On the Same Team

There were two feelings I really liked when trying the GW2 beta. The first is the playground between the sandbox and the theme park. The second, and I have not felt this for a long time in an MMO or even most team-based games, is that the players were all on the same team.

If the design is working as intended,* everyone on the same server is on the same team. If someone is fighting, you should help him. There is no kill-stealing. If someone is on the ground, you should rez him. You’ll get experience points and achievement progress, and then there’s someone else around to help you with the event.

In League of Legends, a team-based PvP game, there are arguments and apologies about “kill-stealing.” In LotRO, we teach friendly healers not to help people they pass unless that person seems likely to die; any assistance you give them cuts their xp in half, and you the healer gain nothing but resentment. City of Heroes has similar issues with buffs and massive AE. In systems that reward whoever does the most damage, you can imagine the anger of tanks and healers when DPS swings by to “help.” I still have golden memories of the DAoC beta discussion when healing people outside your group would net you some of the experience from a fight; Sanya Weathers dripped scorn for the concept of “grief healers” … and within the month, the game recognized it as a problem that you could run through a zone, heal people in no real danger, and leech experience from their fights.

*: Implementation is key. You can have a policy of encouraging cooperation outside grouping but also have game code that discourages it or rewards exploiting others. For all I know, I was leeching (or just destroying) experience when I helped others, but then the big rewards came from completing things, not kills. Beta weekend participants noted problems with “contribution” calculations; one player reported getting a gold medal for four simultaneous events by contributing minimally in each, while another spent more time rezzing than killing and was minimally rewarded.

Some games have the problem of having newbie A tag monsters then veteran B crush them, which yields fast levels for the newbie even at half-credit. City of Heroes used to have the following variation: veteran B would use a 0-damage AE aggro toggle, such as a Tanker aura or Radiation debuff, to gather up half of Perez Park and then jump in a dumpster; wait 30 seconds for 100 collision-free enemies to stack up and build aggro, then newbie A would use AE attacks to smite them for masses of risk-free experience. Games sometimes counter that by having low-level enemies yield 0xp when crushed by higher level foes (or without enough damage contribution), which trades power-leveling problems for a new griefing opportunity.

Implementation is key. The details of the design can easily reward aberrant behavior or punish intended behavior. Leaving the asterisk behind, I really want to be able to help people without worrying that I am hurting them.

: Zubon

52 thoughts on “On the Same Team

  1. bhagpuss

    Several times I got Gold contribution for Events just for being in the general area. At least twice I never even saw the event in question, only the on-screen notification that it was happening. I didn’t participate in any way.

    Also I received several skill points on challenges I failed when at a later stage, in one case about half an hour later, someone else completed it while i was miles away.

    It’s beta, I guess. I can’t imagine they meant to be quite that generous.

    1. musik

      probably not, but i will always prefer to get some “freebes” that dont hurt others, than all the griefing scenarios of other mmo’s. i really dont understand why any game adds kill stealing to its game mechanics, is there anyone who finds it fun? i really don’t think so…

      there’s nothing revolutionary about this, it’s completely logical and should be industry standart in my opinion.

      1. gwj

        Pretty sure it’s just lazy programming.

        “What percent of a creature’s health should a player have to reduce to get credit for the kill?”
        “Meh. Just say the one who gets the killing hit gets exp and drops.”

  2. Tib

    Yes, and players in LoL whine incessantly about it. I never understood why people hate an entire community of players until I played lol.

    I have never yelled at people for KS, because most of it is unintentional, and it is for the greater good, but I reached the end of my rope a week or two ago when my lane partner did literally nothing but stay in the weeds and KS every minion and champion I had whittled down.

    A GW2 counterfactual: I actually got more annoyed at players in gw2 than I do at the vast majority of characters in LOL. Typically this was because I was leveling my melee weapons, identified a mob I wanted to kill, ran toward it and it invariably died to ranged damage before I reached it.

    It may not have been kill stealing, I may have gotten the gold reward, but it was still an annoying and negative play experience.

