|15 posts found|
OP 6/13/12 6:46:56 AM#1
Let me start by saying I am not a big fan of the themepark genre, personally much more interested in the sandbox side of things; I guess I just love to build shacks and burn other people's shacks down. I'm kinda a bastard like that. My decision to buy Guild Wars 2 was spurred after a lot of research, since from everything I could see it is still just another themepark game. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, just not my preference in mmos.
After two beta weekends Guild Wars 2 has left me mostly impressed for what it is; it holds my attention much better than other themepark games, that is for sure. Now I know that there are plenty of haters and fonbois alike who are ready to hit reply and caps to tell me how wrong I am but please join me in my journey into “Guild Wars 2, why I don't hate it.”
First off let me be clear that I did not make it past level 20 over the weekend on any single character, I was busy making several classes trying to get a feel for all of them. Second, this review is going to be aimed mostly at the WvWvW aspect of the game with a little bit on the questing PvE aspect.
For what it is, Guild Wars 2 is fairly standard fair when you look at everything as a whole; another fantasy based MMO with many of the typical races that populate such a world. However to simply dismiss it on these terms is rather silly, since it takes the one thing from WoW that every single development house has missed; and that is Blizzard's talent for taking an old idea and putting a new twist on it. This is really where Guild Wars 2 starts to stand out a bit, when looked at as a whole it is easy to miss some of the small things that are actually improvements over some of the more archaic systems that most MMOs continue to cling to.
Where GW2 excels is in the smaller details, which in truth are not that small to many people. For example: things like NPCs chatting, breezes blowing the leaves in the trees, the clang of armor as a character moves; these things seem like minor details in the big picture but they give the world a life of it's own. But it has failings as well, which I will be going over in detail as those areas come up in my impressions.
UI and controls:
The UI is something I quite liked, it is clean for the most part with some interesting visual effects. For instance, if you are poisoned then the interface is surrounded by a bubbly bile effect which clearly demonstrates to the user that they are poisoned in a subtle way. This effect is easy to see when in combat but is not in the way either, aesthetically pleasing while informative. My only gripe with the interface is that the toolbar itself looks almost jarringly out of place and simplistic compared to the painterly effect that the rest of the UI seems to be attempting.
Controls wise, I think they work well enough for what they are but I will be attempting to plug a controller up for the game honestly. It just seems like it would work better for the combat. The control scheme is not bad, but for the pace of combat reaching over to 0 on a keyboard to use your ultimate skill while trying to keep the target in your face is not that easy. And no, your character will not simply auto focus the targeted enemy with many skills (especially melee skills).
I'm just going to give my opinion on this one, you can look up many videos showing the character creation. Simply put: Pretty nice, better than most MMOs out today; Cryptic still owns this area of the MMO market... even though they seem to be bad at everything else. Maybe they should make a clothes shopping MMO or something...
World visuals / Immersion / Pretty things that you will ignore while punching ogres:
One of the things I can honestly say about ANet is they know how to make a pretty game. Really, hot damn is the world nice to look at; everything from the way NPCs look to the crazy vistas and structural design in the game is quite beautiful. The fact that NPCs actually talk to each other and say some rather hilarious things makes the world come to life. I walked past two NPCs arguing about portal travel in a way that almost felt like the game was making fun of itself for having them in the first place.
Another thing I noticed is NPCs fought each other quite often; not just town guards vs random monster #1337, but also predators attacking humanoid NPCs such as ogres and those weird looking monkey dudes. Overall the world felt alive, something that seems to be overlooked in many titles.
Now I have heard many people call Guild Wars 2 combat “innovative”; to this I say, no. It is not innovative, it is not a new concept, and it is not going to make any twitch player... err... twitch. What GW2's combat is however, is fun. Honestly this is something I have not seen since Tabula Rasa's doomed attempt at re-imagining tab targeted combat; a fast paced action styled combat that does not stray too far from the standard style of play to be unplayable for the average MMO fan, but is still different enough to be entertaining.
The fact that each type of weapon has it's own skills and effects is a nice change; for warriors a sword main-hand is great for bleeds and cripples, an axe main-hand is more focused on fast attacks and high damage finishers, and a mace main-hand allows for counter attacks and stuns. This gives each player a way to make their character tailored to their style of play. My only issue here is I think more skills that you could exchange to make your weapon skills feel more unique would be nice.
Finally, I would like to say the actual sounds and animations are very well done and feel like they have impact and weight.
I have heard people say “The trinity is dead”, “There is no trinity in Guild Wars 2”; and honestly this is not completely true. I think it has simply been changed to another trinity that plays much better in the pace of combat that GW2 sports.
