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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

Beta Weekend Event Reviews & Impressions (Archived)  » MMO Indoctrination and GW2's gameplay

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39 posts found
  Amjoco

Elite Member

Joined: 9/15/10
Posts: 3870

5/01/12 7:16:10 AM#21
One of the best post BWE's I have read. Thank you! 

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  Amjoco

Elite Member

Joined: 9/15/10
Posts: 3870

5/01/12 7:17:28 AM#22
Originally posted by Talin

I agree with the OP, and if there is one area I think ANET could improve it would be the tutorial. While I had fun with the tutorial, and found the starting storylines interesting, I do think they could/should spend more time acclimating the player to:

  • Dynamic event progression (show the player how these events relate in detail and explain how the rest of the world works the same way)
  • Multiple weapons/skills (I would give the player 1-2 additional weapons to familiarize themself with how weapons and skills are tied together.
  • The "downed" system; the first time players experience this they don't know what they should be doing; trying to kill something, heal themselves, etc.
For the second point, my Human Ranger was still using the starter weapon multiple levels later as he had the misfortune of not obtaining any weapon drops he could use and I did not see an obvious vendor for these outside the city.
 
Some of these items may be covered in the tutorial somewhat, but I don't recall seeing a lot of detail.
 
My overall impressions remain very positive, and while many people will read about the points above pre-release, that doesn't mean the game shouldn't make efforts to introduce people to these systems in a controlled manner.

I especially agree with you on the downed system. It's not like you have time to study it and read what each action does.

Death is nothing to us, since when we are, Death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.

  Valkaern

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/03
Posts: 513

5/01/12 7:28:46 AM#23
Originally posted by aesperus
Originally posted by Valkaern

It's *very* clear from the concerns of those who haven't actually played that it's hard for people to break out of what they've been conditioned to believe, but that's understandable, it's a lot to take in. They continually try and put mechanics of GW2 in the context of other games, and it just doesn't work like that.

In fact, one of our close gaming friends we'd spoken to over the beta weekend hadn't looked into the game much, and flat out refused to believe that there was no pure tank or healer, because in the context of other games it makes no sense. I think it's something many sceptics will just have to see for themselves, and if they choose to bypass the game based on ignorance, that's their loss. I was close to ending up in that category myself as GW1 didn't interest me whatsoever, and initially GW2 just didn't sound like my cup of tea. I'm so glad I was wrong, I've spent years moaning about how crap MMOs had become so finding fun again is something I'm not taking for granted.

The fact that you can level in your favorite area level 1-80 as a level 80 if you were so inclined, and still be faced with a challenge, earn proper XP and loot upgrades is incredible considering that future additional content doesn't need to be limited to only top end but can be placed throughout the entire game and enjoyed by players of many levels. However, I don't think people actually understand how this works, and have some misgivings due to that. The bottom line is, they without a doubt have solved *many* MMO problems that have existed since their inception, and have done away with a lot of the arbitrary nonsense and limitations we'd come to expect, so naturally some people just expecting the same old same old will be thrown off initially. 

All in all though, posts, videos, interviews, infographs and other devices have ALL been used to explain how Guild Wars 2 is different from previous MMOs, in great length, yet none of it really convinced me until I tried it. It took me actually being in game for it all to click. I wasn't convinced personally until then, despite having seen countless videos and demonstrations.

Glad you had fun! And I completely agree with your post.

There's a lot there, and it's easy to miss it if you don't keep an eye out for it. Hell, some of the stuff I mentioned in the OP I also was guilty of. My first beta, I really wanted to try out a greatsword. But for the life of me, one wouldn't drop, ever. It wasn't until I rolled a human ele, that I realized... holy crap! you can just buy the weapon you want. Duh! I felt like an idiot, but in a good way.

I also agree with you that even watching all the videos on the game, just don't really prepare you for it all that much. It really requires hands-on experience to get a hang of. I know, for instance, I was expecting to just be able to dodge w/e attacks I thought would give me issues. To my surprise, it's a bit more complicated than that, and I spent a long time dodging poorly, only to use my my endurance pool, lol.