    1. Jabberwockist

      That is an interesting point. Weapons still require you to “tag” enemies so that you can unlock weapons skills.

      I wonder if that’s the thinking behind starting the Mesmer off with a sword, literally the only melee weapon available to the class? That way you unlock all your skills during the tutorial mission, and never run into your problem later.

    2. Zubon Post author

      I still feel for the poor LotRO Burglars. Someone could theoretically see you going in and be considerate. The invisible hobbit on the far side of the wolf? No. You only realize that you are taking his target when the distraction debuff appears over its head as your induction completes. “Sorry, man!”

    3. SynCaine

      About LoL: Understanding which champs should get kills and which should not is a part of the game. It’s no different than a healer rolling on tank loot in an MMO. Once you understand why, you become a better player.

      1. Tib

        Some champions may benefit more from leveling, but that wasn’t even remotely the case here. I was soloing the lane and literally the only thing he did was get the last hit on virtually every mob for the first 4 minutes of the game.

        I finally chewed him out, went into the weeds myself before going to the kitchen to make a sandwich.

    4. Brise Bonbons

      @ Tib’s original point: I think this is an issue with the skill unlocking system, which is far from perfect at the moment. I’ve seen far too many videos where players struggle to actually unlock skills despite actively participating in combat.

      I think the best solution is to unlock skills based on activating those you currently have a given number of times, which seems to really be the point of the system anyway. Using kills is a bit screwy, creating a huge incentive to return to low level areas to unlock skills. You certainly don’t need to use the 1 skill 5-10 times on 5 different enemies to get how it works.

      If unlocking happened due to skill use, you could even ignore fighting enemies at all, and simply use the skill on empty air or rabbits to understand how it works. That seems like a totally valid way to understand skills in GW2 based on what I’ve seen.

      Right now the system seems confused as to whether it’s supposed to be a grind, or a training tool.

      1. gwj

        It’s hardly a grind. In about 2 hours of play I’d unlocked all the Thief weapon skills but the shortbow, and those came shortly after.

        1. Tib

          No, it is not a grind, but unlocking the skills is a pain when you can’t even get in kill range. Some events were worse than others, but in general, the best thing to do is to attack mobs that are fairly static or don’t seem to be part of events altogether (In human lands, the drakes, moas, and deer seemed good, while the Event spiders in the orchard were routinely killed before I got to them.)

          And this is especially bad when leveling weapons, because you might not have any gap closers, if any, available.

  3. The Ogre

    “If someone is on the ground, you should rez him. You’ll get experience points and achievement progress”

    And those are the ONLY reasons anyone ever rezzes anyone else outside of their own party. Well, those or accidental F’s ‘cos they were trying to search a nearby monster corpse, of course.

    Or maybe it was just Deldrimor where people would just ignore the downed until publically reminded that rezzing gave XP and that it counted for participation in any event going on at that spot.

    1. Zubon Post author

      I’m happy the game encourages it.

      I don’t really expect most people to notice the rez ability immediately. The first time I saw dead people on my radar, “Oh, how sad for them,” moved along. You later notice that this game lets everyone rez, more like an action game than an MMO.

      1. musik

        i knew i could rezz before playing, since i soak up most gw2 news. i can just speak for me, but i didnt rezz people for the xp, i rezzed people because i hate to be dead myself and love the idea of dying in a remote place and having another nice player like me rezz me to get that waypoint near enough to port next time. there are more reasons for rezzing, like making sure they can keep up to our escort event or fighting through a more dificult area. for me the experience gain only meant that i don’t sacrifice anything for helping him but i enjoyed it, because it felt nice. i should probably mention that i liked to play healer in gw1, although i didnt enjoy healing in other mmo’s.

        1. Grey Freeman

          What musik said. I was on Deldrimor and I rezzed, and got rezzed, plenty of times. And it wasn’t because of the piddlin’ XP.

        2. FriendlyFire

          I didn’t even know you gained XP for rezzing people. I just did it because an ally is an ally, and being downed sucks.

          1. Sylow

            Exactly the same here. I rezzed people who were down, only after the beta was over, i learned that i got XP and contribution for that.

