlock new masteries/abilities.
  • Adding new content to the existing maps (or re-using existing moments) that serves the purpose of being a bit like skill challenges, content on demand that allows you to overcome challenges to allow you unlock various abilities/masteries.

A lot of the ideas boiled down into variations of one of these two options, and really both have a lot of cool concepts and ideas. Can folks think of anything else that’s a bit more outside the box for something bigger?

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Given the fact that the questing is a thing of the past, maybe instead of having “trainers” be merchants, we can create a small instance (no bigger than Ascension Arena in GW1) where you’re presented with a task having your regular weapon skill and only that one utility skill you’re trying to learn.
With a trainer (now in real meaning of the word) looking over you, giving you pointers as to what to do in situation he/she had presented you with.
It’s just a small concept, but this way you’d earn your skill rather than just outright buy it, while learning it at the same time. Maybe give it an attempt cost? Creating an ability to fail such quest?

I think this could have a lot of potential as well, depending on the ability it could even change up the game-play/experience.

The next challenge: We want to put as much content in the open world as possible, so you’re constantly running into other players and having great social experiences. This is one of the pillars of Gw2, and why we try and avoid instances as much as possible. How would you modify this system to work in the open world? (I see a lot of easy ways – skill point challenges are very similar to this, but it’s fun to ask you!)

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Well, new personal story arcs could send you off on paths that lead to unlocking something specific from the Order you chose at the beginning of the game (which would add more substance to the Order you choose mattering)…

Also just want to quickly add, I think this would be really cool and is an example of an approachable system for all players that’s relatively easy to message, understand, and could be available to everyone.

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

You could even throw out in the PvE world random Champions that enter the world from one side, simply walk across and out the other if they’re not defeated. It would be up to the players to recognize, band together and defeat this champion to get an unlock that way. Don’t announce it, just have it happen.

So an open question: If you don’t announce it, how do players who want to progress their character down these new paths of exciting character progression know what to do it, or how to progress? We’ve seen if the path of progression isn’t relatively clear, most our every-day casual players won’t bother doing it, which isn’t a system that buys us much game play over-all.

And if the champion isn’t available, how do we message to players that the system of progression to advance their character isn’t available at this time? I think you can get away with no real messaging around something like a rare skin, but if it’s a system that expands your characters profession diversity it needs much clearer communication.

These are the kind of questions I ask the designers coming up with the systems we’ll use in the future, so it’s a fun opportunity for you guys as well

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

the current system works great and allows for progression on the individual players terms. no need to make “special” content that forces players to jump through hoops or do things outside of their realm of interest when you have a user friendly system in place. the main concern should be to improve existing content and adding more permanent content along the way.

Which current system do you think works great specifically? In theory, we have a lot of systems already

For me, I think some our current systems of horizontal progression and their earn systems are:

- Collect skins: Purchase them for currencies (which becomes play the fastest way to earn currency X), get them as rare drops (play fastest way to kill mob/content type X), or purchase them off the trading post. (Play the fastest way to earn gold)

- Skills: Collect skill points. (Which becomes play the fastest way to earn XP, or skill points.)

- Achievement Horizontal Rewards: These are things like achievement point skin unlocks, titles, etc. This is more just sort of play everything that gives achievement points, since very little of it is repeatable.

- Legendary: This one doesn’t really have a totally clear path to acquisition other than earn crazy amounts of gold, which goes back to play the fastest way to earn gold. (note legendary is only horizontal if you already have ascended)

- WxP Abilities: Complete objectives worth points in WvW. (Complete objectives as fast as possible, find a group to help you do this. Of all the above this is basically just telling you to play WvW, and though it is as some degenerate aspects is probably the least so)

- PvP Skin Locker & PvP Ranks: Play PvP. (This is basically just play PvP since the latest release.)

Not everyone plays the way I described above, but many of the systems above encourage you to want to play the fastest way possible to earn the rewards, sometimes at the cost of not playing the way you’d find the most fun. The upside of Gw2 is you can play the things you enjoy most and still be rewarded for them in most cases, even if it’s not at the fastest rate. The downside is because almost everything can earn you most of the same rewards, this becomes a matter of choosing to do the things you enjoy the most, but getting rewarded slower because of it.

