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Guild Wars 2: Dynamic Events Interview

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

After yesterday's reveal of the Guild Wars 2 Dynamic Events system, MMORPG.com's Jon Wood had a few questions for ArenaNet Lead Content Designer Colin Johanson.

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MMORPG.com:

If these events simply happen, and the consequences of player actions are felt across the game world, how do you make enough of this content for every player? Won’t a great number of players miss the content?



Colin Johanson:

As I mentioned before, the amount of work it takes to fill a game like this using a dynamic event system is massive. We recognize this and are embracing that workload to ensure that there is enough content so that every player always has something new and fun to do in the game world.

While a player might miss one particular event, the idea is that they haven’t missed out on the fun of the game world; they’ve simply missed one specific thing that occurred. If one player in one part of the map is off experiencing an event where centaur shaman create a massive tornado which spews forth earth elementals, another player in a different part of the map will be experiencing an equally awesome event chain where a centaur army is assaulting the village of Beetletun, destroying homes, smashing down the city gates, and chopping down the citizens. The goal is that players should never feel like they missed out on the cool thing, but rather that everyone is constantly experiencing different cool and amazing moments, so they all have unique and interesting stories to tell one another.

Read the Dynamic Events Interview.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

«134

Comments

  • Valyn213Valyn213 San Diego, CAPosts: 9Member

    My god, this sounds amazing.  I really have a hard tie getting excited about a new game now-a-days after all the letdowns, especially RPG's and MMO's specifically. Despite my fighting it, this just makes me drool in anticipation.

    When I first heard about these 'Dynamic Events' I had quite a few questions, like about them being cyclical, etc, But the interviewer did a great job of answering most all of them.  The one remaining thought I had was:

    Will there be 'Rare' events?  Like events that require 4 different Event Lines to all reach a certain point in the line of quests for a so called 'rare' event to happen?  If these were to have a rare reward. Like if everything in a large region all went perfect (or perfectly wrong!) would it accidentally release a dragon from its imprisonment.  Something like this would really motivate people to work together to get the chance to unleash a dragon.

  • KenaoshiKenaoshi Porto AlegrePosts: 1,016Member Uncommon

    that certanly create rage fury kind of hype =p

    That´s all just TOO amazing to be true, a game that started as a "good and cheap game to play while your waited p2p is in the baking" its reaching the ranks very fast with these all innovations, "ScreenShot or it didnt happend" will be my motto, too many scars re-opening =x

     

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  • DracondisDracondis Reston, VAPosts: 176Member

    I'm very much looking forward to the Beta.  God, I hope it happens soon.

  • NytakitoNytakito Westminster, COPosts: 381Member

    After AoC and WAR launches I try not to get too hyped about up and coming games.. But after reading all the stuff about GW2, if they can pull off all this sunshine they are blasting up my rear, you can slap an ArenaNet sticker on my forehead and call me a fanboi.. lol

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  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I'm trying to love it but it really just sounds like another form of questing.

    Just that you don't have to talk to NPC's first and then return to them for reward, and often you'll have other players participating in the same quests at the same time. 

    It's just that we'll each have some-what "unique" quest lines. 

    I dunno.. I hate to be a skeptic but it sounds too good to be true, I'll have to wait and see how it actually plays. 

    Depending on the level of repetition in the cycles of the event chains, I do expect to see a "ok we're on this part of the chain now if we lose we'll get this stage next and it's more fun / has better rewards then if we win this stage and move on to this event.."

  • pojungpojung Central, FLPosts: 810Member

    Originally posted by Nytakito

    After AoC and WAR launches I try not to get too hyped about up and coming games.. But after reading all the stuff about GW2, if they can pull off all this sunshine they are blasting up my rear, you can slap an ArenaNet sticker on my forehead and call me a fanboi.. lol

     This.

    Yet, it all lines up. A.Net has proven their B2P business model works. They have delivered solid gaming and have shown they care about the gamer, not lining their own pockets. I think we're all just a little tired of being ran around with promises and nothing but credit card payments to show for it.

    It's obvious through the animations released, the manifesto, and interviews that A.Net are not afraid to put quality into their work. It's also obvious through their previous launch that they deliver the expectations they set.

    There is no question that A.Net is breaking grounds that have been stagnant since 2004. There is no question about wether or not I'll be buying a box. While I'm at it, better make it two...

    That is exactly right, and we're not saying NO to save WoW, because it is already a lost cause. We are saying NO to dissuade the next group of greedy suits who decide to emulate Blizzard and Cryptic, etc.
    We can prevent some of the future games from spewing this crap, but the sooner we start saying no, the better the results will be.
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  • AlberelAlberel LondonPosts: 1,121Member

    Originally posted by Valyn213

    My god, this sounds amazing.  I really have a hard tie getting excited about a new game now-a-days after all the letdowns, especially RPG's and MMO's specifically. Despite my fighting it, this just makes me drool in anticipation.

    When I first heard about these 'Dynamic Events' I had quite a few questions, like about them being cyclical, etc, But the interviewer did a great job of answering most all of them.  The one remaining thought I had was:

    Will there be 'Rare' events?  Like events that require 4 different Event Lines to all reach a certain point in the line of quests for a so called 'rare' event to happen?  If these were to have a rare reward. Like if everything in a large region all went perfect (or perfectly wrong!) would it accidentally release a dragon from its imprisonment.  Something like this would really motivate people to work together to get the chance to unleash a dragon.

    In one of the interviews over at eurogamer or IGN (can't remember which) they do actually mention rare events. They mention that certain locations can be affected by multiple dynamic events simultaneously so those can probably produce some unique combinations. Also they mentioned that there are some events connected to extremely rare world drops and these items usually trigger a large scale event that everyone in the region will have to deal with such as a major boss encounter like you describe.

    What I really hope is that people don't decide that a certain event in the sequence is somehow the 'best' one. I can just imagine them screaming in /ooc telling people to deliberately fail an event just to fix it on a certain path...

  • saiviorsaivior santa rosa, CAPosts: 57Member

    First off, this game sounds amazing but I can't quite wrap my head around some things:

     

    1. As a casual player, if I log out for a few days while inside a town, and while I was away those centaurs overrun the town, what happens when I log back in?

    2. Again, as a casual player, if I put an hour of time into a Dynamic Event but one of the event steps is not completed when I log, do I still get those rewards? Do I get them when I log back in?

    3. What about gear/weapons? If 100 ppl complete a chain that takes out the Dredge King will he drop "epic" gear? Does everybody get said "epic" gear? What about normal drops from trash mobs, will there be a loot bag for the entire 100 ppl?

    4. How do we know the steps in an event chain? Quest tracker? Journal? How do we know when we have completed a certain event? Do we get gear rewards from completeing events? What about exp or gold from saving a town?

    5. I wonder how the Dynamic Scaling occurs. If a party of 4 is doing an event and suddenly 20 other players camp right outside our battle (close enough to do something, but purposly not entering the battle), will my event scale to match those extra players when they want to take no part in our battle, thus making it impossible for my party of 4?

    I am cautiously optomistic. So far this game sounds very impressive, but it is still a long way aways from release and a lot can change.

  • NytakitoNytakito Westminster, COPosts: 381Member

    Originally posted by pojung

    Originally posted by Nytakito

    After AoC and WAR launches I try not to get too hyped about up and coming games.. But after reading all the stuff about GW2, if they can pull off all this sunshine they are blasting up my rear, you can slap an ArenaNet sticker on my forehead and call me a fanboi.. lol

     This.

    Yet, it all lines up. A.Net has proven their B2P business model works. They have delivered solid gaming and have shown they care about the gamer, not lining their own pockets. I think we're all just a little tired of being ran around with promises and nothing but credit card payments to show for it.

    It's obvious through the animations released, the manifesto, and interviews that A.Net are not afraid to put quality into their work. It's also obvious through their previous launch that they deliver the expectations they set.

    There is no question that A.Net is breaking grounds that have been stagnant since 2004. There is no question about wether or not I'll be buying a box. While I'm at it, better make it two...

     Yeah, I followed what ArenaNet did in GW1 closely, though never actually played the game.  The way it was instanced and such just never appealed to me.   Always found myself saying "If only it was in a persistent world"....

