Hype, Hate, and Misconceptions

August 13, 2010 at 12:42 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 26 Comments
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I’m enjoying the hype for Guild Wars 2. I’ve been following every piece of news that comes out of Arenanet, it’s been a lot of fun. I don’t expect other people to be as informed or even half as much, but what drives me nuts is people who see an amazing trailer, or a cliche breaking game design, and have nothing positive to say about it.

Even so I rarely speak up. I don’t expect people to know everything about the game, particularly if its just a comment in a blog somewhere. Most of these people are reacting to what they’ve been presented with and not seeking out any additional information.

I called The Multiverse out on this when they did a segment on various upcoming MMOs and made brief comments on each. I thought they were uninformed about GW2 and said so, somewhat impolitely as is my nature. Usually I try to not correct people since I can’t expect everyone to do research, but in the case of bloggers I tend to hold them to a higher standard.

If I had a dime for every time I read “if they can pull off even a bit of this, I’ll buy the game, but until then I’ll wait and see because I doubt they can.” Randomessa seems to have had a similar experience with people likening Dynamic Events to the Public Quest’s of Warhammer.

Both Keen and Gordon seem to be in this camp. After having done little but watch a trailer, out of their blogs comes nothing but negativity based on their experiences in being disappointed by hype. I take issue with anyone giving their opinion on something when they don’t know anything about it and haven’t bothered to learn. Whether that be gaming or religion for instance.

They’re both dead sure none of the Dynamic Events take place outside of instances, even though Arenanet has said over and over that most events take place in the persistent world and cascade throughout each area, they’ve based their whole grouping system around it. Most of their criticisms seem based on Guild Wars Original, which is fine, just not accurate.

Its healthy to be skeptical, and keep in mind its just a game, of course. Do I think Arenanet are out and out liars? No. They’ve quoted there being 1500 to 1600 dynamic events. Personally I think that sounds a bit high. That’s hype. They’ve said the character background choice combinations can range into the millions. That’s hype. In every interview, article, blog post they’ve given they’ve alluded to the same things over and over again. Persistent world, everyone being able to participate in dynamic events, no healer, etc. That’s not hype.

Whether those dynamic events are any good is just something we’ll have to see about when the game comes out. Such is the nature of that whole, what’s it called…. gaming industry. No no no, that’s not it. Consumer products, that’s what I was looking for.

Spinks and Syp have a much better outlook. Syp decries people hating on a trailer even though we all know its just a trailer. Spinks actually points out how to enjoy hype, rather than be turned off of a game just because of it.

I just want people to look into the things they are being so down on before (repeatedly in some cases) writing up a negative diatribe. Have you read what Arenanet has to say about dynamic events? Or are you going by some brief blurb a misinformed blogger wrote?

Its probably not fair of me to call people out as “haters” when really they just haven’t taken the time to look into the details. But Is it fair to be so cynical and bitter about an upcoming game based on your experiences with hype in other games?

It’s fine to not believe the hype but half these people don’t even know what hype they’re not believing in.

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26 Comments

  1. I can do nothing but agree with you. It is really strange to see everyone reacting to the trailer like that was the one thing ArenaNet has released. In fact the trailer is the synthesis of all of their prior statements. All of these lame bloggers resemble students writing book reports based on a synopsis instead of reading the whole book.

    • that is really succinctly put. My whole post in your short paragraph. Bullet point that on your blog!

  2. *slow clap*

    I’ve read everything that I can about GW2 (AFAIK, every interview, blog post, etc. that ANet has made), and, while I have been disappointed by hype before, I have a good feeling about GW2. Case in point, Spore was as epic as I had hoped, until you reached the space stage. But GW2? I have a good feeling, especially since the trailer was released and the demo will be played soon…

    • Yeah I consider myself at least somewhat cynical, theres plenty about gw2 I don’t think will necessarily live up to their hype, but I’ve got a good feeling about the game in general.

      • I think it’s a good sign that ANet’s letting people play a reasonably high level zone in the demo. Many games focus so much on the first 20 levels and then release before they even get going on the later content. I think it shows that ANet has good discipline, and that they’re savvy workers.

        Other than that, I don’t even think it’s asking all that much to believe dynamic events can work. I mean freakin’ MUDs were doing this sort of scripted NPC activity back in the day. The tech isn’t that hard – phasing is much more complicated, I’m sure – it’s the *will* to take a huge risk and let go of the WoW/EQ model that’s been missing. ANet’s designers have admitted they just don’t know how players will respond to it. But they believe in the potential – and hopefully they follow through 100%, unlike GW (I’m looking at you, faction grind for PvP skill unlocks).

        More and more what irks me is this: It feels like people are *claiming* to be reacting negatively to overreaching corporate hype – but really they’re reacting to the *ideas* and critiques of the MMO orthodoxy.

        • It’s a fair point but even in guild wars you can sense the number of quests decreasing as you get to later level content, especially in prophecies, but continuing in to factions.

          WoW has been pretty open about the fact that you have to hook people in the first 10 levels to hook people so I don’t blame them.

          what bugs me more than reacting to the ideas, is that they then turn around and two weeks later or a month before were complaining that mmo studios don’t take chances.

          then comes along a studio that takes chances and not only do they not like that the game takes chances they are oblivious to what they’ve previously said.

