I normally complete my dailies, so I’ve been playing through a lot of events lately, and it’s brought my attention to a couple of things. I really do enjoy dynamic events, as they help bring players together, but after awhile they can be a bit stale. Sure you have a few different styles from collecting, escort, and even a good old fashioned battle. But events tend to be fairly basic, and don’t offer different gameplay options making them often feel like grander versions of quests. HoT is tackling a lot of different issues, and dynamic events are on that list. We don’t know all the specifics just yet, but here are some design ideas I hope to see in HoT.
The idea behind dynamic events was for the game world to offer cooperative content meant for large groups of players, that when completed, win or lose, would affect the game world. This goal has been achieved in Guild Wars 2 at a very basic level. Let’s say some force decides to take over a camp. If the event fails, the good NPCs make a run for it, or lay on the ground dead while baddies march around. This camp used to be a safe place, but now is a death trap. In this way the world has gone through a change. But it's never permanent, only cyclical.
Dynamic events in the deep Maguuma will hopefully be designed in a way so that they make a greater impact on the game world. This is the first thing that could make dynamic be more than an opportunity to grab some karma. I want to be punished for failing an event. Make the world harder to navigate. Make enemy forces go from one encampment to the next, spreading their wave of destruction throughout the entire zone, laying traps and building siege! Heck, give enemy mobs a buff while areas are under enemy control and make us work to drive them off.
On the opposite side, players need to be rewarded better for completing events successfully. Let’s go back to the simple example of enemy forces trying to invade territory. If players are able to band together and stop the invasion, mobs in general should be fewer in numbers, and even take more evasive actions, rather than just attacking no matter how the odds are stacked against them. New forts and structures could be built, offering new ways to traverse the zone, which seems to be a big theme for the Maguuma Jungle. This could even open up new quest possibilities.
Dynamic events don’t only need to change the world, they need more variety to make them more exciting to play. Currently we can run around hitting anything that moves, and every once in a while an event will feature some sort of stationary siege weapon. Tyria is a land that features two races that have done a lot to create machines of war. Imagine getting the chance to use a vehicle in an event! Just run around the Black Citadel and you’ll see different vehicles just laying still, ready to be driven into battle.
Super awesome Charr tanks of destruction aren’t the only way to make events more interesting. With HoT being max level content, you can think of Maguuma as one big giant elite zone. Events should have more layers than your typical old world area. Take the Tequatl event for example. Players have to split up, defending multiple objectives, all while providing offense on multiple fronts. Not every event needs to be this complicated, but adding an extra layer to them would make it more exciting, and help further promote teamwork.
Dynamic events are an amazing concept, and for the most part they’ve served us well, but now it’s time for the concept to be taken to the next level. Rewarding, and even punishing players for their performance during an event on a grander scale may be what we need to get the adrenalin pumping. It would also be great to have different things to do during events, like controlling mobile siege weapons, which would be amazing for WvW. Adding layers to events, requiring players to split into smaller groups to tackle multiple objectives that leads everyone towards a single larger goal would also increase replayability. We’ve all had the chance to get a glimpse of what HoT has to offer, but I’m betting we’ve barely scratched the surface.