Potential different systems would create more diverse game play, but the challenge is making it not overly complex, and running the risk of driving players to force one specific type of game play they may not enjoy since they can’t earn it other ways. These are some of the challenges we face we looking at any form of horizontal progression, and some of the discussions that come up when looking at new potential systems as well.

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Reading through a lot of the comments on various class diversification (or just stronger trait/skill diversification) concepts, one of the things that seems to be missing is a discussion on how you’d actually earn/unlock these additional abilities to make it a progression system.

One of the goals of progression, in this case horizontal, is to create an extended sense of game play and thus = reward for playing it.

For example, we’ve added more skills to the game recently, but those simply unlock with skill points, which basically means -> play any part of the game that gives exp, or kill champs to get skill point books. That’s ok as systems of unlocking horizontal progression go for the extended class diversification, but game play wise it generally means find the easiest place to get XP/champ-loot and do it over and over again for a large % of players, since folks most often gravitate towards the path of least resistance.

What sort of systems of horizontal progression unlocking would you like to see that’d accompany a system like extended class progression?

Regarding your specific example of new skills, throwing skill points at the game is the least interesting route you guys could have given us. A system where we kill veterans to capture skills could have provided both more interesting game play and another form of a gold sink (assuming we purchase signets or consumables used in the capture process). In my opinion, there are always more interesting options than “sit in front of your keyboard pressing buttons until you’ve got enough skill points to unlock something”.

Yeah to be clear, my point was in saying the skill point version isn’t very interesting, it lends itself to degenerate game play (play the fastest way to earn skill points, not the most fun) which is generally true of most systems of progression in basically any MMO ever made.

The veteran hunt is very similar to the Gw1 style skill collection, and certainly one of the systems we’re well aware of and talk about regularly when we consider systems of horizontal progression acquisition for the future.

What other systems would excite you that don’t fall into the “sitting in front of your keyboard” pressing buttons options? Keep in mind they need to be easy to learn so we can teach them to new players, accessible, and not overly complex/tedious, and hopefully not something with a path of least resistance that leads to degenerate game play.

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

What sort of systems of horizontal progression unlocking would you like to see that’d accompany a system like extended class progression?

I think special dynamic events could be one way. Currently some dynamic events open up special vendors to buy little knick knacks. For example, if in Brisban Wildlands there was a special dynamic event chain where you help the Skritt King in some way and after the events are over you can buy a new skill from him with skill points.

So a question for this, how would we message well to newer players how a system like this would work? One of the challenges of events is simply: they may not be running when you’re in an area. Is it ok to make people stand around waiting for an event to happen so they can get a specific thing from that event? How would they know what to do if the event wasn’t currently active, what form of messaging could help them understand the state of the world – while still being immersive and not requiring them to use a 3rd party app to progress?

CDI- Character Progression-Horizontal

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Reading through a lot of the comments on various class diversification (or just stronger trait/skill diversification) concepts, one of the things that seems to be missing is a discussion on how you’d actually earn/unlock these additional abilities to make it a progression system.

One of the goals of progression, in this case horizontal, is to create an extended sense of game play and thus = reward for playing it.

For example, we’ve added more skills to the game recently, but those simply unlock with skill points, which basically means → play any part of the game that gives exp, or kill champs to get skill point books. That’s ok as systems of unlocking horizontal progression go for the extended class diversification, but game play wise it generally means find the easiest place to get XP/champ-loot and do it over and over again for a large % of players, since folks most often gravitate towards the path of least resistance.

What sort of systems of horizontal progression unlocking would you like to see that’d accompany a system like extended class progression?

What happen to Fractals Leaderboard?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

We’re holding the leaderboard for now to see if we can’t decide on a better way to help differentiate people on it who are all at the same tier, other than just the first who got there specifically. Once we have decided that, we’ll need to code, test, and vet it and then update the leaderboards to reflect the new tracking.

