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Adding depth to Dynamic Events to support MMO Manifesto

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#1 Zhaitan

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

I posted the following idea in another thread and some people liked it and thought it'd be good if I put my ideas in the suggestion forums. So here goes..

Background:

I think GW2's biggest differentiators are the RPG elements where players and their actions impact the environment - for better or for worse. In MMO Manifesto,

Ree Soesbee said,"As a structure, the MMO has lost the ability to make the player feel like a hero. Everybody around you is doing the same thing you are doing. The boss you just killed respawns ten minutes later. It doesn't care that I'm there."

She also added,"We do not want to build the same MMO everyone else is building, and in Guild Wars 2, it's your world. It's your story. You affect things around you in a very permanent way."

Then Colin Johanson chipped in to say,"Cause and effect: A single decision made by a player cascades out in a chain of events."

Everything that was projected or highlighted in the Manifesto as quoted above did not exactly get implemented the way I thought it would. Hence, I think ANET can start thinking in the line of doing exactly what they wanted to do, at least what they advertised as their plan in the manifesto, with GW2.


Challenges:

1. You affect things around you in a very permanent way.
-- How do you implement this in a game when you have an Acolyte or a giant that spawns every few minutes after it is killed during a dynamic event? Did ANET mean what they stated in the manifesto actually applied to the player's personal storyline? In that case, it can't be an MMO Manifesto.

2. It's your world. It's your story.
-- Agreed, but, how does a player perceive that in an MMO setup outside personal storyline?

3. A single decision made by a player cascades out in a chain of events.
-- It is a very interesting concept and has been implemented in the game to some extent.


Proposed Solution:

I believe expanding the solution of the challenge #3 will open up the possibility to address both challenges #1 & #2. So, I propose branching out the events.

Example:

Player A, let me call him Bubba, decides to talk to a wounded NPC at Rally Waypoint who asks him to visit Penitent path as there is a horde of Risen mobs attacking the nearby outpost. Bubba decides to check it out... path A begins. If Bubba decides not to check it out... path B begins.

Path A - Bubba participates in saving the outpost from Risen takeover along with other players. This causes Risen to send a stronger army to attack the same outpost a few minutes later.

In the fight, NPCs take part and somehow, an NPC, who happens to be an Asura, dies in the process. This incident triggers activities near Jinx isle where a chain of events trigger.

If the NPC does not get wounded in the process, nothing happens in the Orr but, something else triggers in the Metrica Province for the lowbie players.

Now, if the outpost is saved from the attack of the stronger Risen Army, a champion mob spawns along with his lieutanants to do the deed his other smaller pawns failed to complete. If this attack is thwarted, Risens start attacking Rally Waypoint but, if this attack succeeds, other two events trigger near the ship area and near Arah. So on and so forth...

But, the outpost saved that way remains saved because Bubba decided to save it along with other players who also chose the same course of action. Now, will the outpost remain saved till Bubba stops playing GW2? Answer is No. But, Bubba won't be able to trigger the same event by talking to the same NPC but, maybe a different event in Malchor's leap. A different version of the same event may be triggered for him if he stumbles upon something else, something random/pseudo-random entity, near Stentor Cannonade in Strait of Devastation. Bubba may come back to participate in the event where he will hear NPC chatter about how he saved them last time and their plea to help them again. The attack can also be randomized to include a different set of mobs and a different set of enemy waves.

Path B - Bubba decides not to save the outpost but, decides to visit Monastery of Tughra next. There Archmage event is currently going on. Bubba decides to participate in that. The Archmage event triggers a separate chain of events that takes Bubba all over Orr and even to Frostgorge Sound.

For a daily or a monthly cycle, Bubba's particpation in events to save the world from dire straits, can be recorded and reflected on Bubba's world map. So, when Bubba revisits those places within the cycle, NPCs remember him for his actions and, sometimes, for his inactions maybe. There are a lot of possibilities to implement permanency in the transient MMO world. It will be unrealistic to keep the event that triggered Path A & B for Bubba locked forever. So, I'd propose a 3 to 7 game-days cycle when Bubba won't be able to trigger the same set of events. He, however, can trigger a different set of events by talking to the same NPC that triggered the Risen events  for him.


tl;dr:

Introduce multiple branching events that add depth to the dynamic events which will support ANET's proclamations in their MMO manifesto. This will also somehat limit mindless zerging at SoD where a preset definite events trigger.

#2 Rukioish

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

They realised that what they planned on doing was a massive undertaking, and was too difficult to tune to a large population.

#3 Mastruq

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

I think they wanted and still want that, but you have to realize what a huge undertaking it is to integrate many such chains into a world. I very much hope we see more long term chains evolving instead of what we have now. For example, I would have loved for the centaur endgame in the highlands to require a build up of several days and depending on how it goes be locked into a very different state for a set time too.

One way to add that to the already existing zones would be invasion style DE chains that only trigger rarely but have a sweeping effect on the whole zone. To go with the human example again, if centaurs are taking the whole highlands often enough within a month, have them sweep into the southern zones en force and disrupt that zone all the way to Lions Arch, scorching the few human settlements that are in their way.




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