[GW2] Year One

My biggest fear when Guild Wars 2 was launching was not that it would flop. It is a different  MMO beast. ArenaNet has a clear vision of what kind of MMO they want it to be, and it is not much like World of Warcraft and its ilk. It is also a success. Over 3.5 million units have been sold, and that is not divulging their cash shop info, which they hint is very sustaining. (An expansion hitting retail or a Steam release would easily be on the cards if it wasn’t.)

No, my biggest fear was my own. What would become of my blogging? For months and months it had been about speculation and excitement. It had been about dreams and not reality. What would happen when that reality came? What kind of payment would I have for the piper? I was actually worried that some golden age was dimming with the release of Guild Wars 2.

Clearly, I had nothing to worry about.

The game is alive and still growing in sales and concurrency. I still enjoy the game immensely, and having a pseudo-launch excitement every 2-weeks gets very addictive. More importantly, I still want to write about the game. That’s a degree of passion much greater than simply logging in to see the new stuff.

I am also grateful to have alongside two trailworthy bloggers that are also heavily playing Guild Wars 2: Bhagpuss and Jeromai. I love their styles, and their insight, passions, and criticisms for Guild Wars 2 and any MMO are always worth the read. I would definitely agree that they create an upward spiral of sorts. 

The best part of the year was getting Mrs. Ravious involved. She and I play Guild Wars 2 together many nights a week, and it’s so nice to have a companion in the game. I’ve never been one to heavily get involved in guilds preferring to leave my participation to guild events instead of more personal situations. I think I’ve missed out a bit in my past MMO lives not having a buddy.

A friend of mine, ironic as it is, has the MMO term “waterfall”. He applied it long ago to Turbine updating Lord of the Rings Online, and his analogy was that the contents rained down like an endless stream of water. In his mind it didn’t matter as much the quality of the water, it was more important that it kept coming. I say “ironic as it is” because he can’t keep up with Guild Wars 2 (“too many games”) and compared to Lord of the Rings Online, the amount of Guild Wars 2 updates is a gorram world-ending tsunami.

Savvy readers (KTR readers are savvy readers all) will note that I have not brought up this content or that content, and there’s a big reason. Content is disposable. More prominently in Guild Wars 2, but in most MMOs, content is not meant to be a permanent fixture for the player. Do the quest, move on. Get up that raid progression, do another one. The important thing is the excitement of playing.

After a whole year, I am still excited to play Guild Wars 2. I am still excited to see what of ArenaNet’s and the players’ dreams may come. I am excited to be on an alt tonight taking down some bandit’s camp with another player I’ve never met and might never see again. And maybe tomorrow, I’ll write about it.



10 thoughts on “[GW2] Year One”

  1. “Content is disposable. More prominently in Guild Wars 2, but in most MMOs, content is not meant to be a permanent fixture for the player. Do the quest, move on. Get up that raid progression, do another one. The important thing is the excitement of playing.”

    Hear, hear! And on that front GW2 is doing very well. Unfortunately, MMO players (gamers in general) don’t seem to know what they want; you can tell because when they get something they ask for they complain about it. ArenaNet have done a pretty good job compromising with the different demands of their playerbase so far, but I hope that they continue to stick to their original ‘vision’ in the coming years.

    1. I don’t entirely agree… I think much of the angst about GW2’s patterns have more to do with the “2 steps forward 1 step back” effect in their designs, where outstanding ideas are brought to life for the first time with some very painful flaws included.

  2. My GW2 experience (both in the first beta and the full release) over the past year has been very enjoyable. I have not played it continuously (been busy with WoT Clan Wars and EVE Online) but it is a very easy game to jump back into and have fun immediately.

    I’ve stopped trying to keep up with the content updates hence I have missed a lot of the special content releases. I’ve also stopped trying to chase daily and monthly achievements as this was cramping my enjoyment of the game. So GW2 for me is more about world exploration and the WvW content. I’ve barely touched the dungeons and can count on one hand the amount of times I have completed any dungeons in the game. Maybe once ArenaNet adds a proper WoW-style LFD/dungeon finder system I might be tempted but the current system is simply too much trouble to bother with.

    My one big gripe is I wish ArenaNet would make an effort to develop a player housing system for the game. It is one of my favourite features in other MMO’s that support player housing.

  3. Hmmm, I was one of those sales. But I never played the game, I looked at it created a character tried to do the stuff I like, found I could not and logged out and never came back.

    I am glad it has found a market niche and is continuing to perform for its players and the Developer but those numbers are overstated. Lots of folks purchased the product and have since moved on.

  4. I pre-ordered GW2 and played it from release. I am playing it now (it is the only MMO I have logged into for a while now).

    I haven’t been playing it regularly for that entire year, but I have played it a lot.

    And the most significant thing I can say is: I’m enjoying it more now than at any previous time. It was a good game at launch and it has gotten better and better since.

  5. I like that they’ve confirmed in the one year post that it’ll be a fractal about the Thaumanova Reactor _Explosion_. Excitement levels rising.

  6. I expected that GW2 would be an MMO I’d play for years, but I didn’t imagine that journey would begin with one year straight. I’d estimate over 85% of my MMO gametime this last year has been spent in Tyria.

    The groove ANet finally seem to be hitting probably means I’ll be able to cycle back some, play GW2 intensively for a few days at the start of each two-weekly cycle then pull back and play other MMOs. If that happens I’ll be a lot happier about it than I was these last few months because unlike some longtime players I’d prefer not to get caught up heart and soul in a single MMO but to play the field.

    That’s easier said than done, however, when you have a whole stable of established characters that you love, when gameplay is so smooth, familiar and comfortable, and especially when there’s a slew of open-ended, satisfying, entertaining content to do at max level.

    That really is a first for me. Almost always in MMOs when I’m done leveling I’m done playing but with WvW, dynamic events, world scaling and cosmetic rather than stat progression GW2 has broken that barrier at last. Writing about it all and discussing/debating/disputing how things have gone has certainly added some spice, too.

    And with that I’m off to FFXIV while I can actually get in!

  7. Guild Wars 2 killed off every other MMO for me. My house in LOTRO has been repossessed because I haven’t logged into the game in months. I’ve tried dabbling in other games but nothing seems as tailor-made for me as GW2 does. It just fits my play style and time commitment perfectly. I’m a big fan.

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