CDI- Character Progression- Vertical

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

A question to help direct the discussion a bit:

What are some of your favorite progression systems of all time in others? Be they horizontal, or vertical, just which ones really got you excited and were fun for you to continue to progress in?

For me, Final Fantasy Tactics is one I loved, where I was able to continue to unlock new jobs and advanced professions for my characters, as well as level up their abilities within those professions. It remains one of my all time favorite games, and one of my favorite systems of progression in any game. I’m also pretty darn fond of that Guild Wars game and skill collection.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

I’m more convinced turning to a traditional content release concept rather doing this episodic thing would be better for GW2. The instances with Roxx and Braham, Scarlet’s playhouse etc could have been triggered after one finishes their living story as the next chapters so people can do them at their own pace and experience a personalized story. Doing it that way would allow for things like recognition from NPC’s or slight alterations based on our characters past choices.

Meanwhile the Molten Facility or Aetherblade retreat would have been better as new permanent dungeons, with explorable paths as well as their own rewards and armor.

In my opinion a game just shouldn’t try be a TV show.

I’m not sure the two need to be mutually exclusive. What if every X amount of time that seemed reasonable, the story simply kept being expanded in the way you’re discussing rather than be released in one big chunk?

But if you’re not up to that point in the story arc, you can play it when ever you get there.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

I think where the failure is lies in the rewards. You don’t get nowhere near enough rewards for doing DEs compared to other things, because karma is not very useful. Also, doing something extremely short and simple like killing a champion gives the same if not more rewards than a long DE like escorting someone, so no one does the escorts.

We agree, this is something we’ve been discussing a lot lately and working on some various answers for, but I’m curious:

What rewards would you like to see from rewards? Would they be different when you’re leveling up than when you’re level 80? What would motivate you to want to go around the world playing as many different events as possible, rather than the same 4-5 over and over again?

Some of the fun challenges we are currently solving, but it’s great to hear peoples thoughts on this subject as well.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

To me none of the LV felt like it truly impacted the WORLD. Sure zones got changed, but the world stayed the same. Just look at the current LV there is a huge tower in the middle of a lake, but the humans and centaurs still have their petty land disputes..

So how would you try and solve this? And a second question is how far would you like to see the impact of say a tower in Kessex be felt content wise? The balance here is of course total volume of work for those involved, to literally have the entire world react to what’s going on would take us 6+ months to build, which at that point isn’t actually meeting our goals of a regularly changing and evolving world.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

I think this raises an interesting question, what do you consider to be “temporary” content, and what qualifies (in your mind) as content that occurs and drives the living story forward it makes sense to have go away, vs. that which remains?

Hi Colin,
I wanted to quickly respond to this, then I will read the rest of your post. Have you guys considered using phasing? Keep the content in the game for everyone and use phasing to phase the world into the different changes that the Living Story dictates.

For people that are playing alts, if they have unlocked the last, or most current phase, of the Living Story with a previous character, they have a choice to kick off the LS from the beginning or at the current point in the story.

Are there technical difficulties to this to wihch GW2 and Phasing don’t mix? This would seem to solve your problem of content that should be temporary and content that could stay. It would also fix the problems that are in the game, such as undead in Orr still chanting Zhaitans name when he has been defeated by many.

Thoughts?

Our take on phasing, and why we never did it to begin with is: the world isn’t progressing, it’s just fake progressing for you and the person next to you isn’t seeing it progress simultaneously. One of the biggest things we wanted to accomplish with Gw2 is that the things that happen do matter, they happen for everyone, and everyone experiences them together. This is really putting the social aspect of the game and immersion, above the personal aspect.

That doesn’t make phasing wrong, but if you judge by the above pillar it makes phasing wrong for Gw2. Each design decision we make takes that into account as one of the games core pillars. When something in the open world happens, it needs to happen for everyone, and we gauge everything that way.

Edited to add: This specifically applies to experiences in the open world, and doesn’t mean we couldn’t do things like letting you see moments in time in the past, or experience living world instanced (or “phased”) moments on their own timeline.

