Dynamic Content in Rift and Guild Wars 2 - A Look at Similarities and Differences
ByDate: 05-25-2012 Views:
Hey everyone, one of the big features of Guild Wars 2 are the dynamic events. There are over 1500 unique dynamic events available in GW2 at launch and you will encounter a fair bit of them as you level up in the various zones. When the word dynamic comes to mind, one cannot help but remember another MMO that was launched last year – Rift. Rift was the MMO that really brought the idea of a dynamic world to the MMO market. At any one time, there are legions of monsters invading peaceful outposts all over the world and adventurers must band together to push back the invading forces. The purpose of this article is to give both Rift players and potential GW2 player an idea of the similarities and differences of dynamic content between the two games.
What is dynamic content?
Dynamic content, in its very basic MMO form, means that you can't just AFK anywhere you want. A peaceful town you just AFK'ed in could be invaded by a horde of monsters any minute and get your character killed. The world is always changing. In most traditional MMOs, you have static content, quest hubs always look the same with same NPCs standing in the same spots 24/7. Nothing gets changed unless there is a specific patch that added or removed some stuff. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the real world where you experience extreme dynamic content. You can go to a place, make some changes to it and it will never be the same for the next person that visit the place. Obviously, in MMOs you simply can't reach the dynamic extreme of the real life world because it is just too complex. To make the virtual world feel like a living and breathing world, dynamic content was introduced as a middle of the road solution.
In a MMO that focuses on dynamic content, the places that players visit are never really the same to a certain extent. Player actions have consequences that can affect their surroundings. Failure to defeat an horde of invading monsters, for example, could mean that the nearby town gets occupied and all the NPCs/merchants disappear. The town may also get a makeover from the monster invasion – buildings crumble and the sky turns dark. To allow all players access to the same content, these dynamic content do reset over time either by player actions or a timer.
Rift's Dynamic Content
One of the things that a lot of people who never played Rift assume is that Rift's dynamic content is all about rifts. Rifts are involved but they are by no means the only part of dynamic content. In addition to the rifts that populate the landscape, there are also invasions, and colossal zone events.
Rifts, not surprisingly, are the core of Rift's dynamic content. Rifts are basically portals in the sky that opens up to release monsters. A characteristic of Rifts is that they have multiple stages – defeating one wave of monsters within the allocated time will allow you to proceed to the next stage where another wave of enemies spawn. The stages are increasingly difficult and usually culminate to a boss fight in the final stage. There is an inherent scaling present in these rifts as progressing to later stages of the rift will require you to kill x amount of mobs under a certain amount of time. Soloers tend to not reach these stages unless they are doing it other people.
Rifts are the way Rift has introduced dynamic content to their otherwise static gameworld. The location of the rifts are predictable and the stages a player must face to close it are also predictable. However, what is dynamic about these rifts is that they can open up anytime. You could be questing nearby and suddenly an unopened rift (tear) opens up and then you are given a choice to either close the rift and get some rewards or keep on questing.