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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: If Guild Wars 2 Changed Everything, What’s Next?

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16297

OP  9/26/12 5:20:00 PM#1

Red 5's Mark Kern is back with his bi-weekly column here at In this week's article, Mark continues the discussion started in his last article about the death of quest hubs. He moves on to "what comes next". See what this industry insider has to say before you leave your thoughts in the comments.

In my last article, I talked about the death of quest hubs and Guild Wars 2, which generated 258 comments (the geek in me wanted it to stop at a crisp 256, but alas, it was not to be). I had argued that Guild Wars 2’s more organic approach of discovering content through exploration and dynamic events, rather than being led by the nose through quests and hubs, was going to prompt a sea change in how MMOs get designed in the future. Many of you agreed, and yet many argued that Guild Wars 2 had not done enough to make the claim that it had truly reinvented the genre. So if Guild Wars 2 is still “grindy” to some, still not dynamic enough for others, then what *would* be the true next step? I think Guild Wars 2 has opened the door to a lot of fresh thinking, so let’s explore.

Read more of Mark Kern's If Guild Wars 2 Changed Everything, What’s Next?

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4707

GW2 socialist.

9/27/12 8:11:07 AM#2
I agree that even better dynamic events are the future, GW2 just opened the door a little wider.  Time is certainly a factor I haven't seen used in their implimentation yet.  Good ideas, Mark!  It's exciting to think about.  Quest hubs had their time in the sun.

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4563

9/27/12 8:20:30 AM#3

open world sandbox games end of...



Themepark has been dead for me for ages.. GW2 did not bring anything new, sure it did thigns a tiny bit different but its the same old thing..


Instead of quest hubs with numerous quests to do, you get a map with 10-20 heart quests.. oh wow how amazing and different is that.. instead of interacting with NPCs you now just get the quest when your near the heart.. wow thanks..

So called dynamic events are not really that dynamic and are just basically heart quests that are not active al lthe time.. this has been done before...

at the end of the day people like GW2 and fair enough im happy for them but to be it really didnt bring anything good to themepark mmorpgs..



Anyway has i stated at the start..


Openworld sandbox MMOs should be the future.. im not saying that they have to be full loot hardcore PVP games (some should be of course).. but its quite clear that themeparks are boring as hell and most people want somthing different..


Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3548


9/27/12 8:23:26 AM#4
It didn't change everything, so the premise of your question is incorrect.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/19/06
Posts: 2149

9/27/12 8:26:17 AM#5

Themeparks haven't been sustainable ever since one of them grew to the size of the entire "niche" of the Themepark genre.



In other words, ever since WoW consumed the entire Niche market for Themeparks it has become impossible to maintain any other themepark in order to compete on an even playing field.




Think about it, Themeparks REQUIRE content to be created by hand by Developers which takes several times as much resources to do as opposed to "Emergent" gameplay that is prolific within Sandbox & Sandpark titles that require a much MUCH smaller portion of development resources to maintain & create.


Sandboxes & Sandparks are far more profitable, sustainable, and all around cheaper to produce. The only real difficult part is choosing a specific Sandbox "vision" to use and then move forward. Your largest hurdle with sandboxes & sandparks is getting the core mechanics & "Idea" behind the product down first before building upon it.


This is what most Indie companies suffer from, a lack of direction. Almost ALL Sand-based MMOs (Sandpark / Sandbox) have more than enough "Vision", but not enough resources and direction to generate a proper MMO. Mortal online lacked both funds & skill, but had the direction & vision they required to produce a quality product. Hence Mortal Online doing so terribly.

Likewise with Darkfall Online, etc etc.

The Theory of Conservative Conservation of Ignorant Stupidity:
Having a different opinion must mean you're a troll.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

9/27/12 8:33:28 AM#6

the "tools" developers need are available right now. I call them players. If you have a small subset of players that can "spawn" events (not to say they cant spawn in other ways) they become dynamic because theres an unpredictable brain behind it.

the trick to making it all happen is open world pvp, where you make the "evil" side so difficult and unforgiving to play only few play that style compared to the many that will choose the easier style within the same game. I call them the villians.

if you combine this with sandbox style castle/wall/bridge/town building and lets players populate their areas with guards and such (within reason),

you have a recipe for a dynamic world.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2959

9/27/12 8:34:43 AM#7

My only concern is, will the AI ever be good enough to replace or come close to the quality of a DM?  I'm not so sure, at least not so sure in my lifetime.  What you are proposing is moving back towards the classic roleplay experience of pen n paper and the truly mysterious nature of anything can happen.

I'd love to see this kind of stuff; just not sure the technology is there.   For all the "dynamic" of GW2's DEs, the mechanics began to show pretty early on.  So I think we are still a long way away from this.


I think a quicker way to achieve some of this is player-created content.  If the genre could somehow bring the GM (ala Neverwinter Nights) into a sandbox, we might have something there.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 554

9/27/12 8:41:12 AM#8
Originally posted by Eir_S
I agree that even better dynamic events are the future, GW2 just opened the door a little wider.  Time is certainly a factor I haven't seen used in their implimentation yet.  Good ideas, Mark!  It's exciting to think about.  Quest hubs had their time in the sun.

Huh?  How did they open the door wider?  I saw the exact same thing in Warhammer and then Rift.....

  User Deleted
9/27/12 8:45:15 AM#9
I had made a comment that I felt quest hubs were invisible anyhow..... I take that back, been playing mop and now coming from GW2 to mop..... Quest hubs are very visible.

