Potent Potables

August 20, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 16 Comments
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Mana for the soul

There are a lot of significant things to talk about in all the information flooding in from the gamescom Guild Wars 2 demo. My first instinct is to just gush over the art style, the graphics. Its a beautiful game.

Instead, since I’m feeling a little information overload, I’ll focus on people making a mountain out of a molehill.

Potions. You use them in Guild Wars 2. I’ve used potions in games before, but they don’t exist in Guild Wars. There are many spells and skills to increase mana or even steal mana from other creatures. Energy management and energy denial are an absolute must in Guild Wars. For instance, elementalists can’t play without some feasible game plan for maintaining enough energy to be useful.

So why the change? Game Designer Jon Peters.

Energy in Guild Wars 2 is a long term resource. It lasts over multiple fights. Every skill uses energy. It is a way for players to gauge how difficult a fight was and how cautious to play. This makes encounters a lot more diverse and in our more solo friendly environment, it allows players to push into higher level and more difficult areas and get into more challenging fights without killing them outright.

Guild Wars 1 did not have a long term resource. Energy regenerated immediately outside of combat. This created a number of problems for us. The greatest of which was there was no good way to balance encounters. Encounters were very binary – you either won or lost and there was nothing available to tip the scales of the fight in your favor. The only way you could tell if a fight was difficult was if players died. Most of the time this was either because they made a series of mistakes that they couldn’t recover from once they realized it.

I’ve never really thought about GW on those terms, but the first time I read those words it was like someone was speaking what my mind had been trying to articulate for years.

Reminds me of all the fools I’ve ever met bragging about how easy such and such an instance was. How would you even know it was easy or difficult if you never died doing it?

Of course the forums are in an uproar, even though it was clear ages ago, when the Races trailer was released that potions were in game. You can clearly see a human character downing a potion during a fight in front of a windmill. I guess that’s beside the point.

In all honesty the people upset that there are potions in Guild Wars 2, just can’t handle change very well. Me, I’ve been looking forward to changes like this. I want Guild Wars 2 to be as little like Guild Wars as possible. I’m actually disappointed by the number of familiar beasts and the fact that the old map is very similar to the new one as in the image I’ve posted here.

Thanks to Eanny at Guild Wars 2 Guru, nice work.

In Guild Wars you always go into the world with a group. Those other players (or H&H) buff you, protect you, resurrect you, heal you, and buy you time to get your health back up and energy refilled.

In Guild Wars 2, you don’t always go into the world with a group. You may have no one to rely on but yourself, off in the middle of nowhere, with no one to watch your back. It’s a side effect of that whole persistent world thing. One side effect that I’m more than willing to put up with.

This is a non-issue. Get over the potion thing. There are lots of great games that use potions, and now Guild Wars 2 is going to be one of them.



  1. Some logic among the confusion. Thank you for your input Hunter.

    • I know right? Like who cares, potions, no potions, I’m playing the game.

  2. From what I’ve seen so far, and I havent had a great amount of time to see much yet. It’s looking more and more like a normal mmo. Sort of boring like.
    Bunches of disorganised people running around like noobs hoping to do as much damage as possible screw everyone else. I am going to miss being grouped up with a common goal.

    • There were a couple things that surprised me about how much its like other games, but don’t forget you can group with people and there will probably be benefits to gruoping with people. and if even if you don’t people will learn to work together without grouping.

  3. Do a post on the obscene cooldowns of elites next?

    • they are pretty obscene but did you see how powerful they are? pretty obscene too.

      • I luv me some obscenity, and gratuitousness too!

        Personaly I like the idea of elite skills that are actually “elite”, the elites in GW Awsome just felt like any other skill to me. Most were rather lack luster imo. 720 seconds does seem rather long but given the effects of the skills I dunno. I like the idea that the cooldowns will add a bit of strategic use to them though.
        Also given that this is just the demo I am sure none of these numbers are set in stone yet and will be balanced out.

        • I did some thinking about this and the ridiculous CD times basically limit that particular skill to once per combat. We can swap out skills outside of combat, and I see no reason why you can’t just use the Tornado skill, exit combat (waiting for the cooldown period that allows you to switch skills), swap elites, and head back in.

          By setting the CD at 12 minutes, it allows for a powerful skill once per combat. As long as we have other elites that don’t have long CD times, I’m fine with it. At that point it is about playstyle. I also think the inclusion of the long CD elites in the demo was to field test them for player feedback. There are at least 3 threads at GW2Guru and one post over at KTR on the subject, so I’m sure they’ll take the CD times into consideration.

  4. So people are upset that they wont have to spend half the game watching their energy bar? That makes sense…
    Really I dont understand what the big deal is, in every MMO I have played that uses potions, the potions always had a cooldown in essence they were nothing more than an energy managment or healing skill with finite uses if you dont stock up.
    People seem to think this is going to throw everything out of whack and topple the scales, well it is a different game people with different mechanics a different set of rules. I am sure potions will be balanced accordingly.
    OMG you mean my survival is no longer dependant on if I can time Power Drain just right? Blasphemy!

    • you don’t know the half of it man, gw2guru caught wind of this post and somebody even called me a troll over it 😦

      • Lol sad

  5. Well, beside all the Trolls there may be some people who just care about all the tactical stuff that made GW such an awesome game.
    And honestly they changed all of this great stuff. You just sit and watch all of that stuff you loved get replaced by some common MMO thing. Yeah, there ARE games which are great and have potions, but do they have a such PvP section like GW? Energy Management was a great tactical tool in PvP and so are other things that got removed. You just can’t imagine as a PvP player, that GW2 PvP can get that interesting as GW PvP. That’s it, and that’s why I am and many others are against potions. (That doesn’t include trolls who just don’t like new stuff).

    • I agree that energy managment is an integral part of GW both PvP and PvE, I love the tactical gameplay of GW just as much as anyone. I can appreciate and respect your argument to a point. But here’s the thing…
      GW2 is not GW, they are completely different games. Sure they are tied together through lore and the world in which they are set but other than that GW2 is a completely different monster. Skill system different, combat mechanics different, attributes different.
      We know practically nothing about PvP in GW2. The argument that potions or any other game feature is going to ruin it is moot because it is based on the game mechanics of GW not GW2. Other than the devs and the in house testing krewe, there is not a single person who can say wether or not potions are good or bad. And judging by the fact that they exist at all in GW2 well I guess that sums up Anet’s feelings on the matter.
      Arenanet wanted to make a new game with new systems in place. Otherwise they would have just done what Blizzard does and fluff and expand on the one they already have. Personaly I dont think it is anyones place but Arenanet’s alone to say your doing it wrong.
      I think it is pretty safe to say there will be a public beta for GW2 at some point. I would reserve judgment until then. And if you dont like it well GW Awsome will be around for some time yet don’t worry.

    • We don’t know anything about pvp yet, way too soon to say it won’t be tactical or interesting. maybe it will be more tactical and more fun, we just don’t know yet.

  6. So, can I use an elite, then swap it out for another elite in the next combat?

    • i don’t know

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