Originally posted by adam_nox
Update 2: There are a few things worth noting up here at the top.
- People who claim bias based on post history have no arguments, that's why they make such claims. If I had much negative to say about GW2 prior to at least 20 days playing it (including headstart), it was about technical difficulties. Some fanboys take neutral observations as all out attacks on their precious, so I guess some posts are open to interpretation. If someone says 'based on your post history', then ignore their post, because they have nothing to say.
- I'm not a WoW fan. I find the idea hilarious. I guess I'm a victim of MoP release date. I liked vanilla WoW. I'm not a fan of kungfu panda. Cataclysm's remake of the 1-60 was cool, but I don't play WoW, have vowed never to return to it, and have maybe racked up a whole 6 months subbed in it's 7+ year life.
- Don't like eye-catching thread titles and want to reply only to that aspect? Ok, have fun with that. My advice is get over it. It doesn't say GW2 is a trainwreck. That's idiotic. It says it's a hype trainwreck, which it is. And the fault of that lies more with the people here (many probably replying in this topic) than it does with the folks at Anet. Maybe that's why people are so angry at this review. GW2 is at best mediocre, but was made out to be the second coming.
- I doubt that my review is as baseless as the die-hards want to believe, it's clear I've touched a nerve and hit too close to home. I never expected much attention and thought it would just go unnoticed, I just wanted to post it before I moved on to other games, as I'm already forgetting about GW2 as I enjoy Torchlight 2. I didn't even know topics updated in this section show up under recent posts on the front page of the site.
And now, the review...
Gameplay and Combat: 6.0
Let's rewind to a few months before release. I didn't have access to BWE. I could watch videos, which don't really tell you much about certain aspects of an mmo, character creation, customization, skill choices, etc. No one was really talking about how combat worked outside of wild claims of how much skill it took to move your character away from attacks and hit the dodge button.
I was honestly a little intimidated. I look back at those feelings now and laugh. Having come from DC Universe, I can tell you that game's movement and attacks are both more varied and involve ten times as much skill as that of GW2. I know because I never mastered it in DCUO, but I was good enough that I could see how others were able to counter all my common block breaking and stunlock tricks. Truly impressive gameplay there, but too high level for a casual non-tekkenish player like myself.
Guild wars 2 on the other hand took all of an hour or so, and only because when you first start out you don't have access to all the skills available on the weapon you equip. But afterwards, you learn a flow, and moving is easy, dodging even easier (especially for me, who set it to the spacebar.)
Outside of endurance for dodge (you get 2 dodges per full bar whooopeee), there's no resource management. There's no mana, no rage, no energy, etc. Necromancers almost get what would be considered a resource to gather and spend, but I didn't spend enough time with them to say much about it, except it was very simplistic. Instead, I was a ranger. Considered by many a powerful choice, I do not disagree. Oddly though, my pet was more powerful than me. I didn't test much without trait points allocated, but with 20 into pet attributes, it consistently outdamaged me, and could take more punishment, and regened life faster. I was hoping to have a powerful sniper, but instead I was a beastmaster.
That's the thing, there's no real glass cannons, there's no powerful snipers, there's no stealth class. There's no tanks, there's no healers. The classes are very similar in functionality, and the differences are mostly skin deep aesthetics. DPS, dodge, use your heal skill, etc You'll hear a lot about these magical things called combo fields. Mostly impractically and usually ineffective, they can sometimes help your group. I have yet to see the miracle in person though. As if combo fields and dodging can replace resource management, healing, and agro management. Pure hubris on the part of the devs.
Character development and customization: 6.0
You can dye your armor. Just saying that makes me excited. Unfortunately, GW2 seems to suck the life right out of it by restricting dyes and making any good ones cost prohibitive until you get up in levels. Even at 43 I cannot afford a black dye, let alone the truly black abyss dye. There's also not that many different styles of armor, and if you want to keep one style you need to use a rare consumable to transfer the look. Strange to bring it up again, but in DCUO you colored pieces how you wanted and once you unlocked a certain style you could use it freely. Perhaps that system is too lax, but somewhere in between these two systems surely there's perfection.
