In a follow-up to yesterday's Q&A with Colin Johanson on Guild Wars 2's dynamic events system, Lead Designer Eric Flannum answers some additional questions in this latest post made to the official ArenaNet blog.
Kicking things off, Eric addresses the issue of griefing and the dynamic events systems, particularly when it comes to large guilds or organized efforts by sizeable amounts of players to disrupt these events:
Events never encourage player conflict, and never have fail conditions that can be actively triggered by players. For example, you won’t see any events that require players to be “stealthy” by say, sneaking by some sleeping guards. A player in this situation could quite easily choose to wake the guards up and ruin the fun for everyone. In the case where a player or group of players have figured out how to cause an event to fail, we have been very careful to not make any one particular event more desirable than another.
While encouraging, it doesn't sound like this is a foolproof solution, as Eric explains that "Events also occur frequently and all over the map. If someone is causing problems at a particular event, it isn’t difficult to find another one to participate in." This is all fine and dandy, however, I doubt players who have worked hard many stages into an event will find this to be an adequate solution if their event is griefed at the last minute.
Despite this, it's important to note that the ArenaNet team is still committed to reducing the effects of griefing as much as possible, "In the end, stopping griefing is one of our highest priorities. Through our playtesting we’ve already found a few ways in which some of our events could be griefed, and in every case we’ve made changes to stop it. At this point we think we’ve addressed most of these issues, but we’ll continue to be vigilant as we develop the game and will of course take whatever measures are needed to stop griefing after the game is released."
Continuing on, we learn that dynamic events will only scale to group size, and not level ranges, which means higher level players will have an easier time with events involving creatures they've outleveled.
Eric then goes on to discuss the impact of individual player choices in events, noting that dynamic events don't involve individual player choice the same way that your character's personal storyline would, in that events react to the world, and not to the player. If ogres are attacking a town the player can choose to help out or to ignorre it, but they cannot make a choice within an event that runs contrary to the choice of another player.
Next up is a question on whether or not tradtiional quests are used at all in Guild Wars 2, for either the dynamic events system or the personal storyline system, and Eric's response here provide some interesting revelations about the game:
We’ve actually gone away from using the term “quest” to describe any of our content. The feeling is that the word has a lot of baggage associated with it. It brings certain expectations and preconceptions that we don’t want players to have in mind when they play our game. That being said, there are no traditional quests in Guild Wars 2. We have three main types of content in the game. First, we have events which we’ve started talking about in some detail. Next we have the personal storyline, which is probably closest to being what players usually think of as a “quest” and yet it’s very different at the same time. We’ll be talking about the personal storyline very soon.
We can't say either way how similar to traditional "quests" a characters personal storyline will be, as Eric states that they are similar in some ways, but are very different at the same time, and not really going any further than that. However, we are promised that we should find out more about the personal storyline system "very soon."
Finally, Eric addresses the possibility of a zone being empty of events going on for any reason, and whether or not this would hamper a player's progress. To that end, we're told players will have many avenues to advance their character outside of the dynamic events system, including the pursuit of achievements, the character's personal storyline, discovering and earning traits, or even completing collections. Heck, if somehow a zone is empty of events you could simply go out and explore and trigger one yourself!
For additional details read the full Q&A with Eric Flannum over at the ArenaNet blog.
[Thanks Piasek for the tip!]