Making Guild Wars 2 a social MMOG

Comic-Con 2011: ArenaNet developers explain how upcoming fantasy online game will distance itself from those on the market with unique group efforts.

by

Who was there: ArenaNet developers Colin Johanson (lead content designer), Leah Rivera (content design), Bobby Stein (lead writer), Kristen Perry (character artist), and Kekai Kotaki (lead concept artist).

The team behind Guild Wars 2.

What they talked about: The panel started off with a developer-themed trailer for Guild Wars 2. The clip showed the environments, characters, and features gamers can expect to see when the title finally launches.

The commentary in the video talked about how many massively multiplayer online games don't do everything they can for the player, especially in the social department. According to ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 will be "your world, your story."

Johanson said many MMOGs on the market today have broken quest structures. He said quests in these game can easily become overrun by other players completing the same tasks, inhibiting a player from enjoying the experience. He said the point of Guild Wars 2 is to be social. "It's about coming together and building communities," he said.

When players enter combat together, they earn individual experience and loot rolls. This was done in the name of creating an environment in which players will organically decide to work together, socially.

ArenaNet also thinks that the "Holy Trinity" of MMOGs (tank, damage-per-second, and healer classes) is a broken system. Thus, Guild Wars 2 will not force players to choose one class or another. Rather, each character has his or her own healing capabilities. ArenaNet said it would, "rather have players having fun" than waiting around to form a group.

Guild Wars 2 is being designed as a social MMOG.

ArenaNet also addressed a very hot-button question: When will the game enter closed beta? The developer said, "We have not announced when the game will go into beta" but added the feedback gathered from the beta will determine if the trial test will open to the public before release.

When Guild Wars 2 does launch, it will cost a fee up front, but will not require a monthly paid subscription to continue playing.

One of the final questions of the day came from a fan asking what the final profession will be in Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet did not name the skill but did note that it will be "highly controversial" and that the developer will announce it by the end of the year.

Takeaway: Like its predecessor, Guild Wars 2 is taking an unconventional approach to the massively multiplayer market, from the business model on down to the nitty-gritty of the combat system.

Discussion

88 comments
firefox10210
firefox10210

@TJSimulation- I agree. I was directing my words towards people who didn't support micro transactions.

Kal23
Kal23

When I watched the first trailer I thought I was kind of dissapointed because of the graphic look, then I understood that it kind of handcrafted and actually looks good, it's kind of different. Now I completelly want the game, come on Arenanet, launch it soon!

06MadMax12
06MadMax12

i'm definatelly buying this game....GW2>WOW

fredwv
fredwv

not sure how they can do the free thing, without rushing out watered down expansions.

FaYt2021
FaYt2021

I wouldn't say most MMO players are under 18, since MMO's are targets towards players 16-24. Also, this games "group quest" aren't like those in other traditional MMO's, but I'm not going to get into it here, just watch the Comic-Con panel.

jediclub
jediclub

The problem of MMO games is the quality of players. Most players are under the age of 18 and most of the group quests are ruined by absurd interruptions.

heroesfan261
heroesfan261

@fallen_mercury Nobody expected anybody of those games to kill WoW. they hoped, but did not expect. People recognized before-hand that Rift was simply a WoW clone with some added features. And DC universe was hardly even expected to surpass city of heroes. Age if Conan wasn't expected to kill WoW either. However now, WoW is truly dying. The last expansion has come out, the game has been dumbed down to phenomenal lengths and frankly people are just plain tired of it. Many of those other RPG's didn't stick because they simply didn't have the distinct identity and complexity that WoW had. however, if you look at top amount of Units sold in PC games, guild wars 1 is just under the original half-life and is above myst and starcraft II. now, GW1 was a good game, but this one looks better in almost every aspect. It's completely looking at WoW's problems and fixing them while at the same time, creating a game set in an established lore which to me is just as good as WoW's. Those other MMO's were made by fairly inexperienced studios whereas arenanet was founded by big-shots at blizzard and already have made a very well-recieved MMORPG.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I want to hear some beta news!!

