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GURU: Guild Wars vs Guild Wars 2 - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly


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#1 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:52 AM

Gulid Wars vs. Guild Wars 2. What a topic. When sitting down to  figure out how to plan this, I thought, "What would I most want to  know?" I realize that you guys don't just want to hear a glowing review  of every nook and cranny of Guild Wars 2. You want to know how it stacks  up. You want to know if you're going to jump for delight or moan in  agony for certain features, or lack thereof. Well, I'm here to bring you  facts mingled with opinion, perhaps peppered with a little bit of, "omg  squee!!~" in between.

The Big Picture

This  game is not Guild Wars. For better or worse, this is the truth. For  years waiting for this game I approached this with the mindset of Guild  Wars 2 being a sequel, but don't be fooled. At most, the only "sequel"  you'll get is continuity in the story. However, if you want to measure  it by the way the game is played, or the features in the game, you're  coming at it from the wrong angle.

The main difference I  immediately felt was the intent behind what I was doing. In Guild Wars,  PvE was obviously intended to be a sideshow in order to gear you up for  PvP. Any content released after Prophecies was just consequent of the  need to add content. Guild Wars 2 is entirely different in that regard.  In fact, it's so different that I'd be surprised to know that there was  PvP in the game! It plays like PvE is meant to be the main element,  that's for sure.

PvP

Guild Wars: Guild vs Guild, Heroes Ascent, Random Arena, Team Arena, Hero Battles, Codex Battles, etc...

Guild Wars 2: Competitive, World vs World vs World

There's  nothing remotely similar between the two games. My knee-jerk reaction?  GW2 is a downgrade when it comes to PvP formats (mainly WvW). GvG in GW was brilliant  to play, and equally exciting to watch. I yearn to have something so  fierce in play style and rich in tactical depth, and I feel like Guild  Wars 2 moves away from the aspect of pure skill. Of course, I'm a novice  in comparison to others when it comes to PvP, so perhaps take my  opinion with a grain of salt, but I do find myself wistful for formats  like GvG, HA and RA.

WvWvW in Guild Wars 2 is a bit of a  frustrating mess. I often felt like it was a fusion between Guild Wars's  Jade Quarry and Alliance Battles from the Factions campaign. You join  up with an army of folks, you're unorganized, and your objectives don't  nearly as heavily rely on skill because of the innate lack of  organization amongst players. This might change as time moves on in the  game, I will admit that, but for now I'm not too happy. My experience  left me wanting more in terms of the skill and organization that could  be used to deny other teams any hope in hell for a victory. Not to  mention, running a graphically unoptimized client on my computer means  WvWvW is an unenjoyable laggy mess. I hope this changes when the game  comes out.

I can't comment on the competitive PvP at this point. My stance is based purely on my experiences in WvW.  By the end of the weekend my computer was on the verge of emitting smoke  :(.

Graphics

My computer specifications:
- 24-inch monitor (1920x1080)
- AMD FX-6100 3.3GHz six-core CPU
- AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB
- 8GB RAM
- Windows 7 64-bit

ffghjdafkdlja;s.  Excuse me - that was me wiping the drool off my keyboard. I understand  that I'm not running a graphically optimized version of the client so  I'm going to experience issues that I normally wouldn't otherwise, but  the game is gorgeous. Even at minimal settings, you are left  with no hint of a doubt that the graphics/environment team at ArenaNet  did their job. From the dirt-covered paths to the details etched into to  elaborately designed buildings that arc over your head, your visual  senses are completely sated. I have nothing but compliments to shower  over whoever was responsible for creating the virtual world we'll all  soon inhabit. The best part is knowing that once the game is graphically  optimized, I should be able to run on high settings no problem. Right  now I need to play at medium, but I anticipate different results once  the game is released.

PvE

PvE  content in Guild Wars 2 is completely different than in Guild Wars. GW2  plays a lot more like what you'd expect from having done PvE in other  MMOs. My take on it? Not my favourite. I know I'm probably in the  minority saying that, but I'm a committment-phobe. I like having 10  different max characters that I can roll depending on what a team needs.  You can't do that in GW2. With level 80 as the max level, you need to  spend a serious chunk of time to finely tune a character.

Another  element that's absent in GW2 is the instanced missions. Guild Wars  content is wrapped in neat little packages that you can form a group to  complete, or do on your own. This is rather non-traditional as far as  PvE content in video games, but I think it really made Guild Wars stand  out. The high end missions, akin to dungeons in other games, included  DoA, Urgoz, The Deep and, well, dungeons. I much prefer the instanced  game play because it allows for better planning and tactics.

