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The Never Ending Story

David North Posted:
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The genre MMORPG has RPG in its name.  So why do most games I play in this genre have that whole element missing?  Even with the leveling up and the status changes, these games don’t suck you into the world.  The only role I played is that of  a disgruntled gamer playing a game he doesn’t like. ArenaNet has done a wonderful job with Guild Wars 2, placing players in the role of their characters, allowing them to interact with the world around them.

I love the way the world actually has a story, and that you can see that story unfold.  The use of Dynamic Events allows you to help change this world.  And it’s not just happening because an NPC said it did, you actually saw the event take place.  Stories like this are spread out throughout the world.  ArenaNet is now taking the next step by having one huge story take place in Tryia: they call it The Living Story.

Imagine being so immersed in a game, you can feel yourself becoming one with your character.

One reason that makes Guild Wars 2 so special is that it has a story in nearly every map.  Dynamic Events take place, throwing lore all over for players to absorb.  The Living Story is going to do this on a much larger scale.  While a Dynamic Event only takes place in a small area, the new Living Story could affect multiple zones at the same time.  We’ve already seen this with the Flame and Frost prelude taking place in both the Wayfarer Foothills and the Diessa Plateau. 

The Living Story shouldn’t be thought of as a giant Dynamic Event.  The key word is story.  It’s a giant story for more Dynamic Events to take place in.  We’ve gotten a small taste of this in Flame and Frost with a Dynamic Event tasking players to plug up geysers while fighting off hordes of elementals.  With this being the prelude, I’m looking forward to more intense events.  We may even be lucky to see new meta events!

The best part about the Living Story is that it’s going on constantly.  It won’t be treated like the holiday of Lost Shores events, but will have parts of a plotline that will unfold over time.  Some parts will be less grand than others, but things will always become more exciting.  They have to take some time to build up to the story.   We can’t just be killing enemies and exploding things all the time, even though it’s a lot of fun.  A story has to have some meat to it.

ArenaNet has placed a ton of storylines into the game already.  Players have their personal stories to go through, letting them fill the role of their character to give it personality.  It also helps us connect with them, thinking hard about the decisions they are about to make.  Some base these decisions on their real life morals.  Others explore different ways of thinking, taking charge of a situation rather than following someone else’s lead.  That’s how ArenaNet has worked in the RPG aspect into the game.

Something like The Living Story is incredibly important to this.  Sure the world has a lot of lore behind it, but once you’ve played for awhile you can know the history of each and every zone.  The world seems to stop changing.  The Living Story breathes life back into the world, by causing change that affects the NPCs, and possibly the world around them.  The world will evolve before our eyes, and suddenly our actions can mean even more.

They should do a plotline that involves a huge golem going crazy, kidnapping the queen, and climbing up the castle where players have to fly up and stop it. They could call it it Golem Kong!

The Living Story sounds like a great idea.  I think it’s just what the world of Tyria needs to keep it feeling alive.  A story that continues to grow and evolve is a gamers dream.  But I can’t stop wondering how players will get to interact with this story.  Will we just be along for the ride, doing tasks to help those who need it?  Will players get a chance to make some decisions, changing the outcome of a plotline, or even the whole story?  Will Dynamic Events be heavily used, or will we run into instances like with personal stories?  There are a lot of ways ArenaNet can go about this, but I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what happens.  They sure do love making people wait.

Overall I think The Living Story is going to be a great way to add more content to the game.  With some parts only offering minor content, they are the nice little break a player may need from another storyline.  I really hope new Dynamic Events are thrown into the mix, and new achievements are always a nice touch as well. It’s just a short wait till February 26th to see the next part of the Flame and Frost storyline, and hopefully it involves more than fixing sign posts.  February’s patch might give us a better idea of what’s to come.

Are you interested in The Living Story in Guild Wars 2?  Share your thoughts by leaving some comments below. 


David North