[GW2] This is not the Ferrari you thought it was

Reaching the month mark is a pretty good time (as good as any, really) to start throwing down real solid opinions. Opinions that at least had have some time to stew and cook properly in the crock pot of your head. Keen has given his, and I find myself in agreement with most of his points.

Thanks to Netflix I’ve been watching a lot of old episodes of Top Gear lately (as an aside, if you haven’t already do yourself a favor and watch their yearly specials where they go all over the world for shenanigans. It’s great TV). Jeremy Clarkson is a huge Ferrari fan and when you watch his road tests you can, right under the humor and his snark, hear the disappointment in his voice whenever the Ferrari he’s driving doesn’t feel up to par. You can see the letdown in his face. It’s personal for him; if the Ferrari doesn’t feel right, he just can’t connect to the car, and it has nothing to do with the car’s top speed, gadgetry or, Cthulhu forbid, fuel economy. It has everything to do with his feelings and expectations of what driving a Ferrari should be.

Which, naturally, somehow, brings us to Guild Wars 2. Somehow.

I strategically inserted that break just to make you think I was building things up and introducing the post like that in order to pan the game. Well, I’m not gonna do it. Not gonna do it because Guild Wars 2 is a fantastic game in its own right. It’s gorgeous, it flows, there’s plenty of stuff to do and, surprise, it works. You should play it. No sub, buy once and play for a lifetime (well, the lifetime of the game anyway), is a sweet proposition in this day and age.

There is a problem with it. A rather large one, and I leave it up to you to find out how much it bothers you: It’s just not the Ferrari you thought it was.

For years now (literally, we have the archives right here at KTR to prove it) the hype machine whirred its gears incessantly and the noise it was making, once you sat down and listened to it properly, sounded like we were well underway for a revolution. A radically different way of doing things. An “out with old, in with the new” state of affairs; from this point on, if the thing succeeds, things will be done this way. Not that other way. We are rewriting the book.

Now, did it work? Honestly? I don’t think so. I don’t see the sweeping changes. Or rather, to be more precise, I see some attempts to change things but in the end it’s like when you wake up one morning, with absolutely nothing to do and you say to yourself “I’m gonna rearrange the furniture today“. And so you do. And the end result may look better, may look worse… that particular corner now works much better now that you put in  the bookcase and a comfy chair in it and removed the life-sized Han Solo in Carbonite. The couch now blocks part of the way to the kitchen, but it’s a matter of getting used to it, and so on. Yes, the whole thing looks and feels quite different. Congratulations. But at the end of day, you go to bed again and it creeps into your mind that this is the same old bed you woke in this morning (just feet East instead of feet North, I guess) and that you still live in the same house and you still own the exact same furniture you did this morning. Just… arranged differently. The radical changes are non existent, your attention misdirected by the appearance of what’s new differently arranged.

And that’s the feeling I get from GW2. Case in point, the dynamic event system (or the event thingamajig mechanics, however you wanna call it). Whats the premise here? With less or more words this was sold over the years as what made the world dynamic. No more quest givers with silly question marks hovering over their heads! Your actions matter! Fail these events and the world changes, now the town is overrun with Centaurs and…

Now, hold on a minute. The quest givers still exist, even if they are not visually wondering something to themselves the whole time as indicated by a question mark. They might run around, you might not get a window popping up with some boilerplate KTR text, they might do other things but come on now… Events are Public Quests, and pretty much period right there. We’ve seen this before. Actions matter? The world changes? I think one would have to be really pedantic on the definition “world changes” to agree that the success or failure of these events (at least the ones I’ve come across so far up to level 55ish) have any meaningful sort of consequence. Take the farm with the bandit event north of Claypool. You succeed, the bandits are gone. You fail, there are bandits in the farm. That’s basically the extent of the “world changes” that I’ve seen. When it boils down to it, some NPCs were there, now they’re not. For Finagle’s sake, at least have them burn the crops or something.

Basically the same end product whenever the Horde/Alliance went up to Goldshire/Crossroads and massacred a few NPCs. We’ve had this in late 2004. There are earlier examples too. (Incidentally, that is a very dear date to me, 2004, because it marks the launch of the last game I’ve seen which offer proper seating on chairs without having to resort to jumping, lining up just right or optical illusions. Eight year olds 2004, Dude.)

