My GW2 Expectations

I haven’t taken the opportunity to really explain what I expect out of Guild Wars 2.  I have been victimized by my own expectations for years.  Going into a MMORPG expecting something, and finding something else destroys a game for many people.  I usually talk about what I think a game will be, what I want it to be, and how I’ll go into the game when it launches (like I did with SWTOR), but this time I want to clearly outline what I’m expecting from Guild Wars 2; That way if I end up loving the game or hating the game I’ll be able to reference my own expectations before playing.

I want keeps to be highly contested, but not a 'back and forth' grind fest that players burn out on.

World vs. World

My main focus in Guild Wars 2 will be on the World vs. World gameplay.  I really, really want to rekindle my DAOC days where I would spend hours in the frontiers defending and taking territory from two other factions.  I want this war to be intense, but strategic.  Holding a keep has to mean something, so I expect the reward system already in place to be enticing enough for players to want to go out and claim more land.  I want the penalty, or the consequences for losing, to be enough for my team to care about dropping what they’re doing to rush out and defend.

I’m expecting players to know each other.  In WoW you don’t know your neighbor.  In DAOC you knew hundreds of people because you relied on those other players to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you against an onslaught of hundreds of attackers.

WvW should be something that we can play for years and never grow tired.  This is accomplished in part by reducing the ‘back and forth’ feel.  Keeps shouldn’t swap every ten minutes.  They should go days without changing hands, and in some cases longer.   WvW should be on everyone’s mind, but not be something that is constantly going at 100%.  I’m confident that players burn out when true open-world PvP becomes non-stop.

Read on for more of my expectations.

I want dynamic events to feel natural, rewarding, and easily accessible to all players.

PvE and “Dynamic Events”

I’m expecting the dynamic events to be like WAR’s PQ system.  I’m expecting them to be larger scale, hopefully more involved, and less ‘visibly simply’.  By that I mean I don’t want to realize I’m doing the objectives.  If I figure out the pattern, it ceases to be natural and certainly ceases to be dynamic.

From everything I’m told, GW2 PvE is fairly easy in the sense that you level fast and effortlessly.  That’s good and bad.  If it feels meaningless, then it’s a chore.  I’m expecting the PvE to be fun and engaging enough that regardless of difficulty it’s going to entertain me and keep me wanting to log back in.  I think the scaling system that reduces your level (hopefully I have this right?) in certain zones you out-level will make going back or staying in zones I enjoy rewarding.

Since there is no raid progression, I expect the end-game events (like the dragon on the right) to be phenomenal. I’ve participated in hundreds of end-game activities that do not even remotely resemble progression raiding.  DAOC’s Shrouded Isles dungeons allowed us to take dozens of players in at once at max level.  DAOC also had Darkness Falls adhoc raids against Legion where a few dozen people would simply form a zerg and go slay bad guys.  I’m hoping that these events are pick-up-and-play friendly.

Cash Shop

I’ll buy into the idea, no pun intended, that the cash shop won’t affect gameplay.   I’ll even go on record here and say that I expect the cash shop to be no big deal at the start.  I’m going to be ruthless in my criticism of this cash shop and hold ArenaNet to their promises.

Guilds, Community, and Servers

GW2 has a really interesting server system.  Players have a home server, but can apparently travel other servers via overflow when there’s a queue, or “Guest” on another server temporarily (thanks Kemwer for the info!).  I’m hoping this fixes the queue issue, and gives players an opportunity to branch out into other communities.  I’m in love with the idea of the guild system that resembles the Link shells.  Belonging to other guilds will allow for a lot more social interaction.  I can be the leader of my guild, but be in another guild that may enjoy roleplaying more or PvPing more, etc.  As a guild leader, I like the idea that my members won’t feel restricted to just my guild or their friend’s guild.  I’m all about reducing the power of guilds, reducing their impact on the gameplay, and bringing them back in line with being social tools instead of requirements.

Overall: Will GW2 be a 3-Monther?

I have my fingers crossed, again.  WvW being a truly engaging experience, and plenty of content are required for GW2 to break this slump I’ve fallen into over the years.  Yes, I’m expecting GW2 to last longer than a few months.  So much potential, and so many ways to make these features great long-term.  I want GW2 to be a game that satisfies me for years.