I love the idea of an AI game director, say was that stolen from the hunger games? At any rate, dynamic events leaves room for endless possibilities. I would also like to see more AI attitude, I don't want to know I'm safe, I want to be in danger at all times, let them be less passive and more active, give them moments of unstoppable rampage. Let them tick the players off enough to infuse some passion to do something about it. Also along those lines and somewhat of what guild wars 2 does with ogres in wvw, let them be hired out. Let faction A higher out an army of AI to perform a task against an opposing faction and let the players fight right along with them. I love it when the ogres are fighting with us, but I want to order them, or just sit back and watch or follow them while they announce a task and watch what happens.

This opens the door up for balance too. If your faction only has 100 people online and opposing faction has over 500, balance can be engineered into the game, let's continue to use ogres, well the team with less real players just has more powerful ogres for example.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/12
Posts: 14

9/27/12 8:46:08 AM#10
Or just... I dunno... make Minecraft with better graphics, phat loot and coplex combat? Minecraft changed A LOT more that GW2. I mean... who doesn't want random coputer generated worlds to infinately explore?

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/20/10
Posts: 68

9/27/12 8:54:00 AM#11

How about these things:

1. Meaningful endgame progression

2. Cool skills/abilities

3. Class balance

4. Not grinding the same dungeon over and over

5. Quaggan as a playable race


Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3548


9/27/12 8:55:27 AM#12
Please ignore, wrong thread

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/27/12
Posts: 500

9/27/12 8:57:20 AM#13

Everytime I log in everyone camps the same  events. Quest hub has gone from get quest go kill to wait for DE and mobs come to you.




Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 2735

9/27/12 8:58:08 AM#14
Originally posted by Deerhunter71
Originally posted by Eir_S
I agree that even better dynamic events are the future, GW2 just opened the door a little wider.  Time is certainly a factor I haven't seen used in their implimentation yet.  Good ideas, Mark!  It's exciting to think about.  Quest hubs had their time in the sun.

Huh?  How did they open the door wider?  I saw the exact same thing in Warhammer and then Rift.....

No, you didnt. Sorry but I played WAR on and off since launch, and if you honestly think PQs and DEs are the same thing, I cant even begin to help you. Its like saying the new Lamborghini Gallardo is the same as a beat up old Geo Metro, because hey, theyre both cars.

Theres a reason why PQs in WAR are avoided like the plague, along with just about everything else having to do with PvE in the game.


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Joined: 9/13/09
Posts: 2370

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to post."

9/27/12 9:06:05 AM#15
Well since I feel that if GW2 changed anything it was to move the MMORPG genre one step closer to the eSport gaming model, what I think is next is MOBAs. Easier and quicker to develop, wildly popular, fits in well with the BTP/FTP cash shop model.

"Gypsies, tramps, and thieves, we were called by the Admin of the site . . . "


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2959

9/27/12 9:09:34 AM#16
Originally posted by Tardcore
Well since I feel that if GW2 changed anything it was to move the MMORPG genre one step closer to the eSport gaming model, what I think is next is MOBAs. Easier and quicker to develop, wildly popular, fits in well with the BTP/FTP cash shop model.

Too true.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/04
Posts: 120

9/27/12 9:11:39 AM#17
i agree that gw2 is just doing things a little diferant, a quest is still a quest no matter how easy it is to obtain and finish the quest, i am enjoying GW2 though, not sure how long till i get bored of doing the same thing over and over but it is fun for now

Novice Member

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 103

9/27/12 9:14:16 AM#18
GW2 did not change anything. It was a over hyped game that is meant for some people, not all. If GW2 is the future, well the future isn't going very far. It's still the same ol' MMO, you have quests, you craft, you pvp, you get gear, really nothing new. Sure HOW it did these is a bit different but GW2 didn't change anything about the genre.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5695

9/27/12 9:16:57 AM#19

What changed? In the end, It's going to be just like many other MMOs. No, ANET didn't change much really. That title rests with two other companies. Activision and Turbine. Thanks to them, we now have this shallow FSCKD up shell that is left of a genre that grew too big for itself.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/04
Posts: 6382

9/27/12 9:27:43 AM#20

interesting, I like your ideas and hopefully GW2 will led to the death of the quest hub raid end game MMO. I am really curious to  see what lies in the future of MMO's.

I get a kick out of it anytime anyone calls a game a WoW clone when WoW was just a polished up EQ1. For me WoW was a step up from EQ1 and now GW2 is now a step up the ladder from WoW.  MMO's are a evolution, and I don't expect a major revolution in any give game. Look at it like cars, we didnot go from the model T to the Mercedes S class in one step. There were lots of little inovations along the way.

GW2 borrowed a lot of it's game and consolidated tghe best parts from lots of games, however to me it is the state of the art in MMO design at the moment. I am sure in 5 years it will alos appear dated just as WoW's core gameplay design is showing it's age. The age of the end game raid design is officialy now on it;s way to extinction.

I was talking with a freind on Vent this morning, he was grinding out the dailies in SWTOR while I was running up my guardian in GW2. Him and I would always run those dailies together a month or so ago. We had a system, knew every  mob by heart and the only challenge was trying to beat our best time by a few seconds. I remarked to him that after GW2 I could never play SWTOR, LoTRO etc again because I feel their design is outdated now just as WoW made seem EQ1 dated and stale.



I miss DAoC

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