Today, Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee sat down on the Guild Wars 2 Twitch Channel to talk about RPG elements, storytelling, and the fantasy genre in general. This is a collection of the best bits of discussion and information to come out of this stream, and will be updated and added to as the stream progresses.
Aug. 6th. Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee Talk Fantasy, RPG, and Storytelling:
- Ree mentioned the fact that the original Guild Wars was left fairly open, which leaves a lot of room for them to develop the story of the Guild Wars universe. As such, this leaves a number of stories open for Guild Wars 2, boding well for the fans of the Mursaat. They’ve also clearly brought in the story of Glint in some way (see below).
- Discussion of the transformation of the Charr from enemies into a playable race. A discussion of the militaristic aspects of the race as well as some of the influences of the Charr race.
- They seemed to have talked quite a bit about the first entry on the Guild Wars Timeline. ” 10,000 BE: Last of the Giganticus Lupicus, the Great Giants, disappear from the Tyrian continent.” Could this be foreshadowing of some sort?
- Bring up the idea of the Fantasy stereotype of restoration; The world of Tyria is broken. We are not going back to a golden age, we are going to forge forward. This is a story of progressive movement.
-” Everyone is the hero of their own story.” A discussion of looking at the good of all the races, which is particularly interesting considering the place of the Charr as the former ‘bad guys’.
- Confirmed: The Asura will take over the world, eventually. ( Not really. This was a central idea behind the creation of the Asura as an aggressive, intellectual race)
- Ree brought up some of the subtle changes they have made to the standard fantasy archetypes. For example, the Sylvari are optimistic and nieve, which is very different from the standard archetypes of pessimistic and ancient Tolkien Elves.
- In the personal story, perspective is based on the race first and foremost. Stories flow out of the defining characteristics of a race, and are then are turned over to the player to develop on their own. People are going to see things differently, but racial archetypes create a framework upon which players can build their own story.
- “Fantasy can be reflective in nature” – Jeff Grubb Lots of discussion of the differences between fantasy and science fiction storytelling,.
- Ree mentions Steampunk. Millions rejoice. Also, She mentioned a ‘Charr tank mission’, and ’Magical Hamster Driven Machines’.
-” All roads lead to Orr” -Jeff Grubb. Great Quote.
The following is some of the points from the Question Period:
How will you ensure all stories feel epic while all personal stories are epic and unique?
There are up and downs to the personal story. Designed the personal stories from theend. The bottom of the pyramid is very wide but the top is fighting Zytan. You are there for very personal reasons but everyone sees the same very big epic cinematic.
Connecting players to characters, how do you effect that in game design?
Choices in the beginning even. Saving the orphanage or the hospital. That hasrepercussions from these choices. Game designed to have regret or worries. Storychains are built off of your choices in personal story questions that are hard.
How do you keep later arches on destiny’s edge keep personal when start of story is verypersonal?
Basically your mentor character from DE is there from the start. You are working with them and see what is wrong with their lives, their problems around level 30 you discover what this is. You move into taking command or being on equal footing at this point. The dungeons are helping you help these characters heal their wounds.
As you created the storyline did you find problems with the original lore in GW1? Such as the flame swords everyone had.
The two flame swords were unique. The other swords were just copies but the magic wasn’t as ancient or powerful. Talked about stumbling on a warehouse full of these but it was nixed.
You can find out what is happening in the game in GW2 without having to have playedGW1.
I’d like to know if the dragons have a hierarchy or ranks?
Jeff: Not per se
Ree(disagrees a bit): There are the Elder Dragons but they fight amongst themselves. The more intelligence or powerful will force the lesser to do what they want
Jeff: This(Dragon social structure) is all an impression from the other races perception of them. Each Elder has its own “element” and the Champions tend to reflect that
The fate of Glint’s baby is addressed, but not revealed. It was revealed that we would learn more about the situations surrounding Glint’s defection.
After Zaitan’s defeat will the area still be accessible?
You can still go in afterwards. The story will always be there for new players.
Jeff:“working”(sarcasm I think or a really iffy working) on putting his body in to view.