max_1111
max_1111

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@fallen_mercury, read up a bit more on GW2 and you'll notice what I find really interesting - a mage laying a wall of fire down and a ranger shooting through it to create flaming arrows... A warrior whirlwinding and a mage casting a flame wall on the warrior creating a fiery tornado. Laying down a floor of grease and then lighting it. That and the whole 'the world changes based on your actions' as opposed to the timeless 'kill 10 trolls or they will eat me' that changes nothing whether you do it or not. Unfortunately some people do get ahead of themselves, and sometimes it's just pure enthusiasm.

fallen_mercury
fallen_mercury

I don't work for blizzard or even play WoW...typical comebacks. I'm guessing the guys who think my comment was out of line or was a troll have never seen the hype fanboys make for every other game that has came out? DC Universe, AoC, RIFT are 3 games that I watched people talk about how they were going to be AMAZING and would forever change mmos....well we see how that worked out. I never said this wouldn't be a good game but stop with the overkill hype. Having such godly expectations, you will be disappointed when you see the same balance issues and the typical mmo problems when you play. It is so funny to see this hardcore devotion and belief it will be above all other games.....Why because its f2p? Go play RIFT or AoC and it will show you that eye candy means nothing in these games. Don't forget how game trailers can make any game look utterly fantastic then after playing it you realize you have been fooled. This game look OK but I do not see the same thing you guys see. Go ahead, thumbs down and report me for trolling because on gw2 videos if somebody doesn't agree it will be the best mmo of all time...then its obviously trolling. /facepalm

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

I've been playing World of Warcraft for some time but lately it's getting hard to pay monthly, there are other games coming out that i want and everything. I think this idea of paying only for the game itself is really good and may solve my problems, i like playing WoW so i would like to know how Guild Wars compares to it if someone here could tell me. Thanks.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

I never understood why some people don't like the Mesmer profession. It's a lot of fun, it's just people like to do direct damage and kill instantly or kill as fast as possible instead of using brains I guess? (You can kill directly as a Mesmer, you just have to read the skill descriptions more and then just make the right build like every other profession :P) People treat the assassin (which I also love) the same. They don't like it cause it makes them think about what skills the have to use LOL. I found the Mesmer the most fun simply because it was funny to shut down a caster, especially an Elementalist with Migraine, Frustration, and Arcane Conundrum on them all at once. It's funny to make it seem like their Meteor Shower skill (that's casting for about 15-20 seconds) will go through, and just at the right time at the last minute when their casting is about 90% complete, interrupt them. Always lead to the interrupted person cursing and going "$%#&!" Best manipulation profession EVER.

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

TJsimulation
TJsimulation

@firefox10210 Guild Wars has proven otherwise, and a lot of people still play it and it is still being supported and updated. In fact, for people who have beat the game, they have their GW Beyond series that ads more challenging enemies and a bit of the story bridging the gap between GW1 and GW2. I'm not saying that companies don't need some kind of revenue or funding to continue to support an MMO. I just believe that for all the players who coexist in the world and spend money with micro transactions and enhancements, paying $30 for 2 months just to access a game they already spend about $50 for (which, let's face it, PC games may not stay at $50 dollars for much longer with EA's greed; they've already hiked up prices like Crysis 2), people aren't trying to pay that much. I'm sure they could accomplish the same thing with people paying the same amount that individuals pay for Xbox live or PlayStation Plus. And anyone who says no should look at Guild Wars. In fact, I found Guild Wars more entertaining than World of Warcraft. MMOs are kinda slow at the beginning, sure, but WoW was SLLOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW, at least for me. I couldn't justify that $30 for 60 days. I'd probably end up only playing 30 of those because of the more interesting games that I could play and then I would have wasted my money... In reference to my comment talking about paying the same for Xbox Live and Playstation Plus, I mean like $60 a year for an MMO as opposed to paying ~$180 a year.

