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Guild Wars 2 Concept of Personal Story: Good, But Not Perfect

  • Date: 05-27-2010 Views:

    KeyWords: Guild Wars 2,Personal Story,Ree Soesbee,ArenaNet

  • Summary: Fallout 3 does well in this area for what players can do now all depends on what they have done in the past. But the personal biography design in Guild Wars 2 lets me remind the choices in Dragon Age: Origins----players's own stories are NOT determined by their choices but how many words developers have written.

ArenaNet wants to make Guild Wars 2 unlike any other MMORPG out there, and that all starts with character creation. When you first build a character in the world of Guild Wars 2, you are faced with many questions. What race will you be? What profession? Most MMOs ask that much, and the answers are fairly straightforward. But Guild Wars 2 takes character creation a step beyond. It offers the player an opportunity to go deeper, with another roster of questions designed to develop a character's personality. These comprise a character's 'Biography,' and cover relevant parts of the character's history as well as their hopes for the future and the story they will experience. Namely, players will have their own lore and what's more is you can also share your story with your friends.

Fallout 3 does well in this area for what players can do now all depends on what they have done in the past. But this personal biography design in Guild Wars 2 lets me remind the choices in Dragon Age: Origins----players's own stories are NOT determined by their choices but how many words developers have written.

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Below is the entire overview of Guild Wars 2 personal story by Lore & Continuity Designer Ree Soesbee.

Introduction

My name is Ree Soesbee, and I'm a Lore & Continuity Designer for Guild Wars 2. That means I shape the world design, lore, continuity - and, most importantly, the story of Guild Wars 2. I've been asked to share a little about our philosophy and practice of telling a story in Guild Wars 2, along with information about how you will interact with your personal storyline in the game.

Hold on to your seats!

Making things personal

One of the challenges of a massively-multiplayer game is that in being inclusive to a vast number of people, it loses a lot of the personal interaction that makes single-player RPGs so much fun. When you're looking at the games on the store shelf, it seems you have only two options - a game that you can play with your friends, or a game that has a satisfying personal story. The Guild Wars 2 design team believes that a game should have both.

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We believe that telling a story begins with creating a deep, realistic world. Player characters should be the focus as much as possible, and be offered choices and decisions that meaningfully impact the world around them. NPCs should have understandable motivations, real character flaws, and believable relationships with the player and with each other. Cities should feel like centers of activity. The world's history should make sense. The original Guild Wars had already done a great deal of work in that direction - Tyria is an amazingly detailed fantasy setting, a rich and vibrant world. We wanted to live up to what we had done in the past, and carry it forward into our new game.

Both Epic and Individual

There are several distinct, but intertwined, storylines in Guild Wars 2. One is the overall story of the world - the awakening of the Elder Dragons and their ravages and destruction across Tyria. Another is the rise and fall of the adventuring guild 'Destiny's Edge.' We also have a personal storyline shaped for each character at creation. Choices a character makes in this storyline will affect their lives, their homes, and their interactions. Lastly, there are the ongoing stories of the world, with constantly changing events occurring throughout each region that allow the various factions, races, and individuals of the world to interact. Tyria is a busy place!

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We've heard a lot of complaints that nothing you do in an MMO truly impacts the world. Fighting an epic enemy only to see him respawn a moment later, or feeling as if the most important thing you did today was murdering ten rats, can cause a game to have a flat, repetitive feel. In Guild Wars 2, we want to make sure your accomplishments are meaningful, and that story outcomes have an impact. In short, Guild Wars 2 provides stories that are both personally meaningful and epic, and to do so for each of thousands of players - all within the same interactive world.

Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.

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