7 Things To Dread About Guild Wars 2

May 29, 2010 at 6:46 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
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I'm Scared. Hold Me.

I’m pretty straight-forwardly positive about Guild Wars 2. Arenanet has hundreds of employees, they made a good game with Guild Wars, and there’s no reason to doubt they’ll make a fine game with plenty of content. Okay sure, they’re a game company and game companies are notorious for misleading fans with hype, but that’s no reason to be completely negative.

In fact, this far from release, with only their word to go on, there’s no evidence to base any negativity on.

That said, I’ve had a few criticisms or worries for a while now, but kept having to revise my draft because Arenanet kept releasing new information that addressed what I was specifically worried about. Party poopers.

Here’s the 7 things I dread might be a problem in Guild Wars 2.

1. Grouping. If I don’t have to join a group, will I? MMO players already avoid getting into groups. Is it possible people will avoid grouping simply because they’ve been trained to do so? Other MMOs make it incredibly easy to level on your own, and grouping with random people can often be a terrible experience. Some times it’s just faster to play on your own.

Arenanet has specifically said that they developed GW2 to bring people together to work towards a goal and be more social. But the implementation confuses me. Isn’t this a same difference situation? If I’m not playing with people in a group, even if we have the same goal, I’m not sure how much more social that is.

2. Still Grouping. In most MMOs I am occasionally forced to group up to defeat bosses or low level dungeons. It’s impossible to do on my own. To defeat a boss in Guild Wars 2 it doesn’t sound like I need to group at all, before endgame anyway. Isn’t this an advantage a normal MMO has over GW2? At the very least they have some forced socialization.

3. Events. Lets say you’ve got multiple groups in a zone. They’ve pushed that Dredge Army back to their original base. The other groups (or even a single person) have also pressed their respective events back to their source. Someone else enters the zone and finds little to do but random mobs. Doesn’t sound advantageous to the player. Do I have to run half way across the map to find something going on?

4. Social Web. Guild Wars 2 has said they’ll have web based chat, and web based auctions. They’re very active on facebook and twitter. My paranoia is telling me that’s far from the extent they’ll take GW2. This is pure speculation, but, I’m betting they’ll have a Warcraft Armoury slash Vanguard Character Page slash Facebook and Twitter slash Chatango clusterfuck. I kind of hate the social web.

Then again maybe they won’t. Arenanet doesn’t so much as host their own forums, they have an ideology of letting other people do that sort of thing as it’s better to promote their game. Somebody is going to do this though.

5. Long waits for new content. To me, a layman, it sounds as though this stuff takes a long time to put together and a lot of QA testers looking for bugs. Then again WoW has made how much money and released only 2 expansions so far? Whats up with that?

6. Too similar/Not similar enough to Guild Wars. There’s a lot of things I could list here so I’ll keep it to a few examples. Like travel times for instance. Guild Wars may have plenty of loading screens, but damn if you can’t get somewhere fast. Whether it be warping or running skills, I like it. Less instances could mean more traveling, but it’s too soon to say. Art style. Although the graphics look good and I’m sure will only get better closer to launch (graphics are normally the last thing tweaked before a game is released) I’m concerned everything is just going to end up looking like Guild Wars. Here’s a set of armour that looks like it could be in GW, here’s a monster that looks like it could be in GW, here’s an animation that looks exactly like a GW animation. I don’t think I’m being too paranoid about this particular point, I mean for the most part it’s the same company in the same world with I’m sure many of the same artists and employees. They’re talented people but they’re not gods. Of course some of their work is going to be a little too similar.

7. Reskinning. Anyone that plays Guild Wars knows this dirty little secret. They reskin the hell out of monsters. Oh you liked that Jungle Troll did you? Why not check out our Fen Trolls for a change? You liked Centaurs in Prophecies? Well I hope you did because they’re in Nightfall and Eye of the North too! Ugh centaurs, and they’re already confirmed for Guild Wars 2, and even possibly Undead Centaurs as well. Sigh.

