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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: MMO’s New Buzzwords: Dynamic Events

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57 posts found
  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

7/29/13 12:00:57 PM#21

What I like with regards to GW2 events are the success and fail states and the fact that each state can kick off subsequent events into some fairly lengthy chains. Considering GW2 is the first (that I'm aware of) MMO to toss the quest-bang and have their primary PvE content DE's I'd say they've done a really great job so far. If GW2 continues to improve upon them and newer games like Firefall take the idea and run with them adding their own flair it really holds a lot of promise for MMOs of the future. I know I'll be in Tyria for years to come, but I wish Firefall great success as well!

 

Just remember... GW2 had to add "hearts" to the game, kind of "tasks" marked on the map, because the average player would bypass an event that was in progress completely because they "didn't have the quest for that". Make sure you put in the effort into a tutorial to educate the quest-bang trained crowd to recognize that when something is happening it's a good idea to check it out. Forget "quest logs", get your arse in there and help!

Oderint, dum metuant.

  orbitxo

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/25/06
Posts: 1169

7/29/13 12:41:09 PM#22
CCP, Trion, Red5, and Anet  have been sorta the pioneers on this trend, lets hope it sticks an gets better.
 
  CyclopsSlayer

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 532

7/29/13 12:53:29 PM#23

re: GW2/Warhammer when an event has a fixed location, fixed script, fixed triggers, and a repeating chain cycle, then by NO stretch of the words can they be called Dynamic. Sure, you can succeed at the event, or fail, but that is the only remotely dynamic part.

Some games have filled in the "Dynamic changes" part by giving chained quests in a different order, you get them 1>2>3, I get them 1>3>2.... Ooooo Ahhhhh.....

It soon became apparent with Rift that the 'rifts' had limited possible spawn locations. And while you could never be entirely sure how often an event occurred, or what event would occur. When they did occur there was little if anything 'Dynamic' about it.

 

So, "Dynamic" is just another of the meaningless buzzwords thrown around these days with no fixed or proper definition. Joining the crowd of "Level-less", "Trinity-less", "Sandbox", "Freedom", etc... People and Devs especially use the words, but NEVER define them. Sure you can call your game anything you want, and as long as you remain vague players will build up false hopes and false hype based on what that player thinks the Dev meant, meanwhile they use an entirely different definition.

Take "Level-less", if you change the name from level into Skill Ranks that is technically level-less right? So now rather than a player earning Experience points on a quest, they earn Skill points. A big difference, right?  Not so much...

  Fourplay

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/10
Posts: 128

7/29/13 1:19:08 PM#24

State is the keyword here. State has a cause and effect, it is the filter or prism that while subtle, makes an interaction feel different. State is an emotional and physical value, usually governed by your perception. When it becomes personal is when the state is most vulnerable. Dynamic events must learn to affect us on the personal level.

 

 

Emotional State:

Personal emotion: Your wife of twenty years cheats on you after what you thought was a good marriage. Your state will probably be one of sorrow, heartache, unworthy, or hatred.

Non personal emotion: The neighbors wife cheats on him after twenty years of a so called good marriage. Your state will probably be one of empathy, slightly uncaring, or unaffected.

 

What kind of dynamic events would make it feel personal to you in a videogame? 

 

 

Physical State:

Personal physical state: An attack from another country is made on your homeland which has been safe and secure. Everyone you knew growing up has just died, your home city is in ashes and you are facing death or captivity.

Non personal physical state: Some country just attacked another country not your own. Everyone they knew has just died, their city is in ashes, and they are facing death or captivity.

 

What kind of dynamic events would make it feel personal to you in a videogame?

 

To be truly dynamic, this must apply to weather, resources, npcs, emotions, the world. Take a city, it's rather different from season to season, different weather, different laws, natural disasters, financial security, acts of violence. In a game if all that is just a skin or text and doesn't actually affect stuff. Then these events are no different than quests.

 

Dynamic events, sandbox, and emergent gameplay have yet to be fully explored. And I hope designers look for ways to make games rich and dynamic. Start creating systems with more than just 2-3 variables to determine dynamic so it never feels repetitive.

 

 

 
 
  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4769

7/29/13 1:48:24 PM#25

Dynamic events: One of Anets largest accomplishments in GW2. They were a lot of fun. But there are a few down sides. They became just a repetitive as mob kills. Instead of killing 10 mobs a thousand times, you just repeat the same DEs over and over. After it's all said and done, the impact of DEs has been whittled away.

