Little Pieces – Guild Wars 2

As I write this it seems to be the start of the weekly Guild Wars 2 news hour when the press embargo drops around the internet on a specific topic.  I’m not sure if the community was just slow this time, or a few sites jumped the 2 o’clock gun, but this week we seem to be getting some news on the little pieces: achievements, feats, and activities.  Onlinewelten seemed to have received the best response (or maybe asked the best questions), but IGN and also got a piece of the pie.  Commentary after the break.

So the biggest drop, in my mind, was that map travel has been confirmed.  This is a piece of Guild Wars 1 that may not have translated perfectly into a “persistent world MMO,” but a little piece of the Guild Wars soul would’ve been lost without it.  Fast travel seems to take two forms.  The first form is free asura gating, which allow players to travel to some of the larger player centers such as the racial cities even if they have not yet been to the destination.  Think World of Warcraft’s Deeprun Tram, but instantaneous.  The second form of fast travel will be in the form of waypoints ala Guild Wars 1, except that it will cost money to use the waypoint system to get to places players have already visited.  It appears that they still want to give players a lot of mobility, but they don’t want players warping around without pause.

Achievements are well known in the MMO art, and ArenaNet is thankfully making the achievements account based.  For example, one achievement will be mastering every weapon, which cannot be done on one character.  I wish the Guild Wars Live Team or Lord of the Rings Online’s team were so generous, but account-based achievements are something I am definitely looking forward to.  With the personal story system and account-based achievements, ArenaNet seems to definitely want to reinforce alts (instead of the usual punishment).  Achievements are for personal / account glory and bragging rights only, as no tangible reward will be given for these accomplishments.

Feats are another small piece they described.  Instead of rested experience, players will be given daily “achievements” to perform.  They have diminishing returns so players playing for a few hours every day or two will maximize feat/experience gain, while a hardcore player will continue to ramp up feat difficulty.  For example with a kill-count feat the first bonus may be at 10 dead mobs, the next at 100, and so on.  Regardless, these are background bonuses that reset daily.  I like the idea of these daily achievements much better than a rested XP bar.

There will also be a personality system which measures the ferocity, charm, and dignity of your character based on responses and actions you choose in your personal story.  It seems that ArenaNet is really taking aim at BioWare’s foray into the MMO arena, and borrowing and redefining a system we have seen in Mass Effect and other BioWare singleplayer games.  ArenaNet is quick to note that while your character’s personality will be defined, it can be changed.  A thug may see the light throughout his personal story to become a paragon of wit and loquaciousness by the end.

Finally, ArenaNet talked a little about activities.  Activities are mini-events covering things like a non-lethal bar brawl, a shooting gallery, or a cooperative music game.  With the mini community that has sprung up over Lord of the Rings Online’s music system, I can only imagine the fervor of a Guild Wars 2 Rock Band activity.  I think these activities are going to be one of the biggest pieces of sticky content ArenaNet is going to add to the game.  I believe that players will be signing on just to play activities.  Ales and Tales in the local tavern may take on an all new meaning when a fight breaks out.

yeah, it was like lightning, everybody was frightening

10 thoughts on “Little Pieces – Guild Wars 2”

  1. We’ll see how the execution is, but I must say, their PvE ideas certainly seem to be in the right place.

    1. Yeah, I’m starting to get the anti-hype worries. They need to start releasing more concrete info like professions because all these awesome systems floating in the ether sound too awesome to be true.

  2. Not particularly impressed about any of these overall, really.

    Map travel: Good, keep it.

    Achievements: Couldn’t care less myself one way or another. I wish we would stop rewarding this behavior, but that’s the way the wheel turns.

    Feats: Unless my brain cells are not firing right so I don’t grok it (and that’s always a high possibility), this is easily, unequivocally and by far the worst of all of GW2’s new ideas I’ve read so far. Not the ‘feats’ idea in itself, but why would I want to trade rest xp or equivalent system for this? I read both Rav’s summary and the original interview and I still can’t see why this is a good idea at all.

    Personality system: This one is easy to me. It’s not a question of it being cosmetic or not, but just how cosmetic it’s going to be. Nothing wrong with cosmetics, though. At all.

    Activities: Execution. Execution. Execution. Execution. Execution. Execution. Execution. Execution. We’ll see.

    1. Feats are better IMHO than rested XP b/c rested XP only rewards one thing: killing mobs. I would much rather have a little bit of bonus for traveling, a little bit of bonus for doing an event, a little bit of bonus for killing mobs, etc.

      The bottom line is that feats seem to feel like they reward for all types of playing instead of just killing mobs. :)

      1. Agreed, but the flipside of that is that feats funnel you to do something/some things you may not particularly care or want to do at the time.

        Unless we’re talking about a system where there’s a hojillion feats and the bonus xp is distributed in such a way that makes it essentially indistinguishable from rest xp, just expanded. In which case, good, but I can already see myself going “Dammit, I have one hour to play and I don’t give a flying fjord right now about traveling or doing events…”

        You see where I’m going.

  3. None of what dropped is a big concern to me, but I was a little disappointed by the personality system, great for role players but kind of meaningless to anyone else.

    I’m glad map travel is back, and did you notice the mention of Polo in one interview and in another they say “we’re not ready to talk about [mounts]”?

    As for rested xp vs feats, I think feats as they describe it is more effective for people only popping in for an hour or so. Which I presume is the whole point of these systems, to help casual players.

  4. Is it me, or do “Feats” mechanisms legitimize and encourage hardcore grinding for additional advantage?

    1. Well it’s a huge step up from GW1, which encouraged hardcore grinding for no additional advantage.

      I keed, I keed…

      … kinda.

  5. @Bronte

    Its you – you have it completely backwards. The main point of the explanation was that the opposite is true: hardcore players will see difficulty ramp up without equivalent rewards.


    Unfortunately, the makers of any MMO are *not required* to make their game an exact copy of WoW. A lot of people actually would love *anything* to set a game apart from WoW (& clones).

    You aren’t “trading” anything. There is no bargaining or trading involved in the creation of an MMO. The developers are making a game based on what they perceive to be a good game (or a game that players will think is good), and they are under no compunction to include features you liked from other games.

    Frankly, I find your narrow-minded outlook very disturbing. It’s this sort of attitude that has the MMO industry mired in various half-baked WoW-clones/failures.

    1. Fantastic, but I’m not telling them how to make the game. I’m simply saying what I prefer as a player. Nothing more. We’ll see what happens when I play it; maybe they’re right and it’s a better system. Maybe I was right and I’d still prefer rest xp. Who knows. I’m simply stating what I like.

      “It’s this sort of attitude that has the MMO industry mired in various half-baked WoW-clones/failures.”

      My attitude has more power than 10-11 million WoW accounts? So far I, and many others, were thinking that WoW’s huge financial success was the true culprit of the rise of unoriginal games trying to cash in with uninspiring, but safe offerings.

      Turns out it was my attitude all along. Shucks.

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