One of the things I should point out before ending this post is, most of the things people seem to gravitate to when worrying over Guild Wars 2, don’t bother me. 10 slot skill bar? Doesn’t bother me. Event System too predictable? You mean like every other quest in every other game is a freaking innovation? No more instancing? Why are you playing online if you don’t want to play with people.

The majority of peoples criticisms that I read are non-issues resolved by either reading the material released so far, or waiting for more concrete information to be released on the subject. It’s still early and even most of my own worries are probably completely baseless.



  1. Yep, number 3 is the big one that worries me. Even if there’s 10 (maybe even up to 20) different event ‘chains’ in a zone I still foresee that they will be ‘farmed’ to their endpoints for much of the time (like your example of the Dredge being pushed right back) and at least until the bubble of levellers have passed there will be no way to see most of the content until you level an alt through the area. This is made even more likely because they scale; even 20 event ‘chains’ will only take 20 people in a zone to keep at their fully pushed back state. Actually, it’s my only real worry about the game as it’s being portrayed currently, so it’s not too bad.

    • Yeah to be honest, out of all possible problems, this the only one that really concerns me. maybe #6. but mostly this one.

    • With a dynamic difficulty scaling system, it wouldn’t be too hard to scale up the enemies and overwhelm players from time to time. So for any given area there would always be something going on. Well, that’s my speculation anyway.

      • I guess we’ll see.

  2. 1&2. I have always had mixed feelings about grouping. I suppose I am a bit antisocial in that I generally avoid pugs. On the rare occasion that I do join one it is usually either out of necessity or out of the morbid fascination of watching it fall apart when the shit hits the fan (yeah I am an asshole like that). I enjoy grouping with friends of course and to me that is usually the most enjoyable aspect of MMO’s, though there are times I prefer to be alone aswell.
    I think certain things should require group effort however. The idea that I can single handedly lay waste some foe threating to destroy a city wich is full of guard npc’s that could one shot kill me doesnt make much sense. I can only hope that Arenanet can find an appropriate balance of soloability and social participation. I hold no illusions that they will be able to please everyone.

    3. What I have gleamed of the event system is that it is simply there to add life to the persistent world. To give players something to do other than just quest or craft or pvp, and isnt designed to facilitate character progression.
    I imagine where when and how we experience the events will be a crapshoot, and we will have to deal with a lot of back and forth or server hopping to experience the chains in their entirety.
    Hopefully the reward incentive for doing any given event wont be so great that we see massive guilds farming them and preventing other players from enjoying them. Or at the very least that they will be implemented in such a way that there is no reason to exclude anyone from joining the fun.

    4. Social Web I couldn’t care less about, I never needed it before, dont feel I need it now. So long as it doesnt put people who choose not to use it at a disadvantage or exclude them from some event that was only announced on twitter I see no problem with it. People like to show off their gear, stats, and accomplishments it’s only natural. I liked the 3D armor viewer thing on getbuffed, and would actually like to see that done officially with GW2 in a way that allows people to mix gear to view different combinations. I know those things arent important to everyone though.

    5. It never really felt to me that Anet held back on anything as far as how often they added new content. Maybe it is because the game is not a subscription based game sucking it’s player base dry that I dont feel Anet owed me more. I payed the purchase cost and in return got a fairly large game, considerably larger than many games of equal price. I mean hell my first time through prophecies on Elsa it took me about three weeks to get to Gates of Kryta. Yeah I was a noob and I loved it. Guildwars was my foray into online gaming prior to that I was playing console games, and had spent a couple years playing Diablo II. So needless to say I was quite surprised with the size of Prophecies. When they added Sorrows Furnace and then later The change to the Tomb of Primevil Kings I was pleasantly surprised. Now I am not saying I dont want more content of course I do, just that I dont feel it is owed to me. Blizzard on the otherhand I feel has no excuse other than greed not to add more content to WoW, as big a cash cow as that game is. But I havent really played WoW so I cant rightly say what they have or havent done with it.

