The Scrying Pool is back, this time asking What if we had a First-Person View?
The Scrying Pool is a Guild Wars 2 column where I simply ask what if? Nothing is off the table as we dive into possible features and future content, looking at what currently exists in Guild Wars 2 before I answer my own what if question with how I think the feature and content should be implemented.
Earlier this week some fansites started to slowly trickle out their interviews from Gamescom. Some of the answers that the developers gave, such as no Super Adventure Box in the near future, sent the community into a fury. For this article, I wanted to pick out one of the topics metioned in GuildMag’s interview and ask:
What if Guild Wars 2 had a First-Person View?
This topic is something that has actually been on the Scrying Pool’s list of possible topics for a long time, as the community has been asking for this feature for even longer. Guild Wars 2 is a beautiful game, and sometimes you want to capture an amazing screenshot without your character photobombing the view.
That said, after reading some of the community’s comments about a first-person camera I am more inclined to side with the developers view on the subject.
Matt Wuerffel is an end-game designer who answered the question talking about how they like to play around with different camera views. With the designers in control of the camera, you get those awesome experiences where you run up to your first big boss fight and the camera slowly zooms out to give you a better look at the massive enemy in front of you. Even now, after almost two years, that zoom still makes world bosses feel incredibly epic.
Devon Carver, on the other hand, is a designer on the competitive team and immediately looked at how a first-person camera would affect combat, especially in PvP and World vs World. He talked about how in a first-person camera you would lose perspective on what is around you, making it difficult to understand what is happening during combat.
Devon’s comment has sparked some responses from the community saying that players are smart enough to be able to police themselves and that the players know better than to try to fight while in a first-person view. I agree that most of the community would indeed know that it is better not trying to fight like this.
I also know that Guild Wars 2 is constantly getting in new players that don’t know better. A couple weeks ago I witnessed a map chat of a player completely confused trying to figure out how to fight in first-person, because his first MMO had been The Elder Scrolls Online and he thought that all MMOs played with a first-person camera.
I would like to see a first-person camera implemented much like the Town Clothes system worked. Town Clothes were an alternate costume set that the player could wear, but not while in combat. The moment a player took damage from any source, the game would toggle the player’s outfit back to their original armor and weapon loadout.
The first-person camera could work the same way. You toggle into an actual mode that gives the first-person view, but if you take any damage it snaps you back to the default view. You can run around, jump, and cast swiftness granting skills all while in first-person mode, but will be taken out of it and won’t be able to enter the mode while in combat.
This setup would give players that just want the camera for things like screenshots to be able to get that screenshot, while also removing the ability for players to inadvertently switch to first-person while fighting.
To further support this, first-person wouldn’t be entered by continually zooming in with the mouse’s scroll wheel (preventing accidental first-personing) but by a hotkey that players could set up in the control options. The biggest worry I have with this setup is that snapping out of first-person whenever damage is taken could be a bit jarring and immersion breaking for new players. However, having the setting not be bound to any key until a player assigned one themselves would probably make them not realize it was an option until they get past those first cases of noobness. Town Clothes, for example, had a hotkey option to toggle in and out of the clothes, an option that I didn’t find out about until quite a while after it had been implemented.
A first-person camera falls into the category that if enough players want it then I think it should be seriously looked at for implementation, but just because we don’t have it now and ArenaNet isn’t talking about it doesn’t mean we will never have it. As Matt Wuerffel said, “[a first-person view] is not something that we would rule out.”
So let the developers know you want this and get the community together for awesome things like #OccupySAB2014, but remember to be civil. Tons of people yelling tends to only get attention to the tons of people that are yelling, not the point they are trying to say. Get your point across, be nice and remember, Devs are friends, not food.
Matt "Mattsta" Adams loves the Halloween season and can't wait to see a return of the Mad King and Bloody Prince.
I am sad that Super Adventure Box isn't coming back anytime soon. I really enjoyed it and it has already been too long. I do, however, like that it is something that comes and goes. It makes its inevitable return so much sweeter and it is awesome to look down the member list of my guild and see everyone's location is inside the box.
If you have a question for me or a topic you would like to see talked about here, leave a comment below. You can also tweet your question and topics to me on twitter @MattstaNinja.
Also, check out my new site Mattsta.Ninja where I will be putting up guides for Guild Wars 2 as well as some other stuff that I'm working on.