Guild Wars 2 from the outside.

13 09 2012

Just like me to not post for weeks then to do so twice in two days. It’s like I don’t blog full-time or something.

With Borderlands 2 dropping next week, XCOM a few weeks later, then Minecraft’s new patch dropping a month thereafter, I’m only hurting for video games between now and the time Borderlands 2 drops. My friends are excited for it; I enjoyed BL1; should be a good time. XCOM looks idealistic – hopefully at least a month of fun. Minecraft is something I binge on for 1-3 months with a small cluster of friends on a closed server, usually in the wake of a patch or when I feel the need to build a castle.

But then there is my weakness: I like magic. Psionics and technology are basically different trappings for similar (or identical) sets of mechanics in many, many games, but that’s just it: the theme of magic is what I like.

Rift did an excellent job of addressing this one need of mine, giving me two casters with massive customize-ability (arguably too much as I very easily got lost after taking a mere two weeks off)  and multitudinous sparkly beautiful effects. The Chloromancer is still my favorite caster ever. She looked awesome (vanity sets, very important) and put on an excellent show (green ethereal leaves exploding everywhere). I miss that game, sometimes…but the game suffers a bit from the quest grind (it’s funny how quests are “the grind” now, no?) and nobody I know plays it which basically seals the deal.

But, the article is called…

Right, right. Guild Wars 2. I don’t play it, I don’t own a license. I’m hugely skeptical as – especially at first – I read a lot of reviews that had a negative, disappointed slant to them. Recently, however, I’ve seen more positive feedback on the game, including this TenTonHammer article and this review by Angry Joe (at which I laughed aloud several times).

The game looks pretty; I’ll give it that.

Angry Joe’s review in particular was interesting; I haven’t watched a lot of his stuff, but the reviews of his I have watched have never held back (he swears all kinds of colorful about games he dislikes or is disappointed in) and while he lists more than a few shortcomings of GW2, most of his take is positive.

So, what gives?

A few members of my SWTOR guild tried GW2 and didn’t seem impressed with it (meaning even if I came to like it, it’s not like they’d follow me there) and my friends are all MMO’d out; if I did this, it’d be by my lonesome (much like my foray into EVE online). I tried both Rift and EVE for “research” (using this blog here as reasoning) and didn’t regret either. And GW2 – like D3 – is a pay-once, keep your character and your access kind of deal.

What’s more, ArenaNet is on record claiming:

“Our goal is to make it so you get more from GW2 for free than you get from a game you pay a subscription for.” (Source.)

Whereas, every bit of “new content” I’ve seen for D3 seems to be Yet Another Step Toward Being D2. And don’t get me started about that whole “Giant playable panda bear” crap. Don’t get me wrong: I did very much enjoy Diablo 3, when my friends and I played it together. But giving us ways to make the existing bosses tougher so they drop arbitrarily better stuff…that’s not the kind of game play we want. More variety, more places to explore, more effort on your part. Oh, Blizzard. What happened to you? …That’s a topic for another time.

Jury is still out as to whether I’ll pick up GW2 or not. I should wait until after Borderlands 2 drops, because once I have a new game to play with I may no longer feel a weird need to get a game. Pre-ordering games is neat, especially when it comes with bonus content, but I’m currently out like $100 for two pre-ordered games with exactly nothing to show for it. And that is weird. Well, maybe it’s no different than ordering tickets for shows in advance. …That’s a topic for another time.

ADDENDUM: I totally posted this without tying off my implicit thesis statement which I’ll do now in an unsatisfying way. There are mage classes in GW2 which initially did not intrigue me. But given the general layout of the game, and my increasing need for some magic in my game time, well…we’ll see.

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2 responses

14 09 2012
pressie@gmail.com

I know you were in the beta, but I you thought about giving the Secret World 3 day trial a go to see what has changed?

14 09 2012
thade

You know, I have not. I have a pretty open weekend coming up (circa Columbus day) that I may use to try it out. I’ll go looking for write-ups on what they’ve changed to see if they addressed any of my concerns. 🙂

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