Guild Wars 2 Report Card

Guild Wars 2 has been out for a month now, and it’s time to really grade the game across the board.  Up until now I’ve been able to say “oh well this is a good feature” or “this needs improvement”, but all of those statements aren’t really qualified until put to the test over the coarse of time.

I have put in over 200 hours into Guild Wars 2, reached the top level, obtained almost the “best” gear, and I’ve experienced the game to the point where I feel qualified to grade the game.  And that’s a finicky thing to do with an MMO because, more than any game out there, how players feel about the game changes regularly. Reviewing an MMO is an ongoing process.

What use is this to you?  Well, if you’re someone who hasn’t purchased Guild Wars 2 then this might be useful in your purchasing decision.  We can also use this as a way to look back and discuss the merits of GW2 one month in, and use these metrics to help us figure out what we value most in a MMO, hopefully to help us with future purchases.

You’ll find the grade breakdown after the break.

Fairly standard stuff here.  A’s are excellent, C’s average, and F’s mean it should have been left out.

Overall Leveling Experience: A

GW2 excels at providing an experience while leveling up where I always feel like, even on alts, I’m not going through the same motions.  It feels fresh, non-rigid, and there’s enough content while leveling to go through 2-3 times without ever repeating the same stuff.  Leveling is easily the best of what GW2 has to offer.

Dynamic Events: B

Maybe some of you finally believe me about the events not being dynamic.  All it takes is watching the sea of people standing around waiting for them to start, finishing them in 4 minutes, and waiting for them to respawn to know they are simply ‘events’.  So while I downgrade them for that, I have to say they are still a lot of fun overall and certainly above average content.

World vs. World: B

WvW doesn’t have the long-term appeal because it lacks the proper reward structure.  I’m not talking about points or a gear grind.  WvW needs a dungeon only accessible to the winning side, or something to get people motivated.  Simply winning isn’t enough, and losing is like “oh well” to most people.

At first I thought the maps were huge, a godsend to this generation, but the more I play the more I realize it’s not that big, and they should have been a LOT bigger.  I think DAOC frontiers were at least 10x the size… maybe more.  GW2, while bigger than any other attempt in years, is still not big enough for WvW to function properly.

In other words, WvW is good, but it could have been better.

Dungeons: F

Dungeons are nearly pointless.  The stories are weak, the rewards are inadequate (ArenaNet agrees), and they play extremely wonky at times with bugs and a truly incomplete feel.  Dungeons were tacked on to GW2, of that I have no doubt.

Presentation of a MMORPG World: B+

This would have been an easy A if they left out overflow.  While not a bad way to implement a lobby system, it still breaks up that contiguous world feel.  Tyria in general is large, beautiful, and capable of large expansion.  Zones are diverse, and I only felt that a few zones felt alike.   Teleporters are goofy, and trivialize the size of the world and the ‘presence’ one has in the world.

Cash Shop: A-

ArenaNet has, thus far, maintained the integrity of the game’s cash shop.  Despite being able to buy gems, and trade gems for gold, there isn’t any sense of game-breaking involvement.  To me it feels no different from WoW’s cash shop.

Crafting: A-

Simply the best node gathering system out there.  Crafting is actually useful, and incredibly integrated into the game’s loot system.  Crafting is a legitimate way to level up, not entirely a boring plug’n’chug, and a value to the game’s economy.  As far as themepark crafting goes, GW2 has the best I’ve played.

Lasting Appeal: C (Aka, is GW2 a 3 monther?)

Since I coined the phrase “3 monther”, I feel like I can bend the rules a little.  Here’s the deal: Guild Wars 2 isn’t a typical 3 monther, but at the same time the game itself may only carry 3 months worth of content (which may even be a little bit generous of me to say).  Most 3 monther’s are 3 monther’s because you want to quit by the end.  Guild Wars 2 is a 3 monther because I’ll run out of stuff to do.

Leveling was really good, but it goes so quickly — event on alts.  Even the truly casual can reach max level in two months.  Once max level, you find yourself doing the same stuff you’ve done during those first two months (This is INTENTIONAL), but that means you have little to look forward to, or to actually begin doing, at max level.  There simply isn’t enough content in the game to last longer than 3 months.

WvW is the true end-game activity that keeps on giving, but I feel like there is a foreseeable end in sight where I know I’ll say, “Well that was fun, but I’m ready to go do something else.”  I haven’t reached that point, but I know myself and I know this game — that point isn’t all that far away.

