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[Column] Guild Wars 2: The Never Ending Story

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The lifeblood of any MMO is the ability of the developers to give players game play experiences that keep them coming back, chief among them, a living, breathing storyline. We take a look at how ArenaNet can and should do this in Guild Wars 2. Read on!

I love the way the world actually has a story, and that you can see that story unfold.  The use of Dynamic Events allows you to help change this world.  And it’s not just happening because an NPC said it did, you actually saw the event take place.  Stories like this are spread out throughout the world.  ArenaNet is now taking the next step by having one huge story take place in Tryia: they call it The Living Story.

Read more of David North's Guild Wars 2: The Neverending Story.

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Imagine being so immersed in a game, you can feel yourself becoming one with your character.

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

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Comments

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    This is a great concept and it creates a real history that long term players can be part of. I always hated clearing instances in WOW, being told we did something amazing, then doing it again as if it never happened. It also creates a desire for players to continue experience content because they might never come back again, vs the current state of tread-milling the same hearts and spawns.

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    "I love the way the world actually has a story, and that you can see that story unfold. The use of Dynamic Events allows you to help change this world. And it’s not just happening because an NPC said it did, you actually saw the event take place. Stories like this are spread out throughout the world. ArenaNet is now taking the next step by having one huge story take place in Tryia: they call it The Living Story."

     

    It's a shame everything said here doesn't actually translate as magically as that while you are actually playing. This is why GW2 has been accused of hype. The phasing in WoW has more impact on the world around you than DEs in GW2 do. Let's hope this 'Living Story' is better....

     
     
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,376MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    So far, the downside of the living story for me is the fact that you're tasked with putting up signs, lighting fires, and healing wounded refugees 75 times for a title. But what I do like is the intent: you see steam coming from a mountain, an event happens in the area where you must clog the vents, you see more and more people appearing in major cities to get away from whatever's going on in their homes.

    They're working towards something, but it's a passive story you just sort of watch right now.  Hopefully, in February's content, it'll be more interactive.

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    So far, the downside of the living story for me is the fact that you're tasked with putting up signs, lighting fires, and healing wounded refugees 75 times for a title. But what I do like is the intent: you see steam coming from a mountain, an event happens in the area where you must clog the vents, you see more and more people appearing in major cities to get away from whatever's going on in their homes.

    They're working towards something, but it's a passive story you just sort of watch right now.  Hopefully, in February's content, it'll be more interactive.

    xcly.

  • mistmakermistmaker viennaPosts: 232Member Uncommon
    sorry, but gw2 isnt a good example for story. TSW has good stories.
  • RizelStarRizelStar Raleigh, NCPosts: 2,773Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    So far, the downside of the living story for me is the fact that you're tasked with putting up signs, lighting fires, and healing wounded refugees 75 times for a title. But what I do like is the intent: you see steam coming from a mountain, an event happens in the area where you must clog the vents, you see more and more people appearing in major cities to get away from whatever's going on in their homes.

    They're working towards something, but it's a passive story you just sort of watch right now.  Hopefully, in February's content, it'll be more interactive.

    Yes I agree with this 100%.

    I might get banned for this. - Rizel Star.

    I'm not afraid to tell trolls what they [need] to hear, even if that means for me to have an forced absence afterwards.

    P2P LOGIC = If it's P2P it means longevity, overall better game, and THE BEST SUPPORT EVER!!!!!(Which has been rinsed and repeated about a thousand times)

    Common Sense Logic = P2P logic is no better than F2P Logic.

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,946Member Uncommon
    I would agree as well , I think do far the living story is nothing more than an expression of intent and things to come. Anet at least acknowledge that a good story and lore is what immerses the user in the world along with big group content aka incomming guild events (potentially a new take on raiding and what raiding provides) in hopeful, there is certainly work to be done.

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • darkhalf357xdarkhalf357x Brooklyn, NYPosts: 1,164Member Uncommon

    I agree with Bill and others.  I think the Living Story is the right direction as it sounds great on paper.  But they must take care with its execution.

    The existing lore in GW2 is not too immersive (to me) and could use some depth.  I am not sure if its the simple dialogue or the lack of drama in the conflict.  Everything just comes across as one dimensional.

