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WoW, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy 14 raid design lessons

WoW, Guild Wars 2, Final Fantasy 14 raid design lessons

Since its founding in the late 90’s, MMORPGs have proven to be one of the most lasting combinations of social games, and their influence is felt across a wide range of genres. No one knows online, so from crushing levels alone to grouping with random gags to tackle more difficult challenges, MMOs have always leveraged a sense of community sharing to overcome the slump in life. It was. Perform the same quest many times to reach the next gate.

In the age of EverquestThe assault lure – highly challenging content aimed at people approaching the pinnacle of progress, usually requires a large number of teammates to complete – allows players to walk through endless stairs in seemingly endless dungeons. Get the quest that was one of the major carrots that developers depend on to keep rising spirally.

Now, after 20 years of tinkering, the concept of “raid” has embraced a wide variety of gameplay styles, and developers have relied on technology to accelerate their spectacle, but the basics remain pretty much the same. is.

“Raid-style content is one of the many tools developers can use to remind them of endgames,” said Jason Reynolds, senior designer. Guild Wars 2 Studio ArenaNet says. “One of the essential functions of [raids] Fostering socialization and friendship is doubly important for the MMO genre. Completing particularly difficult encounters by being the first companion on thousands of servers is notorious, proof of skill for the game’s most rewarding concepts, and often the end result is solid. It will be a friendly bond. That’s all about MMO. “

EverQuest was the first 3D game to incorporate raids, devised in a text-based multi-user dungeon in the early 90’s, but it’s definitely a groundbreaking MMO. World of Warcraft It first popularized the mode with its 40 incarnations. According to game director Ion Hazzikostas Great early raid Undoubtedly, it was inspired by EverQuest, especially the deep scale that 72 simultaneous players brought to the experience. The entire sub-community, intended as the pinnacle of enthusiast achievement, began to sprout around the raid experience, and the raid guild consisted of some of the game’s most passionate players.

“At that time, there was certainly a perception that raids were a unique vehicle in the MMO genre,” says Hazzikostas. “This is one of the most powerful social experiences you can experience in online games. You’ve been doing the same thing over and over again for decades, keeping the same group of people for years. It’s a sense of cooperation. Guild raids have long been the mainstay of WoW and all other MMOs, and the time spent fighting together to discuss strategies and other things is a real friendship. When I see something like it was forming BlizzCon, You see people traveling around the country to meet their guildmates in person, and that’s proof of the power of the raid format. “

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In Hazzikostas’ view, the format has evolved over the years, but there are some elements that make up a typical raid. Many players point to large-scale multi-phase boss battles as the backbone of a memorable raid, but Hajikostas takes a more detailed stance. That you are not so much necessary This format most checks all hungry design boxes to have a large single target that shifts attack patterns or throws “additional” waves when you release the chip at the HP bar. It’s one of the easy ways. playerbase is expecting.

In a broader sense, he says, a good awesome raid needs to approach the “Holy Trinity” of the MMO player role. A tank that absorbs the damage of the boss. Healer to erase it; damage the dealer against the boss. Each of WoW’s 12 classes has its own subdomains, such as crowd control and range of influence damage, but in most cases each falls into one of those roles and challenging equally The key to a good raid.

Hazzikostas emphasizes that a consistent sense of challenge is absolutely essential to raid design and is probably even more important than traditional single-player games. In his experience, increasing the number of players in a multiplayer PvE encounter reduces the willingness to tolerate a surge in difficulty, especially if the surge in difficulty applies to a particular class. That said, the WoW team aims to specially tailor encounters to showcase the skills of a particular group and spotlight each roll in turn.

“The worst thing you can do in a raid situation is to corrupt it for one role and make it very complicated for another,” he says. “It’s very frustrating if they’re just angry with their friends, because they’ve completely challenged a tank that’s mastering something very complex and complex, while everyone else has already mastered it. You may do. That sense of balance is absolutely necessary.

