If Guild Wars 2 Succeeds, It Will Be In Spite Of…

With there being just ten days until the prepaid preordered preliminary prelaunch, I figure now is about as good a time as any for a damp GW2 blanket. Not really cynicism for cynicism’s sake, but because there is a bit too much irrational exuberance in the comment sections of otherwise reasonable skepticism. When people start suggesting an MMORPG without a endgame will be fine because MOBA or Counter-Strike, it is time to grab the hose.

And lest anyone forget, the following predictions are based on my experience in all three of the beta weekend events – feel free to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and/or Part 4 for a recap, or just read everything in the GW2 Category for the full experience. I already paid my $60, I am going to be there on the 25th (assuming the servers are up), so it is not as though I want GW2 to fail. I just personally believe that if GW2 succeeds, it will be in spite of…

1. Dynamic Events

Seriously, folks, “Dynamic” Events (hereafter Events) are one of the most over-hyped, under-performing features since WoW voice chat. If anyone in-game talks about Events a month after launch, it will solely be in the context of “Where do I level now?” and “Where are all the Events?” and “I’ve been waiting for X Event to spawn for six minutes now!” and “Lame, the Waypoint I wanted to use is contested.” Events are not Guild Wars 2′s killer app. Events are fun the first time, promote spontaneous grouping in the immediate area, and technically have branching paths, I guess.

Events also scale horribly with a lot of people (melee in particular get hammered by dozens of instantly spawned +2 level mobs), are boring the 2nd/3rd/nth time around, interfere with normal questing/exploring in the area (yay, 20 kobolds just spawned in this cave again), are not easy to find or fun to wait around for, and become just plain tedious when completed alone. Regardless of how successful or not GW2 does sales-wise, it will not take but a few weeks for the playerbase to diffuse across the leveling/zone spectrum, making the outdoor-raid-esque feel of beta Events turn into the Warhammer’s “Forever Alone” Public Quest ghost towns.

You do not even have to have played the beta to understand any of this. Just explain out loud, to yourself, how and why Events are going to be fun for you. Do you sound convincing? For bonus points, elaborate how you figure Events are supposed replace traditional quests as the bulk of GW2′s PvE system.

2. WvWvWvWvWpppfffft

I understand that there will probably be some sort of dedicated segment of the playerbase that thinks WvW is the best thing since Isle of Conquest. And they will be correct, it is an improvement on Isle of Conquest in almost every way!

WvWvWow, Isle of Conquest

Other things better than Isle of Conquest include: stepping on a nail, papercuts on your knuckles, Miley Cyrus’ haircut.

I can honestly say that I do not see the appeal of PvWall. It was fun using a cannon to shoot down a constant stream of anonymous damage against massed chumps, but I would be hard pressed to recall a time when being said chump in a rain of frames-per-second-crushing pain was at all what I wanted to do.

And did you see the screenshot I posted way back in the first beta weekend? Here, let me bring it to your attention again:

Yo dawg, I heard you like “world” in your world pvp, so…

If you zone in with 8-10 friends, or even a small group, I can maybe see it being a nice diversion to go kill a bunch of NPC guards at one of the random outposts and otherwise inflicting maximum annoyance. But knocking on a wall and then killing a Keep Lord and then losing said keep a few hours later after you turn in for the night when the West coast PvP guild logs on? And god help you if you want to do WvW below level 80 – you get leveled up to 80, but neither your gear nor your skills are leveled likewise. I imagine we will all get pretty adept at playing Angry Birds one-handed as we navigate the 2.25 minute graveyard run for the millionth time.

Did all this work in DAoC? I dunno, I’ll take your word for it. Then again, a lot of shit worked ten years ago. Like subscription-based games, amirite?

3. Flat Endgame

I only today ran across these two Youtube videos that answered one of my fundamental questions of what happens at endgame, and it was surprisingly succinct: you continue gaining Skill Points for each “level” you gain past 80. Moreover, you can spend said Skill Points in a variety of ways (you likely will have purchased all the character Skills long before this point) including transmuting mats and… more cosmetic gear. I do not find cosmetic rewards in of themselves particularly compelling, but at least you gain something for sidekicking with your friend’s alt or whatever. Not that you always need a reason beyond their company, but let’s face it, it is better for everyone involved that it is incentivized at least in some small way.

That said, I have a big problem with the argument that the vast majority of WoW players do not see an endgame, and thus GW2′s lack of one is no big deal. Yes, raiding is only experienced by ~20% of the playerbase (although LFR undoubtedly changed all that). However, an order of magnitude more players run dungeons as an endgame activity, satisfying the urge of character progression via Justice/Valor Point purchases. Nevermind farming Honor in random BGs. Ostensively both activities exist in GW2 as well – although there are what, 3 BGs (all Conquest) and 8 dungeons? – but running, say, dungeons over again is going to be the equivalent of WoW’s upcoming Challenge Modes. Does anyone thing this is going to be a long-term retention solution?

By the way, I find the “everyone just rolls alts” rationale amusing considering it cedes the progression point. Gaining levels and better gear is fun, and that is exactly why designers try and transplant that same feeling into the endgame via incremental gear upgrades.

In any case, those are my Guild Wars 2 predictions ten days before the headstart launch. Like I mentioned before, and hopefully you have understood by the title of the post, I am not necessarily predicting GW2′s failure or poor retention or whatever else. It could very well be that the game is a smashing success, breaks the 7th Seal, and ushers us into a dawning Age of eternal bliss. If it does so, it will be in spite of Dynamic Events, WvW, and its endgame, not because of them.

I could be wrong; it has happened before. We’ll just have to see in the next 1/3/6/12 months.

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Posted on August 16, 2012, in Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 108 Comments.

  1. Dynamic Events might not be the killer app for GW2. But I assume it’s going to kill whoever doesn’t have them in the future. Even if they aren’t “interesting” the second time you see them, they at least make the world feel alive.

    • I truly, honestly don’t feel the same way. Perhaps I am too bitter-vet with the whole genre, but I instinctively know that these “Dynamic” Events will repeat 10 minutes after I leave the area. And I do not consider the world “alive” when it’s possible to move through it and completely miss the things that were supposed to make it feel alive, because the Event was on cooldown.

      I will agree that Events spice up questing a bit, in the sense that I wanted to do X, but then an Event comes along and I do that instead (because I know missing it will force me to grind mobs later) and then end up 30 minutes later not having done anything that I planned to but being okay with that. And don’t get me wrong, some Events are fun in of thesmelves too.

      But… I dunno. The world is more alive to me when I know there is stuff to do there, rather than it just randomly happening or not. And I do not look forward to a time when all the Renown Hearts are filled in, and the idea of questing becomes “hunt for Events.”

  2. I disagree with your “overhyped and underpeforming” assessment of dynamic events. Personally, I consider them a slight improvement. Sure, they are overhyped (as is whole GW2) and their eventual fate will be same as fate of quests (welcome as the end of grind at first, became the backbone of leveling grind later and many people eventually became bored with them) but the facts by themselves don’t make events bad. I’m curious whether AN intends to fulfill their promises of frequent ninja updates, that would definitely help with the issue of repeating.

    Scaling seems to be an issue. I’ve run into few events that were impossible to solo – maybe more experienced players would be able to solo them but I wouldn’t bet on players in the first zone being experienced.

    The real question about endgame is, do players keep playing the game they are playing because of the endgame and if yes, what is it about the endgame that keeps them playing? Many people think rewards with no intrinsic value (e. g. achievments or cosmetic gear as opposed to consumables or power gear) are not sufficient to drive players to do content, especially in PvE, however my experience is different. And that is what seems to be one of the big differences between GW2′s late/end game (sPvP&WvW, dungeons) and WoW’s late/end game (arenas, heroics&raiding).

    • I’m curious whether AN intends to fulfill their promises of frequent ninja updates, that would definitely help with the issue of repeating.

      But that is part of my problem with them. What is going to be the patch note description? “Two new Events in Queensdale”? Are they going to give coordinates? Unless something has changed since the beta, you never know where any given Event is going to be (which is kinda their point, I know) without being in the area at the right time. But to me, what difference is there between a missed Event and there being no Event located there? None that I can ascertain.

      For me as a player, I like logging on and knowing that I can do X. If Y happens to come up instead, that’s great, whatever. But if Events are supposed to be the meat of PvE… then what? “I’m going to do some Events.” Where? Just wander around? If I have done two Events out of three in an area already, am I going to try and find/trigger the third? Can I? Am I even aware there is a third Event in said area?

      The way I see it, Events are simply obsfucated, timed quests. They may be great supplimental material to spice up actual questing, but that is the opposite of how they are being marketed/hyped – Events are supposedly THE questing experience. Assuming ArenaNet allows mods, one of the first mods is going to be the equivalent of Quest Helper that actually marks the Events on your map so you aren’t Alt-Tabbing to the Wiki every 10 minutes trying to find one you haven’t seen. Once that happens, and it will, the “magic” of these things will evaporate.

      • The events are not supposed to be a check list which you work through to be done with them. They are there to make the world feel alive. You’re still treating them as if they were the next generation of quests where you have to do them all to finish a quest hub. That’s not the case.

        Treat them like 2004 WoW where some quests where hidden in obscure locations and wowwiki didn’t exist. There were a lot of quests that the majority of the player never found. And there were no achievements. Back then you wouldn’t wander around in a zone to find the last two quests to finish the zone achievement. You would wander around to explore and maybe find the quests… or not. It didn’t matter. But if you found them, they were awesome.

        Dynamic events is the next generation of the 2004 WoW “quests in obscure locations”. They have nothing to do with the Cataclysm-checklists.

        At least that’s how I see them.

        Dynamic events are not “endgame content”. They are there to give you something to do while you stick around at max level and enjoy the world. You are not supposed to “finish” them all, you are supposed to have fun.

        Maybe it doesn’t work. We’ll see ina few month. But you’re already starting to make checklists on how to most efficiently finish something that’s supposed to be the way and not the goal.

      • If Events are truly supposed to be supplemental material and not content in of themselves, that is one thing. But I’m not sure that is at all what people are imagining Events to be. For example:

        ArenaNet has focused on achievements, dynamic events, and WvWvW as strong factors that will retain players. The race to 80 is not a big factor as there are no guild raid dungeons that open up at endgame in GW2.

        That is part of a comment from someone actually questioning GW2′s possible retention rate, but it illustrates the issue of how Events are supposed to function as a thing to do, an equivalent to WvW or achievements. I simply don’t see Events possibly working that way.

        As for why I am metaphorically creating checklists for these things, that’s easy: I’m not an Explorer-type in MMOs. Ergo, specifically seeking Events out is the only way I would likely see them. Ironically, I need no reason to explore in Skyrim, Fallout, and other single-player games, but there is something about seeing a field full of hostile mobs in MMOs that saps all my interest in seeing if I can climb that mountain over there… unless, of course, I have a reason to be there.

      • I agree with Kring the event are not supposed to be a checklist. They feel more like “I was in for and happened so I went and did it”. There is a question about the reasons once you completed the particular zone (i. e. whether there would be an reason to return besides rolling an alt) I don’t know answer for.

        About your remark saying that “specifically seeking Events out is the only way I would likely see them”; does that mean if you were filling a heart or doing something similar and an event popped, you would not consider anything but ignoring it and concentrate on the task you planned to do in advance? I’m honestly curious, I usually feel there is an “empty checkbox” that needs filling in such case so I’d join the event quite often if this happened if you understand what I mean.

      • It seems the first sentence didn’t get through, the part in quotes should read:
        I was in [area] for [reason] and [event] happened so I went and did it

        Sorry about that.

      • @Imakulata

        I will absolutely do Events when they pop up, because A) they are better/more efficient at leveling/loot/etc, and B) what are the odds that I will be able to find them again? Plus, well, C) they will likely make for better blog posts.

        My concern is that once all the Renown Hearts are filled, will I have seen all the Events in the area? Probably not. In fact, ArenaNet may intentionally make it hard to see them all in the “first pass” of a zone. But… why would I go back to that zone again anyway? Either to explore the terrain or whatever (something I don’t usually do) or to actually see those other Events, which would require me hunting them down in a Wiki and waiting for them to trigger and hoping the right one popped. Neither scenario sounds appealing to me, nor the one where I just leave the “flagship content” to rot as I plow through textless Renown quest grinding.

        Ugh, I swear I’m not OCD; I just hate leaving stuff behind that I know I won’t go back for later.

      • Events branch out. The might fork depending on success or failure. If you really want to see them all it’s going to be hard because you have to intentionally fail some events to see the failure-branch.

        Events are not Pokemon. You’re not supposed to catch them all.

        I wonder how many people got the loremaster achievement in WoW on the day achievements were added. Probably nobody. In the pre-achievement area of WoW, quests were not a “do them ALL” thing, they were something you do for fun or XP. Only after achievements people started to do them all, until the zone achievement was obtained.

        Treat dynamic events more like pre-achievements WoW quests. And doing dynamic events at max level is more like farming at tyrs hand. It’s a small distraction while you’re in the world. Not something to check off and be done with it.

      • I doubt I’d ever feel compelled to see the “failure” branches. It is more of a “Did you ever see the shark Event in the Asura starting area?” “No, it just finished when I walked into the area.” “It was awesome!” “Dammit. Oh well.” At that point, I either go back to the lake and wait around (assuming I knew it was at the lake, assuming there wasn’t an alternate Event that spawns, etc etc etc), or simply never do it.

      • I understand what you mean. On the other hand, this brings an advantage for alt lovers who probably will have different experience for their alts than they did on their main; the classic grinding and current questing system differ in this regard.

        I am not sure what incentive except for leveling alts will there be to bring players to zones they have completed and whether there will be any.

      • Azuriel, I think in that previous thread we established you did not speak to the scout to explore the area to find more hearts of your level.

        WvWvW is like AV 1.0. Endless, voluntary world PvP with objectives.

        Of course scripted environments like dynamic events will bore. Just like world bosses will, and LFR would. But you wouldn’t play the same DE’s more than once, maybe twice, on the same char. You need to farm LFD, LFR, 10/25N, 10/25HC. You call that solid end-game? If you say on one hand you’d be bored by DE, then you’d also be bored on the other hand by in that game with so-called solid end-game content as mentioned. I say: it could be still fun with friends on vchat, different compositions, different class/race.

        The advantage of this game is not only in the gameplay (with its simple talent tree system which SC2, D3 have and MoP will gain). The advantage lies in the fact you do not need a sub to play it. You paid for it, end of story. That’s what I like about GW2.

        In WoW you pay for the game, the expansion, and the sub. In GW2 you pay once for the content, and have access forever. Every expansion will add new content, and you have to buy that expansion, but if you want to casually play that AV 1.0 once a month you’ll be free to. Add to that there is no PvP gear grind and it is quite casual friendly for even a tetris player, an FPS die-hard who’d like to play casually a MMO(A)RPG, a mom who plays games 2 hrs a week max due to RL, or just some friends who play on a friday evening instead of meeting at their local pub.

        I never argued I see GW2 as a WoW replacement because GW2 does not have all the silly grinds nor the sub WoW has. You can say WoW has solid end-game, and I take part of the WoW end-game, but that is because I’m in a solid raiding guild where people are of equal skill, pull their weight, and mostly friends.

        And if you think I am a GW2 fanboy, wrong. I won’t even play the game much. I play GW2 quite a bit from 25-28 august. After that I play my main in WoW because of new talent system deployed.

      • @Fn0

        If you say on one hand you’d be bored by DE, then you’d also be bored on the other hand by in that game with so-called solid end-game content as mentioned.

        Except that is not at all what happens. I will do a daily quest every day for 20 days straight for a trinket (e.g. the Tol Barad trinket). Would I do those daily quests without the trinket reward? Hell no. But knowing how much impact that trinket would have on my guild’s progression makes an otherwise boring activity fun enough to do for 20 days. Technically the actual combat in pursuit of daily quest completion is fun, but I could fight mobs literally anywhere else.

        Would that same daily quest with a cosmetic reward sustain 20 days of activity? For me: generally no. Ergo, I would actually lose 20 days worth of gameplay in a similar activity in GW2. At some point “gameplay” ends up feeling like “pointless grind” even to me, but it took me 4 years to get there.

      • There is no way you need to do the same DE 20 times in order to get enough XP to progress so the compare is moot in that regard. You don’t even have to farm DE at all, you can just wander around and join other people who are questing as long as you’re not under the intended level.

        Since in GW2 gear hardly matters the compare goes moot on that part as well. The trinket you mention was overpowered, and mandatory for progression on certain fights pre-nerf. If the trinket did not exist, you could still farm the marks for example for mounts. People still farm dungeons and raids for items which don’t improve their performance, such as mounts, pets, transmog items, …

  3. It’s not just that dynamic events are what amounts to an iteration of the questing system, it’s a mixture of mechanics that make it what it is. In PvE, the main thing I am singing Halleluiah to the heavens about is that my leveling isn’t being tightly controlled.. I am no longer being funneled down a corridor of quest hubs. I’m also an avid mmo PvP’ver, so there is that too,

    but i will admit that a healthy level of cynicism is always a plus

  4. I liked dynamic events in rift until I realised they had no bearing whatsoever on a bigger picture. I seem to remember the enemy “tactics” if they even had any were ridiculous. Whereas in campaign/ffxi the war/occupation changes on a weekly basis depending on how many people took part in individual battles. I don’t know if there’s a bigger picture in GW2 but there better had be…

    • There might be a bigger picture in the Orr zone or whatever (it’s mentioned in the Youtube video I linked), but elsewhere? Pretty sure there will be a bandit attack on the farm every 10 minutes until the servers shut down.

      • Sure, but at least they attack. The defias were the great threat for Stormwind for 6 years and didn’t attack a single time.

  5. Azuriel, while you don’t like DE, but a lot more people like it, for a simple reason: it is a better (you can discuss how much better) system than the traditional quest system at any other MMO.

    The problem is that is not the minority that decides if a game will fail or be a sucess. It is the majority of players.

    With relation to the WvWvW PvP, maybe you need talk to old DAoC players…

  6. The major defence I see coming up again and again is that it’s a Buy-to-Play game, so the retention of the player base doesn’t matter, as they have already paid.

    This doesn’t make sense when you consider that Arenanet have recurring monthly costs that scale up to the maximum numbers of players (and not necessarily back down when those players leave) and that the smaller the player base, the fewer the number of ‘whales’ who will prop up your MMO with their cash shop purchases.

    • Indeed. Plus, it is difficult to have a functional social community if people are only playing a few days at a time or once a month, etc. It is entirely possible to fill GW2 with single-player MMO types, but I doubt those are individuals who would ever buy things from the mostly-vanity cash shop.

  7. Incidentally, what BtP does do is obfuscates the success criteria. As in your post title ‘If Guild Wars 2 succeeds…’, how will we measure this success?

    • If MMOData.net ever updates again, we could potentially judge it by number of Active Accounts (which is defined by at least one monthly log-in, I believe) the same way they do with F2P games.

      Or, hell, just use the same form of Diablo 3 standard. A lot of people think D3 “failed” despite selling 10 million copies, but anyone would be hard-pressed to disagree with that failure label given Blizzard’s responses lately, the apologies, the sweeping game changes, etc etc.

  8. There are actually 8×3 (24) dungeons, since each ‘Dungeon’ is actually an area that has 3 different subsections (with different bosses, layouts, etc), and you can only enter one of them per run. It’s more accurate to say there are 8 ‘themed areas’ that have 3 dungeons each.

    I’m expecting a lot of people will complain that GW2 has no ‘endgame’ and be bored after they race to 80 as fast as possible. But such is the case with almost every MMORPG nowadays.

    • The original Scarlet Monastery was a set of four distinct dungeons all tied together by a theme (the end-of-expansion Wrath heroics were similar). Since we’re arguing on “what will this be like” because everything relating to multiple dungeon modes is speculation from a few tidbits of info: I highly doubt GW2′s dungeons will actually scale from 8 to 24 experiences. I’d imagine there’ll be a core dungeon and then a couple of “huh, that’s slightly different” paths in each mode, but not really anything close to completely separate dungeons.

      Besides that, what exactly do you expect people to do in a themepark game? You say people rush to 80, but, well, why not? It’s not like GW2 is a sandbox, or anything close. What is there to do but advance?

      • There’s nothing wrong with that. People can play however they like. The fallacy is when people blame the game for not providing constant endless progression content for the most voracious of players. No MMO has given that — the closest they have come is to add enough grind that people can be delayed long enough until the devs can make more content.

        There is no sub-fee in GW2. There is nothing wrong with taking a break if you run out of stuff you want to do.

  9. At total risk of sounding like the flaming fanboi that I am I will attempt to use real MMO proof and alot of common sense to prove why I think your post is full of crap.

    1. Dynamic Events
    Under normal circumstances I would say I don’t knwo one person who feels dynamic events are under performing and are on par with the content of WoW’s failed VOIP feature. But I would be wrong because I actually found someone here. I think your full of crap if you think arguably the greatest innovation to the questing system of MMO’s since the “bread-crumbing” of hub based WoW style quests is anywhere remotely similar to the voice chat of WoW. Hyperbole much? Even if the Dynamic Event system is closely bad as to what you predict (which it isn’t) to say its as under-performing of the voice chat is an asanine statement.

    The DE system is arguably the greatest innovative feature since the “?” & “!” feature of 2004 WoW. A game system in which the whole premise of leveling and questing is being put out into a living breathing open cooperative world is wholly new and exciting for tens and thousands of gamers who have grown tired to the traditional hand holding hub based themepark MMO. DE’s attempt to do what WAR and Rift failed miserably at, in that GW2 is “ALL-IN” with the system and a core design feature unlike the previous 2 MMO’s who jsut “thre” them in while keeping the tradional boring grindy hub system.

    I know of no person who is excited for GW2 who thinks the DE system is anything less amazing and will be a source for great joy for years to come. Infact the prediction is that more MMO’s will come out with this feature (TESO for instance) and the traditonal hub based system similar to WoW will die away, just as the camp grinding leveling systems of EQ/DAoC did when WoW was released.

    2. WvW
    I have for words to refute your claim and nothing more needs to be said: DARK AGE OF CAMELOT

    3. Endgame
    It would appear that you are in the narrow minority of gamers who believe that “raiding” is the only source of true endgame and as such any firther attempts to debate you are a nul land void. I feel sorry for people like you who think vertical gear grinds in a carrot on a stick raid design is the only true sense of end-game one can enjoy.

    You totally forgot to include anything related to the snippits of the Orr zone or any of the world dragons like Tequatl. Or the fact that Legendarys are going to be really hard to aquire and take massive amount of time and dedication.