            I guess the very same about people who rezzed me, which they did a lot.

            And a snide sidenote: I observed a similar difference inWarhammer Online. While i played EU players always considerd healers on US servers to be nonexistant while US players who tried out EU servers were excited about how much healing they got there. Up to now, i thought this originated from different tactis used on different servers and how the societies grew in the run of time.

            Since societies in GW2 didn’t have time for that yet but still people express so strongly varying experiences, i wonder if it’s a result of different ways of playing and different mentality, specific to nationality or continent?

    2. Randomessa

      It might have just been your server, because I didn’t party the whole weekend and I ressed anyone I saw if it was safe to do so, because I like to help.

    3. Aly

      I was rezzing before I knew it counted for anything just because I could and there was no penalty for doing so either. Plus I felt a natural compulsion to pay forward others’ good deeds.

      Encouraging people who might not otherwise do the right thing is a good thing. Yeah, people should choose to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, but that’s not the reality. At least GW2 built encouragement into the mechanics instead of taking the cop out excuse of not being able to help influence player behavior. Clearly game mechanics can make a difference, whether they “should” or not.

  4. Michael Hartman

    This sounds great. All the examples you list are basically a timeline of how helping people slowly declined and died, and was replaced by horrible, venomous communities where nobody wants help and nobody stops to give it.

    Sure, there are things like Dungeon Finder and other bad ideas that have also had a negative effect on community.

    But the slow erosion of the ability to HELP people has played a huge role.

    -Michael Hartman
    @frogdiceinc
    http://www.frogdice.com

    1. The Ogre

      The dungeon finder in WoW had little to no negative effects. All it did was 1) allow more people to do dungeons who otherwise wouldn’t be able to (usually due to lack of enough people they could find via chat), and 2) send them directly to the dungeons instead of having someone go there first to use the stones to teleport people in.

      1. Cyndre

        Umm, the stones were added later as a convienience item, so in vanilla wow, you not only had to make friends with other people on your server, you also had to… you know… go travel with them to the instance.

        The dungeon finder was one of the worst degredations of the mmo community to come along. Shiny tool… tt worked great to get people into dugeons and raids with absolutly no effort at all involved… it’s ruining online gaming.

        1. The Ogre

          I came in during TBC, so the stones were already there. Maybe I picked three wrong servers (Exodar being my main, plus a couple of characters elsewhere, just in case), but the community was already dead outside of guilds.

          What buried the community, though, wasn’t the Dungeon Finder – it was Cataclysm phasing everything (seriously, levels 10-20 in Silverpine and I saw *ONE* other player there the entire time, and they were just grabbing something at the Sepulchre) and streamlining the leveling so much that no one had any reasons to be hanging around the zones at all….

      2. Michael Hartman

        Dungeon Finder, and systems like it, are the death of community. Why?

        You no longer have to be a good citizen to get groups. You don’t have to build up friendships, relationships, etc. in order to get groups or make friends who are tanks, healers, DPS, etc. Dungeon Finder does the work for you, so no matter how big of a douche you are you have the same chance to get a group.

        You no longer do dungeons with people you actually run into in the game world. This kills a sense of the game being a world. The people who run a dungeon with may not even be on the same server, much less people who would normally adventurer in a similar location that you do.

        That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but those are huge reasons why Dungeon Finder and similar systems are a terrible idea for an MMO.

        -Michael Hartman
        @frogdiceinc
        http://www.frogdice.com

  5. ArcherAvatar

    “I really want to be able to help people without worrying that I am hurting them.”

    ^This.
    It’s mind-boggling to me that folks still can’t see this, and recognize how much it seperates this game from others in the genre.

  6. Cyndre

    Great points Zubon, I think ANet has some really excellent advancements in MMO community building going here, or at a bare minimum, they are working to correct the degredation of server community caused by nearly all of the AAAs since WoW came along.

    I can definatly see a close bond will form on any given server as you work together against a series of common goals, whether they be WvW objectives or PvE.

    Great post.

