TAD Talk 2: Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb - "Fantasy and RPGs"

#1 Posted by TheHT (11250 posts) -

Earlier today ArenaNet streamed the second installment of their TAD talk series which has a couple of developers sit down for a short discussion and some Q&A.

In todays discussion, Jeff Grubb (Lore and Continuity Designer) and Ree Soesbee (Lore and Continuity Worldbuilder) talk a bit about the nature of fantasy storytelling and how story and various fantasy tropes fit into Guild Wars 2, before taking some questions about personal story, dungeon stories, Glint, and more.

In case you missed it, the thread for the first installment (Colin Johanson and Eric Flannum talk endgame and putting RPG back into MMORPG) is here, and the archived video is here (starts at 4m01s).

NOTE: The first 2m30s of TAD Talk 2 has audio issues; do not adjust your television set. The first installment also has audio issues at the beginning. Clearly they are in dire need of Vinny/Drew.

#2 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -

I'm really interested in hearing what Jeff and Ree have to say about their philosophies and how they affect the game, because I'm already heavily invested in the universe (for good or ill), but I think there may just be a colossal miscommunication between them and the writers. The ideas behind Guild Wars lore are oftentimes surprising and awesome, but the execution of the interactive parts rarely fulfills that promise.

It's why I almost find myself missing the huge blocks of text (in quest logs and Elder Scrolls-style in-game literature) from the original game. Some of those ideas are better absorbed through means that I can color and interpret myself, instead of through a sort-of bad VO job covering an attempt at casual dialog. I sincerely hope that the general quality of the story-telling finds its emotional grounding in the latter two-thirds of the personal story missions, because it's something that I was really hopeful for.

#3 Posted by shinboy630 (1139 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

I'm really interested in hearing what Jeff and Ree have to say about their philosophies and how they affect the game, because I'm already heavily invested in the universe (for good or ill), but I think there may just be a colossal miscommunication between them and the writers. The ideas behind Guild Wars lore are oftentimes surprising and awesome, but the execution of the interactive parts rarely fulfills that promise.

It's why I almost find myself missing the huge blocks of text (in quest logs and Elder Scrolls-style in-game literature) from the original game. Some of those ideas are better absorbed through means that I can color and interpret myself, instead of through a sort-of bad VO job covering an attempt at casual dialog. I sincerely hope that the general quality of the story-telling finds its emotional grounding in the latter two-thirds of the personal story missions, because it's something that I was really hopeful for.

Couldn't agree with this more. I am pretty heavily invested in the lore myself (as I think the most recent Lincolncast episode shows), but I did not really learn a lot of that in-game. Most of it came from user/fan videos and just straight up reading wiki pages. While GW lore is interesting, as are the stories in the games themselves, Anet really needs to work on telling those stories in a way that is both detailed and interesting.

#4 Posted by Turkalurch (198 posts) -

Having been an owner of Guild Wars since it's release, I never really read into the lore much. I guess I just wasn't into. Now with Guild Wars 2, being a sequel, the lore is a very important aspect of the game and I feel, in order to experience everything the game has to offer, I should probably start paying attention to the lore a lot more. So that said, this TAD is really interesting.

On a side not, does anyone know what A.R.E.N.A. on their shirts stand for? I didn't know it was an acronym.

#5 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -

@Turkalurch: Advanced Recon Eye of the North Assault. It's a callback to the April Fools' Day joke where they unveiled the commando profession.

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