Thanks to Charlie Kiel for providing us with an inside look at this anticipated game!!!!
After playing I’d say about a good 6 or 7 hours, I can say that this game will be a good time to a certain point. Although I will only be able to test for one weekend and this doesn’t reflect the final product (the community, economy, etc), I still have some concerns about the longevity.
The comparison to MMO giant, World of Warcraft (WoW) is unavoidable, as Guild Wars 2 tries to take the crown as the “best” or “most popular” MMO. In my opinion, WoW is one of the best online game I’ve played (best and most memorable experiences). I can only hope that Guild Wars 2 can give me some of the things WoW did. And I believe it will… sort of.
My first impressions of the way Guild Wars 2 is set up is that the joy comes from the core gameplay in the leveling system. It’s not a big grind to get to the highest level when the game “actually starts.” You get a lot, if not all, of your main skills VERY early on. You will be switching them periodically, but the diversity isnt what Guild Wars 1 or WoW had. In GW2 you have 5 main skills (mapped to 1-5) that are based on the weapon type you are using. Each class can use maybe 4 or 5 different types, giving them 4-5 different combinations of major skills. You’ll be spamming these skills all day, so get used to them. You get one self heal (6) and 7-0 are your selectable skills. These you slowly earn by doing challenges around the world to gain points, which you spend to unlock your 7-0 skills. This is where the build diversity comes in. There are a lot fewer skills in GW2 than GW1 or WoW, but the argument of the developer is that each one is actually usable now, where as in other games you would have so many options, yet only a few were viable.
The “dynamic event” system tries to rid the game of quest text and random tedious “go here and kill things, come back for a reward.” It technically does, but it still feels the same. You go out into the world, find the events, complete them, and get the reward. Its just masked. The big downfall of the way this is set up is the way the party system is non-existent. When doing dynamic events, whoever is around can join in, no penalty, and get credit. This encourages everyone to play together and nobody gets left out. Sounds perfect, right? Well in theory this happens fine, but the thing is you are constantly surrounded by people who you never talk to, who are just around to finish the event. Then, they move on and you never see them again. The fact that you dont have to party up for a common goal takes away from those random encounters with strangers that are so frustrating at times and so satisfying as well.
GW2 takes a lot of the frustration out of MMOs making it very easy to do things by yourself or with random people who wont screw you over. But playing this way actually almost makes the games seem it is missing something. There is no satisfaction in leveling, since a lot of the game scales to where you are in the world. There is no satisfaction is putting together a good party for a hard dungeon, because dungeons are only end game. On top of this, events scale depening on how many people are involved, so getting “help” with a quest only makes it harder.
One day down, and im sure ive got a lot to learn. Im not saying this game is bad by any means. It is what they advertised it as: unconventional. Im sure i will come around, because more than likely i will be playing at launch. I just have mixed feelings as of now. We’ll see though.
I’m fairly certain now that the joy should be found in actually playing the game. That sounds weird, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense, and the more I realize THIS is why I play games.
I play games to feel like I accomplished something. No game did that better than WoW for me. Beating that dungeon, hitting the next level, getting that epic mount, slowly getting my gear better and better and feeling a power difference, healing my group out of that tight situation. WoW’s fun came from accomplishing small goals and moving up in the ladder of “success,” which looked different to everyone.
To reach the top of GW2s ladder of success, you dont have to climb very far.
You can reach the level cap with relative ease. You can get the best gear (statistically) with relative ease. They wanted people to NOT have to climb a huge ladder to “be good.” This is fine for a lot of people. But if everyone can do it so easily by just playing… why do I want to do it? If I’m just going to be like everyone else, whats the point? In other MMOs, the better gear you had or higher rank or whatever showed that you were “better” or earned something that not everyone could get by just playing the game. So the fun for THOSE people is the fact that they can show off. I’m being a slight hypocrite now because back in the day I never really got TOO hardcore into the WoW end game or the GW1 title system. My achievments came in killing guys in PvP that “were better than me,” based on numerous things, just by using my own skill and understanding of the game. This sounds GREAT for GW2, because EVERYONE gets to experience this now!! However, with a system like this, if everyone is ALWAYS on the same playing field, it’s going to boil down to a dice roll or rock, paper, scissors on classes. With 8 classes, do you really think all will be perfectly balanced? I doubt they can do that even after numerous patches.
The later part of this game seems a little strange to me. I loved the leveling process in WoW and GW1 even though a lot of people hated re-leveling characters. I loved seeing the potential that my low guys had and trying to get to where “the big dogs” were. If everyone gets to the same place when they hit the cap, it just seems like the process of leveling is slightly worthless and leveling is this whole game. What does that mean? You better enjoy leveling and playing the game for what it is and not what is to come.
I know this seems weird that I keep saying “enjoy the game.” I hope I was able to help you understand what I mean when I say that. I’m a little disappointed with how GW2 development has progressed, but I will probably still shell the money out to buy it, play the hell out of it, and end up finding something to like about it. I cant resist a good MMO. So I hope see you out there.
It’s finally here. Come and be part of a great LANFest event that will be held at Cal Poly Pomona thanks to the Cal Poly Pomona StarCraft 2 Club! LANFest BYOC attendees will be able to play against one-another in the BYOC LAN, and will also have a chance to enjoy the spectating excitment of professional gaming that is The GIGABYTE ESPORTS LAN (The GESL).
Professional competition will include several pro-gaming teams and organizations. The professional tournament will feature a $11,000 StarCraft 2 tournament and a $10,000 League of Legends tournament. The GESL is hosted by Southern California’s very own Bobby Omari, SoCal eSports, and GIGABYTE USA. Spectator Badges are available for sale ($15.00) and all LANFest BYOC badges double as spectator badges. Please visit http://thegesl.com for more info!
Dennis first PC build time lapse and video.
Dennis first PC build time lapse and video.