  7. Milady

    I do not consider these features you mention completely beneficial for the community. What they are is convenient: you incentivize a social behaviour so that your players will act in a way traditionally deemed as social. The problem is that when said behaviour is self-serving it no longer can be considered prosocial. I had written an article on this subject not long ago: http://hypercriticism.net/2012/gw2-the-automatization-of-the-social/ – And the debate has carried on to Sheep the Diamond too: http://sheepthediamond.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/incentivizing-prosocial-behavior/

    In a nutshell: I prefer my community to behave naturally, be it social or unsocial, without a system that masks the real intention of the player. Why would I want such a thing? Because this way I am able to tell whether I want to be friends with somebody or not; this way I can get to know people for who they really are. In the pre-LFG era of WoW (which coincidentally is what I am now playing on a private TBC server), when server communities were indispensable to the enjoyment of the content, players would behave politely and friendly because they wanted said community to thrive, or they did not care at all and behaved badly, ganking and ninjaing. But the community had the tools to marginalise this people. In current WoW that is not possible anymore, which is why so many people complain about the unfeelingness of the community. What GW2 did was avoiding the issue by giving the system a veneer of niceness which would prevent any conflictive event.

    I don’t mean to say that conflict is mandatory in MMOs, but I acknowledge the benefit of it, as it serves to foster a nice, altruistic community, in opposition to the gankers and ninjas. It also serves me to elucidate whether the player who has ressed me is a kind person or not, if that person who is playing alongside me might as well compete with me for the mobs instead of grouping with me. In pre-LFG WoW, I would face unsocial people, yes, but I would have the option to behave socially too. And when I encountered nice people, I would add them to my friends list.

    Moreover, and perhaps more interestingly: If there is no such thing as kill-stealing, or any natural incentive towards grouping (I consider “natural” what doesn’t disrupt the mechanics with a band-aid aimed for making it more appealing), then I won’t either compete for mobs nor team up with the players who are around me to achieve a common goal. You remove both options. We might be together in this, but we keep being alone. Not a single line is required to kill mobs with another person. They could as well be bots, as most people saw other players in the LFG tool. On the other hand, if I have to agree with the other person to group up for it, we are already creating a link. It might derive into nothing, or perhaps into something stronger, as we chat and decide to keep questing together. I have met a great deal of people this way.

    I would very much prefer to have a natural-behaving community which I can somewhat judge, instead of a mass of fake-helpful players which I will no longer group with and meet.

    1. Zubon Post author

      So you consider it natural to take away half of someone’s experience points for a kill because a passer-by healed her and unnatural to count rezzing someone outside your group as contributing towards completing an event?

      1. Milady

        That was probably the least interesting part of my argument, but well, let’s see.

        What I considered “natural”, given that in a game everything is part of some mechanic, is behaving in your own manner, without incentives.

        I have never resented that somebody healed me through a mob, to be honest, I don’t know what the problem with that is. But I understand that my experience does not account for everybody’s, so I won’t argue that. Now, about ressing people, my point was that it is not a social activity nor indicative of the social-ness of the people involved because it is done out of self-interest (in most cases).

        1. Khoram

          I disagree completely with you. I didn’t even know that I got experience for rezzing people (so no self-interest), and I did it whenever I could over the BWE. I did it because it seemed like a nice thing to do.

          I quit UO after 5 minutes on the day it launched because it was rife with people being assholes to each other.

          In EQ1, I and most of the people I met and played with for the first 5 months or so always went out of our way to help other people, with no self-interest in mind at all. People used to help other people recover corpses from dungeons, buff people, hang around and help if needed when it looked like someone pulled more than they could handle, etc. Most people abided by self-directed lists for inviting people into groups in highly sought spawn rooms in dungeons. I met a ton of incredibly nice and great to play with people this way. It wasn’t until people like Shekkie and the EQIdiots started abusing the /corpse command, people started killstealing, people started ninjaing loot, and people started deliberately training that the nicer people (generally a majority over the selfish assholes) became jaded and stopped helping people. Follow up games inflicted more and more restrictions on players in the name of shielding them from harm, and all it really did was set up new ways to screw everyone over and make people completely self-absorbed in their gameplay. It completely lost the sense of community that existed in the early games.