That said, I realize Guild Wars 2 is a different game and I do  enjoy the PvE. It's not the same, but it's still good. I can't comment  on the longevity that this type of gameplay will hold, but I'm sure I'll  see a character through to level 80 and engage in the high end content.  I'm not sure if I'd be able to hold in as long as I did with Guild  Wars, if only because I feel like GW2 compels people much less to group  with one another. I'm a social gamer and because of that, I need other  people, otherwise I get bored and just start running in circles ;-).

Before  I actually got a chance to play at this game I scoffed at the idea of  personal stories. As you can probably see by now, I'm the type of player  that zeroes in on honing skill, regardless of whether it's PvE or PvP,  and story is secondary. Now I'm finding that I need to eat my words on  this. The character creation process forces you to choose the background  of your character and I began to find myself becoming attached. I was  creating someone and not just something; moreover, it's like I  could put who I am as a person into the video game. As I pondered each  choice, I realized it said something about who I am and what my  values/interests are. Going through that process allowed me to form a  kind of bond with my character because there was no other choice.

As  far as the personal story goes, I won't give any spoilers. I've  certainly had some chuckles because, yes folks, clowns can be involved. Clowns.  With regards to it running in tandem with dynamic events and pacing  quests, it's a little choppy. The regular world content and your  personal story are clearly unrelated, which I'm fine with. The quests  and dynamic events are much more relatable to the immediate environment  they take place in. Speaking of which, it was hard to get used to quests  just popping in and out of my quest log, but in the end I was grateful  for it. It allowed me to "accidentally" complete content just by slaying  certain enemies, or engaging with objects in the environment. It's a  harmonious balance between being too lazy/apathetic to take quests and  being forced to complete content.

I already briefly mentioned that  grouping seems inherently discouraged in GW2 because of the  non-instanced gameplay. Since the majority of your time spent leveling a  character is not on the personal story, I think this is a bit  of a shame. You certainly will be working with other people as you  complete quests, though. Pacing tasks and dynamic events that pop up  will show up for others as well, and if they choose to complete them  they will be aiding you in completing it as well. In a sense, that is  grouping, but definitely more informal. As a social gamer, I do see this  as a negative because I want to form strong ties of friendship with  people, and I think non-instanced gameplay takes away from that. I hope  to be proven wrong, though. I know a lot of things will be different  upon launch when you have more than just press and testers playing the  game.

One thing I was pleased to see was the "feel" of the races  was kept alive. Whichever race's home turf you're in, it is a throwback  to Guild Wars. The team did a great job of capturing the races in their  environment. Each quest or event that gets tossed into your log just  further underscores the fact that you're in, for example, "Norn-land."

Each  zone is ripe with content and little details such as a suggested  character level for quests are shown right on the map. This helps you  direct your progress through each zone, even if you're not following a  personal story and are only trying to level. For reference sake when  looking at any videos/screenshots, the little orange hearts on the map  are the "pacing tasks" that I refer to. These are quests that pop up in  your log and once you complete them they are filled in on the map. One  other thing I should mention about these pacing tasks is that you feel  compelled - but not in a bad way - to do them. It's like a built-in  title/achievement system. Your progress through the zone (including  waypoints, skill points and pacing tasks) is logged on the map, and if  you're anything like me, you don't want to leave a zone with 8/9 quests  complete and only 10/12 waypoints discovered!

In conclusion, I had  fun in PvE. I think I will enjoy playing through at least the human and  norn races. It's not Guild Wars, and in a lot of ways I find fault in  that. It's hard to beat the ways in which Guild Wars first appealed to  me. It really is a beautiful game to play through, but certain elements  like the level cap, persistence and grouping really make me doubt how  many characters I'm actually going to level up. Of course, please keep  in mind that this is my experience. Who knows? you may find much more  joy in what I find is lacking.

Skill Bars

I  think we can all agree that Guild Wars offered an incredibly unique  method of allowing players to interact with skills. You were given 8  slots and often took on a dedicated role. Whether it was PvE or PvP, you  had the option of tweaking your bar for maximum performance. This  absolutely thrilled me, and became only more fun with heroes because I  had even more bars to customize! There did come a point when it became  difficult to balance the wealth of skills (the fault of that is a debate  that can be saved for GWG...), but the stuff players came up with was  legend. Remember iQ's famous victory over EvIL in the GWFC? The "55  Monk"? Or the "600 monk"? The Boon Prot? As standard as some of these  bars became, they were able to exist because of the types of skills  offered. You likely won't see that in GW2, and I think that's a shame.

Remarkably, I actually wasn't bored mashing the same skills over again because there are  other ways to employ decision-making skills when playing. On the  elementalist, you can seriously boost your effectiveness by adapting to  the moment's needs. Need defense? Maybe use some of your water  attunement skills to heal yourself, or freeze the enemy in place to  reduce damage, or switch to your air attunment for a speedbuff. What  about damage? Fire! Burnburnburn!!!! I'm still working on finding a use  for earth, though... The point is, you have to use your character in a  different way in combat than what we got used to in GW.  Admittedly, this is a less exciting process on the mesmer because your  skills don't change unless you swap weapons (your skills change for each  element you attune to on the ele, and also for each weapon  type you equip). Instead, on the mesmer you get additional  illusion-related buffs that are typically offensive. How you  play, and what profession you're on will definitely influence the  outcome in battle, though!

The Little Things

Jumping  - it's more than just an emote, now!! I was totally fine with GW having  /jump... until I played GW2. Then I found myself mashing the space bar  in Guild Wars, and much to my chagrin it didn't do anything! It's an  addictive thing that allows you to take advantage of your environment,  so squee!!!

No mission map. This killed me. I hate it. I want my  mission map back! We still have the compass, and the "M" world map, but  not the mission map (default key was U in GW). I relied so heavily on  this feature in GW and it is painful to get by without it in GW2. It is  such a small feature that has such a huge impact on gameplay and I  honestly feel like the game is worse off without it. I really hope they  add it.

Humour returns in GW2! I loved GW for its puns and jokes  laced throughout quest descriptions and titles, and character dialogue.  They take it a step further in GW2 with how you interact with quests and  the environment. Feed bear cubs, turn into leopards and kill rabbits -  it's cute, and I love it!

Armor and weaponry are confusing at the  start. The armor and weapon system are definitely less self-explanatory  than they were in GW. Maybe I just need more time to familiarize myself  with the game, but I really enjoyed GW's simplicity in this regard. You  knew what max armor was, you knew where to get it (whereas you now have  armor drops in GW2), and you could walk up to a rune vendor and easily  make the most of your armor set.

-----

What does this all add up to?

Well, if I had to rate the game on a scale of 1 to 10, where Guild Wars is 10, I'd give it an 8. Some of you will give it a 12. I've done my best to convey to you what my wants and needs are from a video game and how that will influence what I do/don't like about GW2, so don't be discouraged by my opinion. GW was my first "real" gaming experience, so what I learned to expect was nearly 100% influenced by that. I do feel like it's more of a PvE game than PvP, and I know that will turn a lot of the old market away, but GW2 does open its arms to a whole new market of players, too.

-----

Okay, I've written a  lot. I could write more - especially on the little things. I think what I  might do is accept questions and do a "Q&A" sort of thing, which  may turn into articles. It's impossible to document everything I've  experienced in one blog entry, so I might as well do a bunch of them!  Hopefully you've managed to not fall asleep! Thanks so much for reading!  I hope you all enjoy hearing about the game today.

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"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
Jack Layton

#2 Matthew Browne

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:16 PM

That was a nice and concise read Jenn, I liked it. May I ask if you were involved in the GW PvP scene when it was in it's golden days?

#3 Sliv

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:44 PM

Great read, Jenn. I'm really happy you liked the story elements: I remember the first time I played through Prophecies (oh the nostalgia :D) and I really was hammered by undead in Kryta, but I was always so anxious to see where the missions would take me and how the story would proceed. If they get that right in GW2, I'm already a happy gamer.

The rest is secondary :)

#4 pVVn3cl

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:12 PM

You probably just aren't that good at PvP tbh. Interesting review nonetheless.

#5 Ashanor

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

In my opinion, GW2 PvP is a massive upgrade. I was also never a big fan of the original GW. I felt it was too restrictive and boring. You don't get WvW in GW either, and I have been waiting for a game to do "RvR" right since DAoC.

#6 Absintheminded

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

Jenn said:

PvE


Another  element that's absent in GW2 is the instanced missions. Guild Wars  content is wrapped in neat little packages that you can form a group to  complete, or do on your own. This is rather non-traditional as far as  PvE content in video games, but I think it really made Guild Wars stand  out. The high end missions, akin to dungeons in other games, included  DoA, Urgoz, The Deep and, well, dungeons. I much prefer the instanced  game play because it allows for better planning and tactics.

....