Because a lot of aspects of this game just don't make sense in the context of MMOs, some people are trying to force these aspects into the context they are used to. It's human nature to do so. Hopefully with a little more tweaking, Anet can help show some of these people what they are missing / doing wrong, so they don't have as frustrating a first experience with the game.

I agree, we were constantly finding details that we didn't know about even into our twenties. While we enjoy that aspect of learning a new game, it might make sense for them to introduce knowledge of these elements earlier on. For example, many of the functions of abilities weren't clearly explained anywhere that I'd seen, and it was only through the context of other familiar abilities that I could decipher them. And while I'm comfortable enough to go out and play with what I know and with what I've learned, I know for a fact that there are a ton of complicated intricacies I have yet to fully understand. I'd assumed some things based on previous games and was flat out wrong.

It's a tricky balancing act though, while I'd hate to see a full blown forced tutorial (plus if it covered everything it'd take hours to complete) as discovering the intricacies that sets this game apart on my own is something I enjoy, some in-game reference sheet that players could pull up to provide some basic examples of the various functions might be handy for people to consult, while still being less intrusive than a tutorial.

People going into this trying to play it like every MMO they've ever played will be confused and frustrated, they'll have to accept that they're going to need to learn to play *this* game. For those willing to learn I think a simple reference guide would be enough, and for those that can't be bothered adapting I don't think anything could possibly be enough.

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1053

5/01/12 7:31:46 AM#24
Originally posted by Slampig
Originally posted by aesperus

Before I start, this is not going to be a GW2 review. The purpose of this thread is to point out some issues I saw while in beta. Mainly, in how a certain crowd of gamers approached this game, and how it affects the overall impression you get of the game. This is neither a statement of the game being good or bad. Awesome or terrible. My only point is to illustrate how preconceptions and prejudices can have a huge impact on a person's impressions towards this game. I will also be pointing out some possible ways in which Anet can correct for this. Let's begin.

GW2 isn't doing anything different. It's really all the same old stuff.

- I really can't express how wrong this is. Love it or hate it, the game is different. So why are there some who don't seem to think so? A lot of this comes down to player expectations, as brought on by previous MMO experiences. For example, take BF3. If you go into that game having only playing modern warfare, you will expect the game to play the same way. When it doesn't, you're immediate assumption is 'this game sucks'. GW2 has a similar problem.

The game doesn't do a lot of hand holding. There are tons of notifications & popups all over the place to kind of guide the players. 'Hey! you're out of range!' 'This npc over here needs your help!' 'Look! you learned a new skill' etc. However, maybe, just in some of the starter areas, they need to do a bit more, to ease certain players into this game a bit easier.

Dynamic Events:

I saw a few people who tried dynamic events, talking about how 'this is nothing new, you've seen this before in other MMOs'. Some even referenced Rift or WAR, some even go as far as to say 'it's no different than standard quests'. Some of us who have played the game are thinking 'how the hell can someone form that conclusion?', some who haven't are thinking 'i knew it! this game is a huge dissapointment'.

So what happened? I saw a lot of people (and livestreamers) trying to play the game as a linear-quest model. They automatically look for 'I'm only level 3. Where's the level 3 event, that one's level 5'. They assume that events need to be completed in a specific order. That if you go to a lvl 5 event at lvl 3 you will get destroyed. Furthermore, because of this, they assume that they HAVE to only do these events until they are the appropriate level, and are stuck before then.

- GW2 doesn't work this way. You can go take on events that are a few lvls higher than you and be okay. Especially if there are other people around. Furthermore, you don't have to do an event if you don't want to. Not only are there pleanty of different events around, but also there are other ways to lvl up. Every event also has multiple different ways you can complete it. You have options.

What can Anet do to help with this?

- One possible solution to this would be to list level 'ranges' for an event. For example, all the starting area's events would be dooable from lvls 1-5.

