It Ain’t All Golden

August 17, 2012 at 1:51 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 30 Comments
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You don’t come out of launch smelling like roses. How many MMOs can we name that have been perfect from day one? Guild Wars 2 will not go unscathed and there are basically three things that I’ve taken note of that I’m a little disappointed about going into August 25th.

No, I’m not talking about lag or glitches or bugs. That’s what stress tests and beta weekends are for. I also don’t really want to talk about balance or petty nonsense like clipping issues.

I’m talking about features I’m looking forward to.

Arenanet have said that guesting won’t be available at launch.

In time, we’ll also introduce free “guesting,” which will allow players to visit other worlds as guests as long as they have friends on those worlds.

This is mitigated somewhat by transfers being unlimited and free during the period just after launch. But just how long will transfers be available while guesting isn’t? There is no time frame presented. Guesting could come in the moment transfers start costing gems, or it could be months later.

I was really looking forward to this feature but there is another discrepancy. As long as they have friends on those worlds. Why limit it to worlds I have friends on? What’s the point of that? I can’t scout other servers to see what the community is like? Seems like a pointless obstruction. Is this why they’re holding up guesting? To add unnecessary restraints?

Anyway, this hardly ruins the game for me but I’m also concerned about activities.

They said there would be several activities per city. So far we’ve seen Keg Brawl. I love Keg Brawl. Keg Brawl is a really fun activity.

Where is the Bar Brawl? Shooting Gallery? Snowball fight? Smash Em Ups?

I guess I was expecting more mini-games. Arenanet seems to consider the Mystic Forge, the diving board, and Uzolan’s Ochestra to be activities. Fine, it’s all open to interpretation, but I was sold on actual mini-games like Keg Brawl.

And finally what’s up with the HoM? I put a whole lot of work into getting 50 out of 50 in my HoM. This was not a couple of weekends spent grinding. This was at least a thousand hours work after I already knew I had 36 points.

There is very little sign of it. I’ll probably end up eating my words when Arenanet posts about it the day after tomorrow but I’m a little apprehensive at it’s absence. The HoM rewards are the sort of things you want from day one in my opinion.

No word on it. 8 days to go.

So those are the things I’m slightly unhappy with going into launch. Otherwise I don’t have anything worth griping over. Are there bugs? Sure. Will there be lag? Probably. Am I happy? Hell yes.

But it ain’t all golden.



  1. The lack of intel on the hom is itching me too Hunter. I do know they have released a vid on the deluxe edition bonus items….but I am dying to take a closer look at the medium heritage armor.

    • It just seems like we should know how to use it by now, all we know is that some of the items exist.

  2. I figured Guesting wouldn’t be in, seeing as how it’s been disabled in all the BWEs. There must be some hitch they’re running into there.

    • I could have sworn it was up during bwe2, but I guess I’m recalling that wrong. I assume the hitch has something to do with the friends list, because I don’t recall them insisting that you have to have friends on other servers before? or maybe I’m wrong.

  3. I see the mini games as one of the side aspects of the game. As such I didn’t really expect Anet to include all that many of them into the beta experience. If Anet ran its beta like Blizzard where it was available 24/7 for months then yeah, I’d expect them to have the mini games included. But with just beta wknds, adding too many of the extra side features of the game could split player attention from the core aspects of the game. I think they gave us Keg Brawl as a nice, “Here is the type of stuff you can expect to experience from the minigames that are also included on top of this already awesomely solid game.” Providing all of the minigames in the beta would just split player attention needlessly.

    Plus we’ve seen pretty strong evidence for some of the as of yet unreleased games such as the Polymock arenas in Rata Sum plus the Moa Racing stuff in LA or the shooting gallery we’ve seen in Div Reach.

    • I don’t know, I’m not holding up hopes for more than a couple activities to be in game, they would have been testing them by now. Seems like something that will come in later.

