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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

Reviews & Impressions  » GW2 was my last hope for the genre....... so back to paper and pencil

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148 posts found
  teakinator

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/07
Posts: 14

 
OP  9/03/12 7:39:26 PM#1

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been playing MMOs since Everquest and I have noticed a disturbing trend.  Prior to EQ, those of us that loved the fantasy genre played roleplaying games with dice, paper, pencil and a group of friends.  The game was best enjoyed with a group, all contributing both through their charaacters skills but probably even more importantly through their wit and roleplaying.  The memories of those years of paper and pencil gaming will last me a lifetime and I think of them fondly.

Of course, as technology allowed our paper and pencil games to move to computer (i.e., Bards Tale, Ultima and Wizardry) and ultimately the internet (Everquest) the games at the beginning of the computer version of the fantasy genre were very similar to paper and pencil gaming as they placed a huge emphasis on grouping for EVERYTHING.  I have played every major MMO since EQ1 and while the game play and graphics are always improving, the PvE part of the games is not in my opinion.  Quests in EQ were hard and long.  EQOA had questlines that took weeks to complete and you needed a group for basically every part of the quest.  EQ2 came out and added a solo-element to the game.  While for me at first this was a welcomed change and allowed me to enjoy the genre without the time sink necessary to have a regular group, I didn’t realize until Guild Wars 2 how much I have missed grouping as a requirement and how much MMOs have changed, negatively in my opinion, since EQ1.

I will give GW2 great applause for a very polished gameplay experience but what is missing in mind (and RIFT had the same problem) is the community.  No one really chats and there is very little reason to group.  As an old paper and pencil fuddy-duddy from the 1970s what is missing from GW2 (and it is missing from RIFT, WOW, SWTOR, LOTRO and others) is the need to group for more than just raids or dungeons.  Grouping for regular grinding or epic quests creates lots of opportunities for meaningful and prolonged interaction, banter,  which lead to meaningful in-game friendships.With the elimination of a standalone healer class this downward slide away from grouping was the last straw for me. 

So, to those that I have played with online (Dairith, Qen, Nicci, Windbear, Xerios, Windbear, and Maxpain) thank you for the memories from the EQ and WoW franchise.  As of an hour ago, I have decided that GW2 was the last MMO I will ever play.  I have deleted the game from the computer and actually pulled out my paper and pencil PATHFINDER books and am forming a local group of adults (have 4 so far) and we are going to have the interaction that we hoped could have been achieved from videogames.   So my departure from GW2 (and retirement from MMOs) should not be taken as a reflection on the gameplay, but instead a fundamental flaw in the MMO market--- the lost art of meaningful and longer term interaction with other players.  Prior to my retirement, I choose to play MMOs over Single-player RPG because I desired the company of other individuals to create shared memories, experiences, and friendships.  I have been playing GW2 since beta and found that there is very minimal chatting…. People are just too busy smashing buttons.  Quests are short and travel distances are short… it seems that others who are playing this game just don’t have the same need that I do for the connection with other players.  So farewell MMOs….. I will be slaying my dragons with 4 friends in the same room, a number of cold beers, plastic dice, metal miniatures and graph paper.

Teak Dharan

  RebelScum99

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 1127

9/03/12 7:50:50 PM#2

In before "It must be the server you're on, because on MY server everyone is very social and helpful!"  nonsense.  

To the OP, you hit the nail on the head.  ANet did a great job with world design, and their dynamic events do pretty much what they said they would do.  Ironically, however, they take AWAY from the social experience.  Many fans of this game like to trumpet it as a return to social MMOs due to the "teamwork" involved in dynamic events (For now, I'll let that pass, as I find little to no teamwork needed in a zergfest with precious few boss mechanics outside of "red circle on ground." )  

The problem with these auto-grouping features in games like Rift and GW2, is you've now taken the REASON for people to get to know one another out of the equation.  In old-school MMOs, if you needed to complete a difficult group quest or dungeon, you had to actually interact with people and find people to help you.  There was a sense of camraderie involved as you were getting the team assembled and completing the dungeon/group quest.  Nowadays, most new themeparks don't require you go go out of your way to find help.  And what about the feeling of accomplishment when your team was able to complete the mission or dungeon in those old school MMOs?  Does anyone really feel like patting themselves on the back in Rift or GW2 when you complete a Rift or dynamic event?  You have no connection to the people beside you in the event.  You mainly complete it due to overwhelming numbers.  So there really is no sense of accomplisment when it's complete.  

Need help with a dungeon?  It's one click away with the dungeon finder.  Now, games like GW2 and Rift have streamlined the process even more in that they've created group content that doesn't require you to say a single word to anyone else in your group.  Heck, you don't even have to click that one button.  Just be in the area, start the mission, zerg the mission, and go on your merry way afterwards.  Not a single word needs to be uttered.  

