A living, breathing, dynamic world. ArenaNet has continually used this statement to describe the world of Guild Wars 2, marketing hype? Sure but it’s far from wrong, the world of Tyria is really a living, breathing dynamic world. I’m constantly amazed by the little details of this world and thoroughly enjoying the fun little conversations and life ArenaNet has weaved into this dynamic world. This brings me to the point of this article, just as often as I’m amazed by Tyria and I’m shocked to see players complaining the world is lifeless and boring, that ArenaNet failed to deliver and it was all marketing smoke. Everyone has different tastes and haters gonna hate sure but it’s deeper than that, it appears most of these players complaining have completely missed this wonderful aspect of the game.

Dynamic Events, things happen for a reason!

A lot of this life is played out through Dynamic Events. For example at this Bar type setting the Chef/Owner, a real hard nosed guy… doesn’t take no for answer is complaining he’s run out of eggs. He calls over his assistant and tells her to fetch him more eggs… but these aren’t just any eggs, this place is famous for serving Griffin eggs! The assistant complains about how dangerous this task is but agree to do it. This kicks off a Dynamic Event to help her collect eggs… basically make sure she’s not eaten. So if you were at the bar as this was playing out you could choose to go along… or not. Well what if you weren’t at the bar, you could come across her mid-journey getting mauled by Griffins… again your choice to help her or not, what if you miss her but you end up at the Bar? That works too talk to the mean old boss and he’ll show a soft side saying something like “I sent my assistant out for Griffin eggs, she’s been gone for a while, would you mind checking on her?” OK so what happens if you help her get the eggs? Once she gets the Eggs the Dynamic Event ends and she makes her way back to the bar.

So now you have two choices, follow her back or just venture off. Most of the time it seems people just venture off as the game makes no indication that you can follow her back and that it might lead to something more. Lets say you follow her back, once you get back to the bar she delivers the eggs to her boss, who thanks her and proclaims Griffin Meat for everyone! As far as I can tell this Event doesn’t go any further and 10-20 minutes later the boss man will be out of meat again but other events can branch 2-3-4-5 times before completion but if you don’t take the time to follow the NPC you might never see this.

Another example is I came across a Charr by a City gate that is collecting ghosts using an experimental tool, it’s a fun little Event and once completed if you follow the Charr he’ll walk to another town and deposit them into a Vault… he’ll then venture off and become a merchant for a short time. Stick around the town for a few minutes and one of the guards will mention that Charr (sorry don’t remember his name) mentioned that Vault could draw attention, stay on your toes… few minutes later the town is under siege by the flame legion and you must protect the Vault. Defeat these guys and one of the commanders in the town being Charr and all will proclaim he wants revenge for this attack, which kicks off another dynamic event to raid one of the flame legions bases.

The point of these example is to show everything is happening for a reason, for example on one map it seems every 5 minutes this Giant takes over this town… I’m not sure why but I guarantee if you can trace it back it’s not as simple as Giant spawns in town every 5 minutes… something happens to trigger the attack. This is the beauty of Guild Wars 2. Now what if any of them events failed? What if we failed to protect the city and the vault was destroyed.. I’m not sure as that didn’t happen but it’s possible it can happen.

NPCs move, chat, do things!

So far I’ve talked just about Dynamic Events… well what else? Hang out in a town once, the Major towns are obviously filled with more but little towns can also provide small conversations and interesting little events that help bring the world to life. NPCs generally move around, they chat with each other and sometimes they actually do things! For example in the Charr home city Black Citadel I was chilling planning out my next move and I hear voices… it was three Charr children and I think a Teacher… she was teaching them things about the Charr, asking them questions… intrigued by some of the hilarious answers I moved closer to watch.. but then she shouted Move out! and they took off, chasing after them I followed them around the city as she pointed things out to the children, the dialogue was a mix of witty banter and some actual backstory… and the journey ended with the children going into the school house. It was a small touch that is very easily missed but a touch that helps bring life to the characters that populate the world.

That was but one example of the little details in this world and it’s so easy to miss them, it’s so easy to just get caught in a sea of progression marching through the game with blinders on… if that’s how you want to play hey that’s fine but if you are interested in the little things try to get them blinders off every now and then.

So here I leave you with this, Stop and smell the roses! Tyria is a world in motion, charge on and the world will pass you bye but slow down, enjoy it, take some time to just walk around absorb the surroundings… you won’t always find something but it can be worth it and don’t forget! Dynamic Events aren’t always over when they are over!


  1. I mentioned some of this in my review of the game because it’s such a big deal — Guild Wars 2 is environmental and I mean that to the extent that it has an atmosphere of things happening, stuff going on, it feels like a living world from top to bottom.

    (I’m just adding to what Aaddron says here.)

    Almost a fractal environmental effect: cities have NPCs who walk around and chat, dynamic events trigger nearby and people rush past fighting off centaurs, beating down the big-bad in the swamp, heroes shout and rally troops as they race across the countryside. The major human city feels like a real living place, even in the areas sparse of players because there’s NPCs walking around, chattering, buying things, and otherwise making a strange nuisance of themselves.

    There’s an ambiance to this game that rises up from the personal detail level, through the cultural effect of the different races and locations, and even hits the gameplay mechanics. This is a game of discovery and exploration — it’s about finding things — when is the last time you listened to the two asura kids get into a “Yo Momma” joke duel — and it’s hilarious by the way.

    “Yo momma’s so dumb she thinks that a golemancer is what you get from a golem-question.”

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