Iterating on Events

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.


8 thoughts on “Iterating on Events

  1. Y’know, I visited Dredgehaunt Cliffs recently to finish up map exploration for that zone (least I think it was, one of the snowy zones anyway.) There was a major dredge war/invasion down in the south that had taken over EVERYTHING.

    I gamely one-Charr-armied many of the DEs, winning back towns and outposts for the NPCs/players until my squishy magic-find armored self got swarmed by the blind-immune buggers and got tired of being distracted from my original purpose.

    The effects and events seem to exist, but a good reason for players to go back and revisit the events seem lacking.

    I suppose you could always dangle shiny yellow rewards but it’s a bit depressing if that’s the only way to encourage players to do them. Something like Southsun might be a better idea – link a zone of the month with a story, throw in some new events, add on some temporary buffs – might funnel/focus more players toward it for the event period.

    • Some of those events do seem well designed in some instances but they really aren’t connected as well as it should be. It’s all the consequence usually of singular events being failed over time rather then any sort of coordinated effort. there definitely a fun side attraction though.

      the reason to go back to these does seem to be missing but the Southsun approach is only ever going to be a very short term fix to the issue. I don’t think shiny yellows are the answer either.. that’s not the only way to reward people. They need to relearn a few of their ideas from the original guild wars again

  2. I think the way you describe the ideal event-chain, with the zone completely changing if players don’t prevent it, was the original conception. It was also Trion’s original conception in Rift and in early beta that’s roughly how it played out. Feedback from players must have been highly negative because they changed it so that by the time the game went Live almost nothing caused anyone any serious inconvenience. Players have shown repeatedly in a number of MMOs that they don’t respond well to anything that disrupts their routine, their established plans or disadvantages them.

    They will, however, put up with just about anything if they think they’re going to get something worth having. I agree that the way to go is make more significant event chains AND attach more significant rewards to them. I can see that working well.

    The idea of attaching the WvW bonuses to PvE events is brilliant. No-one in WvW cares or ever has cared about them and hey never made any sense there. PvE players, however, get huge benefit from these bonuses and I’m sure would relish the opportunity to have more control over them.

    • oh that’s right I remember some of the devs from Trion saying that. At first I would have definitely said they should not interrupt the players routine as it is the same thing we have been doing for years but now that everyone is more used to the system I think it could become something more

  3. The nerfing of events in Rift was a big disappointment for me. In Guild Wars 2 I think I’ve only felt like events were meaningful in Harathi Hinterlands (or wherever the big centaur base chain is). At the time I played through it with two friends there were several roaming groups of player characters pushing into centaur territory, being pushed back by rallies. It was a truly epic game session that lasted several hours without needing any different content.

    The problem is that such content only works with a critical mass of players. After the ‘zerg’ has left for the ‘end game’ zones these kinds of events won’t trigger and if they did the few players left in the zone wouldn’t stand a chance…

    • yeh that was a huge shame in rift. I remember playing in the beta and there was this massive zone wide death invasion. It was massive and there were large groups of players everywhere, yet it was still quite challenging. It was an amazing experience.

      I think I know that chain your talking about and it is absolutely huge in terms of content.

      The thing is I think it was so hard then was because everyone was leveling up together. I went by there recently and did that same chain and me a a few other people knocked it out rather easily because we were probably higher level. They need to change those algorithms a little now so these events play out for less people.

      There are issues with the populations in certain zones for sure although I think if they added a decent reward structure to the zones and events then it might improve. It’s an issue that the only rewarding events are the dragons (plus a couple other rather short boss fights… why can’t they reward completion of a large chain of events the same way.

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