The MOBA trinity; Initiator, Support, Controller. Initiators focus on damage and opening the fight, peeling off as they are focused by mobs/players. Support use minute heals and buffs to keep everyone in the fight as well as weakening enemies. Controllers feel much akin to Tanks, they are built a bit more sturdy allowing them to stay in the fight to stack stuns and cripples on the enemies.
Personally, I think this system actually works quite well for GW2 in both PvE as well as PvP. As a Rifle Warrior I fit more into the Initiator role, able to engage enemies before my allies and send rather incredible damage at them while also being something of a Controller with abilities to slow, cripple, and knockback enemies. Having more to offer my team in PvP than just 'loldmg' was a welcome feeling.
One thing I MUST stress however, is there is not such thing as traditional “Tanking” in this game. If you stand still and do not dodge the larger attacks made by even the average mob you will get killed quickly. Many times I tried to stand toe to toe with a mob and I found myself looking at the respawn screen. After some time I tried a mace and board warrior, and this is the closest I got to tanking. Using my skills I was able to block bigger attacks and counter attack smaller attacks; but I was still required to time defensive skills and dodge at times.
In the end though, there is still a trinity here. It is not a hard counter trinity like Tank>DPS>Healer, but it is there.
This I had very little experience with. From what I saw and experienced it seemed much like standard quests but with a nod to exploration. One thing I did rather like about it is that each one offers several ways to accomplish it and they are fairly fun.
I can't speak to much more on it though, just my impression. Truthfully I am not a big PvE fan so take my description with a grain of salt.
For the most part crafting is pretty standard, that being said the way you learn new recipes is quite fun.
For those who do not know, the game has an “experimentation” tab basically for crafting. It has 4 slots you can put components for your crafting profession and you will discover new recipes. So for instance I did weapon smithing, which makes weapons (go figure). I put a Sword Hilt and a Sword Blade in the boxes, then I added an inscripted dowel which gave vitality; which produced a short sword of vitality.
I wish I had more time to mess around with it, but that is about as much as I saw. Interesting looking system but I don't know all the little details in it. From what I could see you could not design the looks of the item, which is really sad honestly because if the system had this feature I would say it was a much better system. As it is now, it is novel but still the same thing we have seen before.
This is a rather large area so let me break it down:
It's beta for crying out loud. Should come with a warning sign over the PvP button that says: “Might suck since we are still balancing the classes, OP classes may roll you.”
Lobby PvP (BGs):
Only two in the beta from the looks of it, fairly decent but instanced combat is not really my thing. The map design is rather nice, but it gets old rather fast since the game types are pretty much the same thing.
Let me just say this: If you are a DAOC fan you have the same odds of liking it as everyone else. What? You think you are a special snowflake?
As I was learning about the game I read so many posts by people claiming it to be a glorified battle-ground that I went into it expecting just that. I am glad I did honestly, because I found out rather quickly how wrong these people were. To some extent I guess you could say WvW is basically just a bigger BG that lasts two weeks at a time. That is if you take a BG, stretch it about 50x its usual size, fill it with interesting places / events / visuals, make it much more fun, make it feel persistent, make it massive, make it basically not a BG. Actually, it really doesn't feel like a bigger BG even though my eyes and map are clearly seeing and showing something most people would call a BG. The maps for WvW are big, no getting around it; coupled with the fact that if players do not build waypoints in the castles and forts that you will be walking; the scale of the maps becomes apparent very quickly. Is it as big as a continent? No. Is it big enough to be fun? Yes.
Each keep on the map is different in design and layout, and each one has weak points to exploit with multiple ways to assault them. Organized attackers make defending tough if you are not organized as well. Siege equipment is pretty much required for both attacking and defending. The average player simply does not put out enough damage to nuke another player down before they retreat to heal; either use arrow carts and ballistas or learn to focus fire. Without rams and siege golems it can take upwards of 30 minutes to bring down a door or wall; and during that time you are under fire from the defenders.
However it is not without problems. Siege equipment can be stacked, meaning deployed on top of each other basically; this allows players to do things like fill a hallways or a tunnel full of ballistas. Each shot from a ballista will take out half to one third your health depending on class. Add that to the crazy range they can hit from and you have yourself a nice campalooza cocktail. PvP gear earned with honor tokens is INCREDIBLY expensive. On average every 10-20 kills will drop a bag containing 2 honor tokens; while most of the weapons and armor cost upwards of 300 tokens. I expect this will be changed, but still worth a mention.