If ArenaNet releases content regularly, and I truly mean at least once a month to both the WvW and PvE side, then GW2 is not at all a 3 monther.  Otherwise, it’s a 3 monther.

Overall Grade: B (Good)

Guild Wars 2 is a solid game, a good game, and one worth buying and investing over 200 hours like I have into leveling characters and experiencing Tyria.   While the leveling and WvW are fun, there are problem areas such as keeping players entertained longer than 3 months, making dungeons actually worth doing, and making WvW more meaningful.

Despite not having enough to keep players engaged as long as I would like, GW2 has the foundation to support building a future worth experiencing.   Would I recommend GW2 to a friend?  Yes.

  • Agree with most everything you said but Dungeons is more like a D+, because the rewards in the dungeons themselves are pointless. Fix that and have them drop good stuff and not rely on tokens and it could easily move up to an A- in my book.

    I give Lasting Appeal an A+ because I still dont have 100% world completion (51% currently) am prolly at least an year away from a Legendary, have no t completed any dungeon suit (let alone all dungeon suits) nor do I have all the gear I need/want. I am full Draconian Berserkers armor with Runes of the soldier exotic gear and exotic Great Sword and Longbow but my amulets, rings and accessory is still masterwork level. So I still have a bit of ways to go to get full exotic.

    Let’s see, then there is also WvW which is IMO (barring matchups get to balanced phase) easily months if not a year worth of enjoyment. So in theory I prolly have at least a year or more left ingame.

  • Very fair review, much of which I agree with. Where I differ is in your assessment of “Lasting Appeal”. To me, lasting appeal had almost nothing to do with what I can expect to achieve or what fresh experiences I can expect to have. Lasting appeal means do I want to live here?

    Imaginary places that I want to live in will hold my attention for months on end and draw me back for repeated visits for year after year. At this early stage I’d say GW2’s Tyria is one of those places. I doubt I’ll need a break from it this calendar year and I am absolutely certain that however many breaks I end up taking I’ll keep coming back as long as there’s a server up to have me.

    I think different MMO players have very different ideas of what constitutes a successful MMO. I’m close to formalizing my own criteria and GW2 looks to meet most of them.

  • @Bhagpuss: GW2 is definitely a success, despite my assessment of its lasting appeal. Try as I may, I can not ignore my own standards for what constitutes long-term playability. I am oldschool, perhaps old guard even, when it comes to believing that MMORPG’s should be virtual worlds where (as you say) I can ‘live’. I see Tyria not as a place to ‘live’, but a place to conqueror and move on to the next challenge. I see it that way because that is how I feel the game’s design pushes me to play. Not a bad way, mind you, but not a long-term way.

  • Keen, do you enjoy it enough to purchase subsequent expansions?
    I have a feeling we’re going to see them out fairy frequently, and i think a lot of the lower grade stuff could be fixed depending on how they design the new content

  • “WvW doesn’t have the long-term appeal because it lacks the proper reward structure.”

    Don’t forget that world bonuses are unlocked through WvW sucess; of course that might not be a powerful enough motivating factor for players that are primarily PvE or WvW…

  • @Mcface: Yes, I definitely will be purchasing expansions.

    @Gankatron: The WvW bonuses are so negligible that I feel like they do not matter — actually, I couldn’t even tell you what they are. In DAOC leveling was (at a time) a long process, and the bonuses made it much easier. That gave people a reason to want them.

  • I think you may be incorrect on that point. People used free transfers from Devona’s Rest to winning servers to take advantage of the crafting and harvesting bonuses.

  • @Gankatron: Okay, if your server is absolutley slaughtering the enemy you have a nice bonuse to harvesting. In all seriousness, I just can’t acknowledge that as a meaningful bonus. I expend a huge effort to try and win, and I can now have a chance to harvest more… that’s great.

    On my server right now here are the bonuses. We’re in second place, within a couple thousand of the other two.

    6% chance of crafting critical success (what does that even mean?)
    3% faster endurance gain
    3% bonus gold per kill.
    3% more health. (50 hp on my alt)
    4% chance for additional gathering from a node.
    2% increased defense against monsters.
    2% more exp per kill.
    2% more effective healing.

