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Ben Miller, Game Designer for ArenaNet, has just posted a new blog post on the processes of developing an online world.

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Every company has its secrets: secret recipes, secret codes, secret programs, and secret ways of doing things. Some secrets are kept for important spy reasons, and some are kept simply because no one bothers sharing them. The secrets I’m sharing in this blog post are equal parts both.

Some developers might wish there was a secret recipe book for designing an online world—some big ol’ Betty Crocker-style book with chapters like “Combat System” and “Interactive Story Telling,” containing recipes for “Melee Weapons” and “Compelling Main Characters.” And they’d wish all you had to do was add in the particulars specified and work on each bit for the required amount of time.
The truth is that designing an online world is a lot like the real world. It’s messy business. It’s organic. It’s chaotic. The mental space in which you are creating is different from moment to moment with assumptions and extrapolations piling into a confusing tangle that only your gut has time to sort out. It’s like a turbulent ocean storm of ideas, processes, people, and collaboration.

At ArenaNet there aren’t really recipes, nor are there secrets, but there are the high-level design principles that have guided our design process of Guild Wars 2. They have been the stars in the night sky that have kept this ship from running aground on more than one occasion. You can see them reflected in the combat, in the story, in the event system, even in the world map. Every aspect of the game has been touched and shaped by one or more of these “golden rules.”

You can read the article in its entirety here.

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#1 eviator

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:19 PM

Very enlightening.

#2 Arava

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:25 PM

Nice read.
One thing I noticed is the new picture: The armor that Eir is wearing is confirmed for players :D
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#3 Korra

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:28 PM

Really interesting bloggpost!

@Arava: Arava that's not eir's armor :P But it looks similar :P

#4 Baron von Scrufflebutt

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:31 PM

So ... observer mode?

#5 sakura az

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:32 PM

Loved it.  I really appreciate how Anet likes to let us in on their thought process behind the creation of this game.

#6 chuckles79

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:35 PM

This kind of thing comes across, at first glance, as excessive PR and self-congratulation.

However you have to look at the whole of all their posts on this and you can't help but get the feeling that they have some true believers.

True believers in the gaming industry are actually kind of rare.  Too often people are "broken in" when they are consistently forced to abandon principles for the sake of practicality or for market reasons.

While I am certain that not everyone at ArenaNet has this fire in their bellies, it looks like most of the people making decisions have a little.

#7 Arava

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:36 PM

View PostKorra, on 03 July 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

Really interesting bloggpost!

@Arava: Arava that's not eir's armor. But it looks similar

Well - from what we can see it looks similar enough :D
At least the "skirt". I like it :)
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#8 Massive Jawbone

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:38 PM

Nice, another blog post that reveals even more of ArenaNet's human side.
I feel they don't need to prove that to us anymore and preach the gospel to the choir but if it's news to anyone, why not.

#9 PariahX

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:38 PM

Twilight Arbor looks amazing and that armor is pure win. /drools :eek:

Very well written and much appreciated Ben.  I hope all these game philosophy education blogs go a long way in converting the doubters and casual fans so they can just relax and enjoy the game without constant fear of the kind of betrayals they've faced in other MMO's. ^_^

#10 Milennin

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:00 PM

I like these kind of blog posts.8)

#11 viespea

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

I have no idea what this blog is about....to long and to much text. I was expecting something else.

#12 Shonie

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:54 PM

"We respect you—as a player, as a human being. This game we’re making may end up competing with your real life"

Ahahaha, ya slightly! :lol:

#13 Korra

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 05:58 PM

View PostArava, on 03 July 2012 - 04:36 PM, said:

Well - from what we can see it looks similar enough :D
At least the "skirt". I like it :)
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Yeah, the skirt is the same but if you look at the boots and the shouldplates you'll se the diferences, but it's pretty much the same, good enough :)

#14 Arkham Creed

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:02 PM

View PostKorra, on 03 July 2012 - 05:58 PM, said:

Yeah, the skirt is the same but if you look at the boots and the shouldplates you'll se the diferences, but it's pretty much the same, good enough :)

So maybe that character is just wearing different boots and shoulders? There is nothing stopping you from mixing and matching set pieces in GW2 after all; there are no must have set bonuses outside of runes that can be applied to any armor. Actually because of that I think that “custom” armor sets, I.E. those assembled from pieces of default sets, will be fairly common.

#15 Archduke

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:24 PM

This is bloody gorgeous! I love it when the company and producers come out with things like this. Respect those around you. Finishes the feel that they really do care about their players and customers.
Spoiler


#16 Dexwyn

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:31 PM

I'll admit, I was most excited by this picture:

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Shows that that armor set won't just be wearable by humans. (Also looks incredibly badass on charr!) We might've known that before, but it's news to me, so yaaay.

I'll be honest, the blog post seemed to mostly just rehash and compile 'rules' they've mentioned in various other places. Not that that's a bad thing, it is nice to see that even two months from release they still haven't abandoned their principles. You can't say the same for a lot of other companies out there. :)

#17 Korra

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:37 PM

View PostArkham Creed, on 03 July 2012 - 06:02 PM, said:

So maybe that character is just wearing different boots and shoulders? There is nothing stopping you from mixing and matching set pieces in GW2 after all; there are no must have set bonuses outside of runes that can be applied to any armor. Actually because of that I think that “custom” armor sets, I.E. those assembled from pieces of default sets, will be fairly common.

okay okay, it's the same armor as eir.

#18 anzenketh

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:43 PM

Makes me wonder what features they scrapped.

#19 Arkham Creed

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:46 PM

View PostKorra, on 03 July 2012 - 06:37 PM, said:

okay okay, it's the same armor as eir.

Can’t prove that yet, we’ve actually seen little of it. I’m just saying that you can’t made a judgment one way or the other based on the boots. The boots are a separate piece and you can wear any medium armor boots with that armor, so saying “it isn’t the same because of the boots” is flawed logic.

FYI; I just don’t like assumptions based on nothing or, worse, based on being objectively wrong.

#20 zafoddy

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:55 PM

I don't see the reason behind this post. They are like celebrating before the game goes live.