Guild Wars 2: Let There Be Light

The week of in-depth articles has begun with the Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto.  It’s so hard not to shake your head.  The game sounds too good.  It sounds like there are too many things I have thought about for “my MMO.”  Like partying without partying (Public Quests 2.0) or player synergy:

And like the original GW, in GW2 the creativity doesn’t end with your own character. When you play with others, you’ll find that your abilities can complement theirs, and that you can discover new skill combos and strategies between professions. So if you’re playing an Elementalist, try casting a fire wall, and then see what happens when your friends shoot projectiles through it.

The systems sound great, with the first specific article on the combat systems by Eric Flannum (whose coming was foretold with the great Sacrifice). It is not all donuts and jelly. There is one thing that bothers this ol’ MMO player. “Each time you play through the game, you can experience a different storyline.” So not only are they going toe-to-toe with the storytelling masters BioWare, but they too might be making a storytelling system where players can miss things. I truly hope that they make it closer to Guild Wars Nightfall where players could decide a few paths, but could always go back and pick up the actual benefits from the path not taken. I am going to be sad if they make the story system where it’s better to read ahead and figure out which rewards (i.e., path) I want ahead of time.

I don’t want to end on a bad note though because the whole article sounds great. Environmental weapons (throwing boulders back at Elementals), dynamic world, and the basic design philosophy of a game which is not about “preparing to have fun” sound like a bunch of ingredients I want in an MMO. It’s going to be an exciting next few months, and I hope they don’t slow down the pace until launch.

the unreal is more powerful than the real

6 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Let There Be Light”

  1. Too Good To Be True.

    I’ll run a “Guild Wars 2” banner here for a whole year if they can pull it off.

  2. I’m hoping the combat is more FPS-ish (Oblivion, DarkFall) than tab+hotbar-mash. Sounds like it might be from that article. I also wonder how heavy the focus will be on PvP, and if it will be more than just a RvR-styled world bash. Looking forward to more.

  3. Lots of that sounds wonderful. Possibly too wonderful.

    On the other hand, some of it sounds offputting. This is the main paragraph I didn’t appreciate:

    “But if you hate traditional MMORPGs, then you should really check out Guild Wars 2. Because, like Guild Wars before it, GW2 doesn’t fall into the traps of traditional MMORPGs. It doesn’t suck your life away and force you onto a grinding treadmill; it doesn’t make you spend hours preparing to have fun rather than just having fun”

    But I DON’T hate traditional MMORPGs – I really, really like them. So do millions of players all round the world. I like grinding and don’t consider it a “treadmill” (for that matter I don’t call it “grinding” either – I call it “goofing about having fun”). And I don’t consider the hours I spend preparing (presumably that means “building your character”) something that isn’t fun.

    That said, I’m not really put off becasue I take most of it to be hype. There’s nothing in the whole manifesto that hasn’t been promised in other games, mostly promised and not fulfilled. I am very much looking forward to GW2 and I will be amazed if it isn’t “just” a very slick big-budget MMO with gorgeous graphics.

    One thing I do wonder about the supposed “dynamic events” like the burning village is, if I just stand and watch, will it all start over again in 15 minutes time? And if not, what will happen? Nothing? Another event on a rolling cycle of events? How “dynamic” can a world actually be if it has to be avaialable 24/7/365 for an unlimited number of players?

    Lots of questions. No real answers until we get to at least Open Beta, I guess.

    1. Bhagpuss;
      The idea behind ‘events’ is that, if per example, a village is burning down and you don’t do anything,… Other events will take notice of it, and act accordingly. If a town of Humans is burnt down into nothing, a Centaur tribe might charge in and build a new home on top of the village. If they grow large enough, they might then start branching out towards other villagers.

      At least, that was the general idea. Events acting upon events.

  4. Yeah I’m really interested in just how moral choices will be implemented, similar to bioware or what?

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