    I suggest you watch to learn that GW2 will indeed have plenty endgame and arguably more then any MMO released with:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yepsdUAJZ0I&feature=relmfu

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djSkqibwJG4&playnext=1&list=PLE68A8007C05F1065&feature=results_video

    • 1) So what you are really saying here is that GW2′s “innovation” with Events is simply having more of them? Doubling-down on the concept? Because as you admit, multiple games have had this exact same feature. And your claim that GW2 isn’t, at heart, “hand holding hub based themepark MMO” is rather curious considering that is the entire premise of Renown Hearts on the map. The only difference between Renown Hearts and traditional quest hubs is the fact that ArenaNet eliminated the necessity to read anything. Which, if looked at objectively, is actually kinda lazy.

      By the way, without Renown Hearts, how are you to know there is even Events in an area to begin with? Just… hang out in a field of mobs and wait until something happens?

      As for the “living, breathing world” cliche, I’m not sure where to begin. You understand that Events loop, right? That at its core, such a malleable world would be impossible for a themepark MMO to produce in more than 10-minute increments? There will always be more bandits and kobolds and trolls attacking the farm, because the idea that XxArthasDKlolxX permanently solved the bandit problem five minutes before you logged on (thereby forever removing content from you) is outrageously dumb.

      And, please, by all means explain how Events will be fun “for years to come.” Did you enjoy zerging the same Event(s) the 2nd/3rd/nth time around? As I said in the article, many of the Events were indeed fun… the first time around. Considering you cannot plan for them or even know where they might occur ahead of time, I want to hear about these years of Event enjoyment long after every Renown Heart is filled.

      2) I’m not sure how DAoC “refutes” anything considering a lot of shit worked 10 years ago that does not work today. By your logic, AOL is a hot internet provider and Friendster/MySpace is where all the cool kids hang out. In fact, the DAoC model has failed in several MMOs since DAoC, which is a counter-point you obviously are not willing to address, e.g. why GW2′s version will “work” (however we end up defining that) and why the others did not.

      Plus, you know, did DAoC even “work” at all by the standards of success we use today?

      3) Your entire paragraph in this section is such a massive failure in reading comprehension that I wholeheartedly agree that “firther attempts to debate you are a nul land void.”

      I have to ask though: if you believe that character progression and vertical gear grinds are so immaterial to one’s enjoyment of a (end)game… then how do you explain the leveling process? If cosmetic rewards are enough, why does GW2 have levels at all? Christ, there are 80 of them!

      As for Orr, it sounds like an endgame daily quest hub, where the designers anticipate all the people who want to reliably be able to do Events to congregate. And Legendaries? Woo-hoo, another piece of purely cosmetic gear that has the same functionality as the weapon you picked up 20+ hours ago. Some people go for that, no doubt, just like some people hunt achievements, pets, and so on. It is not all that different from vertical gear grinds, in the abstract – the main difference being all that extra “content” evaporates the minute someone finds a look they enjoy more than all the new shit ArenaNet will try to sell in the cash shop.

      • Its obvious you are freightned by the impending release of what is poosibly the most successful MMO in years. Its obvious you are a WoW fanboi and couldn’t stand having your “precious” see competition.

      • 1) You’re going about this completely the wrong way. As said before, you’re not meant to hunt down specific events and complete them. You’re meant to come across these events whilst exploring the world. The events are NOT ALL ZERG based, all the starter area DE’s are mostly zergs I admit but that is because people are still learning, as you get up into the later zones (at least past 40) these events begin to get more complex, with multiple phases and larger overall chains (rather than repeating the same few ones). If you don’t like the idea of exploring the world and would rather run from quest hub to quest hub doing fed-ex quests then this game is not for you. Feel free not to play, everyone likes different things I guess.

        2) I never played DAoC and I enjoy the WvWvW in GW2, yes it’s a complete pain running back, this is for balance reasons though. Dying has no penalty other than the time out of the fight so I can definitely understand the reason behind this decision (also you can upgrade keeps to provide a closer respawn point to the battle).

        During the beta events I definitely agree that too much time was spent hammering on doors and towers but this is because everyone was relatively low level, we were all wearing crappy gear and hardly anyone has siege weapons. Once everyone is fully kitted out at 80 and able to lay down large amounts of siege weapons, structures will play a less significant role. I really enjoyed playing WvWvW with my friends/guildies and I think it’s what I’ll spend most of my time doing once I’m 80.

        3) The original Guild Wars only had 20 levels and many of the original players didn’t want a level cap of 80, however Anet made a compromise which was whilst there are 80 levels (to pull in more standard MMO players) the scaling stops relatively early so you need the same xp to level up each time, you are scaled up for PvP and scaled down to still make PvE events meaningful.

        As mentioned in point 1, the game is exploring the world, not rushing to 80 and raiding/ticking off progression boxes, if you don’t like this idea then don’t buy the game. I spent thousands of hours playing top 50-100 PvP, unlocking every skill and prestige armor and weapons, i’ve also spent a large amount of time playing the beta and I know that Guild Wars 2 is a good game and it will not flop.

        There are however legitimate gripes such as server caps and game performance (particularly WvWvW) that may undermine GW2 that you could discuss but making broad statements like “DE’s are boring zergfests” when you probably (correct me if I’m wrong) haven’t made it out of the first couple starter areas just makes you look biased.

      • @Steve Mink Jr.
        1) Why would I be “frightened?” I own the game, same as you.
        2) I quit WoW over a year ago. I plan on buying MoP, but that is neither here nor there.
        3) I cheered the last two times WoW lost a million subscriptions in a quarter. Blizzard’s reaction to the losses was to actually work on the game instead of dialing it in, so the more competition the better.

        So… yeah. If you have some actual point(s) to convey, feel free to post again.

      • Also wanted to add that the dungeons are very different. You play it once (Story mode) and after that you have 3 different paths to take, all with a different dungeon layout, bosses, rewards and different dynamic events (yes inside a dungeon).

      • I don’t get the “DE are only fun the first time” argument – In every MMO, there is plenty of content that you will do more than once (Dungeons, Raids, Daily Quests, you name it).

        Which MMOs did use the DAOC Model (3 Factions, massive Keepbattles)?

      • @Afyael

        Thank you for the well reasoned counter-points.

        1) I suppose I am not conveying this properly, or perhaps to an Explorer-type personality this issue would not matter to begin with. But I am NOT treating Events as a checklist per se – I am asking how people imagine Events will play out come release.

        Yes, you come across Events as you explore the world. But… presumably you leave the zone at some point, yes? When you leave and come back, what then? I imagine that part of the exploring will be to see the Events you missed. But how could you find them? Do you even bother looking? How will you know there are even Events in the zone you missed?

        2) During the first beta, the keep’s waypoint was essentially permanently contested (i.e. unusable) the moment a handful of enemies got within 90 feet of the wall. So, I imagine there will be a lot of running.

        As for your other WvW points, they are certainly valid. I wonder though, how often we are even going to see the big battles when the playerbase is not funneled into specific timeframes. Those matches run 24/7 (as far as I know) two weeks at a time, so is it only going to be heavy action during 10pm EST or whatever? Is a single guild logging on at 4am going to be able to take the Keep?

        People say DAoC did it, but it also had fewer servers, a more concentrated niche playerbase, and had endgame progression centered on the location.

        3) I think there are very few “standard MMO players” who rush to 80 just to tick boxes. What happens is we actually enjoy the feeling of character progression, and the more we enjoy ourselves the faster the content is consumed. Believe it or not, the “gear grind” is fun for me (up to a point), and so is planning out upgrade paths, reading theorycraft, and otherwise “optimizing the fun out of the game.” That is my fun. I enjoyed Skyrim and the Fallouts, but try as I might, the moment I hit a level cap (or character power otherwise becomes static) I head to last boss because the game loses its magic.