GW2 is not a social game, despite what its fans will try to convince you of otherwise.  Don't get me wrong, I think the dynamic events are pretty fun, but they definitely detract from the social aspect of the MMO.  

  Four0Six

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/18/11
Posts: 1164

9/03/12 8:02:49 PM#3

I only beta'd GW2 but agree with the lack of community feeling.

I think though, this is what the gaming marketplace wants.

Personally I'd rather down a six-pack and roll dice and move minis on the tabletop. But, the startup cost of tabletop wargaiming makes sub fees seem like pocket change. If you even have a local community that plays, you choice of game or not.

So, I save my coins. Dabble in The Secret World. Toy with buying a copy of GW2 just cuz. But $60 is an army book and some models. Plus even though I don't mind tabletop fantasy war.....I'm tired of video gaming it.

  Nadia

Tipster

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11795

9/03/12 8:08:20 PM#4
personally, guilds go a long way to making a difference w community
  Legere

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/20/11
Posts: 115

9/03/12 8:09:58 PM#5
not that I have much hope for it, but give eq3 a try when that comes out
  Tawn47

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 515

9/03/12 8:11:09 PM#6
Originally posted by teakinator

I will give GW2 great applause for a very polished gameplay experience but what is missing in mind (and RIFT had the same problem) is the community.  No one really chats and there is very little reason to group.  As an old paper and pencil fuddy-duddy from the 1970s what is missing from GW2 (and it is missing from RIFT, WOW, SWTOR, LOTRO and others) is the need to group for more than just raids or dungeons.  Grouping for regular grinding or epic quests creates lots of opportunities for meaningful and prolonged interaction, banter,  which lead to meaningful in-game friendships.With the elimination of a standalone healer class this downward slide away from grouping was the last straw for me. 

Its all because of teamspeak / mumble / ventrillo etc....    if you want to socialise in an MMO, you gotta join a guild with a chat system.  This is not a problem with the design of MMO's.

  Syno23

Novice Member

Joined: 8/18/08
Posts: 1371

9/03/12 8:15:06 PM#7
Did you forget Dungeons, WvW, Dynamic Events, and what not. They all REQUIRE a group. So I dont know what you're talking about buddy.
  StanlyStanko

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/28/11
Posts: 274

9/03/12 8:16:09 PM#8
Originally posted by Legere
not that I have much hope for it, but give eq3 a try when that comes out

If they take their design cues from the last 10 years of games, it could be trouble. Or maybe they bring it oldskool.

  jpnole

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/10
Posts: 1677

9/03/12 8:16:17 PM#9
OP - In the time it took you to write up that post another 10 people registered their copy of GW2 to replace you.
  Knightblast

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/01/05
Posts: 1800

9/03/12 8:17:44 PM#10

The thing is that there is a difference between PnP games and PC games.  The expectation of the player is different.  I play and enjoy both, but I don't expect the same things from each of them.

MMORPGs, when they first began, were virtual world games that appealed to a small subset of hardcore gamers.  Over time they have become less virtual world and more video game, with an emphasis on gaming over socialization per se.  There are several reasons for this, ranging from the deliberate expansion of the market by Blizzard to the shift in internet use towards social media -- which had the impact of people not really wanting to use video games to socialize with people they don't otherwise already know and to do that using voice communication, rather than socializing with strangers in a video game -- socialization moved to social network sites, and people wanted gaming, not socialization, from online games.  As a result, MMOs are now not really "virtual worlds" with communities of strangers socializing in an online world, but rather cooperative online games with systems that encourage players to cooperate with each other *without* having to socialize.  This has been done to meet demand -- players want to be quickly in and quickly out, and they don't want to socialize with people on the internet whom they don't otherwise know.  So things like dungeon finders and public quests exist to faciitate this and meet this need.

To me this was a natural progression that resulted from the growth of the genre and the general move on the internet away from making virtual friends under pseudonyms to using the technology to interact with real life friends rather than strangers.

PnP games, by contrast, are all about socialization because that is the core context in which they take place.  You set aside a set amount of time, and you have a session with a few like-minded people.  It's a very different thing from a video game, which someone plays every day or several times a week, but probably not (for most) for an extended session.  It's a different genre of game, even though it has its roots in the fantasy PnP RPG genre -- it has become something else, and this isn't really a bad thing.

  RebelScum99

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 1127

9/03/12 8:19:32 PM#11
Originally posted by Syno23
Did you forget Dungeons, WvW, Dynamic Events, and what not. They all REQUIRE a group. So I dont know what you're talking about buddy.

