Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why GW2 Could Suck

I watched a loooonnnngggg but interesting podcast from AltTabMe called "Why You Won't Like GW2".

They get a little carried away sometimes (foul language warning!) but in between there are some good conversations about the things in Guild Wars 2 that might upset some players, elicit ragequits, or even cause people to not want to play the game in the first place.
After listening through the whole thing and making notes, here are summary statements.

The three major areas of dissention are:
1. No Holy Trinity.
2. No raids.
3. No PvP servers.

The three most important things to remember:
2. Don't look for what's not there. Play the game in front of you.
3. The game is dynamic and you must be too.

For those of you who aren't masochists and would rather boil their own eyeballs in balsamic vinegar than watch that whole podcast (but of course are willing to read my eloquent prose), here are some points from me plus some handy timestamps! You're welcome. Use that vinegar on your salad that you can enjoy while you read.  :)

2:10 - It's too different. You will not like GW2 if you can't "unprogram your brain". It's not WOW!! Stop comparing. Just get the game, go in it with a fresh, open mind, and have fun. Don't make assumptions. The biggest reason people feel GW2 is not for them is cuz they're expecting something. Expect NOTHING, grasshopper! Be Zen and you will love it.

3:15 - The dodge. Oh gosh, the dodging. Sigh. Here it is. You are immune to attacks while dodging, it saves your life, therefore you MUST dodge! I must admit, my fingers have been getting all tangled up trying to do this. I actually practiced strafing the other day in a field just to learn how to play this darn game. If you're not a player of FPS games, you'll have to train your fingers to move and strike. This is for sure tougher for those stand-still classes like mage and tank. It's basically like kiting everything all the time. Two of my guildies recommended the Naga Razer mouse with side buttons to help. Go forth, ye with tons of money and purchase this god among mice. Me, I will be practicing the invaluable skill of the "circle strafe"! (I think it was like E+A, but don't quote me.)
Remember too that the dodge combat mechanic works both ways: you can dodge their attacks, but they can dodge yours too! Mobs will run out of your AOE. How rude! But really, it's only fair!

9:29 - Combat favours ranged. Yes, the game seems to favour ranged professions at first, but it's really just that the melee players must recognize the value of moving, kiting, dodging and backing away. Warriors and Guardians must think more like stabby-stabby rogues.
But the game gives you everything you need to utilize the fighting space around an enemy. I was playing an engineer and found that my skills worked very well together. I could use one skill to jump into range, blast a close-range shot, then another shot that blows me right back out of melee range. And of course, all Ellies love the Ride The Lightning skill! Combine that with Flaming Poop Retreat (not the real name!) and you can get in and out of melee range in a few seconds.

18:50 - There is too much hype. Gamers have been feeling burned by the super-hype-and-flop moves of recent games like Tera and SWTOR. They're suspicious of any game that has an insane cult of followers before release. In this case, GW2 hasn't blasted any crazy promo videos or pounded the Internet with banners proclaiming its greatness. It's the fans that are raising people's expectations, and anyone that questions the supreme awesomeness of GW2 is immediately pummeled to death in forums by fanboys and fangirls. Have we raised expectations TOO high? Will there be a ginormous launch and then poof? Who knows? Who cares?
This is my personal blog so I don't really have to be objective, and  you can tell I'm super  excited about the game. But I actually want to find things wrong with the game. I don't want to be so hyped up that I can't help but be disappointed. I need to maintain a healthy cynicism. That said, honestly, this game is just so DARN COOL.  :D

Another related phrase I hear often is: "I didn't play GW1, so I can't play this". Um, whatever? It's not a sequel. It's just  a name tag. I don't even know if it has anything to do with Guilds or Wars. They're using lore from the first game, and that's about it. You can jump right in and play, don't fret.  :)

27:00 - There are no mounts. Yeah, that does suck. But it's not going to stop me from playing the game. You don't need a mount for traveling in Guild Wars 2, but I like mounts cuz I'm vain. Just like the guys in the podcast, I want that "epic steed".

31:00 - Allied with everybody, no open world PvP. Tristan says: "We're all allied? What-what?" Some people might miss the PvP servers. I couldn't care less. Never played on a PvP server. Yay for no more bullies. Yay for let's be mature and help others, instead of look for some poor noob to gank.
I want to make an article entitled "The MMO Grows Up". That's how this game feels. We cooperate, we talk, we learn, we absorb, we adjust. We're mature gamers. We're not bratty kids or sulky teenagers. It's an MMO for grown-ups who still know how to have fun. :)
Bruce said in the podcast: "Once you give in and let yourself play, it's okay." Give in. That's exactly how it is. Like I said before, the gaming philosophy of GW2 is quite Zen. You've got to let go of what you think should happen. There is no should.

45:55 - No Holy Trinity. No healers, no tanks. If there is one reason people won't like Guild Wars 2, this is it. The healer/tank/DPS trio is gone. The podcast guys get quite vehement about the fact that there is no healer spec. It cannot be done. They have tried. And they said ANet actually nerfed one Guardian skill because they thought it over-powered the healing skill of that profession. This is the game-breaker for a lot of people. If they can't get it out of their heads that they are more than a healer or more than a tank, then they won't be able to be flexible enough to succeed in GW2. You must be self-reliant, yet cooperative. You must move. You must learn. You must adjust. You must be as dynamic as the world around you.
I guess the New Trinity is damage/control/support, yet you could be any one of those at any moment, and a different one in the next moment. I'm actually excited about this so-called flaw. Scared but excited.

50:24 - No addon support. Kind of a bummer cuz the customization would be nice, but the UI is pretty good already. There won't be auction helper, but there is a strange AH anyway, that I still haven't figured out completely. You don't need Gatherer for spawn times for plants, cuz each forage point is shareable. You don't need boss spawn timers, cuz bosses can't be camped. They spawn due to a DE (dynamic event) chain. It will be interesting to see what kind of third-party add-ons people feel are necessary.

1:03:04 - Endgame - No Raids. That's right. There are no instanced raids, no place to go with 20 people on-demand to attempt to kill a mechanic-heavy boss for hours on end. The "end game" zone is an island called Orr. This is the area where the "raid-like" DEs happen. Not much is known about endgame, so we could say that this is a flaw and a reason not to play, or we could say this IS a reason to find out!

1:31:50 - Cash shop. People are worried it's going to be "pay to win". It is NOT like that. Never fear! ANet has made sure all cash shop items are for convenience or vanity.

The podcast really struggles to find valid things about GW2 that would cause it to not appeal to players. After about an hour, they got really nit-picky, like there's not enough bag space, and there's no player-to-player trading. Certainly not valid reasons for boycotting the most original game to be released in a decade. (IMO, of course!)

I apologize for this wall of text. I'm exhausted from writing it. Perhaps the boiling of the eyeballs was a good idea afterall? Meh. I spent so much time typing this damn thing, I'm leaving it up! So there! :P

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