But that's not the biggest drawback to DE's Along with ANET's greatest contribution, comes their worst. The Personal Story. Problem is, you can't have DEs without this. Or you have to have quest hubs inter-spaced between DEs. DE's are event oriented. not story oreineted. They portray a situation at hand. What's going on right then and there. But they cannot convey a story, they cannot paint the history of that world, You cannot advance the game's Lore in DEs. Also, because of their repetitive nature, it becomes very difficult to tie your character's personal advancement in the game to them. With specific quests, you can reward characters at specific points in the game to keep them going. Obviously from a gear standpoint, there are other ways to overcome this, but in general, it's very difficult to tie any kind of specific advancement to an individual DE.

The Personal Story was supposed to be a side story that characters can solo in when alone. I'm not against having things for players to do while playing alone, but tying the entire lore of the game to a single player activity was a mistake.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4815

7/29/13 2:00:51 PM#26

The problem with any buzzword is people try and use them before they really know what they mean.

Sandbox has got to be the worst of these. Sandbox was always about building and changing the world, how pvp got involved I don't know.

Dynamic events were about the outcome of the event not that it could be done more than once.

I guess the other issue with them is, they're not solutions to a problem. A sandbox isn't a fix for a bad themepark. It's just a different way to make a game. If it's still a crappy game, being a sandbox wont make it popular.

There's a saying about evolution and why we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. Clearly it didn't see the internet coming or it never would have given us ten fingers to type with.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4769

7/29/13 2:05:59 PM#27
Originally posted by DamonVile

The problem with any buzzword is people try and use them before they really know what they mean.

Sandbox has got to be the worst of these. Sandbox was always about building and changing the world, how pvp got involved I don't know.

Dynamic events were about the outcome of the event not that it could be done more than once.

I guess the other issue with them is, they're not solutions to a problem. A sandbox isn't a fix for a bad themepark. It's just a different way to make a game. If it's still a crappy game, being a sandbox wont make it popular.

Actually, that's quite a profound statement. But it's true.  All of the recent games didn't fail simply because they were Theme Parks, they failed because they were poorly developed.

It's the sad state of the genre. The next big title has as many threads discussing issues with it's business model than issues with the game itself.

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3735

RIP City of Heroes!

7/29/13 2:15:51 PM#28
Originally posted by botrytis
Originally posted by PAL-18

New?

Anarchy Online had dynamic content like 10 years ago but its mmorpg tho.

 

Anarchy online was very scripted and not as dynamic as you think it was. Dynamic scripting takes alot of coding and horsepower to do. We are just getting into the time where that is possible.

I consider GW2 DE to be scripted.  AO might have been the first to do DE in an mmorpg.  City of heroes also was scripted with the rikti invasion but those were DEs as well.   I think you want to nitpick it because you love GW2 and want to give it undo credit.  my 2 cents.

  PAL-18

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/14/13
Posts: 740

7/29/13 2:22:20 PM#29
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by botrytis
Originally posted by PAL-18

New?

Anarchy Online had dynamic content like 10 years ago but its mmorpg tho.

 

Anarchy online was very scripted and not as dynamic as you think it was. Dynamic scripting takes alot of coding and horsepower to do. We are just getting into the time where that is possible.

I consider GW2 DE to be scripted.  AO might have been the first to do DE in an mmorpg.  City of heroes also was scripted with the rikti invasion but those were DEs as well.   I think you want to nitpick it because you love GW2 and want to give it undo credit.  my 2 cents.

I was not going to even answer to that horsepower scripting crap hehe.

But point is that there was 10 years ago some geniuses and ambitious devs who had these ideas and those ideas materialized pretty nicely.

So, did ESO have a successful launch? Yes, yes it did.
By Ryan Getchell on April 02, 2014.
**On the radar:http://cyberpunk.net/**

  Merxion

Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/04
Posts: 74

7/29/13 2:46:26 PM#30
I remember a small unpublished MMO that closed its doors during Open beta.  That was arguably the king of Dynamic Events.  Wish by Mutable Realms these guys did Dynamic Events right complete with actors and actions having consequences.  Your noob town's black smith got killed by a snake?  No problem respawn.  Oops except he has to walk from his master in the main city.  RIP Real Dynamic Events.
  Homitu

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2044

7/29/13 3:01:23 PM#31

"Dynamic Events" certainly have been buzz words over the past year.  I've seen just about every developer drop the "D bomb" since GW2 started to emerge on the scene as a strong player in the MMO market.  And I agree that it's a good thing.  

