Guild Wars 2: Lead Designer Talks Dynamic Events System

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

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Guild Wars 2 Lead Content Designer Colin Johanson released some interesting details today about the Dynamic Events System that will be featured in the new MMO claiming that it will “challenge the fundamental ways content has been presented to players in traditional MMORPGs.” A big statement, but does Johanson’s claim live up to itself?

Johanson insists that the new Dynamic Events System will improve on the standard idea of quests in your average MMO. Johanson states that, “walls of text are just outdated forms of storytelling,” claiming that traditional ideals of talking to a quest giver, getting a text box heavy with dialogue, doing the quest and returning to the quest giver are underwhelming ways of advancing in MMO’s.

The Dynamic Events System Guild Wars 2 hopes to implement will focus on in-game action and NPC interaction taking place in real-time leading players to quests. Instead of activating a quest, they will always be available. Perhaps its a town guard calling for help as a dragon lays waste to their city, or an old man struggling with a group of orcs – either way, the in-game events taking place live are the sources of quests in the new system. They are always occurring and its up to the player to spot these events and react to the situation.

Johanson spots another flaw in the basic quest design used in traditional MMO’s, “what the quest text tells you is happening in a quest is not actually what is happening in the world.” Johanson mentions that often times the events you are supposed to alter, say slaying a group of goblins that are attacking someone’s farmstead, actually don’t effect the game environment. By slaying your 20 goblins you are supposed to kill, you won’t actually save the farmer’s home, those same goblins will simply respawn, ready for the next adventurer to take the quest, thus, in the game world, perpetually putting the farmstead in danger. Johanson says that this is an unacceptable form of questing. With the new Dynamic Events System, if you don’t stop those 20 goblins, they will destroy the farmer’s house, or oppositely, if you defeat them, they will be gone and the farm will truly be saved.

This kind of quest system will fundamentally change the gaming world over and over again as players succeed and fail at their quests as Johanson explains: “The core of this evolution is our event system, which allows the world to dynamically change based on actions and decisions made by the players. A single player decision can cascade across a zone, changing the direction of a chain of events until they dramatically alter the content played by players in a map.”

The affect one player has on the game will result in this “cascade” of events that affect all the other players playing in the nearby zone. Johanson lists another example of players either failing or succeeding in destroying an enemy fort and the implications this will have on other players and the game world. “[I]f the players do not mobilize to stop the dredge snipers, they’ll begin to shoot down all the villagers and merchants in nearby friendly villages. If they fail to stop the dredge assault teams from capturing a village, players will need to lead a force to help liberate the town and free the villagers. All of this content is derived from a single initial event – the dredge army marching through the map.”

Johanson feels this will add to the overall community feeling of playing an MMO. Not only will your play effect others around you, but the designers hope their new system will implement a more friendly and antiquated environment for players to succeed together as a whole. Johanson claims, “[t]hrough our internal game testing so far, it’s been remarkable to see how well this idea has functioned in practice. Our entire studio has experienced countless moments where we’ve been drawn together to parts of a map to do events and felt a strong bond with other players; a truly dynamically created sense of community born out of the event system.”

Johanson also feels that by keeping the world ever-changing in this sense, that “altoholics” (people who replay the game many times over) will always have new variety in their different play throughs. Never will the world be exactly the same as it was before, ever time is a distinct new adventure hoping, “this dramatically changing world will create the ultimate sense of discovery for the explorer.”

Whether this new Dynamic Events system will play out as the Guild War 2’s team hopes it will is still up in the air, but the outlook is very intriguing.

Live Events Returning to EVE Online with the Tyrannis Expansion

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

EVE Online are bringing back the popular “Live Events” for their upcoming expansion. According to the EVE homepage:

All in-game events will be personally run by EVE Online developers and, for the immediate future, every other facet of event production will be handled in-house too.

These events are serving a few purposes primarily to kick-start the new storyline of the expansion, they’re also attempting to “Reach out and grab players who may not otherwise be aware of EVE’s rich storyline, and of course, to breathe some more life into that world.

CCP games are making these Live EventsInteractive” meaning players may be able to change the outcome of these events through their actions. Some of these events are already starting in certain sectors across the EVE universe and players are encouraged to check them out.

Cataclysm Official Profession Preview

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - 11 Comments »

I have a semi-secret lust for professions in WoW and MMOs. If I wasn’t hardcore raiding at the moment, I’d be going for the goldcap. Plus, there are lots of charts and data for goldmaking, which make for great decorations and posters.

You should read this whether you are going to be participating in gathering or crafting or neither; it has far reaching implications for PvE, PvP, and beyond.

My highlights:

PvE:

  • Hit gems are now blue.
  • Inscription will make off-hands, sigils, etc.
  • 2 elixirs will have more overall stats than a flask (about 50% more), but flasks will have lots of one stat.

PvP:

  • There will be craftable PvP gear updated every season that is a tier below the current Hero Point gear.
  • 3 tiers of bandages. This was promised in Wrath but never happened.

