Last week, ArenaNet rolled out the Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire episode which features a new type of Living World content for Guild Wars 2. In the new episode, players get to know Ryland Steelcatcher a little better through the eyes of a member of the infamous Steel Warband, and as Ryland himself. Living World Content Designer Chloë Mills talks about their design goals for the recently-released episode in a new dev blog.
“For this release, we wanted to focus on presenting Living World content a little differently,” says Mills. “[. . .] Stepping out of the commander’s shoes allows us to directly experience events that would otherwise occur off-screen. “This was especially important to us when it came to finally revealing the gaps in Almorra’s story—something that we have been eager to share with you for a very long time!”
Mills said that they also wanted to create content that packed-in as many in-game rewards at they could but with different acquisition methods. This gave players plenty of goals that they could work on over time. Replayability was also one of the factors that the developers took into consideration when they designed the new episode, as well as appealing to a broad range of players.
“Player choice was an important consideration when developing ‘Steel and Fire’,” explains Mills. “We wanted to create appeal for a variety of player types and skill levels. Since it’s story focused, the public mission needed to be inviting for those who seek that out, especially since completing it unlocks access to Ryland’s story instance. But we also wanted players who desire more challenging group content to be able to enjoy it as well, so we added increased difficulty options to tackle.”
“We applied this philosophy to the warband members’ events too, so that players can engage with the content in ways that they find fun,” she adds. “Players who enjoy exploring jumping puzzles can snipe with Vishen from a comfortable distance. Players who want to support their group in ways other than combat can collect ingredients for Nicabar’s tonics or throw scrap to repair the tank. Those who like trying new ways to play might enjoy raining down terror from inside the tank or shooting dwarven cannons. Players who just want to fight enemies traditionally can join Cinder’s kill competitions and defend the tank from incoming enemies.”
Mills also goes into detail about the risk vs. reward mechanics for tonics and how some of the scenes were designed and coded. You can check out the full dev blog on the Guild Wars 2 official site. You’ll also find the Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire trailer below just in case you need re-watch it.