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[Column] Guild Wars 2: What Stirs Beneath?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,571MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The Guild Wars 2 event, Flame & Frost, is getting ready to come to its epic conclusion. We have a few speculative thoughts to share about how we believe things might go down. Check it out before heading to the comments to add your ideas.

ArenaNet is using an ever expanding story to constantly evolve and change the world in Guild Wars 2.  The Living Story started off a few months ago with a story arc called “The Flame & Frost.”  It has caused changes in the world, from new dynamic events, to NPCs traveling the harsh winters and war torn lands.  New characters have even made an appearance, requesting the help of players to fight back against the new deadly threat, the Molten Alliance!

Read more of David North's What Stirs Beneath?

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Have the Dredge and Flame Legion unearthed a great and powerful evil in the dark depths of the earth?

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,404Member Uncommon

    these chapters have been such sleepers i didnt know abt the dead drops its been months since i logged into GW2 but ill be sure and see if its going to be worth login in on the 30th!

    i love the game-  just wish there was more to the personal stories, perhaps this is their prologue.

    -i miss playing my charr/engineer he just hasnt had anything to blow up lately...

    one just  hopes!

     
  • Teh_AxiTeh_Axi HalifaxPosts: 380Member
    Sleepers? More like DOA, SAB is more exciting than this whole event combined.
  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,536Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by orbitxo

    these chapters have been such sleepers i didnt know abt the dead drops its been months since i logged into GW2 but ill be sure and see if its going to be worth login in on the 30th!

    i love the game-  just wish there was more to the personal stories, perhaps this is their prologue.

    -i miss playing my charr/engineer he just hasnt had anything to blow up lately...

    one just  hopes!

     

     

    Yeah, story has definitely been the weakest link in this game.  The personal stories only last a few minutes, and tend to end abruptly without further disclosure as to what happens.  Each story arc is incredibly small besides that, and I loath having to level up 3-5 times just for three minutes of story in general.  This is a flaw in most MMOs that have story, and the only one doing anything about it at the moment is Yoshi-P from FFXIV.  In fact I heard there will be so much story (three main ones according to one of his letters from the producer) that you could just level an entire class from start to max level just following the storyline.

     

    They really just got too ambitious with their somewhat inconsequential branching storylines that it trivialized the entire concept and gave a less than exciting outcome as a result.  It's nothing like back in Guild Wars where missions could last hours and were tough as nails after you've settled in.  The decision to add all these races actually ruined the story telling elements in my opinion, as it could have been such an epic story if only humans were used like in the first guild wars.

     

    Much of what we knew back in Guild Wars isn't touched upon here because it's so complex and only relates to humans, so we just have five really minor things instead of a great big one.  It may be said that five different races equals five different paths to play the game so that you don't repeat, but I've yet to be able to level a character without going to other race's territories to do their hearts and events that pop up; the experience rate doesn't really match the game they made and it requires either substantial camping of dynamic events in one area or completing all areas and then a little camping to fill the gaps between the very short story elements.  It's essentially the same problem with SWTOR in that you get a story unique to your class (race in GW2), but have to keep on doing the same world "side events" with each character to get anywhere.  The only difference is that SWTOR actually has good story elements in it.

     

    Though it's one of the only weaknesses of the game that really irks me, as it's a very well made games with a lot of detail.  The dungeons are almost like the old missions, but still much easier and less complex as a whole aside from picking a path in explorable mode.  I wouldn't mind if they suddenly released questing hubs next to hearts to facilitate each race leveling up in their area to improve replayability for other races so that you don't have to go there to level if you don't like repeating content (especially if you don't like to craft or don't have the funds to do so).  I've bought the game for about five friends, and all but one have quit due to these problems and just went back to their old MMOs or even just the first guild wars.

    :(

     

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • BethelsBoyBethelsBoy South Bend, INPosts: 216Member Uncommon
    I don't see why people say the storylines are empty and have no meaning. Do you even listen to the cutscenes? Do you even read what the characters are saying to each other? The storylines are actually intriguing and each expansion that GW2 comes out with is fun and exciting IF you are open minded and allow yourself to be engulfed in the storyline. It seems like everyone has just been burned out by playing it too much and need to take a break then come back. I took a short break, came back, and have been having just as much fun as when it first started back in August. 

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  • DJMantissDJMantiss Tracy, CAPosts: 100Member

    I'm waiting for something a bit bigger... Would love for a new zone to open up at the end of the story giving us a full set of new things to do. IE - A new zone, the events, reputation gear, something more. 

    GW2 is great but there is a lot of room just on the current map to expand and I for one would love to see those things expand a bit more.

  • YaevinduskYaevindusk Ul''dah, CAPosts: 1,536Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BethelsBoy
    I don't see why people say the storylines are empty and have no meaning. Do you even listen to the cutscenes? Do you even read what the characters are saying to each other? The storylines are actually intriguing and each expansion that GW2 comes out with is fun and exciting IF you are open minded and allow yourself to be engulfed in the storyline. It seems like everyone has just been burned out by playing it too much and need to take a break then come back. I took a short break, came back, and have been having just as much fun as when it first started back in August. 
     