Events don't change the world:

This is another assumption that a lot of people seemed to have. While some people may have been expecting that all events end with you changing the landscape of the world, much of this comes down to something very simple, but often overlooked.

Most events don't 'end'. Many people played this game, again, looking at events as the same deal as regular quests. "Okay this event I have to collect water. This event is an escort quest, this event I have to kill bandits." In most people's minds you have your 1 task, and once it's done, so are you.

- GW2 doesn't work this way. Great! You've killed all the bandits. That doesn't mean all is fine. You've fended off the attack, but the bandit's still have your stolen property, and it's time to take it back. Simply sticking around for some of these events, or even going back later, can yield some surprising results. Because a lot of people seemed to assume that these events were 1-dimensional, they missed out on a lot of this.

What can Anet do to help with this?

- This one's tough. Perhaps they could add some more notifications or incentives to keep people around some of the earlier events. So they can see that they do tend to chain together.

Combat is too difficult. Dodging doesn't really make much of a difference:

This one is huge. There's a lot of players that just don't seem to understand the combat. I've seen people go for over an hour, forgetting to equip an offhand. I've seen players just run up to mobs and stop. Expecting to take all the damage and self-heal through it. I've seen players burn through their dodges instantly, then complain when it's gone. I've seen players burn through all their skills, not realizing that clicking 1-2-3-4-5 may not be the best order to use your skills, and perhaps some of them shouldn't be kept on CD all the time. There's also the fact that the game doesn't really point out the role of multiple weapons to the player. They either have to figure this out for themselves, or be told.

The combat to this game is a lot more complex than most people seem to realize. Most people seem to lump skills into either damage, or 'oh sh@#' skills when playing this game. The problem with that, is there's actually a lot of different uses for each of the skills, even the ones you start with. A lot of players are using skills too early, or not fully grasping what each of the skills do. A lot of players were also spamming dodge thinking it was a free 'i can't get hit if i spam this button!' skill. However, dodging in this game actually requires excellent timing.

- GW2's combat does require some thought, and some self-exploration when it comes to skill use. Most of the skills have multiple uses, and can be used in a bunch of different ways. Reading helps, but there are also a lot of visual ques to tell people what's going on. For example, the big red circles on the ground = bad, and you should probably not stand in them. There are also skills like the ranger's hornet's sting' ability (sword mainhand). While this attack flies you away from an opponent, you can also use it to fly towards an opponent  as well. It can basically be used as both a gap closer and gap opener, depending on how you play. The engineer's static shot ability can be used as either an AoE damage ability, or you can use it to blind a bunch of foes, ensuring that their next attack misses.

What can Anet do to help with this?

- From exploring in this game I stumbled across quite a few quests. One of the ones I found had you training with the local militia. This involved learning how to shoot, how to dodge, how to time your blocks correctly. I thought overall it was a really nice quest, for how simple it was. After watching so many people playing this game incorrectly, I can't help but wonder if maybe Anet should include this type of event in the tutorial section.

TL;DR:

- There are a lot of mindsets that Anet has to battle with in a game like this. And they know this. They are going to have to strike a very delicate balance between beating people over the head with information, excessive handholding, and leaving the game more open for self-exploration.

A lot of gamers need to be told exactly what to do, or they get confused. Such a mindset is very bad for a game like this, in which so much of it relies on the player to make smart decisions, and to try and figure out the game for themselves. There is also the issue of scaling, in which players like this seem to get steamrolled by the game's difficulty, without having a clue as to why they are doing so poorly. To many this is like rubbing salt in the wound. Not only are they playing badly & don't know it, they are being punished for it, and can't understand why.

Inspite of all of this, I think there are some fairly simple things Anet can do to help these types of players ease into the game a bit better. I'd like it if they kept the difficulty, but perhaps had a more gentle starting experience, and a less steap ramp-up into the challenging content.

I know not everyone will agree w/ me, but I think a lot of people are getting thrown off by this game for the wrong reasons.

Yeah, because all these gamers that are not prostelyzing themselves at the Alter of Guild Wars 2 are idiots, we get it, GW2 has come to save the day and woe be to those that can't play games because they have no will of their own...