You missed the point of the post.  Dynamic Events don't require a group because they scale.  But even if they didn't scale, the grouping is done for you automatically.  So technically, there is no difference between completing a dynamic event and completing a solo quest.  Because you aren't required to do anything to complete it.  In other words, no social interaction is required.  ANET has basically takent all the difficult content in the game, and allowed you to finish it without ever uttering a word to anyone.  

There is a difference between "group content" and "social content."

  Pravana

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/10
Posts: 48

9/03/12 8:20:05 PM#12

I understand. I was looking foward to all the community grouping and cooperation but it's not there. I primarary play with my husband and we have created memories we'll won't forget but honesty I cant recall the character name or real name of anyone ive run dungeons or completed content with.

The disconnect is definately there. Even when the content is group based you'll have people yelling about the lack of "single player content" in an MMO no less. When I log on to GW2 people are in chat trying to help each other with quest or objectives. I see the effort being put into trying to make it a real community, but I understand OP just moving back to pen,paper and some like minded people.

Humans need to socialize but it cant be forced.

 

  VicodinTaco

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/28/05
Posts: 688

9/03/12 8:20:47 PM#13

I agree, but sadly I'm on the other end of the situation. 

As I get older I feel like grouping less and less, and am enjoying how GW2 is done in tiny little chunks of achievement with a large % being solo (so far.)

 

 

 

  RebelScum99

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/26/12
Posts: 1127

9/03/12 8:20:54 PM#14
Originally posted by jpnole
OP - In the time it took you to write up that post another 10 people registered their copy of GW2 to replace you.

Link?

  daniel!!!

Novice Member

Joined: 12/04/04
Posts: 403

Thinking causes problems, Doing solves them

9/03/12 8:21:45 PM#15
i actually have a feeling of community, i met some people in BWE 1 and we are still gaming together, we are in a guild together, constantly sharing items, heads up on events and everything plus we are always adding more people to our masses. although it is at a slow rate

  Emeraq

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/06
Posts: 932

9/03/12 8:23:34 PM#16
Originally posted by Tawn47
Originally posted by teakinator

I will give GW2 great applause for a very polished gameplay experience but what is missing in mind (and RIFT had the same problem) is the community.  No one really chats and there is very little reason to group.  As an old paper and pencil fuddy-duddy from the 1970s what is missing from GW2 (and it is missing from RIFT, WOW, SWTOR, LOTRO and others) is the need to group for more than just raids or dungeons.  Grouping for regular grinding or epic quests creates lots of opportunities for meaningful and prolonged interaction, banter,  which lead to meaningful in-game friendships.With the elimination of a standalone healer class this downward slide away from grouping was the last straw for me. 

Its all because of teamspeak / mumble / ventrillo etc....    if you want to socialise in an MMO, you gotta join a guild with a chat system.  This is not a problem with the design of MMO's.

Yeah I have to agree, it's not a design flaw, developers can design a game that forces grouping all the time and you'll still not have the long lasting relationships because there will still be many players out there that form pick up groups to just get shit done, not to develop friendships.

So, in my view the flaw is the player(s) either not joining a guild, or not getting to know others in their guild... Maybe OP should have had those four buddies he's going to PnP with play this game as well, the dungeons are, afterall, 5 man. 

We always hates on the game, when plenty a time we should be hating on the players..

  StanlyStanko

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/28/11
Posts: 274

9/03/12 8:26:24 PM#17

If you're going PnP, dig up some Shadowrun!

Break from the cartoony high fantasy for awhile.

  User Deleted
9/03/12 8:27:14 PM#18
Changing the mentalities of people so they would be more willing to try to socialize would probably be the only effective way to turn things around. But that would probably take half a century to do.
  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15994

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

9/03/12 8:34:09 PM#19
Originally posted by jpnole
OP - In the time it took you to write up that post another 10 people registered their copy of GW2 to replace you.

SO?

A valid point is a valid point. That's my biggest gripe about every single MMO that I've played since at least 2005. There is no player interaction needed. Th genre has moved far away from social aspects and social skills being a needed player trait.

Which might explain why large gaming communities are filled with anti-social misanthropic immature twats today.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  Wraithone

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3584

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

9/03/12 8:35:01 PM#20

I wish you all the best.  I'm of two minds here. I quite agree, some of my best memories have been of interactions with other players, over the years. But also some of my worst memories. Its reached the point that I really have no interest in dealing with 95% plus of the gaming population, so being able to play solo has been a bonus.  

I'm very interested in seeing where MMO's go, as technology advances. Perhaps once VR manages to solve its various problems, and becomes wide spread, we will find more of the group interaction we are looking for.  Until that time, I'll play solo, and I wish you and your friends the very best of  luck and fun. 

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