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[Feedback/Suggestion] Events/Meta Events


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Hello everyone! Since my island was one of the many devastated by Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria last year, I'm still waiting for things to return to normal so I can get back into the game. Until then, I've decided to come here and express some my thoughts and feelings about the game. In this post specifically, I want to discuss events and the role they play in telling the story of each map.

TL;DR:

  • Events should help tell the story about the area you're in.
  • New areas should introduce themselves to you when you enter them, regardless of which path you took to get there.
  • Personal stories should start- and playout mostly in the map you're currently in whenever possible.
  • Meta events should change the face of a map if left unchecked.
  • Each map should have a narrative that feeds into your Personal Story.

First off, let me start off by saying that I like the idea of events as a means of replacing traditional quest hubs to create an environment that's much more immersive. That said, I personally don't think that their are enough events running to truly make the game world feel alive. What I mean by this is that more often than not I'll enter a new part of the map and there will be nothing there to greet me other that a few lines of random dialog from nearby NPCs or wandering mobs.

Take Claypool (Queensdale) for example: I almost never get there from Scaver Plateau. Either I'll go through the hills to the west (Pinion Trail and Altar's Windings) or clear-out the bandits to the south (Bandithaunt Caverns). I personally find this path to be more logical than going around through Scaver Plateau, and a lot more fun since the mobs are of a higher level (the ettins in particular). But there aren't any native events in these areas that help keep you immersed in the game. The ettins are just there because, along with the harpies, and outside of the Renown Heart (Help Cassie around the moa ranch), the bandits don't do much more to further the story of that particular area. And when you finally do get to Claypool, there isn't a event to either introduce you to the town and area or advance the story of the map.

By now you're probably thinking, 'Story? What story? Were events supposed to tell a story, or just replace quests?' Either that or something about my spelling/grammar. To the latter, I offer a shrug of my shoulders. To the former, I say 'Yes!' Well, maybe. The manifesto might have changed since I didn't play the game on release, thought I did watch the trailers way-back-when. So maybe they waved the white flag when I wasn't looking? If so, skip to the end and just leave a reply saying that the war is already over.

If not, let's continue: 'Yes!' Yes, events are there to primarily replace quest markers, but they also help tell a story about the area you're in and what's going on around you -- or at least they should, but I think what you usually get is actually just a taste or a tease.

Now, I'm not saying that the game needs to hold my hand through the content, but I do think it has the potential to be much more cinematic than it currently is. We don't need a SWTOR-level of investment, but it would be nice if mayor hubs like Claypool got a sweeping camera intro (like your first-time visit to Lion's Arch). It would be like turning a page and starting a new chapter. You enter a new area, get the wide camera angle, then an NPC runs up to you and tells you how bad their day's been. Simple and effective.

And you can do this with every area in the game:

  • You sneak up on some harpies and they start screaming about warning their queen.
  • Kill the runner, and the queens shows up after you've cleared out the rest of the harpies.
  • Fail to kill the runner and the queen shows up to aid the minions.
  • Fail to complete the event and the harpies begin raiding the surrounding area.

Simple, immersive and much more interesting I think than just killing monsters that don't really seem to be doing anything other than just standing around.

  • This actually reminds me of one issue that I have with events: once they're done, there's nothing left to do. More specifically, if you just missed the event, then there's nothing for you to do other than kill random mobs or run to the next area. If you're underleveled, then fighting a single mob might feel like an event. But otherwise you'll just pull a group, burn them down and then move on.

I've done this plenty of times where I felt like an area should've had an event, only to realize later that it does but it was just that the event was on cooldown. I call this 'hidden content'. And I feel like so many players miss out on this content because of hidden timers. I'm not sure what the develops can do about this other than add static quest markers or instanced areas but speaking from experience, it feels kind of bad to blow through an area or several areas and never see any events taking place.

Going back to what I was saying before, if you take Queensdale as an example, you have three mayor stories taking place on that map:

  • Defeating the remaining centaurs from the recent centaur invasion.
  • Crushing the local bandits and discovering their true motives.
  • Defeating the creatures from the Underworld.

Each on their should feel way more impactful than they currently are ingame, with the centaur and bandit plots being tied more heavily into your (human's) personal story. Imagine if following the bandit subplot lead you to Minister Caudecus. Or that the centaur subplot lead to a final battle in Salma's Heath. Imagine if Logan was out in the field with you and not back in Divinity's Reach. I think if these two plot points were made into event-chains, the map would feel more alive and each corner would a seperate personality.

The bandit event-chain probably doesn't need to end in a meta event (since it would end in a dungeon), but it always seemed strange to me that the centaurs, who just tried to attack Divinity's Reach and still have plenty of fighters on the map, don't have a subcommander trying to rally them for a second push. The same goes for the Shadow Behemoth. If his event fails, his minions should start spreading throughout the map, warping and twisting it. And yes, if his event fails, he should definetly pull himself out of his portal and be like a shadow kaiju.

But that's just my personal opinion on the potential for events to be used as a story telling tool and to add a bit more noise to the game. I wanted to talk abit more about the other topics in the tl;dr but this is pretty long already and I'm honestly running out of time. So please tell me what you think and I'll see you guys later.

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