    Looking forward to what this Living story will bring... 

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  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    noticed so far first part of anets phased type patches start off slow but end up very good.. for instance halloween event started out with not much of anything in first days but then once the rest of the stuff was added it was great.. so ill be looking forward to see what's to come on this story

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • zastrophzastroph UranganPosts: 242Member

    A lot of bs!

    Why is it that we can destroy a trebuchet, then as leaving, you get halfway down the hill that it is on you get fired  at by it again?

     

    With 5 level 80 chars, and nothing worth while left to do, I'm over GW2 and already looking for another game, maybe neverwinter will have what I need without the pathetic level capping!

  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    Originally posted by zastroph

    A lot of bs!

    Why is it that we can destroy a trebuchet, then as leaving, you get halfway down the hill that it is on you get fired  at by it again?

     

    With 5 level 80 chars, and nothing worth while left to do, I'm over GW2 and already looking for another game, maybe neverwinter will have what I need without the pathetic level capping!

    umm nw has a level cap.. and if you have 5 level 80s i'd say you play gw2 way to much:)

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • zastrophzastroph UranganPosts: 242Member
    Originally posted by Aerowyn
    Originally posted by zastroph

    A lot of bs!

    Why is it that we can destroy a trebuchet, then as leaving, you get halfway down the hill that it is on you get fired  at by it again?

     

    With 5 level 80 chars, and nothing worth while left to do, I'm over GW2 and already looking for another game, maybe neverwinter will have what I need without the pathetic level capping!

    umm nw has a level cap.. and if you have 5 level 80s i'd say you play gw2 way to much:)

    Then I guess I will not be playing it either!

  • fs23otmfs23otm Winter Haven, FLPosts: 293Member Uncommon

    Anyone who complains about GW2's living story should be beat with a baby seal. 

    It is basically a story by chapters... the prelude is but the first chapter. A little background into the story... 

    If you think you are going to get the full story in the next update... don't even log in. I see the events as a progression of the lore in little samples... eventually after 6 months to a year the world will change. 

    That is a much better concept then large massive patches every 6-9 month.... rather have smaller content patches every month to advance the story.

    The problem is most people just "OMG EVENT, MUST GET IT ALL DONE IN 3 HOURS!", instead of taking the enjoyable path.

  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    Originally posted by fs23otm

    Anyone who complains about GW2's living story should be beat with a baby seal. 

    It is basically a story by chapters... the prelude is but the first chapter. A little background into the story... 

    If you think you are going to get the full story in the next update... don't even log in. I see the events as a progression of the lore in little samples... eventually after 6 months to a year the world will change. 

    That is a much better concept then large massive patches every 6-9 month.... rather have smaller content patches every month to advance the story.

    The problem is most people just "OMG EVENT, MUST GET IT ALL DONE IN 3 HOURS!", instead of taking the enjoyable path.

    LOL.... anyway i do agree i like the gradual over time change like i said earlier ANET seems to like to start off slow and really ramp things up on patches so i'd expect the next chapters to be much much more invovled

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAPosts: 1,306Member Uncommon
    i like the idea of a living story but Arenanet dropped the ball.  the story was my least favorite part of the game.  if anything it made me feel a disconnect from my character.

    I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mistmaker
    sorry, but gw2 isnt a good example for story. TSW has good stories.

    but i like to hear a good conversation between my character and the npc in GW2. Not facerolling while somebody talks to my character like in TSW. But yes i agree that TSW has a great lovecraftian story

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  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member
    Dynamic events, living stories, but there's nothing living or dynamic about any of it, when it's so entirely scripted.  It's like their vision and their implementation are pulling the game in opposite directions.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,783Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vhaln
    Dynamic events, living stories, but there's nothing living or dynamic about any of it, when it's so entirely scripted.  It's like their vision and their implementation are pulling the game in opposite directions.

    when i finish a dynamic event and a couple minutes later it starts again the same way i tend to agree with what you said. Of course theres room for improvement here. Maybe they can change it in a way that after you save the town from the minotaurs, they dont just come back the same way they did before. Let the event evolve into a bigger conflict that could even extend beyond that town. If a player missed part of it, he missed it for good but still can experience the outcomes of that event.

