Guild Wars 2: The Endgame Reimagined

16 Sep 2012

Guild Wars 2's designer Mike Zadorojny has penned a blog post on the concept of MMO's "endgame" and how the team has tried to integrate it into gameplay (and will keep trying to do that in the future).

Here's an excerpt:
For people who love structured and difficult content, we developed the explorable mode for our eight dungeons. A dungeon’s explorable mode has at least three different paths that players can choose to conquer—and each path is a five-character delve into tough content that we designed to push the limits of teamwork and communication.

For people who enjoy massive encounters where large numbers of players band together to take down epic monsters, we created our giant bosses, which are scattered throughout the world. These massive dynamic events usually come at the end of one of our meta-event chains, and they reward players with a challenging encounter and a loot chest for their accomplishments. You’ve already seen a few of these behemoths in our intro story, but later in the game, these giant bosses really come at you with gloves off.

But the concept of “endgame” isn’t restricted to a few specific encounters and monsters; we have multiple paths and a variety of different content for players of all kinds. For people who enjoy crafting, we added legendary weapons that use rare components gathered from multiple game types—they’re created using the Mystic Forge. The final reward at the end of this epic crafting path is a visual masterpiece: a weapon with a unique appearance and special effects that are sure to make you stand out in a crowd.

For explorers and completionists, we added the idea of “world completion,” which involves completing renown regions, Vistas, skill challenges, waypoints, and points of interest for each of the maps in Tyria. We keep each map interesting thanks to the level adjustment system, which removes the ability for higher-level characters to enter lower-level maps and trivialize the content. You’ll still be more powerful in lower-level zones because you have more traits, skills, and gear, but the level adjustment system will insure that the monsters give you a proper fight.

As players reach the max level of 80, the dynamic events become larger, the battles more spectacular, the circumstances more dire. Each of the high-level maps in the corrupted land of Orr contain battles on a grand scale against Zhaitan’s forces, an epic war with shifting fortunes and frontlines.
 
 

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