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Interview: Guild Wars 2: How to make MMOs better | Eurogamer


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#1 Vorsakan

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:49 PM

Eurogamer interview Colin!
http://www.eurogamer...etter-interview

As their caption says: "Yes, he really is that smiley." :D

~ It doesn't really lend itself to picking excerpts out, so I'll just go with lifting my favorite answer whole!

Quote

Eurogamer: One of the problems you deal with when launching a new MMO now is expectations. People expect all these features, and a huge amount of content, and it's often not really possible to deliver at launch. How do you manage that? And where are you prepared to make sacrifices?

Colin Johanson:
We recognise that right now, to compete, you need to release a game that's not just good enough to compete with another game that just released, but you need to be able to compete with all of the expansion content as well. Because people are looking for that much game experience out of a game. They want an experience that matches up with a game that has four expansions already made for it.

The way that we're going to handle it is: we're making a game big enough that we offer that much content. We are making a game where we're not sacrificing anything.

We're not just doing PVP, we're doing competitive PVP and we're doing an open-world, world-versus-world PVP system as well. We're not just doing a story chain that you can play through or an open world full of events, we're doing an open world full of events, your personal story chain, and all the different, branching versions that all the different races offer. We're doing dungeons, and we're not just doing dungeons, we're doing repeatable versions of dungeons that have different storylines that branch that you can play through.

We're tackling all of that, and we're saying we are not going to sacrifice anywhere. We're going to do all of this, we're going to make this the game that offers something for everybody, and we're going to get that right, and if it takes us a little longer to do that, the trade-off is totally worthwhile.

Edited by KQ, 10 January 2012 - 11:02 PM.


#2 N0rdicNinja

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 02:58 PM

Best answer ever!

#3 Sard

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:12 PM

it's gotta be tough with such a strong and opinionated community...i'm glad that anet met this challenge with epic hard work and an awesome mindset...

#4 Alessi_9

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:12 PM

That answer is perfect.

And I totally agree. If they need more time to get the game just right and fun then by all means take your time ArenaNet.

#5 DarkWasp

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:23 PM

See? This why I can't think of a better place to work in the entire world.

#6 Agony

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:26 PM

My faith has been rekindled :qq:

#7 Elder III

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:29 PM

The Collinater strikes again!

#8 Ring

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 03:55 PM

Quote

Eurogamer: Without asking you to name names, when you look at other MMO launches – and frankly there haven't been all that many successful ones over the last five years – where do you think your competitors are going wrong?

Colin Johanson: Honestly, we have a lot of respect for the the other MMO developers out there. We realise how monumental an undertaking it is to make an MMO. I mean, there's nothing like it. If you are a game studio who has never made an MMO before, and you're thinking about doing it, seriously consider all the work that goes into it. Because an MMO is so many games rolled all into one game... We're building, I feel like sometimes, eight games all rolled together into one.

So it's hard to say if other people failed or where they failed – I'll just say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for anybody who's willing to make an MMO.

Colin is a really classy guy.  As interesting as it would have been to hear his analysis of other games, I like the way ArenaNet has avoided chest-pounding or calling anyone out.

Edited by Ring, 14 April 2011 - 08:27 PM.


#9 Sagelikeone

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

Sard said:

it's gotta be tough with such a strong and opinionated community...i'm glad that anet met this challenge with epic hard work and an awesome mindset...

and smile. Don't forget the epic smile.
I wonder if that will be a drop in the later more dangerous parts of Orr.....

#10 Arduin

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:12 PM

Quote

There's a frenzied company-wide PVP session taking place as I nose round the office.
:D

It's going to be increasingly harder to find a reviewer that isn't enamoured with GW2.

Expectations sure are high.

Edited by Arduin, 14 April 2011 - 04:14 PM.


#11 Kailis

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:33 PM

Probably the first thing I've seen in months that made me reconsider the necessity of this wait. I still don't like it, but looking at it like this, I think I can deal with it - to 2012 if necessary. If they're truly going to develop a game that can fill the void that's been there since I quit WoW, then take as long as you like (I don't mean this literally >_>). People are definitely going to judge GW2 in comparison to WoW and all of the content it's put out over the years, whether it's fair or people like it or not.

