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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Guild Wars 2: Trying to Make a Living World

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43 posts found
  Asamof

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/04
Posts: 710

5/27/13 3:37:18 PM#21
did anyone else feel that GW2 HUGELY under delivered with the story? not to say that stories in MMOs matter at all, but it was a huge drop in quality compared to the original GW
  Bloodaxes

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/03/09
Posts: 2629

5/27/13 3:44:33 PM#22

I don't know about you people but I didn't feel the sense of adventure in guild wars 2 like in the elder scrolls, dark souls and other similar games and it definitely was not because of other people being around.

My major complaint is having to hold right click or risk a ban using a mod BUT I also would have loved to see "jumping puzzles" more apparent in the normal world. 

Why no mmo ever uses dangerous paths in maps? I would so love to have certain parts of the game were you have to watch your step or you can fall to death or traps and puzzles not restricted to some places only...

Darks Souls part on the wooden bridges and such was so intense that my hands were sweating on the fear of falling off to death just to give an example.

  Calerxes

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1659

5/27/13 3:57:36 PM#23
Originally posted by MindTrigger
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Razeekster
Originally posted by MindTrigger
Game developers don't make a game a living world.  The players do.

Ideally, they do it together.

But one of the drawbacks of "massive" is how difficult incorporating player contribution becomes. How many people do  you know that have permanent features of a game universe created by them? Or affected the lore in any way?

Me, I've got a statue in Dalaran, on one server...not even a nameplate...and that's about as much as I can expect in any MMO, really.

 

Examples past games had were in-game player housing, shops, combat and non-combat player classes/paths, RP tools that allow players to interact with and entertain each other, tools for player-made quests, etc.  The list is quite long.  The simple feature of giving players a camp and camp fire to use while adventuring opens up all kinds of player interaction possibilities, for one tiny example.

In the end, the game developers can and should provide the players with tools and systems that allow emergent game play.  I agree both devs and gamers make this happen together, and that there needs to be a lore/theme and larger goals for the players to use as a game play guide, but in the end the players are the only truly dynamic content.  Give them the right tools and context, and they will make the game transcend its design.  This is why some folks around here are fond of games that offered this experience in the past, such as Star Wars Galaxies.

You speak of a statue in a game.  Well in SWG, I used to use my housing slots to put up "Hunting Lodges" in the middle of nowhere on a couple planets.  I would spend days/weeks setting them up, spend tons of credits and decorating them so that other players could enjoy them when they came across them in the wild, including having a vendor with camping/adventuring gear in it.  I would get tells from people all the time thanking me, and telling me that they were enjoying using them as part of their adventure  That's something I built that made the game world a better place for some people, and I used other people's content all the time as part of mine.  You just can't measure how important that is. 

 

This is all well and good for the players that like to make their own entertainment in MMO's but for me its seems as if modern developers have disregarded it as a way forward. I'm also sure they have thought about it. Every armchair dev loves to think their ideas are the savior of their favorite genre but have most probably been discussed and rejected by the dev's as not cost effective to make a game viable or too complicated to keep under control as you want to be able to foresee all outcomes to a feature before implementing it which is the opposite of what you are saying. Allowing too much freedom to players will not achieve that and make it harder for dev's to make the gameplay viable to all and not just a few who abuse the systems in place, think of FFA PvP as an example or the Jedi unlock in SWG. You give freedom to players to make their own entertainment sound and thats great but at the same time  you also give players the freedom to inhibit other players gameplay which isn't good and we all know who wins out in the end. 

 

The failure of SWG was most probably the inherent difficulty in keeping the systems fair for all to play the way they want thus an unfinished game at launch, EvE tries its best with low and high sec space but many players don't like the fact you can get podded or scammed by other players, totally legal of course, and stay well away for that reason. Which then brings in more problems with funding a game that allows players to ruin others gameplay experience. Its easy to theorize about emergent gameplay systems but I feel the reality is too complicated to actually make it viable in modern MMO's. If you give people the tools to enhance others gameplay experience you'll give them the tools to do the opposite as well. MMO's are more democratic in their features these days and I don't see it changing much regardless of what John Smedley and other dev's are saying with their Sandbox rhetoric.

This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  SQTO

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/11
Posts: 165

5/27/13 4:11:42 PM#24
the world felt bland and not alive to me because of the lack of pvp, and dont tell me that world pvp would go against the lore because every race fights their own race in the personal stories.
  Deeter

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 137

5/27/13 4:23:39 PM#25
So how much is Anet paying you guys to keep writing all these pointless articles about this game?
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7244

5/27/13 5:05:09 PM#26
You can't make a living world centered around npcs It has to be the players. The players need systems that are living world like.