          I heartily welcome any mechanics that allow me to help others (through rezzing, or providing boons/buffs to people around me, grouped or ungrouped, etc) and “play nice” with others.

          1. bhagpuss

            On the EQ servers I played on, people were still routinely helping others right through till 2004 at least. I commented in detail on this on a previous KTR post so i won’t repeat myself but much as I agree with Zubon’s OP and much as I like what ANet are trying to do, it’s reinventing the wheel.

            We could use some good wheels, though, after the flat tires we’ve been rolling on for the last few years.

        2. Michael Hartman

          You don’t see a problem with the unnatural systems in so many MMOs where helping someone actually results in a massive penalty to that person?

          You seem to have been arguing something completely different than what Zubon said.

          -Michael Hartman
          @frogdiceinc
          http://www.frogdice.com

          1. Aly

            Exactly. Most of us were doing it before we even knew the benefit. It’s just a bonus that we’re not being penalized for our good deeds for a change. Why shouldn’t we gain experience for something that contributes to success?

            I find gaining experience from participation logical regardless of what you logical. You do something, you gain experience. That just makes sense.

            Nobody’s asking for a cookie or a pat on the back. And helpful people don’t necessarily have pure intentions. At a certain point it becomes less about altruism and more about egotism, like the people who previously complained about anyone being able to support because they wanted to be the one to save the day.

            While we may not gain friends from reviving, we aren’t going to miss out on any, either. It’s just a logical, helpful mechanic.

            1. Nish

              I feel that with GW2, you’ll level up regardless. The experience rewards are really minor, but they do help you realize one thing quickly, that resurrecting someone that is downed is quicker than ressing someone that’s defeated. Also, the more the merrier.

              If it hasn’t clued players yet, eventually people will get a clue and do anything they can to push enemies away (guardian shield skill no. 5, guardian two-hander no. 4 cripple + drag) from defeated players, so they can be resurrected without being defeated.

              I at least hope those on the server that I play would learn the benefits of protecting the downed players. I feel that the experience in the beginning will be an incentive that will eventually teach players how to revive others.

    2. Brise Bonbons

      My happiest MMO memories come from the WoW open beta, where ad hoc grouping and spontaneous acts of kindness were the norm, and community driven activities were the foundation of everything: Swimming an hour through the ocean to reach the enemy starting zone, always questing in groups if possible even if it was less efficient, and forming massive 80+ person raids to attack enemy towns and quest hubs.

      But I think we have to look beyond game mechanics to understand why these things happened. In old EQ, WoW Beta, and WoW private servers, you’re dealing with a relatively small, unique population of players, who I’d argue are more likely to engage in “naturally” social behavior because of their past experiences and general level of MMO sophistication.

      In a game like GW2 you have to account for the mass market audience you’re attracting. These players will probably need some nudges in the right direction, just to help them break out of the poor attitudes they’ve probably developed from playing other games.

      Unfortunately, I think the gaming space has become so toxic that creating a neutral space for socializing will just result in players continuing their current antisocial habits.

      I am concerned about the reported lack of communication in GW2, but this seems to be a result of content being so thick on the ground, and the way content is presented in a very directed, if nonlinear, way. Perhaps more talking would happen if players couldn’t simply swarm from one heart or orange circle to the next without considering their next move.

    3. gwj

      “Moreover, and perhaps more interestingly: If there is no such thing as kill-stealing, or any natural incentive towards grouping[...]then I won’t either compete for mobs nor team up with the players who are around me to achieve a common goal.”

      Weird, I see it just the opposite. The mechanical “party” or group, especially in the context of GW2, feels like a formality. At any time I can resurrect anyone in the area, and get exp for it. At any time I can help them if they’re struggling with a kill, and get exp for it. At any time I can chat with them through the “all” text window, and the only downside is that everyone else can hear me too.

