More than a blog post, more than a company
[Continued] Page 2
The blog posts aren’t simply about the game’s lore or expanding upon the game’s large world. It’s a place for ArenaNet to come and show their mistakes and willingness to learn from it. During the first beta weekend event, Guild Wars 2 suffered from large latency and server issues. While many were able to enjoy the weekend, the fact that the problems were prevalent didn’t go unnoticed. Before the second beta weekend launched ArenaNet wanted to make it clear to players that they were more than ready for the onslaught of gamers. In a blog post they told players that they had doubled their servers and even created a humorous image subtitled “We doubled our servers!!! Guild Wars 2 beta is go!” They want fans to know that they messed up but they’re not going to simply dwell on it. They’re going to correct it and even add a bit of humor to it. “Just laugh it all off and let’s move on,” seems to be the message.
Perhaps the most interesting set of blog posts are the ones that discuss mechanics, features, and systems in Guild Wars 2. One of the greatest feature in Guild Wars 2 is Personal Story. In order to tell a story like a single-player game, ArenaNet implemented this feature to show the background of the five races available in the game as well as using it to help players discover their role in the overall narrative of the game. It’s an ambitious idea to say the least. ArenaNet knows it and they want you to know it too. In their article “The Evolution of Narrative in Personal Story” they explain exactly how Persona Stories work and why they’re important. There are three diverging paths in the story and they help so that the game doesn’t feel repetitive when you play the same races over and over again. This means that each play through is interesting and makes it worthwhile. ArenaNet wants to make it clear why they’re approaching narratives in a certain fashion rather than just simply explaining the mechanics of the game.
Later on in the article it states that the writing team was trying to make the stories cohesive and how it was difficult to approach it a certain way. The way the blog outlines the tough times and their thought process really takes the reader into the actual development area for this game.To ArenaNet, gamers aren’t just gamers. They’re an audience that deserves to know what is going behind the scenes and how they are taken care of because the team behind the product cares about its product.
Guild Wars 2 is simply one example where ArenaNet tries to reach out to its fans. Blog posts are only one thing also. By using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media devices, ArenaNet tries to be a real down-to-earth company filled with staff members that truly care for its community. Sites like Guild Wars Guru and Internet faces like TotalBiscuit have caught the company’s eyes and are asked to spread word about the game. To be so open with its community is something rare, and to be even shown kindness at that is even rarer. Like I said, in a time where companies have become much more about money making, it’s nice to know that a company like ArenaNet doesn’t have finances as their sole goal on their agenda.