With two of the five crown jewels* in Guild Wars 2 presented thus far it seems that the community is having differing reactions to the two. On one hand people seem pretty satisfied by the overview of the personal story because ArenaNet seemed to preemptively attack many of the possibly questions fans would have. The follow up to the overview seemed to really round the whole thing off. The event system, on the other hand, has been constantly been a topic of hard discussion around the Guild Wars 2 fanbase. Of the event system, balancing the events for active players on the fly seems to get the most hits.
Over at the Guild Wars 2 Slovenija fansite, Tr0n managed to snag an interview with ArenaNet mostly covering what fans were already squabbling about, events. ArenaNet quite bluntly disclosed the multiple routes that an event could be balanced. New waves of enemies could have an increased number of mobs per wave or the mobs could have increased levels.
However, I’ve often wondered about all the events that simply would not have “waves.” When ArenaNet came to visit here, Eric Flannum told about a fisherman calling out for help to kill a drake. It’s one mob. It’s not an army attacking an outpost. It’s not bandits coming out of the woods to attack a caravan. It’s a drake that took stake on a lake.
ArenaNet’s answer is to unlock the mob’s abilities on the fly. In my mind, if one person attacks the drake it could have a basic rundown of abilities. If two or three people attack, then the drake might gain an ability that hardens its skin or gives it a blocking stance. If more people come the drake gains an ability to call in some friends, or it might gain a powerful crowd-control ability.
This is such an elegant, simple solution that I, and seemingly most of the community concerned with insta-balancing, overlooked. We were all so entrenched in the current MMO culture of a static mob that something that looks so obvious went by most, if not all, of us during our conjecturing.
I hope that this one simple mechanic bleeds over in to the greater MMO space. A mob could have an ability that unlocks based on the class it is fighting. In Lord of the Rings Online, if a minstrel (healer) runs up to fight an orc defiler in the woods, the orc defiler might get an ability directed at making it a more challenging fight for the minstrel, whereas if a champion (melee dps) runs up, the orc defiler would get a completely different ability but the base ability would remain the same. Or, in World of Warcraft a open area mob getting hit by a person in a party of two could gain some damage resistance, but then its loot table would increase. This could even be applied to dungeon bosses. Bring an overabundance of ranged DPS in the party, and the boss becomes a tad more resistant to arrows.
Maybe my MMO experience is too limited and this was tried before. I can’t believe it was not in some form. Regardless, ArenaNet is definitely not shirking any hardball questions regarding its event system, and that shows a lot in my mind.
no charge for awesomeness
* (1) event system, (2) personal story, (3) dungeons with a twist, (4) World v. World, and(5) arena PvP. YMMV.