    Also maybe the event restarts a few days later? thats a lot better than restarting few minutes later.

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  • Bad.dogBad.dog Belleville, ONPosts: 1,108Member
    Originally posted by mistmaker
    sorry, but gw2 isnt a good example for story. TSW has good stories.

    But this post wasn't about TSW ....

  • Bad.dogBad.dog Belleville, ONPosts: 1,108Member
    Originally posted by muffins89
    i like the idea of a living story but Arenanet dropped the ball.  the story was my least favorite part of the game.  if anything it made me feel a disconnect from my character.

    Are you talking personal story and getting that mixed up with the living story which is just getting started now ?

  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon

    I agree with the op that A-net could take this into a more personal story aproch and next thing you know we have a full on story that might change the world as we know it and to me that sounds awesome. I also feel the world can get dull at times when you have killed the destroryer queen 50 times or the Giant attacking the char town 50 times but every time I save the village I feel I did something unlike most games where you only do a quest one time and then nothing changes at least in GW2 when I do complete a task and go to a merchant and they say things like your one who helped defeat the giant thank you I feel I did do something or even meta events that you complete and a speacial merchant shows up it makes you feel proud you helped in the even. Not many games offer that even tho some if not all merchants that show offer you much more then a food item or something its the fact they say hey thanks for that heres something I can sell you to help you out.

     

    Or even the minor dragon events have a chest that not just a few get rewards from but everyone involved does it makes the whole group feel good even if the rewards suck you did it as a group to bring down the shatter and you all are getting a reward of somekind for it. To many people today in todays games want some uber item for every little thing it makes me laugh that so many get  mad they dont get better then want is offered now if it was a one time boss I could see the reward being something uber like the Karka event and let me tell you my daughter is still upset she did not get to finish it but she still got her reward for being there for it in the end she screamed with joy and still has the items in her bank waiting for the day to turn 80 to use them. To me that was more a reward then getting the items was the joy of doing it.

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    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • ZeprimusZeprimus Southern MN, MNPosts: 40Member

    I like what I've seen of the living story so far; it's a cool concept, and I always enjoy when games push the story and world to continue moving forward.

     

    However, there needs to be some sort of 'option' for this event as a whole to be really amazing. If the requirements for the story to move forward is a patch day, then the whole thing is really lost - players have no input on it, other than going along with the objects and events that appear. Servers/individuals should have to engage with the game to push it forward, and have the story act upon completion parameters (or failures) rather than moving forward regardless of what players do.

     

    As for dynamic events in general, and their effect on the world, GW2 has 'meta events' that seem to have a bigger effect on a given area (the Shatterer, temples in Orr, etc) that take multiple DEs to complete (or fail) and change or unlock areas of the map for players. These take larger numbers to complete, can be failed, and have better rewards, and I hope that ArenaNet is pushing to make more events tie into this system.

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  • AutemOxAutemOx Fullerton, CAPosts: 1,704Member

    I do like the DE's but they can be frustrating as well when they require large amounts of players that simply -arent online-.  Every time I log into GW2 I check the 3 areas of Orr to see if any good DE are running:  I zone in, type in "/map any DE up?" or something like that.  Then I transfer to the next area, ask again, and again.  Rarely anything.  These DE are too hard to do with a small group.

    Then I type "/guild hey guys any dragons or DE up?" and they all reply no, no, no...  And they invite me to do dungeons which is OK but I am missing out on some of my favorite content because there simply is not enough people pushing it.

    For a while I found website (gw2 temple) that shows you when the dragon events are going to start.  That was cool because I was FINALLY enjoying some of the bigger DE.  But then it got old fast, and now I just think it is sad that the dragons are on timers instead of being part of a bigger story/DE quest line.

    What I would like to see is arenanet pulling some servers together and using a district system that we see in GW1.  That way when I go to Orr at the time of night I play (on one of the most busy servers but its late at night) there are actually people playing.  This might not work well with multi-area DE.

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • dimasokdimasok toronto, ONPosts: 189Member
    Can you still access the first part of the Flame and Frost?
  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member
    Originally posted by dimasok
    Can you still access the first part of the Flame and Frost?

    yeah it's going on until feb 26th

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