      • Well seeing as how the mini-games are mini-games I think Anet’s QA department and other internal tests should provide adequate testing for them. We’ve seen keg brawl and I haven’t seen nor heard of any bugs or issues with it. I don’t preclude the possibility of absent mini-games but IMO, simple absence from a beta does not mean they aren’t going to be in at launch. Plus I figure with the amount that we know about the games we’d hear from Anet before launch that they wouldn’t be in kind of like how they did when they talked about the extended experience ap stuff a while back.

        • Well maybe you’re right but in my opinion even mini-games need to be stress tested etc. I can’t see more than one or two games coming in at launch that we don’t know about.

  4. The lead up has been a little strange, and the guesting thing threw me a bit. I’ve always been going into betas as if they’re just saving stuff for when the full game comes out – I thought guesting was one of those things.
    I thought that the keg brawl was just one of many of the minigames, and that testing just the one was going to be enough to make all the others reliable and fun.
    I am just expecting a massive game to suddenly open up and become available for me to play – unlike the beta. I am not sure exactly how much more there is now. I was expecting a magnatude more, is that strange of me? Oh well, I’ll still enjoy it for sure either way.

    • Guesting is important to me, I’m pretty disappointed that it isn’t coming together in time for release.

  5. Where is the spectator mode ! I loved to work at home , while having spectator mode on in GW. I know they had said it isn’t going to make it for launch, but … I hope it’s going to appear soon. I don’t see E-sport succes without it.

    • Agree, I am sure this is one of the first things they are going to work on after release. I loved watching the games in GW, and I love watching pro players play in general (ok mostly SC2). Lots of people want this one, just give people time to get in and play around for a while before we have to put up with the watch me pown noobs movies.

    • This is something I’m not expecting until at least a few months in if not longer. It’s not a small feature by any means.

  6. I’d say guesting isn’t ready rather than being held for an artificial reason. Maybe this is the reason why they decided to offer temporary free transfers. I don’t think I’m the only one who has more than just a single group of friends and they probably will play on different servers. If I had to pay gems every time I wanted to play with the other group, I wouldn’t be happy at all. Free transfers or having an alt on another server (the way WoW handles this) is not perfect either but much better.

    • Tying it to the friends list doesn’t seem necessary and my suspicion is that is exactly what is holding it up, which seems artificial to me.

  7. If that are your issues with GW2, I can afirm GW2 is a very good game. All 3 are minor issues, if issues at all.

    They will add guesting, but only after the population on diferent worlds stabilize. While that, players will have free transfer. I read “[…] hade friends at that world” as an indication you need get the permission of a player at other world for be a “guest”, so it will possible to visit only for worlds where you have friends.

    With realtion to activities on cities, they show they can create final beta events easilly. The places for that city activities are present at cities, so I think will not be hard to create them. But it is possible that that activities exist, they just not implemented. Like dance, we know they have dances for each race (sadly, same dance for males and females), but the /dance command is disabled at betas. So, the same can be happening with relation city activities.

    HoM problably will be implemented only at launch or a few later. Why implement it at beta? They want mantain some secrets for launch, as the zones above level 35…

    • Well as I said in the post, I’m happy with Guild Wars 2 but there are things that won’t be perfect.

  8. I was always under the impression it was contingent upon receiving an invite from another player. It was always discussed in conjunction with the philosophy of wanting players to be able to able to play with their friends one way or another. I don’t think they are trying to impose a restriction so much as get the mechanic to work, and the mechanic is based upon friend invites. I imagine the number of players who would want to visit another server simply for the sake of “window shopping” is much slighter than those who want to visit with other friends. Also, you remember how players raised such a fuss about the overflow server despite it being a nice alternative to queues. There’s going to be so many other issues to focus on at launch, do they really need guesting issues on top of that? As others have said, server populations need to be somewhat stable first. You can’t really tell what another server will be like in the first few weeks, especially if everyone is visiting other servers.

