Leif Chappelle of ArenaNet just posted an interesting blog talking about how the personal stories evolved during Guild Wars 2 development. There are also some handy snippets about other possible storyline events. Like this for example…
One good example of this occurred when we were planning one of the asura storylines. In this story, golems are the big thing: something has happened that implicates one of two genius golemancers. It’s up to you to investigate these two individuals and figure out which one of them could have been responsible. In our original plan for the story, the narrative was strong, but there just wasn’t much opportunity for interesting gameplay: you traveled to each asura’s lab, talked with them, and convinced them to give you information.
Now, the potential for fun dialog was pretty strong, and we could have just designed a lot of milk runs to gather information, but our goal with the personal story steps is to make each one a memorable gameplay experience, not just a collection of interesting cutscenes. As a team, we brainstormed: What would two genius golemancers have in common? Well, obviously, golems! Now, what would those golemancers do to show off in an appropriately asuran manner? Clearly, a golem throwdown! With both of the potential culprits in one spot, it would be far easier to talk with both of them without running all over the place, and it provided something interesting to do while playing the story.
With those new elements in mind, I went to figure out the details of what that experience would entail. The answer was pretty obvious: a golem fight is about to be held—a sort of underground off-the-radar type of thing—and these two geniuses are far too busy to talk with you. Prove yourself in the throwdown, however, and they might be a bit more cooperative.
Go ahead and give it a read to relieve that horrible Monday stress. There are also Asura screenshots with hover hammocks!