Difference between revisions of "Game mechanics"

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:Towns and Outposts exist continually until a new build of Guild Wars is made available and the servers have to be updated. As such, players may meet each other in this type of area. The player may leave and then come back to find many of the other players still there. There is a 100 player limit to the number of players a Town or Outpost can hold. Once the town is full a new copy of the town is created. Multiple copies of a town are called [[district]]s. During event weekends, there can be 180 or more full districts of the same town. [[Guild Hall]]s operate much like a town or outpost, except they lack [[portal]]s. If you are a member or have an invitation, you enter and exit a guild hall via the [[guild]] screen, or from [[The Battle Isles]] map.
 
:Towns and Outposts exist continually until a new build of Guild Wars is made available and the servers have to be updated. As such, players may meet each other in this type of area. The player may leave and then come back to find many of the other players still there. There is a 100 player limit to the number of players a Town or Outpost can hold. Once the town is full a new copy of the town is created. Multiple copies of a town are called [[district]]s. During event weekends, there can be 180 or more full districts of the same town. [[Guild Hall]]s operate much like a town or outpost, except they lack [[portal]]s. If you are a member or have an invitation, you enter and exit a guild hall via the [[guild]] screen, or from [[The Battle Isles]] map.
  
:Explorable areas operate completely the opposite. Explorable areas are [[instance]]d, which means it is created for a single party, and exists only as long as the party is in the area. No one else may join you there later. If you drop an item in an explorable area, you can not come back and get it later as returning to an explorable area forces the server to generate a new instance of the area. This allows the server to add or remove specific content, NPCs, MOBs, close gates, etc. based on the needs of an active quest or mission.   
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:Explorable areas operate differently than towns and outposts. Explorable areas are [[instance]]d, which means they are created for a single party, and exist only as long as the party remains in the area. No one else may join you there later. If you drop an item in an explorable area, you can not come back and get it later because returning to an explorable area forces the server to generate a new instance of the area. This allows the server to add or remove specific content, NPCs, MOBs, close gates, etc. based on the needs of an active quest or mission.   
  
:Arenas are handled much the same as explorable areas, except the methods used to populate the party differ for each type of arena. Also, several different game mechanics exists for arenas. How long you can stay in the arena is often time based, until a kill count is reached, or until one of the two opposing teams has been eliminated.  
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:Arenas are handled much the same as explorable areas, except the methods used to populate the party differ for each type of arena. Also, several different game mechanics exists for arenas. The length of your stay in the arena can be limited by time, by kill count, or by team elimination.  
  
 
Initially, the player must run from place to place. This will uncover detailed information about that location on the [[Map]]. Travel from any town or outpost to an explorable area is done simply by running through a [[portal]]. Once more than one town or outpost has been uncovered, the player may then [[map-Travel]] between towns to save time. When the player owns other campaigns or extensions, his/her character will be allowed to travel between the existing continents. Game travelling is done through [[port]]s. There is only one port in each campaign.
 
Initially, the player must run from place to place. This will uncover detailed information about that location on the [[Map]]. Travel from any town or outpost to an explorable area is done simply by running through a [[portal]]. Once more than one town or outpost has been uncovered, the player may then [[map-Travel]] between towns to save time. When the player owns other campaigns or extensions, his/her character will be allowed to travel between the existing continents. Game travelling is done through [[port]]s. There is only one port in each campaign.

Revision as of 18:24, 8 March 2008

Game mechanics describe how and why things work a certain way in the game. These are the rules by which combat is resolved, spells are cast, experience gained, and other similar basic physics of the Guild Wars game world operate. As this entire WIKI is basically an in-depth discovery of the game mechanics, this article will attempt to put all the other articles into perspective.

Contents

Overview

Players participate in the game with the creation of a character. Players are represented in game by a 3D animated character in human form. During creation, the player is free to choose from a variety of facial expressions, hair color and style, adjust the height or choose if he/she wants to be male or female. Once created, these features can not be changed later.

All characters are "born" in one of the three campaigns: Prophecies, Factions or Nightfall. Since Eye of the North is an expansion to the game, characters can not be born there. However, characters from all campaigns may travel there if the expansion has been added to their account.

There are primarily two ways for a character to play the game:

  • Player vs. the Environment (PvE) where the player completes quests and missions either solo or as a member of a party who fight against AI controlled foes.
  • Player vs. Player (PvP) where the player is solely interested in competing in combat against other players.
(Note: PvE players do have the option to participate in PvP combat, but are limited to the skills, weapons and armor that they posses at the time. PvP characters do not have the option to adventure in the world at large.)