New and exciting:

  • No more lotuses. Alchemists make a new item on a 1 day cooldown that is used in most stuff, alchemy and otherwise.
  • Jewelcrafting now makes things like fist weapons, monocles, and more.
  • Enchanter vanity pet is planned!

Clickthough for the full text.
Read more…

Twelve Sky 2 Battle of the Gods PvP Tournament

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

Twelve Sky 2 has just announced its Battle of the Gods PvP Tournament. This brutal PvP event will pit players one against the other to determine the ultimate martial artist! The grand prize is a WarGod skill of choice, making this the first time a skill like that has ever been introduced to the game. A number of small prizes are also available. Each server will have its tournament at a different time so prospective participants should check out the game’s website here.

Maple Story Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

The global server of the megahit MMORPG Maple Story is celebrating its fourth anniversary! The game has enjoyed enormous success across North America where it now boasts over 6 million players. MapleStory has transformed into a worldwide phenomenon as well, reaching over 95 million gamers across the globe. Just this past summer, the global service hit over 70,000 concurrent players several times. So happy anniversary to all you Maple Story fans! More information on the celebration, here.

Dragon's Call Reveals Promoted Classes

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

The Dragon’s Call team has revealed information about the upcoming update, which will introduce the so-called “Promoted Classes.” This new system will allow players who reach level 80 to leave behind their older class and receive an elite variation. Warriors will turn into  either a Berserk Warlord or a Shield Knight, the Berserk Warlords referred to as killing machines on the battlefield. They pay much attention to training attack skills and are capable of wielding weapons to launch concentrated attacks. Nevertheless, in the meantime they have abandoned the protective shields. The other class available is the Shield Knight, a powerful tank who knows how to protect his teammates well. He has strong defense and outstanding physical intensity. His shields can resist enemies’ attack to the greatest extent. Shields are their symbols. However, as they lay stress on defense, they are at a disadvantage in attacks. Mages, on the other hand can either change into a Flame Overlord, a master at controlling fire and dealing tons of damage, or a Storm Envoy, who specializes in lightning magic and can go beyond his limits by launching powerful chain attacks. Last, but not least, all you Assassins out there will be glad to know that your promoted classes are  equally as powerful, if not more. The Shadow Master is a powerful, stealthy and deadly class for all you out there who enjoy stabbing backs. Toxic King uses a more environmental approach, as they deal deadly poisonous hits to their enemies and have received complete control over their own structure, giving them a powerful resistance to poison attacks.

Too Long: Didn’t Read – World of Warcraft: Stormrage

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - 4 Comments »

Too busy to read World of Warcraft: Stormage yourself?  Then you’ve come to the right place.  Unlike the proper review, this installment of TL:DR brings you the important events of Knaak’s best Warcraft novel to date.

As close to the Emerald Dream as we've come.

Stormrage is about the Emerald Dream/Nightmare from start to finish.  Knaak painstakingly introduces us to the world, the characters he’s going to use, and this other realm during the first half of the book.  It’s slow going, but the time lets us realize that Malfurion isn’t just trapped in the Nightmare.  He’s being used by Xavius, Queen Azshara’s former second-in-command, to strengthen the Nightmare while Xavius attempts to bind the mortal plane with the dreamworld.  Xavius uses this opportunity to toy with Malfurion, attacking him psychologically and morphing his dream form into a gnarled tree, much like Xavius’ new guise.

In the mortal plane, Tyrande, Broll and a pair of newcomers fight against an encroaching slumber.  Those that succumb end up joining its nightmarish ranks, much like the Scourge and its plague.  After fruitlessly battling the apparitions, the group stumbles upon Eranikus and launches a daring rescue attempt —  One that sends their mortal bodies into the Emerald Nightmare after Malfurion.  Eventually, the archdruid is freed.  And the second half begins.

Thanks to the thick plot and exhaustive description early, Knaak uses the second portion to unleash the action.  We discover that Fandral Staghelm, the druid in charge during Malfurion’s nap time, and Remulos have been corrupted by the Nightmare Lord.  Staghelm, in turn, corrupts Teldrassil, further increasing his master’s power.  Remulos distracts Malfurion until the druid sees through the plot.  The force of Malfurion, Tyrande, Broxigar’s axe, Eranikus (who dies), Broll’s ascension and Ysera barely overcame Xavius and his master’s plan.

Related extended universe works:

Other notes:

Malfurion Stormrage is to be a major character in Cataclysm and returns to lead the Cenarion Circle.

Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer available now

Posted by on May 12, 2010 - No Comments »

The highly anticipated expansion to Age of Conan is available now via both retail and digital distribution. The retail release comes bundled with the original game. The original Age of Conan was a smash hit in retail and ended up selling 1.2 million copies around the world.

Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom commented;

“We are very excited about seeing ‘Age of Conan’ back on the shelves in retail as a renewed and revitalized experience comprised of both the original game and the expansion, exactly two years after the launch of the original game in May 2008. We feel very confident about the level of quality offered in this expansion, and the initial reactions from press and players so far only serve to confirm our confidence in the game.”

Keep on checking MMOCrunch for all the latest news on Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer.