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Default Thoughts on Guild Wars 2 vs. Established MMOs

May 10th, 2013, 23:01
When WOW first came out it looked attractive and newish, but it seemed outrageous to pay a monthly subscription to play a video game, so I never did it. Then all the horrible stories about addiction, and loss of social life / job came out, which pretty much cemented me against it.
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May 11th, 2013, 00:10
I'm a broken record, try DDO!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 11th, 2013, 01:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not sure why we're talking about end-game and destinations?

I'm interested in how you feel about the game when you've reached cap - because by then the honeymoon is over and we'll get a more accurate picture, presumably.

I'd also like to hear your thoughts at 75 - if the term "cap" must imply finality. It doesn't to me - as the MMO genre doesn't stop at cap.

I'm not saying you're not having fun right now. I'm saying maybe the design will appeal to you less once you've experienced what it does over time.
My bad, I thought you were talking about end game content.
Yes, actually I do agree with you. I played GW2 for a while and did have fun, I don't regret it a bit, but its design does suffer from late game suckiness, at least it did to me. The first levels were awesome, you were unlocking new abilities with different weapon combinations, and experimenting with them… but after you did that and learned all the abilities with all weapons, the last half of the level range was basically using the same attacks you learned in the first few days, but they now did more damage or healed more. I was using the same abilities at level 50 than I was using at level 20 or so.
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May 11th, 2013, 01:33
Dart good read on your WoW experience. It seems you do face paradox. I have an addictive personality myself so I need to be careful how deeply I invest in MMOs.

Thrasher my whole opening post was about the serious innovations GW2 brought to the MMO market. I would say that when considering GW2 and its accomplishments it must be compartmentalized to see what it has brought to the table. I predict that these innovations will have major impact on upcoming MMO designs. Some people may say "oh no" to that but that is because they fail to recognize the things GW2 does right. They get lost in some of it more obvious shortcomings.

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May 11th, 2013, 01:54
Compared to its predecessor, GW2 has done a lot more wrong than it's done right. The lack of secondary professions and the monumental decrease in available skills is simply unforgivable. Although a fun game, its complete lack of depth makes it an entirely forgettable MMO after you've played to cap and witnessed the story arc.
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May 11th, 2013, 01:55
Todd, I liked your exposition. Thank you for that detailed account!

However, while the balancing innovations that you point are appreciated, they don't really bring anything new that's particularly fun, that I can see.

Flocking and events: while sounding new to me, don't really seem to affect gameplay, at the level of combat tactics or other player activities. These seem to be grouping dynamics innovations. I guess I don't really appreciate them, having zero MMO experience.

I agree with the simplification of questing and quest logs being a big negative innovashun.
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May 11th, 2013, 03:19
Flocking was a negative for certain. On the positive side Mobility is a major distinguishing feature. The dynamic scaling of mob count based on player count proximity during events is a major step in the right direction. Events being rooted in the public game world is a singular monumental accomplishment.

As you say, without direct MMO experience that may be difficult to appreciate, but its huge. If GW2 had stopped there and kept all other MMO conventions it would likely be the best MMO available. Easily.

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May 11th, 2013, 09:16
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post

@ChienAboyeur: I was aware of the features, I was just taking some creative license to make the point. It was my first invite though.
Even better. It shows how non essential to MMORPGs a MU gameplay is.

Going on line to play with players and not along side other players must be the main focus of any connected game. If it is to reproduce an unconnected game experience…
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May 11th, 2013, 09:17
Well, there are many, many issues with their design - from my point of view.

I like several of their ideas - and I think some of them are actually very successful.

The concept of a dynamic world with on-going events is great, but the execution was less than optimal. First of all, the narrative is all but impossible to follow - which means you're not engaged in the why of it. That's a big problem.

Another problem with dynamic scaling of difficulty - is that you can't finetune encounters. They HAVE to make it possible for any number of players - which means it can never be truly challenging. That makes most of the events feel trivial and samey - because you don't really have to switch up your tactics much at all.

I've actually had the most fun when solo'ing events - because some of them are very hard when you're alone. But solo'ing world events is obviously counter to the intention.

Beyond that - events are highly cyclical - and I don't feel at all like they're changing the world. To me, that's the biggest failure of the execution. It feels like quests that are being reset over and over, and that's just not what I think they wanted to accomplish. They over-estimated their own ability there.

The removal of the trinity was going way too far to solve a relatively minor issue. Yes, having to find a tank and a healer has been annoying in the past - but with the addition of dungeon finder tools - it's almost never an issue. If you play WoW, SWtOR and so on - today - you'll find that the problem is minimal. Sure, if you play off-hours you may have to wait a few minutes, but that's not exactly a tragedy.

The fact of the matter is that there are lots of players who love playing tanks and healers. It's not like they're being forced into it. It may be a little old in the tooth - but it works and it adds an automatic layer of tactics to any encounter, however small and familiar.

The way to innovate here is not to remove the trinity and add nothing in return. They should have expanded the arsenal and skills for the classes, because they're highly situational and don't really match a set role. All classes are DPS-oriented at the core - even if some are better at healing and defending.

In my opinion, the way to expand classes would be to add non-combat tasks - like they do in DDO, where finding and disabling traps is essential. Solving riddles and skill-based challenges is much more interesting than just spamming 1-2 abilities in combat.