        As for later-game Events and zerg potential versus skillful play, well, I will believe it when I see it. The Orr stuff will likely need finesse, but I somehow doubt ArenaNet is going to make Events out in the world that require coordinated play from multiple people to complete.

      • @ Ciocco

        I don’t get the “DE are only fun the first time” argument – In every MMO, there is plenty of content that you will do more than once (Dungeons, Raids, Daily Quests, you name it).

        Right, but the vast majority of people would never do those things again if there was not a secondary reason to do so, e.g. to get upgrades, accumulate tokens/reputation, and so on. If someone got every drop in a dungeon in the first run, they aren’t ever likely to come back. A handful of Karma and gold isn’t likely to cut it to continually replay an Event when there are so many other sources available.

        And besides, Events play out more like quests, right? You already know how (most of) the steps play out the 2nd (etc) time around, so they lose a lot of their spontaneity. At least for me, anyway. “Yep, 10 guys from the East. Next there will be 10 guys from the South. Then the golem boss and adds from the North.”

        Point taken about using the term “DAoC model.” Allow me to revise to “RvR,” or more simply “taking Keeps.” Regardless, I still don’t think that because DAoC’s RvR “worked” (again, I’ll take everyone’s word on it) years ago that the same thing necessarily works today; it is a weak argument in a gaming environment that looks nothing like it did back then.

  10. “it is time to grab the hose.” No. Can you wait with that until a month or so has passed and the *majority* has seen enough of the game beyond the starting areas?

    Right now what you’re doing is missing impossible. Going against the tides of little fannets everywhere who cream themselves at the slightest thought of GW2.
    I mean, look at what you’ve done haha. You’ve driven one mad! And he’s seeking support from the other drones. http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/361026

    Just as with SWTOR, I’m calling it with GW2. The rose tinted glasses will be coming off soon enough ^^

  11. rofl dat blog. what a stupid retard you’re :D

  12. You put some effort into spewing bullshit. I applaud.

  13. ‘I don’t like it, therefore it must fail.’ Haven’t heard this before.

    • May I ask, are you talking about the blog post itself or some of the comments it got? I’m genuinely curious, not trying to troll or something.

  14. This is why people say GW2 has “hype”. Here we have a well written piece that could incite critical discussion but instead some of the “fans” resort to petty attacks and mud slinging.

    For shame.
    You give the rest of us a bad name.

  15. I’ve played maybe a total of 30 hours total so far. The most profound memories I have are running into random event chains that span 5-6 different scenarios (Skritt ones are my favorite so far). Its storytelling at its finest in a MMO (so far) and I’ve already made memories that I will keep for a long time. You cant judge something on its tangible award (lvling, exp, + more stats on gear
    ), games are meant to be fun and memorable (at least they used to be) if a game can accomplish these two things, then it has succeeded.

    I couldnt tell you how many games I’ve played in the past 25 years (100s maybe?), but I could tell you the names of the dozen or so that are still worth remembering. GW2 will be one of these games as well, these things only come very often, but when they do its easy for it to stand out among the others.

  16. Cheryl, the entire article is one persons opinion portrayed as objective judgment of quality, it’s not.

    He is not being critical, or objective for that matter.

    It’s okay he doesn’t have to like it, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad game or that it will fail. I never liked WoW, but hell that is the most successful MMO ever and I haven’t ever disputed that it’s a good game, it’s just not a game that I enjoy.

    The same is true for countless titles, and this type of mindless childish bashing is the same crap people are doing against WoW. There is no reasonable discussion to be had here because the author is not a reasonable person.

    • I have to assume you did not read the entire post (or the supplemental linked material), so allow me to simply quote my last paragraph as a form of TL;DR:

      In any case, those are my Guild Wars 2 predictions ten days before the headstart launch. Like I mentioned before, and hopefully you have understood by the title of the post, I am not necessarily predicting GW2′s failure or poor retention or whatever else. It could very well be that the game is a smashing success, breaks the 7th Seal, and ushers us into a dawning Age of eternal bliss. If it does so, it will be in spite of Dynamic Events, WvW, and its endgame, not because of them.

      I could be wrong; it has happened before. We’ll just have to see in the next 1/3/6/12 months.

  17. Here’s an idea. Play gw2 the same way you play skyrim.

    You dont look for end game content in skyrim no? You just go out, see the world, kill everything, collect everything, then finish up satisfied with your purchase.

    Why does gw2 have to be any different?

    Please… tell me that

    • It’s an MMO. There is no subscription fee, of course, but there are nevertheless social costs involved. If I join guilds in order to be able to experience dungeons, high-level PvE, organized PvP, etc, but then get bored later, I will A) feel compelled to stay aboard out of social obligation, or B) feel bad for leaving people high-n-dry by not playing anymore. A lot different outcome than when I got my 117-hour fill of Skyrim.

      Maybe that is just me, and everyone else finds it easy to treat guild members as means to an end, I dunno.

      • Both A and B are essentially the same thing. A) You owe them nothing. B) You are not indispensable. Play for as long as it’s fun, realize that you will not see everything in the game before you hit level cap, enjoy what you do experience, take a break or quit when you’re bored. Easy, done.

        Everyone seems to be having too much heartburn over this and every other new shiny. Someday maybe we’ll see both hype and negativity for what they are, and just have fun.

  18. Cheryl, I’ve played over 100 hours of GW2 already and I can tell you for a fact it is not hype – the game is just that damn good. If I haven’t seen the downsides of this game by now, there aren’t any.

    There is a difference between a game being good, and you personally not enjoying it. Try to separate your emotions from your rational mind, you’ll have a easier time having a objective debate and people might take you more serious. As it stands you just look like a giant troll.

  19. Ignorant blog indeed, lots of lack of understanding for the game. I, personally would give the entire MMO base of games for just one walk through Metrica Province or one jumping puzzle. I am not a fanboy of any game at all. I don’t hate WoW I just got full of it and I quit after 6 years. I played SWToR for like 20-ish lvls and really enjoyed it, never tried end game, so I can’t say SWToR sucks bcs of it’s endgame. Single game was really nice for me, even more so because I’m a huge fan of the franchise. Hated rift because of the ridiculous spawn patterns of the mobs, Aion was a grind, etc etc. I’ve tested tons more of MMOs. The one I enjoyed the most was probably Silkroad Online before the BOTs invasion. What I’m trying to say is there isn’t a bad game, there are people who refuse to try and to adapt to new things. For example you look at DE for all the stuff beneath them which make them regular quests and I look at them for all the time I spend doing them without feeling like I’m grinding or in a real rush and need to do them. What you need to do is take another objective look and let yourself in, not cocoon yourself and go in with all the hate and set up opinion.

  20. 3. Inexistent endgame?
    Hmm ok, but what about Zhaitan, the 8 dungeons with their initial story mode and the later 3 explorable modes which are different from the story mode (and which make a total of 32 dungeons not 24, 1 story mode and 3 explorable modes for dungeon) what about worldbosses?

    I mean is ok if you don’t like GW2 but don’t say things that are not true. GW2 HAS an endgame. It may not be of your liking, but it has.

    • I do not consider cosmetic rewards (or achievements) an endgame. Or at least one that is going to last a particularly long amount of time.

      Nor do I see the Explorable Mode versions of the dungeons as a particularly good retention mechanism. Harder versions of the same dungeon (different bosses, Events, whatever) that you would do for… more cosmetic gear? The challenge of it? Maybe the caliber of player GW2 will attract is higher than WoW, but Blizzard very visibly lost nearly 3 million subs in large part due to hard dungeons. Like Challenge Modes, Explorable Mode is going to be an extremely niche activity, unless they end up being a lot easier than people are claiming.