This is funny because ive saw 8 different people ask where am i spose to go now there no quest telling me what to do in the section just outside the tutorial, or more less in those words.

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1053

5/01/12 7:35:41 AM#25
Originally posted by Connmacart
Originally posted by heartless
Originally posted by Slampig

Yeah, because all these gamers that are not prostelyzing themselves at the Alter of Guild Wars 2 are idiots, we get it, GW2 has come to save the day and woe be to those that can't play games because they have no will of their own...

The OP is right though. I see this a lot of misconceptions on these forums as well. Some people are saying "dynamic events are nothing more than glorified quests" when in fact they are a lot different. The people are simply so used to playing MMOs a certain way that they treat events like invasions in Rift or PQ's in WAR. Once event seemed to end, the players assumed that it was over and moved on when there is a lot more stuff going on that may not be evident right away.

I saw this in the game as well, especially during early levels. People would just move on, assuming that the event was over. Hell, I did it myself at first. After level 10, people were more inclined to stick around and see what happens next as many have finally realized that there is a lot more at play here. Personally, I found myself following random NPCs because sometimes it leads to an interesting encounter or a secret location.

I actually moved on myself after an event most of the time. Not because I didn't know about follow ups, but because I wanted to keep exploring. I wanted to see as much as possible in Queensdale before the BWE was over and I did. I explored all of it and did all the marked things on the map. 

I also choose a ranger so I wouldn't have to think about dodging to much. Let my pet soak up damage while I learn my skills first. Towards the end I was doing melee as well and tried to dodge and stuff. 

Did you find the secret bat cave in queensdale where there was a little crack in the wall that lead you to jumping over pillars through a bat infested cave and in the last room (assuming it the last room but i died in it) where there a bunch of slimes and 3 veteran slimes they killed me in that room so i didnt see what was the treasure at the end : P

  Saxx0n

Tipster

Joined: 10/15/10
Posts: 822

5/01/12 7:39:38 AM#26

Actually this is an excellent example of the dumbing down and hand holding in modern mmos of this decade and people that have been indoctrinated by WoW and this subtype are really shocked.

 

Heh my first 3D mmo was EverQuest in 1999. That was a meatgrinder even now compared to GW2.

 

Kithicor at night. Ahh the horror.

  sanshi44

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1053

5/01/12 7:44:00 AM#27
Originally posted by Saxx0n

Actually this is an excellent example of the dumbing down and hand holding in modern mmos of this decade and people that have been indoctrinated by WoW and this subtype are really shocked.

 

Heh my first 3D mmo was EverQuest in 1999. That was a meatgrinder even now compared to GW2.

 

Kithicor at night. Ahh the horror.

Aye kithicor i once had the unpleasantry of running through there with a low lvl charater during the day and about half way through it became night time, talk about o the horror lol.

  Classicstar

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/02/04
Posts: 2528

5/01/12 8:34:03 AM#28


Originally posted by aesperus
saved for follow-ups if needed.

Good read, but still cater towards those who don't wanne learn i say no and i realy hope Arenanet don't listend to much to those you refer to it would just dumb down the game and thats endless road Arenat should not take becouse we all know these " Don't wanne learn, always complaining casuals " keep asking for more symplified gameplay and nomatter what Arenanet do you never please those players.

Unless its all about money only then im affraid GW2 is doomed if devs give into this dumbing down method.

Btw after one weekend COME ON don't even think of symplified the game at least give it couple of more weekends so people get use to GW2 system of gameplay and see where maybe and i say maybe tweak some of the game where needed but don't make it simpler or you END UP in medeocre game division ala WoW do want that? I surtenly dont want that hehe.

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  ebonized

Novice Member

Joined: 3/31/11
Posts: 61

5/01/12 11:03:26 AM#29
Well said OP. Hopefully ANet can add and improve early game tutorials so people get a better sense of the game before they come to those misconceptions
  Adalwulff

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Joined: 1/18/10
Posts: 1191

"I am not the light, or the darkness, but the twilight in between"

5/01/12 11:09:40 AM#30

During the BWE I found myself playing the MMO in the "standard" way, and I died a lot. It took me a few levels to get out of the rut I was in, and I immediatly saw improvment in my gameplay.

