MMORPGs aren’t always about partying up and going on epic raids with friends. Sometimes you just want to tackle the baddies solo and, to that end, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is introducing a brand new “Adventures” mode, built to be fast-paced challenges for single players.

Announced by Byron Miller over on the Guild Wars 2 blog, it sounds like Adventures are being targeted directly at players who want to get a little more competitive in their MMO of choice without having to team up with other players. You’ll apparently be racing against the clock to accomplish objectives in this new mode, complete with leaderboards to see how you stack up against other players.

Miller explained that the creation of Adventures began with the development team taking a look at certain areas of the game, including skill challenges and jumping puzzles, and trying to figure out a way to improve the.

“We felt that these types of content lacked replay value, had limited ties to the game world and its story, and didn’t do enough to encourage social interaction,” Miller said. “Our open-world event structure didn’t make it clear which activities were available to participate in when events weren’t running, which frequently left our world in a state where there were either active events to do or seemingly nothing to do.”

For a genre built on the idea of keeping players coming back for more, that certainly sounds like a legitimate concern. According to Miller, the team created Adventures to help fill in those gaps, offering tasks that could be completed easily, but would require practice, strategy and skill to master.

One example Miller gave of this type of new challenge is the newly crafted Shooting Gallery Adventure in Verdant Brink. Players will have a limited amount of time to shoot a bunch of targets, but moving around and blasting away isn’t the best way to success. More dummies pop up the better you do, and there’s a pattern to the way they’re introduced to the field. You’ll be able to pick up more ammo off the ground, or NPCs will hand you some as a reward for accuracy. There are also speed-boosting mushrooms peppered throughout, which might affect the way you want to move through the course.

In other words, you’ll be able to finish this shooting gallery by simply lining up your crosshairs with targets, but folks who want to climb the leaderboards will need to juggle multiple variables at once and rely on planning and trial and error to craft a solid run.

There are quite a few MMOs to choose from these days, ranging from PC and Mac exclusives like Guild Wars 2 and WoW, as well as console offerings like DC Universe Online or Final Fantasy XIV. There’s also a wide mix of for-pay and free-to-play offerings. With so many games to choose from, it’s nice to see Guild Wars 2 doing something to distinguish itself from the pack, as well as make design decisions based on improving the experience for players.

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