50 MMOs in 50 Days #25: Guild Wars 2

Last played: 2014
Experience: You need to ask?

I align so well with Guild Wars 2 because ArenaNet’s philosophy toward the game and my personal philosophy on life and work line up almost perfectly.

The overriding thing we heard during development was that GW2 wouldn’t just do MMOs the way they’ve always been done. ArenaNet would look at what people didn’t like in MMOs and try to change them, regardless of how stubbornly entrenched some people might be in their worldviews.

I feel like the company wavered from that direction a little bit because they didn’t think they could pull it off (hearts and ascended gear) or because they wanted to direct people to the Gem Store (gathering tools), but for the most part, they tried to create the game they thought people wanted – which isn’t always the same as what they’re playing. It wasn’t “change for change’s sake,” as some people claim, it was “change you knew you wanted but you didn’t have any other choices.”

gw001It didn’t always work out. We hate waiting for tanks and healers, so they did away with the trinity – which led to everyone running glass cannon zerker builds. We want to be able to play with our friends, so they made it easy to get around the world and relaxed server restrictions – which led to overcrowded, stale events. In other words, they identified a problem, which I think we’d all agree with, but their methods of addressing it weren’t necessarily agreeable to everyone.

But at least they tried, and did it with a big, AAA product. Everyone who says, “I hate that only indie companies take risks and the AAA games are all the same” – well, here’s a AAA game that took risks. Maybe you don’t like how they turned out, but at least acknowledge that they went there. It’s OK to say you didn’t like their methods, but saying you didn’t like their reasoning or that they shouldn’t have changed something means you think there’s only one way MMOs can do things and everything else is wrong.

Like I said, that pretty much mirrors my life philosophy. I’m always looking for ways to change procedure in my life or at places I work, to make things better or more efficient. Naturally, that leads me into some troubles with higher-ups who like things the way they are or who think it would be too much trouble to change, and I’ve learned to pick my battles a little more carefully over the years, but it’s still ingrained into my nature and isn’t going to change anytime soon.

That also applies to video games. Earlier this year, I officially “quit” the game I’d been playing since 2007. Some people will stick with WoW (or whatever) forever. That’s not me. I’m nowhere near the quitting point with GW2, but weeks like this one can make me re-evaluate things. If something’s wrong, I expect it to be fixed. If it isn’t, I’ll move on, regardless of my investment.

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5 Responses to 50 MMOs in 50 Days #25: Guild Wars 2

  1. While I lost interest in it fairly quickly, I still have a lot of respect for Guild Wars 2, largely because of what you say here. At least they tried to be different. How much they succeeded is up for debate, but at least an effort was made. That’s more than can be said for a lot of other MMOs, especially at the time GW2 launched. These days, I do find games are a bit more diverse, though not the extent they probably should be.

  2. zax19taken says:

    Even though it didn’t turn out to be what I hoped I completely agree that they tried changing a lot of things for the better. B2P is just such a superior model – the prevailing mentality is that MMOs are meant to be played for years but I’m not going to keep playing if I’m not having fun. That’s one of the reasons I got heavily back into single player games, concentrated experience.

    I still have hundreds of hours of content left in GW2, all the classes, races, a bunch of zones and I don’t mind one bit it didn’t catch me enough keep playing. It’s still there, well worth the price and I can come back any time. So I hope people realise that no game can provide content at a greater pace than it can be consumed. Either way, GW2 is a good value for money and a lot fresher than most MMOs on the market, definitely worth a try.

  3. Pingback: 50 MMOs in 50 Days #33: Neverwinter | Wintry Mix

  4. Pingback: 50 MMOs in 50 Days #40: Rusty Hearts | Wintry Mix

  5. Pingback: 50 MMOs in 50 Days #41: The Secret World | Wintry Mix

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