I don’t wanna digress, and I don’t wanna dwell on the negatives, just because there are so many positives. The world is beautiful, performance on my outdated rig is good, the character generator (while not nearly, nearly close to the industry standard CO or (RIP) CoX) is quite good, and there is a nice “just one more hour” feel to it that makes you wanna play it. WvWvW is good and I had fun in it despite me not being a PvP guy at all. But the biggest point to me is on the lines of what I described above. There is no revolution in the box. It does not feel like the Ferrari we were told were gonna get. Now I don’t wanna get into debating hype, we all know how it goes. Hype can say whatever it wants to say. That’s its job. And it’s our responsibility to bite on it or not. However, I do think that in exchange for that liberty to say whatever it wants to say, hype’s feet must be held to the fire every now and then when what we end up getting is the smaller engine, speed-limited, stiff suspension Ferrari instead of the one we were described.

I like that crafting gives XP, because at least there’s a reason to make those items which are naturally underpowered by the time you can use them, as usual. I like the trading post. I have no complaints with the cash shop. I like that there’s quite a few, not immediately evident QoL touches here and there which are very welcome. I love the environments, despite the world being just as fragmented by instancing as GW1 was. I love that there’s much more freedom overall.

Like Keen, if I had to qualify it, I’d give it a B. But that B also stands for Beauty, which it has tons of. It also stands for Base, from which it can build on to be even better, if Anet wishes it to be. And… I guess.. it also stands for… I don’t know. Balrog, of which there are none. *shrug*

Go play it.

55 thoughts on “[GW2] This is not the Ferrari you thought it was”

  1. I’d have to log back in to check for certain but I believe Vanguard, Rift and now EQ2 all have proper sitting in chairs. Vanguard for sure had proper lying down from launch because I used to log out every night after lying down on a bed.

    If you look in a good dictionary under “club bore” you will find the two-word definition “Jeremy Clarkson” so it may not be helpful to invoke his name. That said, you are spot on that GW2 is barely evolutionary and not in the least little bit revolutionary. This, however, was apparent from the first few minutes of the first beta weekend and I could link you to where I said so at the time, except that then I’d be in danger of turning into Jeremy Clarkson and no-one wants that.

    I like GW2. I’ll be playing it on and off for a long, long time. It probably does represent the state of the art as it stands. That said, it’s unlikely to work much better for people who are already tired of traditional MMOs than any other recent entry in the field. Even haters can’t fault it on value for money, though.

    1. Yeah, I knew exactly this back in May, and I wrote a blog post saying so.

      People’s personal hyped imaginations may have blown the game up into something in their minds that it really wasn’t, but it’s never been a ‘secret’ that the game is not trying to be anything other than a ‘better MMO’. It’s not a ‘Fantasy-themed completely different type of game than you’ve ever seen before’ like some people claimed.

      Personally, I love it for what it is. For folks who loved the imagined version, I guess the reality is a bit more disappointing.

    2. Rift might have had proper seating, I honestly can’t remember and I know I should. Never played the other two.

      Seeing ridiculous seating is something that irks me to no end.

    3. seconded. I never expected GW2 to be a revolution and I don’t get where the expectations came from in some areas. I like to think I followed ANet closely for most of the pre-launch activity and I always expected GW2 to be an evolution on certain aspects but still very true to many genre traditions. one must also bear in mind that GW was its own kind of game and while GW2 went for wide appeal, it is still reminiscent in some ways.

      it’s odd hearing some players feeling let down on the ferrari – all the while I actually suspect nobody could handle a TRUE revolution at all. nobody wants it and god forbid an MMO is ever going to deviate too much. there is complaining in either scenario, so really – GW2 is doing as good as it gets right now. as Chris said, if bloggers call it a 3-monther thats already high praise lol.

  2. I would say that Guild Wars 2 is a fantastic MMO without the clumsy parts included to extend playtime pushed on us by ‘monthly fee’-based models. Gone are the multitudes of frustrations I experienced in SW:ToR, SWG, E&B, etc. ranging from the trinity, long travel times, lower-level areas becoming irrelevant, competing with other players for resources/kills, grinding alone, etc. The simple fact that the standard formula has pervaded so many MMOs and has become the unbreakable norm makes GW2’s simple, rational changes revolutionary.

    In other MMOs I am almost always alone (until endgame) or rarely jealously competing with other players for kills and quest items. In GW2 I’m never too far from other players, we work together instead of trying to cut each other off, and (as KTR writers have noticed) there is always an engaging experience – particularly set by other players actions in the field. I don’t have to log in to grind in order to play and have fun – I can log in and let the winds take me on any of a multitude of fantastic adventures anywhere in Tyria. I don’t have to push through frustrating or boring content to have fun. I can log in over my lunch break for 15 minutes and have a blast on my level 2 character or my level 80 character.