Portal 2, SC2, Skyrim, ME3, Deus Ex, etc., should be enough for the rest of the year. I'm just slowly losing it, not playing any MMOs at all :qq:.

#12 Trise

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:45 PM

Quote

...we're saying we are not going to sacrifice anywhere. We're going to do all of this, we're going to make this the game that offers something for everybody, and we're going to get that right...

THAT's the best line ever.

#13 Turambar

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:46 PM

Quote

Colin Johanson: I think one of the core ones for me is taking the holy trinity [of MMO character classes] – you have your front line, you have your healer and you have your ranged character, basically – and just throwing it out the window.

We're basically saying, listen, this as a core game mechanic is tired, we can do something better, we can do something more interesting than this. Let's not do it, let's try to do something else. And that's what we've spent many years now perfecting and working on, and getting to the point that we feel we have a combat system that doesn't need it and, we feel, works better without it.

This is the most exciting development for me. :)

"Hello, ladies..."

Posted Image

Edited by Turambar, 14 April 2011 - 04:50 PM.


#14 DarkValkyrie

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:56 PM

Colin! :qq: I'm so planning your abduction.

#15 Makovorn

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:57 PM

Very good interview, thanks Oli and Eurogamer. :)

Sard said:

it's gotta be tough with such a strong and opinionated community...i'm glad that anet met this challenge with epic hard work and an awesome mindset...

I agree that, at least from what's being said and the bits we've seen, ArenaNet is putting in an enormous amount of effort into GW2. However, I do think that the community is rather forgiving to be honest.

It's also a very devoted community and you can see that here on Guru especially - positivity is rife and negativity is usually very quickly overwhelmed and squashed into a fine pulp. It's a great community no doubt, but I sometimes crave a little more objectivity. Good, solid, impartial and strong  critical views are not always easy to come by, but then again, maybe GW2's is just that good.

I was very amused a few weeks back when Casey from MMO-Report stated that he was sorry for the lack of any Rift news following the game's launch, because there simply wasn't much to be said, except that ... well, the game a good launch with little to no hitches and ... yeah , um well ... that's that, nothing much to report on.  I'm sure GW2's launch will be a lot more memorable, in a good way.

I do respect Colin's view of the competition though, in that he understands how huge an undertaking an MMO is, especially for a new company. I'm just glad that ArenaNet has enough autonomy and backing to innovate, because god knows ... this industry needs a well deserved breath of fresh air. Let's hope that the months left in this year will give them enough time to achieve their goals, test the product and release it.

#16 Gigashadow

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 04:58 PM

I think we're going to be blown away by how much content there is in this game.  When you consider that they put out both Factions and Nightfall in a 12 month period, and now they've been at GW2 for 4+ years, with a studio several times the size, as well as new streamlined content creation tools, it's going to be pretty crazy.

#17 Alot

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

Makovorn said:

Very good interview, thanks Oli and Eurogamer. :)



I agree that, at least from what's being said and the bits we've seen, ArenaNet is putting in an enormous amount of effort into GW2. However, I do think that the community is rather forgiving to be honest.

It's also a very devoted community and you can see that here on Guru especially - positivity is rife and negativity is usually very quickly overwhelmed and squashed into a fine pulp. It's a great community no doubt, but I sometimes crave a little more objectivity. Good, solid, impartial and strong  critical views are not always easy to come by, but then again, maybe GW2's is just that good.

I was very amused a few weeks back when Casey from MMO-Report stated that he was sorry for the lack of any Rift news following the game's launch, because there simply wasn't much to be said, except that ... well, the game a good launch with little to no hitches and ... yeah , um well ... that's that, nothing much to report on.  I'm sure GW2's launch will be a lot more memorable, in a good way.

I do respect Colin's view of the competition though, in that he understands how huge an undertaking an MMO is, especially for a new company. I'm just glad that ArenaNet has enough autonomy and backing to innovate, because god knows ... this industry needs a well deserved breath of fresh air. Let's hope that the months left in this year will give them enough time to achieve their goals, test the product and release it.

