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Lead Content Designer Answers Dynamic Events Questions

Posted by Michael Bitton on May 19, 2010  | Comments

Lead Content Designer Answers Dynamic Events Questions -

Guild Wars 2 Lead Content Designer Colin Johanson answers a number of frequently asked questions regarding Guild Wars 2's unique "dynamic events system" in a new post to the official ArenaNet blog.

Probably one of the most frequent questions I've noticed so far regarding this new system is a question of whether or not the dynamic events system will reset, and to some extent Colin Johanson answered this question in our recent interview on the feature, however he elaborates a bit further here:

Will dynamic events reset? For example, if an NPC dies in a dynamic event, will that NPC die forever for everyone in the world, or will she eventually respawn? What if players kill a boss in a dynamic event, and I logged off for the day and missed it? Are dynamic events really just one-shot, large-scale quests?

Colin: Dynamic event chains can reset. As chains, they move along paths based on player participation and event outcome. If an NPC dies in a dynamic event, their corpse might sit there waiting for players to come resurrect it and kick-start the event chain again, or it may re-spawn some time later.
Our event chains will never be lost to everyone in the world forever, they’ll simply cycle back into different states based on their outcomes, or they might not be actively running based on the current state of the event chain. If you and other players push an assault on the centaur base event chain to the point where you kill their commander, eventually the centaurs will choose a new commander and the event chain can begin again.
Changes from events will not be permanent and last forever, but they will change the world directly and last for a period of time long enough that it feels like what you did matters and has an impact. If we wanted every event we designed to run only once, we’d need to hire approximately 100,000 people to make enough events to fill GW2. Since our budget isn’t quite that big, we’re going for the next best thing and creating awesome cycling event chains that allow you to experience a wide variety of ever-changing content, but allow us to use event chains more than once.
With our dynamic event system, you’re never really missing the fun stuff, just experiencing different fun content than someone else at a specific time. It gives the world a feeling like there is always something exciting and fun going on out there that you may have never seen before. You don’t feel let down because you missed an event; instead, you’re excited to discover the next event!

One problem with event systems for many MMO gamers is the issue of time, we don't all live in and play during the same time zones, so it should be reassuring to know that events "are not designed to occur at specific real world times; they’re triggered by game conditions, player actions, and in-game time occurrences (like night falling in the game world)."

Colin also revealed that dynamic events can even run in parallel to each other, and even influence each other. Colin uses an example of players tasked with escorting a beer merchant to the town of Beetletun, only to discover when they get there that the town of Beetletun is also under attack by centaurs. Defeating the centaurs allows the players to complete their escort task, and also liberates the town, with the added bonus of the merchant setting up shop there for a time allowing other players to purchase yummy beer.

Another concern players have had is that these events will be too transient in nature and will be viewed as insignificant by players, and Colin offered an amusing analogy to address the issue:

We feel strongly that players will experience the exact opposite.  Events will seem more significant and more important because you’re actually experiencing them in the game world, rather than reading about them.

Let’s say you walk up to someone on the street and say hello and they hand you a note that says, “A lion got loose from the zoo.” It doesn’t really have the same dramatic impact as walking down the street and witnessing the lion chasing screaming people around while the police chase the lion with tranquilizer guns. Our dynamic event system is like hundreds of lions running all over every street of the city… and they haven’t eaten in weeks.

And what of loot? Colin explains that loot will "never be directly given as a reward for an event," thus ensuring that players will never feel like they absolutely have to be part of a particular event or feel let down if they missed a particular event. Instead, events will grant players, gold, experience and karma, the latter of which can be redeemed for a variety of rewards. Players will also receive rewards even if they fail the event, they'll simply receive less.

Read the full Q&A over at the ArenaNet blog for additional insight into the dynamic events system.

[Thanks Piasek for the tip!]

Michael Bitton / Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB
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