    Guild Wars 2 is what MMO’s should always have been. It is certainly not perfect (personal story scenes in particular irritate me) and was indeed over-hyped, but I’d assert it is revolutionary in the specific definition of that word: It returns things to how they should have been, in the spirit of a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.

    1. If Guild Wars 2 is what MMOs should have always been, then I am very thankful that every other one I’ve played has done so much wrong.

  3. It has warts and anet is busy applying wart remover as fast as they can. The real question is: how deep do the problems go?

    No guild halls in guild wars? Fixable in the next expansion.

    No effective party grouping system? Yeesh, not so easy to fix.

    Balance and access /healthcare queuing? Fixable.

    No easy way to get to where your guild is doing a run / it costs a fortune to map to where your friends are that night? More of a problem, but see guild halls above.

    Using the same freaking attacks for 80+ levels… core mechanic, may not be fixable without massive revamp.

    Unintuitive, clunky GUI – probably stuck with it, maybe upgraded in expansion.

    No, not a Ferrari yet. A prototype which was NOT in actual development for 5.5 years. Give it 2 more and it will be something.

    1. “Using the same freaking attacks for 80+ levels… core mechanic, may not be fixable without massive revamp.”

      It’s not broken, so it won’t be ‘fixed’.

      1. I wonder, what MMO did people play that takes away attacks you start with so you can no longer use them at max level?

        1. Don’t play dumb (I hope you are!), the point’s obviously not taking away, but adding to it, like having two or three skills for a weapon skill slot to choose from. Of course that would make balancing the skills harder, but there’d be more variation for those who want it.

          1. Personally, the lack of skill bloat is one of the #1 things I’m happy with in this game.

            My “fixitfixitfixit!” list consists of

            1. bots

            2. the party grouping/instancing tech breaking down so you can’t get into the same instance as your group

            3. DEs and skillpoints breaking.

            And the last 2 could be fixed with daily server restarts as a band-aid.

            I don’t dungeon because I’m not interested in grinding anything just yet, but I know that’s broken right now, so it’s on the list of stuff that SHOULD be fixed, but isn’t bothering me right now.

            I’ve got a whole wishlist of stuff I can’t believe they didn’t do (sitting?? how do we have only ONE town clothes panel?? How are they not selling more town clothes panels?? How are we not able to slot armor cosmetically? GAH! even LOTRO did those things!!) but it’s all stuff they CAN do, and I think they probably WILL do.

            But the party and DE/SP stuff is gamebreaking to the normal gameplay – which is to run around the map, exploring and doing everything until you 100% it. Being unable to 100% a zone because of a bug is horrible.

    2. Guild housing and player housing will be added. Non-issue.
      Party grouping works so there is nothing to fix. Guesting is on the way. Non-issue.
      Some incomprehensible statement about queuing. No idea what you are trying to say here.
      It does not cost a fortune to map anywhere. At most 3 silver? Learn to make some money. Non-issue.
      Using the same attacks for 80 levels. What were you expecting? 80 different skills? Non-issue.
      Clunky GUI? This MMO has one of the most clean, easy to use GUI’s of any MMO without the need to use add-ons. Non-issue.
      Try harder next time Reggie.

      1. Party grouping DOESN’T always work. My partner and I are still getting the bug where we desynch from the server and can’t participate in instances together. We also can’t see our dots on the map if we get far apart, or see one another’s heart progress. Most recently on my server, the entire Gendarran Fields zone seems to be broken that way.

    3. Yep I agree with this. Since we’ve bought the game (well, I assume most of us here have) we can easily afford to let it go a year, six months, two years. Then we can come back, not pay a penny, and enjoy the actual polished version which has some sort of depth to it, some sort of balance to make crafting less behind the curve and overly expensive.

      If they just adjusted minimum levels for crafted items down by five or ten, then you’d be able to craft items that exceed quest rewards. And then crafting would start to be worth the money sink (or the time sink, if you’re actually going to grind) that rare mats are.

      But, yeah, I’ve already bid pretty much adieu to GW2 for a while. Will I be back? Sure, I’ve paid for it already.

  4. GW2 ticks a couple of important points for me:

    – I can log in and immediately have fun. Nothing happening in my area? Insta-travel to where the action is.
    – The combat is fun. Directional, dodge-based combat, non-target based. Granted this has been done before in MMO’s but I’ve personally only played one other MMO – Darkfall – with a similar system.
    – The game encourages cooperation with no grouping required.
    – There is no real gear grind to access major parts of the game.

