Sometimes, games are able to grab you immediately, and some of the time this is accomplished through the emotional connection you feel as a player to the characters and events in this virtual world. In ArenaNet’s most recent blog post, Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee talk about how they’ve tried to make Guild Wars 2 an emotionally involving game, and what choices they’ve made to make the story compelling to us as players.
For the two developers, this idea of an emotional connection has been woven into many different aspects of the game, but they both agree that it all starts with character creation.
Ree: I think one of the first things any game has to do is to encourage the player to connect with their avatar in the game. In order to get the player to invest in the game world and think of the NPCs as compelling characters, the player has to think their own character is interesting and worth spending time with.
Jeff: Yeah, it really does start with the player’s avatar, with their character in the game. You have to like yourself in order to like the greater world. And one of the challenges I see for creators in an MMO is that you want the character to be as accessible as possible to a variety of players, without making them bland and forgettable.
While they make it very clear that your character is meant to be a ‘good guy’ and not a villian (nor even an anti-hero), it will probably make a few people happy to see that we will in fact be facing difficult decisions as our characters progresses, bringing at least some moral grayness to the world of Tyria.
Ree: Now, in some cases, your hero can be faced with tough decisions, or decisions that have no perfect victory (a “Kobayashi Maru” scenario), but we never wanted to imply that the player character was a bad guy. That’s appropriate in other games, but ours is specifically a good vs. evil fight for the dominance of Tyria. We’re willing to promote different “shades” of goodness (asura vs. sylvari, for example), but we want our players to be on the good side of that fence.
Follow the link to the full article to learn a bit more about emotionally compelling content of Guild Wars 2.