    I don’t feel compelled to go fight for my realm so that I can go make that a 3% more effective healing buff. Get what I mean?

  • Currently fighting against you in WvW I can say that I completely agree with you Keen.. Extra bonuses great.. and yes the accumulate “but” in the end +2% extra exp.. at level 80 that’s what an extra 8xp on a normal mob (and that may be an over-exageration on my part) unless of course you go way out of your way and kill a mob that no one has for an extended time.

    Crafting critical success? Maybe a chance to get additional exp from crafting? But at rank 400 crafting you don’t get experience anymore.. *shrugs*

    I like the game but there are some areas that need some help..

  • Here is the problem…

    In a month you “reached the top level, obtained almost the “best” gear”. And I’m not blaming you. I’m blaming the fact that it’s possible.

  • Good review, I think you’re being a little generous on some points… Crafting for sure, and WvW… worthless and pointless IMO.

    I’d overall give it a C.

  • @Alpha: Indeed, that’s a big part of why I penalized them on lasting appeal.

    @Lethality: I tried to be fair, and to be fair I have to compare apples to apples. GW2 is a themepark, so where crafting is concerned and their PvP it is only fair to compare to other themeparks. If I graded them on what I know MMO’s are capable of achieving, the score would be much lower.

  • Seems like a good review, i have been swithering over trying this game and held out because of my reservations about WvW. Perhaps i am overly fussy but in the past i enjoyed PvP in Everquest(racial pvp server) and DaoC at least in part because of the differences in race and class between the factions. I think this was more because they added some atmosphere rather than any particularly good game mechanics. My reservation about this game is still the pvp side, as that seems to me to be where any lasting interest in online games lies. If WAR had been built with 3 factions i’d be playing it now i think,despite its faults. What is there about server warfare that should keep me interested? Thats a genuine question, not a dig at the game.

  • You know what would have been cool? Or would be cool in the future? (Guild Wars, you know expansions are coming) You should be able to actually invade other servers to PvP. I imagine this working a lot like Demon/Dark Souls. You pop into a random server and zone with your group. The game is already primed for this with level scaled areas. Add in some good exp and bonuses for killing invaders/invadees and have some kind of system where you can sap a world’s energy and return it as bonuses for your world and you’ve got a pretty cool sounding WvW. It could even be better to allow you to choose a server to invade rather than random so then some lasting rivalries can form.

  • I’m thinking this was graded on a curve. Especially this part:

    Crafting is actually useful, and incredible integrated into the game’s loot system. Crafting is a legitimate way to level up, not entirely a boring plug’n’chug, and a value to the game’s economy.

    Are we even playing the same game? If by “useful” you mean “gives XP,” then I can maybe see that as a C-. But, seriously, crafting is the most boring plug’n’chug I have ever seen, even with the Discovery system. Hilt + Blade + 1 of the six mats (or 1 of 3 meta-mats made from the six mats). Crafted items are ALWAYS made in 5-level increments. Even in the scenarios where they aren’t priced at vendor+1c, there is always a lower/higher level drop with basically the same stats that IS vendor+1c. If you aren’t going for a Legendary, there is no reason to have a crafting profession at all – the bonus XP just causes you to skip content if you prefer at-level zones.

    Cooking is the one exception, of course, but I find it difficult to imagine people using anything other than the +Magic Find food. Seriously, why is Magic Find in an MMO again?

    I would similarly downgrade Dynamic Events further, but that is mainly because I do not see them as “content” so much as AoE-fests where XP/items rain from the sky.

    Bah.

  • Review seems fair to me, although I think the game has a lot more lasting appeal to me in particular because I really like the world that they have created.

    The one thing that really depresses me about player reactions to the game is the amount of complaining about insufficient rewards for things. What should matter more than anything, imo, is whether or not the gameplay is fun. In fact, most of my favorite experiences in gaming have been situations where there was no reward at all in the offing:

    Legend of Zelda/Zelda 3
    Doom/Doom 2/Doom 3
    Half Life (single player and deathmatch)
    Myth
    Might and Magic 3, 4, 5
    Castlevania Symphony of the Night
    Freespace 2

    These are just a few example of absolutely great games (many of them with RPG/character progression elements) that I spent tons of hours on because they were fun to play and I wanted to beat them, not because I got some sort of cookie for playing.

