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One Player's Opinion of LS and the future of Guild Wars2


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As Guild Wars 2 is currently structured, I can see why new players would be lore confused. Being a player of the GW franchise since 2005, please forgive my opinions of the game flow as it stands. I do realize most people will not agree with my views.

The first Guild Wars always felt, to me, as though the player was moving forward through time in Tyria with all the events spread through the three games and one expansion. That was until you hit the end of each game and finalized with the announcement of Guild Wars 2. At that point all new content ceased. Okay, channelling of production resources into the newer chapters of Tyrian history was acceptable. In that announcement, what intrigued me the most, was the possibility to actually move forward through history as it was being made. No other game out there was doing that. WOW was a juggernaut for MMORPGs at the time, but it was stagnating. Why? Because there was no forward momentum, nothing new in the worlds' history. The characters were going no where. The players were simply repeating over and over again the same old content. BORING!

Let us switch up to the present, 2021. Guild Wars 2 has been chugging along nicely since its introduction in 2012, but now, it's floundering. Why? Same old content, people! Yes, the developers do periodically offer the players new content through the Living Story chapters, but the old content hangs around. Why? In real life, can we talk with people who are dead and have died hundreds of thousands of times over because they've were defeated that many times? This is Living Story in the game. That means the history of the game moves forward as the characters live through it. Why are we as players continuously rehashing defeat after same defeat of our multiply vanquished enemies? Zhaitan is dead; allow Orr to heal, for goodness sake! I'm sick of still having to fight undead. Mordremoth is gone as well. All of those minions should have returned long ago to the ground from whence they were formed. For once let the Maguumas Not be a headache to traverse. (I have hated the Maguuma from GW1 and 2, really) The only good I have seen is Living Story Season 1 be allowed to rest. Yes!

That is what Living Story means. You as the player take your character through history-making events, the events conclude, then you as the player move on to the next chapter of Living Story with your character(s). Any rewards earned from the previous event(s) are yours. Someone missed out, oh well, they missed out, and they cannot have them because they weren't there to earn them. And the flow of new content keeps the game fresh. Currently, Guild Wars 2 has old content available since 2014. How fresh is that? Why is it still there? As for the new players – in real life do we interact with people who are long gone before us? No, we have history books for that. So in the game, we have that fantastic library under the custodianship of the Priory which just takes up space. Why are we not using That to inform new players of what has gone before them? If they want to play through that earlier content, why not have new players, or older players, access a book to play through a LS season or the expansions? Anet devs, did you even contemplate that possibility? That way the world can continue changing, the players' characters can live through Living Story, and we as the players see the impact of our actions on the greater outside world.

To actually See the Impact we the players make! That is a place where no game has gone before.

I am done. I have said my piece which has been pressing for some time now. It is a given people will offer their opinions. That is your prerogative. Just know it will all fall on deaf ears as your opinions are yours and you're welcome to them.

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@BCPrhys.7230 said:As Guild Wars 2 is currently structured, I can see why new players would be lore confused. Being a player of the GW franchise since 2005, please forgive my opinions of the game flow as it stands. I do realize most people will not agree with my views.

The first Guild Wars always felt, to me, as though the player was moving forward through time in Tyria with all the events spread through the three games and one expansion. That was until you hit the end of each game and finalized with the announcement of Guild Wars 2. At that point all new content ceased. Okay, channelling of production resources into the newer chapters of Tyrian history was acceptable. In that announcement, what intrigued me the most, was the possibility to actually move forward through history as it was being made. No other game out there was doing that. WOW was a juggernaut for MMORPGs at the time, but it was stagnating. Why? Because there was no forward momentum, nothing new in the worlds' history. The characters were going no where. The players were simply repeating over and over again the same old content. BORING!

Let us switch up to the present, 2021. Guild Wars 2 has been chugging along nicely since its introduction in 2012, but now, it's floundering. Why? Same old content, people! Yes, the developers do periodically offer the players new content through the Living Story chapters, but the old content hangs around. Why? In real life, can we talk with people who are dead and have died hundreds of thousands of times over because they've were defeated that many times? This is Living Story in the game. That means the history of the game moves forward as the characters live through it. Why are we as players continuously rehashing defeat after same defeat of our multiply vanquished enemies? Zhaitan is dead; allow Orr to heal, for goodness sake! I'm sick of still having to fight undead. Mordremoth is gone as well. All of those minions should have returned long ago to the ground from whence they were formed. For once let the Maguumas Not be a headache to traverse. (I have hated the Maguuma from GW1 and 2, really) The only good I have seen is Living Story Season 1 be allowed to rest. Yes!