When I eat chocolate chip pie it just doesn't feel like chocolate chip cookies. The texture, the consistency, it's just not the same and this is disappointing.

  Zeroxin

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/21/06
Posts: 2516

My words are not here to sway you,they are here to make you understand.

5/27/13 5:06:07 PM#27
Originally posted by Mannish
Game is a themepark mmo and you cant have a living world in a themepark mmo.  

There are quite a few ways to do it. It's all about the execution and Arenanet are getting there, albeit really slowly.

This is not a game.

  kjempff

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 695

Make worlds not stories

5/27/13 5:06:53 PM#28

It's a like a tour on the rollercoaster, You can only follow the rail; Sort of fun to try but You are not lining up for another ride. Living world ? Dynamic ? Not the slightest, although there are hints that it was the intention. There is something missing besides the very static dynamic events, and I think the main word here is "why". I have no reasons to do anything, I don't really care about anything I do.

To be honest I think it could become a great game with some "minor" changes. Out with all the combat skills, fast paced but boring. In with some role specific things, and it doesn't have to be holy trinity, just more tactical group mechanics (taking a peek at Neverwinter which is also fast paced but much more tactical and has some roles build in). In with factions, obviously lfg tools and other social enhancers. In with rare mobs, it can be dynamic events whatever doesn't matter.

The world is well made, exploring, puzzles, quest variety is good, models well made, story and lore is not bad either. There are much game mechanics that can hold You interested for a long time, and if only the game itself were more interesting I would stick around too. I keep thinking, what an awesome game this world could have hosted.

  Tierless

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2114

joie de vivre

5/27/13 9:02:19 PM#29
Its a good concept for the PVE crowd but it's also a false name. How to make a living world? See EVE, UO, and old school SWG. It's not more scripted PVE thats for certain.

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  stevebombsquad

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/20/13
Posts: 609

5/27/13 10:18:05 PM#30
Originally posted by Tierless
Its a good concept for the PVE crowd but it's also a false name. How to make a living world? See EVE, UO, and old school SWG. It's not more scripted PVE thats for certain.

This. It is what I miss in games. SWG had a "living" world with all of the player run events. I can remember the good times that I had.....fashion shows,  house decorating contests, cantina crawls, speeder races...... Some scripted events and temporary content isn't even close to being comparable. 

James T. Kirk: All she's got isn't good enough! What else ya got?

  whilan

Keeper of the Archives

Joined: 1/30/07
Posts: 3115

5/27/13 10:41:08 PM#31

What i feel needs to happen is something to remain behind after these events. what do i mean by this? Don't just put an event or dungeon in, run it for a little bit then remove it, returning the world to like it never even happened. It's fun for while it lasted but once it's removed only memories remain.

Something like this could happen:

An event starts, we'll say it's raid size just to make a point. 

The objective is to defeat the evil wizard who is trying to suck all life out of the area. The goal of the player is to stop him. Sooner the better.

Every hour he is left undefeated destroys a bit more of the land he is currently occupying. After say 6 hours he moves (or revives) to a different part of the land and must be defeated either again or for the first time (he is evil after all so he probably deals in dark magic)

This goes on for about a week on each server, then it ends. But here is the clincher the land stays destroyed in those parts. It can recover a little but that is forever changed, and it was all based on how players reacted during the event. Switch to a different server, world looks different.

This also would help benefit their mist idea of the other side being from a different world.

Now this could be happening but all signs from articles and players tells me it isn't.  If it is, great, if not they need to do this.  Otherwise it's not a living world, it's an event world. Make stuff happen in it and make it stay that way. The event doesn't have to stay but the world should feel the impact of it.

Disclaimer: I have not actually played the game as it does not interest me, lost interests when i saw how they did storytelling.  so what i'm saying is based off of forum posts and articles on it.  I'm a huge story buff type person i like to read and stuff so that is a big thing.

Also it should be noted that this is my opinion and views on this.

Help me Bioware, your my only hope.

Is ToR going to be good? Dude it's Bioware making a freaking star wars game, all signs point to awesome. -G4tv MMo report.