     

    It's just that the storylines are completely void of complex meaning.  They are poorly constructed, last a short time, and barely touch up on anything they introduce.  If you take a look at the first guild wars you will see that there's no comparison.  The complexity of the first was mind boggling, and encompassed thousands (not a couple, or a dozen, or even a hundred) of characters in a variety of ways.  You even have hundreds of allies that could fight with you, had their own personalities, pasts, ambitions and futures written into them.

     

    The first was all about story and the path to getting there.  Rarely did they end in short time, and the story lasted the entire game and beyond.  There were hundreds of factions in the game as well, each with their own soul and well put together.  What we have here are five heroes from "Destiny's Edge" who rarely interact with you, send you mail and occassionally meet up with you in dungeons.  Then you have a main story that is short, doesn't end appropriately in a lot of ways and tends to converge with paths towards the end.

     

    It treats you like you're a toddler that doesn't understand the lore or complexity, with only a few references to the past such as mentioning Queen Sandra and the mursaat in a single sentence, on a single path of the human storyline.  The gods are nearly all but forgotten save for the human areas and shrines located in Orr.  There are no more avatars or mention of them or where they are, as it would perhaps alienate other races who have their own beliefs.

     

    What you're thinking of perhaps is the ambient dialog and the lively world.  It's a nice place to spend some time, but it does not constitute much story.  Just some rogue dialog that may or may not mention Elona or Cantha from a few select NPCs; the "faction" path between the three sometimes hosts call backs such as Ogden, but as a whole still lacks that charm and complexity of the past.  Indeed, even the way the story is presented is weak in just about every fashion when you look at a game like SWTOR and how it doesn't treat you like a kid as much.

     

    Guild Wars is a massive universe, and all we see is the world without a soul in Guild Wars 2.  Though that's just regarding the story as the game play is relatively great and well made.  It's the weakness of the game, and it will only get better in expansions if we're honest about it and not just patting Anet on the back, blind to both the past and the potential is exudes.

     
     

    When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  • dadante666dadante666 buford, GAPosts: 404Member
    the game is moving slow so they have time working on the next thing in game ,story need to be made everytime so other zones will be open  ,the world of tyria it still in progress and new  more maps to come ,thats whitought saying what will come next for cantha and elona so this  mean the game have lot of years of diferent progretion to come.

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  • VorchVorch Somewhere, FLPosts: 800Member

    I like the stories pre-level 50. However, many of the relationships you make with characters end extremely abruptly.

     

    Also, having to level 2-4 times per story instance was a horrible idea. I'd rather them unlock entire arcs every 10-15 levels than give you pieces that you often forget about by the time you reach the required level.

    I actually went through the story almost from beginning to end starting with a level 80 character. It's MUCH more bearable, though the story telling still needs a bit of work.

     

    Great game, but this is one of GW2's flaws, imo.

    "As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  • SiphaedSiphaed Everywhere!Posts: 876Member Uncommon

    You maybe unaware of this, but there's already giant Lava creatures that burst through the surface with molten  geysers:  Primordus's Destroyers. 

     

    So, I doubt that it's them at all.  The developers already squashed relation of the F&F story line to a another of the Elder Dragons.


  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    Going along the lava monster thing... kind of reminds me of the titans in GW1... just saying.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
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  • fritifriti madridPosts: 3Member

    Hi! I´m from Spain, so first: sorry for my english

    About the "Kom-pew... something" I have a little hint from the spanish translation.

    In my spanish game that word was translated as "Or-de...algo"

    Maybe it is a stupid idea, but I think that the misterious thing is... a COMPUTER, or something computerized (is that even a word? ^^ sorry if it's not), because in spanish, computer is "Ordenador" (just as the "Or-de...") and that "Kom-pew" sounds to me like Compu...ter.

    What do you think? I don´t understand why the spy was so worried about just a computer, but the hints are clear to me...

     
  • CelciusCelcius Franklin, TNPosts: 999Member Uncommon
    The living story content has been okay, but not terribly exciting. I think the biggest problem with the living story is how much they are hyping it up when all of it combined still barely amounts to anything.
  • JasonJJasonJ New Port Richey, FLPosts: 395Member
    lookin forward to yet another great monthly update, dont care what anyone else says, no game has received monthly updates of this scale since Asherons Call and most of them have expanded the gameplay far more than you would see in other MMOs.
  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    I actually like the story in GW2.  I didn't at first, but they show they're dedicated to making players interested in what's going on.  At least they don't do what SWTOR did and try to give context to killing 10 droids or touching glowing objects, that lasted 5 minutes of serious dialogue.  The voices grew on me too, though I'd prefer the Norn used a wider variety of actors.  You hear one guy a WHOLE lot.
  • DaezAsterDaezAster new york, NYPosts: 803Member
    I am a huge fan of gw2 and will be first to say story is mostly lame.  I would have rather they put this effort into new fractals or dungeons, maybe evn pvp which has been a bit neglected. That said these new story ellements arent horrible just to smal of a taste to be satisfying.
  • QSatuQSatu WarsawPosts: 1,733Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DaezAster
    I am a huge fan of gw2 and will be first to say story is mostly lame.  I would have rather they put this effort into new fractals or dungeons, maybe evn pvp which has been a bit neglected. That said these new story ellements arent horrible just to smal of a taste to be satisfying.

