Quest nodes killed the exploration star

2

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  • hinge645hinge645 Brookline, NHMember UncommonPosts: 63

    MMOs are weak when it comes to exploring. Yes you can do it but when the world has to reset every few minutes so the next group of people can experience the exact same content, well it just loses something and becomes a themepark.

    SPRPGs will always excel at exploration because the developer can make the experience mean something specific for you since you are the only one playing. This why games like Gothic and Elder Scrolls have such awesome exploration experiences. Wide open worlds, no themeparks. Just stuff to explore that is unique to you. If you find a dungeon go in and kill some powerful creature, it stays dead. You just changed the world. That's hard to do with MMOs. I'm interested to see how GW2 handles this problem. Its a hard one.

    Anyway just 3 months till Skyrim then I'm busy until well into 2012. Anything else I play until then is just passing the time. :)

    Before I criticize a man, I walk a mile in his shoes.
    That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.
  • NekkuroNekkuro Mississauga, ONMember Posts: 162

    NPC's came and broke your heart..

    oh, oh-oh, oh~

    image

  • BeanpuieBeanpuie Norfolk, VAMember UncommonPosts: 812

    Originally posted by Creslin321

    One of the biggest problems I've had with recent MMORPGs is that it just seems like that feeling of exploration is just...gone.
    In SPRPGs like BG/BG2, PS:T, or the Elder Scrolls, one of my favorite things to do has always been to just explore the world.  There's almost always interesting things to run into just through exploring in games like that.  You never know when you're going to find and often exploration can be very rewarding.  For example, you could find a caravan under attack by monsters and the grateful merchants would reward you after saving them.  Experiences like this are typically spread all throughout the world of an SPRPG.
    UO had this feeling of exploration as well.  You really never knew what you would run into when wandering around the world because of things like player housing etc.  Even EQ had a decent feeling of exploration.  While EQ didn't exactly actively encourage exploration, you could find some really nice camping spots by exploring and increase your rate of gaining exp.
    But in a quest node MMORPG...exploration is basically actively discouraged.  If you decide to just go off on your own, you will always run into a bunch of MOBs that are meant for quest X, but since you don't have quest X, they are useless to you.  So you are forced to just go from one quest node to the next being drawn along on a string to each location.  If you ever decide to just explore on your own, you may find some pretty vistas, but your exp rate will suffer dramatically...and there generally aren't many rewards for exploring other than cosmetic achievements.
    This is why I really hope that MMORPGs get away from the quest node experience.  Theme park or sandbox, we need to bring exploration back.  I truly hope that new approaches like the dynamic events in GW2 will bring back this feeling of exploration that has been missing for so long.
    So now that I've sounded off, what do you all think?  Do you agree that quest nodes have basically killed the feeling of exploration in MMORPGs?

    Took some time to re-read your post and thought about it.

    tbh never really thought much about quest nodes hurting exploration til now. 

    forgive me if  what i say doesnt make sense but ill try to explain my perspective in the best way possible since im still wrapping my head around this more thoughtfully:

     

     

    -Unintentional Exploring:

    my first mmo being helbreath(beta), their was a certain point of time that when we had to level we were more forced to find a less populated spot and farm on mobs to gain experience. Their were quite a few people in the game at that time, and also all the mobs more or less were in the same difficulty across the board as well as experience. this was not intended and was also for a short time. but of that moment since there were so many people, those who couldnt find a nice farming spot to get xp ventured out further to the land; i was one of the unlucky ones.  Now, incidently,  the search for xp forced me and many others to explore the world, we saw some interesting places as well as some makeshift resting areas if we got fustrated in our search and wanted to take a break (or log off) for some time. what was sacrficed in personal progression I gained a feeling of a journeyman looking for a place of my own (xp farm spot of course).