  ThomasN7

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6656

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

5/27/13 10:43:20 PM#32
Trying to make a living world. Shouldn't they have done that already ?
  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

5/27/13 11:55:23 PM#33
Originally posted by Calerxes

The failure of SWG was most probably the inherent difficulty in keeping the systems fair for all to play the way they want thus an unfinished game at launch, EvE tries its best with low and high sec space but many players don't like the fact you can get podded or scammed by other players, totally legal of course, and stay well away for that reason. Which then brings in more problems with funding a game that allows players to ruin others gameplay experience. Its easy to theorize about emergent gameplay systems but I feel the reality is too complicated to actually make it viable in modern MMO's. If you give people the tools to enhance others gameplay experience you'll give them the tools to do the opposite as well. MMO's are more democratic in their features these days and I don't see it changing much regardless of what John Smedley and other dev's are saying with their Sandbox rhetoric.

^ most of the strongest adherents of 'living worlds' probably haven't ever experienced one; because they really have not ever truly existed in mmospace.

Which is why we see a lot of talk about the potential, and not much discussion of limitations. Housing is actually a pretty good example of games nibbling around the edges; in a truly "living world", the ability to construct a dwelling goes hand in hand with the ability to grief the home's owner (the ability to deconstruct). EVE doesn't have a true Wild West; but sectors to hide in by those wishing to avoid that kind of play.

We'll see what Smed actually builds, eventually. The conflict between constructive and destructive impulses (of players) is one that clearly needs to be addressed, even by the most Optimistic lovers of "emergent gameplay". It's a knife edge that a true "living world" will be dancing along on all of the time.

---

As an example; unlimited emotes. Roleplaying games typically had an /act or /emote verb, in the text-based games. But it was something that GMs had to keep a close eye on, because there were ways to abuse the same.

>/em Jimbob reaches into your pouch and calmly removes 10,000 platinum pieces.

If echoed to the players without alteration, the players would be filing reports or suchlike that they'd just been robbed; and that was the most simple way to abuse an /act. I (once on staff) was given access to the unlimited versions; I used messaging trickery to 'bring to life' a "mech" in my "office" when players were given a tour of annually. No actual mech beastie existed, but I could fool you LOOKing at one (by overriding your LOOK verb when applied to the prop), and I could fool your front end with faked emote messaging that mimiced a "robot".

I could (and frequently did) f**k with players in live game areas by messing with the crittur messaging during their combats. Nothing more surprising than a lowly kobold exhibiting almost cosmic powers /gsend "The kobold spreads his hands and lightning springs forth.". Combined with a fast script, I could even damage you with the lightning.

One verb; imagine that for a moment in the hands of a griefer. Players weren't given access to the unlimited versions of our verbs, and for damned good reasons. The player version of /act echoed back with clearly altered messaging ((everything put in parenthesis, for example)) to make it a clear to other players that something unusual was happening...Jimbob clearly didn't really just relieve you of your plat pieces.

In a truly open world, we'd be making decisions like that on a daily basis to limit liability; how can we keep the players from screwing with each other (trivially) or majorly griefing each other (tearing up your just-constructed subdivision), and how do we limit liability of potentials for griefing without stamping all over player freedoms with hobnailed boots. (CCP calls that 'dealing with the unexpected consequences of emergent gameplay', right?)

---

Better example, maybe, is gambling. Emergent result is that players will wager cash or exchange cash for virtual goods.

Emergent gameplay in an open world that you damned well better deal with (illegal in some states, federal taxes to deal with, etc) as a producer of games. Enormous liability issues all around, both from the producer and player sides.

Try discussing drugs or other illegal activities in your game space (no, really, don't)--Homeycorp doesn't play with people who do. Homeycorp doesn't want to deal with Feds, at all, ever.

---

"Shouldn't it already be?"

"Living World" is more of a constantly ongoing process than a binary flag.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

5/28/13 1:29:28 AM#34
Originally posted by heckz0r
Gw2 need OPEN PVP .

Right, whatever that means.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  User Deleted
5/28/13 3:22:06 AM#35

I was in awe of the game at first, but leveling my Sylvari I came across two (three actually) obstacles: 1 - the story did not interest me at all, it didn't suck me in and it didn't feel "living" or persistent in any way... (more on persistence further down) ; 2 - the zones feel much too gamey and not nearly enough open world, it's possible to stay in your starter area and level to max, or you traipse around the boringly square zones grabbing all the gamey (and not thematic at all) carrots strewn about.

 

And what I find most vexing, even when the game was announced, is this is insistence by some game publishers to call their MMO "persistant". It's an oxymoron: how can my individual actions make a game changing impact on the world? This would change the experience for other players. So ArenaNet is stuck with "dynamic events" that are just as repetitive as any static "kill x of this get x of that" quests with respawns. The dynamic events make no thematic sense if they keep on recurring...