    I also like how complete the game looks already.  We just got word of it a week or so ago, and it already looks like it is more complete than some other titles that have been getting hype for much longer (FFXIV and SW:TOR respectively).  Which again I like; seems to be a bit of a strategy to avoid other companies who might try to patch similar features into their already mature product before GW2 has a chance to hit the shelves.

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  • mrcalhoumrcalhou St. Bernard, LAPosts: 1,444Member

    I love how he pretty much completely ignored the second question and used that question to talk about a different game system. Grant it, the question didn't deal with Guild Wars 2 so much as it delt with the whole MMO-genre, but I still think it's funny.

    He also seems to contridict himself. He says that it will change the world, but then he goes on to say it will be cyclical and start over eventually. So I guess it changes the world, but only for some period of time. Then he goes on to contrast Guild Wars 2's "Dynamic" Events system with War's Public Quest system, but they really aren't so different on a macroscale, because eventually they both repeat.

    I'm still stoked for this game, espicially since I've been a fan of Guild Wars since Beta, but I don't appreciate the double-speak and ignoring of questions.

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  • PilnkplonkPilnkplonk zagrebPosts: 1,532Member

    Sounds very interesting, especially his answer to the "sandbox" question...

    This Dynamic Events system seems to be very close to some of my thoughts a while back on is the future of mmos "sandbox" or "themepark". IMO the future is both - sandbox in the sense that players actively influence the state of their shared world and themepark in that the nature of the changes is that they are scripted in a themepark fashion. Example: A proper "sandbox" would have you build your house wherever you want and leave you at that.. a hybrid sandbox-themepark (which GW2 seems to be striving for) would let you buy a pre-existing house, or a plot and trigger events (or quests) around it.

    I really hope they make this work, the idea is very sound but I fear the possibility of different event chains interfering with each other. Additionally another question that no one asked so far, (maybe) is how long do those event chains last? If they are fairly short then we have not really moved too far away from WAR's PQs - the world would cycle through its possible states too fast for players to get a sense of difference between servers, and the "state of the game world" would actually stay pretty much the same given enough time. WAR is a good example of what happens when the world-state can change too fast with capital sieges happening daily.. it all becomes one blur where no one really cares what's the score, just wait long enough (which is quite short) and things will turn around for you. I hope that there are some really long event chains, lasting days at least, or maybe even weeks, so you could really get the feel that the game's world is evolving but still solid. Basically, when I log in after a 12 hr break I don't want the world-state to be completely different from what I left (and actually participated in creating) - I'd like to see some things changed while I'm away but imo the feeling of persistence would suffer greatly if more than a portion (say 1/4) of the world state changed in a 24 hr period.

  • grimfallgrimfall Missouri City, TXPosts: 1,155Member Uncommon

    I actually found this interview dissapointing - not in the questions or the thoroughness of the answers, just in that as someone said that these quests don't actually change the game world.

    They're just more elaborate public quests.  If it is all going to cycle back to the same starting point thing it's entirely possible that I have two different characters that wind up doing the same quest twice at different times, with the same result.  I know he said that there would be different cycles, and I think they're hoping that the branches will all be fully explored, but as mentioned earlier, some people are going to figure out what the easiest/best way to do each quest is and they're going to tell evryone else "Don't kill that centaur, let him escape that will triggerXXX".

    What I was hoping for was different factions controlled by RTS styled AI that sometimes tells players "Go kill 20 centaurs" and once they do, they come back and the guy says "OK, let's take their town".  Meanwhile you have the centaur leader telling people "We are about to be under seige, defend us", because his own AI at that point says "Recruit players to help with defense." 

    But imagine 50 factions, one being a mad alchemist searching for the best ingredient, one being a dragon looking for a stolen treasure, one being the Skirtt king etc etc,  that alll just get sort of let loose upon the world and convince the players to help with their pre-programmed goals (accumulate treasure, expand their empire, develop a new spell etc).

    Then when a player logs into one server, it may be that the Centaurs have taken over half the continent, and on another server (or the same at a much later date) they Centaurs are struggling to survive, etc.

  • slashbeastslashbeast texas, TXPosts: 533Member

    If everything works out like they say it will, this'll be the MMO of the new decade.