Well to be honest, we Gurus really like to nitpick GW2 for everything we don't like and start discussions about it. But frankly, that's good. Whenever I visit the official Rift/SW:ToR forums and people talk about what they dislike, the first response is likely "OP is troll."

For reasons unknown things like this only happen on GW2Guru when someone is clearly misinformed and starts criticizing the game.

I think we're a pretty decent community so far.

#18 Elricht Kaltwind

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:07 PM

Ring said:

Colin is a really classy guy.  As interested as it would have been to hear his analysis of other games, I like the way ArenaNet has avoided chest-pounding or calling anyone out.

Yeah, I agree. That was much more than an adequate answer and the words ring fair and true. I can't even imagine the process involved in crafting a MMO. I mean you have to make a game that appeals to the most people possible, and it has to appeal to all different kinds of people, it has to have a huge variety of ways to play, and as Colin said, has to have the content of like eight games in one. MMOs are not designed like any other type of game, where you are expecting six months of good sales and then the inevitable fade into obscurity at the end of a generation's life cycle. With a MMO you are designing a game that's going to be played by the same people regularly for years, as well as attract additional players year after year. And you have to do all that in a way that is presented elegantly, efficiently and bug-free. What a task.

Alot said:

Well to be honest, we Gurus really like to nitpick GW2 for everything we don't like and start discussions about it. But frankly, that's good. Whenever I visit the official Rift/SW:ToR forums and people talk about what they dislike, the first response is likely "OP is troll."

For reasons unknown things like this only happen on GW2Guru when someone is clearly misinformed and starts criticizing the game.

I think we're a pretty decent community so far.

Man is that ever true. The recent developments at the Bioware forums come to mind, lol -- "you have a legitimate complaint about the game, but rather than voice it, you are expected to read this brief FAQ half-assedly addressing a hand full of possible complaints. Your post is going to be deleted, you're going to be banned and you can think about what you've done while you play through this crap game."

While there is a ton of "complaining" on these boards, I know ArenaNet will look at it as constructive. There is no moderator descending on every discussion banning everyone who voices a concern about the game or any aspect of it, because frankly, extensive discussions on things we dislike about what we've seen so far could only provide ArenaNet with input they'd normally be paying thousands of dollars for in quality control and testing. Whereas, say, EA doesn't read the boards because... they don't care whatsoever what people think of the game they bought. They just care that they bought it.

That said, though, I really really hope that people read these boards keeping in mind the principle of vocal minority. Not only that, but people who complain voice their complaints, while people who are totally satisfied rarely care to voice their satisfaction. I mean, if you're satisfied then you already approve of everything you see; if you already approve of everything you see, there's little apparent purpose in declaring it. But I firmly believe that most people following this game are in the latter category.

Edited by Elricht Kaltwind, 14 April 2011 - 05:15 PM.


#19 Makovorn

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:12 PM

Alot said:

-snip- I think we're a pretty decent community so far.

Oh it is and I agree with you 100%. I count myself lucky to have been part of it (if only in a small way so far) and I'm really looking forward to see how this will work out in-game, especially since I've not played GW1 and haven't really experienced the great community that people say exists in the game.

Kailis said:

-snip- I'm just slowly losing it, not playing any MMOs at all :qq:.

I feel you ... oh I do. I'm not usually an impatient guy and as necessary as it is to give ArenaNet enough time to do this right, I still don't have to like waiting for GW2 ... and I don't. It's crazy, but I really just can't bring myself to take on any other MMO at this point. I've been replaying Mass Effect 2, but yar ... it feels so lonely. I too am excited at the launch of some great single player titles later this year, especially Skyrim, but it's just not the same. It really isn't.

Edited by Makovorn, 14 April 2011 - 05:18 PM.


#20 Illuvian

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:18 PM

DarkValkyrie said:

Colin! :qq: I'm so planning your abduction.

Be sure to do it AFTER GW2 is released or every fan in the world will track you down and start swinging swords... again... and again... that's great.