(edited by ColinJohanson.2394)

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Wow, a lot of content in this thread already…

Temporary vs Permanent Content
LW content motivates players to log in to experience the content while it is fresh. The time limit on the content temporarily concentrates player activity, which smooths the open world experience (e.g. dynamic events). Once the LW cycle progresses, however, some great instanced content (dungeons, story arcs, …) is essentially lost. Rather than increasing the amount of content available to players, one piece of content is swapped for another. Essentially, this leaves players with the same number of content options they had before, which causes a feeling of stagnation. Though individually small, these portions of LW content would accrue if made permanently available, offering players a greater variety of choices when they have tired of other content.

I think this raises an interesting question, what do you consider to be “temporary” content, and what qualifies (in your mind) as content that occurs and drives the living story forward it makes sense to have go away, vs. that which remains?

There is a thin-line between content that drives the story forward, which if it lasts forever feels like the story never really progresses, vs. content that all goes away and ends up feeling like the world never actually progresses. Which releases, and more specifically what aspects of specific releases do you feel were successful balancing content that didn’t remain forever that progressed the story, while simultaneously leaving enough of a mark on the world to feel like the world is changing an evolving?

For me the original invasion of Southsun Cove was the best example of this, it had a lot of “story” style content that made sense to happen and then go away, and also left a lot of permanent experiences as a result of that storyline.

I also felt like the story content that came along with the Queens Jubilee and Clockwork Chaos did a good job of accomplishing this as well, though the outcome of the invasions don’t have enough impact on the world.

Another food for thought: Back when we invaded Southsun, we did a lot of “one time” events with the story content. Folks complained that one time wasn’t fair because they would miss it, so we extended the “story” style content so you now have 2-4 weeks to experience it. Does having it around this long take away from the sense of story progression, and make it feel like it should be permanent when it’s taken away? Or would simply having (using the TV analogy) something like TiVo that allows you to see the story you missed balance out this issue?

Can anyone really see through the clutter?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

With all due respect, what part of excessive particle spam is NOT effecting my game performance. I guess someone will have to explain that to me..

Apparently I need to be more clear…By performance I’m talking about the work we’re doing to improve server lag when large #‘s of players come together we’ve been updating on lately that has been a major discussion topic lately.

Obviously graphical performance is a type of performance as well, my point is it’s not the part we’re currently as focused on, but are also well aware of and want to improve.

Can anyone really see through the clutter?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Hey Colin,

I would like to see Anet address the insane particle effects.

I can never anticipate when to dodge the statue of dwayna attacks because of this. You can barely make out the enemy model. Particle effects are nice and all, but in gw2 they are overly done. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this issue in any mmorpg I’ve played.

Yeah we’ve done a number of steps already this year to improve it, but we have a long ways to go to get it cleaned up to the point we’re happy with. It’s something we’re continuing to work on for sure, but we’re focusing way more on game performance currently before we turn back to the FX side.

Collaborative Development Topic- Living World

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

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?

To a large degree, the things we want to accomplish with living world overlap in a lot of ways with what a television series does. Or another example of our goals: if you bought your favorite RPG and the story was constantly expanded or continued, for free on a regular basis.

I’m not saying we’re doing all of these things above, those are simply the goals we have to help make Gw2 unique and something innovative in the genre through a dynamic living world we envisioned 7 odd years ago.

I personally think we have a lot of work to do to get to the point we’re succeeding on these goals, but with every step along the way we’re learning an incredible amount. Some fantastic ideas and comments in this thread, and many of them match our own feelings on living world and what would make it successful as well. Many of these ideas are things you’ve all been suggesting for months (or longer) and will be reflected in future releases. Remember what you see today we started work on 4-5 months ago (or longer), so the lag time to adjust to feedback and what we learned isn’t going to be instant, it’ll come in waves of evolutions with each round of feedback and discussion.

Brazilian League S1 begins November 1

in PvP Events

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Awesome to see, good luck everyone and go go Brazil!

Can anyone really see through the clutter?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

One of the projects we’re working on in preparing the game to release in new regions is trying to make the game easier to learn. While a lot of that work is in the area of better tutorials, better level up messaging guides, and unique tutorials for specific mechanics we’re also evaluating UI complexity (and system complexity) to try and make information easier to see/consume.

