Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee on Creating the Emotional Connection in GW2
Ree: I think one of the first things any game has to do is to encourage the player to connect with their avatar in the game. In order to get the player to invest in the game world and think of the NPCs as compelling characters, the player has to think their own character is interesting and worth spending time with.
Grubb tends to agree.
Jeff: Yeah, it really does start with the players avatar, with their character in the game. You have to like yourself in order to like the greater world. And one of the challenges I see for creators in an MMO is that you want the character to be as accessible as possible to a variety of players, without making them bland and forgettable.
People are equally repelled by viewpoint characters that have no substance and by those whose entire development is mapped out step by stepyou arent playing a character so much as following a well-trod road of others.
Grubb and Soesbee go on to talk about finding that sweet spot middle ground, and how the team is crafting characters, story and visualizations to help get players emotionally invested in Guild Wars 2 and identify with their avatars and the world. Check out the ArenaNet website for more from Guild Wars 2's dynamic lore duo.