Posted Tue, Aug 30, 2011 by Sardu
The moment my demo began, I made a point of traveling to the waypoint for the giant dragon fight in Sparkfly Fen. Since the dynamic event wasn’t running just yet, I scampered around the area to get a feel for what other kinds of trouble I could get myself into. Given my affinity for necromancy, I really enjoyed the fact that there were plenty of Orrian undead to be found, further enhancing the very eerie overall vibe of the area.
It wasn’t long until the demo alert popped up on screen informing me that the battle against Tequatl the Sunless was about to begin. From the very outset, the battle is a massive, beautiful bundle of controlled chaos and provided players plenty of options for how they wanted to participate. To give you a better idea of the massive scale of the fight, be sure to watch the video of the event below from our friends over at gw2.revgaming.net, home to an excellent GW2 build creation tool.
Eric Flannum also gave us some additional insights into events of this scale, for example when asked about the broadcast radius for the Tequati event Eric noted:
“Every event has a different broadcast radius that it shows. This won’t show up across the entire map, because we really don’t want to encourage the entire world to come to this one spot. One of the reasons we don’t broadcast them really, really broadly is because we’d done that earlier in development and we found that led to a lot more people having the experience where you’d see that an event was happening and run towards it only to get there right when it ends and that feels really bad.
So we try to only broadcast to an area where we’re pretty sure you can make it here in time. Also, to keep people from bunching up, we try to have lots of stuff going on in the world at any given time so it’s not like this is the one cool thing happening in the world.”
For the sake of the event demo, players are currently alerted to the Tequati the Sunless event, but I was also curious as to how an event on this scale would be triggered in the live game. Colin helped shed some light on how this particular boss event will kick off due to player actions in the area:
“Down here there’s a whole line of sylvari towns along where that area was, and there is a whole event chain that involves the undead lashing out and attacking all of those towns. If you drive them all the way back to the ocean, that’s when the dragon lands. So it’s actually part of a big chain.”
As noted above, the latest event demo for Guild Wars 2 helps illustrate just how much iteration has gone into the game over the past year. One of the best examples of this is how energy is no longer a skill activation resource, and is now tethered directly to the dodge mechanic. The benefits of this single change in combat are enormous, and it also helps chip away some of the balancing issues that were caused by linking energy to skills.
Between my numerous demo runs during SDCC and PAX Prime, the difference this made was instantly apparent and I found that it improves the combat experience in a significant way. This was doubly the case in PvP where combat is extremely action-oriented, and makes the use of dodging a much more fluid element of combat without forcing players to resort to stuffing their bags full of energy potions.
As eager as I am to see Guild Wars 2 launch, I’m also nothing short of impressed by the amount of effort being put into making sure that each aspect of gameplay feels right and provides the best possible experience for players in the meantime. Many MMOs launch “content complete” but few ever launch “completely awesome”, but as we’ve watched development progress over the past year, Guild Wars 2 continues to push towards the latter in a big way.