I already briefly mentioned that  grouping seems inherently discouraged in GW2 because of the  non-instanced gameplay. Since the majority of your time spent leveling a  character is not on the personal story, I think this is a bit  of a shame. You certainly will be working with other people as you  complete quests, though. Pacing tasks and dynamic events that pop up  will show up for others as well, and if they choose to complete them  they will be aiding you in completing it as well. In a sense, that is  grouping, but definitely more informal. As a social gamer, I do see this  as a negative because I want to form strong ties of friendship with  people, and I think non-instanced gameplay takes away from that. I hope  to be proven wrong, though. I know a lot of things will be different  upon launch when you have more than just press and testers playing the  game.



http://www.guildwars...fansitelogo.png


Were you unable to test Ascalon Catacombs? In any case, I think it sounds from your post that you are forgetting the dungeon portion of PvE that brings all the mission elements from GW1 back... Just something to think about.

#7 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

pVVn3cl said:

You probably just aren't that good at PvP tbh. Interesting review nonetheless.

Correct!
Like I said, I didn't get a chance to try the Competitive structure, so my review is based only off of the WvW stuff... and I didn't like the format. It felt too zergy for me.

@absintheminded
Yes - and I know the dungeons are akin to that (though I am sad at the party size limit >_<). I guess I should have emphasized the "regular" gameplay.
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#8 Menlai

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

A 6870 struggling to run High settings, How can it be that unoptimized? I'm afraid for my rig even when it is optimized if that is the case.

#9 Alexious

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

It is clear that you are a die-hard GW1 fan. It has been always relevant to me that many of these GW1 fans would not have appreciated GW2 as much as the rest of the people.

Too bad for you, I guess, but us MMORPG fans are incredibly excited about it.
I just hope they fix WvW performance, that's going to be very important.

#10 Ryoto

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:37 PM

Definitely well written, I believe I would give a similar score if not slightly higher. I was concerned with how different the PVE would be when you said you weren't a fan but as I read on it didn't seem too bad.

#11 Ratchet

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:54 PM

I don't want to sound judgey since, after all, you're the one who played a weekend of GW2, not me, but from the article it really seemed that your perception of the game is derived from what you currently think of when you play the original Guild Wars. As if differences between the two only served as detractors on your taking to GW2, instead of perhaps being improvements on what is now a very old game with very dated mechanics. I, for example, can't actually stomach Guild Wars anymore. It's just not aligned with how I play games in 2012 compared to 2006. So things like the following strike me as almost narrow-mindedness:

Quote

As standard as some of these bars became, they were able to exist because of the types of skills offered. You likely won't see that in GW2, and I think that's a shame.

The builds you mention in GW are highly specific concepts that were only novel and interesting because they exploited the system they were designed in, not because they were particularly good ideas on their own. It makes no sense to expect or miss their presence in a completely different game. Rest assured, Guild Wars 2 will have it's own "IWAY" and "55 monk" builds, it's only a matter of time.

Quote

Admittedly, this is a less exciting process on the mesmer because your skills don't change unless you swap weapons

Why is switching weapon such an encumbrance? Sure It might have been something you did less integrally in GW but from what I understand it's just another button press and should be encouraged in combat.

Quote

your objectives don't nearly as heavily rely on skill because of the innate lack of organization amongst players. This might change as time moves on in the game, I will admit that, but for now I'm not too happy

How can you expect skill and organisation from a mass gathering of players who have never in their lives experienced that content? I'm not sure what alternative you would have suggested but from where I'm standing your issue seems to be with human nature rather than poor design. Just think of how much better it'll be when entire Guilds play through WvW maps together, hopefully that'll reassure you. Open PvP is going to be generally hectic no matter how you experience it or in whatever game you play it, though.

I appreciate your opinion but I just don't know what the purpose of "rating the game on a scale of 1 to 10, where Guild Wars is 10" is when your criteria for what rewards points seems to mostly boil down to "can I play this game like Guild Wars?". I mean if Guild Wars is a ten and Guild Wars 2 is an eight, you'll probably just be happier playing Guild Wars. Forgive me if that sounded harsh, I'm not trying to discredit your opinion, I'm just really confused by the perspective that's being presented.

#12 Ramei Arashi

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:02 PM

Quote


The main difference I immediately felt was the intent behind what I was doing. In Guild Wars, PvE was obviously intended to be a sideshow in order to gear you up for PvP.

That's bull and renders the rest of the article meanlingess.