    With every MMO I play, I get stuck into the whole question of time investment vs. reward. Eventually I get the best gear, finish the best current raid content, etc. and then I hit a wall because the game isn’t actually fun to play except for the “reward” — and once you have the best rewards there isn’t much to do with them because I don’t really care much about the world.

    For me, the gameplay in GW2 is much better than most MMOs and I care about the world. When you’ve got that, rewards cease to matter nearly as much.

    I definitely think there are valid arguments to be made against the gameplay in GW2, although I think it’s a big step forward (as is TERA, from what I hear) for the genre. For some folks it might not be their cup of tea. I get that, and I respect arguments against the game along those lines. In the same way, I respect folks who don’t like the way GW2 dungeons play. I can see that as a valid opinion. But it still gets me when folks say “XYZ sucks because I don’t get enough points/gear/goodies for doing it.”

  • @Azuriel: The best gear obtainable in the game is obtained via crafting. Every alternative that I have found has been inferior, or unreliably obtained.

    I think I made my point about them not being dynamic events. If I graded them on being dynamic, I would give them an F. I now they’re not, you know they’re not, and hopefully everyone now sees they are not dynamic — so why grade them that way? I enjoy the events more than the hearts, even if they are AoE. They can be fun.

  • Mostly agree except on lasting appeal. Would give that a B+, as I totally agree with Bhagpuss and swarmofseals that the world is a place I just log in to see and walk around in due to its absolute eye-popping beauty and charisma. So much detail and craftsmanship was put into the world environment I’m literally in awe most of the time, and find it a pleasure just to wander around.

    The 3 dungeons I’ve been in have varied in quality. Ascalonian Catacombs was fun with some interesting mechanics, Caudecus Manor was a breeze, but Twilight Arbor is a mess and we only beat beat bosses by exploiting glitches and mob reset mechanics. So definately a mixed bag there so far but they don’t seem tacked on. Could definately use work yes.

  • I agree with your report card though I haven’t ran any dungeons I have read a lot of similar comments in regards to them. Honestly I haven’t been able to bring myself to play the past few days, though most of it is because of Torchlight 2 and also real life. That said while I think Guild Wars 2 did a lot of things to break out of the MMO-rut it still is going to be an off and on again game for me. At least it is there ready to play whenever I want without a monthly fee.

    I agree about the cash shop. All in all I spent a good deal of money in it though buying four extra character slots, unlocking seven or eight bank slots and three or four extra bag slots on a couple of characters. That said I didn’t feel like any of my purchases were a waste like in other games “looking at you Runes of Magic” where after x number of days I lose my enhancements. Also there isn’t anything in the cash shop that is in anyway unfair to other players I don’t feel. I think Anet did a good job on that.

    My biggest problem was that I spent too much time on alts and while I got characters of each class +1 extra to 20+ my highest character is only 26 I believe. After putting about 160 hours into the game I am just a bit spent at the moment. I still plan on coming back and playing quite often unlike most other MMOs of recent times like Tera, TSW and so on I think GW2 will remain on my harddrive for some time to come.

    My only real problem is that not so much GW2 lacking but other games coming out that I am very interested in like Planetside 2 and as I already mentioned Torchlight 2.

    One note on crafting and gathering as you stated it is one of the better parts of the game, and that is saying something coming from me because I usually HATE crafting and while I like gathering I always hated fighting for nodes. I LOVE the way ANET handled material nodes and also crafting. Cooking in itself is like a game within a game.

  • I good review and I am pretty much in agreement. The game is a good foundation for ArenaNet to build on. All they really have to do is factor in frequent content updates if they want people to continue playing past 4-5 months. Their dev team is far bigger than what existed for GW1 so I would be very surprised if a 270 person team could not achieve regular content releases.

  • @Zederok: LOL A+ for lasting appeal? You sir are insane lol. Ask yourself this please. Why am I doing anything that I stated is “lasting appeal”. If you can honestly answer that question and have it appeal to a semi general populace then you win. I’m pretty sure you lose though. Nothing you stated has relevance, at all. Why get better gear when there is….NO REASON TO GET BETTER GEAR? Don’t tell me WvWvW zerg fest 2012 is a reason to get a few more stats, because your tiny bit of damage isn’t going to matter against a zerg. Have fun playing GW2 for a year to get a new skin on your weapon….

