A lament I’ve often heard over the past few years from MMO vets of the early generation of titles is that people don’t talk to each other in game any more. They say that with a sorrowful tone, recounting days when MMOs had such slow, gradual gameplay that they were often a colorful overlay for a chat window. People talked more back then. They bonded more. Communities meant more. Now? Now it’s just a bunch of helter-skelter madmen running amok with no interest in any social connections.
Pardon me, but that’s a load of horse apples.
When I talked to a stranger in the open world in a conventional MMO, that was breaking the ice. When I talk to a stranger in Guild Wars 2, we have already communicated plenty through interacting gameplay. Further verbal communication just reinforces our prior non-verbal communication. A subtle difference that changes things in drastic ways.