          • Points very well taken. Nice blog you have here. 🙂

  3. And even if GW2 gets their own Space Stage, they HAVE revamped skills, mechanics, even entire portions of the GW1 geography.

    The only thing I worry about is the seeming necessity of weekly maintenance server shutdowns.

    • I have always thought that server shutdowns were unavoidable for a largely persistent world. Any changes to the world at all would impact on the real-time scenarios being enacted by the players online. In GW1’s heavily instanced world (modular) individual instances could be updated ‘on the fly’, skill balances likewise. I could be totally wrong of course, but can’t really see another good way around it. I do hope however, that the downtime may possibly only affect sections of the world, maybe having access to some content during downtime such as personal instances, dungeons etc

    • most games need some form of maitenance, but I can only think of a couple that need it every week, hopefully anets system architecture won’t require weekly maitenance.

  4. Hunter, I share the exact same feelings are you. If I had to guess, I’d say most of the GW2 haters are either sick of getting burnt by new MMO hype or never liked GW1 to begin with. The main offenders are usually the epic WoW fans. I just smile at them now, and don’t even bother posting responses. It will be their loss if they choose not to play GW2 when it releases.

    Great post btw.

    • Yeah a couple of the people I saw heavily criticizing gw2 based on little to no correct information don’t seem to “get” guild wars.

  5. I feel your pain 🙂 The internet as a whole mirrors so much of life, a huge game of Chinese Whispers. I just don’t have time to analyse every detail so I do what I do and leave others to get on with whatever I can’t or don’t want to do. I, like yourself, get really wound up by arguments like “I think it’s big because my friend thinks it’s big”, or “I think it’s rubbish because I don’t like it”. Fair enough to have an opinion, but just because we may say something is rubbish or great doesn’t mean that it actually is rubbish or great. Keep up the good work, and keep the faith brother (or sister)

    • chinese whispers, i think that phrase is regaining popularity.

      and its a great way to describe how some people seem to hear about gw2.

      • Now I am afraid I have to throw a curse in your direction Mr Hunter Sir. As I felt that I should not comment further without listening to the podcast responsible for raising your ire, I did just that and listened to it. I reckon you owe me around £100 or so in damages to my brain.

        • I actually like that podcast, and in their defense it was just a quick breezy run through of potential upcoming mmos. they were familiar with some mmo’s but it didn’t seem like they were familiar with gw2.

          i’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and those 3 seem familiar and comfortable with one another and thats not something you always get.

          • I was referring purely to them skimming over the GW2 part. I think they were very informative analysing games with which they were familiar, but sadly lacking in knowledge when it came to GW2. In my opinion it is better to remain silent than to speak in ignorance.
            GW2 is not a bolt-on extension to GW, it is a completely different animal and should be treated accordingly 🙂

  6. “It’s fine to not believe the hype but half these people don’t even know what hype they’re not believing in.” — ahhh, so well-put. Excellent post, I really have nothing to add.

    • Your post on DE vs PQ was comment enough

    • I wanted to give you a hand on your own blog, but it didn’t work … :@ … so there:
      *applauds*

  7. I think people just feel like an unreleased MMO is like their favorite sports team. They will beat each other up speculating who will win. I enjoy hype, it is best part of being a game blogger. I don’t understand negative blogging though. If you don’t like the game, dine follow it. I don’t like the idea of FFXIV and I don’t read anything about it. It is that simple. Yeah, I could get FF hit coming to my blog if I complained about it, but I don’t want those FF lovers near my blog. I love the hype machine!

    • yeah I have doubts about TERA or Rifts: pLanes of telara, but you don’t see me posting over and over about how they are liars and their game will actually suck. I’m willing to give those games the benefit of the doubt.

  8. There’s a saying “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me 10 more times I’m a fucking idiot.” I think people are just cautious because they’ve taken into hype before, in console games and online games and it failed to deliver and all they’re left with is a huge bowl of “well don’t I feel like an ass.”

    Anyone who’s been into gaming and I’m sure many here been gaming long enough to know that feeling. We see an awesome game trailer, read up some previews and interviews in a mag, month after month we read and look for any bit of info we can, hell some of us even go to fan forums. Then the games comes out and bam, doesn’t live up.

    Get blasted enough time you get cynical and jaded, at worst bitter. I’m not trying to sound like I’m on their side but I sure as hell see where they’re coming from.

    Me, I try to always be cautiously optimistic, there’s a lot of promises being made, and I try to think of it from a real world perspective not just the candy and unicorn dreams that’s being painted for us.

    • I can appreciate being burned by a company but thats more your own baggage. Every single games company is not out to get you.

      I’m realistic, guild wars 2 is a game, a game I want to play. My life doesn’t revolve around it…well. at least when I’m not blogging anyway.

      • Seems to me as a simple soul that Arenanet are backing up every claim they make with evidence. Of course we wont be able to one-shot everything as shown in trailers and skill video, but they told us that at the time, also a good sign.

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