Chicken Talk

April 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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One of the major concerns of Guild Wars 2 fans is, for lack of a better word, depth. As I was listening to GuildCast the other day, one of their guests went into a long rant about how he thinks Guild Wars 2 doesn’t present any depth.

One of the favourite examples of people who agree with him is The Shatterer. A dragon Lieutenant of the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik that you fight somewhere in the level 50 range. It is a massive monster, a football field long and a few stories high.

In the demo videos, detractors of The Shatner say that he doesn’t move, and doesn’t present any depth. That there is no fun in just pummeling something that doesn’t have the Artificial Intelligence to move away or provide some challenge.

Well, while I agree that if that were true it wouldn’t be very fun, to me it is as though people don’t watch the fight with the big chicken. Their own evidence doesn’t support their claims.

The Shatner has a variety of attacks.

He has an Area of Effect scattershot breath attack. So immediately you probably don’t want to stand in the fire.

He has the ability to crystallize a number of opponents. Unless they are freed from this crystal prison by other players, they will be defeated.

He calls forth dragonbrand enemies to aid him. Players need to organize against these beasts as they attack, or they will mow down everyone attempting to fight the Shat.

He has the ability to call forth self healing crystals. Players must destroy these crystals before he recovers all health.

He also seems to have some form of ground attack, that ruptures the earth or sends a shock wave outwards from his location.

I’m not sure if all of these are accurate and he most likely has other attacks I’m not aware of. I do not know the full scope of his abilities.

There are alternative methods of attacking as well. One can assume the responsibility of firing mortars from the ridgeline, defending that position, or even repairing those devices if they are broken.

Maybe the Shat having abilities isn’t what they mean of course. I’m sure they might be referring purely to movement. However, as he is 100 meters long, having him move around a lot would end up with a fight that is difficult to orchestrate.

If I have to run the length of a football field because the gigantic monster I’m fighting took a couple of steps backwards, that ends up costing too much time. 30 seconds between melee blows doesn’t seem reasonable. Can anyone imagine if he actually jumped around? Ran up the mountainsides? Flew above the crowds? I admit it would look great, but I’m not sure how melee fighters would participate or how we’d do enough damage to send him packing. It’s just not practical.

I’d also question the need for a monster the size of a small mountain to feel like it needs to run away from ants. The boy who uses a magnifying glass to destroy ant civilization doesn’t run away when some start crawling on him.

I won’t question their stipulation that the Shat doesn’t move. He swipes his paws a bit, takes to the air a little, moves around in small ways, but I agree that he’s pretty stationary.

The Shat isn’t their only example of course, but I don’t find their other arguments all that convincing either.

In the end, does Guild Wars 2 have depth? I don’t know. I know I can’t tell from watching demo videos. Whether Guild Wars 2 has depth will likely be determined after release when people begin to tire of it or are compelled to keep playing.

At the very least what I’ve seen is promising, not disheartening.



  1. Climbing and flying eh? What about pulling him down and having melee fighters climb on top of him? Some of the turrets could freeze his wings or something and send him crashing to the ground, where melee could climb on. How awesome would that be to see warriors and the like just clinging on for dear life as he thrashed around? Its a scenario I just thought up quickly, but it would be neat. Maybe not possible within the scope of GW2 though, especially if he damages you on contact.

    I don’t like the argument that GW2 will have no depth based off the fight with the Shatterer. The only reason I could see why people think it wouldn’t have depth is because there isn’t a ton of information out there about it outside of combat fundamentals, basic things you’ll see in game and professions and races. It’s been heavy lore and less so mechanics and details. Patience, its a virtue.

    • Some of those ideas stretch the lengths of believability and implementation but i admit it would be wicked awesome.

      I’ll also admit there are other mobs mentioned in other arguments, but i stand by the shatterer at least being more complex than people let on and am not convinced by most of these arguments.

  2. Things to note –
    The skill that crystallizes players is the same as the one that he uses to heal himself. Additionally, if those crystals AREN’T destroyed before he heals himself, not only will the players trapped inside die, but the crystals will deal damage to players around them.

    I agree with your conclusion – I’m still reserving judgment, but I had high hopes.

    • thank you elixabeth, sharp as ever. I should have realized the crystals would be the same. thanks for the extra details.