I'm not saying GW2 is the holy grail, but damn its nice to see something a bit different, the approach is fluid, once you understand it.

  coretex666

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/03/12
Posts: 1820

"I shall take your position into consideration"

5/01/12 11:14:00 AM#31

Aesperus, based on your beta experience, what assessment would you give to Guild Wars 2 on the scale of 0% being the worst and 100% being the best. Just an overall assessment would be nice.

Thank you in advance

Currently playing: L2 Chronicle 4

  Voiidiin

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Joined: 1/13/11
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5/01/12 11:18:21 AM#32
Originally posted by Slampig

snip

Yeah, because all these gamers that are not proselytizing (sp) themselves at the Alter of Guild Wars 2 are idiots, we get it, GW2 has come to save the day and woe be to those that can't play games because they have no will of their own...

 

proselytizing present participle of pros·e·lyt·ize (Verb)

 

Verb:
  1. Convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
  2. Advocate or promote (a belief or course of action): "Davis wanted to proselytize his ideas".

Umm so i think you used that in the wrong context.

Not sure how GW2 will save the day either, its just a game isn't it ?

Lolipops !

  sonoggi

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/22/09
Posts: 1151

5/01/12 11:23:55 AM#33
OP, thanks for covering this. i find a lot of people (on these forums at least) are just hating for the sake of hating. and the game is wonderful.
  cyress8

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/05
Posts: 866

BOOYAKA!

5/01/12 11:29:03 AM#34
Originally posted by Loke666

GW2 will probably need a tutorial, yes. Many other games have added tutorials or a special starting area for new players.

But as an older gamer I really don't care about stuff like that myself, there was a time when you had to figure out how all games worked and that could take a long time.

In GW2s case is the problem really that MMOs more or less have been the same for such a long time that many players seems to have a hard time breaking the habit.

I think they will make a tutorial.  They even made one in the mist for pvp.  It shows how to dodge, revive, finish an opponent, and more.  Everything that deals with PvP has a tutorial in the mists now.  They just need to figure out how to bring stuff like that to the PvE side.

P.S  pointing the trebs at the golems and gates is awesome.  They might need to change that since I was able to just wreak havoc with the particle effects at the entrance. :D

BOOYAKA!

  Purgatus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/12
Posts: 347

5/01/12 12:05:12 PM#35
Good to see posts like this. I tried to make one myself, but it just fell off the grid.
  heartless

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Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. -Carl Sagan

5/01/12 12:25:06 PM#36

Just to add a bit more to this topic: one of my friends was an avid WoW player he played that game since launch. Raided, PvP, has a level 85 of every class. He even got into the whole year of WoW promo to get the mount and Diablo III, since he assumed that he will be playing WoW for the whole year anyway.

The guy is a pretty competent gamer when it comes to other genres but I literally had to walk him through getting started with GW2. Since the only MMO he knows is WoW, he kept expecting quest givers and wasn't sure what he was suppose to do when there wasn't one. Although the NPC that reveals the hearts helped greatly. Good on ANet for adding those guys. He was also high so that didn't help much heh.

Anyway, to make the long story short, after a few hours with GW2, once he got a good feel for the game, he's now trying to figure out how to cancel his yearly promise thing to WoW.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4755

 
OP  5/02/12 12:47:12 AM#37
Originally posted by coretex666

Aesperus, based on your beta experience, what assessment would you give to Guild Wars 2 on the scale of 0% being the worst and 100% being the best. Just an overall assessment would be nice.

Thank you in advance

This is pretty tough to say, to be honest. Personally I think GW2 is a really good game. It's not perfect, and has some thing's it needs to iron out, but it's in an extremely good spot for a beta. I've played other 'actual' betas in the past, and they are usually much much worse than what we saw.