      Whereas, in games operating by your philosophy, extended use of the party mechanic is about the only way you can be rewarded for your time spent helping another player, or feel like you’re not competing with them.

      1. Pai

        “At any time I can chat with them through the “all” text window, and the only downside is that everyone else can hear me too.”

        Well, there -are- still whispers. ;)

    4. Teer

      Milady,

      I read your post on your site and I’ve been thinking about it. In all candor, I’d rather start to get to know people in a positive situation than in a negative situation. I’ll confess, if the game encourages me to kill steal in order to be more efficient or because of long spawns or because of placeholder mobs, I’ll do it and have done it. Most of the time, I act graciously in games. Still, I’d rather a positive community than a negative community…or as we’ve seen in “modern” MMOs an actively indifferent community.

      The second part of your discussion is more interesting. You’ve suggested that because GW2 has cooperation for events you’ll be less likely to group with players to achieve goals. I grouped more in the three GW2 betas in which I’ve been involved than I ever did outside of guild in WOW. (I began MMO’ing in EQ). Its easy, convenient and fun. I behaved socially, so did the people with whom I grouped. We’ve a very strong guild culture and its clear we’ll be adding more people we meet in GW2. I suspect, but can’t prove, that as we progress through GW2 and hit the more intensely group oriented activities that the grouping will intensify. As a minor example, 8 of us did one of the jumping puzzle in the Norn area….much laughter and group formation as we helped one another. It was a delightful experience.

      Teer.

    5. Meagen

      In a nutshell: I prefer my community to behave naturally, be it social or unsocial, without a system that masks the real intention of the player. Why would I want such a thing? Because this way I am able to tell whether I want to be friends with somebody or not; this way I can get to know people for who they really are. In the pre-LFG era of WoW (which coincidentally is what I am now playing on a private TBC server), when server communities were indispensable to the enjoyment of the content, players would behave politely and friendly because they wanted said community to thrive, or they did not care at all and behaved badly, ganking and ninjaing.

      What if some of those people just wanted to play the endgame content, and only participated in the community because it was the only way of getting to play what they actually wanted to play? The combination of difficulty of the raids, desirable loot and lack of a LFG feature incentivised pro-social behaviour. When the LFG feature was introduced, people lost the incentive to participate in the community, and were free to act “naturally” – with the result that many of them stopped participating.

  8. Wayward Mind

    Playing GW2 reminded me of great collaborative/community moments in DAoC: “Mids inc to Beno CK and they’ve got trebs up.” “Alrighty, turning this 8-man [or zerg] around!” Or stepping into DF and chatting with others while waiting to find people to form a group of total strangers for Cambs or Princes or whatnot.

    It was amazing to feel, even over a beta weekend, the potential for one’s server to feel like a community. I want to experience that great sense of realm (ahem – server) pride again.

    And if I see Thieves /bow or /salute one another before having at it in WvW, I might just faint. ;)

    I don’t care if they incentivize it. Gaining a reward doesn’t cheapen an act done by someone who wasn’t looking for a reward, but it does give a reason for the more indifferent players to help their server-mates out — and to mutual advantage.

  9. delurm

    Community in a game only happens when people are forced together and *have* to communicate.

    EQ had a *great* sense of server community because everything was a shared resource. Dungeons were massive and camps were made and respected – and getting a group meant going to the dungeon and sitting around… *chatting* with people who were also waiting.

    There was so much downtime forced onto players that of course they talked to each other even in random groups.

    Without some of this forced downtime… people won’t stop to actually get to know each other… they just look at it as a mario level and try to get a speed run.

    1. Meagen

      Community in games happens when the mechanics encourage it. City of Heroes had basically no economy at launch, no AHs, no loot except for NPC vendors. Level capped characters kept earning currency and had absolutely nothing to spend it on, so it became fairly normal to give immense sums to low-level characters, even strangers, just to be neighbourly. And to this day the community in CoH is incredibly generous and helpful to newbies.

      I don’t think we should try to emulate the mechanics of the early MMOs in the hopes of recapturing their spirit – partly because one shouldn’t get too caught up in trying to re-create the past, and mostly because the early MMOs were *terrible* games.