TORI_MORI006
TORI_MORI006

Just Give Us The God Damn Release Date!!

megakick
megakick

Paying for the game and micotransactions is much different then paying for the game, monthly subscription and microtransactions.

y3ivan
y3ivan

is me or its the female charaters exposing way too much skin?

firefox10210
firefox10210

@Zenstrive No solid MMO can be totally free- companies need some sort of revenue to not only maintain the servers at a respectable level but also regularly update and support the game. These actions require a sometimes very large staff that aren't going to work for free...

sandman663
sandman663

For me personally I think this will be the best MMO to date, hands down. Even just looking at the basic elements such as graphics and combat gameplay, it seems to me to be far superior than any existing MMO (and any coming out in the near future). The innovation and changes in class roles, questing (or rather the equivalent to it in GW2) and numerous other areas are another layer of improvements that will not only likely make this game even better, but also unique, which I think is something that most MMOs these days lack. Also I'm going to be pissed if the last profession isn't Mesmer.

brunorr
brunorr

Right now the mmo genre is so stagnant that anything "unconventional" is welcomed.

Xseth
Xseth

Can't wait to see, a least, a release date....and of course play this!!! Still playing the first one for 6 years now.

Styvan
Styvan

@Zenstrive Did anyone mention micropayment? You'll have to pay the game and you'll be free to play it. Yes GW1 sold skills in the end, but nothing you can't get playing the game.

PlusFour
PlusFour

Guess i can't have my healyourownass monk anymore... Oh well, can't wait for this!!

max_1111
max_1111

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

adilejaz
adilejaz

Fallen_mercury I do not understand what fun you will get when you hear the crying on forums when the game is not perfect!! Are you from Blizzard?? Anyways no game is perfect and that is right but to be honest I have never played an MMO before!! but this is the only one I am interested in and is willing to play!! No matter with the imperfections it brings stuff differently on the table!!

Zenstrive
Zenstrive

big cost upfront, and micro-payments later? Why not go altogether free-to-play?

Dezuria
Dezuria

This game could change the mmo industry, I can't wait to see how it turns out. I just hope the lack of a monthly fee doesn't attract too much riff-raff. Not that it helped WoW much in that department. (see trade chat) ;-)

shalder1
shalder1

Warcraft has a strangle grip on the conventional "holy-trinity" gameplay. I'm glad this has forced new MMO makers to revisit this convention, and try to create dependence that isn't so extreme. Instead, of needing a "healer" and a "tank" else we can't do anything, each class will bring different styles and talent sets that may or may not work well with yours. Instead of being micro focused on one single aspect of combat, you'll be thinking of many things - who is taking damage, who can heal, what is being crowd controlled, what needs to die next. That's how combat should be. IDK if guild wars 2 will be a good game (I didn't play the first), but i'm glad to see someone challenging convention.

dre256x
dre256x

@Daemoroth Yea, its a niffy idea.. If, you and someone have the same quest but are not in-group and that other person happen to kill the target before you, he gets the quest item and you can also walk up (the out of group person) and get the item also.. That's unrestricted gameplay, and i like the idea, it has been implemented before in some other games. What i find funny is all these changes they are making to Guild Wars 2 but guild wars is plagued by those same issue, and that's what thoughtful progress is.. WoW did a few things good but now its starting to feel alot like EQ ''Grindy, putting cap limit onto stuff that didn't had it before, etc''.. Here hoping Star Wars don't turn out the same.

dre256x
dre256x

@simon1812 Nice point bro, i feel your pain. Others maybe on the lucky side, but when you play a lot of mmo's (as i have) and you constantly see the same issue of person looking for a specific class to go on a encounter; then you know something is wrong..

dre256x
dre256x

@ somefreaknfella It is broken, reason you can't see past it its because that's what always has been presented to us (players), so we suck it up and play along just in the name of having fun... The same idea these guys have, it has struck me over and over with every mmo i play, why have classes dependent on each other for certain task, why not make any class complement the other.. Just imagine if WoW had uses this formula, Noooooooo Q waiting, no dependent on any healer/dps/tank to log on or join the group; you just take anyone that's on and Go Go Gooooooo.. You (somefreaknfella) probably never have to wait on q's etc, or have the hassle of finding the right class match up for an encounter but The "Holy Trinity" system is a very limiting system, and i have a strong feeling the main reason dev's hardly stray from it its because the can tune the encounters better.

simon1812
simon1812

megakick honestly, I hate waiting 3 hours to start a quest just because the party cant find a monk (GW's healers), good riddance if you ask me.

