A Long Expected Party

May 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 22 Comments
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I’ve got more at stake than most bloggers when it comes to Guild Wars 2. For one, I don’t blog about other games much, this is a Guild Wars 2 focused blog and has been since the beginning. I’ve been writing about the game since October 2009. 2 years, 7 months. I’m a big Arenanet fan and ardent supporter of everything they claim to be doing, claim to be, as a game studio.

My anticipation matched my anxiety as I downloaded the game and waited to play Guild Wars 2.

And I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post even as I rushed through character creation to set my feet firmly on Tyrian soil for the first time in 250 years.

I’m sort of speechless.

I mean you’d think I’d have written this first impressions post by now. But I haven’t. I think because it’s sort of what I expected it to be, and I’ve written a lot about what I expected it to be.

I expected it to be gorgeous. It is gorgeous. It is just beautiful everywhere you go. This is a game that is fun to look at whether it is in a PvP map, a loading screen, an underwater cave, the user interface, all aspects of character creation or the tutorial area.

And I expected it to move differently than other MMOs. And it does. I’m constantly moving. I’m running around, strafing, dodging, kiting. Maybe not 100% of the time, but often enough that I don’t feel like it’s a stationary game as I often do in other MMOs. The skills help perpetuate that feeling of movement, rocketing your character around the battlefield, rooting enemies in place, pulling and pushing them around.

I expected the game to feel like a world with lore and characters and activity. Well I think you’ve figured it out by now, the world feels alive. There are constant reminders of the original Guild Wars and new stories that are just as entertaining, if not more so.

Of course I also expected bad things.

Like the hearts being rather pale in comparison to events, even though as I said, they’re still superior to quests. Or the frequency of loading screens (as beautiful as they are) or the myriad of typical beta problems that were present.

But none of that outshone the one thing I expected most. The game is fun. In my opinion it is rock solid, carpal tunnel causing, social life losing, time sucking, keyboard face imprinting, get your towels readying, wife aggroing, nerd raging, puzzle jumping, not quite as heroin addicting, but altogether pretty close amount of fun.

Some people would probably want more specifics in their first impressions, more details. Some people might want more criticisms or more analysis. Maybe they’ll get that down the line, maybe they won’t. I don’t want to say anything more than this.

I have played a good game and will continue to play it. Arenanet, you nailed it. Kudos.



  1. You hit the nail right on the head. I wrote a long post about, well, mostly what OTHER people had posted about, usually about complaints. Like yourself, I only write about GW2 in the first place, so I’ve already spent so much time and energy researching the game that I wasn’t very surprised. My time was fantastic, but it’s kind of hard to write about all the great things when, to be perfectly honest, we have already written about all of them in advance. All I can say is that I’m glad you had a great time man. All of our hopes for the game are going to become a reality soon, and it’s very exciting.

    • The criticisms I see make me want to say some nasty stuff. “Oh you think it seems like WoW, okay well that incredibly original insight into an MMO didn’t make me think you’re as predictable as the sun rising and that your writing is as cliched as sarah jessica parker/horse jokes.”

      Glad you had a good time too.

      • I’ve only seen that from a certain vocal minority of GW1 players and the occasional obvious troll who clearly didn’t set foot in beta because nobody with their attitude would have signed up in that short 48 hour window, let alone pre-purchased the game.

        That said, it occasionally reminded me of WoW, but only in the good ways. I’d almost forgotten why I played thain the first place, but even as the few similarities reminded me of the things I liked about WoW, the differences reminded me even more of the things I didn’t.

        Honestly I think any open-minded fan of either title can find a comfortable home in this game. It’s the best of both worlds, plus things never before done but oft-desired.

        • I just much prefer that games are judged on their merits not on comparison to other games. It’s lazy writing.

  2. I loved the game. I played a human elementalist, a norn elementalist, a norn warrior and a human guardian. So many toons, so I advanced only one to elvel 20. I made some crafting, but need more time for learn how to craft better items. But I made a nice level 10 armor for my guardian.

    I loved to run around with my norn warrior with two hand sw2ord and rifle. Some mobs I just use rifle, mostly bosses, I learn the hard way that warrior is not a tank. For who say that warrior is supposed to be melee I say” blehhhh, you don’t make the laws!”

