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Member Since 21 Dec 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 13 2013 10:55 AM

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Guild Wars 2, Two sides of the Same Coin

10 September 2012 - 02:59 PM

I've been reading a ton of posts here on GW2 and sometimes its hard to understand if two people are really actually talking about the same game due to completely opposite claims.

Some people say GW2 is overhyped and is really a bad game while others say that Arenanet Delivered everything they promised. Each side acuses the others of begin Fanboys of GW2 or Fanboys of other games depending on which side you're on. After participating in various threads I think it all falls down to perception,How people play the game can really make one see the same thing in completely opposite ways. Those who say GW2 is amazing are right but those who say its nothing out of the ordinary are also right. Let me start by explaining the point of view of those who like the game, in their views:

Guild wars 2 is an amazing game that

A: Delivers an amazing experiance if you like story and lore
B: Avoids many of the repetition that exist in other MMOs
C: Allows you to play your character in anyway you want
D: Provides you with a rich world to explore
E: Immerses you in so much richness and details that it will blow your mind

But there are catches for this to be true you need to be patient enough that you have to be willing to reach your goals in a fun way rather then the quickest way possible and most importantly you need to be ready to stop and smell the roses.

On the other hand for people who arent willing to slow down, Guild Wars 2 is just like any other MMOs with possibly some of the features players like missing because the game is really not designed to be played with a competitve edge mind set and I am not saying this a crutique, if thats how you enjoy playing that is how you enjoy playing I am not here to tell you how to play but your experience will be different to someone who plays it like the game is meant to be played.

I think this is what has caused this disparity in opinion more then anything else.

Let me elaborate.

In most other MMOs the first thing you do is rush to Max Level and you do that using the path of least resistance. What this translates into when playing GW2 is probably more frastration then enjoyment. Keep reading I will give specific examples of all I mention, yes this is going to be one long post. If you're looking for progression in the sense that you're just looking to get stronger that coupled with trying to get there as quickly as possible will result in one not finding anything to do once they reach max level and worst yet that coupled with what will likely seem as an ordinary game while leveling up will make it very hard to justify to yourself why you should keep playing.

But how can it be that two people have such a completely different and opposite experiance. Let me quote the usual dynamic event I quote: It starts with a treasure hunter who leaves his home to walk to the beach in order to seek artifacts he then intends to sell. He starts by asking the players to help him grab Dwarven artifacts from the bottom of the sea. After he gets a large enough shipment he walks back to his home where he meets his fense. The fense checks out the artifacts and finds one that troubles him. Pirates show up and try to get the artifacts. The players will hopefully push them back and the two talk some more and decide that this one troublesome artifacts needs to be dealt with, luckily the fense knows this guy that should know how to deal with these things so they agree and transport is called. Transport is provided by 2 asura and their dolyak. There is some trouble along the way but finally you get there. The asura has sensed that the troublesome artifact is in fact a summoning stone, he offers to help out as he has experiance with this sort of thing so you all walk out to a field, after a short ritual whatever is in the summoning stone is summoned and players have to kill this nasty demon that has now been unleashed into the world.

Or well thats how the dynamic Event chain plays out but what does someone who's rushing to end level ends up most likely seeing? It depends at what stage they are passing by really. If they experiance the 1st stage all they will experiance is collect these artifacts from the bottom of the sea, kill some annoying skate or pirates that happen to be close to the artifacts and quickly move on seeking some new event to do. If they pass by the second stage they exeperiance kill X amount of pirates. If they come by the 3rd stage its a kill these wolves and worms while walking next to this dolyak and 2 asura, perhaps ressurect one of them if they fall in the fight. If they pass by in the last stage, kill this somewhat challening mini boss. Thats it. They will not stop and talk to the various NPCs they will never know the story or context of each single Dynamic Event they participate and they're ultimately right, without the story or the context Each dynamic event plays out more or less the same and not only the same like other Dynamic Events but the same like every quest in every MMO when you dont bother to read the story behind it. After all what can you do in any quest or dynamic event? Kill, interact or move from point A to point B, its the story and the presentation that makes the difference.

Now conversly how will someone who wants to enjoy the game experiance this event? first things first they're likely to pass by when the event hasnt start or perhaps if they catch it in the middle they will simply look for the start and redo the missing part later on, in any case it will start with a bit of a wait most likely until the event starts. Thats building anticipation, hmm this npc told me he like artificats, this sounds like it could end up badly but i wonder how. That anticipation is likely to enhance your enjoyment ultimately. Then you get started and you get to admire the great attention to detail. Fense calls for transport by actually whistling, you get to see this pigeon fly in, land on the ground, the fense walking to it, knelling next to it as to attach the note, the pigeon flying away and 30 seconds to a minute later this 2 asura with the dolyak walking in. You get to hear funny dialog as the asura and the Norn negotiate for the transport. You get to learn that Asura used to tinker with summoning stones and that that tinkering eventually resulted in a his lab being blown up. This is something that some people enjoy a lot and makes the game come alive for them!

