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Player Decision

David North Posted:
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Many Guild Wars 2 players are sitting and shaking their fists in anger, or jumping for joy over the recent results from Cutthroat Politics.  I didn’t see much discussion about the election while it was going on to be honest. Now the day the results came out is a totally different story.  The chat was on fire, and forums got busy.

I myself voted for Evon.  My reasoning was I thought it would make for an interesting story, and I was more excited for the Abaddon fractal.  Either way both fractal ideas sounded great.  Now I’m not going to go on a rant about how I’m disappointed Evon lost, because I’m not.  I’m also not trying to start a huge internet forum brawl.  The player reaction to the event is just fascinating to me.  Before we’ve only seen players get angry about how a game ends, or maybe how a new patch nerfed their build.  This event is all about what the majority of players want based on what content they will get to play through.  I guess I wasn’t expecting much of a response, but wow was I surprised.  But why are players angry about an election that isn’t even real?  What would really cause this type of response?        

ArenaNet has informed everyone that if a candidate doesn’t win, that fractal will never be developed.  This is what has so many players angry over the decision.  These players are questioning if such good ideas and possibilities should be dangled in their faces, only to possibly be lost forever.  I say yes!

Congrats Ellen Kiel, I hope you make us proud.

This election is going to have a huge impact on the future of the game which is exactly what ArenaNet is trying to do.  They want the world to change and evolve, but have the players be a part of that evolution.  The type of reactions that players have been giving off is probably what they wanted.  The main goal is to make the game world feel more alive.  By making players take a side, you bring in a new element to the game.  Before the event everyone was friends, banding together to take out tough monsters, or defeat opposing servers.  Finally, the game has offered a reason for players to be “against” each other.

Imagine if both fractals were to be created no matter what the results were.  The decision wouldn’t have a major impact, and if you participated in the event or not, your actions wouldn’t matter.  You would get your way no matter what.  The way ArenaNet is going about this makes the event more meaningful.  Isn’t that what we wanted, a game world where our actions mean something and impacted the game directly?

For future events we may start to see other changes occur based on player actions.  Next time everyone will have to remember that if they truly want a certain outcome, then they will really have to work towards that goal.  I’m hoping to see future events where maybe we are dealing with another major threat, and we can either band together to stop the threat, and eliminate it, or choose to save a village, or even a group of important characters.  By putting these types of decisions into the hands of the player, it will immerse us more into the world of Tyria.

Nothing like a good cold awkward stare after a debate.

Cutthroat Politics was a fun and neat little event, that ultimately will have a huge impact on the world.  Some feel that players shouldn’t have a way to make important decisions on future content.  Those players are really in the minority.  If Evon had won then we would see the opposite side giving this argument instead.  We are in an age where players invest a ton of time into a game, creating a character that lives in another world.  By letting them impact that world, you make the experience even richer.  Now give the players a choice to pick which content they want to play through, and you have a formula players have been asking for.  But with the election over, let’s all be friends again and go beat up some Watchclock Knights! 

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.

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David North