      • Actually, Cataclysm problems might have been caused by the fact there was very little to do than to run the hard dungeons – or raids which were harder.

      • So your a loot whore then?

        Then GW2 isn’t your game.

        The does not mean you have to post an article that has no real research behind it. Just because you want go around saying your the biggest child in the game cause you have the most powerful pixel.

        This game is actually returning to how EverQuest; to a degree; was with open world raiding. Which are the Dynamic events or Dynamic Webs as they are known in Orr.

        I am sorry that all you have proven here is that it take no skill to swing a weapon with the highest amount of stats on it. All you have done here is prove to the world that those that play WoW are now “kids” and loot whores with no brains as your lack of research in this post proved without a doubt.

      • Loot whore? Is that like a cosmetic or achievement whore?

  21. Since I’ve played GW2 over the passed BWEs as well, here are my remarks on your post.

    1). As stated countless times above, I feel that dynamic events are a refreshing new questing system. It might take some time getting used to but I have enjoyed it greatly so far. Furthermore I completely agree with you that the event system is over hyped in every way, but that does not make it bad. It might not be as good as the ANet commercials claim it to be (is anything from promo videos?) but it does create a more pleasant questing system and world to explore.

    As for the looping and repeating problem you stated. Is this really a problem? Does it ruin your experience if you know that it will happen again? There is no reason to be in the same area after you’ve completed the entire event branch. I personally love pie and love the fact that I can eat it more than once, but if I’m not hungry I’ll just go do other stuff.

    Don’t look at the event system as a obligatory part of GW2, it’s not. All it is, is an extra fun way to explore and help the world. No one is forcing you to grind them if you don’t want to. You mentioned the leveling problem which forces you to grind dynamic events, I haven’t seen this problem up till level 30 so I cannot comment on that.

    2). I agree with you on this point. WvWvW does not appeal to me at all. Most of the time is spend sieging keeps and in massive battles where I am more of a fast action in small groups type of guy (love sPvP). Although, I can see how people enjoy it. Personally, I think the feature is a great add on for people that enjoyed the DAoC type games and is executed pretty neatly. You should try to be objective on this point and not be blinded by the fact that it is not your type of game.

    3). As far as I know and can read in your post, there still isn’t a lot known of the end-game of GW2. Try to hold your criticism until there is something to write about. What I can read from the other replies, the difference in judgement of the end-game (positive or negative) is mostly based on a different interpretation of the rumors in a 2 min long video. There is no way of knowing what it will be like until we have seen it.

  22. I played WoW from Vanilla Beta till end Cata and honestly I got bored at the end of TBCE. Why? Because in vanilla WoW, gear was worth struggling for. I mean how many people were running MC in greens/blues? Back then if you got an epic everyone was like “s**t boy you got an epic!” It mean’t something.

    Now by the time you hit level 85 you should have a full set of epics before even doing max level dungeons. Not to mention having XXXX Gear Score. The fun is gone and all thats left is a gear treadmill that gets easier with every whiny little bitch on the forums. (+25% health and damage in ICC much?)

    While I agree with most of your points you’ve enveloped them in so much hyperbole it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that just screams “WoW fanboi”. Next time try to atleast sound like a neutral party and post objectively. I can see the good and bad points of any game including GW2, however I’m not stupid enough to phrase my posts as you have.

    • I honestly don’t understand the “WoW fanboi” point. Aside from the single screenshot of Isle of Conquest – which was supposed to illustrate how much I dislike the “siege a keep” PvP – the only other time I brought up WoW at all was to counter the weak argument of “endgame doesn’t matter because only the 1% see it in other MMOs, e.g. WoW.” Anyone in LFR or LFD or doing dailies is in the endgame, which is damn near everyone.

      • Yu may not like it and thats fine but to call it a failure or dumb (or imply that it is) is wrong when thousands of forum posts across the spectrum of MMO gaming forums are discussing as we speak how best to reunite allegiances, delegate authority and such all based o nthe premise that WvW is a huge draw for people. Sure it might suck for you, but for the overwhelming number of players its the prime reason they will be coming to GW2.

        Instead of implying or making snarky comments or creating hyperbole why not jsut say “WvW isn’t for me and I prefer battleground style PvE”? Its a whole lot less hateful and more truthful without aleninating players? Unless the whole reason was to create traffic hits to the site whci his fairly juvenile and underhanded in and of itself.

      • Quoting from my post, again:

        I could be wrong; it has happened before. We’ll just have to see in the next 1/3/6/12 months.

    • Tacking on “I could be wrong,” does not make you objective. I could make an assinine comment like… “Hitler was the best leader ever,” and follow it up at the end with “I Could be wrong.” No one remembers or reads the end attaempt to be “objective.” They remember the idiot comments I make to make my point.

      Your attempt at objectiveness by adding “I could be wrong” is silly. You already soiled your reputation with the blatant attack prior to it.

  23. Sadly, GW2 will indeed fail in the long run due to its combination of dodge-or-die combat (even Guardians and Warriors having virtually no durability in the face of a Champion; level 17 Guardians should not be able to head back to Queensdale and be one-shot by the Champion wasp queen over by the logging camp! Made worse, of course, by the game being online and subject to latency) and, once you finish the Renown events in an area (which get rarer as the zones level up, by the way, to the point that Orr has none at all), wandering around randomly hoping that something happens, preferably something that you haven’t already seen a dozen+ times before on that character.

    And then, of course, you reach level 80 and find out that the “endgame” is doing exactly the same things you’ve been doing since level 30, just without the Personal Story or Renown events to give a little variety.

    PvP? Even if you’re part of the ~10% that like MMORPG PvP enough to play it regularly, capture point PvP will get boring FAST due to it being the only mode and having only 3 maps.

    WvWvW is either frustrating or boring, depending on your level: frustrating if you’re not a natural 80 since higher-level players will trash you with little effort while you’re grinding the PvE foes in the world to level up (or while hanging on the outskirts of battles trying to tag as many foes as possible with your virtually useless AoE attacks), boring because it inevitably comes down to pounding on castle gates for 20+ minutes or shooting off ranged attacks at the people pounding on the gates… Also rather boring because the players on the other two sides are just anonymous Red/Blue/Green Invaders (or are they now Servername Invaders? Didn’t bother to WvWvW in BWE3).

  24. GW2 may not be all that it is hyped up to be but what I have played thus far beats another other MMO (for me) that’s out there at present.

    If other gamers would prefer to top up the £900+ plus subscription that they have already paid for WoW just so that they can have panda fights and get onto the next pointless gear treadmill then let them. More fool them for not giving GW2 a fair go.

  25. Sounds like this was wrote by a bitter wow vet…

    nothing to see here, move along..

  26. Awwwww are you scared that your precious WoW might lose out?
    I could rebutt every single one of the points you made, with proof and videos, but why bother – you didnt include any factual information is your blog post….Have you actually played the game at all or are you just repeating what your fellow Wowtards have said?

  27. Well, I guess everyone has an opinion………….

  28. I want to thank you, Azuriel for your blog in general I have been reading it now on and off since March this year. Somewhere amonst the blogrolls, of either Tish Tosh Tesh, Wolfhead, or Syp’s blogs, I found this one. I myslef am about to release my first blog and use various blogs such as this for different perspectives. This particular thread has reached 59+ responses. Good show, Azuriel!

    Basically your points, to me, are clear. I also understand that we must expect protagonist and antagonist on any important issue. We have them here, but my oh my don’t we have some strong emotional argument flowing! Truly, though I think everyone on either side of this “fence” will just have to wait, won’t they?