#13 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:06 PM

Ratchet,

You're entirely right that I'm evaluating GW2 on GW! However, I don't actually see anything wrong with that. I'm sure you also have games that you like or don't like, or have experienced moments where you thought, "I wish it had this feature like X game." Guild Wars did a lot of things right, and I think they're omitting some of those things that I thought helped define and separate the game.

As for the bit you mentioned where I criticize the mess of WvW... I do believe I stated that it's possible this will change once the game gets out.

Don't forget, the article is titled, "GW vs GW2." Obviously, do expect the comparison to be between these games. You seem to be forgetting that much of the GW2 fanbase is coming from Guild Wars. Some of the GW2 market is going to be like me - they loved GW because it was different  - and some (probably the majority) are going to love the direction the game is going in.
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#14 Ashanor

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

Jenn said:

Ratchet,

You're entirely right that I'm evaluating GW2 on GW! However, I don't actually see anything wrong with that. I'm sure you also have games that you like or don't like, or have experienced moments where you thought, "I wish it had this feature like X game." Guild Wars did a lot of things right, and I think they're omitting some of those things that I thought helped define and separate the game.

As for the bit you mentioned where I criticize the mess of WvW... I do believe I stated that it's possible this will change once the game gets out.

Don't forget, the article is titled, "GW vs GW2." Obviously, do expect the comparison to be between these games. You seem to be forgetting that much of the GW2 fanbase is coming from Guild Wars. Some of the GW2 market is going to be like me - they loved GW because it was different  - and some (probably the majority) are going to love the direction the game is going in.

The original Guild Wars fanbase is going to be a very small minority in Guild Wars 2. I think that is what you are overlooking. I bought Guild Wars when it came out, played it for a month on and off, and didn't really like it that much. As I said before, it felt too restrictive and it was boring and depressing imo (probably because of the lack of an open world on the depressing part).

On a side note, if anyone is looking for a WvW article they put up a good one at MMORPG.com.

http://www.mmorpg.co...ld-Preview.html

Edited by Ashanor, 20 February 2012 - 03:14 PM.


#15 deitiesforce

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

Ashanor said:

The original Guild Wars fanbase is going to be a very small minority in Guild Wars 2. I think that is what you are overlooking. I bought Guild Wars when it came out, played it for a month on and off, and didn't really like it that much. As I said before, it felt too restrictive and it was boring and depressing imo (probably because of the lack of an open world on the depressing part).

On a side note, if anyone is looking for a WvW article they put up a good one at MMORPG.com.

http://www.mmorpg.co...ld-Preview.html

i don't know where you got the data that original GW fanbase is going to be a minority but anyway......the article is clearly stated that it is going to compare GW1 and GW2, just because the writer didn't like the game as much as you doesn't make it wrong or meaningless. I don't agree a few points but it is still a good read. Remember, the writer played the game, you haven't.

#16 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

Menlai said:

A 6870 struggling to run High settings, How can it be that unoptimized? I'm afraid for my rig even when it is optimized if that is the case.

My hunch is that it's the FX-6100 most likely. It's not a very gaming good CPU (sorry Jenn) and GW2 is not going to use the 6 cores it needs to be a decent CPU performance wise. The question is, Jenn, did you turn down settings and was it still laggy? If yes: It's the CPU.

In that case, maybe we need to revise the 'running WvW very well' estimate to an i5-2500K. We've always been kind of unsure from a CPU angle, but we do know that the phenom II's are quite a bit better than the FX series, and we also don't even recommend any FX series CPU's because we all have had an inkling they'll have issues.

Edited by The Comfy Chair, 20 February 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#17 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:22 PM

@The Comfy Chair
No - I'm aware it's not a top-of-the-line CPU. It's good enough for the price (I got it for $120), so I'm quite pleased with that. Performance did improve if I reduced the graphics settings, though.

It's worth keeping in mind that I was also running fraps, recording at 60fps full-size the whole time. Undoubtedly that influenced the performance, too.
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#18 shanaeri rynale

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:23 PM

A nice, concise article Jenn. You must be totally shattered after cramming so much in, and then needing to write and comment on it.

Other people will i'm sure be posting their impressions and views based on 'fresh eyes' but we all use a baseline to compare things to, be it GW1, WoW, SWTOR or Pacman :p so since many of us would like a GW1 comparison this post hit the spot for me, thank you :)

#19 The Comfy Chair

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:25 PM

Jenn said:

@The Comfy Chair
No - I'm aware it's not a top-of-the-line CPU. It's good enough for the price (I got it for $120), so I'm quite pleased with that. Performance did improve if I reduced the graphics settings, though.

