Platforming in an MMO? Hell yes! (Guild Wars 2, WoW)

One of the things I loved doing in World of Warcraft was exploring, especially exploring outside of the zones and into the areas that were not finished yet. Areas like Mount Hyjal, Old Ironforge or Caverns of Time, they were still there before they were open to players and getting in there meant you had to do some platforming and/or some exploits.

Here is a old video showing how to get into Mount Hyjal before it was open and before flying mounts:

I used to jump around a whole lot in WoW, bouncing around Orgrimmar when I was bored or scaling mountains that where designed to keep the player out.

When i later tried Guild Wars for the first time i realized how much I missed jumping, that game has no jumping of any description and there are tons of impenetrable invisible walls. That's one thing that really annoyed me about Guild Wars.

When the details of Guild Wars 2 arose and i heard that you could jump in that game I was instantly more interested, they had fixed some of their past mistakes.

But when tried the beta I they went a step further, they added platforming as a part of the exploring and the level design.

First of there are Vistas, floating spinning maps that you can activate for a short cinematic flyby of the area you are currently in. They are marked on the map, but to reach them you have to do a short jumping puzzle. There is currently 161 vistas in the game.

Here is a video of some vistas:

There is also longer jumping puzzles, with traps, dangerous obstacles and boss events at the end. More penalties if you screw up and more rewards finish it. I didn't have time to find any of them in the beta myself but the videos look damn fun.

Especially this one.

Here is another one:

Anyone know any other MMO’s that does this? Guild Wars 2 looks great in many ways, but this is a big thing i look forward to doing when Guild Wars 2 releases.

EDIT: Between me writing this post and actually posting it, Rock Paper Shotgun posted an article on this subject: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/27/arenanet-on-guild-wars-2-as-a-platformer/

14 Comments
15 Comments
Posted by Forcen

One of the things I loved doing in World of Warcraft was exploring, especially exploring outside of the zones and into the areas that were not finished yet. Areas like Mount Hyjal, Old Ironforge or Caverns of Time, they were still there before they were open to players and getting in there meant you had to do some platforming and/or some exploits.

Here is a old video showing how to get into Mount Hyjal before it was open and before flying mounts:

I used to jump around a whole lot in WoW, bouncing around Orgrimmar when I was bored or scaling mountains that where designed to keep the player out.

When i later tried Guild Wars for the first time i realized how much I missed jumping, that game has no jumping of any description and there are tons of impenetrable invisible walls. That's one thing that really annoyed me about Guild Wars.

When the details of Guild Wars 2 arose and i heard that you could jump in that game I was instantly more interested, they had fixed some of their past mistakes.

But when tried the beta I they went a step further, they added platforming as a part of the exploring and the level design.

First of there are Vistas, floating spinning maps that you can activate for a short cinematic flyby of the area you are currently in. They are marked on the map, but to reach them you have to do a short jumping puzzle. There is currently 161 vistas in the game.

Here is a video of some vistas:

There is also longer jumping puzzles, with traps, dangerous obstacles and boss events at the end. More penalties if you screw up and more rewards finish it. I didn't have time to find any of them in the beta myself but the videos look damn fun.

Especially this one.

Here is another one:

Anyone know any other MMO’s that does this? Guild Wars 2 looks great in many ways, but this is a big thing i look forward to doing when Guild Wars 2 releases.

EDIT: Between me writing this post and actually posting it, Rock Paper Shotgun posted an article on this subject: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/27/arenanet-on-guild-wars-2-as-a-platformer/

Posted by project343

Farking love them in GW2. I thought I was crazy for enjoying platforming in MMOs. I've seen Kevin VanOrd screaming in frustration at jumping puzzles--GW2 will get a 5/10 on Gamespot. Confirmed. Haha. :P

Edited by _Soki_

In Star Wars: The Old Republic there are these things called datacrons hidden on every planet, every now and again they required you to do a jumping puzzle to get to them.

I also love to just explore different areas of MMO's (even if the developers don't really want me to be able to) this is why the art in the environment is really important, if the landscape is bland and boring I lose interest in the MMO quicker. Good story and lore really helps too.

Posted by CommodoreGroovy

Oh man, that Goemm's Lab jumping puzzle is the worst. Many foul obscenities were had that day.

Also, Jumping Puzzles seem to have a love it or hate it consensus between people. Personally, I love them, but I can understand why people get frustrated over them.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

Its very much needed I believe, it adds depth and scale to the world.
That's one of the things I liked from WoW so much, the game had such varied and detailed zones with so much to see (and climb).
A lot of games usually just go for mostly flat terrain, a quest hub and have fun.