    Here is a suggestion for you Azuriel, if you choose to try this. I’ve always thought, “well how many games have we seen at pre-release that have been so over-hyped and over-discussed as the chances of subjectively being cirtiqued are niegh impossible”? Why not revisit this particular thread, say, one year from now, August 18th, 2013. I do think it would be an objective, refreshing, and possibly hilarious view at “what was” and how the “what may be” certainly was different. Just a thought of course, but I decided to write a thought here becuase this emotional defense of GW 2, like SW:ToR has gone way over-the-top.

    Personally, I have stated to my gaming friends that really it is best to support any good game that has the compunction to compete with Blizzard. Thus I applaud SW:ToR, Rift, TSW. and GW 2 for releasing within a year and half of each other. This is about healthy competition in this genre, high fantasy mmo. I support intellectually this competition. Thus, I am not going to knock in any way the future progress, if any, in GW 2. I believe that even SW:ToR will get back on it’s feet and goodness look at Rift it has proved not only its value, but its toughness in face of extreme negativity after launch. Yes, for the first time in its history Blizzard must consider the competition and the fact that there are financial cracks in its armor. Vivendi is selling that 60% stock, or at least attempting to, isn’t it?

    This was refreshing and I shall return again and Azuriel. As for the atagonoist that defend in their emotionally charged way, I wish you all the best and do hope for the best with GW 2. But, ladies and gentlemen I hope for the best with the other mmos I have named as well, please keep that in mind.

    Alyn

    • Believe me, I shall be revisiting this post (or at least the topic) 1/3/6/12 months hence for sure. Not even necessarily to see how silly some of the anonymous trolling comments come across, but to see if it turns out I am out exploring Dynamic Events inbetween farming cosmetic gear in WvW months later.

      I doubt that will be the case, but my last prediction was that SWTOR was going to be fine, and look where that got me. Plus, as with all MMOs, things can change quite a bit after launch.

  29. Oh my, I want to apologise Azuriel about duplicate postings! Please remove the Anonymous post timed at 9:29 am and the identified post is the clearer of the two!

    Cheers!

    Alyn

  30. This read gave me cancer

  31. This person is obviously a fucking idiot.

  32. This blog gives us all ball cancer.

  33. You didn’t mention the Asura gate spawn points for WvW that can be bought as keep upgrades. After the upgrade is complete all team members can spawn at the keep. The only time players can’t respawn at the gate is when the keep is under attack. This makes keeps even harder to capture, because players will want to defend their spawn points. At higher levels they should become much more common.

    If you didn’t know about these Asura gates because of the lack of them in BWEs, I hope this helped!

    • I did encounter a Waypoint (which I suppose is the Asura gate) during the first BWE when my server held the keep. Unfortunately, it was almost permanently contested even when it appeared to only be a small group of players attacking the outer gates.

  34. oh and btw go fuck yourself faggot

  35. I find your article extremely lacking in knowledge of the DE system. Orr will require coordination – thus is raiding – just open world raiding. Also in Orr they are no longer called Dynamic Events but Dynamic Webs since they will overlap and thus cause multiple conclusion. This very fact will take several months to figure out and then once they are they will be repeated several times as is typical in raiding. Then at this time and expansion will come out that the cycle will begin anew.
    Please do more search before you post. You make yourself look foolish otherwise.

    • and expansion = an expansion

      more search = more research

      P.S. ANet has clearly stated multiple times that the DE system IS the endgame

    • Why would you do any of that more than once?

      I can understand that some people will, for giggles or cosmetic rewards. But will there be enough people, is the question. Subscription or not, every MMO relies on a stable community of active players. Is an MMO on the scale of GW2 – where everyone admits that concessions were made to attract “standard MMO players” – going to retain enough players to hit some critical mass? Maybe. I’m along for the ride, same as you. But I don’t think DEs are going to be that killer app that keeps everyone coming back; it is going to be something else.

      By the way, I suspect “several months to figure out” in an age of Wikis and data-mining is a bit optimistic, as is an expansion release schedule of less than a year.

      • for earlier reply — a loot whore is someone who seeks gear or weapons that makes them better then anyone else. Thus giving them a bloated sense of worth

        Everyone who has raided has done something more then once. Also anyone who make alts does things more then once. (I have done both)

        Even with Wikis and data-mining it will still take several months.

        The average person has yet to encounter Orr. So I can not state with absolutes, but from all I have read and heard through my extensive research. Points to the fact that it will be a very complicated web that people will have to map out and figure out. This will take a lot of time. So I feel very strongly that several months (which can mean 6 month) will be needed to accomplish this task.

        Since in the past with Guild Wars they released expansions which were also B2P. This will be how expansion for GW2 will be done. They released them in a six month to a year time frame. This will in turn give ArenaNet cash influxes at these times. In addition to the item shop. Thus keeping them well financed.
        Also since they are using a beefed up versions of the original engine they used in GW it will make creating these expansions easier. Since they are using a familiar platform.

        The very fact that NCSoft allowed them to take so long to develop this game is testament of the faith NCsoft has in the B2P model. It also helped that Aion gave them some cash flow to carry them over till next weekend.

  36. Man there is cynicism and then just plain old negativity about every point on the game. Ever heard of the saying if you keep thinking something is going to be crap its going to be crap no matter what because you’ve made your mind believe it so much that you’ve become narrow minded? I for one don’t think its amazing but I don’t spout negativity and make non nonsensical comparisons. I honestly hope you don’t work in the game industry and If you worked where I do you wouldn’t last 1 week with that attitude. Additionally you have to keep in mind mmorpgs change over time and will be tweaked as games in general are never really ever completed.

    • I forgive you for not reading the supplemental links I included at the beginning.

      I do not, in fact, think the whole game is crap. In fact, the BWE3 impressions I had were extremely positive (Necromancer aside). I simply do not think DEs, WvW, and a flat endgame are the positives that others do.

  37. The Isle of Conquest references gave me a good chuckle because my god that’s such a horrible battleground. (Don’t think you get a pass because of that.. Strands of the Ancients)

    But in all seriousness, I did really enjoy the WvW skirmishes I got into during the beta weekends. I was in a group of around 15 to 20 people and we managed to work the door down of an enemy keep, we all stormed into the keep and the assault appeared to be going well. When all of the sudden we got ambushed by another server with a similar sized group and we had what I can describe as the most epic pvp battle I’ve ever had in a very long time.

    Now for the PvE, I’m someone who’s a diehard PvPer in WoW (I avoid PvE whenever possible) but my friends and I had to check out the dynamic events in queensdale. We really ended up enjoying these too. There were no shortage of event areas around with the renowned hearts and then the scouts in villages/outposts pointing you to the next area to head to. Although even without them in Queensdale, we were discovering new and fun events in every unexplored section of the zone we walked to.

    One of the more memorable events was when we failed an event to stop a poison leak and that triggered another event where we had to clean up the poison oozes that infested the area as a result.

    However the defining moment in BWE3 for us was when we were trekking along and we see in chat messages like “HELP NEEDED! TROLL RAMPAGING” and we look alittle ways in the distance and there is indeed a huge troll mob running around the area with a good ~15 people trying to take it down with many dead player bodies around it.

    It was at that moment that we were talking on skype and all agreed this is a game we would be playing come launch.

    For PvPers like us, the sPvP and WvW is enough to keep us more than entertained for a long time to come (just like arena, bgs, and wpvp in WoW does now). And if the DE’s stay as entertaining as they do now in later zones I can forsee us doing a lot of that too.

  38. It’s sad you don’t see the gaming brilliance of GW2 when so many millions do :)

  39. I found something interesting about the endgame, it might not be that flat after all I guess. The exotic gear will apparently be better than rare; of course, it is possible to obtain it via crafting as well (although it’s hard to guess the price of such gear) but crafter gear will only offer a limited stat selection (the forum post said it was 8 out of 168 possible combos). I can’t comment on Mystic forge (another way of obtaining exotics), it might end up as a viable method of obtaining gear but based on the description, it might sound more like something to use obsolete soulbound stuff for.

