RE: What will Guild Wars 2 do to me?

, 7 min read

In this article from TalkTyria, Skyriar talks about what it might be like to play other MMO's after Guild Wars 2 has been released. Will other games feel differently? Will they still be fun?. It's a fear that I share to an extend. Musings after the jump!

Skyriar's article ends with a few questions left to answer:

What are your expectations for Guild Wars 2? How do you think the game may affect the way you see other (or older) games, if at all? Do you feel GW2 is going to be as revolutionary to the genre as the hype suggests?

Here are my thoughts.

What are your expectations for Guild Wars 2?
No preparation required

The last game I seriously played was EVE Online. I played it for almost 4 years, with a few breaks in between. Most of the time I was part of a small PVP alliance. An alliance in EVE consists of multiple corporations, or simply guilds. Small meant that there were around 1000 players in the alliance with 200 to 400 active in our prime time.

Large scale PVP in EVE can be compared to raiding, it's only more people. I've seen 500 people in a single teamspeak channel. But coordinating hundreds of people isn't easy. As a PVP leader in EVE, you not only have to master the game, you have to pay attention to a dozen chat channels, delegate tasks to a group of around 5 to 10 helping hands and at the end give exact orders that everyone in voice chat can understand. For the average player, there was absolute silence most of the time, except when a fight was actually going on.

Delegating important tasks, getting at least 100 people together and actually moving out of your meeting place takes **at least an hour **. An additional 30 minutes until you arrive at the objective and depending on the situation either 1 hour of mindless repetition because the enemy didn't show up OR 1-5 hours of epic fights you would talk about until the next dawn.

Okay, enough EVE talk! The point here is the preparation time and not knowing if the waiting time is worth it. If your are one of the many who aren't in control, you have nothing to do until everyone else is ready. You sit there and wait an hour for your fellow pilots to show up.

Guild Wars 2 does it all differently. For structured PVP there's hot join in place. Games are always running therefore you can have instant action. You can always jump into WvW or complete a dungeon with your friends. You don't have to for for your guilds only healer or tank. The holy trinity has been replaced by a better trinity, where everyone can almost fulfill any role.

Cooperation instead of competition

I hope that we really don't have to fight over NPC enemies with other players. This is one of the things, I hope Guild Wars 2 is doing right. For each player fighting a monster, there's a different loot-table. Everyone gets rewarded for defeating a single enemy. This will not only make it easier to make friends, this will also reduce the amount of general anger in the game.

Competitive PVP

I also have high hopes for structured PVP. I hope that it will eventually become a part of the e-sport community, just like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends. However I can't really see millions of people playing PVP, like in League of Legends. I think it will settle at around 100.000 active PVP players, which is still a lot!

It's easy to get stuck with just numbers. But the total amount of players is just not as important as the amount of high quality commentators. Support from global tournaments like WCG, MLG and Dreamhack will also come in handy and will spread the word about Guild Wars 2 PVP.

How do you think the game may affect the way you see other (or older) games, if at all?

It already changed the way I view other games. When I start up EVE, I think of the preparation time prior to having fun. The moment I realize that the time I spend is not meaningful  to the rest of the time I spend in the game, that's the moment where I turn off the game. When it comes to the standard MMORPG's like Rift or WoW, I immediately think of the clunky UI and how playing as a healer was just looking at bars going up and down.

However, there are other genres besides MMORPG's. I still play Team Fortress 2 and Minecraft. I find plenty of joy in those games. Those are easy to pick up and offer almost instant fun. I also still find joy in games like Mass Effect and Portal, even if they don't offer as much replayability like MMO's

I think, Guild Wars 2 has kind of turned me into a more casual player but in a good way. Guild Wars 2 is finally a game where you can play hardcore without hundreds of meaningless hours spent in the game. You can still be hardcore by mastering your profession. For example, every minute you spend on working out that one build is truly meaningful and not wasted time.

Now I'm trying to pay attention to how I spend my time in games. And that is one of the lessons Guild Wars 2 has taught me.

Do you feel GW2 is going to be as revolutionary to the genre as the hype suggests?

I think quite a few players should lower their expectations for the game. People who are used to raiding will have to adapt to the fact that there are no raids. On release we will see what feature is there and what is still missing from the game. People will demand features they were used to, in other games. Just think of dungeons finders and in-game voice chatting. Oh and it's still a Many Men (and women) Online Roleplaying Game. There will of course be drama around guilds and there will be flaming going on in PVP - that's inevitable.

Concerning that revolution..

To a certain degree the game will be evolutionary but not revolutionary. It's the way things are put together that make this game better than others, but not revolutionary. If you take apart the game and look at it's different systems and mechanics, you will see that none of these are actually new to games.

We have seen alternatives to quests in other games that weren't MMO's. Think of games like Mass Effect or Portal where the story is told without quest NPC's. We have seen action oriented combat in games like Vindictus. We have seen good PVP in games like Counter Strike, Warcraft and Starcraft. We have also seen large scale, meaningful PVP in games like DaoC and EVE Online.

ArenaNet employees are playing these games and as game developers they get the chance to develop a new game from scratch and rethink all the stuff that has been done in previous games. They experiment with new stuff, but if it doesn't work it won't be in the final game. They might even combine mechanics from two different games so that they work hand in hand. That's essentially what evolution is about.

I'm ending this post with a weird metaphor. I'm famous for those!

Imagine a planet where at the start there only live MMOG's, MOBA's, RPG's, Shooters and RTS games. Given about 2.5 billion years of evolution, you would most likely get a Guild Wars 2 out of it. *[MLG]: Major League Gaming *[WCG]: World Cyber Games


Philipp Hansch

Full Stack Developer

Philipp is a full stack developer currently heavily involved with Rust. Most notably he's a member of the Clippy team where he helps with bugfixing and documentation. You can follow him on Mastodon and find him on GitHub as well as Patreon.