Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guild Wars 2: An Apology

Apology: A formal justification . . . In literature, an autobiographical form in which a defense is the framework for discussion of the author's personal beliefs.

This is my final response to TAGN and Solf on TAGN's testament to his own malaise with clarifications and additional thoughts. Having realized I will convince no one, here is my analysis of GW2 and why I play:
Like most MMOs I have played, each zone in GW2 is largely distinguished by terrain theme: Snow, Jungle, Desert, Farmland, etc. In each zone, there are a multitude of activities to participate in, based on your preferences. I believe the first person to reach 80 way back in September did so almost exclusively through crafting. I reached 80 through a combination of combat, exploration, "dynamic" events, "hearts" or renown quests, story quests, crafting, and dungeons; whatever suited my mood (and that of my lovely bride) that evening. The player experience at 9 is much the same as at 79; but again, I find that to be the case with every MMO I've played. That makes them no less enjoyable to me for being somewhat routine. I like following the story of the area, and my character progression in the sense of the experiences I encounter.

A half-organized group of friends can go into a GW2 dungeon and figure stuff out. A PUG will have a hard time, unless most of the players know the fights. Many of the first groups of players were frankly knocked on their asses, and then told everyone the dungeons sucked. GW2 Dungeons are chaotic affairs. The tank (yes there are tanks) doesn't always have control of the mobs, people have to spend time healing themselves and others and even reviving fallen comrades. The other night, I was able to slowly revive my group-mates while dishing some damage and keeping myself healthy, until three out of four fallen comrades were rezzed and the giant spider was dead. In a standard trinity-based fight, we would have wiped.

I personally like the group combos where, for instance, I may lay down an AoE fire and then any ally shooting through it will get an added burning effect on their shots.

Tyria itself, as has been said by other commenters, feels both alive and humorous. I've never been in another MMO city that felt more like a real city than Divinity's Reach. The NPCs are constantly talking to each other. If you stand there long enough, you will of course hear stuff repeated, but the spoken dialogue gives the NPCs character beyond just standing there waiting for you to sell or buy stuff from them.

Solf is slightly mistaken, you can have all the weapon abilities you'll ever get long before you reach 10, if you get all the weapons available to your class. Traits on the other hand, accumulate all the way to 80, and they affect the way you play: the weapons and skills you use. And the skills; I'm 80, and still am accumulating skills. Do I use them all? No, but then my traits are such that some skills are less effective than others. The elite skills are very important in dungeons, where I'm waiting to pop the skill as soon as possible after the cooldown.

Solf is using hearsay, making claims about dungeons he's never played in, at levels he's never reached. All he can really say is that he got bored at around level 30 [his own clarification] and quit. If, based on that, you think you would feel the same, don't waste your money.

If that makes me fanboy, then find me a palm leaf to wave. I didn't come into my GW2 fandom through hype or loyalty to the original Guild Wars. I am a fan because I have a good time playing.


  1. Wilhelm just posted that he has indeed bought GW2, so we shall no doubt find out if his experience is closer to yours (and mine) or to Solf's (who I thought presented his case for his own point of view very fairly over at TAGN, much though I don't share his point of view).

    1. I was with Solf until he started conveying his opinion as if it were fact, and backing it up with hearsay. If he had stuck with something like, "I played to 30 and got bored," I would not have said a thing.

  2. Perhaps it's a little mean of me, but I'm happy those who can't break out of the holy trinity mindset NOT be in the game I'm playing, doing scary stuff in my PUGs. :)

    If they haven't the interest/patience to get past that learning curve, then so be it.

    Me, I'm still learning interesting new tricks reliant on proper timing of skills and movement, some 250 skill points after level 80, and I haven't even seriously touched seven other classes.

    1. I'd say I need to know at least 3 of the 5 in a typical small group instance, or I'll do something else. I don't PUG in any game if I can possibly avoid it.

  3. lol, I'm steering clear of this one, not that I have any strong opinions one way or the other.

    But I've already had my annual fight with TAGN, over Tobold of all things, and I like him enough that I try to limit it to that. (-:

    The 2012 edition was over Skill Tree and Talent Points - which now that I think about it, I have to say is a indication to me that he probably will not like GW2 in the long run.

    1. Normally I find TAGN's blog to be fairly even-handed. As I said in my post and on TAGN's blog, if Solf has a better handle on TAGN's gaming than I, I have no problem with that. TAGN should follow Solf's advice. But he has no call to base his recommendation on anything besides his own personal experience.