     

     

     

    -The Hand Holding:

    now, just the opposite, another mmo i played for a time recently was Age of Conan. of the things you spoke of in your post, again i havent really thought of it in terms of destroying exploration; perhaps more like putting  in the back seat. From level 1,  im treated with tutorial logs, cinematics, arrows, maps, compasses and the all mighty yellow explaination point, sure they placed everything in their power to make sure i wont get lost, but the journey itself could be looked as

    "follow the yellow brick road" - Wizard of Oz for those who dont know

    yep, i could probably sing the whole verse of the yellow brick road.

    "were off to see the wizard (Thoth-Amon), the wonderful wizard of Oz (Kheshatta) we hear he is a whiz of a wiz if ever a whiz there was (a really big  douche bag) if ever, oh ever a whiz there was the Wizard of Oz is one because, because, because, because, because, because, because of the wonderful things hes done (he killed alot of people, turning them into slaves)."

    Now the bad thing about this song, is that it stuck with me all the way to lvl 80, and all the way up to ROTGS expansion. I knew i was being hand held, knew that if i tried to go out on my own i would get murdered by higher level mobs the further i go into the zone, esspecially when trying to reach the other side. mostly, the sense of adventure was replaced with the constant feeling of survival of dodging mobs, knowing my spacing to avoid aggro, and thinking to myself , once i get to lvl 40 these guys will be meaningless when i face them again.

     

     

    -Going against the Grain:

    The one game i am still currently playing is Star Quest Online. to say the least, it is the most head hitting the wall experience i have had since my time of mmo's ever.  the Game is so far from hand holding it would eat a instant gratification player up and poop them out hours later. graphics whores, they die in seconds on the title screen. those looking for a direction when playing mmo's  nope not this game, not to mention the starting zone gives little to  ZERO direction on what to do, what to buy , and where to go.  how do people get around?   explorations, and a bit of reading and asking around on both forums and galactopedia, and even that is not full proof due to the vicious entry level of the game.

    I digress by saying this, due to the lack of direction, players who actually get off the starting phase and into their own spaceship (or serve under a captain on a ship)  the exploration feeling is one of a kind, if not extraordinary.

    When able to travel amongst the stars, you  are literally treated with exploring solar systems which are housed in thousands upon thousands upon THOUSANDS of places in the galaxy.  the game itself being old and the places to discover are archaic, and mostly barren (due to low population) but the premise of exploration is on point and if not amazing when you do come across a new life form (in SQO, when players come across a new life form that no one else have found, it is documented on galactopedia-wiki with said discoverers name, and picture.)  explorations and travellers are indeed treated with long distance adventuring, but even that can be brutal if you go forth into space unprepared (lack of fuel, food, water...think of a slow death,  oregon trail style if not prepared) 

     

    In closing: what i can say, in my own opinion and personal experience that the current mmorpg elements of today that cater to the masses due not promote exploration; in some ways it perhaps nuturs it.  Sure people can explore,   you level up, you go to the next spot,  level up go to the next spot ad nasuem; however dont go to a unexplored spot that may also happen to be a lowbie level zone (thats how people get banned >_>).  someday, their will eventually be a new style of progression for mmo's that would help promote exploration more, and less tour guiding. maybe perhaps get levels, and focus more on skills and play styles, when developers really want to make dungeons where very hard mobs, then they can make them but in segregated areas that arent part of the main world if that makes sense;  we'll see.    

  • MadimorgaMadimorga Atlanta, GAMember UncommonPosts: 1,920

    Originally posted by lizardbones

    The quest node method of moving players along exists because a lot of players were tired of blundering around in the world. It's the reason that quest helper map markers exist. When the whole purpose of your game is character progression, and that progression is plainly marked as an XP bar, then anything that doesn't contribute to that XP progression is wasting time.



    It's not even a 'what came first' kind of thing. Players wanted a clearly defined method to progress their character. Developers provided it.



    I'd like to see a balance between the quest hub progression and the open world stuff. For that matter, I'd like to see the open world stuff (mob migrations, and mob genocide) affect the progression content and quests as well. For instance, if a particular mob is totally wiped out by players, an NPC (an unscrupulous one) will offer you a lot of gold to find and import more mobs to the area.