Cleaning up the existing UI systems to make them less cluttered, more-stream lined, and better unified is part of this project and absolutely something you’ll see in the west as well, likely around or possibly even before we release the game in our next major world region.

And to get ahead of the next question: No, we have no solid dates! We’re still in beta in China and are testing and developing all of these new systems to make the game is easier to learn. We haven’t announced timelines for development any other major regions other than being in Beta in China at this time.

New skill in next LW update

in Living World Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

If it is temporary, can you at least make it possible for players to acquire in other ways? That’d be an awesome compromise. The same goes for any significant non-cosmetic LW rewards, really.

You’ll be able to acquire the skill forever, it’s simply easier to earn (doesn’t cost skill points) during the release window.

Please stop with the website stories...

in Blood and Madness

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

While we love the website stories and they won’t be going away, we are working on ways to try and get more of that experience (and story) available to see, and read in game.

More of our high-quality cinematics isn’t really an option, since they take months and many people to make and we’re at max (or over) capacity on those at is most of the time.

Any solution will likely include our plans to try and make Living World, and stories around it easier to access, understand, and find out more about even once they have past.

Keep the suggestions coming, we’re always listening and do want to resolve getting stronger, more approachable, easier to understand stories as part of the Gw2 experience.

Diminishing Returns on Clock Tower?

in Blood and Madness

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

It’s a bug, we’re trying to find folks on a Sunday to fix it now, worst case we’ll get it fixed Monday.

Thanks everyone!

Is random arena a new "activity"?

in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

We’re working on this one, thank you!

New Borderland Map coming

in WvW Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Most servers can’t fill four maps, why do we need a fifth?

I’m excited about new terrain and possibly new objectives or gameplay, but populations are too sparse already, this will make that problem worse.

It’s a good question, and one we talked about a lot. Above all else, our main raises behind adding another map (which can overflow and create multiple copies of itself) include:

  • On many more populated servers in NA and EU, there are queues, this would allow people to play the game they want at all times.
  • We want to do things in the future, this map included, that will help get more people interested in WvW. We need to make sure we’re not just making them sit in a queue when we do that.
  • The game is going to be launched in other parts of the world, and on launch in NA/EU we had queues for WvW on just about every world. In some of the largest gaming parts of the world say, China for example which we’re in beta for right now, we’re seeing massive responses from guilds that make NA/EU guilds look tiny. These guilds all want to play WvW on the same world together, this map will help facilitate a better launch in new regions, as well as the much larger guild alliances you find in the east.

Hope that helps a bit! We know for much smaller worlds this may seem like it’s no big deal, since you never deal with queues anyway, but the gameplay and experience should hopefully be fun (and different) such that it may attract new players to WvW. It also opens up opportunities for us to do other types of experiences in WvW across all worlds that may help bolster smaller worlds populations as well.

New Borderland Map coming

in WvW Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Hope there’s an option for non queued servers to try out the new map. I don’t think that T1 should be the only opinion heard. Would be better if you randomly got assigned a color when your guild entered the map.

There is indeed, one copy of this map will always be available during any match up.

What happened to Kessex Hills?

in Living World Discussion

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Hmmm..suspicious…

Seven ideas in one post

in Suggestions

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Great stuff Leeroy, really appreciate you taking the time to both spell out your suggestions and provide strong reasoning for why we should do them =)

Keep it comin!

Fill us in on your progress/ideas

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

I would like to know how balancing will occur moving forward. We have had to wait 3 months for a balance patch due to esports… yet the details that have been revealed show little indication of toning down condi/cc spam or the state of some classes in general.

I hope you have a better plan than to release a balance patch every 3 months in the future… why were small changes not made every second week in line with pve balence…

We’ll absolutely still keep doing smaller balance updates and patches when we have a major bug/balance thing we want to address.

Though I think we likely would want to sit on really huge balance updates to occur between major seasons competition wise for PvP/WvW along the lines of every 3 months or so in the future. We made this mistake once in Gw1 and did a huge balance update in the middle of one of our major competitions and set the entire PvP community into an uproar, and we promised we wouldn’t do that again.

