In the latest info-bomb run, ArenaNet and some game sites released a swath of info on the personal story in Guild Wars 2. The best place to start is, of course, the official page, where Ree Soesbee lays down a pretty extensive overview on what the personal story is in Guild Wars 2. IGN mostly regurgitates in their form the beautiful picture Ree portrays, but they got some amazing exclusive screens.
The best way I can analogize the personal story to what currently exists in MMOs is take Lord of the Rings Online’s epic quest line and replace all of that with a bunch of instances that branch wildly based on decisions you actually make. So, you can play in the common world like everybody else where most things are the same, play dungeons that everybody else plays (with a twist), or enter your personal story which will be unique to you. Guests are more than welcome in your Guild Wars 2 personal story, but it is your story.
A big alarm, and a small alarm spring in my cynical mind. Ree preemptively attacks the big alarm by noting that “story choices will not affect how powerful your character becomes, what weapons they use, or what skills they can access. It will not give your character unique benefits, and it will not alter your character’s capabilities.” So, the need for an Achiever to map out the personal story well ahead of time is quelled. The small alarm is aimed at what ArenaNet plans to do when I am on my 8th alt. Will I have to run to every fast travel node, again. I hope not, but then I wonder whether that will really matter?
I really have to touch on Guild Wars 2 versus The Old Republic in the marketing arena at this point. With Guild Wars 2 it feels like they started out with “here’s our massive game with massive world and massive amounts of people” and then once people digested that they flipped the next card over with “here’s how it’s a personal story.” The Old Republic started with “here’s how it’s a personal story like our other Bioware games” and… and I still don’t know how it’s massive. This does not make one game better than the other; I just want to point out that ArenaNet is managing their marketing with great finesse, in my opinion because things are relatively clear for an unreleased game.
Still, it sounds like the replayability went through the roof. The end of your story might not even have a final villain. Or, the faction you join might believe that the Elder Dragons can not even be killed, while another faction says let’s pigstick it until it dies dead. Except for the “end game” it seems like the biggest puzzle pieces on how Guild Wars 2 will play have been put in place. It’s definitely going to be interesting watching how everything else falls around the Guild Wars 2 core.
you know, small lies, small mistakes