GW2 has made quite a splash (underwater combat pun, see what I did there) at Gamescom.Â There’s a 40 minute video with a lot of gameplay (available at the bottom of this entry) for you to watch.Â I just finished the whole thing and wanted to comment on what I saw as well as comment on a few things about GW2 in general that we’ve heard about from Gamescom.
Chris Lye, during the video presentation, clearly mentions the use of instanced play as well as the open “persistent” world.Â As long as the instanced play is not even close to GW1’s instanced play, where players essentially sat in lobbies and anywhere they went was instanced, then I won’t worry too much about it.Â SWTOR is in the same situation.Â How much of SWTOR will be instanced to tell a story?Â Both games will hopefully find a balance that works.Â Too much and the “world” feel of playing a persistent game with others is gone.Â Chris spent the first few minutes saying why GW2 is a “fully persistent MMO” and not just a “Online RPG” like GW1.
Dynamic events really are like public quests.Â Mark Jacobs, Mythic at the time, said to me in an interview at E3 2008: PQ’s are something developers are going to copy for many years to come.Â He also said that this is what developers do — they copy each other.Â It’s true, and it’s not a bad thing.Â If something works and adds to a game’s playable value, why ignore it?Â I think it’s overzealous to say that GW2’s dynamic events are unique, revolutionary, or even truly dynamic, though.Â They are, however, looking much more polished in theory and will probably be the best implementation of the idea yet.
One of the biggest let downs from GW2 is definitely the PvP shown.Â A few months ago their PvP talk was all about this World vs. World vs. World combat in a persistent open-world zone where you would gain benefits for your whole world by holding certain key objectives. They say outright that it’s like DAoC.Â [Quotes in a blog entry I made.]Â At Gamescom this mode is entirely missing.Â In fact, WvWvW is not mentioned in the “PvP overview” entry on their main website, either.Â The PvP shown is really an Arathi Basin (hold the point) instanced map with 10v10.Â There are also more competitive tournament modes for 5v5 like arenas.Â You access them by a server-browser-like interface and they really are no different from battlegrounds/arenas.Â Huge disappointment if these take priority over the open-world 3 faction persistent battle.
If all I wanted from PvP was instanced arcade-like fights then I would be ecstatic over Hutt Ball in SWTOR. /gagÂ I think of Guild Wars as a PvP franchise.Â It needs to shine in that area;Â it needs to innovate in that area.Â I cringe when I see small-scale instanced fights that resemble Counterstrike more than they do “fully persistent MMO” PvP.Â Â Â Hopefully this quote from one of their devs is alluding to the PvP they talked about before.Â Without it, my excitement for the game dies 50%.
Originally Posted by Regina Buenaobra
Just to clarify: Conquest is not the only PvP game type. We have other formats that we are not ready to talk about, so for gamescom we are focusing our information releases on formats that we are ready to talk about. We’ll talk more about other PvP game types in the future.
– Skill gains by use to unlock more abilities.Â Use a gun more to unlock more gun stuff.
– World map looks stylish
– Graphics, animations, ability effects, and races in general all look amazing.Â I want to be an Asura thief after watching the video.
– Underwater combat looks really cool.Â Probably the most innovative idea I’ve seen showcased for GW2 yet.
Update: This warrants an update.Â No where in this entry did I say WvWvW was out of the game.Â Â No where did I express any malcontent towards GW2 or Arenanet.Â No where did I make any claims that I have done research into the game so far as to check leak sites to see that WvWvW is in the game (see comments for the map link), so I reserve the right to be ignorant on what is not officially shown.Â To some of you I say welcome to a blog, a place where the author makes statements of opinion more often than statements of fact.Â I reserve the right to be wrong and I reserve the right to change my mind.Â This should go without saying.Â Now, I want to make it very clear that the content of this particular blog entry looks upon GW2 favorably.Â The frothing hatred that some of you displayed towards me for whatever reason makes me feel sorry for you — my heart goes out to your families.Â Â All I did, and continue to do at the time of this writing, was point out the interesting and quite unfortunate focus on arenas and battlegrounds and express my dislike for those particular forms of PvP in almost all MMO’s all the while wishing that we saw more of a PvP form I like.Â I would like to make it clear that I enjoy persistent open-world PvP with dynamic objectives and far-reaching consequences.Â I am likely preaching to the choir since the flames are likely coming from those who did not read a word of this entry anyway.
Update #2: Lots of links in the comments (scroll down to the late 50’s and 60’s) to TTH articles updated as of Sunday.Â The information there was not available when this original entry went up days ago.Â A lot of info alleviates my concern that World pvp is being neglected.Â However, I still fear for the overall feel of WvWvW given how detrimental the instanced ‘scenario/arena/battleground’ PvP can be if it is too rewarding.Â I hope there are incentives great enough in world pvp to make it the most popular.