     

    I don't see why a game can't have more than one way to progress.  If I don't want to quest and you don't want to wander around grinding mobs while exploring, why shouldn't I get the same amount of xp per hour, give or take a fraction, for killing and exploring on my own terms that you do for turning your quests in?

     

    The answer is:  Lazy devs.  Lower development costs.  Predictable player behavior and level pacing. 

     

    I hate being funneled along and assigned chores, but if others want to play that way, there is still absolutely no good reason everyone else has to.

    image

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  • EQ2ThanosEQ2Thanos PrestonMember Posts: 57

    I thought in GW2 you just stared at your map until a little heart flashed on it in a random place telling you a world event was going on,then click it and you zoom there?Hardly exploration....

  • odinsrathodinsrath louisville, KYMember UncommonPosts: 814

    imo there are no such thing as exploration in mmo's anymore..the new games that come out nowa days are super small or they make you pay for new content..imo the last mmo to have a pretty big world was eq2 *but was reverted to easymode* daoc *also reverted to easy mode*  we can only hope there is some things that eq "next" will bring to the table..hopefully no mounts / silly portals to zap you around the world for atleast 1st half of the year

  • KaeriganKaerigan None Of Your BusinessMember Posts: 689

    Originally posted by EQ2Thanos

    I thought in GW2 you just stared at your map until a little heart flashed on it in a random place telling you a world event was going on,then click it and you zoom there?Hardly exploration....

    The hearts just mark areas that need help. And you can only teleport to certain waypoints.

    <childish, provocative and highly speculative banner about your favorite game goes here>

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDMember Posts: 5,359

    Originally posted by Kaerigan


    Originally posted by EQ2Thanos

    I thought in GW2 you just stared at your map until a little heart flashed on it in a random place telling you a world event was going on,then click it and you zoom there?Hardly exploration....

    The hearts just mark areas that need help. And you can only teleport to certain waypoints.

     Also GW2 does have a "scout" system where an NPC will tell you where certain dynamic events are, this may seem like a quest node but there's a big difference here.  All the scout is doing is notifying you of a dynamic event, he's not giving you a quest.  You COULD just ignore the scout system all together and wander around.  If you find a dynamic event, you can do it right there and then for credit.  No need to "get the quest" first at a quest node.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • EQ2ThanosEQ2Thanos PrestonMember Posts: 57

    oh right,so when all the kiddies are using the fast travel and scout system your telling me some people won't use it and try and find it themselves by exploring?Anyway the point is moot,I won't be playing GW2 :) I do 100% agree and miss that exploration feel.

  • DJJazzyDJJazzy louisville, COMember UncommonPosts: 2,053

    You have to discover the waypoints before being able to use them. So that does encourage exploration to a certain degree.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonMember UncommonPosts: 3,219

    A number of variables need to be active for exploration to be immersive, some not all need to be operating, but the more the stronger the sense of exploration:


    1. Size => Grandiuer/awesome scale => you feel small, momentarily lost in the vastness of the world and lack of identification of where you are? In RL finding out which side of a mountain you are on can be challenging enough!

    2. Safety => The further you tread, the more danger you are exposing yourself to such as mob rule or becoming lost and unable to respawn without some loss or other such as in enemy lands that will hunt you if they find you, away from your safe home area that is familiar.

    3. Mastery => A big learning curve to realize the skills and know-how to survive and overcome the various dangers as well as the things you can do to improve your chances against the unexpected.

    4. Frontier => The land is fresh and new and not settled or setfoot by others, what you do can shape it's future away from the safe but settled hinter areas. There may be some claim or resource worth the danger, trials and efforts and even bandits etc to use this new land for future purposes?

    5. Leading The Way => the journey into the frontier is itself part of the challenge: Knowing what to prepare eg fuel/food and transport costs etc as well as finding what others could not find.