    So hype or not the game hits all my major pleasure points.

      1. You don’t have to target something for most skills, skills are either PBAoE, ground targeted, melee attacks swing in whatever direction the character is facing and can hit multiple targets, holding the right key you can aim a projectile in the direction the camera is pointing, even auto-targeting will pick a new target whenever you face a different direction (using tab target or clicking a mob negates this feature, ‘promote skill target’ also disables it). It’s a nice hybrid system.

  5. In many ways GW2 is the bride of Frankenstein. Its a hodge-podge of features and concepts from other games sewn together and shocked into life. Each implemented piece on its own is beautiful but when combined together its not always graceful or seamless even though it is functional.

  6. The most innovative aspect of GW2 isn’t the dynamic event system, it’s the level scaling and and ability to earn XP from mobs other players have already tagged. These two things combine to create a social MMO that’s been missing for a while. Personally I’m getting tired of seeing the term “revolutionary” everywhere, but I do think these two concepts set GW2 apart from the rest of the crowd.

    1. Yep revolutionary/evolutionary do get overused, but both of those features will likely get adopted by other MMOs going forward. Lotro is introducing an open tapping system, Rift has it in many areas, and I expect both to fully implement it in the future. Rift has a mentoring system, will they make it automatic in the future? Rift is already testing the removal of stats progression in PvP.

      One feature that Rift has with their loot system that it accumulates planar loot, now Lotro has gone further with a more sophisticated ‘area-loot’ system for all loot, but arenanet are slightly behind the curve on that score. The fact that they influence each other and bring about changes and iteration like this is the reality and not getting caught up in the hype of ‘revolutionary’.

  7. I see all your points, but at the risk of stating the obvious, -we- didn’t come right out of the gates saying it was gonna be revolutionary. Anet did.

    If you’re gonna be on that message for years, you better be sure that when you deliver, you deliver. I’m just not seeing what I was told I would see. Which of course isn’t to say that all the rest there is to see isn’t pretty or good.

    1. “I’m just not seeing what I was told I would see.”

      I’m utterly perplexed by this statement, because I’m seeing *exactly* what I was told that I would see. What I’m *not* seeing is what the community hyped itself up *above that*.

      Dynamic events work exactly the way that ArenaNet said that they would. They were in fact quite open and honest about it not permanently changing the world, about it going back-and-forth, about it doing little more than changing what mobs were around, some NPC vendors not being available, etc. The game has exactly that.

      I see that a lot. A game is in development. The developers talk excitedly about in what way their game is different from other games. The community gets all hyped up. Game releases. Community is faced with the reality that the game is not what they were expected and cries about how it’s “not revolutionary”. Leaving me on the sidelines scratching my head because the game is exactly what the developers said it would be. Most recent example before GW2: SWTOR. Before that, Rift. Etc.

      But while the game might not reach your own self-inflated expectations, I *do* believe that the game is revolutionary. Not directly in its dynamic events, but in how easy and natural it is to play with others, how it is truly cooperative where every MMO before is really much more competitive, locking the cooperative play behind various hoops to jump through.

      In that way I *do* believe that this will be how it’s done from now on (though the first batch of MMOs, currently already deep in development, will probably still follow the old way; MMOs take a *long* time to develop). I expect that five years from now, if people aren’t saying how every MMO is just a GW2-clone, that they’ll at least take a lot of inspiration from GW2. And in that way it’s revolutionary.

      You might disagree, and I don’t begrudge you your right to be disappointed, but don’t mistake your own unrealistically increased expectations with what was actually said and promised. Instead, point to something that they actually said that the game doesn’t live up to.

        1. So you believed that? “I swung a sword again” has become a big internal community joke, considering you need to swing your sword to unlock new sword skills :D

          It all depends on your gaming background and what you got hyped about. I am a quite active member of one of the biggest german GW fanforums that has been around since GW1 beta. There, people got quite hyped by the manifesto, but most of it puffed into thin air very quickly. It’s obvious PR. What we got hyped about, was what we saw of the world and the combat, the trinity dissolving and the game not punishing helping others. And many other things of course.

          We were hyped like hell, but not about the manifesto itself. Internal polls point about 75-80 percent of that community that went with the hype, actually think it delivered what they expected/wanted.

          1. I’m utterly perplexed by this statement, because I’m seeing *exactly* what I was told that I would see. What I’m *not* seeing is what the community hyped itself up *above that*.