 

And that's fine, I mean there is this friction between presenting a living world and keeping player experiences similar, but don't use words that don't fit the content: There's very little "living" or "persistent" about GW2 as there is about any other MMO. Want persistent, living, changing? You'll need to have a single-player experience, like Skyrim.

  aSynchro

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/13/11
Posts: 153

5/28/13 3:44:33 AM#36

So i'd like more non-combat related things in the world, like extra minigames, musical instruments, fishing or guild houses so the game wouldn't be all about fighting.

And more complex system like a diplomatic one with guilds that could vote for local leaders. Those leaders will then be able to start inter-guilds missions or set the weekly focus (war on the centaurs! save the Quaggans! help with the royal wedding! etc.)

Everything in the "living world" isn't about hitting your neighbour with an axe ^^

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2736

5/28/13 4:29:36 AM#37

And we have yet another article about GW2 that says nothing. This site pushes too many articles on GW2 on each single tiny aspect of GW2 and they are all filled up with fluff telling us stuff which we have already heard like 100 times. 

I didn't like the Flame and Frost story and I don't like the Southsun Cove stuff so far. The tasks to do are boring and I fail to see how this is more than just adding a number of EXTREMELY BASIC quests to the game. Sure they don't call them quests but they might as well pass for quests. In southsun cove you have to collect 11 samples, discover 5-6 places and do 3-4 events for each faction together with two other mini achievements involving jumpining into a lava pit naked and buying an item from an NPC. Wooohoo, such innovation. I actually prefered all the daily quests and the story quests from WoW. They had much more story in them. ArenaNet reluctance to have any quests results in them not giving us much background story and the whole thing feels disjointed. Yet what we are doing in essence are quests but way more boring because we get the boring "to do" task-like aspect without any real story or context surrounding the task. Also quantity is an issue.

Flame & Frost was just as bad - collect 6 random things from two zones, decipher several objects, do one and the same event a billion times, repair sign posts and light up fires for refugees. The only good thing about that "story arc" was the dungeon which I managed to play only 1 once as it got removed in like 12 days haha.

To sum up, the living story is crap in my opinion. What are the benefits? We get stupid "tasks", they are not even worth of being called quests as they are even MORE boring and we get 2-3 stupid events thrown in which are also quests but without any real story. All we get in return is some achievement points, the odd items and a title. Yay! WoW's daily quests from 4 years ago are MORE fun and are MORE rewarding. Not even going to talk about the new evolving dailies. It's just absurd. And you know what? WoW's quests remain in the game so you can do them for like ever so the game gets expanded. What we get with GW2 is utter crap. 

They have added quite a bit of stuff which is good - custom arenas, leaderboards, WvWvW ranks & other changes, Fractals, the Crab toss mini game etc. They should focus on these things not on their pointless living story which is removed in like 10-30 days top usually. It is boring, it lacks any real story, it doesn't feel rewarding and it makes WoW's daily quests look like next gen gaming. I mean seriously. Arenanet should stop with this madness.

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  goemoe

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 160

5/28/13 4:41:28 AM#38

Can be the first GW2 article here which I sign as it is. The living world is not so much living most of the time. They should tell us story in the game. What good is it to announce guides who are standing all over tyria and tell all the very same short text?

Living story can be improved by far, or... skip it and work on a good old expansion. I vote for the last!

  Muke

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1612

5/28/13 6:26:05 AM#39
Originally posted by Icewhite

Ideally, they do it together.

But one of the drawbacks of "massive" is how difficult incorporating player contribution becomes. How many people do  you know that have permanent features of a game universe created by them? Or affected the lore in any way?


 

EVE Online content is run by players, there are history pages on the Net about the great wars that happened in the last decade, which alliances+players had a role in them (like some dictators or notorious thieves/sabotagers/metagamers).

That's the best example I could come up with.

So I would say sandboxes with content/economy ran by players are the best way to make a name.

 

"going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  bltme

Novice Member

Joined: 5/16/13
Posts: 27

5/28/13 1:11:59 PM#40
lol, and i thought guild wars 2 did a complete makeover from the ordinal which has instancing between zones, heck you couldn't even jump. If guild wars 2 has loading screens in between zones I'm glad I didn't buy it. Part of originality is having the freedom to make it original. If it's just a different take on terra or never winter ( which is really really bad) I'll stick to dragon's prophet. 
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