Ok then (and no offense meant by the way :D) so it seems like the CPU is fine. Which is good since we've been basing the CPU assumption of a quad core being good enough, but it also means that WvW is a lil' more demanding on the GPU side than we were being hinted at as being. We always knew WvW would be a different ball game though. Even with optimisation i doubt a hd6870 will hold up in WvW when maxed out if it's at a crawl now. It is interesting :)

Maybe they'll do some more LoD settings for lower settings, but i think we may be looking at more like hd7950 level for playable WvW when things really kick off on high. Thanks for the info. We'll have a look again in beta when we're able to get a lot more data.

Edited by The Comfy Chair, 20 February 2012 - 03:31 PM.


#20 upier

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

Jenn said:

Well, if I had to rate the game on a scale of 1 to 10, where Guild Wars is 10, I'd give it an 8.
I'd say that this is the main point - even if you are a die-hard GW1 fan, like myself, you should still be able to find quite a bit to enjoy, despite not being the ground-breaking experience that GW1 was.

#21 Ashanor

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:36 PM

upier said:

I'd say that this is the main point - even if you are a die-hard GW1 fan, like myself, you should still be able to find quite a bit to enjoy, despite not being the ground-breaking experience that GW1 was.

I'd hardly call GW "ground-breaking". I considering GW2 to be ground-breaking WAY more than GW ever hoped to be. I think I will just stay out of this thread. It seems like a thread dedicated to hardcore lovers of GW more than GW2 fans. I have already been insulted once for not agreeing with someone (his post got deleted). lol

#22 Rummy the Mad

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:39 PM

Thanks for your impressions!  It sounds like there will be a lot to like, as well as some stuff that might need a tweak or two.

Just out of curiosity, you mention WvW as being similar to AB or JQ.  Did you enjoy those game types in GW1?

#23 metalspoon60

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:44 PM

You come at it wanting Guild Wars 1 which is why I understand your opinions and wants but what score would you give it from a normal mmo player's point of view.

#24 Jenn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:05 PM

Rummy the Mad said:

Thanks for your impressions!  It sounds like there will be a lot to like, as well as some stuff that might need a tweak or two.

Just out of curiosity, you mention WvW as being similar to AB or JQ.  Did you enjoy those game types in GW1?

I enjoyed them to the extent that they were a fun way to pass time. However (and call me a masochist if you like), I loved the hair pulling, nail biting, adrenaline-pumping PvP that was GvG (and HA). Did I get yelled at on Ventrilo? Hell yes. Did I yell? You bet. Did I think I was going to have a heartattack at times? Of course! And I loved every moment of it!

I'm looking forward to guilds getting in WvW, though. I wish the map were smaller, but I think people will be able to orchestrate somewhat using VOIP.

metalspoon60 said:

You come at it wanting Guild Wars 1 which is  why I understand your opinions and wants but what score would you give  it from a normal mmo player's point of view.

If I were to score just the PvE, I'd score it as 7.5/10. It really was quite good despite my criticisms. Even Guild Wars wasn't perfect - I could criticise that, too.

If I were to score the WvW? ... let's not go there :p. It was fun, but I wouldn't consider it the most marketable feature of the game.
"Let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."
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#25 Shinimas

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:08 PM

Quote

Well, if I had to rate the game on a scale of 1 to 10, where Guild Wars is 10, I'd give it an 8.

It wasn't so apparent after reading your article. Was a nice read, however. I hate when it's all rainbow and butterflies.

#26 trollberry

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

Interesting review there :)

Guildwars was also my first MMO(/CORPG) having previously been exclusively RPG and FPS player and in the first 3 years I clocked in over 4000 hours (mainly PvE/Dungeons & Aspenwood/JQ/AB).  Since then I have played WoW, EVE, Ryzom, and a host of others and discovered that each have MMO PvE components that were missing (or very basic) from GW that it seems GW2 will provide for me.

I hope that GW2 will be that same experience that setting foot in Pre-Searing Ascalon was for me - something new that seemed alive and, unlike GW1, something that is NOT the same day in, day out, every day.

In the end though, my time in GW1 will always be remembered fondly - the first game to make me think that perhaps there was hope for RPGs beyond pen and paper :D

#27 Rummy the Mad

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

Jenn said:

I enjoyed them to the extent that they were a fun way to pass time. However (and call me a masochist if you like), I loved the hair pulling, nail biting, adrenaline-pumping PvP that was GvG (and HA). Did I get yelled at on Ventrilo? Hell yes. Did I yell? You bet. Did I think I was going to have a heartattack at times? Of course! And I loved every moment of it!