If I was forced to rate this game as a launched title, I would give it somewhere around a 75%. As a beta, I'd rate it at around an 85%. The core mechanics seem to work great, a lot of the lag issues were cleared up by sunday. The pvp is incredibly well tuned. I actually have another thread about balance (specifically melee vs. ranged), and I was surprised when I was making it to see so many viable melee vids of the beta weekend. I really enjoyed the dynamic events as well, I never felt like I was being forced to do any of them. I also liked that I was being rewarded for going out into the world and exploring on my own. Definitely a solid game.

What I'd like to see improved:

- Lag (obviously). It's much better than it was, but there are still people having issues with this.

- Overflow server bug (they are aware of this and are saying they are working on this currently).

- Scaling of events. Not only does mob difficulty seem to increase drastically, some of the events seem to swing back a bit too quickly. I don't mind the difficulty, but I do think newer players will need an 'ease-in' period to get used to it. Or at least to figure out why they keep dying.

- UI. I like the UI for the most part, but I'd like to see a guild tab. I'd like to see more chat channel support, and I'd like to see the ability to form larger than 5-man parties for WvW / meta events. I know the last one isn't a necessity, but it definitely helps w/ communication, especially in WvW. If they don't want to do  that, at least increasing the range at which you can see other palyers on the map will help.

- Keybinding. The way the game is currently works. However, I'd like to see better keybinding support, and have the UI update to reflect what keys are being bound. For example, if you re-bind the F1-F4 keys to say.. zxcv, I'd like to see that on the icon, instead of it still saying F1-F4.

- Graphics (they are working on this. They game looks great already, but the graphics do need optimizing)

Everything else is fairly minor, like Guild cloaks. I had a great time in beta, and definitely think it's worth the price and then some. However, I do think with a few months of polish this game can get even better. It's more fun and has more content than any other MMO i've played in the past decade.

EDIT: Also, the voice acting I find pretty bad in parts of this game. I'm hoping they do a revamp on it, but it's not a gamebreaker for me. If nothing else, I really hope they change the dialogue in the forest Pvp zone. Hearing 'you couldn't keep the keep!' 'the keep is yours, keep it!' gets very old, very fast. We get it, it's a keep, har har.. cheesiest lines of the century, lol.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4755

 
OP  5/02/12 12:54:41 AM#38
Originally posted by Classicstar


Originally posted by aesperus
saved for follow-ups if needed.

Good read, but still cater towards those who don't wanne learn i say no and i realy hope Arenanet don't listend to much to those you refer to it would just dumb down the game and thats endless road Arenat should not take becouse we all know these " Don't wanne learn, always complaining casuals " keep asking for more symplified gameplay and nomatter what Arenanet do you never please those players.

I agree. I don't want them to dumb this game down. I LOVE the difficulty. Actually, in the previous beta (before the BWE) I was complaining the game was 'too easy'. I was consistantly fighting enemies 6 lvls higher than I was.

What I think needs to happen, though, is people will need to be given more of a 'taste' of things to come. Show players an example of why dodging is important, of what an armor repair vendor looks like & why it's important. Show players why conditions are important, and how to block / dodge properly. Give them an early example of an event that appears to be over, and then another one starts.

They shouldn't have to change the rest of the game at all, only the beginning. Not only would this minimize a lot of these baseless complaints, but I think it will help more people enjoy the game from the start. Let's face it, the average person doesn't have the patience anymore to give a game a fair shot. If they aren't immediately sold, most people will assume the game is bad and move on.

On the one hand, I don't want this game to turn into another WoW. Personally I find that GW2's community is much better than most MMOs. On the other, if they want to have a popular game they are going to need to guide people in the right direction at the start. A game like this needs a lot of people to stay fun. WvW is awfully dull when there are no armies trying to occupy it.

  User Deleted
5/02/12 1:10:27 AM#39
I don't agree with the amalgam made between "casual" and "always complaining bad player". It's silly to assume that because some one plays less, he's automatically a whiner wanting everything made easy.
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