  • WarbandWarband ChesterPosts: 723Member

    Originally posted by grimfall

    I actually found this interview dissapointing - not in the questions or the thoroughness of the answers, just in that as someone said that these quests don't actually change the game world.

    They're just more elaborate public quests.  If it is all going to cycle back to the same starting point thing it's entirely possible that I have two different characters that wind up doing the same quest twice at different times, with the same result.  I know he said that there would be different cycles, and I think they're hoping that the branches will all be fully explored, but as mentioned earlier, some people are going to figure out what the easiest/best way to do each quest is and they're going to tell evryone else "Don't kill that centaur, let him escape that will triggerXXX".

    What I was hoping for was different factions controlled by RTS styled AI that sometimes tells players "Go kill 20 centaurs" and once they do, they come back and the guy says "OK, let's take their town".  Meanwhile you have the centaur leader telling people "We are about to be under seige, defend us", because his own AI at that point says "Recruit players to help with defense." 

    But imagine 50 factions, one being a mad alchemist searching for the best ingredient, one being a dragon looking for a stolen treasure, one being the Skirtt king etc etc,  that alll just get sort of let loose upon the world and convince the players to help with their pre-programmed goals (accumulate treasure, expand their empire, develop a new spell etc).

    Then when a player logs into one server, it may be that the Centaurs have taken over half the continent, and on another server (or the same at a much later date) they Centaurs are struggling to survive, etc.

    I think when they said it won't be the same is there would be multiple simulateous events occuring at the same time meaning that you would very rarely see the exact same scenario twice. For example the Dredge, a dragon and some centaurs could attack a village at the same time as less as a host of other events occuring simulataneous but it would be very unlikely to see such an scenario again. The more events they add the more variables they add the less likely any scenario at any one time will occur. It's basically like the lotter,y the more balls you add the more variables the number of combinations shoot up.

    Hopefully they do add some factions with specific goal with rts style AI which can for example try to take control of all small outposts attacking the ones with least defences first and optimum strategic points as they wage a campain. However not all factions need to be like this as it would even further complicate things. only a few like the centaurs dragons and dredge etc. 

  • MuntzMuntz Minneapolis, MNPosts: 332Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mrcalhou

    He also seems to contridict himself. He says that it will change the world, but then he goes on to say it will be cyclical and start over eventually. So I guess it changes the world, but only for some period of time. Then he goes on to contrast Guild Wars 2's "Dynamic" Events system with War's Public Quest system, but they really aren't so different on a macroscale, because eventually they both repeat.

    I'm still stoked for this game, espicially since I've been a fan of Guild Wars since Beta, but I don't appreciate the double-speak and ignoring of questions.

    Your never going to get all of the information, specifically you want, from a single interview.

    I don't think he said how long the cycles are so yeah a short cycle would certainly give more of an appearance of a WAR Public Quest. But what if it cycles on say a weekly or monthly scale? Also it did say that players influence that cycle so it at least seems possible that there is more then one branch to go down.  With many of these going on at the same time it would be very easy to give the appearance of constant change.  It also seems like it would be possible for the cycles to influence each other creating more variablity.  With only a little information to go on it is hard to tell but given their track record I would expect something very different from WAR.

    I played and respect the creativity of GW1 which by some is passed off as a PvP game. The PvE content was fun. What it lacks for me was an epic feeling, instancing being part of the issue. However, instancing also offerred something in return which is the that you could play with the people that fit your style. In an open world with open objectives the group dynamic will change but the benefit  will be that epic feeling. I'm optimistic.

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon

    The contradictory nature of the interview was quite clear and its fluff piece shame the interviewer didnt pick up on it.

    The first half he was saying "cycle" every other word but then when asked about Warhammer Online's Public Quests he says they are "dynamic" and dont have a timer.

    Just because you cant see a timer doesnt mean one isnt there.

    Lets say a dragon destroys a town, the town is now ruined. Is the town ruined forever or does it get rebuilt? When it is rebuilt does a dragon attack it again?

    In the preview yesterday he talked about finding an orb in a cave will start an event. Is that orb a one time event or does it have a respawn timer? Like it spawns every 5 days.

