[GW2] This thing you never saw is similar to this other thing you never saw

Guild Wars 2 ran a press beta weekend last week, where press is defined as a mix of fansites and paid press. We’re seeing posts about people’s first reactions now, which are (unsurprisingly, since a large proportion of the players were from fansites) very positive.

Initial impressions from betas of long awaited games are often highly positive. People are so happy the game exists at all that they focus on the strengths of the game rather than the weaknesses, and beta players are generally more upbeat and co-operative than players in live games. Sad but true.

In this case, a lot of the interest is in the GW2 world vs world PvP setup. I find this intriguing because I like the idea of fighting other servers. And also because I have played DaoC in the past and remember what the frontier zones were like. Think huge expansive zones with objectives to hold but where you could also set up ambushes, get eaten by monsters, or go gank unsuspecting players from the other faction (note: there’s a limit to how unsuspecting they would be since no one ever HAD to go into the frontier zones.)

I see some of this enthusiasm from Keen, who is clearly imagining the GW2 WvW as being like those frontiers. (Note: what he really wants, clearly, is DaoC frontiers again.)

ArenaNet is giving me everything I want in PvP.  I don’t even care about their PvE game anymore.

Syncaine is imagining huge PvP-oriented guilds might take over some of the servers and use these mechanics to fight each other when they’re bored of playing EVE (or whichever other game they’re in).

I have no idea if any of those things will happen but clearly it has sparked gamer’s imaginations, and encouraged them to start comparing the GW2 setup with games they have played in the past. In Keen’s case that’s the DaoC frontier zones and in Syncaine’s it’s the 0.0 space in EVE. I’ve also seen people compare with the WAR open PvP zones, but they’re less enthusiastic. This is because DaoC and EVE had better PvP setups than WAR so the players who have seen this kind of open zone with objectives work really well in the past are likely to be more positive about it in the future. I just emphasise this to show how our experiences in the past with games affect how we feel about seeing features repeated in future games.

What I’m mostly relieved about is that apparently RP servers will be in the same clusters which means it’ll be possible to not have to PvP against the big old school PvP guilds who want to take over entire servers if you don’t want to.

My feel for GW2 from the demo I played last year is that it’s still a very themepark type of game, albeit with a heavy emphasis on dynamic events and an unusual class setup. So the best thing to expect would be another evolution on themepark MMO design, rather than something completely different.

Here is some more feedback from the weekend:

Ravious, who has been tooting the horn for Arenanet since forever, loved the game and offers to answer people’s questions in comments.

Massively has a couple of beta impressions.

Mike Fahey at Kotaku describes how he spent an hour trying to fall into a hole and die. I’m sure we’ve all been there (or am I the only one who always tries to jump off high things and die in new games?) It’s a good roundup.

For me, while I’m still keen to go play with snow leopard cubs with Arb, I cannot get excited about WvW because I’ve been there before, done that before. On the other hand, the class and group design sounds like a lot of fun. It sounds as though they have some interesting plans for guilds, also.

Another thing to note is that several players have commented on how large the world is, but no one has said anything about mounts.

6 thoughts on “[GW2] This thing you never saw is similar to this other thing you never saw

  1. The WvWvW stuff is great fun. It reminded me a lot of the early days of Alterac Valley, with weekend long battles. There’s also shades of Wintergrasp, with destructible towers, walls, gates and siege weapons. It’s on a much grander scale and it has a more significant impact, but it’s evolutionary. Then again, I’ve not played DAOC or WAR, so I don’t have as fatr a frame of reference.

    I think the reason I’m so enthusiastic is because of the things you pointed out – the mechanics of weapon and slot skills, traits, questing and so on. It’s this stuff that feels fresh to me, and which I tend to get geeky about.

  2. I’m someone who only played WAR and I’m both seeing the similarities of RvR in WvWvW, AND am excited about it because I feel GW2 is making improvements to prevent some of the things that plagued WAR’s setup.

    Of course, I’m a huge fangirl over here, but since many of my concerns about WvWvW have been answered either in the ANet blog post itself or by seeing the footage coming out of the beta, I’m feeling pretty okay with it and expect to spend much of my “endgame” in the Eternal Battlegrounds.

    • I don’t want to make it sound as though I’m not looking forwards to playing GW2, because I am 🙂 But I think it’s important to get people’s expectations in line with reality and I’m not sure that some of these excited first impressions really do that.

      Or rather, it’s easy to get excited about WvW if it’s the first time you’ve ever really seen anything quite like it. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun, and I’ve seen this type of design work well before. But new and radical it’s not so much.

  3. Pingback: “GW2 Information Overload” or “An MMO After My Own Heart” « Are We New At This?

  4. You are definitely not the only person who likes to basejump off hard to get to spots. I do it in every game I can explore. It’s inevitable. Rift even gave me achievements for some of my jumps, but I do it for the fun.

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