I still say that GW2 did with public events what WoW did with quests; it took a concept that had been utilized to varying minor extents in previous titles and used it as the core mechanic through which players experience the world throughout the leveling process and beyond - and to great success.  Just as quests have evolved over the years into more effective forms of gameplay and storytelling, I fully expect dynamic content to continue to evolve and improve over the next decade.  Once you experience a world built on a foundation of dynamic events, it's seriously difficult to go back to quests.  It's not hard to see why so many developers are looking to incorporate them into their game worlds.  

  Voqar

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/04
Posts: 481

7/29/13 3:06:00 PM#32

I don't even consider GW2 to be a real MMO.  It's a single player online game.  Even when you are in a group instance you are just sharing space and a chat with soloists.

 

Some of the content in GW2 is slick but the game overall is a crappy MMO - for me at least - because I like a more group-oriented experience.  Real groups.  Not just soloists thrown together in zergs.

 

I don't think the problem is so much that people are sick of theme park MMOs.  Somewhat.

 

The problem is that no matter how obvious and simple the "WoW Formula" (or EQ formula since WoW borrows HEAVILY from EQ) most people just can't match it.

 

Here's the simple way to define all of the clones and failures.

 

Design a game with a ton of single player content.  Spend most of your dev time on single player content - years and millons of dollars.  Add a few dungeons.  Add hardmodes of the same dungeons, often with little variation, for endgame.  Maybe but not always throw in 1, maybe 2 short and easy raids.  Slap on some crappy as hell PvP after talking the whole time you were developing about how your PvP...really..this time we mean it...is going to be the BEST MMO PVP EVARRRRR!!!!1!1!!1

 

The end result is you have a glorified single player game.  You have tons of solo content that's usually of pretty good quality.  Players obliterate that single player content in somewhere between 1 and 60 days depending on how much they play.  For most MMOs players (IMO), it's less than 30 days because most serious MMO players play obsessively.

 

In Neverwinter's beta that wasn't beta players were doing endgame within a few days.

 

So all that content that took years and millions to develop is over and done with in a few weeks max.  Then what?  Players are at endgame almost immediately.  Except...there isn't much endgame because most dev time was spent on solo content that got summarily obliterated.  There's that handful of hardmodes that get old quick and maybe a few raids, and no raid progression.   So a few weeks/months later everybody is done with that too.

 

Oh yeah, you have the obligatory must be everything to everybody slapped on craptastic PvP because it would be a shame for the people who won't play unless there's PvP and who don't care about the rest of the game didn't play.  It doesn't matter that the PvP has zero tie to the rest of the game, zero purpose other than to be a minigame, is usually unfinished and broken, and that every little tweak in the chase for the never to be achieved PvP balance affects the real game.

 

So you have games like LOTRO, SWTOR, TSW, TERA, and on and on.  Good games in general but games that were built almost entirely around solo content that players vaporize in short order.  Games that didn't ship with much of an endgame - surely not enough to keep people busy for any real length of time.  Games that didn't ship with a progression system in place (both EQ and WoW use the same formula for endgame progression...it works...it's why both games have lasted years).

 

Games that didn't add enough endgame fast enough to retain playes.

 

MMO players are fickle these days.  If not stimulated adequately they move on, and once gone, they're usually gone for good.

 

I played TSW after realizing that GW2 is a crappy game.  It has some of the best, if not the best, solo/leveling content ever.  It has amazing instances.  It has a super slick character system.  It has a super slick endgame gearing system.  It had one raid, with one boss.  Once done with the gearing and raid, you're done period.

 

So what does (un)funcom do?  Do they crank out more group content?  Do they extend the gear progression?  Do they add more instances and raids.  No.  They spend months at a time creating new issues of solo content.  Months.  Players destroy that content in a few hours.  It is probably the least efficient content they could possible create and does nothing to retain players.

 

Dumb developers is the problem.  Not the style of game.

 

Premium MMORPGs do not feature built-in cheating via cash for gold pay 2 win. PLAY to win or don't play.

  svann

Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/06
Posts: 1633

7/29/13 4:34:22 PM#33
Not all dynamic events are created equal.  I hated events in both gw2 and rift.  They both just felt like spamfests.  Something about ff14 is different.  Analytically, it seems like it would be the same, but in actuality it feels very different.
  Omnifish

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 615

I'll kick your a**e so hard, you could build a swimming pool in the footprint!

7/29/13 4:48:43 PM#34
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by botrytis
Originally posted by PAL-18

New?