“We can’t offer something unique to all of these disciplines at every encounter, but we can offer it across the raid zone. It’s the moment your talent is in the limelight. Yes, you contribute to the success of the group in a special way, but in the next boss battle, you will be in the backseat and someone will shine. “

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“Raids have evolved significantly over the last two decades, but there is a consistent formula,” says Crystal Reed, lead designer at ArenaNet. “At the core, if your content is rewarding, requires group coordination, and rewards your skills, you can categorize it into the“ Surprise ”category of your content. During that time, the size of the raid has decreased significantly, from over 100 players to six. What it looks like in every game may vary slightly depending on your game needs. “

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Designers need to worry about disrupting their sense of challenge within the raid group, but they also need to accommodate varying degrees of player skill. Over the last decade, many MMOs have introduced difficulty settings for raids. With this, the game is a highly skilled guild competing to defeat the first enemy in the world, and Hajikostas says, “Friday night beer is crowded.”

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It’s a problem FINAL FANTASY XIV Director Naoki Yoshida, who has been active since the renewal as the popular Realm Reborn, is familiar with it. His team has recently been working on a series of challenging raids known as “Ultimates.” It aims to replace the existing “savage” raid as the most difficult content in the game. He emphasizes that Ultimate raid is intended to move away from FFXIV’s core progression, but Yoshida says they are a response to the needs of a larger player base.

Dragon Game Guild Wars 2

“The increase in player skills has been amazing, and thus the dramatic gap has widened, so when doing raids we try to minimize that gap by adjusting the job action and the entire battle system. “He says. “I think the good or bad of a raid is not the difficulty, but whether the gimmicks and mechanics are fully convinced by the player. The way they solve the raid is compelling and the player accepts the logic behind it. If you can, they will keep trying it, even if it’s difficult. “

Over time, the technology behind these MMOs has increased with raw horsepower, allowing considerable complexity and creativity in raid encounters, and Yoshida does not want to compare past raids with current raids. Saying he doesn’t feel it’s fair to the design team.

For Hazzikostas, the most dramatic changes take place in the Boss Arena, allowing for deeper levels of environmental interaction. He cites the battle of siege attacker Black Hughes in the siege attack as a particularly prominent example. Here, the player raids a factory floor filled with conveyor belts that spit out magical mechanics. That is, the group must divide itself to deal with heterogeneous threats. “I don’t think the original WoW team could have thought of making such a thing work,” he says. “From that perspective, we have come a long way in 15 years.”

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Still, perhaps the most radical change in raid space over the last few years has been the change in player numbers. In most cases, MMO dumps the past 40 megagroups and instead groups up to 6 people (Destiny 2) Or the number of 8 (FFXIV). WoW also gives you some flexibility and allows you to extend many of your new raids to groups of up to 10. It can be argued that the raid reduces the known epic scale, but the designers themselves see it as a move towards more sustainable activities. In Guild Wars 2, for example, adding a few years of raids to the life of the game caused some problems, Reid said.

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“The core players of the game spent most of their time in a five-player environment. [in-game content like] Dungeons and fractals, and we wanted to make sure that the raid experience was uniquely different in larger group sizes, “she says. “It worked, but it had the drawback that if you wanted to raid, players would suddenly have to add five players to the core fractal group. For some, barriers to entry were created. It was an additional challenge for the player. “

“Let’s [raids] Hazzikostas goes into more detail on the feeling that this is the best content and the player most often sees in-game assembly for real purposes. “It scales with your engine according to what makes sense in your mechanics. In a shooter, six players can feel like a raid. It depends on the situation.”

The continued popularity of live games means that this style of endgame content is likely to spread further throughout the culture, but for many, MMO remains the home of the raid. And these designers are for everyone when it comes to the idea of ​​enthusiasts who continue to take on the challenge of crunching and grinding time to reach the next goal post-after many, many team wipes. I admit that it’s not always necessary, but Yoshida says it best. “It’s like asking a mountaineer,” Why do you climb a mountain? ” There are raids waiting to be conquered, so they challenge! That’s why I do it! “