My expectations above are probably the minimum requirement for me to enjoy the game long-term.  As always, I will let you know how the game measures up.

  • I look forward to seeing your thoughts and feedback on GW2. Having played every major MMO since 1999 I have grown skeptical and this will be the first time I’ve decided not to buy a major release at launch. I have been disappointed too many times and played too many 3-monthers. SWTOR was the final straw for me so I’m going to take a 30-day approach: if people are still playing and enjoying the game after 30 days I’ll probably hop on board. I love the ideas on paper but there’s so much hype for this game it can’t possibly live up to all the expectations.

    I hope I’m wrong and GW2 proves to be the next big thing. Again, I look forward to your feedback and commentary.

  • Small fact correction: players “traveling” to other servers, and the overflow system are two different things, even if they work kinda similar in a few areas.

    Overflow: when you log into the game, if it happens that your home server is currently full, instead of being left on a queue you are asked if you prefer to go to the overflow server instead. This lets you play while you wait for an open spot on your home server so you can play with your friends/guildies. When your queue spot is up, you are asked if you want to transfer back to your home server. You can’t choose to go to an overflow server while already in-game.

    “Guesting”: at any point during the game you can choose to play as a guest on another server. You pick another home server, and is free to play all PvE content.

    On both cases: all your character progress is saved, including loot. You cannot join WvW while on a different server, but you can play Conquest PvP since this is always cross-server.


    In any case, I have similar expectations. To be honest I’m really, really optimist on GW2’s chances of being a great game, but that’s all because I’ve seen it running for hours and hours now, and I understand how the overall mechanics work together, so I’m fully aware of it’s strengths and weaknesses, and of its potential.

    Now the only thing I want is to play it.

  • I was watcing guildcast on yesterday and they said Anet said there will be a team to change the dynamic events every WEEK.. so like they can remove some, add some, etc.. So there always different.

  • So…what is the reward system for WvW PvP?

    There are “battlegrounds”…right? If so, do they share the reward system with WvW?

  • I expect not to be disappointed. that is really “all” I hope for this BWE.
    I don’t count on the public events or pvp to work flawlessly yet or show their full cooperative potential, I am fully prepared to deal with bugs and balancing issues at this point. just please, don’t disappoint me on any serious, game-breaking level.

  • @Gankatron that picture made me LOL.

    Lets hope the high expectations come tru and not become another failure like other mmorpg’s before GW2 that shattered our dreams. (For instance warhammer online.. when I reached lvl 30 that big fountain of chocolate became a fountain of poop)

    One concern: In the final game. If I do not rush the content will the areas I lvl in get overrun by so many people that its near impossible to do anything? 5 people trying to kill a mob.. hundreds of people doing the same thing as far as you can see.

    (burning crusade release in wow… terrible..)

  • I have been waiting to play GW2 for four years, so it will be hard not to go into it with super high expectations. Its going to be an interesting weekend.

  • Being a themepark I honestly don’t think GW2s content wont last longer than a couple of months.

  • I’m hoping to login and enjoy the game for at least a month. Just enjoy the ride. The beauty of the game, the mechanics, the class skills, and story. After a month or so I can see myself playing some more Vanguard and/or EQ. However, as we know, with the buy-once-play-free, I think I will most definitely be back into GW2 to level alts and experience more content. That is, my expectation is that GW2 will be a long-term MMO for me. With all the F2P offerings, I can have 3 or 4 games installed at once, play more or less free, and jump between based on my mood, my whims, my available time.

  • @Argorius: Yes, there are “battlegrounds”. On Guild Wars 2 they are just called “structured PvP”. They don’t really have any reward system, I think they are going for the “victory is its own reward” concept. I was never one to pursue PvP rewards anyway so I have no opinion on the pros and cons of this.

    As for WvW, their rewards come as server-wide buffs given to each server according to their War Score throughout the two-week match, and supposedly additional benefits by the its end. More details can be found here:

    So in short: no, there is no shared reward system for all types of PvP.

  • I too look forward to your reactions to the game and I agree with everything you say. If for some bizarre reason GW2 doesnt turn out to be what it “should” then my future in MMO’s are bleak.