That’s our thinking currently, though as we continue to grow PvP and establish our process for Gw2, it’s open to change based on player feedback and suggestions.

Fill us in on your progress/ideas

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Sorry Colin, but at this point, no matter how hard you guys try to delude us with such “empty” news, it’s just wont work anymore.
Basically, since one of the very first State of the Game episodes a whole year ago, we have heard Every. Single. One of your “coming soon” changes.

Nothing has changed. You are yet to make PvP more rewarding and fun. You are still looking into new game types. You are yet to support the competitive scene(or whatever has left of it). Though, one thing have changed – A lot less people are listening to your communication and a lot more just quit..

If you go back and read the January state of the game, and July state of the game threads, you’ll find most of what you said above actually isn’t true. We have delivered on the things in those threads we said we would do. It’s totally reasonable to say you’d like us to do more, but I don’t think it’s fair to say we’re saying we’re going to do X and haven’t delivered on any of it. We’ve only recently made any promises about actively working on building game types, and everything we’ve said we were going to do back in January, we have already released.

I just want to say I get the frustration with wanting to see more done, we absolutely would love to see PvP get everything immediately as well. We have however very specifically listed what we’re building, and so far have delivered on all of those things in the timelines listed. It may not be everything you’d like to see, and my hope is as we continue into next year you’ll see everything on your list get checked off, but when raising concerns let’s at least be on the same page with timelines. I can be fair and say we need to do more, I’d ask you be the same with respect to what we’ve said we’re going to do.

As a reminder:

In January, we said we would be doing custom arenas, leader boards, and spectator mode. We did all of those things.

In July, we said we’re going to do a tournament at PAX, have separate solo and team queues for PvP, add ways to get you progressing towards legendaries in PvP, and updating the reward systems for PvP. We’ve accomplished half of those goals already, and hope to have made some real progress towards rewards/legendaries before the end of the year, which still has 2 months to go. In working on rewards, we decided we wanted to do something that’s very work intensive and much cooler for PvP players, so not all of it will be done this year.

New Reward System...when...?

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

Also just wanted to add, keep the suggestions coming, we’re always listening for great ideas on way to improve rewards, and we’ve read all the threads you guys have put together so far!

New Reward System...when...?

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

the Problem is it was promised january to be released start of the second part of this year. and now u talk about basics at the end of the year or next january.

I think it’s totally reasonable to say you’d like to see progress faster, and no shocker so would we! We all play PvP all the time too, and want everything done as quickly as possible, folks are working very long hours to try and accomplish just that.

However, what’s not ok is saying stuff like we “promised in jan” we would have new rewards this year. In January, we said we would be doing custom arenas, leader boards, and spectator mode. We did all of those things.

In July, we said we’re going to do a tournament at PAX, have separate solo and team queues for PvP, add ways to get you progressing towards legendaries in PvP, and updating the reward systems for PvP. We’ve accomplished half of those goals already, and hope to have made some real progress towards rewards/legendaries before the end of the year, which still has 2 months to go. In working on rewards, we decided we wanted to do something that’s very work intensive and much cooler for PvP players, so not all of it will be done this year.

Anyway I just want to call this out that having expectations, and providing critical feedback is fantastic, it’s how we all grow and make a better game together. But if we’re going to take the time to try and communicate and, it’s only fair you take the time to properly represent what we’ve said when criticizing it.

New Reward System...when...?

in Structured PvP

Posted by: ColinJohanson

ColinJohanson

Game Director

How hard is it to make rewards for pvp? Just add few exclusive skins we can buy with glory since thats good for nothing right now why do we have to wait a months for rewards when pve gets it every 2 weeks…. You are not going to have any pvp players left by then. Just saying…..

We want to totally revamp the way rewards and PvP interact with the entire game, what you’re suggesting is relatively easy, but in the long run not what we think fundamentally will solve the core issue with PvP. We’re working on comprehensive fixes to help bring PvP and the sense of more reward more in with the rest of the game, rather than apply band-aids on a system we don’t really like anyway.

As for the skins, absolutely that’s one of things we’re discussing.