    I’m sure more mini-games will be added over time. They shouldn’t be that big a deal to implement relative to say finale events. I love keg brawl, too, but there’s already so much to do in the game just from what little we’ve seen that I’m actually kind of overwhelmed.

    I’m pretty sure we will get our rewards from day one. They’ve advertised them very recently and they tend to be up front about things that aren’t ready for launch (such as guesting.) Whether or not there’s an actual physical locale is anyone’s guess. The wiki just mentioned an NPC we would get our rewards from in our home instances.

    • I wasn’t under that impression at all. I figured it would be implemented similarly to transfers and they never implied you’d need someone on your friends list.

  9. Well, that sucks. I was planning on spending some time with friends over on the European servers at launch. Not happy about this at all. 😦 I had a feeling some things were being left too late after learning the release was late August, as I was expecting something more around late October, after it became clear the game wasn’t anywhere close to being ready for an April 28th release. Now I’m seeing that bit about lots of new content after release being more about adding stuff that just isn’t done on time for release.

    • You can still spend time with them via transfers as they will be free for a time, but it is disappointing and who knows how long we’ll go without guesting.

  10. […] Hunter’s Insight — It Ain’t All Golden. “You don’t come out of launch smelling like roses. How many MMOs can we name that have been perfect from day one? Guild Wars 2 will not go unscathed and there are basically three things that I’ve taken note of that I’m a little disappointed about going into August 25th. No, I’m not talking about lag or glitches or bugs. That’s what stress tests and beta weekends are for. I also don’t really want to talk about balance or petty nonsense like clipping issues.” […]

  11. I get the feeling that they are holding a lot back to ensure launch is smooth without much of the clutter. I really think your concerns are vital and I am glad to see such intelligent dichotomy in your comments. One thing about Guesting. I didn’t take that guesting wouldn’t be available at launch out of the recent news release, only that it would be taking a backseat to the free unlimited server transfers. I could be wrong, I read it while camping.

    Shokenaw.1987 of

    • Yeah I agree, this stuff is being held back so they can actually launch the game and I”m okay with that, just a little disappointed. I mean a few activities is a bit off the 2 dozen promised. Apparently today Martin Kerstein said that free transfers ending and guesting coming in will be the same time, so that goes a long way to pacifying me.

      • Cheers mate – I have faith in ArenaNet to produce everything they promised if not at launch, then slightly after.

  12. I guess the interview Martin Kerstein gave to Guru answers your first question:

    “The guesting system will be delayed until the servers have settled down. The guesting system will then be enabled and server transfers will need to be paid for. Until the guesting system is activated server transfers will be free.”

    So I guess that at least this problem isn’t really a major problem. From previous comments by the devs I don’t expect free transfers to exist for more than a couple of weeks, but we’ll see how it goes.

    As for everything else, I have the same mindset of Shokenaw above: they are holding back on a few features to make sure the basic stuff runs smoothly, and then they’ll release these features in small batches.

    • Yeah I just got finished reading that actually, so I’m happy with that. Still a little annoyed at the need for a friends list though, just don’t see the point.

  13. […] Insight already wrote about the so-called imperfections found in Guild Wars 2. A big one is the lack of free guesting between worlds. It will come “in […]

  14. They are legitimate concerns and expressed fairly (on the internet I consider that a major achievement!). Most of them I had disregarded, though. I assumed mini-games would be live at launch but were being withheld from betas to give us some surprises, much the same as the /dance emotes. I would be very surprised if Hall of Monuments stuff wasn’t accessible at launch. It’s still possible some of these things are missing, but really of all the flaws GW2 could (and no doubt will) have, things not being ready seems just too ironic for this game of all games. I’d be surprised.

    • It’ll be a great game with or without these things missing, and they’ve already said transfers will be available until guesting comes in, but i am really looking forward to the hom and activities and… there isn’t much sign of them.

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