  10. StromSteele

    I like the idea that helping others doesn’t diminish or take away from those you are helping’s rewards. It does help the sense of community if you see others helping you (or others) may make you more likely to also want to help others in a “pay it forward” type manner.

    What I worry about is the once live will it give rise to the “lazy/leech gamer” who will find a way to let others do the heavy lifting, and contribute minimally, and still get the same level of rewards. They system can likely handle it if a few people do that, but if a large percentage start doing it, you will find objectives not being met, and negative consequences for those few who are actively participating. In an instanced group, it may be easy to determine level of contribution, and determine who is afk or just minimally using an ability every few minutes, but out in the world, there may be no way for players to easily determine that. Hopefully they system will be able to recognize, but as has been pointed out, multiple people in the BWE noticed non contribution still netting a gold contribution.

    LFG cross server tool was both a good and bad thing. It allowed you to queue up quickly into a dungeon and play, and it got a lot more people into instances. I remember in vanilla, working to get 10 people together for LBRS. It forced you to make a name for yourself, and to be value added to a group. Now LFG (and LFR) allows people to be fairly anonymous, be as rude or unhelpful as they want, and little worry of negative consequence (mostly time lost if your bad enough to be kicked from the group, but in LFG, if you’re a healer or tank, more is put with do the time lost by the group in getting a new tank/healer)

    I am excited for GW2 and this system, and will be very interested to see how peoples play evolves. Will individuals see the benefit to helping everyone else out, or will the system allow or even promote lazy/leech gamers?

    1. Nom

      Leeching is only a “real” problem if you get penalised for the presence of the leech (example: GW1, someone in Jade Quarry who just sits in the start area and hopes to pick up free points). If the leech is just gaining an additional share of rewards, one that didn’t cost you anything, then their presence or absence really doesn’t matter.

      The issue I can see is if the encounter scales up in power with the number of “participants” in the area, and some of those aren’t actually participating. There is a natural solution to this – the AI should make sure everyone gets targeted at some point. If someone is leeching your group, just don’t defend / heal / res them, and the problem quickly takes care of itself.

      1. Armanant

        If I recall correctly “participants” are only counted if they’re actually participating, so that you can’t grief an event by bringing a large group of people and standing around. I’ll see if I can dig out the quote when I get home, unless some nice ninjas beat me to it.

  11. FriendlyFire

    I think the one thing that worked best with GW2 was actually what would happen when you’d get a smaller group, even more so when it was just you and another person.

    On more than one occasion, I’d end up alone with someone else, just going through an area. Without even speaking a word, we’d develop a form of connection. As an Elementalist, I’d do DPS from afar and hex foes to help the other out. Once, the other was a Warrior, and we ran through a small trench with lots of Ettins who would’ve probably nuked me otherwise. He’d aggro them and keep them far from me, I’d nuke them from behind and heal him as I could.

    Not one word spoken, not one group request or other formality required. We teamed up organically and then split up just as organically. I could’ve easily asked him to team up at that point, though the problems with partying stopped me from doing so for now. I can see many such things happen in the final release, and less “Looking for Monk, Warrior!” local chat spam.

    1. Juno

      I know that trench!

      I have a similar story. I wandered into that trench on my Guardian. It doesn’t matter my level because I was down-leveled to the area.

      I happened to run into an engineer at the same time. And we naturally progressed through that area together. If either of us got ahead, we paused for the other to catch up. It was natural and cooperative without even trying.

      About half way through we had come up with our own system of swapping agro so neither of us would take the full hit of the ettin club smash. We did that without saying a word, just by watching eachother and working together.

      I probably have 10 stories like that from the one BWE.

      What I noticed is the difficulting of the game is not easy. I’d say it’s moderate or a 5.5/10. That combined with the down-leveling makes it so people desire company to help on their adventures. If it was faceroll easy, nobody would care to work together (or maybe care a lot less to work together). If ArenaNet engineered the difficulty curve to accomplish this, then they are truly brilliant.

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