Fansite Friday/Knights Templar
Fansite: Knights Templar
Date: 15 October 2004
Question: The prospect of joining a game using Observer Mode to watch and learn from other teams in combat is very appealing. Will this be a static mode of observation or will your camera follow a character (i.e. death cam)? With voice communication being used by many guilds, are there any developer concerns of this being exploited?
Answer: We agree that there is a lot of fun and learning to be gained from having Observer Mode in the game. And in Guild Wars, you won’t be constrained by a stationary camera giving a single perspective of the game. When you are in Observer Mode, you will be able to choose any combatant and click on him or her in order to get that person’s personal view of the battle. Even when there are multiple teams in a particular battle, the interface design will give you full freedom to select any player through whom you can observe the combat.
As for voice communication, there could definitely be a potential for cheating via Observer Mode. When you match Observer Mode with voice chat or with in-game whispers, a non-combatant can communicate significant information to those in the battle. Such info could definitely swing the tides of battle; it would be like having the Good Year Blimp over the battleground, with a radio announcer calling the play-by-play. We’re going to take all necessary steps to prevent any sort of Observer Mode exploit. One such step is putting the observer on a time delay, so that any relayed information is out of date. Other measures may be put in place as well, to be sure to keep the Guild Wars and its tournament play cheat free and fair for everyone.
Question: Guild Wars currently provides for PvP action in the gladiatorial arena, tournament, and guild vs. guild matches. Are there any thoughts on creating more PvP combat scenarios? With an emphasis on PvP, will there be any mission-based adventures, outside of arenas, placing players against each other in each side competing for their team's objectives?
Answer: The team is definitely bringing in a variety of PvP types. Right now we have several, such as king of the hill, capture the flag, and annihilation. We're putting a lot of work into making sure each type of PvP has a story and an effect on the world. While the locations are still Guild Battle, Hall of Heroes, and the arenas, there are several different categories or types of combat in each of those areas. Each battle fits into the larger story and current events of the world. Missions are a different category of gameplay than PvP, and they are not used for tournament-like competition. However, guilds certainly could create and issue informal challenges, such as speed of mission completion, most monsters killed, successful completion of all side quests, best items obtained, etc.
Question: We have seen the outstanding images and graphics Guild Wars has to offer, but what will we hear in the game? The epic composition of Jeremy Soule at the log-on screen is familiar to us now, but considering the important contribution to game immersion will there be more environmental sounds including voice-overs for NPCs?
Answer: First of all, I love the music that Jeremy Soule created for Guild Wars, too. I’ve heard the opening piece a hundred times, but I never tire of it. Good game music is like that, isn’t it? All of Tyria is filled with ambient sounds, too. You can almost hear someone singing, “The hills are alive with the sounds of… crickets?” Well, anyway, there are natural sounds like splashing water, rain, and wind, and then living sounds like birds and bugs, the lonely howl of a wolf, and the voices of many other creatures.
As for voice-overs: Guild Wars has professionally-recorded voice acting for a full range of combat sounds – battle cries, death wails, etc. – which accompany the clanking of armour, the thrumming of arrows and the casting of spells. But I don’t believe that Guild Wars will have in-game verbal storytelling. Frankly, I’m glad about that. I like immersive gaming, and feel that it’s quite easy to skip over written text when it appears, and to ignore the story we’ve already read a dozen times. But spoken words are less easy to ignore, and can be a bit disrupting. Honestly, if I heard one more time about “a soul in search of answers,” I was going to start praying for town kill. ;-)
Bonus Question: Since a primary focus of Guild Wars is PvP, will there be features such as PvP stat screen after a battle listing information such as numbers of kills, deaths, possession time of the map objective, relics captured, etc.? While the most important statistic is of course who won the match, some PvP teams use this information to gauge overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Answer: Yes, there will be a statistics screen at the end of PvP missions when Guild Wars ships. This feature will not be present in the World Preview Event, but you will see it in the final game. Details will follow, but hey, that’s why this is a bonus answer. :-)
Thanks, Knights Templar, for your continued excellent support of Guild Wars, and for hosting this week’s Fansite Friday interview.