That is what Living Story means. You as the player take your character through history-making events, the events conclude, then you as the player move on to the next chapter of Living Story with your character(s). Any rewards earned from the previous event(s) are yours. Someone missed out, oh well, they missed out, and they cannot have them because they weren't there to earn them. And the flow of new content keeps the game fresh. Currently, Guild Wars 2 has old content available since 2014. How fresh is that? Why is it still there? As for the new players – in real life do we interact with people who are long gone before us? No, we have history books for that. So in the game, we have that fantastic library under the custodianship of the Priory which just takes up space. Why are we not using That to inform new players of what has gone before them? If they want to play through that earlier content, why not have new players, or older players, access a book to play through a LS season or the expansions? Anet devs, did you even contemplate that possibility? That way the world can continue changing, the players' characters can live through Living Story, and we as the players see the impact of our actions on the greater outside world.

To actually See the Impact we the players make! That is a place where no game has gone before.

I am done. I have said my piece which has been pressing for some time now. It is a given people will offer their opinions. That is your prerogative. Just know it will all fall on deaf ears as your opinions are yours and you're welcome to them.

Not an opinion but, have you heard of Season 1 of Living World? It did change the game world, permanently, and in a way the devs couldn't reconcile which is why they stopped going down that path after that season.

I agree that these types of changes over time would be very cool to implement in a game but, at the same time very challenging to maintain over time. Something that might have to be implemented from the initial launch of the game.

I believe AoC will be trying an approach similar to what you are interested in, a constantly shifting landscape based upon the actions of the players, with each server shard having different results in how the world grows.

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Yes, each map is frozen in time, if you want to follow the living world, simply move on and play the latest maps. You can see Orr beginning to heal in Siren's Landing, which is a map set after the death of Zhaitan. Dragonfall is a map after Kralkatorik's fall (from the episodes first instance) and so on. The game does progress forward, why would ANY company delete what they've developed? They already did that mistake with Season 1 and you want them to repeat that?

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  • 2 weeks later...

They did this with LS1 - it was perhaps the single biggest disaster in the game and vast swathes of players despised it as it put pressure on players to contantly play and miss out. In the end, many players gave up trying and it took expansions to bring them back. Even some devs were vocally upset at seeing their work removed after so long spent on it. If the game had continued doing it, the game would likely have died pretty quickly.

MMO's can't survive without bringing in new players constantly and keeping the old content around largely as it was, is key to that

I get the appeal, but it just didn't work in an MMO

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@Randulf.7614 said:They did this with LS1 - it was perhaps the single biggest disaster in the game and vast swathes of players despised it as it put pressure on players to contantly play and miss out. In the end, many players gave up trying and it took expansions to bring them back. Even some devs were vocally upset at seeing their work removed after so long spent on it. If the game had continued doing it, the game would likely have died pretty quickly.

MMO's can't survive without bringing in new players constantly and keeping the old content around largely as it was, is key to that

I get the appeal, but it just didn't work in an MMO

that is model insane,

replayability is the gold.

I remember when i started gw2 theres a side panel with some LS1 current status, i just ignored it, and did world exploration first.

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  • 1 month later...

You know if they wanted to allow replaying LS1 they could do it. They've already done this type of thing with GW1. They had the pre-searing area and there are likely characters still there to this day. It should be doable to have a pre-scarlet area for new players with a doorway to LS2. They could even do this for each LS if they wanted so the world could change between different parts of the story.

How easy it would be to pull off or how much in terms of resources it would take I have no idea but they could do it if they wanted.

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@MasterfulGaze.4167 said:You know if they wanted to allow replaying LS1 they could do it.If they recreated all that content, they certainly could make it repayable.But, as far as I'm aware, they not longer have the data for the parts of Season 1.However, some of it is still available in game via Fractals (albeit heavily modified) or the Scrying Pool.