They obviously expected to challenge players in new ways - but the end result is a feeling of chaos and it doesn't feel like you're a group working together as much as individuals frantically trying to overcome an encounter. Well, not always - but too often.

The removal of gear-gating was a good idea - but they failed to provide alternative avenues of gameplay. Weapon and armor skins is not new - it's something that goes along with all gear in all MMOs. They should have provided sandbox features - and made crafting meaningful as a way to make money and to stand out. They should have added housing - and I think they should have considered open world PvP, though it would obviously change the dynamic of events.

The personal stories are very, very bad. As in, unbelievably so. What I mean is when you compare them to the other content - it's such a shocking contrast. Almost everything in the game in terms of content is super high quality. Ok, I've yet to play all of the personal stories - but I've seen quite enough to make sure. It's awful writing delivered by awful to average voice actors. This is a mystery to me - and I have no idea how they let this pass.

The arsenal for classes is relatively limited - and character progression is minimal after level 30. That was a huge mistake in a game with a level cap of 80. You DO NOT want the player to feel as if they've seen most of what their character can do so early in the game. This is the RPG genre - and progression is key. Progression is not what they wanted to combat - it was the gear grind and the gear gating mechanisms.

With all that said - I think the combat system remains extremely good - and has such a marvellous sense of flow. The world is beautiful (though I consider it quite lacking in variety - when compared to WoW vanilla) - and everything (except for personal stories) is made with great care and passion. The cities, in particular, are awe-inspiring.

They way they down-scale automatically and makes all content relevant at all levels is very clever - and something that many MMOs could learn from. I love that everything you do in the game feels rewarding - though the nature of their non-power philosophy makes the rewards somewhat less satisfying.

The skins for the legendary items are downright amazing. I'm not that big of a vanity player - but I REALLY want to get my hands on some of those weapons - they look that cool.

Well, I believe I've been through most of that already….
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May 11th, 2013, 13:21
Dart I agree the drop of the "trinity" (aka discrete traditional combat roles) was not optimal and I would change that. I don't agree that the answer is dungeon finder tools and instancing. That is and always has been a workaround in my opinion. There is no reason that an Event in the pulic game word can't accommodate the 1-20 players that may engage the Event and maintain challenge. If the trinity were restored that would dilute DPS by definition (as other roles engage to support it) and the current dynamic system might just work.

I do disagree with you on the main arc, at least from what I've seen of it. Funny that reviewers in general talk about its quality while you call it shockingly bad? That said I haven't mentioned it much as it doesn't bring anything innovative to the table regardless of its quality.

Anyway this thread is less of a game review and more of a glimpse into what is different and innovative vs the established MMO systems.

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May 11th, 2013, 13:42
Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
I do disagree with you on the main arc, at least from what I've seen of it. Funny that reviewers in general talk about its quality while you call it shockingly bad? That said I haven't mentioned it much as it doesn't bring anything innovative to the table regardless of its quality.
Trust me, it's one of the main criticisms from a LOT of gamers. Maybe you haven't noticed it - but it's probably one of the most common complaints people have with the game.
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May 11th, 2013, 15:02
I'll have to take your word for that but it has not been my experience.

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June 29th, 2013, 08:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The removal of the trinity was going way too far to solve a relatively minor issue. Yes, having to find a tank and a healer has been annoying in the past - but with the addition of dungeon finder tools - it's almost never an issue. If you play WoW, SWtOR and so on - today - you'll find that the problem is minimal. Sure, if you play off-hours you may have to wait a few minutes, but that's not exactly a tragedy.
The removal of healer/tank/dps was one of my favorite parts of the game. That setup seems to remove most strategy from boss fights, it becomes a simple matter of the tank getting the bosses attention and the healer keeping him alive while the dps smacks. And don't you dare use any CC that's going to get his attention and distract him from the nonthreatening guy with a shield standing on front of him! There's still not much strategy beyond "dodge the red circles," but staying alive means paying constant attention to the fight and checking on your allies.

(I actually stylized my thief as a healer for a while, when someone went down, I was on top of them getting them up almost immediately.)

Unfortunately, they made everyone DPS. No characters can take a serious hit from a boss, no classes can heal worth a damn, and if you aren't dealing damage you aren't contributing.

But Anet did a really bad job of balancing the game for this style. Stats arent remotely equal in effect (power is loads better than precision, vitality gives more ehp than toughness), ~half of the abilities arent worth bringing, and there arent that many in the first place. Trying to do a dungeon with two people dealing condition damage? Sorry!

You can get through the game with any build, which is nice, but some are just so much clearly more effective than others. For a while it felt like playing a thief or engineer was pointless. Why join a party with one when a warrior can do everything they do, better?
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July 4th, 2013, 15:23
Meh, I prefer not to get too wound up about it. It's a casual game, through and through. Trying to bring a hardcore powergaming perspective to it is only going to get you frustrated.

If you want a plethora of skills and strategy and not simply a DPS race with players having little in the way of roles or teamwork, I would personally opt for the first Guild Wars. For me it's the superior game.
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July 9th, 2013, 09:59
I wish I could disagree, but Guild Wars is just about my ideal RPG. I miss having an overwhelming amount of skills and characters that were just about unique to me.
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