Anarchy Online had dynamic content like 10 years ago but its mmorpg tho.

 

Anarchy online was very scripted and not as dynamic as you think it was. Dynamic scripting takes alot of coding and horsepower to do. We are just getting into the time where that is possible.

I consider GW2 DE to be scripted.  AO might have been the first to do DE in an mmorpg.  City of heroes also was scripted with the rikti invasion but those were DEs as well.   I think you want to nitpick it because you love GW2 and want to give it undo credit.  my 2 cents.

GW2 are brilliant at marketing, it has to be said...

This looks like a job for....The Riviera Kid!

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6744

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

7/29/13 4:51:44 PM#35

I don't like the term Dynamic because in reality they are not dynamic they are still scripted content just as any other content is.

The other FACt is this was a term used to create marketing hype,to make it sound like "we are bringing you something new".

Truth is the way they are implemented is just normal content but the map is kept basically empty of mobs until something triggers it.This again is nothing new,no different than quests in every other game that use triggers to spawn a Boss or use a damage trigger to have a building collapse.

Creative content is in how you change things up,simply having content disappear or appear is not a Dynamic event.

IMO when a developer TRIES too hard to make a point of their game,they are up to something.Why can't a developer simply make a game full of content and say here try our game,why the marketing ploy using gimmick words?

Marketing and gimmick words is like a car salesman telling you to not worry about the loose steering wheel because we made it that way so you could easily turn the wheel with one hand while talking on the phone with the other.Then he proceeds to remind you how bad is WAS in the past,remember having to use two hands to crank that steering wheel,see we are doing you a favor,we call it a Dynamic steering wheel.Meanwhile the truth is the steering linkage is worn out and a problem waiting to happen.

I am not saying the use of dynamic is a problem waiting to happen,but it most certainly is doing us no favors either.If we are trying to recreate a living world,you don't do it by making things spawn out of thin air or wait for some trigger to magically make it appear.You do it by having the content already there,after all it is a world not a blank sheet waiting to enter a trigger.There are of course ideas that support phasing in such as starting a fire or pitting out a fire with water.Or of course broken bridges,buildings,nothing like that would look proper if just magically happened,you need something to trigger those.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Omnifish

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 615

I'll kick your a**e so hard, you could build a swimming pool in the footprint!

7/29/13 4:55:46 PM#36

Can't edit my above for some reason...to add then

ANET are brilliant at marketing, it has to be said...

GW2 content is mainly reverse questing, not a new idea. But through buzzwords you convince enough people it's a revolutionary new idea and now every other developer has to have, 'dynamic events'...it'll forever be associated with GW2, regardless of whoever comes up with a better implementation. 

I don't think this article really answered why not all buzzwords are bad. All you've stated is how your version of, 'dynamic events', will conceptually work.

That's great an all but a little false advertising me thinks.

This looks like a job for....The Riviera Kid!

  Omnifish

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 615

I'll kick your a**e so hard, you could build a swimming pool in the footprint!

7/29/13 4:57:02 PM#37
Originally posted by Wizardry

I don't like the term Dynamic because in reality they are not dynamic they are still scripted content just as any other content is.

The other FACt is this was a term used to create marketing hype,to make it sound like "we are bringing you something new".

Truth is the way they are implemented is just normal content but the map is kept basically empty of mobs until something triggers it.This again is nothing new,no different than quests in every other game that use triggers to spawn a Boss or use a damage trigger to have a building collapse.

Creative content is in how you change things up,simply having content disappear or appear is not a Dynamic event.

IMO when a developer TRIES too hard to make a point of their game,they are up to something.Why can't a developer simply make a game full of content and say here try our game,why the marketing ploy using gimmick words?

Marketing and gimmick words is like a car salesman telling you to not worry about the loose steering wheel because we made it that way so you could easily turn the wheel with one hand while talking on the phone with the other.Then he proceeds to remind you how bad is WAS in the past,remember having to use two hands to crank that steering wheel,see we are doing you a favor,we call it a Dynamic steering wheel.Meanwhile the truth is the steering linkage is worn out and a problem waiting to happen.

I am not saying the use of dynamic is a problem waiting to happen,but it most certainly is doing us no favors either.If we are trying to recreate a living world,you don't do it by making things spawn out of thin air or wait for some trigger to magically make it appear.You do it by having the content already there,after all it is a world not a blank sheet waiting to enter a trigger.There are of course ideas that support phasing in such as starting a fire or pitting out a fire with water.Or of course broken bridges,buildings,nothing like that would look proper if just magically happened,you need something to trigger those.