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@"BCPrhys.7230" said:time --snip--

part of why GW1 was "moving forward through time" whenever you complete something and GW2 being "frozen in time" is because with GW1, everything is instanced. only the towns/hubs are shared with other players not in your party (which is also instanced btw)

this makes it easy to create lasting changes to maps and locations based on the individual progress of your character -- really like how single player RPGs do it. and it will not affect other players unless they join your party because everything you do is instanced to your progression.

now let's take an openworld-focused mmorpg like GW2, where you would be able to see other players, potentially a LOT of players in a single area without being in a party or squad with them. that makes the "moving through time" model hard for GW2 because you can't have one person finish a part of the story where the map gets destroyed and another person not having done the story at all (which is common in mmos where the player just wants to do their own thing) and having the map completely untouched, not only would there be structural differences in the map but the enemy density/type, objects, npcs have to change as well.

this is easily solved by instancing, but then you'll be splitting the population, and if you have multiple versions of the map: "untouched" → "destroyed" → "rebuilt" → "2nd destruction" you'll be splitting the population even further making the game look "dead" to the typical player because there's only so few of them in that map at any given time. and then if you have 20 maps that have to be instanced to multiple phases "in time" then imagine how empty everything would appear to be, even if you had hundreds of thousands of players actively playing GW2, it would look nearly empty everywhere you go, even in towns like Divinity's Reach because that has to change with time too (it was attacked multiple times).

this way of presentation just wont work with GW2 being an open world mmorpg, it will work on co-op or single player games which is what GW1 is mostly like, but never in a fully fledged mmorpg. GW1 and GW2 are just that different from genre to game systems etc. etc.

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@"BCPrhys.7230", I totally get the appeal. As others have repeatedly mentioned here, LWS1 did precisely what you're getting at - the game world permanently changed based on the passage of time. Although I joined the game well after S1 came and went, I personally found it extremely interesting that ANet chose to at least try that. I didn't mind at all that I wasn't able to replay S1, but was instead limited to looking at the wreckage of the fallen tower in Kessex, passing the now-pointless energy probes Scarlet dropped all over the map, or being stuck with the new LA instead of the old ship-themed one.

That said, I agree with the others here who note that keeping up this model in a shared-instance open world like GW2 is cumbersome at best, and downright impossible at worst. I think the only way to pull it off while maintaining current levels of player freedom would be to segregate players by story progress, or have some other mechanism where players can choose to enter the "living world" version of a map. Either way, it's a lot of work for questionable value, and as charmed as I was by the idea, I'm totally find with open world maps being locked in time.

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As others have said, it was tried and it failed. Too many people take breaks and miss stuff or come back and there's stuff that had been in the game and was subsequently removed. Imagine taking a two year break, coming back, and seeing a different world but not playing through any of the steps that will get you there. Now that would be confusing. Imagine this conversation.

"The best event we ever had was the Marionette fight. It was brilliant."Oh, can you still do that?""No, sorry you missed it. We have a different fight now, but it's not as good. Your' loss."

Because more people are into playing a game than learning the lore of the game. And if you take stuff out, you lose those players. There's not enough new stuff that stays in to keep people coming back. That's why LS 1, as much as I enjoyed it, was long term bad for the game.

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@Vayne.8563 said:As others have said, it was tried and it failed.

This sums it up basically.

The original idea and implementation of season 1, which was a constant inflow of temporary and miss-able events and story beats, was unsustainable development wise. On top of which it had no replay value from a developer perspective, meaning the actually available content to be played never increased which made all remaining content more stagnant.

That's why season 1 was a 1 time thing.

As someone who was there for all of season 1 right until the end of the attack on Lions Arch, where burnout finally set in, the implementation is being idolized far to much. I remember mediocre story beats (story delivery was far weaker for season 1 than any subsequent season imo), epic huge temporary world bosses and instances, and most of all: a constant feel to have to play or miss out. Imagine a new season map releasing every 6-8 weeks, then having to farm that map 24/7, then do it all over again 2 months later and everything you missed, you missed.

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As others have pointed out, Maps are frozen in time and when Anet go back and mess with that it can lead to other problems that leave people confused.

For example, Awakened invasions, White Mantle Champions and Kralkatorrikss Time Rifts..These were all added to old maps as new relevant content but are playable by all players new and old.. for new players it can be very confusing wondering what those events mean when they're so far behind in the storyline.LW1 also changed some areas of the game permanently and now that it's not available to play it also leaves a pretty huge story gap between the Personal Story and LW2

We can't just go back old maps and gut all the content out because we've played it when it was relevant.What about new players going to HoT for the first time and having no mordrem to fight?.. or going to Orr and seeing it in the process of recovery before they've purified Orr.. that would be silly.