    Unfortunately in Themepark MMO:


    • A big wall in the corners of the world

    • World is scaled down due to zoning into compartments of the world

    • Away from quests the content is very thin and token things are left there

    • With maps, instant re-spawn and no need for resources and uncomplicated terrain the journey is open to anyone

    GW2 may suffer from exploration problems because:


    1. Death is trivial inconvenience

    2. The zones chop up the world into ordered slices

    3. The map-travel option gives an easy-to-see overview of everything once unfogged

    4. The scout system if used will easily by-pass exploration of unknown things

    5. The waypoints insta travel will make the world feel smaller to more ppl that use it

    6. DEs are not quests but once triggered they are still go to A to do B similar to quests

    7. Resources to travel are not part of the game

    8. Players can claim or otherwise found an area in the game world on the frontiers.

    That said, underwater could be very good for exploration, the world full of DEs could make players movements go in uncertain directions and Anet might have stocked a lot of the world for exploration, hopefully. But I don't see it as necessarily going to be an explorer's paradise? I think some of the more orthodox things in a sandbox warrant more EXPLORABLE game play options and the criteria I've mulled up above?
  • KaeriganKaerigan None Of Your BusinessMember Posts: 689

    Originally posted by EQ2Thanos

    oh right,so when all the kiddies are using the fast travel and scout system your telling me some people won't use it and try and find it themselves by exploring?Anyway the point is moot,I won't be playing GW2 :) I do 100% agree and miss that exploration feel.

    Like DJJazzy said, you have to discover the waypoints first. Also, I seem to recall scouts not being able to point out all the events. In fact, the events they know of were supposed to be pretty limited, I think? Can't back that up with any source, though.

    <childish, provocative and highly speculative banner about your favorite game goes here>

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomeMember UncommonPosts: 3,848

    Vanguard and Fallen Earth are both games that offer a lot of land to explore away from the quest hubs. The downside is that there is not much to actually discover while exploring in both games. Both games do offer some encounters that are not part of questlines though, if you wander far from the roads. Also resources that are less camped. But it is not really a lot. SWG also has a lot of land to explore, but really has barely anything to discover if you do.

    Other games that talked about exploring as being a feature felt very artificial to me. WAR is an example.

    And even though Im looking forward to SWTOR and GW2, and they both claim that exploring will be rewarded, Im quite sceptical about it.

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDMember Posts: 5,359

    Originally posted by someforumguy

    Vanguard and Fallen Earth are both games that offer a lot of land to explore away from the quest hubs. The downside is that there is not much to actually discover while exploring in both games. Both games do offer some encounters that are not part of questlines though, if you wander far from the roads. Also resources that are less camped. But it is not really a lot. SWG also has a lot of land to explore, but really has barely anything to discover if you do.
    Other games that talked about exploring as being a feature felt very artificial to me. WAR is an example.
    And even though Im looking forward to SWTOR and GW2, and they both claim that exploring will be rewarded, Im quite sceptical about it.

     Yeah WAR is probably one of the worst games for exploration I ever played, shame too because their public quest system could have actually made exploration kind of fun.  You know...find a new hidden area with a really unique public quest.  So many missed opportunities...the world was generally extremely "crowded" meaning that every inch of the world was used for some quest or other, but it was also absolutely barren in places.

    I remember I explored in WAR once and I found some huge underground dwarven complex.  It was ABSOLUTELY empty.  No monsters, no treasure, no achievement for finding it; it's almost as if the developers put it in there and didn't have time to finish it or something.

    I remember in UO there were soooo many things to find...

    There was an entire mage city underground that sold unique reagents and things.  There were treasure rooms in some dungeons that would spawn treasure items every now and then.  And sometimes you would even stumble upon the decayed remnants of someone's house after it despawned because they stopped playing or whatever.  This was crazy awesome because all their stuff just got left out for anyone to take.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamMember Posts: 1,245

    Darkfall has a huge world to explore with no loadscreen, instance or invisble barriers free to go where ever you wanne go, one big HUGE world.