            GW2 fans really need to get their stories straight.

            Was it Anet hype that you all knew was BS, or was it community hype that was BS on top of the Anet hype BS?

  8. I do not disagree: this is not what we were promised.

    And yet … when Star Trek Online was in development, we were told about infinite procedurally-generated exploration missions for star clusters. That never made it in (not really, there are like a half-dozen randomized missions but nowhere near the extent of what we were promised), and the focus went to the mission-creator instead. Somehow, I’m nowhere near as upset at GW2’s lack as I was at STO’s.

    It bothers me a little that I’m not angrier. Maybe it’s just that GW2 has more content and more enjoyable content than STO so I get distracted before I can work up a good lather about how many promises are missing.

    There was the article where one of the ANet guys was talking about early testing and how the branching opportunities created player strife: some people would show up to events to watch them fail or frustrate the attempts of other players, just because they wanted to see the event that would occur after the failure. Still, if the goal changed, the message should have changed to go with it.

  9. Sorry but I couldn’t be more satisfied. It fixed virtually everything *wrong* with MMOs. It did that.

    Folks point out that like… the water in this game is still wet as if “they” promised it wouldn’t be… huh?

    1. I’m loving every moment in GW2. I’ve been following the game for years and I think they have pretty much produced what I expected.

      Any sensible person takes at least 25% off the value of ‘hype’, but to get to 85-90% of what I hoped for is a lot higher than what most games end up achieving.

      After a month I still can’t wait to get home from work and log in to play.

  10. For me GW2 was a wake up call.

    It reminded me why I began to love mmo’s, showed/confirmed what was wrong with the titles (the ones I played) before this, and re-kindled my love for PvE.

    Granted I am not 80 yet, and I possibly did not play as diverse titles as you, but at least for now I plan to play this for a long time. Even if I take breaks, I will make sure to come back from time to time to check new things.

    As for something revolutianary; well nothing much there, if I have to pick one I’d say lack of trinity. Even then if you think about it; it is not a real lack of trinity at all. They just re-identified the roles or maybe focused on roles more than classes.

    With WoW I was solid set in holy trinity. With Rift I started to think about how to fill in different roles on the same class and started adjusting my playstyle/role as area/group/event requires it. And with GW2 I continued to do this on the fly.

  11. For me:

    evolutionary MMO – better, see Rift

    revolutionary MMO – changes the genre, see World of Warcraft

    Given how long MMOs are in development it might take a bit to see how revolutionary Guild Wars 2 is.

    For me personally though, I have found it hard to go back to other MMOs. That’s the best and nearly all the evidence I have for my own opinion. I think I will have a better understanding though when I finally need a [small] break from GW2.

    1. I would say the revolutionary part is not individual events, but the event chains. But in the current state of the game, the quantity to make it really work is not there yet. They may have over a thousand events, but for a game of this scale, to get the full effect of how event chains influence the world and create persistant changes, there need to be even more, and there need to be more branches, to avoid getting locked into an end-state.
      Twice as much, three times as much, enough so there is really no map where an event just cycles by itself within a few minutes.
      They may or may not get there in time.

    2. Nobody has time these days. 8 years ago players were busy learning Azeroth, not talking about ‘3-monthers’. we’ve come such a long way since then.

      Sure, love/hate a game based on more artificial aspects (looks, feel, playstyle) – but already dismissing an MMO on more complex aspects like community or narrative, or features typically still set for much re-balancing and patching (like combat or endgame), one week or month into a FRESH release….unbelievable.
      one might think the community really doesn’t need any more MMOs to be happy – judging by the quick way new, big titles are dismissed in areas no older MMO was ever built in a day. the sad part is that we probably won’t see many more attempts like GW2’s either. I hope I’m wrong though.

        1. It really DOESN’T need more MMOs. That’s the problem. I think the gamer population has been jaded by the wave of MMOs that have been released over the last few years. The days when we committed monogamously to our MMO and loved it, warts and all, are gone.

          WoW opened up the MMO player population, which was good in a lot of ways, but which also led to waves of entitled brats demanding that the game cater to them in all ways or they’d leave and pee all over the internet about how badly the game sucked.

          We’re seeing that now. A game barely 2 months old and people (not necessarily here, but a lot of people) are already writing it off as a failure. It’s sad.

  12. Quote: For years now (literally, we have the archives right here at KTR to prove it) the hype machine whirred its gears incessantly and the noise it was making, once you sat down and listened to it properly, sounded like we were well underway for a revolution. A radically different way of doing things. An “out with old, in with the new” state of affairs; from this point on, if the thing succeeds, things will be done this way. Not that other way. We are rewriting the book.

