Rants tag

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

Friday, August 2, 2013

GW2: L'Ennui de l'Histoire

Looks like this is another three-post day.

On Monday, Syp posted regarding his lack of interest in the "Living Story" of Guild Wars 2. I can't say that much about the story itself, having only participated near the beginning, when it was about helping refugees and throwing snowballs at kids. There are several reasons I haven't really gone back, and the way the Living Story has been handled is one. Ocho said it perfectly:
Coming into an event or story half-way (especially when there’s grind associated with it) automatically makes me feel like I’m missing out. It’s why I start a book series at Book 1, a TV series at Season 1, movie series at the first movie, and even game series at the first game. If I want to experience the whole thing, I can’t start in the middle.
There's nothing to do in this town.
Belghast elaborated further:
It feels like a grand waste to me that instead of fleshing out the world and permanently adding more content than you could ever manage to complete, they roll it in like a server event only available for short periods of time. . . Expiring content just feels like a really lousy idea. . .
I agree that additional content is welcome, but evaporative content is not. Despite players paying lip service to dynamic worlds, we generally only want worlds that feel dynamic. I've said in the past that I like the persistence of online games, that stuff happens when I'm not logged in. That doesn't mean I want to feel like I've missed something because I wasn't logged in. Much better to have the world continue to build, much like the real world tends to be additive, not ephemeral.

Buhallin brought up a good point, though:
Because you’re disappointed with the overall quality of the Living Story . . . you can’t bring yourself to do the 98% of world content that has nothing to do with it?
Other folks did point out the grindy-ness of the basic world content and the a-cheese-ment system, as well; though I believe that laboring on heart quests was really only intended to be something you should be doing between dynamic events. Guide posts, not destinations. At any rate, while I had a lot of fun in GW2, I haven't really felt the urge to play in months. Getting further and further behind in the "Living Story" doesn't help.

What do you think? Should MMOs have more or less limited-time content?


  1. This brings to mind the old conversation Syl brought up nine months ago about whether one has "missed" an event that has passed, or whether piecing it together from historical references and player stories is a different but equivalent experience.


    I felt that "missing" the event was a lesser experience. I was more of a fan of making sure players had the ability to retrace the narrative experience with flashback systems or similar.

    Other bloggers and commenters thought not. I want to ask, "Well, where the hell are you guys now?!"

    The rumor is that ArenaNet is working on a way to recap the story to help players get back up to speed though. Maybe it'll help some.

    (Dusty Monk's got an excellent recap of the Living Story for now too. http://ofcourseillplayit.blogspot.com/2013/07/guild-wars-2-living-story-so-far-part-1.htm)

    But all those achievements... you'll never get them again! You missed out! *twitch*

    1. That achievement may be part of the problem. The gamification (lol)of MMOs through "achievements" has cheapened much of the intrinsic value of the experience. On the other hand, we all have our peeves about games. I saw PetterM complaining yesterday about telegraphing strikes and such through UI graphics on the environment which I personally think are a good thing.