I'm looking forward to guilds getting in WvW, though. I wish the map were smaller, but I think people will be able to orchestrate somewhat using VOIP.
Ha ha!  I hear you.  I really enjoyed GW1 structured PvP, but I'm a sucker for objective-based, random PvP too.  I like the chaos and unpredictability, so I was especially interested in your opinions on GW1's and GW2's take on it.

Thanks again for your impressions. :)

#28 Boudicca

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

I really like this review and I think it is fair.  Many of you die-hard GW2 fans, who have never actually played the game, hear negative remarks about it and emediately get offended, as if it's a personal attack on your beloved game, again... that you've never actually played.  Guild Wars 2 was supposed to be a game that had all the elements that the devs wished they could have had in GW1 while maintaining the pieces of GW1 that they loved the most.  Jenn found aspects og GW2 that she really loved and parts she didn't like so much.  She was honest with her opinions and, ultimately, that's what I want to see from these reviews... HONESTY.

Touching on some of her remarks.
1) GW2 skill system

I agree with what Jenn said.  I, being one of those GW2 fans who never actually played the game, speculated that the skill system being implemented would be subpar to GW1. Builds like "55 monk" and "boon prot" and "IWAY" will never pop up like in GW2.  The skills you can use are assigned to weapons and the weapons are where your damage comes from.  That means all elementalists will do damage in the same ways.  All necros will do damage in the same ways etc.  Not every character will be the same but they will all be similar, far more so than in GW1 and anybody who says otherwise is fooling themselves.  Generally in GW1, your elite skill defined what your role was and what your build would attempt to accomplish.  In GW2, your weapon will define you in the same way.  Compare the number of elite skills in GW1 to the number of weapons in GW2.
Why is this a bad thing?  Because it doesn't elminimates a huge part of strategy.  Like different formations and schemes in football can be used to give your team a strategic advantage, this will ultimate hinder high end PvP like GvG.
Why is this a good thing?  It completely eliminates all the skill problems of GW1 such as powercreep and balance issues.  The new system gives the devs WAY more control over the relative power of skills and builds and since power is a zero-sum game, it ultimately takes power away from the gamer to create a dominant player.

2) Grouping Issues
I also fully anticipated this.  You aren't required to group with other people to accomplish tasks.  If you all remember when GW: Nightfall came out, the biggest grief that people had was that, now that we could use heroes, nobody would want to group.  This is why A-Net only allowed three heroes per person.  Then, over time, A-Net obviously progressed to allow as many heroes as you want.  The point is, this was always a concern for gamers and A-Net seamed to undermine that with the decisions that they made.  GW2 seams to be another progression of this overall trend.  The devs seem to openly admit this fact when they say the game inherently creates "ad-hac groups" of players joining eachother.  This is not an intimate gaming experience where you actually have to make a commitment to play with a group of people for defined period of time.  There is no investment in this model.  Is this good?  It depends who you are!|

3) PvP
It's worse in GW2.  I'm not surprised to hear that.  I suspected it when A-Net announced there would be no monks.  What's the difference between BYOB and high level GW2 PvP?  Absolutely nothing.  Enough said.

#29 Greibach

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:15 PM

I have to say, I really appreciate your views on this matter. I personally disagree somewhat, but of course that is to be expected, we're different people after all. Despite any differences we feel, I think it's fantastic that you have opened up this topic and have given your honest feelings about the two games. I think that it would behoove other posters to remember that everyone is perfectly entitled to their opinions and feelings, and Jenn has done a marvelous job of describing what specifically are the mechanics that bother her and has put forth a very well thought out and well-reasoned post.

My main question, as I really can't quite tell from your post, is this: Are you more, less, or unchanged in your excitement for the game? Did playing the game give you a greater connection to it and make you appreciate it more for what it is rather than what your mind's eye saw, or were the differences enough to lessen your enthusiasm? Hope you had a smashing beta weekend, and thank you for doing so much work!

#30 RyphTheFox

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:16 PM

Ratchet said:

I don't want to sound judgey since, after all, you're the one who played a weekend of GW2, not me, but from the article it really seemed that your perception of the game is derived from what you currently think of when you play the original Guild Wars. As if differences between the two only served as detractors on your taking to GW2, instead of perhaps being improvements on what is now a very old game with very dated mechanics. I, for example, can't actually stomach Guild Wars anymore. It's just not aligned with how I play games in 2012 compared to 2006. So things like the following strike me as almost narrow-mindedness:



The builds you mention in GW are highly specific concepts that were only novel and interesting because they exploited the system they were designed in, not because they were particularly good ideas on their own. It makes no sense to expect or miss their presence in a completely different game. Rest assured, Guild Wars 2 will have it's own "IWAY" and "55 monk" builds, it's only a matter of time.



