ArenaNet’s decision to eschew traditional MMORPG design values in Guild Wars 2 has made dungeon design tricker.
“Without the ‘holy trinity’ of tank, DPS, and healer in Guild Wars 2, we’ve definitely had an interesting time with dungeon design,” content designer William Fairfield wrote on the game’s blog.
“Traditional MMO boss fights consist of one character running up to get aggro, another character healing them, and the rest of the team just slamming their heads against the boss. Instead, we have players making conscious decisions in combat about where to stand, what role to play, when to roll out, etc.
“Overall, our dungeons have a more team-oriented feel to them. One person does not dictate the flow of a dungeon; the entire team contributes to the direction. This could mean making decisions as a team on which path to take or splitting up to fight two pieces of a boss at the same time.”
The rest of the developer diary discusses the actual production process of making a dungeon, which is worth a read for those curious on how games come together.