Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fixing NPC Sprawl... Imaginatively.

It's no secret to anyone who plays Guild Wars that the Henge of Denravi is the town with the largest distance between vital NPCs.  Heck, the point you spawn in at after completing the Aurora Glade mission is in the wilderness and you have to run for what seems like an hour before you find signs of civilization.  I usually map out and back in to get put near the NPCs, it's faster.

Perhaps the most glaring sprawl example, there are two collectors that are so far removed from everything else that I wouldn't be surprised if there's a player who's got the Tyrian Grandmaster Cartographer title and hasn't found them.  Also, storage is a mile away from the merchant and the traders.

They could fix this rather plainly by simply moving the NPCs to be closer together, or they could fix it a lot more imaginatively, as I'm about to explain.

They're putting more and more of Eye of the North stuff in Tyria with the War in Kryta event, so why not continue that?  Have some Asuran Teleportation Engineers with teleportation pads nearby each group of NPCs, and nearby where you spawn in from completing Aurora Glade.  You'd walk up to them and select between collectors, storage, traders, and so forth and be instantly teleported there.  They could also put in teleportation destinations at some of the more scenic parts, and the huge stage that used to host dance parties and concerts consisting of people using the /drums, /guitar, /flute, and /violin emotes on a regular basis back when Prophecies was the only campaign.

It's clear they've learned how to design towns better since then, and they've been doing things here and there to fix NPC sprawl where they can, such as adding storage near the entrance of Lion's Arch, but they've still failed to address the huge amount of sprawl in Tyria's biggest town.  I don't know how much effort they're putting into Guild Wars 1 with Guild Wars 2 on the way, but it'd be nice to see something done, and this would appeal to their "exert minimal effort to fix the issue" mentality that they've shown throughout the years.

Also it came to my attention while writing this that the words "teleport", "teleported", and "teleportation" are not in Firefox's spell-checking dictionary by default.  Really?

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