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDMember Posts: 5,359

    Originally posted by Groovydutch

    Darkfall has a huge world to explore with no loadscreen, instance or invisble barriers free to go where ever you wanne go, one big HUGE world.

     That it does, I actually enjoyed exploring DF for a while, but the gankers (20% of the population probably) can totally ruin it for you.

    The further you explore, the higher the possibility is that you're going to be ganked, and with no real insta-travel, it can be a real bitch to get around.  Also...DF seemes to have a real empty and unfinished feel.  At least it did when I played it.  I remember finding huge underground areas that were just barren before.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYMember UncommonPosts: 1,093

    I don't think quest nodes are the main factor contributing to decreased exploration. It has a lot more to do with the "fairness" of modern game worlds.

    Back in the day (EverQuest 1, for example), there was a huge gap in money-making potential and exp-gaining potential between players who knew the game very well and those who didn't know it well at all. If you didn't know which areas were the best to grind or farm at your level, or which camp spots in a dungeon were safe to pull to, you could waste a lot of time in a terrible spot and make very little exp compared to an expert sitting in the right spot of the right zone.

    This doesn't happen so much in modern themeparks because the most efficient method—follow the exclamation points from node to node—is damned hard to miss. However, even if you took those quest nodes away, world builders would still go to great lengths to minimize the gap between experts and novices. They don't want to build an "unfair" world where finding a certain ideal rare mob or high-yield repeatable quest or valuable craft component puts the know-it-alls leaps and bounds ahead of the amateurs. Just think how many MMO features are more of a benefit to players who don't know much about the game. That's intentional.

    And so, because we know that modern worlds are fair and there are no disproportionately profitable sources of exp and money on the other side of the waterfall, we feel less inclined to go looking for them. This is in some ways an age that is lost to us now; we went looking for those things in EQ1 not just because the world was designed to be unfair, but also because we just had no idea what to expect. The whole genre was just so new that there really might've been a grove of literal money trees waiting to be found.

    image
  • ZAP1951ZAP1951 deer park, TXMember Posts: 1

    I'm not so sure its the developers fault that exploring seems to have died. I believe its the new breed of players. There was a time when reaching max level was a lofty goal indeed and was cheered by everyone on the server when it happened. Nowadays players are bitchy if they cant max level in 3-4 weeks or less. So in my opinion the developers have merely caved to the players wishes and said"ok, just follow the directions ( quests and so forth) and you can max out in record time."  Then you can come on sites like this and bitch because you have no end game 3-4 weeks after you bought the game..lol

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDMember Posts: 5,359

    Originally posted by ZAP1951

    I'm not so sure its the developers fault that exploring seems to have died. I believe its the new breed of players. There was a time when reaching max level was a lofty goal indeed and was cheered by everyone on the server when it happened. Nowadays players are bitchy if they cant max level in 3-4 weeks or less. So in my opinion the developers have merely caved to the players wishes and said"ok, just follow the directions ( quests and so forth) and you can max out in record time."  Then you can come on sites like this and bitch because you have no end game 3-4 weeks after you bought the game..lol

     I'm not a big fan of the "blame the players" approach to explaining away any problems people have with MMORPGs.

    In my opinion...the player attitudes, to a large extent, are a product of the game environment.  Modern themepark MMORPGs constantly dangle a metaphorical carrot in front of each player's nose.  Once the character gets to one carrot, they just dangle another one.  Even the end game works like this with raiding/gear-grinding.  You just go after harder to get carrots.

    I mean, I'm not arguing against advancement here, I personally love advancing my character...but I think you have to see these games for what they are.  The actual "quest content" is generally very bland (though there are notable exceptions) and the game succeeds by slowly doling out proverbial carrots to the player as they complete quests, many of which are little more than chores.

    I mean, be honest.  Would you really want to kill 10 rats if there was no reward?