On the development front, 50% of what your character can do is a simple matter of equiping a weapon. Honestly the system is borderline bizarre. No choices at all, really? Then the other half of your skillbar are skills you can unlock, there's a lot of choice here, but as a ranger, most the abilities were so lackluster that it hardly mattered. The heal was of obvious importance, but the utilities were crap. I went with the passives after trying most of them.
Then there's traits. Magical in the same way combo fields are, I believe that they do change how your character performs in various areas, but there's no active abilities gleaned from traits. Instead, you spend points wherever it will most increase your damage, as most consider toughness/healing power/vit pointless to up with trait points.
Overall, as someone who came from Diablo 3 very recently, I was already tired of the lack of stat points, skill trees, etc, and GW2 was even more restrictive.
In the beginning of the game I may have given this a 9, but as I continued to craft, but came up short on ingredients I needed, having to buy them off the trading post for more than I could really afford, I don't like it. Not only do you already devote time to the endeavor, and despite what anyone says, it doesn't award that much xp/hour, you then lose money instead of gaining it, and outside of early levels, it's unlikely you'll keep up enough to provide yourself upgrades or make any sort of profit. Isn't that the point of crafting? What do mmo devs not understand about this?
I'd like to hear from some old school DAoC (original frontiers, not new frontiers) players who liked it's RvR and how they feel WvW compares. To me it's pretty crappy. It's simplistic, and at the same time requires several players to get even the smallest task complete, and usually you need siege if you don't want it to take an hour. It's a bad cumbersome unfun system. Before the game was released, people made wild claims about WvW. They said that everyone was on equal footing in terms of character power, no matter what their level, and they said it was the fastest way to level. Neither claim is even in the ballpark of reality.
Leveling is slow, you'll die a lot, you'll spend a lot on repair costs, and you'll spend a lot of time just running hoping to find a fight you can get some xp out of before you die again. And level 80s have many more trait points and much better gear that directly effects the damage they can give and take, and they will beat you up and take your lunchmoney, and if they don't then they suck and have bad gear, probably from leveling all the way up in WvW. It's not fair at all to lower level players, who don't get their own zones. Instead of having 4 different WvW zones where one is busy and 3 are not, all at level 80, they could have had Eternal at 80, and one at 30 for a cap, 50, and 65 or 70.
I didn't do sPvP, I don't care about capture the flag or whatever it is they do in there. I like war, like in WoW early days at tarren mill/southshore, or DAoC old frontiers, or even in warhammer online.
In truth there's no war here. No factions, no world pvp. Just a cumbersome war game outside the reality of the rest of the game. It's just another immersion breaker, and makes you wonder, what's the point?
It's actually not bad at first. Just running out and doing some stuff without collecting a novel full of quests. I always thought the way oldschool WoW did it was a bit obnoxious. I prefer a handful of quests that chain together to make a story or drama, of which I am not the star, but an important player. GW2 doesn't offer that. And after a while, DE's seem all the same, boss encounters seem all the same. spam spam spam that attack, done. Hearts and collecting vistas and POIs and waypoints is not a replacement for questing. It just doesn't fill the gap that's left from not having any sort of meaningful quest system. And it gets old fast. Not only that, but DEs are so dumbed down and simplistic, and you are never awarded loot. In general loot is very boring even when you find an upgrade.
I only played one dungeon. It was a chaotic yet boring spamfest, with cutscenes that only I actually watched while the rest of my group left me behind. In general it wasn't fun.
I don't care for the style, especially of mobiles, but the scenery is nice and the graphics quality is clearly impressive.
Overall,:not good. You can do the math yourself.
I spent 300 bucks upgrading to an i5 to play this game at better than a slideshow. I'm not just some guy who plopped the game in and played for 5 minutes without anything invested into it. What irks me the most is how hyped up the game was by people making wild claims that were simply untrue after playing BWEs. Claims about world vs world, and how awesome combat was seem so out of this world.
I only now review it, as I think I'm ready to move on. For the past week I've been trying very hard to log in and have fun, and it's just too boring. With borderlands 2, TL2, and D3 1.05 looming, I don't see why I should waste anymore time. Otherwise I would have gotten to 80 before writing a review.
On a final note, doing things differently does not warrant the title revolutionary if the change is bad, and most of the divergence of GW2's systems from the mold are downgrades. Kudos to the devs for trying, but whoever came up with the replacement systems for the trinity, dungeons, questing, and pvp simply did a bad job.