I haven’t taken the opportunity to really explain what I expect out of Guild Wars 2.Â I have been victimized by my own expectations for years.Â Going into a MMORPG expecting something, and finding something else destroys a game for many people.Â 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.
World vs. World
My main focus in Guild Wars 2 will be on the World vs. World gameplay.Â 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.Â I want this war to be intense, but strategic.Â 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.Â 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.Â In WoW you don’t know your neighbor.Â 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.Â This is accomplished in part by reducing the ‘back and forth’ feel.Â Keeps shouldn’t swap every ten minutes.Â They should go days without changing hands, and in some cases longer.Â Â WvW should be on everyone’s mind, but not be something that is constantly going at 100%.Â I’m confident that players burn out when true open-world PvP becomes non-stop.
Read on for more of my expectations.
PvE and “Dynamic Events”
I’m expecting the dynamic events to be like WAR’s PQ system.Â I’m expecting them to be larger scale, hopefully more involved, and less ‘visibly simply’.Â By that I mean I don’t want to realize I’m doing the objectives.Â 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.Â That’s good and bad.Â If it feels meaningless, then it’s a chore.Â 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.Â 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.Â DAOC’s Shrouded Isles dungeons allowed us to take dozens of players in at once at max level.Â DAOC also had Darkness Falls adhoc raids against Legion where a few dozen people would simply form a zerg and go slay bad guys.Â I’m hoping that these events are pick-up-and-play friendly.
I’ll buy into the idea, no pun intended, that the cash shop won’t affect gameplay.Â Â I’ll even go on record here and say that I expect the cash shop to be no big deal at the start.Â 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.Â 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!).Â I’m hoping this fixes the queue issue, and gives players an opportunity to branch out into other communities.Â I’m in love with the idea of the guild system that resembles the Link shells.Â Belonging to other guilds will allow for a lot more social interaction.Â I can be the leader of my guild, but be in another guild that may enjoy roleplaying more or PvPing more, etc.Â As a guild leader, I like the idea that my members won’t feel restricted to just my guild or their friend’s guild.Â 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.Â 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.Â Yes, I’m expecting GW2 to last longer than a few months.Â So much potential, and so many ways to make these features great long-term.Â 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.Â As always, I will let you know how the game measures up.