All characters have a profession. This is the primary discipline of study for that character. Each profession has a specific set of attributes and a variety of skills specific to that profession. How well a particular skill works for a character is controlled by the player, by assigning attribute points to its associated attribute. The choice of profession will also dictate the overall look of the character by limiting the style of dress, or armor, that character can utilize and the weapons he/she can become proficient with.

Initially, a new PvE character has few if any skills, beginner armor and a starter weapon. These provide the lowest possible protection from, and cause the least amount of damage to enemies. This is to motivate the player to seek improvements and upgrades as soon as possible.

Advancement

Experience Bar.png

Character advancement is controlled by gaining experience. At predetermined amounts, total experience gained will equate to a level of mastery within the game. The maximum character level is 20. Beyond level 20, experience gained will only serve in obtaining additional skill points. As a character attains a new level he/she also gains additional attribute points that they can distribute and redistribute at will, as long as he/she is in a town or outpost. Experience is awarded for defeating a foe in combat or as a reward upon completion of a quest or mission. To advance faster, many Scrolls are available in game as a multiplier to experience gained.

During game play, Game Mechanics also allow for achievements as well. These are in the form of Titles that are tracked by a variety of point systems. From Faction points to Norn reputation points. While a character can hold more than one title, only one can be displayed at a time for prestige. A player is also able to display his/her status within the game by donning various profession specific elite armor. These armors are often either obscenely expensive, or very difficult to get - or both!

Occupational Diversity

While the character's initial, or primary, profession is permanent, very soon into the game the character will have the opportunity to choose a secondary profession. The character will then be able to complete several quests under each of the professions available in that campaign before finally having to choose one as a secondary profession. Later in the game, the character will be able to swap secondary professions with the help of profession trainers. With 10 professions available to begin with, there are 90 possible combinations of primary and secondary professions. Not 100, as Game Mechanics require your secondary to be different from your primary; ie: you can not be a Monk/Monk character. Many secondary professions supplement primary professions extremely well. There are may articles both within GWW and other fan sites that cover combinations in great detail. {insert links about combos here}

Travel

Game mechanics separate the world into three primary types of areas: Towns/Outposts, Explorable areas and Arenas.

Towns and Outposts exist continually until a new build of Guild Wars is made available and the servers have to be updated. As such, players may meet each other in this type of area. The player may leave and then come back to find many of the other players still there. There is a 100 player limit to the number of players a Town or Outpost can hold. Once the town is full a new copy of the town is created. Multiple copies of a town are called districts. During event weekends, there can be 180 or more full districts of the same town. Guild Halls operate much like a town or outpost, except they lack portals. If you are a member or have an invitation, you enter and exit a guild hall via the guild screen, or from The Battle Isles map.
Explorable areas operate differently than towns and outposts. Explorable areas are instanced, which means they are created for a single party, and exist only as long as the party remains in the area. No one else may join you there later. If you drop an item in an explorable area, you can not come back and get it later because returning to an explorable area forces the server to generate a new instance of the area. This allows the server to add or remove specific content, NPCs, MOBs, close gates, etc. based on the needs of an active quest or mission.
Arenas are handled much the same as explorable areas, except the methods used to populate the party differ for each type of arena. Also, several different game mechanics exists for arenas. The length of your stay in the arena can be limited by time, by kill count, or by team elimination.

Initially, the player must run from place to place. This will uncover detailed information about that location on the Map. Travel from any town or outpost to an explorable area is done simply by running through a portal. Once more than one town or outpost has been uncovered, the player may then map-Travel between towns to save time. When the player owns other campaigns or extensions, his/her character will be allowed to travel between the existing continents. Game travelling is done through ports. There is only one port in each campaign.

Fire in GW:EN

Game mechanics differ from one campaign to another. Weapon inscriptions and heroes only exist in Nightfall and in Eye of the North, but can be obtained by players from Prophecies and Factions by game travelling to those lands. Exploration of the three main continents also carry their own titles.

It is here also that a player may notice a difference in Game mechanics across the world of Guild Wars. While purely visual in nature, there are differences in the way the world works from one campaign to another. For example, fire animations are handled differently. The most visually appealing are in the Eye of the North expansion. Also, while standing near objects that obstruct the view of battle, sometimes the obstruction will "fade" away in one campaign, but not another.

Survival

As the player travels the world, he/she will eventually encounter wildlife. Some will be passive. These will be indicated by green rings under the creature when targeted. Light green rings indicate a creature that is not interactive, such as a Rabbit. Dark green rings indicate that the creature can be made hostile if it is attacked. There are numerous exceptions as to which interactive creatures can be charmed into Ranger pets. A few creatures can not even be targeted, such as the Cat. Foes, either an interactive creature that has been attacked, or an out right hostile creature, will have a red circle under it when targeted. Most foes will attack the character if he/she gets too close. This is called the aggression or aggro range. It is also called the danger zone. Some foes can see a lot further than others, so beware! Pressing the Alt key will display all nearby passive creatures, and NPCs. Pressing the Ctrl key will uncover all nearby foes. In this way, a player may select which foe or groups of foes, called mobs they wish to avoid, or engage. In the players interface is the compass ring. This should be checked often.

