How long for story in an expac? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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How long for story in an expac?

This is just to know other people's opinions.
how long do you think a MMO should take to complete the main story quest for an expac? not counting sidequests, or achievements, just head on with the story.
and then compared to that, how do you think gw2's previous expacs have fared? and also, assuming we're basically on the middle of the current season, how does this season compare to that? (assuming a LWS has somewhat similar amount of story content than an expac, only given in smaller amounts)
if you ask me. I think an expac should have around 10 hours of main quest story. but I have no idea how long does it take for the previous expac. I do know that it takes more or less 1hr for each new episode in this season so if we get a total of 8 episodes, it would be 8 hrs (probably a bit less, like 7) of storyline. so it's not as bad as I originally thouoght it was going to be.
But it would like to hear other's opinions on this too.

Comments

  • Taril.8619Taril.8619 Member ✭✭✭

    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    Then I'd probably say around 20-25 hours of story and same again for side quests. With the rest of the 50+ hours to match top tier RPG's coming from the multiplayer content (Events, instances etc)

    Of course, this should be time that's spent with actual gameplay. Not time padding grinds, as those are not a feature of single player titles (Beyond JRPG's at least, which can have ridiculous amounts of grinding... *Flashbacks to playing the Disgaea series and leveling all my characters from 1-9999 ten times over for max stats in each of th e5 titles...**

    Thus, with this much content available in an expansion, there would be ample time to work on smaller content updates (I.e. Content Patches/Living World) and work on the next expansion.

    Of course, this will never happen. Mostly because MMO developers/publishers quickly get into the mindset of churning out an Expansion after 1 year (Either because they want to poop out a yearly expansion release a la WoW, or because they only start working on it 1 year before they're due to release it) while such a level of content would require much longer to create as well as a large team in order to work on an Expansion whilst also doing that intermittent smaller content updating.

    Cat: Meow.

  • Westenev.5289Westenev.5289 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    shrugs

    I mean, it's hard to compare since an expac has around 3 acts with 5-6 "chapters" per act. Expacs typically have 4 or 5 maps, with the story rushing or detouring through the second to last map (desolation and tangled depths).

    By comparison, I feel like Lws5 was, more or less, a rushed "act" with 5 chapters + side story. It just doesn't feel that way because we're playing acts over the course of years rather than in a single sitting, and we don't see recurring elements, plots or hooks, making the story feel like a vehicle to move people to the new side of the map.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    How long it takes to complete also depends on the player. Other people have told me it takes them 30 minutes to complete the story in a living world episode, and it usually takes me at least 2 hours, and that's if I focus just on the story and don't get drawn into doing events or exploring the map or whatever in between. I'm not entirely sure what they're doing differently to clear it so much faster, but honestly I don't want to know because for me the point of playing a game isn't to get it done ASAP and move on to something else but to have fun playing it.

    It's also difficult for me to measure how long it takes because I rarely finish even a living world episode in one go. It normally takes me at least a few days to complete an episode, with erratic sessions ranging from a few minutes to an hour or so. Unless I make sure to pay attention to my start and finish times and how much time I spend playing vs. chatting with my guild, looking for random things on the TP or whatever it's hard for me to say for sure how long it took me. Even harder with an expansion because that will be spread across even more sessions, I'd probably have to write it down.

    This could be annoying, because it would make it very hard to know if estimates of how long a game will take to complete actually apply to me, but since I mainly play huge games (RPGs mainly) with hundreds of hours of content I don't expect to ever complete 100% it doesn't really matter, I know I'll get my moneys worth from it.

    Danielle Aurorel, Desolation EU. Mini Collector

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings"

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Taril.8619 said:
    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    Then I'd probably say around 20-25 hours of story and same again for side quests. With the rest of the 50+ hours to match top tier RPG's coming from the multiplayer content (Events, instances etc)

    Of course, this should be time that's spent with actual gameplay. Not time padding grinds, as those are not a feature of single player titles (Beyond JRPG's at least, which can have ridiculous amounts of grinding... *Flashbacks to playing the Disgaea series and leveling all my characters from 1-9999 ten times over for max stats in each of th e5 titles...**

    Thus, with this much content available in an expansion, there would be ample time to work on smaller content updates (I.e. Content Patches/Living World) and work on the next expansion.