  3. I think we can all make a list of bosses that did not move but were still fun, even if most of the bosses they showed us dont move that does not take away any of ‘depth’, I think the ants vs. kid with mag. glass pretty much says it all.

    • Case in point for what Endo says: Abaddon in Guild Wars (didn’t move, was quite challenging the first few times). Also, even if he DID move, what would change? It’s not like people didn’t just stand around and farm the Lich in Prophecies anyway.

      There’s much more to it than movement (although I agree, it’s something people will notice).

      • abaddon can still be a challenge if you don’t get your timing right, especially in hard mode. I’m not saying movement is bad either, just like you say, there is more to it than that alone.

    • most of the fun bosses i’ve ever played against have been confined to really small areas where not a lot of movement was possible in the first place.

  4. All I see is: “This video contains content from WMG and EMI, one or more of whom have blocked it in your country on copyright grounds”

    • thanks for the tip, i watched it at youtube assuming it would embed safely here. I’ve changed the video to another shatterer video.

  5. I’m someone that experienced a lot of shatterer kills on the demos and the shatterer is stationary, yes, but that doesn’t mean it has no depth. People cannot forget that gw2 has no tanks, no healers. You can’t have a boss that can potentially run around one-shotting cloth’s like in WoW or Rift, simply because there is no agro system like in classic mmorpgs. Here the fight is based on evading, positioning yourself to take advantage of oportunities to DPS and re-position when you need to play defensive.

    This whole non-trinity gameplay mechanics make the whole experience much more fluid and less static. There is no tank to make the boss face sideways so people avoid aoe damage and can sit n’ dps. There is no healer to keep the tank alive at all times… All you can do here is play your best, try to avoid the bad stuff and stay alive by any mean necessary.

    But the bosses in gw2 aren’t all stationary… during may gw2 play experience, i was able to do some events where you got lead to a Harpy boss for example, that flew from nest to nest, or for example the Broodmother in the human starting area, that was patrolling, spawned adds and had cone breath aoe (that did a LOT of damage the first time i saw here :p )

    Shadow behemoth is another great fight, because of the level range you meet him, and although it’s a stationary boss, it is really fun because of the skills he uses… Add-spawning, Massive aoe attacks… was really fun to kill at low level, since it required a lot of repositioning a lot of “looking at the air” to see where the projectiles were headed, etc…

    To sum it up, the boss fights in gw2 are really well made, and you can’t actually directly compare to boss fights in wow and other games because of the fact that gw2 has no tank-heal-dps setup.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself . One of the game changing mechanic that ArenaNet is promoting is combat and positioning , not bosses that try to dodge your attacks and make you frustrated .

      • all the talk surrounding “you don’t have to move to fight enemies” surprises me. when i watch demos, all i see are players moving around. seems ridiculous if all i have to go by is demo videos.

    • I was half tempted to bring up the broodmother or other mobs to make my point, but to be concise just kept it to the shatterer.

      people just can’t expect a huge boss, meant to be fought by dozens of people, to be this small monsters that runs all over the place

      sure you have the boar, but thats not meant to be fought by 50 people.

      Good point about not having a tank-heal-dps set up too. That certainly changes things.

  6. I personally marked this one up as someone trying to make some conversation while making a huge lot of assumptions. To say it has no depth is just silly, something thats been worked on for so long can’t be shallow.
    You could also mention that its GW2, from GW which was far from shallow? And its being done by Anet and a whole raft of other stuff but thats all to obvious, id hope.
    As a side point I know some GW players who avoid all news about GW2 so they don’t “wreck it” for when it does come out. Also why they don’t care about the beta. I decided a long time ago that if they show me something and it wrecks it for me then its also going to be a game I wont want to play for very long. Anet put out the challange that this is going to be an awesome game, and as I have accepted this. I watch everything, knowing calmly, that I have trusted anet to make it worth (and fun) doing over and over and over again. just like gw was, is that part of what depth is?

    • That’s another good point. Guild Wars 2 will likely have a similar amount of depth as guild wars. why spend your time that guild wars 2 will have less depth when it seems like it will have tons more, and if you think guild wars doesn’t have depth… i question your authority to be making such statements.

  7. […] “One of the major concerns of Guild Wars 2 fans is, for lack of a better word, depth. As I was listening to GuildCast the other day, one of their guests went into a long rant about how he thinks Guild Wars 2 doesn’t present any depth.” […]

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