Overall I enjoyed the WvW quite a bit.
When it all comes together the game is fun, but still playing it fairly safe by not venturing too far away from the norm. Dynamic events feel like better quests, not something completely new. Combat is much more exciting and fast paced, but still feels familiar. WvW is good fun and a great addition, but it could be bigger and more expansive. Battle-grounds are pretty meh to be honest; and crafting has a nice twist to it but still seems to be more of the same.
I feel that the game is exactly what the devs have stated it would be all along. I see many people who rant against the game for reasons that don't seem to match anything the devs themselves have said; it seems almost as if they were watching another game's development and then played this one. To be honest I place this fault not just on their shoulders but also on the shoulders of a few very vocal fans who have oversold elements of the game. Guild Wars 2 is another fantasy themepark that plays it safe and does not take risks it does not need to; at the same time it succeeds at making those elements enjoyable and refreshing with new elements that make the gameplay stand out among it's contemporaries.
Personally I am happy with the purchase, and it will be a nice filler game till Planetside 2 comes out at least. For 60$ and no sub, the game feels well worth it.
Read the damn thing or gtfo; I took the time to type it, you can take the time to read it. :3 Love you.
6/13/12 6:54:48 AM#2
Nice review, it backs up what I felt I observed from videos and dev comments but with more clarity. Sadly, not what I'm looking for but I'll still await absolute judgment once there is an open beta or free trial.
6/13/12 7:21:58 AM#3
Did you just invent your own version of trinity and call it MOBA trinity?
That seemed like a pretty fair assessment overall.
SWTOR is the greatest mmo ever!
OP 6/13/12 7:29:11 AM#4
Originally posted by colddog04
Pretty much yeah lol.
That's basically how it is, playing games like LoL or Dota2, those 3 "roles" are the basic roles every character can fall into. After playing GW2 for a while that really is what the classes reminded me of, playing a MOBA.
6/13/12 7:31:16 AM#5
I know you don't like PvE, but just one advice, try more PvE. Aparently you saw mostly hearts and not enough events. I just saw people get teh game wrongly because they think it have the same old way of chain of quests. I just saw a guy saying it leveled farming mobs, figures....
At PvE, hearts are not the main thing, hearts are thing you do while look for events. Need to explore the world for see more events and how they change the world.
I tryed BW1, stress test and BW2. It was fun to see that the fortress centaurs have at level 15-25 human zone, that I found impossible to take at BW1 (too few players level 20 helping it), was human owned at BW2. There are a full line of events that bring the human to conquer that fortress and after it is conquered the centaur try repeatedly conquer it.
But people just see too few events, mostly stay close to some hearts at starter zone, and have no idea how they work (some people thing they are timed and constantly repeated, well, after teh world is set for a stable point - centaur or human fortress owned - teh evetns for take a place start to repeat themselves, but that is not permanet).
So, my advice is: next beta just try explore the world more and try PvE more (I know you don't like PvE, however).
Players come for the game, but they stay for the people- Most Devs have forgotten this.
6/13/12 7:36:16 AM#6
Originally posted by Axllow18
LOL yes, very much agree!
Hate this internet culture of TL;DR BS that can't read anything over 2 lines. If reading is so hard for you go watch something on Youtube.
OP 6/13/12 7:38:07 AM#7
Originally posted by johaocarl
Next BW I will do so, I think the big issue on the PvE aspect was because I don't really care too much about PvE I never really cared to find more events or the such.
Next time I'll give it a better chance to see how it goes. That is if I ever get out of W v W lol.
Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
6/13/12 7:40:44 AM#8
Well put I say. After two BWE and too many hours played and loving the game I still agree. DEs are a good evolution in questing AND raiding but not as glamorous as some have made it out to be. I feel they combine chain questing with nice raid type bosses occasionally. Mostly just elite normal guys though. Ultimately it just beats the hell out of traditional questing. That's not to say there aren't other good ideas out there (still have high opinion of TSW questing despite the rest of its flaws)
Edit- Also the variety of ways that a DE can be activated is really nifty. It can just happen, come from a chain, come from an npc, one has no NPC at all and just spawns when you get there, variety of escort quests - most are A to B with nice extras if you follow them in, some are patrols, some DEs give you extra vendors with cool items - I got a badass ice rifle. Getting off track.
The game is just fun and gives simple, minor but much needed changes. Deposit collectables, anywhere mail, anywhere auction house. Selling materials to the trading post directly from my bags is just...ingeniously simple.