    Of course, this will never happen. Mostly because MMO developers/publishers quickly get into the mindset of churning out an Expansion after 1 year (Either because they want to poop out a yearly expansion release a la WoW, or because they only start working on it 1 year before they're due to release it) while such a level of content would require much longer to create as well as a large team in order to work on an Expansion whilst also doing that intermittent smaller content updating.

    50 hours to do the story on most games? Without anything else, just a play through? Hardly. The average is probably closer to 20 hours. There are exceptions like Skyrim, for example because there are mods, but I've bought a whole bunch of games over the years that I've gotten through in under 25 hours, including some very good ones.

  • Taril.8619Taril.8619 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    @Taril.8619 said:
    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    Then I'd probably say around 20-25 hours of story and same again for side quests. With the rest of the 50+ hours to match top tier RPG's coming from the multiplayer content (Events, instances etc)

    Of course, this should be time that's spent with actual gameplay. Not time padding grinds, as those are not a feature of single player titles (Beyond JRPG's at least, which can have ridiculous amounts of grinding... *Flashbacks to playing the Disgaea series and leveling all my characters from 1-9999 ten times over for max stats in each of th e5 titles...**

    Thus, with this much content available in an expansion, there would be ample time to work on smaller content updates (I.e. Content Patches/Living World) and work on the next expansion.

    Of course, this will never happen. Mostly because MMO developers/publishers quickly get into the mindset of churning out an Expansion after 1 year (Either because they want to poop out a yearly expansion release a la WoW, or because they only start working on it 1 year before they're due to release it) while such a level of content would require much longer to create as well as a large team in order to work on an Expansion whilst also doing that intermittent smaller content updating.

    50 hours to do the story on most games? Without anything else, just a play through? Hardly. The average is probably closer to 20 hours. There are exceptions like Skyrim, for example because there are mods, but I've bought a whole bunch of games over the years that I've gotten through in under 25 hours, including some very good ones.

    Reading is hard.

    @Taril.8619 said:
    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    Cat: Meow.

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Taril.8619 said:

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    @Taril.8619 said:
    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    Then I'd probably say around 20-25 hours of story and same again for side quests. With the rest of the 50+ hours to match top tier RPG's coming from the multiplayer content (Events, instances etc)

    Of course, this should be time that's spent with actual gameplay. Not time padding grinds, as those are not a feature of single player titles (Beyond JRPG's at least, which can have ridiculous amounts of grinding... *Flashbacks to playing the Disgaea series and leveling all my characters from 1-9999 ten times over for max stats in each of th e5 titles...**

    Thus, with this much content available in an expansion, there would be ample time to work on smaller content updates (I.e. Content Patches/Living World) and work on the next expansion.

    Of course, this will never happen. Mostly because MMO developers/publishers quickly get into the mindset of churning out an Expansion after 1 year (Either because they want to poop out a yearly expansion release a la WoW, or because they only start working on it 1 year before they're due to release it) while such a level of content would require much longer to create as well as a large team in order to work on an Expansion whilst also doing that intermittent smaller content updating.

    50 hours to do the story on most games? Without anything else, just a play through? Hardly. The average is probably closer to 20 hours. There are exceptions like Skyrim, for example because there are mods, but I've bought a whole bunch of games over the years that I've gotten through in under 25 hours, including some very good ones.

    Reading is hard.

    @Taril.8619 said:
    Also, that for single player RPG's we're looking at ~50 hours gameplay for a singular playthrough (On the low end, top tier RPG's average 100+ hours of content per playthrough) though this includes sidequests.

    I agree reading is hard. Still doesnt' change what I've said. And since your rebuttal doesn't really explain anything different, I'll just assume that you're not assuming I'm talking about games based around story many of which I've played. Sure there are games that take that long, but not most of them.

