I’ve always been a fan of dynamic events. Sure it’s fun to party up with some fellow adventurers running around slaying this, and discovering that. But it’s the events that really bring players together. When an event goes live on the map, players rush over like real heroes answering the call of justice! We saw some new styles of events during the Living World chapters, making the old feel new again. But the Living World is over, for now. We’ve experienced the concept of dynamic events, and we’ve enjoyed it. But now we ask the question, how will this idea evolve?
Yesterday’s beta event was a blast, and very insightful, even though we only had access to part of a single map. Still, this area was jam packed full of events which kept us very busy. Each session flew by as I jumped from event to event, barely leaving me any time for exploration. The interesting thing was that I was actually doing the same events over and over again. They were on a very tight cycle which was very strange considering how close their locations were to each other. I can see some players may get tired of playing through this cycle, but it does give the sense of urgency while dealing with Mordremoth’s army.
Many of the events were also directly linked to the same goal, stay alive and keep the enemy at bay. It does give a sense that completing these events successfully is making a difference. They also fit to a certain theme. There are a lot of escort events active around the map, as Pact Soldiers are desperately trying to navigate to the nearest rally point. This helps to make you feel the desperation of your allied forces. After some time things escalated as larger events take place, with the Mordrem forces making a serious push to swarm the area. This brought in more complex events requiring players to perform different tasks, coordinating their efforts to survive.
Now your typical events still exist. Guard this location for a time period, clear out all the enemies in this area, and escort this person to this location. We’re all pretty use to these, and they still seem to be the standard. But it makes those complex events feel so special. Rather than just killing anything that moves, players have to play a different role, in this case it was to salvage explosives to destroy a great vine. If you still wanted to play an offensive role, you could go and grab yourself a sniper rifle to make short work of any mordrem giving your buddies a hard time.
Events, even in later zones, can sometimes feel a bit easy, but I think HoT is going to up the difficulty level. While the events did throw some good sized mobs at us, I was really impressed with how the Mordrem interacted with each other. It was like they were timing their attacks to complement eachothers. I’ve always seen enemies dodge attacks, but I saw it happen more in this beta than I have in the past month! I also saw Mordrem actually move out of AoE fields, which was even more surprising! We’ve all heard HoT would sport a new AI for enemies, and I’m not sure if it was active yesterday, but it sure did feel like it.
Whether you liked it or not, this is all thanks to the Living World. I saw a lot of ideas from the Silverwaste map applied here in HoT. Constant events all linked together, requiring players to all cooperate and coordinate their efforts towards a much larger and important goal. This has been missing from much of the core game. Sure, there are events that fit together, but they typically stay in one very small part of the map, rarely leading to anything major happening. Without the Living World, ArenaNet wouldn’t have had the chance to try new things with dynamic events, and to more importantly, get our feedback.
The beta was insanely fun thanks to the Revenant, and the new story, but I think it was the events that stole the show. Not every event can be something new, but it seems ArenaNet has finally figured out how to get the most use out of them. We got to see how events could give a feeling of dread and despair to a map, while also all linking together to set the pace for battle. When a more complex event does show up, it really gets players moving, and offers a big payoff for all the hard work. Events now seem more than just another way to get players together, but to help the world feel alive, and to help supplement the core story telling.
Did you get to take part in the beta? What did you think of the events? Share your experience with us in the comments below!