    Im not saying it isnt a very interesting idea but just being a realist. It seems like it will all be "OH MY GOD This is soooooo awesome!!!!!" at the beginning but turn into an event calendar kind of thing after a while. Like "ok, the dragon will attack the town on Wednesday and on Thursday we spawn the Ancient Evil".

  • WarbandWarband ChesterPosts: 723Member

    Originally posted by Xiaoki

    The contradictory nature of the interview was quite clear and its fluff piece shame the interviewer didnt pick up on it.

    The first half he was saying "cycle" every other word but then when asked about Warhammer Online's Public Quests he says they are "dynamic" and dont have a timer.

    Just because you cant see a timer doesnt mean one isnt there.

    Lets say a dragon destroys a town, the town is now ruined. Is the town ruined forever or does it get rebuilt? When it is rebuilt does a dragon attack it again?

    In the preview yesterday he talked about finding an orb in a cave will start an event. Is that orb a one time event or does it have a respawn timer? Like it spawns every 5 days.

    Im not saying it isnt a very interesting idea but just being a realist. It seems like it will all be "OH MY GOD This is soooooo awesome!!!!!" at the beginning but turn into an event calendar kind of thing after a while. Like "ok, the dragon will attack the town on Wednesday and on Thursday we spawn the Ancient Evil".

    Your example is incorrect there is no timer in that 5 hours after the dragon has destroyed it the town is rebuilt. There will however between a timer before the towns people restart rebuilding but enemies will be attacking them meaning that if the enemy never loses the town will stay like that indefinately. The players have to do things in order to revert them back. It isn't just magically reset you must retake the town, you must protect those trying to rebuild the village etc.  

  • MMO.MaverickMMO.Maverick WonderlandPosts: 7,619Member

    That's what I was thinking too. Reading the info it doesn't seem there'll be a event calendar the AI is working it's way through, but more an interactive system based upon the actions players have taken. With a large number of those event chains happening and different results of players' actions leading to different branches, it means that the chances that a region will be the same the last time you visited will be slim. That town could be friendly territory again, but in one situation that NPC king is still alive while in another he is dead and you have to win favor back, while that centaur shaman may be rampaging around with his elementals where he wasn't the last time.

     

    I do think that there are 'end' states a region can be in per dynamic event chain, one where players have fought back or accomplished their tasks successfully leading to a - or one of a few? - end results (ie having conquered a dredge basis that stays conquered as long as the hordes of dredges are being kept fought of), and one where entropy settles in, the other side where no players have intervened successfully. Since there are several dynamic events happening in the same region this could also be that maybe the dredge camp could stay conquered while the centaur army has run unchecked up to the end.

     

    Anyway, we'll see, interested in the beta though.

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  • me2wiredme2wired WVC, UTPosts: 2Member

    This is actually old school rather than something new.  Asheron's Call had these type of dynamic events with the Shadows Wars and the Crystal Shard.  It worked great in that game, I have very fond memories of these events so hopefully they'll be able to recapture some of that magic I had when playing AC almost a decade ago.

  • jinxxed0jinxxed0 columbia, SCPosts: 838Member

    Some of you don't seem to understand that the events should have to be recycled eventually. Otherwise thousands of people would miss out on a ton of stuff. From the interview it sounds like it wont just restart, but it'll make sense. Like a fort will be recaptured if a certain event is failed. Or maybe a new king is crowned after a certain event if the old one is killed (kings and queens die all the time).

     

    We also have to remember this is a game and we can't sacrifice fun for realism all the time.

    Like most people I've been let down by too many MMOs lately so hopefully this one will be good, but I wont "wait" for it like I did with the other ones.

  • Butch808Butch808 sheffieldPosts: 319Member Uncommon

    I've been waiting for something like this for 15 years. I really hope they pull it off.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    This sounds awesome. Hope they can pull it off well...if they can you can call me fanboi!

    Basicaly what he is describing sounds more like "state" then "cycle". In essence a particular game object (say a village) can be in one of  multiple states (freindly, captured, destroyed, under attack, etc). The actions that the players take can change the objects current state... once the new state is opened up it allows a new set of state choices (based upon play actions) to become eligible. Obviously it's a closed system, in that certain results can lead back to previously encountered states. However the key point is that what the players DO determines the state of the objects in the world.