Elrax
Elrax

@Warshock Nothing, you can still heal others, its just they don't want people to be tied down by roles.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@2DFighter84, I wondered the same quite a while back, but I remember reading an article on their site explaining what they mean by it. E.g. if you're doing a kill quest, how often have you wished that all the other players doing the same quest would just f**k off so you can complete the quest? That's what I think they mean, it's the opposite of what you're looking for - you're playing an MMO (Social game) and you actually want to play alone. They want to get rid of that without resorting to instant respawns.

Warshock
Warshock

What's wrong with playing a healing class? I love it!

megakick
megakick

Trouble with MMORPGS the mobs have no AI and Raid bosses have patterns. Once you do a dungeon and raid enough times it is routine, playing with friends made it less so. Why would I want to paying $14.99 a month for one game when I can play a similar game for free.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@2DFighter84 Well wow used to be quite social, but now there are a lot more solo'ers soy uo will probably never start to quest with peopel you dont know. Also when you join a dungeon, nobody talks to each other anymore.

eddieham13
eddieham13

@megakick well star wars is a little different.

megakick
megakick

Can't wait for this to be released... WOW, Rift and SW: OR are all too similar. But GW2 looks awesome! Holy Trinity system is broken. LF Tank LF Healer waiting for half hour to an hour for a decent tank or healer for a raid is not fun. Adjusting your RL to play a game with your guild only to get cancelled turned me off aswell.

NiteX
NiteX

I've always hated the idea of a healer class in any game. Healing is boring, and no one wants to do it. Tanking on the other hand is pretty fun to me. I have faith GW2 will work out very well without dedicated healers.

somefreaknfella
somefreaknfella

The 'Holy Trinity' system is broken? No, it WORKS - that's why millions of people still play it. Anyone can think up revolutionary ideas for tried and true systems, but implementing them is another thing altogether. It'll most likely end up nothing like what is imaged right now.

2DFighter84
2DFighter84

what the hell is a "social MMO"? aren't MMOs in general designed to be social? 2D knows the kinda people who play these games, for the most part, are pretty anti-social, but damn man! is it really necessary to sub-categorize a couple games in the genre as "social" just to force nerds to get along online?

dre256x
dre256x

Quote "ArenaNet also thinks that the "Holy Trinity" of MMOs (tank, damage-per-second, and healer classes) is a broken system'' Wow finally someone sees this.. I have been saying this from first playing WoW, i get its a MMO but there is noooooooo need for a person class to be dependent on another class just to go deep in the Game and experience most of the cool stuff... Classes should complement each other, not dependent on each other and when they do, then the group of player can come together and decide who will be the most aggressive of the group. WoW fixed most of the obstacles that plague MMO's for years, but now its heading down that same path it fixed earlier, its like Blizz is slowly killing there own product.. I will try Star Wars, but i just wished they had try to implement a similar system.

fallen_mercury
fallen_mercury

LOL i knew the fanboys would thumb down my comment like crazy despite me telling the 100% truth without being biased. Let me be sure to post that again so more fanboys can thumb down this comment too. "no game is perfect. the hardcore fanboys of this game act like it will be the most utterly flawless game of all time. I cant wait to see all the crying in gw2 forums after launch and certain classes are OP and the usual problems with all mmos. yes, it will be a good game but this is not the return of Jesus in game form"

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

i remember that briefly many years ago in GW there was sort of a monk protest for a few days, where the monks refused to go anywhere in certain missions unless they were paid. glad that the devs eliminated that stupid, outdated system already.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

Soon we'll see a Twitter MMO.

drokmore
drokmore

Its nice to see them trying to do some thing different in the mmo classification ie tank,heal,dps