    Saying that trying to level up in themepark games is the players' fault is like putting a mouse in a maze with cheese at the end of it and then yelling at the mouse for going after the cheese and not "exploring" the maze more.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • AliothAlioth Member UncommonPosts: 236

    Originally posted by Creslin321



    I remember in UO there were soooo many things to find...
    There was an entire mage city underground that sold unique reagents and things.  There were treasure rooms in some dungeons that would spawn treasure items every now and then.  And sometimes you would even stumble upon the decayed remnants of someone's house after it despawned because they stopped playing or whatever.  This was crazy awesome because all their stuff just got left out for anyone to take.

    Oh jeez, you brought back some cheerful gaming memories. Those kinds of possibilities are what I want to see reintroduced in MMOs.

    This thread has been a good read. Thanks for posting it, OP.

  • MilkopilkoMilkopilko PerthMember Posts: 28

    Someone has already mentioned probably but Guild Wars 2 is totally fixing this.

    Early playtesting of Guild Wars 2 involved wow players walking around seeing cool things happening around them, but since the game hadn't TOLD them to do them, they just ignored them.

    True explorer types had a lot of fun and thought it was the best game ever.

    To help the wow players they've since introduced the scout system where an npc can show you where nearby events are and give you information about them, enough to prod the people who really need to be told to do something like they are in previous mmos.

    It has also been stated that there are plenty of back alleys and passageways that can be found by exploring. Events can be triggered from more hidden locations, and other cool things can be found.

    I think anyone who is sceptical of this part of Guild Wars 2 is just ignorant, Arenanet has no reason to lie to us.

  • odinsrathodinsrath louisville, KYMember UncommonPosts: 814

    Originally posted by Milkopilko

    Someone has already mentioned probably but Guild Wars 2 is totally fixing this.
    Early playtesting of Guild Wars 2 involved wow players walking around seeing cool things happening around them, but since the game hadn't TOLD them to do them, they just ignored them.
    True explorer types had a lot of fun and thought it was the best game ever.
    To help the wow players they've since introduced the scout system where an npc can show you where nearby events are and give you information about them, enough to prod the people who really need to be told to do something like they are in previous mmos.
    It has also been stated that there are plenty of back alleys and passageways that can be found by exploring. Events can be triggered from more hidden locations, and other cool things can be found.
    I think anyone who is sceptical of this part of Guild Wars 2 is just ignorant, Arenanet has no reason to lie to us.

    lol @ true explorer types had a lot of fun and thought it was the best thing ever

    "says the wow players" ?

    i think your missing the point..most of use are NOT wanting scout systems..teleporters..icons / messages accross the screen saying what event is happening..things like this are killing exploration..not to mention the small mmo worlds your droped in

  • MilkopilkoMilkopilko PerthMember Posts: 28

    Originally posted by odinsrath


    Originally posted by Milkopilko


    Someone has already mentioned probably but Guild Wars 2 is totally fixing this.
    Early playtesting of Guild Wars 2 involved wow players walking around seeing cool things happening around them, but since the game hadn't TOLD them to do them, they just ignored them.
    True explorer types had a lot of fun and thought it was the best game ever.
    To help the wow players they've since introduced the scout system where an npc can show you where nearby events are and give you information about them, enough to prod the people who really need to be told to do something like they are in previous mmos.
    It has also been stated that there are plenty of back alleys and passageways that can be found by exploring. Events can be triggered from more hidden locations, and other cool things can be found.
    I think anyone who is sceptical of this part of Guild Wars 2 is just ignorant, Arenanet has no reason to lie to us.

    lol @ true explorer types had a lot of fun and thought it was the best thing ever

    "says the wow players" ?

    i think your missing the point..most of use are NOT wanting scout systems..teleporters..icons / messages accross the screen saying what event is happening..things like this are killing exploration..not to mention the small mmo worlds your droped in

    I think you're missing the point. scout system is clearly optional and you never have to speak to one ever. It is entirely viable to just run around and explore in guild wars 2. But the scout system is required for most people to understand the game after what they are used to from previous mmos. I generalised this by using the term 'wow players'.