    That's a big step up from todays largely static MMO's.

  • veriahveriah avon, INPosts: 1Member



    grimfall writes:

    I actually found this interview dissapointing - not in the questions or the thoroughness of the answers, just in that as someone said that these quests don't actually change the game world.

    They're just more elaborate public quests.  If it is all going to cycle back to the same starting point thing it's entirely possible that I have two different characters that wind up doing the same quest twice at different times, with the same result.  I know he said that there would be different cycles, and I think they're hoping that the branches will all be fully explored, but as mentioned earlier, some people are going to figure out what the easiest/best way to do each quest is and they're going to tell evryone else "Don't kill that centaur, let him escape that will triggerXXX".

    What I was hoping for was different factions controlled by RTS styled AI that sometimes tells players "Go kill 20 centaurs" and once they do, they come back and the guy says "OK, let's take their town".  Meanwhile you have the centaur leader telling people "We are about to be under seige, defend us", because his own AI at that point says "Recruit players to help with defense." 

    But imagine 50 factions, one being a mad alchemist searching for the best ingredient, one being a dragon looking for a stolen treasure, one being the Skirtt king etc etc,  that alll just get sort of let loose upon the world and convince the players to help with their pre-programmed goals (accumulate treasure, expand their empire, develop a new spell etc).

    Then when a player logs into one server, it may be that the Centaurs have taken over half the continent, and on another server (or the same at a much later date) they Centaurs are struggling to survive, etc.

     

    I mean it is eventually going to have to repeat the same event even though im sure it branches out far more than public quests in WH which each PQ did not change any event after that. Unfortunately I am pretty sure God isn't on their dev roster, so sorry they cant create the content for an actual infinite number of possibilities you are just gonna have to have a bit more of a realistic expectation of a computer game lol.




  • Jairoe03Jairoe03 Winthrop Harbor, ILPosts: 732Member


    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
    This sounds awesome. Hope they can pull it off well...if they can you can call me fanboi!
    Basicaly what he is describing sounds more like "state" then "cycle". In essence a particular game object (say a village) can be in one of  multiple states (freindly, captured, destroyed, under attack, etc). The actions that the players take can change the objects current state... once the new state is opened up it allows a new set of state choices (based upon play actions) to become eligible. Obviously it's a closed system, in that certain results can lead back to previously encountered states. However the key point is that what the players DO determines the state of the objects in the world.
    That's a big step up from todays largely static MMO's.

    I agree and think states just sound more appropriate. I think the skeptics are just generalizing the feature a bit much. Yes, its like public questing without all the halfass-ness but more importantly it sets the motion of simulating an actual evolving world. This could very well lay the groundwork for much more complex things.

    Who cares if the actual task you do is going to be "recycled", that's really not the point. If you cannot think beyond just tasks, then stick to the quest system please, I would like to further encourage more of this future-minded design and less of the current.

    This is big enough and compelx enough in itself, imagine the feature being taken many steps further. It'll be what many are looking for in an MMO, more of an adventure and less like following linear paths. Rather reading walkthroughs knowing where to go and what to expect, you have to work within the states that the world exists at every given moment, just like in an actual world.


    This is huge and I look forward to see this in action myself along with the environmental combat, interactions and hopefully whatever non-combat implementations taht ArenaNet are looking to do. Have to appreciate a forward-thinking company and these people sound like one of the few in the industry currently.

  • PalomidesPalomides Chicago, ILPosts: 33Member

    Although I am very excited about this dynamic event system, I agree that it will certainly have its limitations, and I worry that it will be more of a novelty rather than a benchmark in game design.  Unless they come up with some sort of engine that generates content randomly (which would be awesome) then eventually you will be recycled through the same content.  Hopefully, they manage to create enough content with a great enough variety that it takes a considerable amount of time for players to start to notice patterns in the content.  Either way, it is likely that this system will be more entertaining than the usual quest systems in MMOs, and I think its great that they are taking a shot at it, especially since this is not a subscription based game.

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