    I loved the chaos and the freedom. I hunted any event that was happening close to where I was at map. Some people, however, not liked the freedom. I am very sorry about these people…

    I am just waiting the next beta…

    • I know of at least one other person who really enjoyed the rifle on the warrior, I thought it was okay, but definitely preferred the greatsword on the warrior.

      • Hunter, I was using both: greatsword and rifle.

        I really don’t understand some people saying PvP is flawed because ranged attacks have advantage… all classes have ranged attacks, just need choose the right weapon.

        But from the point of view of people that will defend and atack fortress and walls, all classes have ranged attacks makes a lot of sense…

        • In my opinion the melee damage often more than makes up for range. You do not do as much damage at range on any profession.

  3. I would much rather read about how the game made you feel than some obligatory list of positives and negatives (even if that list was bulleted). I’m super glad to hear that you enjoyed the game. That last thing anyone wants is a repeat of what happened to all of the Warhammer blogs. May they rest in peace.

    • I don’t think this is going to turn out like warhammer but I’m also pretty certain theres also going to be a ton of people who don’t like the game because “i can’t quite put my finger on it” or “its too much like wow” or “its too much of a themepark”. Which i say poppycock to.

  4. Thank-you for this post Hunter.
    I had such a wonderful time in the BWE, and so much of the game turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for in almost every single way.
    The beginning of this week has been rough for me, and seeing another post of ennui induced nit-picking would have been very disappointing.
    It’s a good thing for folks to be critical of the game at this stage (when it could still constructively help the developer to improve the game before launch) and I don’t begrudge them their opinions.
    I guess for me personally, I was just looking forward to sharing feelings of exhilaration and happiness that the game seems to be on such a great track, and so many of my expectations look like they will be fulfilled.
    So, thank-you for once again providing a location for me to express my thoughts.
    I recognize that not everyone feels the same, but personally, I’d rather be playing the beta of GW2, even in it’s current, un-finished state, that any other MMO currently available.

    • +1. Makes me feel like I am wasting time playing anything else. I was so happy to see the game. I loved the image of the gw2 shrine someone had set up prior to bwe. Happily d3 should be here soon and hopefully I can just relax with that till release.

      • Heh I feel exactly the same way. Thanks Anet all my other games suck now. Was sold on both GW2 and D3 since they were announced, playing both beta’s(preview weekends) just sealed the deal. Good to know I won’t need to buy any other games for a while at least not this year.

    • Most of the reviews seems pretty positive, even the cranks have good things to say, I was only able to find one post that truly seemed based on some bitter childhood trauma that sullied their experience with joy.

      • I may have spent a little bit too much time on the beta forums at the beginning of the week…(to my own detriment)

  5. I totally agree. Then again, I had my first impressions last summer and they’re pretty solidly in line with my recent beta experience. There’s simply not much to say that I haven’t already said, because the reality lined up with my expectations, beta quibbles aside.

    I’m glad you finally got to play and found it hit the spot!

    • I’ve definitely got things to say but as far as a first impressions post goes, as far as shocking revelations or anything like that, this post about sums it up.

  6. GW1 has a certain something that always brings me back. I’ve enjoyed (and continue to do so) other games: Aion, AoC, City of Heroes, LotRO, etc., but they’ve all lacked that feeling I get when I enter GW1. But I actually spent hours and hours just wandering around GW2, enjoying the… whatever it is….., that feeling of actually being in another world I guess. It is the same as a really good book or movie that, for awhile, just becomes your reality. Very few games (or books, TV, or movies for that matter) can manage to create that feeling. GW2 is one of them!

    • I agree. Its that sense of finding something new and it not being disappointing in any way, its always a surprise or a delight, or releases those dopamines in your brain for some sense of joy.

  7. I had to write 3 separate posts, 1 for each day…and still didn’t come close to doing the experience justice.

    • Yeah, I’ll probably be writing about my experiences for some time to come.

  8. […] Hunter’s Insight — A Long Expected Party. “I’ve got more at stake than most bloggers when it comes to Guild Wars 2. For one, I […]

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