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More on Healing & Death

Posted by Suzie Ford on Jul 14, 2010  | Comments

More on Healing & Death -

Jon Peters from the Guild Wars 2 team has answered the first batch of community questions with regard to last week's blog post about the new way of looking at healing and death. The questions cover a broad range of topics from the fact that death really doesn't exist in GW2 to the lack of a dedicated healing class.

Q: Death penalties in MMO games provide incentive to players to learn their class and work better in groups. With no death penalty, won’t this lead to less incentive to learn how to play their class and group properly?

A: In most games—both single and multiplayer—the penalty for failure is to simply return to a saved position or state. The penalty, in this case, is simply time. MMOs can’t return someone to a saved position, and so they have developed many other penalties over the years to simulate this. We penalize the player by taking a small amount of money, but more importantly, by setting him back to the waypoint of his choosing.

Death penalties—even simple return to save systems—can, of course, vary in their harshness. When deciding on the degree of severity, you need to look at what you are trying to accomplish overall with the game. Is your game a hardcore simulation, meant to test the skill of the player under extreme stress? In this case, a more severe death penalty would be warranted. With Guild Wars 2, however, one of our main goals is to encourage experimentation and risk-taking on the part of the player. Because of this, we firmly believe that a milder penalty upon defeat is in order. We have found that our emphasis on risk-taking, along with this milder penalty, has resulted in a game where players try daring and heroic things, where they will go into grave situations to help out a stranger, and that overall increases the number of epic and heroic moments that the average player encounters.

We have found that this ability to experiment with your character and throw yourself into more dangerous experiences has resulted in players gaining more opportunity to really test the limits of what their characters can do. Players consequently learn how to play their professions just as quickly (if not more so) than they do in many other games.

There's a lot more to read with specific regard to PvP, support characters (can it be done?) and more so be sure to check it out on the ArenaNet blog.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom
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