Archive for the ‘Guild Wars’ Category

[GW] One Hell of a Limb

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Guild Wars

I just watched the Guild Wars 2 video.

How’s it stack up against other MMO Trailers?  Let’s run down the checklist:

  1. Loud Music… check!
  2. Flashy graphics… check!
  3. Developer voice-overs… check!
  4. Promise to reinvent MMOs… check!

By all standards, yes, this is a MMO Trailer.   Some of the comments by the devs really have me worried, though.  I mean, all that is said sounds great.  And it really caters to the sense of MMO burnout that the general player-base is experiencing.  But, come on now.  Are they going to come out and say “Yes, you’ll keep doing the same thing as other games!”  No, not so much. Let’s look at some of the grandiose statements and see just how plausible they are.

We just don’t want players to grind in Guild Wars 2.  No one enjoys it; no one finds it fun.

That’s great.  Everyone hates grinding.  But really, isn’t a bit o’ grinding a necessary evil?  I mean, shouldn’t you HAVE to put in time and effort into your character in order to make yourself better than the person who just signed up ten minutes ago?  While the gap between “haves” and “have nots” can get too wide at times, the gap must exist in order to instill a sense of accomplishment with the player.  Whether it be grinding mobs to gain a level, running Scenarios in WAR to get that weapon, or do that dungeon another time or two for that piece of armor in WoW, players expect to be able to advance their characters somehow.  Besides, it’s only a grind if you don’t enjoy it.

As a structure, the MMO has lost the ability to make the player feel like a Hero.

Yes.  That’s true, but isn’t it valid as well?  If everyone is a hero, then nobody’s a hero.  In the IT support business, if every helpdesk ticket comes in as a URGENT OMG priority, it’s as if no tickets came in with that priority.  If everything is on fire, nothing is on fire.  As a player in an MMO, you are a unique snowflake, just like everyone else.  You are part of the same game world and have the same origins as every other player.  What you do with your character will define who you become as part of the social community that the MMOs offer.  Not everyone can be a Hero, nor should everyone be a Hero.

It’s your story.  You affect things in a very permanent way.

Holy crap. Back the train up.  So, a griefer can permanently affect my gaming experience?  That is “not Ok”  The beauty of the current MMO world is that it isn’t permanent.  If JackHole35 runs by and slays my mob I needed for a quest, I’m down a couple minutes waiting for him to re-spawn.  If he were to permanently kill my mob…I’m screwed?  That doesn’t sound fair, nor fun.  It’s like Perma-Death.  I’m pretty sure the community these days (which were once ok with Perma-Death) would consider that rubbish.

A single decision by a player cascades out in a chain of events.

That’s lovely for a FPS or a RTS or something besides an environment which houses thousands of players.  How will the game not devolve into utter chaos?  The only way to keep some sort of civility and give player that Heroic feeling is to mitigate some of these cascading chains of events.  That’s pretty contradictory, if you ask me.

You’re rescuing a village that will stay rescued; who will remember you.

Who else can then rescue that village?  With this type of permanence, we’re talking about either a metric shit-ton of content, or we’re talking about Live Events.  Both of those require resources to accomplish.  Resources that will need to be paid.  With no monthly fee, who is going to pay for this?  I smell a Micro-Transaction system down below that hasn’t been announced yet.

Some things just don’t add up for GW2.  I think they’re either going to break open the MMO market and revolutionize it, or they’re going to burnout within a year.  Either way, it should be a damn good show.

You can check out the full video here.