    People need incentive period. There is basically no reason to do anything after you hit 80. The carrot does not exist. The stick was built, the string was hung, but someone forgot to buy the carrot to put at the end of it.

  • Nice post Keen, I haven’t seen dungeons yet but am nearly there. I too went a bit alt-mad at first so my main is 29 now.

    @Sikk GW1 had the same payment model, it had little to no gear-progression compared to its competition when it launched. Yet it sold pretty darn well compared to any other contemporary MMO other than WoW (3+ million sales I believe). So when I read posts like this I pray that ArenaNet stick to their plans and do not slap on a tiered raid gear-progression ‘endgame’. You have so many other games with this already, please do not call for this to be added in GW2. Just accept this game is meant as an ‘enjoy the journey’ game. GW1 never suffered from doing this, so I strongly believe GW2 can thrive on the same model.

    As Bhagpuss says, this game is a great longer-term game. It doesn’t need to be a wow-killer to make it. They can do a very good business from just releasing expansions once a year or something similar.

  • I can’t see myself ‘done’ by any stretch until next year; there’s so much to do. I have hardly done any dungeons yet, let alone on expl mode. considering each of them drops its own exotic set and that it takes a lot of tokens to get them…much to do there. I’m lvl 60 now and in terms of exploring the whole world I am nowhere. I haven’t looked into pvp much yet and in terms of crafting legendaries I haven’t even started. then…minigames, alts, finishing my own story…..me and Tyria have a long and bright future 😀 it’s a world I like to live in, that’s for sure.

    there are concerns right now, for me primarily the wvw queues, dungeon loot, the token grind and overall ANet messing with the looks>stats philosophy they used to have. it should exactly not be in GW that there’s just 1 best gear set and nobody bothering with the rest. I don’t understand why they didn’t stick to that mantra for GW2.

    I expect much of this to get addressed, fixed, balanced over the coming weeks and months. once I feel anywhere close to ‘done’, there’s probably going to be new content. or so I hope 🙂

  • So if Dynamic events called themselves events and did not make all the hoopla about being dynamic what would their grade be?

  • @Sikk

    You may find this amazing but different people play for different reasons. Some people are done with the skinner box model of WoW. If a game has a gear treadmill at the end that actually lowers it’s lasting appeal for me now. I’m not alone.

    For instance, if I do get MoP it’s lasting appeal will be maybe a month until I cap and play a few instances at max. The gear, “daily quest for cash to buy augments for your never ending stream of gear” treadmills are so distasteful to me now I can’t do it anymore.

    GW2 on the other hand is very leisurely. I get to enjoy the game for what it is and not be force railroaded down a never ending funnel of upgrades for the sake of upgrades.

    You really need to learn that just because you feel one way doesn’t mean everyone does.

    I also don’t understand the level of hatred you have toward the game. You have MoP releasing in a few days so why does GW2 bother you so much? It’s not like GW2 has impacted the game you love in any negative way. I don’t like rap music but I don’t rail against it in every thread where its mentioned in a positive light. I don’t know what you think your negativity adds to any conversation.

  • Fair review. You’ve just left out the “Story” of the almighty “Fourth Pillar” thing, which imho isn’t really that great in GW2 (i suppose that’s why you didn’t mention it either).

    I would also like to hear more thoughts on the actual skill/trait/combat system GW2 use as opposed to what GW1 had. I’m not particularly fond of the “simplified” version GW2 have and the fact that at lvl 40 you essentially have all your abilities. GW1 i remember fiddling with my “builds” endlessly for the entire duration of multiple characters, i’m not feeling this with GW2. I am pretty much playing the exact same weapon combinations for all PvE and maybe different combination for PvP/WvWvW , i’m not finding alot of experimentation freedom.

    Overall as to lasting appeal, i wonder if the MMO industry wouldn’t be better off if we all decided and accepted that a themepark style MMO will be a 3-monther no matter what. So devs should design their game for a 3 month success and build from there. I’ve accepted this, and i think the better MMOs launch making sure those 3 months are covered, lesser clever MMOs launch thinking they have a year to build and expand their MMO, starting at day 1 (SWTOR?) . If i hear predictions like “need subs for 1 year” i already believe said company has lost focus and thinking they can expand and fix their game after 3-months.

    Unfortunately even with GW2, if your game doesn’t fare well for those 3 months , making it a great experience from day 1, then those same players will not return for expansons, they will move on for good.