    I truely hope this is my 4th MMO (AC, DAoC & WoW) that I can last past the 3 month mark and all evidence points to their being a plethora of things to preoccupy my mind and keep me entertained for hopefully years like those 3 previous wonderful games.

  • “I want the penalty, or the consequences for losing, to be enough for my team to care about dropping what they’re doing to rush out and defend.”

    I hope the consequences for losing won’t affect PvE too badly for those who don’t want to participate in WvWvW (or who just don’t feel like doing it that day). I don’t like to be forced into activities in MMORPGs. GW2 gets rid of raiding as mandatory end game activity if you want to progress, I for sure hope they won’t force people into WvWvW is they don’t want to, since it would be the same.

  • @Kemwer: thanks for the info. I am glad there is no gear grind in WvW PVP but I am still very skeptical on the lack of personal reward or character development system in WvW. I don’t think it is sustainable to have long term WvW without personal rewards such as realm abilities in DAOC. There needs to be some sort of character development. RvR used to be a lot of fun…huge battles….fighting for realm pride…accomplishing a goal together as a realm…it sounds as if that may be present in GW2. However, RvR had also many dull moments, many occasions where you didn’t do something for the greater good of the realm. Single battles or small battles that were meaningless except to show that you were better. I suspect that this won’t be enough for many people…if it was enough…open world PvP in WOW should be awesome…you can do this already…a personal reward system such as realm abilities can help to keep people motivated even if WvW is slow one night.

    Has there been any new info on how many people can go into a WvW battleground…is it still limited at 100? I remember that was another real lame facet of WvW…

  • @Argorius I’ve read somewhere that there are rewards for WvW, such as gear and other useful items, but that those rewards will just not be better for PvP than anything else, like most other games do. From what I’ve understood, at end game, gear will be mostly for the looks, no armor set will make you an invincible god like all those games with their stupid “PvP stat”, resilience in WoW, expertise in SW:TOR, etc…

  • @Merovingian: yeah, your understanding is correct, the game will allow you to level up and get good equips comparable in stats to those of dungeons or crafting, but with different looks. That’s not really something I would call a “PvP reward system” because it doesn’t give gear with PvP-specific stats like in other games such as WoW, it’s more a different gear acquisition path with different visuals. All high level gear will be similar on stats.

    @Argorius: I disagree that PvP requires personal rewards or character development to be sustainable. While it’s usual for every single PvP game these days to feature some sort of reward system, the most played online game to this day is still CounterStrike, and it have zero post-match reward system. You can have a game without a reward system if the game is solid enough.

    With that said, I’m still holding my judgment if GW2 WvW will be this good long term.

  • I’m tempering expectations. From what I’ve gathered, GW2 is definitely going for a pvp-centric and potentially an e-sport type of game. I don’t mind that because I was a big arena junkie in WoW and I played competitive FPS games for years, but I would like the WvW to shine. I have a feeling it might be a lot like WAR, but we’ll see.

  • It’s been somewhat a trainwreck for me this morning. The server I want to play on was giving an error when I tried to join. I tried joining another and it worked, but now I’m stuck there, even without a character. So I made a character, and got the free 2,000 gems to transfer, but the transfer does not work.

    Now I’m stuck on a server I don’t want to be on.

  • @kemwer: yes you may be right that if the game is solid enough that you may not need to personal reward system. However, extending this to MMOs and especially to WvW seems unrealistic. Counter strike is an instant gratification game, you log on, chose a game, and go have fun. It is more akin to an actual small scale battleground (i do realize that unfortunately…WvW is actually a big battleground). In WvW you will have highs and lows…active nights and maybe low active nights…off hour periods…the semi open world PvP is more unpredictable and you are not guaranteed instant gratification by great gameplay.

    Compare CS to a battleground and I would be curious if you took “the most fun” battleground of any game yet and strip it of any rewards…how successful would it be? How successful would it be long term…like…years? I believe it would decrease in popularity but who knows.

  • How does one report bugs? I have a nasty one that makes it impossible to leave the “encumbered” state. Since it is a beta I sold all items in all 3 of my bags and I still remain encumbered, which is unplayable.

  • There is a button at the end of the row of buttons on the very top left-most side of the screen.