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Columns: The End is Only the Beginning

By David North on August 30, 2011

The End is Only the Beginning

The land was once in chaos as an evil force stood over it, casting a shadow that spread fear in its inhabitants.  Hope began to shine through; shrinking the shadow of fear, as you and several other heroes went on adventures to free the land from the grip of fear.  But what does a hero do after the quest?

Ah yes, the endgame.  The time when the player has completed the story line of the game and now gets to have some fun, whether it’s finding treasures, or just seeking out personal glory for some bragging rights.  Every MMO has an endgame, some more than others, and that is exactly what I would like to talk about today.  What can we expect from ArenaNet in terms of endgame?


I’m getting a lot of questions from people about what ArenaNet is doing to replace the crazy large PvE dungeon raids that we see in other games.  A lot of people just don’t realize it, but they already have their answer.  Laid out throughout the land of Tyria, there are huge, elite-style, dynamic events that will take place, like the one we saw at Gamescom with players battling an undead dragon.  These dynamic events won’t be for low level characters.  No, these events are for the top dogs.  Many of them will span a large period of time, and will require 50 players or more to complete.  Now before you say that those don’t count, let’s break this type of content down.  First let’s take a look at the Gamescom example, shall we?

First, we see this massive dragon that doesn’t fit on your screen, even if you had two monitors, burst out of the water and a huge swarm of players rushing towards it.  The dragon uses different abilities, all which make the players adjust their actions so that the players just can’t stand there and pound on him till he’s dead.  Instead we see the dragon summoning huge bone walls to block against all damage targeting him, and undead minions of all sorts of varieties coming out of the sea unleashing hell on the players. The dragon will also summon large bone fingers that throw players towards him so that he can finish them off.

The players have access to some cool looking cannons that are created by the Asura, which they can control to deal higher amounts of damage against the dragon, but they must be careful as the undead minions will charge the cannons and smash them.  On top of that, players can protect another type of cannon that will stun the dragon so that they can just wail on him with everything they’ve got.  You throw these things together, all at the same time, and you have a very involved, long and fast paced battle.

So, besides these crazy battles and events occurring throughout the world, what else do players have to look forward to?  Well let’s take a step back and look at the basic dungeons you’ll experience.  Each dungeon has 2 mode: a story mode, and an exploration mode.  The exploration mode will have tougher enemies and several more paths players can take to explore new areas of the dungeon and find new loot.  This adds a lot to the replay factor of the game.

The next big endgame thing, for me, is PvP on a massive scale.  How big?  We are talking world versus world… versus world!  That’s right, players can player either normal PvP, or choose to go into battle where three whole servers will duke it out on hugely epic persistent battlegrounds, trying to take over castles and keeps for two whole weeks.  And what makes it all worth it, is that the winning server will receive a blessing for their “world” for another two weeks until the next battle begins.  What these blessings will be is still uncertain, but I’m thinking they will deal with an increase in experience for players and possibly some changes to make dungeons more lucrative to players, maybe even unlocking more dynamic events that can only be accessed after winning in “The Mist”.

That’s a lot of content so far, but let’s say on a near impossible chance that that someone experiences all these different types of endgame, as in they manage to somehow reach 100% completion, there is one last thing that players can do. 

Simply create a whole new character in a different race. Ever heard of alts?

A good bit of the game is different for each race, offering a different experience for all your characters.  On top of that, your character’s story will be unique from what your first character experienced.  From the looks of it, there is no need to worry about the amount of content in Guild Wars 2.  Already there are two separate storylines, and after you get done with those, the fun doesn’t end.  I doubt there will be people who can’t find anything to do in this game.  With the dynamic events, large repeatable dungeons and PvP matches that involve thousands of players at once (not to mention the tournaments), there will always be something to do in the world of Tyria.

David North / All my life I've been a gamer, from side scrolling adventures to shooters, it was only a mater of time before the RPG genre would grab a hold of me. My love for games grew so much that I started to make them. It grew even more, and now I also write about them.
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