    6. I for one am a big fan of the artistry in Guildwars and dont want to see them stray too far from it. I dont want to load it up for the first time and be struck by how much the game is not Guildwars. Obviously there is room for improvement there always is. Looking at the screenshots (which never do a game justice) and videos it looks like they are staying true to the overall visual style of Guildwars. I think mostly where we are going to see differences is in the fine details textures, particle effects, etc. They have some pretty powerful tools at their disposal
    ZBrush and Maya are both top notch 3D art programs. Dont believe me? Take a look. http://www.pixologic.com/zbrush/gallery/
    Maya was used in making Avitar, District 9, Transformers, the 2009 Star Trek, 9, and King Kong just to name a few.
    Obviously we wont see that level of 3D graphics and animation in a game, no ones machine would be able to run it. Tools are only as good as the hands that wield them but I am confident given the skill of Arenanets art team that we are in for a great game visually. All in all I think we will see polish and improvement where it counts but it will still be Guildwars, at least that is my hope.

    7. For some things reskining makes sense. Same species only different races or cultures. But overall I agree more diversity is a good thing. Reskining the same model and calling it a different name, especially when the creatures have no relation to one another is a blatant cost cutting copout. I understand it but I dont like it.

    • by far my longest comment ever matt. and I don’t have much to say in response.

      Lots of good points.

      I’m sure forced grouping will happen for dungeons/end game, but event grouping just seems like there won’t be a need to communicate on any level. no difference from any other mmo.

      • Heh sorry I tend to be a bit long winded and ramble from time to time. Not trying to steal your thunder I swear.

        Question: Would you like, do you mind, or do you not care either way if I link your blog on my facebook? Cant promise more hits or anything and I dont know if you want them anyways, but I have a couple gamers on there that might have an interest.

        • it’s cool. i’d appreciate the link. and there was no stealing of thunder, nice to see something I wrote provoked a long thoughtful response.

  3. I’m an antisocial/social player, who loves to group with a few close friends, but almost no one else. And I love the idea of being able to find and participate in an event, and get rewarded without worrying about whether some idiot thinks my build is good enough or, in the case of games like WoW, I don’t have the right gear. The game is being designed to avoid the pitfalls of other persistent worlds. You don’t have the best gear, you can still get a reward. You don’t have the build that everyone else and their mother has? No problem, you can just participate in the event and get a reward. And when you find a like minded person, or guild, you can group. Best of both worlds if you ask me.

    As for too similar or not similar enough to Guild Wars, I think you have to see this as a new game. It has it’s roots in GW, but we’re talking more than six years away. In computer time that’s eons. It’ll look better, sound better, play better. It’d better or it would be a shame. There’s no way a competent developer (and Anet is at least that) can make a game six years after their debut game and not make it better.

    But why compare at all? The world is the same, but the world is different too. The skills have the same names, but the skills are different. Minion masters no longer need corpses for minions, signets have passive powers just for being on your skill bar, and when your energy gets low you can use an energy potion. It’s going to be a different game.

    What I loved about Guild Wars over any other game is how immersive it is. I love how you can get lost in playing it. That you can become part of the story. From all the evidence so far, I believe Guild Wars 2 will be as or more immersive than its predecessor. Frankly, I can’t wait.

    • Well don’t get me wrong, this is one negative post (a little outdated at this point) amongst dozens upon dozens of positive ones.

      I agree for the most part with your points, but if I had to say I was worried about anything, at the time, this was what I was worried about.

      • Yeah, I got that. I have little to worry about about Guild Wars 2. I’ve watched the gameplay, almost made a study of it. A year before we knew anything at all, I made a list of things I’d like to see an in MMO in a conversation with my son. I swear Anet must have had my house bugged. The only thing that I really want to see that there’s been no word on is mounts. Admittedly, with map travel, mounts are less important, but the coolness factor can’t be underestimated.

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