Here’s our exclusive (MMORPGMania Network) 360° interview with Lead Designer, Eric Flannum, and Game Designer, Jon Peters.
Also, with this interview MyGW2.com is officially open, adding another fansite to our MMO Games Network sites.
We want to thank a lot Regina Buenaobra, Arena Net Community Manager for her support.
We invite you to discuss about this interview on our english forum.
- MyGw2: How are you planning to “satisfy” players who want role play in Guild Wars 2? Are there any technical elements besides the personal story to help role-players?
- Eric: We do many things to facilitate players who want to role-play in Guild Wars 2. As you mentioned, we have your personal story and accompanying biography that both help provide players with a sense of who their character is. We also have the personality system which assigns and keeps track of your personality based on how you treat the NPCs you interact with. This system will also give you extra interactive options on some NPCs depending on your characters personality. The most important thing however — and this is both technical and non-technical—is that we’ve worked very hard to make Guild Wars 2 feel like a living, breathing world. We’ve gone through and looked at every element in the environment, given it a unique sense of character and determined why it’s there Every location, minor race, creature, artifact, and NPC exists for a reason has and a place in the grand scheme of things. We support and enhance this lore through the use of voice over, dynamic events, conversation trees, interactive objects, the personal story, and dungeons. I think the richness of the world and the way in which we support it with a multitude of different systems is the real reason role-players should find Guild Wars 2 engaging.
- MyGw2: We will be able to fight in duels?
- Eric: Dueling is not a core system for us, given that we balance all of our PvP combat around groups of players fighting and not one-on-one engagements. Because of this, dueling is on our wish list of things to add, but is unlikely to make it into the game on release.
- MyGw2: Is there the possibility to take part in one of the three military orders, like Kryta, or join a faction? If yes, will they affect Guild Wars 2 world actively? We suppose that we cannot join an “evil” faction and fight for them?
- Eric: As part of their personal story, each character will choose to join the Vigil, the Durmond Priory, or the Order of Whispers. Which organization they join will have a dramatic effect on the story they experience. Of course, each of these organizations is very important in our world and all of them will have a major impact on the fate of Tyria. Morality choice in a game can be a very interesting mechanic, but is very hard to pull off correctly. Early in development, we talked about whether or not we wanted to present these sorts of choices in Guild Wars 2. We decided against this style of play both to ensure our focus as developers, as well as maintain the cooperative nature of the game. Therefore, all player characters in Guild Wars 2 are considered “good” and would never join one of the many “evil” organizations in Tyria.
- MyGw2: We know that critical hits have a random percentage to be scored. We are wondering if the randomness percentage has an important role during the combat—and if yes, how do you plan to balance the triggered effects (activated only with a critical hit) with the rest of the combat?
- Eric: The randomness of critical hits can have a more or less important role depending upon how the player chooses to specialize their character. How we balance this can be a complicated issue, but the simple explanation is that we balance these effects by making a player who chooses that play style give something else up. This is where both attributes and traits come into play. A player who chooses high critical hit chance with a lot of additional effects is generally giving up attributes and traits that do things such as increase overall damage and/or survivability.
- MyGw2: In Guild Wars 2, will the blocking randomness remain without any variations or will there be innovations? Are there several types of barriers, depending on the weapons used?
- Jon: There are many different ways to block or avoid attacks in Guild Wars 2, but none of them are random. If you are blocking, reflecting, or evading an attack, it will work 100% of the time. We do not have any random dodge, evade, or block % chance skills.
- MyGw2: If one or more guardians activate one or two different virtues at the same time, will allies receive the sum of virtues? How does this work?
- Jon: Two virtues of the same type do not stack with each other, but one guardian could activate Virtue of Courage while another activates Virtue of Resolve and allies would receive both benefits.
- MyGw2: Are there skills that allow a boon to regenerate energy or weapons that drain energy? Can you give us a deeper explanation?
- Jon: No, we do not allow the manipulation of energy because it is not intended as a single combat resource, but rather as a long-term resource. A long-term resource is something that allows us to set combat pacing and difficulty without killing you. In Guild Wars, Death Penalty was the long-term resource which affected your characters effectiveness and made balancing very difficult. By using energy as our long-term resource, we can balance fights so that less skilled players can use more energy to get through them, but will then have to rest more or use additional potions to avoid down time. Because of this, manipulating energy with skills does not make sense, and we have instead moved the tactical decisions that energy management created into other aspects of the game, such as positioning.
- MyGw2: We know that conditions in Guild Wars 2 can be removed with a special skill or transferred; it removes the entire stack. With regard to boons, can they also be removed and/or transferred? Are there special skills for this purpose?
- Jon: Yes, boons can also be removed and transferred; there are special skills that do this. Necromancers have a skill called Well of Corruption that turns enemies’ boons into conditions.
- MyGw2: We know that in Guild Wars 2, there is falling damage. What other elements of gameplay are influenced by the introduction of the Z-axis?
- Jon: Underwater combat makes extensive use of the Z-axis. We can also now set traps on a bridge and we are able to run under that bridge without triggering them.
- MyGw2: In general, will damage in Guild Wars 2 be calculated in similar way to what happens in Guild Wars? Will be there any new types of damage?
- Jon: The damage formula in Guild Wars 2 is very different from the Guild Wars formula. There are no longer any damage and armor types that influence damage—that mechanic is moved to a different part of the game because we felt it did not add enough depth for the complexity that it created.
- MyGw2: How is game developing going, and what are you working on at the moment?
- Eric: Development of the game is going really well! At the moment I’m working on answering questions for one of our fansites . Seriously though, we are currently working on a lot of elements including PvP, WvW, production of our remaining personal story, events, and dungeons. We’re always working as broadly across the game as possible so we can play it and see how everything fits together.
An italian version of this interview is available on our italian fansite Guild Wars 2 Italia