    Now, did it work? Honestly? I don’t think so. I don’t see the sweeping changes.

    This is true for anyone that was happy with the genre. People who had fun playing WoW or any other MMO and still have fun in GW2 can’t call it a revolution. It’s just another MMO that is fun and in that way the rearranging of furniture is a good example.

    I come from another background. I played some MMO’s, but after a month I found every single one to be a bad game. At the beginning I am having lots of fun, getting enthrilled with the living worlds, but after reaching about half the level cap my issues with their design philosophies stop me from having fun and make everything feel like work. This includes walking to places, slow leveling, kill stealing, requirement of groups for the interesting content, lack of a real story, gear treadmills and many other stuff that just makes me feel like I have to play 10 hours to get anything at all done, playing for the sense of achievement and not for pure fun.

    I did play GW1 for 100 of hours though, since non of those issues are present there. But it has no open world and in that sense, is no MMO but a simple “multiplayer RPG”. Many of the internal design are very similar to MMO’s though and the way they were developed made me crave for “real” MMO’s that I actually couldn’t stand to play for a longer period of time. GW2 was supposed to blend this into one game. A true MMO, with none of the, in my opinion, stupid and idiotic design decisions that always pushed me away. This is why I got hyped about it and it has pretty much delivered what was promised to me, as a GW1 player that wanted to play an MMO, but hated all MMO’s out there.

    So has it delivered? That only depends on your gaming background, what you were hyped for and what you made of the hype. While I personally am still finding some small instances of MMO design that are annoying me, of which I thought they wouldn’t be there, a lot of other things have absolutely exceeded my expectations (I had no idea how beautiful a game could be, I actually love the personal story which I thought I’d hate and am having lots of fun in WvW although I am no fan of PvP). All in all, I have no regrets about hyping this game. On the other hand, I always knew why I was hyping it. Because I thought it would cure the MMO genre of what I hated. If you didn’t hate it, there was nothing to cure and therefor no revolution.

  13. The funnier thing about all this discussion is that at 2004 WoW too was “evolutionary” and not “revolutionary”. Today players say WoW was a revolution (maybe because it had 12 million players and no one discuss with success?), but what new feature WoW implemented at 2004?

    The problem with evolution is that sometimes natural selection will create a fish with legs… and we (humans, mammals, all tetrapodes) are here because that things evolved.

    1. WoW was EQ with less grind and better quests, and from the beginning people said that. What WoW did was mainstream MMORPGs, which was it’s great achievement, not ‘revolutionizing genre conventions’.

  14. I respect your opinions, and I agree with some of them. However, this is extremely poorly-written and painful to read.

  15. From my experience up to recently reaching level 80, event´s have a great impact on the game world in the last 2 zones of the game, the level 75-80 and 80 zones. Waypoints will be conquered by enemy forces if events are failed, players can conquer them back, entire parts of the map can and will be taken over by the Risen or Pact forces depending on events and hearts are non existent througout the zones.

    I think the concept they used with the 2 endgame zones should have been used since the start, they are much more dynamic than the remainder of the game, in fact the journey up to 80 and Orr was boring and traditional mmo play for the most part, with hearts the obvious quest givers and events having little to no lasting impact.

    I hope Arenanet learns from their mistakes and uses the PVE game design from Orr as a basis for content in further expansions.

    1. The reason they put hearts ingame was because in testing many folks were running past events and had no idea what to do without there being focus points or giant icons over NPCs to tell them what to do.

      The playerbase’s conditioning over the past 10+ years of MMORPGs is what neutered ANet’s design concepts and made them tone things back to more familiar, smaller-scale patterns. In a way, I think it was a good move, as long as they continue on with the more advanced type of events from the 70-80 zones as they expand the game.

  16. Not all items you make with tradeskills are underpowered. They are roughly equivalent to similar rarity items at the same level, especially armor and weaponsmithing.

    Please stop spreading lies.

  17. It amused me to no end that Guild Wars 2 is already suffering from internet backlash for not being innovative enough, despite the fact that from a moderate-casual gamer perspective like my own its really damned innovative.

    Unfortunately the people who rush to finish are the ones who tend to burn out and feel dissatisfied the fastest. I’ll let you know if I’m still feeling the innovation in a few months. Maybe its because I can only log on and play for a couple hours a week, on average, but things like timing cycles on events are not even remotely noticeable to me right now. And I haven’t even begun crafting. Meanwhile, of course, there seem to be people who’ve sunk so many hours into the game in four weeks that I wonder if they are even employed, all bitching about how the game doesn’t live up to expectations. Hmmm.