    So Arenanet has at least made a good 3-monther (i believe this is what it is) , that is good enough NOW that i will return for expansions. So i suppose it gives GW2 lasting appeal based on that.

    I also logged into SWTOR recently just to get a feel for something with more story and such, and i was horrified to find SWTOR feeling slow, poorly animated and the world looking nowhere near Guild Wars 2 quality…it’s scary that i only noticed now that i have played GW2……

  • @Wufiavelli: To clarify, the grade I gave them -is- the grade forgiving the fact that they said the events are dynamic.

    @silvertemplar: Yeah, the story isn’t great.

  • I agreed with your report card for the most part, with the exception of crafting. I find it next to impossible to craft anything remotely useful as I level. At this point I am just saving mats for crafting at level 60 or higher for the XP boost.

  • I actually feel like we’re going to see the ‘end’ of themepark MMo’s some time soon. At least in the current format.

    When you look at games like “Minecraft” and “Day Z”, you see smaller servers, with more specific goals in mind.

    I also think players are probably suffering from wholesale burn out.
    It’s like planing nothing but FPS for 10 years solid, then waking up one day realising you’re just plain *tired* of the genre.

    GW2 is an excellent game that has *just* launched. There are so many directions they can take the game in. The problem is, will the players stick around long enough to make it worth while.

    You need *time* to develop and evolve game systems. If players are unwilling to commit to the long haul, then what dance do dev’s have?

    Be interesting to see where Gw2 is in a years time..

  • I can agree mostly, although I disagree with the grade for dungeons.
    The Story modes are great if you read the books and are a big lore whore like me, they relate alot to the characters in the second book, Ghosts of Ascalon and to the story of the first game.

    As for obtaining max level and gear in a month, in guild wars 1 you could cap out your level in a couple of days of casual play. slightly longer in the original compared to the expansions, and gear with top stat’s was common place
    Granted not having the grind means it wont make you feel like you have to play, but that’s a big plus in my book not a con.
    Since its a one of payment model, I can quite happily put it down for a month or two and come back to it, in the unlikely event another decent MMO comes along

  • Seriously Keen you need to rething the large map opinion. What happened in DAOC? Everyone congregated in Alb or whatever the highest server pop was at the time, so as to encourage combat engagements. WvW maps are about perfect not aonly for small group to skirt around the zerg but for almost constant action if you are trying to take the whole map. I think the balance of map size and pop is about perfect. Mess with that ratio and you will have what is going in DAOC right now – constant flipping of towers due to huge ass maps and no opposition.

  • @Sikk you maybe need injcentives. Most do not.

    I enjoy the fact that I have so many options to entertain my time whereas in a game like WoW its all about raiding and chasing that elusive vertical progression based threadmill. I’ll take farming for cosmetics and still being able to hold my own any day of the week and twice on sundays then going against a no life luck douchebag who happens to win the roll of a die to get 20% better stats and steam roll me.

    Am I a casual player? I think so, I play for a max of 3 hours per day with the rare weekend marathon sessions and to me GW2 is the best MMO ive played since Asherons Call. There is so much for me to do and I will never truely get bored of any one thing because unlike WoW or their ilk I have meaningful choices, and the lasting appeal based on those choices are why I give it an A+. I am not tied to one thing, I can farm karma or gold, do dungeons for gear skins, run dynamic events anywhere in the world, and do WvW. All at my own pace and not feel underpowered when matched up to someone who spends 14+ hours a day playing a video game.

  • Ohh and one last thing I truely feel GW2 is like a world and not a game. IMO the choices I partake in on any particular day have concequences and results. Just today I was able to spend about an hour trying to rescue this ship off the northern coast of Orr. I must of faced a half dozen vetern risen sharks before I was finally able to succeed in getting all the crew rezzed and it started a dynamic event that resulted in the taking of the northern shore which lead to the saccing of the temple of balthazar. If no one would of came along then that northern force would of never been able to take the shores.

  • It’s almost as simple as:

    Do you prefer horizontal progression? GW2.

    Do you prefer vertical progression? WoW.

