Will Living World Maps Reduce In Size To Allow For More Development Elsewhere? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Will Living World Maps Reduce In Size To Allow For More Development Elsewhere?

I couldn't avoid making another thread because aside from Narratives, this is a really important discussion for me.

As for content overall, I think they're focusing on the wrong areas. For instance, we keep getting maps that are vast but are completely empty. Meanwhile, some of the best maps in Guild Wars 2 for content are some of the smallest. For instance, The Silverwastes isn't exactly a vast map, but it's packed full of repeatable content that's still played like 3 years on. I know people might enjoy vast areas for exploration, but development time is being slaved away on huge maps for no real reason other than for the zones to look a bit more bulky and pretty.

For instance, the bottom island of Sandswept is amazing for content, but the top island is void and just looks nice. South of the Base Camp in Kourna is rich in content, but the North is void and looks nice. Istan's content basically exists in the Great Hall and Palawadan, but everywhere else looks pretty and has no use. There's no point in making huge maps if the content all takes place in one quarter of the map's size. It'd clear up development time, and allow for more individuals to go elsewhere in the game and divert staff to PvP, WvW and other aspects, to get more content out more quickly but with the same quality. If someone says: 'This map is too small', but then, they play it for weeks and weeks because of its amazing content, then the initial shock of the map size will literally fade away due to the richness of the activities. This is evidenced by Palawadan. It's one corner of the map, but it's the most played corner of Istan. Unless you're planning to make the whole map as replayable as one corner, there's no point in making such huge maps.

So, another question: Will Living World maps return to being smaller in size but bulkier in terms of content, in order to allow individuals to work on other areas of the game?

Comments

  • Blaeys.3102Blaeys.3102 Member ✭✭✭

    I don't think the answer is to reduce the map size. The large scale open world content is their brand differentiator - it is what sets them apart from other MMOs and video games. They need to dedicate all of the resources needed to make that part of the game as amazing as it can be, even if it means other areas have longer development cycles.

    The one exception to that would likely be WvW - which is basically the pvp version of what we see in open world. Those two areas are their marketing cornerstones - again, setting them apart from the sea of other games out there. Improving upon those two areas only strengthens their position as the best community focused MMO ever made.

  • Twyn.7320Twyn.7320 Member ✭✭✭

    @Blaeys.3102 said:
    I don't think the answer is to reduce the map size. The large scale open world content is their brand differentiator - it is what sets them apart from other MMOs and video games. They need to dedicate all of the resources needed to make that part of the game as amazing as it can be, even if it means other areas have longer development cycles.

    The problem is though: How can they justify putting so many resources into a map, if all of the lasting content is in one section of it? If all of the map was used for a meta or something, then it'd be a snazzy rationale, as shown by Heart of Thorns. However, Path of Fire/LWS4 has purposefully used a quarter of the map for replayable content and left the rest to be explored once and never again. It seems a bit silly IMO when they could divert resources elsewhere to the other modes and capitalise on their USPs, such as WvW and PvP, whilst maintaining the replayable content of the Living World maps by only keeping the relevant sections. I believe that if you're making something without the desire to put replayable content in it, it needs to be re-evaluated until content of that nature can be placed in it. A notable example is Atholma in Sandswept. It's a stunning location, but it literally has no purpose apart from being a story instance. If the map meta started with an assault on Atholma, leading to a push-back all the way to Rata Primus, then it'd be justified to have resources diverted to that area, but it doesn't.

  • Blaeys.3102Blaeys.3102 Member ✭✭✭

    @Twyn.7320 said:

    @Blaeys.3102 said:
    I don't think the answer is to reduce the map size. The large scale open world content is their brand differentiator - it is what sets them apart from other MMOs and video games. They need to dedicate all of the resources needed to make that part of the game as amazing as it can be, even if it means other areas have longer development cycles.

    The problem is though: How can they justify putting so many resources into a map, if all of the lasting content is in one section of it? If all of the map was used for a meta or something, then it'd be a snazzy rationale, as shown by Heart of Thorns. However, Path of Fire/LWS4 has purposefully used a quarter of the map for replayable content and left the rest to be explored once and never again. It seems a bit silly IMO when they could divert resources elsewhere to the other modes and capitalise on their USPs, such as WvW and PvP, whilst maintaining the replayable content of the Living World maps by only keeping the relevant sections. I believe that if you're making something without the desire to put replayable content in it, it needs to be re-evaluated until content of that nature can be placed in it. A notable example is Atholma in Sandswept. It's a stunning location, but it literally has no purpose apart from being a story instance. If the map meta started with an assault on Atholma, leading to a push-back all the way to Rata Primus, then it'd be justified to have resources diverted to that area, but it doesn't.

    The answer is simple and something they have done for a long time now - triggerable content and dynamic events. With more resources, they can put more into the explorable areas of the map, including triggerable content like bounties or extended dynamic event chains.

    I agree that we need things like the assault on Atholma example you provide - that is exactly why they need to dedicate more resources to these maps. That may mean diverting resources from other areas of the game, but it would be worth it.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The maps are already very small. I don't think shrinking them further would save any development time or consistently provide enough meaningful gameplay

    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. . .

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 3, 2018

    @Blaeys.3102 said:
    I don't think the answer is to reduce the map size.

    Exactly. The lack of events won't be solved by reducing map sizes. There will still be little content with small maps, no? Makes no sense.

    I believe, in the case of Kourna, much more was planned, but for time reasons was cut. This becomes especially obvious in the case of the meta, which looks like it originally had a triad concept.

    Instead of the OP's suggestion I'd suggest for ANet to let people pay for the LW episodes and then hire more devs to deliver 100% finished and functional content.

  • foozlesprite.8051foozlesprite.8051 Member ✭✭✭

    I do enjoy a lot of the smaller maps like Kourna, but I'd like to offer my 2 cents on map size. I'd be much happier with the larger maps if they added more waypoints and/or put them in better places so that when events do happen in underpopulated areas of the map, people can actually get to them.

    I've barely touched Sandswept Isles because the whopping two waypoints are a stone's throw away from each other but the rest of the map is vast. If someone calls a bounty, it's dead by the time I can get there, even on a mount. Feels like I'm just wasting my time trying to participate in stuff out there. Up it to three waypoints and put them top-ish, middle-ish, and bottom-ish on the map, and I'd go back to it.

    I like what was done with Siren's Landing. If nothing else, let us do some little events/karma hearts or something to unlock pseudo-waypoints that actually cover the zone!

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