    I feel exactly the same. But I also believe they should bring back a lot of interesting stories from GW1. The 1st game had cool lore b/c of all those mysteries. i want to see more about Gods, Mursaat and all this mysterious stuff.

  • DeeterDeeter SO. SF, CAPosts: 135Member

    It's amazing how nobody gives a damn about the actual game proper

    We'd rather just play a Super Adventure Box standalone

  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member
    Revenge of the Mursaat?
  • ReizlanzerReizlanzer Ashland City, TNPosts: 452Member Common

    This story has been par. It's neat to do, but I've not immersed myself in it the same way I have in other games that attempt to do the same thing.

    What I really want A net to do is to make the new baddies slap people in the face. Really give people a reason to worry about them and not just sit around waiting for the next scripted sequence to come around to topple them.

    People think it's fun to pretend your a monster. Me I spend my life pretending I'm not. - Dexter Morgan

  • cougmerrikcougmerrik Pearland, TXPosts: 15Member

    The story started off slow and it's episodic, so for a certain class of people who want more storytelling they're getting it in bits and pieces here.  I liked the more interactive, personal stories of Braham and Rox a hell of a lot more than the precursor story updates.  It's cool to see things in the world slowly changing, with new outposts being built  and such.  This is something that gains value over time (hopefully) as nostalgia -- I remember when such-and-such thing happened and this town was a field or these ruins were a village.  Hopefully these stories continue to build and become multi-threaded so there's more than one thing going on at a time.. so they can be building one story up slowly in the background while another might be nearing its climax.

     

    Some people don't care and just want more carnival rides to go on, but I enjoy the idea at least of a living world where the places I visit change over time.  I played EverQuest for 7 years and aside from a few initial story changes, the major zones of the game were essentially static for 7 years.  This sort of pop-up change is amazing and immersive for me.

     

    The weaknesses are that some of the updates are obscure and hidden, which is generally cool sounding but makes most people who aren't looking for this stuff feel like nothing is going on.  The heralds haven't been used very well imo, they should be offering a lot more direction for people on where to find new things or people.  Also the roll-out was super slow motion storytelling and that really either lowered expectations severely or soured people on the idea initially.  After playing through the story instances I'm back on board, and I loved the way the character dialog happened in game rather than with the floating heads -- made it feel so much more "real".

     
  • fivorothfivoroth LondonPosts: 3,652Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BethelsBoy
    I don't see why people say the storylines are empty and have no meaning. Do you even listen to the cutscenes? Do you even read what the characters are saying to each other? The storylines are actually intriguing and each expansion that GW2 comes out with is fun and exciting IF you are open minded and allow yourself to be engulfed in the storyline. It seems like everyone has just been burned out by playing it too much and need to take a break then come back. I took a short break, came back, and have been having just as much fun as when it first started back in August. 

    Why I don't like the storylines? Because they are boring. And you ASSUME that people don't listen to the cut scenes. I have listened to and read everything and I was still bored with the story line. It was boring and there was never anything interesting going on. Combine that with the fact that you get 1 mission every like 3 levels and it gets fragmented too! GW1 did this much better. The story there was interesting and what I would call EPIC. This is just bland. 

    ArenaNet exaggerated like crazy when they were talking about the personal storyline. I remember them saying that you could level off just one thing, e.g. doing just dynamic events, doing just the personal storyline! This is wrong! There is no way you can level off just the personal storyline. They also said that it would be massive and that 2/3 of the storyline will be at max level. That didn't happen too.

    I have been playing GW2 for a total of 130-150 hours since late October last year. I guess it takes that much for me to get "burned out" on the game :D 

    Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,258Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Deeter

    It's amazing how nobody gives a damn about the actual game proper

    We'd rather just play a Super Adventure Box standalone

    From the outside looking in, I was amazed at how the GW2 community recieved SAB

  • VorchVorch Somewhere, FLPosts: 800Member
    The dead drops and lost and found actually were the most enjoyable parts for me.

    "As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Originally posted by Deeter

    It's amazing how nobody gives a damn about the actual game proper

    We'd rather just play a Super Adventure Box standalone

    From the outside looking in, I was amazed at how the GW2 community recieved SAB

    It really felt like playing Co-OP Super Mario with your friends in 3d back in the NES days.

    That is just pure awesome-sauce with chicken wings. And ice cream and cake!

     

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,567Member

    Reading the GW novels helps immensely with GW2. It really sets the scene as to what is going on. I just wish they were easier to get.

     

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    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

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