 

 

+1 Well said

This looks like a job for....The Riviera Kid!

  Ventlus

Novice Member

Joined: 5/22/10
Posts: 96

7/29/13 7:40:54 PM#38
zzzzz i hope they don't make more games like gw2. Their is no end game at 80, its all about looks no actual, we worked really hard to get these pieces of gear. If they made a sandbox, where i'm not forced to pvp and they had good amount of end game content i would be happy. I don't think people are getting sick of themeparks, just poorly developed ones, and ones that might stay to close to WoW's interface in peoples mind But anyways FFXIV is gonna satisfy me and i will try the other mmo's after that just to see how they are. 
  Homitu

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2044

7/29/13 7:46:38 PM#39
Originally posted by Wizardry

I don't like the term Dynamic because in reality they are not dynamic they are still scripted content just as any other content is.

The other FACt is this was a term used to create marketing hype,to make it sound like "we are bringing you something new".

Truth is the way they are implemented is just normal content but the map is kept basically empty of mobs until something triggers it.This again is nothing new,no different than quests in every other game that use triggers to spawn a Boss or use a damage trigger to have a building collapse.

Creative content is in how you change things up,simply having content disappear or appear is not a Dynamic event.

IMO when a developer TRIES too hard to make a point of their game,they are up to something.Why can't a developer simply make a game full of content and say here try our game,why the marketing ploy using gimmick words?

Marketing and gimmick words is like a car salesman telling you to not worry about the loose steering wheel because we made it that way so you could easily turn the wheel with one hand while talking on the phone with the other.Then he proceeds to remind you how bad is WAS in the past,remember having to use two hands to crank that steering wheel,see we are doing you a favor,we call it a Dynamic steering wheel.Meanwhile the truth is the steering linkage is worn out and a problem waiting to happen.

I am not saying the use of dynamic is a problem waiting to happen,but it most certainly is doing us no favors either.If we are trying to recreate a living world,you don't do it by making things spawn out of thin air or wait for some trigger to magically make it appear.You do it by having the content already there,after all it is a world not a blank sheet waiting to enter a trigger.There are of course ideas that support phasing in such as starting a fire or pitting out a fire with water.Or of course broken bridges,buildings,nothing like that would look proper if just magically happened,you need something to trigger those.

 

While I'll agree that Anet surely carefully chose the wording of their catchphrase and drove the word "dynamic" home for a several years intentionally, I don't think they ever once said their content was something it's not.  Dynamic events does not mean non-scripted; it does not mean they don't loop; it does not mean changes are permanent forever and ever; it does not mean they don't repeat.  Anet never said they were all of these things, and the phrase "dynamic event" means exactly however Anet defines it. 

The problem arises when other MMO players hear the phrase first and immediately attribute their own meaning to it.  Then, when the game doesn't meet their personally established standards for what the phrase "dynamic event" should entail, they say, "ah ha! This isn't dynamic at all!"  It's a line of logic shrouded in the essence of the straw man.  

The thing that really gets me is people were making these arguments way before the game launched, and other players were correcting them then as well, but to no avail.  

Dynamic events won't be truly dynamic, they'll be scripted!  Yeah, we know that, we said. That's not what they mean by dynamic.

The results of dynamic events won't be permanent!  Of course not, we said, that would be preposterous in a themepark entirely contingent upon developer-generated content.  That's not what they mean by dynamic either.

Events are bound to repeat. They're cycles will loop. That's not very dynamic!  We know that too.  They have to chain back and forth; spawn and respawn.  There won't be an infinite amount of content!

Bottom line is, you can only go by the actual information Anet gave you.  They chose to name their system something catchy so it garnered attention.  You'd be a business fool to not try to do that.  But they didn't mislead you with false, fantastical ideas of how dynamic events would play out.  They very truthfully explained their system, and millions of us knew exactly what to expect.  If you interpreted more from the simple catchphrase than they explicitly defined, the fault of the misinterpretation lies with you.

  jinx1942

Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/12
Posts: 2

7/29/13 8:35:32 PM#40
Interesting article. It must be the time and age for it now as I distinctly remember discussing similar theory just before I was laughed out of DigiPen. At the time the technology was a ignorant impossibility it seemed. There are tools that can facilitate the process that can be integrated into the map generation and masking tools. Taking a penetrating multi-layer approach to the solution may reap greater rewards then attempting a silver bullet approach. In any event, I eagerly await your thesis and lectures on the subjects, lust let me know where to sign up.
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