    It also goes without saying the gear will not be quick to obtain – apparently it will take 40+ runs of a dungeon to obtain a full set of armor (w/o weapon(s)). And we’re talking about something that probably will last longer than 15-minute affairs of late Wrath.

    Here’s the reference: http://www.guildwars2guru.com/topic/46603-faq-equipment-attributes-and-you-updated/

    I still think that cosmetic rewards are compelling but maybe AN does not want to bet on it – hence they decided to go with non-cosmetics.

  40. I seriously can not wait until GW2 launches so all these damn GW2 fans can play the game and piss off to let reasonable people talk about video games again. They shit up every single decent discussion about any MMO. You can’t even mildly criticize GW2 without having some drooling fanboy spaz out in fit of Asperger’s. I plan to play GW2, but damn the fanboys are horrible for this game — even worse than pre-launch SWTOR, and I thought that was as bad as it could get.

  41. To be honest, it just sounds like your not liking the game and are forcing yourself to. Only thing I got from reading the post and all responses, tbh.

    • There is a difference between being underwhelmed by the hype surrounding DEs, WvW, and a flat endgame, and not liking anything else in the game. Unless, of course, people are running around saying that those are the 3 major reasons to play the game at all, in which case they should stop.

  42. You know why these developers only have limited betas, or beta weekends now? it’s because they know the game is lacking and boring.

    If they opened the beta like WoW, they would have people at level 80 within a few days and find out that the game really has nothing to offer once you reach 80. This is not an opinion, this is fact.

    The fact is there is three things to do at level 80 in GW2:

    - Battlegrounds (WvWvW)
    - Arenas
    - Transmog runs (Run old content for new graphics)

    That is it! There is no progression after you reach 80. You can pretty much turn the game off at this point. Sure you can go around to old content, but let’s face it people do not do this. They did not go back to Desolace because they did Arathi. They move on and maybe do it on an alt.

    Also, the argument of B2P is so moot. The developers have 1. cash shop, 2. plans for rapid expansions, 3. content packs. They will get their monthly fee, but all at once and not monthly.

    That being said, I could be wrong, you could be wrong, or we could even both be right. Who knows. I own the game. I have unlimited money and can buy whatever I want, so I don’t really care if this is a shitty game that just goes on my wall. We’ll see though.

  43. Three completely valid points that I’m concerned about as well. The rift events in Rift were very similar, giving us the same great feeling of grouping up with people in the area to take on these cool spontaneous events, and not two weeks into the game we found that all of the low level areas were completely void of other players making the events either completely impossible to complete solo or they never triggered in the first place. What was the most enjoyable thing to me during the beta/early access turned out to be what caused me to stop playing after 2 weeks and never go back.

    I’ve never been one to care about endgame, so I don’t think that one’s going to bother me on a personal level, but I do greatly fear the longevity of my guilds because of it.

    • I experienced the ghost town effect in Warhammer’s Public Quests during my month there, and I haven’t seen anything from the BWEs that leads me to believe it will be different than how it played out there and in Rift, as you said. Will the giant shark from the Asura Event show up when it is just me and maybe 2-3 other random people? Probably not.

      And while Warhammer’s issue was primarily because everyone bailed after the first month, even if GW2 has 15 million people playing every day, it is going to be absurdly difficult to get many people to be in the same area at roughly the same time across the entirety of the game world. If these Events are less fun/less complex solo, it’s going to be an issue for everyone at some point.

  44. This whole conversation is pretty pointless given that in four days we get to see what happens rather than just guess.

    I played the BWEs in pretty much the way I played (going backwards in time) TSW, Rift, Vanguard, EQ2 or EQ1. In 12 years I have never paid much attention to end-game in any MMO and the way I play makes most of them a lot more like each other than they are different. I don’t see GW2 breaking that pattern.

    If you have the goals I do (level lots of characters of different classes and races until leveling them stops being fun, see as much of the world as possible, spend a lot of time gathering mats for crafting, kill many, many, many things because it’s fun etc etc) then gear grind/end game/quests/dailies etc have very little relevance. Since I tend to end up in guilds and/or chat channels with people who share my goals and playstyle choices, it’s only from reading blogs and suchlike that I even know most end-game activities exist.

    I don’t know how many people play the way I do but my feeling is that it’s a lot more than the people who write blogs imagine, and GW2 seems like a game that cleaves more towards that silent demographic than most.

  45. Azuriel your sux at gaems ok

    A++ page of comments, would read again.

    • A++++++ indeed.

      Whilst Azuriel occasionally (often?) infuriates me with his blog posts, the sheer malice and moronic vitriol on display is astounding from all these mad randoms who came here because someone was bashing their favourite game.

      And here I was thinking Johnny Casual With 30 Jobs And 20 Children And 10 Pets Who Just Needs A Little Help Because He Has A Life Unlike You Hardcore Meanies was the lowest common denominator in MMOs today.

      How wrong I was.

  46. Oh my god….do I even dare comment anymore?
    the better part of this comment section is the reason why we can\’t have normal, critical debates anymore among bloggers – you\’re either accused of bashing or hyping simply for pointing out what you like or dislike, alternatively eye with skepticism or euphoria FOR YOURSELF. apparently there\’s a holy war going on out there and we\’re supposed to pick one side….erm, yeah maybe not. serious /facepalm

    and this was even an intelligent topic, well-elaborating serious concerns. alas, two weeks from now the blogosphere should have regained much of its sanity…and good taste.

  47. msbunglexx@gmail.com

    The thing that worries me about the dynamic events is that they won’t work initially as intended. I’ve read that they are supposed to make the world dynamic in that if you don’t complete the event it actually changes the area. The problem is that nobody is going to ignore these events. I honestly feel I should hold off on any alts until about 3 months later, after the majority of people have moved through the starting area, and then role some alts so that I can see how they intended this to work.

    As for their lack of an endgame? I honestly left WoW and SWTOR because of the end game. I don’t like the dungeon or raid grinding only to have new gear and more grinding with the next patch. I started to feel like I was getting nowhere. It is possible that they listened to other players such as myself when designing this, but who knows.

    Apparently this did work (and still does?) in DAOC. I never played it, but I have friends that swear by the game. I really enjoyed PvP in LotRO as well and this dynamic sounds a bit similar (or maybe I just enjoyed my fellow players more in LotRO).

    I think the thing I really liked in my one weekend in GW2 was not having to run to these quest givers to accept or finish a quest. And more importantly, I liked that I could do different things to finish the quest so I wasn’t fighting over quest mobs or other items with my fellow players. And yes, I like that I won’t have to cancel my subscription if I find I’m not enjoying it (because I admit I forget to do that sometimes).

  48. I already made my post that I won’t be playing GW2 at release, for many of the same reasons you have listed. The hype has killed this game for me. The DE system is not that special. The only difference from rifts is that there’s some backstory, but that’s about it. They also scale terribly. All the excited folks from the beta weekends only ran into the DEs that were then zerged to the ground because all servers were highly populated. I already played during a press event with very low population, and let me tell you, DEs scale terribly. Once you are stuck on your own, forget about experiencing event chains. They’re clearly not intended to be solo’d.

    I don’t PvP. I don’t care for pets and cosmetic rewards. I like having set goals. GW2 is not for me.

    I would like to thank all the rabid GW2 fanbois for further proving my point that your community might be one of the worst I ever experienced in any MMO. You make all the tools in WoW look like charmers. I will be very curious to see how the game is doing in 3 months, when the vast majority of players will have rushed to level 80.

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