As a GW1 player the thing I feel is lacking this time around is the feeling of building the character. I love the choice yet at the same time I know everything I can ever be capable of. There's no secondary this time and it's much harder to make myself feel more crafty when making a crazy build.
GW2 isn't GW1 though. Still love it for what it is.
Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?
Stay Positive and Love Your Life.
6/13/12 7:46:51 AM#9
Lots of good points.
6/13/12 6:03:14 PM#10
Good review. One thing I'd like to touch on was your talk about trinity. In some of the earliest posts they had on the subject, Anet said they weren'tt eliminating the trinity so much as changing its focus in two important ways:
1) Damage, Tank, Healer is now Damage, Control, Support. similar to your MOBA trinity.
2) Every character can do all three to at least a moderate extent, often at the same time, varying on weapon choice and playstyle.
6/13/12 6:38:42 PM#11
Originally posted by Axllow18
Errr... yeah? We are "special snowflakes" because we have seen how 3 faction warfare is done, well, good.
So, excuse me from comparing the 2... and finding GW2 extremely lacking!
And I don't get why they fucked it up!?
Basically the whole thing could/should have been closde to a simple copy&paste job from DAoC. Of course you need to figure out your factions but their experience thru GW1 and it's episodes and expansion and the fact that this is set after GW1 creating 3 unique factions shouldn't have been a problem.
Nope, apparently it was for ANet... or ANet wanted to avoid the "clone" tag and make their own "3 faction warfare" thing.
So, well done ANet, thumbs up, you da man, thanks for taking MMOs now into the time of MMO-eSportz where your team is competing in universal tournament for best server! Woohoo! Watch this rotation's highlights on youtube. Watch last nights clash as a re-run on youtube. And don't for get the finale streamed live tomorrow at 6PM CDT! (And this was sarcasm if you were wondering!)
6/14/12 1:27:35 PM#12
Originally posted by Trol1
I'm not seeing constructive criticism or any comparisons of any kind in your post. Can you clarify what you don't like about GW2's WvW and/or what it needs to take from DAoC? Other than saying that it should have been simply copy and pasted, I'm not seeing a suggestion. Just a bunch of "sarcasm".
"As you read these words, a release is seven days or less away or has just happened within the last seven days— those are now the only two states you’ll find the world of Tyria."...Guild Wars 2
OP 6/15/12 8:14:30 PM#13
Originally posted by Trol1
Thanks for playing snowflake! :D
6/16/12 9:41:12 AM#14
The Trinity is only so in its specific implementation. One where one is either damage, defense, or heals, with no hybrids, no variation in between, content tuned towards that only. THIS is the Trinity. Everything else is not the Trinity, it's just normal average setup that every other game always had. It's actually quite weird to force the Trinity in normal situations, it doesn't really belong anywhere. GW2 doesn't have anything near that, so it effectively did kill the Trinity (which isn't that hard to do but w/e).
I've played MOBA's and the MOBA "trinity" is not a Trinity at all and has a very different dynamic in it. The problem of the Trinity is the unkillable tank and the overpowered healer, and the fact that each state is extremized (essentially 99% damage 1% defense). MOBA's and GW2 have neither. In MOBA's, you frequently get your squishiest heroes some armor and stuff, that is blasphemy in a true Trinity game. CC, spread tanking, light healing, is the standard way of dealing with enemies who are supposed to kill you fast. Nobody ever called this a "Trinity" back in the day and that's not what it is. In fact, MOBA's may actually have a lot more roles (pusher, (hard) carry, hybrids) than that and not all of them are necessarily present. Furthermore, MOBA roles are natural roles, i.e., they exemplify a set of tools the hero has at his disposal (similar to EVE ship classes), while Trinity roles are very dumb roles where you maximize one of the 3 numbers (i.e., not a true role). You CAN win a MOBA game with a weird team, you CANNOT beat a Trinity tuned dungeon without tank and healer.
6/16/12 6:34:37 PM#15
Nice well thought review!
I think only points I would add is 2 things.
1- I also played daoc, and I love what gw2 wvwvw is.
2- As far as the "holy trinity" part of things, the biggest point I believe is that if 5 friends login, and all play necromancers... they could still whatever they want to. SOme of them could vary styles, skills, weapons to make it work. That is the main point I think. Label it what you want, but the fact that for once you can bring the person not the class. Yes there may be situations someone may have a preference, they may want a mesmer for something specific but it won't be absolute "game changer".
- I have played Everquest, DAOC, Shadowbane, WoW, Aion, Rift, SW Galaxies, Planetside and Guild Wars (all expacs)