Combat

This is where the most game mechanics can be seen at work all at once. In Guild Wars, combat happens in real time, and is simultaneous for all characters, friend and foe alike. Combat is not time compressed, or turn based, as in other popular games. New players may find combat fast paced and hectic due to the vast varieties of attacks, defenses, enchantments, hexes and tactics available in combat.

  • Attacks can be made with a weapon, skill, spell, signet, and so on. Attacks can cause a wide range of damage to a specific foe, a small group of foes or a wide area. Attacks can cause their damage all at once, or spread out evenly over time. Some attacks can be set in advance with a time delay like a Ranger trap or a Dervish enchantment. Some attacks, can even be piggy backed on another predictable event, such as casting Death Nova on a bone minion to detonate when it dies. The player’s choice of profession, either primary or secondary, will set the scope of available attack methods. Some professions are geared towards close combat, such as Warriors and Dervish and are often referred to as front row fighters, while some, like Elementalists or Rangers can be highly effective further back. Some attacks are almost instantaneous, while other require a short delay of preparation time, to set or cast, where Interruption is a big concern. While most attacks are meant to deal damage to a foe, some are meant to deprive the foe of energy. This weakens his ability to attack and defend effectively.
  • Defense can not be overlooked in the heat of battle. Game mechanics provide that AI foes will often fight the closest character first. AI will also tend to attack weaker party members first, when all bunched together. Defending against attacks, takes several forms. You can passively resist damage from an attack by having the best possible armor for your character. A variety of skills exist that also temporarily boost the armor rating for combat damage calculations, as shouts often do. As attacks that cause health degeneration or steal energy usually ignore armor completely, the ability to heal during combat is also often necessary. One very important game mechanic is the ability to self heal over time through natural regeneration. However, this is suspended while still involved in combat. If you can not equip self healing skills, you can rely on characters of other professions for health and regeneration boosts, such as a monk. While Necromancers can often steal health from the living and have several very useful spells that collect health and energy from the dead.
  • Enchantments are additional benefits or bonuses that can be applied to oneself, or other party members. While hexes, curses, conditions all add negative effects to the enemy.
  • tactics is the process applied by the player, to take as much advantage from combat game mechanics as possible, and these have evolved to an art form all to itself. Because combat takes place along rules that can be observed and even predicted, a player can quickly learn when to flee, kite, block, and so on.

Resurrection

Game mechanics don't always work in the characters favor. Death almost always results in a death penalty reducing the characters health and energy by 15% (up to a max of 60%) each time they are resurrected either by another character or at a resurrection shrine. The environment can even cause health degeneration from poisonous pools or instant death from Sulfurous Haze or other Environment effects. Death penalty can be reduced or eliminated by gaining morale boosts (such as the use of blessings, defeating bosses, and completing certain mission objectives), using certain PvE-only consumables, or by gaining experience through normal combat, quest rewards, or capturing an elite skill. 1% of death penalty is removed for every 75 experience points earned.

Upgrades

Rune All Minor.png

Armor provides a specific initial level of protection. The higher the protection, the less damage the character will receive from most kinds of attack during combat. Regardless of the armor a character is wearing, there is a profession specific upper limit to the protection that it provides. To help the character survive both combat and the world at large, game mechanics provide additional benefits to armor, through runes and insignia that can be added by the player. Care should be taken in the selection of upgrades, as the effects of some items will stack and some will not.

Weapons can also contain upgrades. From health and energy to lengthening the duration of detrimental effects placed on the foe. Characters with single handed weapons such as swords, axes, wands and canes, can carry an object in the other hand, called the off hand. This object can be passive, like a shield or magically active such as an idol. Magical off hand items are also called focus items. Combinations are also possible, such as a shield with a health bonus. Two handed weapons such as a bow, scythe or a staff also often contain additional modifiers as that character can not use an off hand. Each profession has a specific variety of weapons and objects that will greatly improve the characters chance of survival. To keep the game balanced for all players, game mechanics may include a detrimental effect along with a bonus. Example: A sword may have +15% damage, but -5 to energy.

Changes to mechanics

Unlike individual skills, which may be nerfed or buffed for balance, overall game mechanics are usually very stable. Rarely the developers may change them, such as the January 19, 2007 update which removed Evade from the game and expanded Blocking in its place. Some mechanics may also be temporarily altered for a weekend event, or function differently in certain areas such as pre-searing Ascalon or during minigames.

See also

Category:Game mechanics

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