    Here, read this link below, it is the second page of the second part of an interview and is what mainly inspired me to post. I sincerely hope that it changes your mind. I hope you realise that a pure no information available on what you can do mmo is a little unfeasable and although you and I might love it, most people need some guidance you know. But the guidance is almost entirely optional.

    http://www.necrobator.com/features/interviews/exclusive-sdcc-interview-with-colin-johanson-part-two/2/

  • odinsrathodinsrath louisville, KYMember UncommonPosts: 814

    handholding tool is what it is..

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonMember UncommonPosts: 3,219

    Originally posted by Milkopilko

    Someone has already mentioned probably but Guild Wars 2 is totally fixing this.
    -snip-

    It has also been stated that there are plenty of back alleys and passageways that can be found by exploring. Events can be triggered from more hidden locations, and other cool things can be found.
    I think anyone who is sceptical of this part of Guild Wars 2 is just ignorant, Arenanet has no reason to lie to us.

    There's a number of sources from ArenaNet that focus on discussing how exploration will pan out. I think to summarize some of the potentially favorable things mentioned:


    1. Tyria World Map is very large: MMO.Maverick's thread on world sizes is a good indication of comparison to other mmos.

    2. U/W content can be added to this.

    3. Dynamic Events are variable so the world will feel more changeable & less

    4. The content, lore, writers and achievements are all possibly conducive as well.

    ^The above ArenaNet has no reason to lie to us, is ArenaNet is telling us eg

     


    Interview with Leah Rivera - Content Designer

    Here's a cool one found on a Euro site. An interview with Leah Rivera, content designer for Guild Wars 2. http://www.tyria.eu/community/interv...vera-englisch/



    1. Will territories be explorable? Will players be able to go beyond mountains and seas or is there an invisible border somewhere?



    Each map, individually, is completely open to exploration. Players will be able to scale mountains, climb trees, swim across the seas, and delve into the deepest dungeons within a given territory. However, the map can’t go on forever, so we do have to have borders. Our map artists are absolute wizards about this and disguise the borders so well that they feel natural; even my explorer soul is satisfied!



    2. Are there going to be some secret places or hidden scenic attractions? Maybe some secret party going on somewhere?



    Yes! There are all sorts of nooks and crannies to discover. We’ve got tree forts, pretty little forest glades, underwater caves, bears ambushing picnickers… the list goes on. Both the map artists and the content designers have creative freedom in this area and we do like making our little surprises.



    3. How big are the maps? Let’s say you walk from the most northern to the most southern point – how long will that take? Half an hour? Or more?



    This is a tough one to answer. In a single map (which is just a small part of Tyria) there are a lot of things that can affect your run time, such as natural obstacles, monster encounters, character level, and the general shape of the map. I tried it out for you guys on my current map and, being in a familiar setting, running straight across, at the upper level range and only fighting what I couldn’t avoid, I made it across the map in about 15 minutes.



    4. How long does it take to create a map which is as big as the Dragonbrand? Or how long does it take in general?



    Honestly, time to completion varies greatly between maps because it’s dependent on so many different departments. To create the Dragonbrand, Lisa, Will, and I drew on the skills and resources of the tools team, art department, animation team, the creatures team, and even the item guys. All of these other departments have their own deadlines and priorities. It’s a huge group undertaking so timing can vary greatly from map to map.



    5. Did you design some special unusual terrains? In most MMOs you have stuff like desert, forests, lava, meadows, mountains and maybe some lakes or seas.



    I work with events so I don’t actually design terrain, but I can’t say enough about how awesome our map artists are! They pack a huge amount of variety in their maps. For example, in the demo alone, we had plains, forests, swamps, hills, ruins, farmland, lakes, caves, cities, rivers, and, of course, the Dragonbrand —and that was just two maps!

     

     

    Yes, they've told us things about exploration, but we've not tested it and so it remains unproven and therefore scepticism is a useful approach.

    EG: Themepark MMOs don't seem to be as conducive to exploration as Sandbox MMOs imo for a number of factors listed above. Hence I'm actually still sketptical about the exploration to be found in GW2...

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