Fansite Friday/Hungarian Arena
Fansite: Guild Wars Hungarian Arena
Date: 17 June 2005
Question: Many players of all 3 worlds in the game find that access to the special levels of The Underworld and The Fissure of Woe should be distributed more equally. If a world is not as efficient in completing the requirements for 'unlocking' the special levels as the others, many players who would otherwise be ready to cooperate on the special levels get stuck outside of them. Do you plan to make a change in those areas?
Answer: Gaining access to The Underworld and The Fissure of Woe was specifically planned as a reward for successful competitive play. After all, PvP in Guild Wars is a competitive type of gaming, and there should be and need to be bonuses and rewards for those who do well. I am unsure what sort of proposal would be reasonable, really, when you consider the objective of giving meaningful recognition for success in competitive play.
There are some games where there isn't a victory standard. But realistically, becoming a good player in Guild Wars takes a certain investment in learning the skills, forming the teams, and creating the builds and strategies that ultimately lead to success. Is there sufficient incentive to take those steps, and to learn to do well, if there are no rewards?
If you know that by winning the tournament your name will be broadcast to the world, and you will achieve something good not just for yourself, not just for your guild, but for the entire "home team," that certainly seems a great incentive to aim for excellence. And if a particular team is not doing well or a certain territory or region is not gaining rewards at the same level, I believe that with greater strategizing, with more careful planning, and with better collaborative team play, victory can and will be achieved.
Having said all that, we will continue to keep an eye on the tournament. It is our intention to offer good, fair, and meaningful rewards for exceptional play. However, we don't intend that any region should find itself unable to access certain content. My Community Team members and I are in Guild Wars a lot, and we've noticed that there seem to be representative teams from all of the Guild Wars worlds accessing the special levels at some time or another. The Dev Team will certainly to monitor this, however, and will make adjustments if they prove necessary and advisable.
Question: The recent changes which were implemented to prevent exploitation by farming bots leave many players dissatisfied, and the question whether what type of farming is right or wrong has been present for some time. What do you plan to offer to those players who enjoy farming in part-time or on a regular basis?
Answer: We understand that for some players, farming is fun. If players farm in the normal manner, that is, work their way through an area and kill monsters, they will not trigger any sort of alarm in the bot detection programming. Even if they engage in relatively repetitive behavior, farmers will still be able to get drops and they will not raise the question of their account's or character's legitimacy. Now admittedly, there was a point last week where players were not getting any drops at all. But that was an error and it was adjusted in this week's update, so that players can find good areas and hunt them often, if they desire, in order to receive items and gold.
Ban parameters were set quite high and in this week's update they were raised even higher. I would warrant that it would be almost impossible for a human being to perform actions that would raise a bot alert. In other words, there are ways to determine if a character is a bot or a player, and it's highly unlikely that a human player is going to run into problems. This means that players are free to go about their business, even if it means farming.
However, it's fair to say that we do not actively encourage an excess of player farming. Some players insist that farming is the only possible way to achieve their objectives. I would say that farming may be a way, but it is not the only way. There will be future changes that will address our intention not to penalize farmer-type players, but instead to make playing through the game lucrative and rewarding so that farming is perceived as what it is meant to be, just one of many gameplay options.
Question: Lots of the community members miss being able to see specific data when it comes to deciding which skill, piece of armor or pet is more worth it. In future updates or expansions, do you plan on adding more game/item related information into gameplay?
Answer: I was just talking to the writer and editor of our Online Manual this afternoon. She is very eager to continue to expand the manual over the coming months. In fact, it's probably her Number 1 task. Now, I am not sure if we'll ever offer elaborate spreadsheets with numeric data on each monster, boss, item, skill, NPC and ambient creature in the game. Such spreadsheets sort of take the whole "mystery" out of the game. And in a roleplaying game, in particular, there is a value in world and gameplay discovery that is greater than a bunch of numbers on a spreadsheet. On the other hand, we don't want players to be so bound by what they do not know that it impacts in a negative way on their ability to enjoy the game. So we need to weigh disclosure, and find the point between "not enough" and "too much." We'll continue to monitor fan forums to learn more about what players want to know and, when possible and desirable, we'll make that happen.
Bonus Question: A lot of us who have been following the story line wonder if we Will see any unvisited parts of the world of Tyria, like The Kingdom of Orr, or the City of Arah in upcoming expansions?
Answer: Great question! That. I cannot answer. :( I don't want to put pressure on the writing team to reveal more than any of us should know at this point, so I'll hold off on asking that for a while yet.
Thanks a lot for the discussion!