Posted by makari

People just need to suck it up and lern2mario.

Posted by Butano

I remember Asheron's Call having a few dungeons that basically depended on how high your jump skill was in order to continue through, as there would be high drops (read: not high level loot, I'm talking about height) you'd have to be able to survive. Jumping backwards into the pits somehow lessened the fall damage.

Posted by CornBREDX

I remember going into the caverns of time all the time before it was released. It was a really fun aside, when I felt like just exploring.

As for the jumping puzzle thing: Ya, they do similar in the old republic. I found it tedious as some took hours to complete by design.

Rift has world puzzles but I don't recall if any involve platforming, so that may have some. I don't remember.

Edited by selfconfessedcynic

@makari said:

People just need to suck it up and lern2mario.

NO. I REFUSE.

God I hate platforming in MMOs... sigh. Probably because I'm just so fucking bad at it - and am used to platforming with a gamepad.

Posted by Grimhild

@Butano said:

I remember Asheron's Call having a few dungeons that basically depended on how high your jump skill was in order to continue through, as there would be high drops (read: not high level loot, I'm talking about height) you'd have to be able to survive. Jumping backwards into the pits somehow lessened the fall damage.

I miss AC...

Also, what about the Olthoi rock east of.... damn one second... Qalaba'r, I think? If the archers had their jump high enough they could get on top of it and just plink away at Olthoi, except they had to climb down to loot, which was pretty entertaining to watch from afar sometimes.

Rift has a lot of exploration to it, too. Made me happy that they put that in.

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Posted by MikkaQ

My problem is that the platforming is so terribly implemented in terms of control and design compared to actual platformers that it adds almost nothing to the games. I've always found jumping in MMOs pointless, I've never played one where exploring or jumping around the big empty world actually benefited me somehow.

It's like when they have jumping puzzles in Zelda but no jump button. It just all feels so half-assed, why bother?

Posted by Butano

@Grimhild said:

@Butano said:

I remember Asheron's Call having a few dungeons that basically depended on how high your jump skill was in order to continue through, as there would be high drops (read: not high level loot, I'm talking about height) you'd have to be able to survive. Jumping backwards into the pits somehow lessened the fall damage.

I miss AC...

Also, what about the Olthoi rock east of.... damn one second... Qalaba'r, I think? If the archers had their jump high enough they could get on top of it and just plink away at Olthoi, except they had to climb down to loot, which was pretty entertaining to watch from afar sometimes.

Rift has a lot of exploration to it, too. Made me happy that they put that in.

The exploration part of AC was so good! I remember the first time I saw someone open a portal that was labeled ??? and I went through. Ended up taking me to the southern part of the Direlands and dying almost instantaneously. Luckily, one of my guild members had a recall over there and helped me recover my body, but man, being able to go to places where you shouldn't but it still allowed you to was one of the best experiences I had in MMOs. If only they would make AC 3.....

Posted by Turkalurch

I am absolutely on board with the jumping puzzles and vistas in Guild Wars 2.

During BWE3 I made sure I completed the Asura and Sylvari puzzles in their respective starting zones. Not many people bring this up about them, but they are perfect in length and difficulty in my opinion. They aren't too long or too short and the parts where you had to time your jumps seemed just hard enough to screw up the first or second time and have no or little trouble from there on out.

When you brought up the exploring Mount Hyjal and Old Ironforge, it reminded me of the hours I spent trying to get to the old airfield above Ironforge and finally making it to discover absolutely nothing was up there. Ah but the thought of knowing you accomplished that feat was good enough to keep on doing it. Good times.

Back to Guild Wars 2 though, I'm excited to see the more difficult zones later on in the game. If these two jumping puzzles are just the tip of the iceberg, I couldn't imagine what ArenaNet has up their sleeves for the higher tiered zones.

Posted by Forcen

@Turkalurch: I went there to with my horde char, I climbed up to the airfield, used the far sight into ironforge and used it to peek under the door and get inside to old Ironforge.

Looks like someone saw me though, I met a Nightelf Druid on the gate of Ironforge and danced with him there for a while before he killed me.

Ahh, memories...

Posted by MyNiceIceLife

i've always enjoyed a little platforming in my exploration of big worlds, and that goemm's lab platforming section does look pretty fun to try and do.