Saturday, March 10, 2012

Make It So: GW2 Design Manifesto Part 3

If you haven't been following Make It So, I recommend going back and reading GW2 Design Manifesto Part 1, and GW2 Design Manifesto Part 2.  It will help today's post make more sense when read in context of the other two parts.  We start today off with the title of the next section in the Manifesto:
It's time to make MMORPG's more social.
How can MMORPG's be more social?  Aren't these real people around us playing the game at the same time we are?  Isn't this tank a real person? You know, the one that has to stand and do nothing the entire time, then flip out when he dies because he decided to stand in the big black circle labeled death?

When ArenaNet says things like "time to make MMORPG's more social", or ''how can we do ____ better?", what they really are saying is "This is how we are making Guild Wars 2 more awesome".

Click past the break to see how GW2 is taking the social aspect of MMO's to the next level.

We think of GW2 as the first MMO that actually has a cooperative PvE experience. When I’m out hunting and suddenly there’s a huge explosion over the next hill – the ground is shaking and smoke is pouring into the sky – I’m going to want to investigate, and most other players in the area will too. Or if the sky darkens on a sunny day, and I look up and see a dragon circling overhead preparing to attack, I know I’d better fight or flee, and everyone around me knows that too. 
With traditional MMOs you can choose to solo or you can find a good guild or party to play with. With GW2 there’s a third option too: you can just naturally play with all the people around you. I personally spend a big chunk of my time in traditional MMOs soloing, but when I play GW2 I always find myself naturally working with everyone around me to accomplish world objectives, and before long we find ourselves saying, “Hey, there’s a bunch of us here; let’s see if we can take down the swamp boss together,” without ever having bothered to form a party.
Well, imagine that.  Actually playing with the people around you, and working towards completing the same goal.  I am guilty of just plain ignoring other people when I'm questing.  Ignoring them, or screaming at my computer screen after they kill the quest mob that I've been stalking for hours.  So what happenes in GW2 when we need to kill the same mob for a quest?  And how is ArenaNet balancing loot when there are 50 people (not in a traditional group, mind you) taking out the same dragon?  What about my XP gain?  I say, read on grasshopper, read on...
Of course GW2 has great support for parties, but they just don’t feel as necessary as they do in other MMOs, because your interests are always aligned with all other nearby players anyway. When someone kills a monster, not just that player’s party but everyone who was seriously involved in the fight gets 100% of the XP and loot for the kill. When an event is happening in the world – when the bandits are terrorizing a village – everyone in the area has the same motivation, and when the event ends, everyone gets rewarded.
I thought by now in the Manifesto, ArenaNet would have been out of mind blowing things to say.  The prospect of playing with the people around you, working towards completing the same goal and getting the same reward is just plain awesome.  And the best thing here is that there is no such thing as mob tagging in GW2.  Just because Johnny-boy-bob hit the mob first, doesn't mean that he's the only one that is going to get credit for the kill.

I'll give you time to do a little dance for that last bit.

I love Rangers.
No more camping for the quest spawn kill.  No more griefers griefing just to grief because they like to grief.  If you make an honest contribution to killing the mob, saving the village, or whatever it is that you fancy doing, you'll get rewarded for it.  The end.  No catch.  IT'S ABOUT TIME.

This co-op design even carries over into the PvP aspect of the game.
We even redesigned the competitive part of the game to be friendly like this. Now worlds can compete against each other, through the mists that separate them, for scarce resources that benefit an entire world. Joining this PvP competition is completely optional, just like it was in the original GW, but if you do compete you’re now going to find that your world welcomes you with open arms. You don’t have to join a party to join the fight. All you have to do is get out there and start helping. Everyone has the same objective, and if your world can get 501 people working for the same goal, that’s only going to be more helpful than 500 people.
I can't wait to join a World vs. World vs. World match and just wreck some face.  I can't wait to actually hear an explosion in game, and go investigate with a handful of people around me.  I can't wait, for Guild Wars 2.


Our goal with Make it So is to educate those new to Guild Wars 2, with a basic timeline of major news announcements.

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