I was thinking on more about the Southsun cove update after the last post and how I would like to see them start focusing on the other zones more and enticing people into them. I still don’t think they have found the the best way of improving open world content and enticing people into it. Events are a new approach in regards to questing and it was never going to be perfect straight away. It’s definitely a solid foundation and now that most of the bugs are worked out I would say I prefer it over the general questing model, it definitely needs more improvements though.
Kharma was a decent way of rewarding at first but not so much anymore. Meta achievements and magic find are decent motivators, that is pretty clear now but I feel as though they could be rewarding the actual events better. The dynamic events were rather unique, and I think still are the major (I want to say innovation) iteration on the genre and will be its legacy in terms of guiding mmo development for some time but it really hasn’t seen the improvements and additions I think the system deserves.
I want to see them experiment more with the effect and permanence of the dynamic events. Most of them feel like they have been restrained so as not to alienate new players but because of this they are far less meaningful. Now really is the time, it was a relative unknown at launch but now everyone has become acquainted with the system…. there are even live event maps now for people to track them.
The events just need to be bigger not just in terms of the area of effect but in how they traverse the zone. If left to their own the main threat of a zone should be able to gain complete control of it… Hell, let them start taking over the next zone as well. Some of these events need to involved as a part of much larger chains as well, a zone event shouldn’t just be a couple random things happening it should be a large undertaking. And increase the effect of the mobs; they should be destroying buildings, building siege and palisades, scouting the area, and just converting territory owned into their own rather then just loitering. The players could even be asked to rebuild these structures after an invasion.
The way I envisioned dynamic events was some sort of grand strategy game being played where we were the pieces on the board. The give and take of the players against hordes of enemies, but most of these are just too easy and make so little difference so they will never be more then just a side attraction as they are now. .
There should be some challenge to find for the higher level charcters in the large chains too, as a way of bringing them back to these earlier zones. Have a few events that occur as part of the larger chains that are tuned towards higher level characters. It’s kind of hard based on the upscaling to provide a challenge without punishing people; maybe instead of just having greater health and damage they could have more skills to manoeuvre around. They should be much harder to complete then others but give rewards that are scaled towards the characters actual level be it materials, money, or gear.
Rewards should be more important then they are now as well. The kharma system is ok but there needs to be some decent items to buy for people with it rather then basic gear that becomes obsolete within an hour. One thing I was thinking would be giving the kharma vendors varying levels of reputation with completing events in that zone improving this. Or rewards and such for each zone could be tied into the achievement system like it is with Southsun Cove. As long as there are some decent cosmetics or buff attached the would be popular.
Recently the developers have clarified a few things in regards to attaining precursors in new ways, if these were tied to the zones and their events in some way we would see a large resurgence of players into older content. I would love for precursors to play more of a part in the events of the world, and they are always going to popular with the players.
One radical idea that I think would work well if they upgraded the events, would be to remove the server bonuses from WvW and have them tied into control points around the zones. Each point (maybe one in each zone) could have one of these buff types and holding these certain areas against events would continue to increase the buff to a certain maximum; failure of course resets this. These buffs aren’t a motivator towards wvw players, most of the time I would have no idea what ones are even active. Most of the time winning is just about bragging rights so losing them would make no difference. It would also make it much fairer to the servers involved as the don’t have to worry about more populated servers stopping there PvE benefits.
There are a few other things that might be good to encourage players back into the zones too. A few higher level gathering nodes in each zone would be a nice touch as would even a few random higher level champions hidden around.
I’m sure there are many other ideas out there to improve events, to make them not only more rewarding, but also meaningful and interesting. I want to see a world that feels alive. Dynamic events could be the system to achieve it but not untill the restraints have been removed.