#21 Zodiac Meteor

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:22 PM

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I think there's a couple of words that I would use to describe ArenaNet. The first is creatively fearless – as a company, we are never afraid to try anything.

I REALLY want to work for ArenaNet...

#22 Turambar

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:27 PM

Kailis said:

-snip-Portal 2, SC2, Skyrim, ME3, Deus Ex, etc., should be enough for the rest of the year. I'm just slowly losing it, not playing any MMOs at all :qq:.

You could add Blackstar (for your smartphone mmo) & From Dust (PC) too. Both around June. ;) But I fear we may not see GW2 for a while..

#23 Elricht Kaltwind

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:31 PM

Illuvian said:

Be sure to do it AFTER GW2 is released or every fan in the world will track you down and start swinging swords... again... and again... that's great.

It doesn't sound very great to me...

#24 Gigashadow

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:33 PM

I think the complaint threads are among the most interesting, it means people really care about the way something is being done (potions, elite recharge times, etc.).  It also tells the developers which of their design decisions need a more comprehensive explanation to satisfy the playerbase.

This forum community is pretty decent right now, but I expect it to go downhill fast once the public beta is out, and we get flooded with posters who are all scrambling to be the first to respond to anything anyone else says with "go back to WoW".

#25 jmpatter

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:36 PM

I am still upset at how long GW2 has taken to be made, but I am happy with the responses that Collin gave. They seemed spot on what everyone else is thinking.

On the note of the community here, this is by FAR on of the best game communities that I have taken a part of, however I am worried for it once the game is released. : /

#26 Howl

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:38 PM

Quote

There's a frenzied company-wide PVP session taking place as I nose round the office.

Yay for that!

#27 Alot

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:38 PM

Gigashadow said:

I think the complaint threads are among the most interesting, it means people really care about the way something is being done (potions, elite recharge times, etc.).  It also tells the developers which of their design decisions need a more comprehensive explanation to satisfy the playerbase.

This forum community is pretty decent right now, but I expect it to go downhill fast once the public beta is out, and we get flooded with posters who are all scrambling to be the first to respond to anything anyone else says with "go back to WoW".

I never experienced GW1 in Beta, so I wouldn't know. But I think the mindset has been carried over.

#28 DarkWasp

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:44 PM

Gigashadow said:

This forum community is pretty decent right now, but I expect it to go downhill fast once the public beta is out, and we get flooded with posters who are all scrambling to be the first to respond to anything anyone else says with "go back to WoW".

I think our mods are pretty prepared for that though. We may need a few more in the future, but until then I think things will be pretty controlled around here.

Some of which control I agree with and some I disagree with. But controlled nonetheless.

#29 Naut

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:47 PM

DarkWasp said:

I think our mods are pretty prepared for that though. We may need a few more in the future, but until then I think things will be pretty controlled around here.

Some of which control I agree with and some I disagree with. But controlled nonetheless.

Damn right we are. No doubt the community on this forum will expand once we get beta information, but we'll be ready ;)

#30 Craywulf

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:10 PM

Agony said:

My faith has been rekindled :qq:
When and why would you ever lose faith of ArenaNet and GW2?

Gigashadow said:

I think we're going to be blown away by how much content there is in this game.  When you consider that they put out both Factions and Nightfall in a 12 month period, and now they've been at GW2 for 4+ years, with a studio several times the size, as well as new streamlined content creation tools, it's going to be pretty crazy.
I agree with this assessment.

jmpatter said:

I am still upset at how long GW2 has taken to be made, but I am happy with the responses that Collin gave. They seemed spot on what everyone else is thinking.

On the note of the community here, this is by FAR on of the best game communities that I have taken a part of, however I am worried for it once the game is released. : /
How can you be upset? When they never gave you a release date or said anything in regards to delaying things.


I think Colin said all the right things, I really do believe ArenaNet understands the importance of lining up the ducks all in order when it comes to releasing the game without a hitch. But all the preparation doesn't guarantee things will be an easy launch. There's always something that gets in a way of launching a game, it's going be a matter of how well they can accommodate those issues.