But what's more you get to compare how this would have played out in a traditional MMO. In such an MMO You're likely to get a quest that said hey I collect artifacts go kill pirates and steal their artifacts for me. Then you'd get a quest telling you to go kill another 10 pirates to show them who's boss and ensure they dont try taking the artifacts back. And then you'd be told to take the artifact to this person who'd finally tells you to kill this elite mob that would spawn right next to you.

So lets be honest people cant we see the differences clearly right there? Those who like to rush through their game and do events as they come across them rather then seeking them out will do event without having any story and context and ultimately they really end up experiancing what any other MMO does and nothing more, they still just killed pirates and skate to get the artifacts, they still just killed this miniboss etc.. But lets be also honest on the other side of the coin, those who love to experiance the story and the lore, those who are patient enough to do this from start till end get to experiance all that Arenanet promised. This doesnt feel like kill a bunch of wolves in order to get from point a to point b, it feels closer to an interactive movie then anything else! the world truely feels alive! Both experiance are 100% true in my opinion, in depends on how you went through each of them.

Its also not just Dynamic Events, lets take map exploration for example. Someone who just is trying to get to max level quickly is going to do Hearts, skill challenges, POI and all the stuff necessary to get map complition just like anyone else. But doing those challenges just for the sake of getting the XP will alas make them become mechanical. There is no wonder in traveling to a POI, see the name of the area pop out, open the map, make a mental note where the direction of the next POI is and rush in that direction. People who do that and claim there is no real exploration are right ! But what does someone who loves exploration Experiance when doing the same task? So one of the POIs you find in Harathi Hinterlands is the Martyr's tomb. Well okey good to know but who's the Martyr? An investigation around the area will uncover an NPC that will tell you the tomb is allegedly that of Saul D'Alessio and import figure from GW1, The Martyr's tomb already suddenly becomes a lot more interesting and something that has to be explored in detail cause such an important figure might hold further secrets that have to be discovered by the real explorer. Next to his tomb there is the ruin of a statue dedicated to the godess dwayna. Once again thats some nostalgy for players of GW1 but more then that if you interact with the statue you're told that you can see the impressions on the ground where thousands of people used to kneel. There is also a candle you can interact with and if you light the candle and actually make your character kneel the avatar of dwayna will appear to you. It will tell you more about Saul D'Alessio and a particularly fanatical guardian that even in dead still guards the tomb. She will tell you that calling out his name will have him appear to you and that he needs to be stopped as he indiscriminately kills anyone living who happens by. You go back to the same place where you unlocked the martyr's way point and if you interact again with the tomb that previously did nothing, you get this mini boss fight and associated dynamic event that not only rewards you with the usual XP, gold and karma but also drops down a chest!

See the different experiance, someone who rushes will just experiance a sound effect, some XP, a few fight with the surrounding ghosts and nothing else. Can we really blame them if they claim Such an experiance is nothing special? On the other hand however someone who is in it to explore and stops to smell the roses will get Lore, story, XP, karma , coin and Items as well as the satisfaction of having discovered a hidden secret.

Once again for some it will be just like any other MMO for others the amazing experiance of living world they were promised.

So people please once and for all lets stop calling each other names and be more understanding of one another point of views. Its okey to argue points I am sure those who like to take the game slowly will correctly argue that those who rush need to slow down and those who like rushing will also correctly argue that the game isnt anything out of the ordinary for them and that slowing down isnt really a solution because they dont enjoy the wait that entails. Obviously you cant tell someone to play in a way they hate in order to enjoy the game, its not as simple as that for sure!

Diverse opinions are okey but people who like the game like the game for a reason, they are fans because they like the game and not the opposite, they dont simply like the game because they are fans!

Like wise even though for us that like taking the game slow, the game seems amazing and find it very hard to understand how others dont share our same opinion, playing it in some ways can really make it no different than many other MMOs on the market, its natural that such people would not understand how people can ever believe that Arenanet delivered on their promises because in their Eyes they didnt.

Lets all try to keep this in mind and avoid fighting each other and repeating the same arguments over and over again. Lets make sure reading this forum doesnt become grinding cause lately to me personally I started getting this feeling and I blame that on this disparity I talk about in this post. Each side think they're right and they think that by repeating their opinion they will finally get the other side to abandon what they view as bias and change thier ways. Unfortunitely its probably not as simple as that.