I think instanced content like DRM's are a good way for us to revisit those old locations and see them in a current time frame, but they're just not implemented all that well and feel rushed as many claim.But changing existing open world maps to show that time progress is a bad idea, maybe cool for us are up to date with the game but it would utterly spoil it for newer players.It's far better if they do that through new maps in old regions instead.. like Sirens Landing.

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If you truly want a "Living world" they would implement player voting on certain content or directions. I remember the Evon vote and the vote for a pet whistle- but so few and far between. Giving the players a yearly vote on something would be pretty dang neat even if it couldn't always be world-shattering.

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@"HotDelirium.7984" said:If you truly want a "Living world" they would implement player voting on certain content or directions. I remember the Evon vote and the vote for a pet whistle- but so few and far between. Giving the players a yearly vote on something would be pretty dang neat even if it couldn't always be world-shattering.

Oh, that is a cool idea. I like this one.

That would incorporate more player interaction with the story.

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any form of "temporary content" is a dumb idea from begin, dot even need a "trial" to know this.

i guess they never really buy that stuff, was just a excuse because at time they probably find hard create new maps. then when they have the tech do add more history/maps, they created the LS2.

its like a choose from a tv series at time u cant record(watch or miss) over a book(u can open and read at anytime).

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@"ugrakarma.9416" said:any form of "temporary content" is a dumb idea from begin, dot even need a "trial" to know this.

i guess they never really buy that stuff, was just a excuse because at time they probably find hard create new maps. then when they have the tech do add more history/maps, they created the LS2.

its like a choose from a tv series at time u cant record(watch or miss) over a book(u can open and read at anytime).

The tech has existed for a long time and its how they have been completing the expansion maps so the only difference is jumping and mounts. Plus with the HoT maps you can tell the skyscale was never intended to become a mount when they did their last work on that because you can can literally just travel freely to the top and bottom of that actual map and see all the parts they moved and replaced with other ones. Although once in awhile its fun to sit up there and watch all three gerents being attacked and all the people down there have no idea they are all being watched. Then just jump down and mount smash the last one and get credit without really ever doing anything and you got what GW2 is now.

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@Klypto.1703 said:

@"ugrakarma.9416" said:any form of "temporary content" is a dumb idea from begin, dot even need a "trial" to know this.

i guess they never really buy that stuff, was just a excuse because at time they probably find hard create new maps. then when they have the tech do add more history/maps, they created the LS2.

its like a choose from a tv series at time u cant record(watch or miss) over a book(u can open and read at anytime).

The tech has existed for a long time and its how they have been completing the expansion maps so the only difference is jumping and mounts. Plus with the HoT maps you can tell the skyscale was never intended to become a mount when they did their last work on that because you can can literally just travel freely to the top and bottom of that actual map and see all the parts they moved and replaced with other ones. Although once in awhile its fun to sit up there and watch all three gerents being attacked and all the people down there have no idea they are all being watched. Then just jump down and mount smash the last one and get credit without really ever doing anything and you got what GW2 is now.

so if wanst the tech, was the resources(ppl), or they just feel insecure to release episode/map.

the last episode of LS1 is March 4, 2014, and first episode of LS2 was july 2014.

the real difference is that LS1 is very more cheaper to develop,

just look at DRM's, reutilizing maps.

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It sounds cool in theory, for sure. But imagine if there was a long-running TV show that stopped airing (or making available) previous seasons? That show would die after the first season; modern audiences have too much choice to be willing to wade through complete confusion for months until they can string together a story from flashbacks or internet summaries.

And new players would be completely turned off. What content would they have to play? No core game, because that’s all changed. No LS 2-4, no HoT, no PoF. So, they’re playing WvW, PvP, and whatever episode of IBS is out right now?

Ah. But you’re implying that old content isn’t removed it’s just “updated”. Can you imagine how staggeringly expensive that would be? To constantly redevelop old content to update to current lore? Who is paying for that in a game with no subscription fees? You’re asking ArenaNet to pay for redevelopment of old assets that will earn them zero dollars.

The obvious option would be “phased content”. A character starts in “the past”, and as they progress the story they move through the developing world. So now you need multiple instances of any zone that changes, plus a mechanic to move between them. And people in different story stages will either have to gather in never-changing hubs, or be unable to interact until they’re on the same page.

Certainly, 100% of the challenges are solvable and the goal of a true “living world” is achievable. But the cost, complexity, and value statement doesn’t really add up, I’d think.

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