    On the other hand, you did say that an expansion costs about the same as a regular game $50-60, which as Path of Fire came out only costing $30.

    I guess you could say that I disagree with your post and leave it at that.

  • Taril.8619Taril.8619 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    I agree reading is hard. Still doesnt' change what I've said. And since your rebuttal doesn't really explain anything different, I'll just assume that you're not assuming I'm talking about games based around story many of which I've played. Sure there are games that take that long, but not most of them.

    Again, reading is hard.

    If you note, I mention that main story would take around 20-25 hours for the average game with the remaining side activities providing a similar amount of time to get up to 50 hours per singular playthrough.

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    On the other hand, you did say that an expansion costs about the same as a regular game $50-60, which as Path of Fire came out only costing $30.

    Reading is hard.

    @Taril.8619 said:
    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    I'd consider $40ish to be similar to the $30 that PoF cost. Especially when it's mostly just AAA games that cost closer to the upper end of the scale (While also being the ones most likely to be short games and/or trash)

    Many non-AAA games will cost in the $30-40 bracket and I myself have played tons of RPG's that cost that much with 50+ hour playthroughs.

    Cat: Meow.

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Taril.8619 said:

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    I agree reading is hard. Still doesnt' change what I've said. And since your rebuttal doesn't really explain anything different, I'll just assume that you're not assuming I'm talking about games based around story many of which I've played. Sure there are games that take that long, but not most of them.

    Again, reading is hard.

    If you note, I mention that main story would take around 20-25 hours for the average game with the remaining side activities providing a similar amount of time to get up to 50 hours per singular playthrough.

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    On the other hand, you did say that an expansion costs about the same as a regular game $50-60, which as Path of Fire came out only costing $30.

    Reading is hard.

    @Taril.8619 said:
    If we consider that an Expansion costs about the same price as a full game (Like $40-50ish)

    I'd consider $40ish to be similar to the $30 that PoF cost. Especially when it's mostly just AAA games that cost closer to the upper end of the scale (While also being the ones most likely to be short games and/or trash)

    Many non-AAA games will cost in the $30-40 bracket and I myself have played tons of RPG's that cost that much with 50+ hour playthroughs.

    If you consider 25% more to be about the same price, there's really nothing left to discuss. Nor can MMOs really be compared single player games anyway, where the story is pretty much the entire game. That's not the case here. Single player games don't have anything like meta events. This game is more about the open world than instance story anyway.

    RIght now Heart of Thorns is one of the most popular areas of the game, but it only has four maps and the story is fairly short. PoF probably had a better story, and has an extra zone, but I'm pretty sure HOT is more popular, even though it's older. This whole discussion on how long a story should be, based on that nature of the game and comparing it to single player games is pointless in the first place.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2020

    It's imposible to gauge, beacuse map storytelling goes hand in hand with narrative. Time factored in for exploring the map, discovering the side stories and ambient dialogue is vital for experiencing and enjoying an RPG story (for me) - assuming the variety and engagement is there

    For example I am playing Xenoblade Chronicles at the moment which I'll probably pass 150+ hours on like I did with the sequel. But I take time to speak to every NPC and exhaust all dialogues, then check back after key moments and see any dialogue changes. The story there doesn't exist for me without doing those extra things

    PoF was exactly the same - I spent 2 weeks in the Amnoon area alone. Yeah OK it had bugs on launch preventing progression, but I just lapped up the ambient stories going on. That for me is as vital to the storytelling as deep, meaningful instances (which PoF did a decent job of in the first half before they rushed through the last sections).

    So it's not really a case of how long it actually takes since counting an mmo in hours is impossible, but how long the little details take to absorb and experience. And how engaging they are And that's for me where the LS often falls down (not always, it's got it right at times as well - Grothmar was for me one of the best and most recent examples).

    Both Hot and PoF kept me engaged in the story and the things around the story like maps and the stories via events for at least 2/3 weeks in HoT (which was far too short in the end for me) and a couple of months in PoF. After that I'd be more focused in the achievements and collections which of course adds time which is still ticking along today

    That's just for me of course

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .