As I was reading through the usual blogs while having coffee this morning, I read on Keen and Graev that he had some of the same reservations that I had had about the way that “extensive instancing” had been worded. In the comments, someone had linked to a very interesting Q & A with ArenaNet developers which explained it a bit more:
IGN: Is the basic structure of the game similar to Guild Wars? Will players still meet in public spaces then exit through portals into instanced spaces where only the player and their party exist?
Eric Flannum: The basic structure of the game is very different from what players saw in Guild Wars. While we will still make use of instancing (e.g. for quests and dungeons) players will find Guild Wars 2 to be a large open and persistent world where they can meet up with old friends or make new ones while out adventuring. At the same time we have taken a lot of steps to avoid the griefing and player conflict that can so often arise in a persistent world. For example, our event system is designed to give players shared goals, so they should always feel that working together on a problem is the best option available to them.
I’m actually not sure how to interpret that. It sounds as though most non-pvp gameplay (questing/levelling) will still take place in instanced areas, which is a shame. I do understand the motivation behind wanting to prevent griefing, which is a concern that I have about Aion.
And then a section about what they’re calling their “dynamic event system”:
Imagine for a second that youre strolling through the local military garrison when you hear a scout start shouting about a centaur column that has been sighted approaching. The soldiers are quick to action, shutting the gates and ordering archers up onto the walls. You and some of your fellow players watch as the centaurs batter at the gates with axes while their archers clear defenders from the walls and shots from their catapults arc overhead. Its a tense moment until the gate falls, and as you rush into the gap to fend off the centaurs you are joined by other players and guards who are all intent on saving the garrison. If you succeed, the garrison will hold and may launch a counterattack on the trading post where the centaurs came from. If you fail, its a desperate fight as soldiers pour from the nearby town and attempt to retake their fortress. Scenarios like this are exactly the sort of thing that allows our event system to shine and we think players will be really pleased with how it has turned out.”
I like the sound of that – that gameplay sounds like a lot of fun. I thought that the PQs were some of the best things that Warhammer implemented, and I’d love to see that system in more games.
Overall, very promising news.