  18. I want to like GW 2. Somedays I do. But there’s this nagging fear that GW 2 will be like many other MMOs–fun only for the first month.

    Here’s what I don’t like:

    1) Combat can be very repetitive. Same attacks for 80 levels.

    2) Dying by being one-shot. I’m not standing in circles. People say to dodge, but you can only dodge–what once every 10 seconds or so ? What do you do for the other time? This is even happens on my 80 warrior after I traited her in defense. I thought getting “endure pain” at 25% health I’d get a moment at 25% health where I’d get invulnerability, enough to throw in heal in that 100%-death instant deathspin. Nope. Even a defense traited warrior dies in the Orr zergfest.

    And why is Ascalonian Catacombs the earliest dungeon also the hardest ? Why not give people dungeons they can reasonably succeed and learn at their first time through and then ramp up the difficulty. I don’t even want to try to do a new dungeon with a PUG.

    3) Having to kite. I have alts but if I ever have to do another Claw Island, I’ll rip my eyes out. There’s a ton of mobs, it just takes forever. I find the personal stories often either easy or ridiculously difficult. I am sick of Trahearne.

    4) The trait lines for professions are all over the place. Warriors have it pretty good. Thief has some good traits and good utility slots. Guardian traits are weak. There is no synergy. Ranger I look at and there’s nothing that really grabs me. The spirit build was OverPowered but then they nerf it to make it unusable. I’ve tried traps, but haven’t been impressed (really a 2 second cripple? On a cripple trap??).

    5) There is no endgame for level 80s. People say WvWvW or crafting, but that’s not endgame. You could do that while you’re leveling. I’m looking for interesting content. For level 80s. If I want to go back and experience a new starter zone, I could start an alt. Any MMO has that. I’d like level 80 dungeons (where I’m rewarded appropriately). Orr is ridiculously bad. The Dynamic Events in Orr are a zerg. I’m rewarded for seems like a 10 minute event with 1.5 silver and maybe a couple blue items. One item of level 80 gear is around 5 gold. Karma armor vendors the price of level 80 stuff is ridiculous too.

    I hate running through Orr on my personal story– Risen-infested zone with their annoying green jawing chomping my arse.

    1. I love GW2. Already have 150+ hours invested into it. See myself investing thousands of more and loving every minute of it.

      1) It’s meant to be simpler so the combat is more action oriented instead of standing still and looking at your cooldowns to utilize your skills for maximum DPS. Watch the game not your skillbars.

      2) Again watch the game. The game is meant to be watched not the skill bars. You can SEE big attacks from monsters. Dodge the big attacks. I’m a defense oriented Guardian and survive just fine in the undead infested Orr zone.

      Ascalonian Catacombs is pretty tough for the first dungeon. Try some others some are pretty easy.

      3) Kiting is a part of the game. You have to move so monsters have to travel to try and get to you and thus you’ll deaggro the monster giving you time to recuperate. I can’t count how many times I’ve done this. By all means I love jumping in and taking ALL the damage but once my virtues, shouts, and heals are on cooldown I HAVE to backup or die. It’s easier to just wait for my heal than have someone, in the middle of battle, try to revive me.

      I’d agree that some stories are stupidly easy and some are hard. I wish I had a buddy or two for each story mission just cause they’re more fun with people. Especially for the tough ones like Claw Island.

      4) Guardian traits are weak? I sure as hell feel pretty damn strong. I’ve specced into virtues and the toughness trait. Between the two I’m usually able to take on 5 undead monsters in Orr by myself without going down. I feel pretty awesome taking on veterans in that area by myself. Feel like a bona fide badass when I aggro one or two mobs with the veteran and still come out on top. I unfortunately haven’t explored other professions yet so I can’t comment on that.

      5) I’ve been getting closer to 100% at level 80. I find joy in it because I still make money, find items to sell/salvage, and continue to a very achievable, definable goal. I also look forward to running dungeons for gear (I read that ArenaNet has plans to increase dungeon rewards so you can get 180 tokens a day in three runs). Eventually I’ll get into WvW and see what I can do there.

      As for doing your story, it’s not too tough. Run away from melees as they get close (cause they will unless you use swiftness) dodge so you evade their attack. If they’re ranged wait like 3-4 seconds for their attack then roll and keep on your merry way. I found increased difficulty running through mobs but it wasn’t impossible and only made my drive stronger to finish what I wanted to finish.

      In the end we’re entitled to our opinions and mine is that GW2 lived up to the hype and then some. I have had more fun playing this game than any other game ever the more I think about it. I disagree whole-heartedly with the article and find that without the revolutionary mechanics GW2 has I would be terribly bored with the old MMO formula.

    2. 1) Agreed, I’d also like to have more weapon skills to choose from.

      2) I’ve rarely been one-shotted, and never from something less than a champion. Dodging only critical attacks is the key, as well as using endurance-generating skills and boons, dodge-including skills, and snares like chill or cripple. Orr is the enemy stronghold, the center of the corruption, so happily roflstomping through the trashmobs would be stupid. I also don’t like Orr, because I dislike the theme (even if it is well executed), but the difficulty is appropriate. A lot of the difficulty level depends on the player having a) the skill and b) being well equipped with stuff not to far under the own level.

      And the lovers aside, the Catacombs are not that hard at all. And the lovers are only hard if they once again refuse to get split up by any means.

      3) It’s a battle, for gods sake, it should not be over in 3 mins. I rarely had to kite, neither when (spoiler!) losing Claw Island, nor when taking it back. Watch where your foes and allies are, position yourself so you don’t draw the attention of all the red stuff on the map. Finish them in bundles of 2 or 3 max. if you’re not surrounded by allies. The warrior right now is a very strong class, so you could even survive more. Oh, and pretty much noone likes Trahearne.

      4) You obiously have no idea of the power Guardian traits hold. Experiment a bit more with them, they’re worth it. The Ranger has very useful traits as well. Sure, every class has several traits that are next to useless, but I do hope that after a bit of time, they’ll get changed and balanced. Spike Trap is obviously bugged as you should have noticed, since the tool tip says that it is supposed to pulse three times, while right now, it only triggers once. So it would add up to 6s cripple and 9 stacks of bleeding if all pulses hit, totally acceptable for a 25s recharge skill. Wait for a fix before you judge bugged skills.

      5) They said before even entering beta that there would be no endgame, but that you would be doing the same stuff as before. This is to prevent what happened in a lot of other games: people just rushing to 80 as fast as they can, ignoring the rest of the beautiful world just doing what gives them most XP, to get to the “real game” (read: grinding gear in most cases. Sure, there is a lot of gear grind for 80s as well right now, which I hate, but the game itself does not change, nor should it.).

      The event rewards themselves are not that high at all, even in Orr, but you’re ignoring that during the event, you get a ton of loot in most cases, adding to the financial output of the event. In some events, especially wave and timed defense events, I sometimes drown in loot so much that I don’t even have enough inventory space to pick up everything I looted.

    1. There’s also the very real possibility that the game just isn’t something that floats your boat. The stuff that ANet did differently about their MMO formula which has wowed some folks apparently fell flat for you, and that’s ok. No game can appeal to everyone.

      Personally, as someone who can no longer stand playing games like Rift and WoW, GW2 is -different enough- in ways that just happen to hit my ‘like’ buttons, and that’s good enough for me.

      1. That’s just the thing, Pai. I never said it didn’t float my boat. I think it’s brilliant. I’m having fun with it.

        I’m just saying this is not what we were told we were gonna get.

        1. Blindly believing in marketing statements like the manifesto was absolutely naive on the part of the consumer, read you and any other “believer”.

          These believers behave and argue as if they’ve never seen modern marketing before. Do you blindly believe every ad you see on your TV, read in your newspaper or hear on your radio? Surely not, else you shouldn’t be let roam freely. But you do believe blindly in the advertisement (and advertising is a huge part of any information release regarding an upcoming game) made by a game company? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

          Pretty much anyone who kept their head on their shoulders and used the stuff between their ears had a very good idea of what he could expect. Everyone else might now try to argue how they were betrayed by marketing statements prior to release, but that makes them more of a laughing stock than anything else.

  19. I wasn’t expecting a Ferrari, so I wasn’t disappointed when all that was in the box was an excellent MMORPG. I got exactly what I wanted.

    Even if GW2 didn’t deliver a revolution, I think it did a lot to push the MMO industry in the right direction and I expect it’ll be used as a benchmark for future MMOs. It raised the bar in terms of quality we can expect from our games, and to me that is more than enough.

  20. I’ve loved playing GW2 from the very first beta weekend. It rekindled my interest in MMO’s. This was well before the “manifesto”. I don’t need a slick marketing video to tell me I am going to like the game.

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