    Sadly, as much as I like some of the things that GW2 does, I think I’ll enjoy MoP more. I do not enjoy the combat system in GW2, it feels way too spammy. Despite the accusations of WoW being a faceroll game, good PvP in the WoW required extensive knowledge of countering specific classes and their cooldowns. I don’t get the same vibe from GW2. Yes, GW2 has dodging, but it’s nowhere near as responsive as I would like it to be. Interrupts? Practically non-existent. Is it fun running around in circles and spamming buttons, absolutely, but it gets old. If GW2 had gone with a full action combat system like Darkfall, but with the Arenanet level of polish, then I think it could have been incredible.

  • A lot of people are insisting this game only has 3 months of content. Is it content or interest that it only has 3 months of?

    Personally, I think the game more likely has 6 months to a year’s worth of content. But that’s only because I’m interested in everything the game has to offer, with the possible exception of sPvP. I love the jumping puzzles, and map completions. I love the WvW (even if a lot of people still don’t understand tactics), and while I haven’t finished my personal story, I only stopped because there is so much to do, not because I didn’t like it. I actually think the story is pretty good. It might not be as organized as some would like, but I’ve done some reading on the side from the wiki’s and it’s a pretty in-depth storyline.

    As for the word dynamic, the events themselves are not dynamic, but the events are more dynamic than a quest hub. Also, the fact that the same event does not immediately repeat (unless it’s always beaten or always lost), makes it dynamic. Is it as good as one of those games where your choice permanently changes events or even perhaps a sand box game where all the content is created by players? No, but for the BARE definition of the word dynamic, it fits in my opinion. And yes, I do understand your point of view Keen and yes, I do think they would have been fine with just calling them events. The only problem I have with the word events is that it could imply that it is the same event over and over and that’s not usually the case in GW2. So, for me, the word dynamic fits just fine.

    As for the report card, I don’t really care to say other than to add that GW2 is definitely my cup of tea.

  • Actually Keene my real question for you and Syncaine is with an increase in map size say 25%, would you also increase the players allowed and add small party objectives? Or is it just more room to move around but same cap in players with no new objectives?

  • The big problem with GW2’s horizontal progression is that it’s all pointless fluff. Running dungeons, the legendary, WvW badges, etc; all of it leads to barbie fluff rather than actual options. Also getting to the ‘cap’ is perhaps faster than any themepark before it, especially considering how dirt-cheap everything on the AH is.

    Compare that to EVE, where flying different ships is horizontal progress, but rather than fluff it gives you more in-game options and challenges, while not giving you directly more power. That’s horizontal progression that players care about long-term (years, forget months).

  • @Steeldragoon: To answer your initial question, I think it’s definitely a content issue. The only time I ever feel a twinge of boredom in GW2 is when I can’t find something to do.

    @Coppertopper: If the maps were the size of DOAC frontiers, I would say remove the population cap entirely. If you only increase 25%, I’d say leave them where they are at. Don’t add small party objectives. Small parties can do supply camps and fight groups of people just fine.

  • To Keen and Syncaine:

    How do you feel the server pride thing is going in WvW, is that going to be strong enough to keep you interested long term?

  • Nope.

    Touched on that today in my post, but in short, server pride means little when its not skill that wins WvW, but having guilds to cover all timezones. It’s a flaw in the design, and yet another difference between DAoC and GW2. (With the other major difference being fighting clones vs fighting an actually different side/race)

  • @Rasil: Does GW2 have ‘realm pride’? No. That’s not really what kept me playing DAOC, though; Realm Pride simply made playing enjoyable.

    Skill is less an issue in GW2 that DAOC due to how classes and combat are designed. I don’t agree about time zones factoring into this at all, though. Alarm clock sieges happened all the time in DAOC. It was part of life.

    What matters in GW2 is a mentality. People are vying for points (which give practically nothing, mind you), and short-term victory is all that matters. In DAOC it was all long-term.

  • I was thinking about this the other day after I logged into WoW after several months to check out the talent changes and see if the guild activity was coming back in anticipation of the expansion. I did a couple BGs and realized I prefer the WoW combat system to GW2’s. I feel like there are more tactics available to me, situational abilities and overall it just feels more intense, smooth and enjoyable.

    However, I prefer GW2’s progression system and world design to WoWs. It just feels more organic and real. I don’t worry about whether I should do this or that, I just go out and do stuff and gather mats, craft, check out this vista or that POI, do some WvW, etc. It’s more enjoyable and immersive to me than WoW’s world.