Why is switching weapon such an encumbrance? Sure It might have been something you did less integrally in GW but from what I understand it's just another button press and should be encouraged in combat.



How can you expect skill and organisation from a mass gathering of players who have never in their lives experienced that content? I'm not sure what alternative you would have suggested but from where I'm standing your issue seems to be with human nature rather than poor design. Just think of how much better it'll be when entire Guilds play through WvW maps together, hopefully that'll reassure you. Open PvP is going to be generally hectic no matter how you experience it or in whatever game you play it, though.

I appreciate your opinion but I just don't know what the purpose of "rating the game on a scale of 1 to 10, where Guild Wars is 10" is when your criteria for what rewards points seems to mostly boil down to "can I play this game like Guild Wars?". I mean if Guild Wars is a ten and Guild Wars 2 is an eight, you'll probably just be happier playing Guild Wars. Forgive me if that sounded harsh, I'm not trying to discredit your opinion, I'm just really confused by the perspective that's being presented.

I will give Kudos here because this post sums up exactly what I was thinking reading this article.  From early on reading the article I got the feeling that the author was desperately trying to relate GW1 and GW2, despite their numerous differences.  As others have stated, GW2 is exciting because of the potential it has to shape the genre of MMORPGs.  I would have expected that the lengthy article would have been a purely objective take on how this game compares in general to the genre.  GW1, like it or not, was not an MMO.  I've tried and tested it but it has never held my interest mainly due to the fact I felt really alone playing it.

Which brings to mind a point you made on how you're a social gamer and you feel that GW2 is shying away from the social aspect.  I've played quite a few MMOs and even some MUDs.  The best part of them all was that you wander out in the world and sometimes you run into some interesting, REAL characters.  Often times you might just quest with them and chit chat, but there are those times that you actually form a fledgling friendship.  Then you and your new found friend will go do more quests or just go try to engage in PvP.  All of my experiences with MMOs had moments like this and honestly, GW1 lacked anything like that.  Thats not to say its not possible, but from what little time I've gave it I never had a moment like that.

Jenn, it just seems that you wasted a golden opportunity to objectively assess the amazing opportunity you had to play the game.  It might be just that you have only had GW1 in your life, so that is the only experience/reference you have to compare to GW2.  You have had just a handful of hours to experience this game.  I have only dabbled in GW1 pvp and whenever I did it was never with a group of players I knew.  I liked the multitude of skills available, i didn't like that if you're a solo player going into a battle, you're at an EXTREME disadvantage.  All those builds involved certain skills that worked well with others from different classes.  While that was awesome for synergy, it made me feel that it was a crap shoot for someone just wanting to pug into a battle to have some fun.  All of a sudden my skills work perfectly with the group comp, or I would have highly ineffective abilities that did not work well with what my group had available.  

FYI, combat pvp in an MMO should be looked at like a well balanced fighting game.  Arguably, the greatest fighting game ever created is SF3.  You should have the prerequisite tools and abilities necessary to beat anyone with anyone.  I could have a top tier fighter and then a tournament player could pick the bottom of the barrel on the tier list and violently beat my ass to where I want to hide in a corner and cry myself to sleep.  You shouldn't be narrowed into little niches, and thats what I felt GW1 did with pvp and in reality, a lot of MMOs do that with PvE and PvP.  It should be fluidity in everything and the biggest thing is the deletion of the holy trinity.  For PvP in MMOs you need a healer to win matches.  That's another thing that further limits how you want to play.

I'm glad that you had the chance to play GW2 as I hope it might work its charm on you to realize the conventions you hold so dear from GW1 might not be the best and the time spent on reflection might make you realize what GW2 has to offer.  You've barely had quality time to learn a deep combat system that GW2 has to offer, and you've admitted that GW1 was your first "real" gaming experience.  Perhaps you should try to play other games in the genre so when you next find yourself inhabiting the world of GW2, you won't be overwhelmed at novelty of everything.  Again with fighting games, those same top world players or tournament players are good in just about every fighting game, not just their special one.  It's because of their experience with the genre.  I would strongly recommend you gain some more insight because it's terribly unprofessional to pass judgment so quickly as it evident that you're not a resident expert on this sort of thing.