    Smash the two together and you have a pretty damn good themepark MMO. Good thing only one of them has a subscription…

  • Keen, the difference between alarm-clock raids in DAoC and EU/Aus guilds on NA servers in GW2 is that in DAoC, when primetime hit, the better realm would recover what was lost and ‘win’ for that time (relics, Darkness access). In GW2, even if you ‘win’ primetime, you still lose the matchup because most of the points are scored in off-hours. That’s a MASSIVE difference in design, and one that does not favor GW2.

  • When you put it that way, I agree completely. That goes back to the points and short-term over long-term design. And also the fact that at any given time defense is easier than offense, especially with even numbers.

  • Seems this WoW launch is a lot more low key then in the past. It also does not seem to be gw2 at all but just the fact no one seems really excited about this new expansion.

    Most of my friends who left gw2 either did it for girlfriends or torchlight, non have went to back to wow.

  • “fact that at any given time defense is easier than offense, especially with even numbers.” – disagree. With the proper strategy and people who have siege mats, the defense can be easily over come. For instance, look at my post on the forum about the Omega Siege Golem. I was also reading about a strategy using trebs on the sides of the maps or other defensible areas hammering the defense so that the offense could easily break through.

    The strategy is there, just the game is too new for them to be widely known. That being said, 100 gold to have an easy group you can communicate with (commander over 6 groups) is going to slow down a lot of these strategies from developing now. As it is, when you run one group Keen and I am in another, even with vent, I can easily lose track of what is going on. I’m sure it is easier in those 30 man groups. I am assuming, of course, that you can see everyone when you are a member under one of those commanders.

  • @Steeldragoon: You basically said if the offense is better than defense the offense can win. I totally agree.

    What I’m saying is that, all things considered equal, defense at any given time has the advantage.

    100 people in a fully upgraded garrison vs. 100 people on offense, the defense has the advantage.

  • “Dungeons: F”
    Try doing Sorrow’s Embrace story mode… and tell me the story sucks and the last boss is “bland”.
    The big problem of GW2 dungeons is that difficulty and quality is not constant. Some dungeons are real gems (like Sorrow’s Embrace), while others are boring pains in the ass.
    And about inadequate rewards, ANet listened to players and this had been greatly improved.

    You go a bit fast on the lasting appeal too… remember, unlike other MMOs (SW:TOR, TSW), GW2 can’t be a “3 monther”… because you don’t have to fork $15 to come back if you feel so. For instance, I would loved to go back to SW:TOR for a week end or so for a change this summer, but having to pay $15 just to play a few hours stopped me. I know I will never have that problem with GW2. Just like my lifetime in LOTRO, I can go back when I feel so, even if I need a break.

  • Out of topic PS: as someone mentioned in this comment thread, would it be possible to add a temporary (like 10 mins) edit feature to comments here? Sucks when you reread after posting and notice a mistake you didn’t see on first reading… or if you want to add something you didn’t think about first 🙂

  • @The Merovingian: Edits are not possible because you’re not logging in to comment.

    So you think the Dungeons should have had a D or C then?

    As for 3 monthers, a subscription has nothing to do with it. Even more so, the fact that you would stop playing within the 3 monther window is more than enough. Going back isn’t factored into the equation since you left already for a reason.

  • I’m not entirely certain how you’re defining “dynamic”, but the events, depending on failure or success, will progress down linear paths. once you reach the end of those paths by repeatedly succeeding, the last event, or set of events in the sequence, will repeat. That said, most of the events in the game are static, but there are some that have several states that they can enter, contingent on players failing to complete the event. The problem is that in any populated areas, you’ll basically never see an event fail, especially since the chain events, which are generally the closest to being “dynamic” are usually the most popular events.

    As far as WvW, I’m pretty disappointed, although I would probably give it a C, simply because I love the combat and the occasional “moment”. Unfortunately, I can’t help but draw comparisons to DAoC, and I don’t feel any of that suspense, epicness, or openness that I still get when I occasionally log onto my skald. I completely agree that the WvW zones are deceptively tiny. I honestly don’t think they’re much bigger than the Battlegrounds in DAoC, and that’s really disappointing. Having a meaningful reward system, whether through bonuses, dungeon access, or some form of long-term end-game progression (say what you want, but I played DAoC for so long because I wanted RR10), would at least create purpose. I really feel as though all the WvW zones need to be on one map, because only then would it have a large enough size to create anything close to a frontier feel.

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