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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 08/28/12)  | Pub:NCSoft
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2 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/12
Posts: 1212

OP  6/12/12 2:59:41 PM#1

1. Intro

I'm a great fan of role playing games, both in video game form and in their most important, pen and paper form, where the real “role playing” is, computer RPGs fail in comparison in any possible way. I love character building and a real challenge. I also enjoy the occasional action game, I like non-static combat as well as static combat. I play strategy games as well, although my experience there is more limited, I want to use my brain when playing a game, instead of being a boring experience that I can finish while sleeping.

I've played many MMOs in the past, both in Betas, trials and at release, Aion, Star Wars The Old Republic, Tribes: Ascend, Rift, Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EVE Online, Global Agenda, Huxley: The Dystopia, Guild Wars, Fury, Grand Chase, Lineage 2, MU Online and some others I might forget. I was always an active player, enjoying both PVP and PVE, high-end raiding, casual gaming, character building, everything. No matter which MMO I tried I always went back to Guild Wars 1 after a while. It was the only game complex and challenging enough to grab my attention. Of course I was occasionally getting burned out over it and switched to a different game for a change of pace, but I always went back.

I've been following Guild Wars 2 development since the first announcement. I've been a Guild Wars 1 player for years and I was very excited about a possible sequel. When I watched ArenaNet's MMO Manifesto, I was immediately hooked. I had very high expectations of the game and I was surprised when ArenaNet actually delivered on most of their promises, when I tried the Beta Weekend Events. It remains to be seen if the game changes for release for the worst or they keep it the way I like it.

What I liked the most about Guild Wars 2 is that they understand which are the “fun barriers” in MMO games. ArenaNet tried to remove those barriers and allow the players to have fun, sure that had a huge impact in immersion but when immersion gets in the way of fun, I will always choose fun. Besides those that don't want to use those features can avoid them altogether.

2. Technical information

The server structure of Guild Wars 2 is a great innovation on its own right so I will take some time to explain how the system works.

In the typical MMO you choose a server to play on, you can have characters on multiple servers but they cannot interact in any way if they are on different servers. Also having friends on different servers, or different continents, prevents you from playing with them. The next time you play an MMO and your friends are on different servers, you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 eliminates this barrier, allowing the players to play freely on any server they want. At character creation you choose your “Home Server” but then you can play on ANY server you choose by using the “guesting” feature. The only restriction is that you can only play WvWvW (World vs World vs World) for your “Home Server”. This was implemented to remove the possibility of server hoping, going from server to server to get the bonuses. You can earn nice bonuses for your entire server by playing WvWvW, they apply to everyone that has the same “Home server”.

Other benefits of this system are multi-server Guilds, you can have players in your Guild that play on multiple servers, the Auction House works for all servers, structured PVP as well, of course only for players of the same region. In WvWvW 3 servers fight for dominance on a 2-week rotation. Also according to the developers there will be no downtime for maintenance, admins can perform maintenance without shutting down the server, just like in Guild Wars 1, which is the MMO with one of the shortest downtime periods ever.

I should also mention the “Overflow” system as well. When a server is full, you don't enter some queue (I'm looking at the 22 hour long queue I got while playing Aion), instead you enter an Overflow instance, a world instance with lots of other places that are queued to enter the main server, and can continue playing as normal. When there is room available on your chosen server you get a notification and can go back to your server. The next time you see a long login queue you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

Although the music in the game is amazing, Jeremy Soul is an expert composer, it might get repetitive and boring after a while. The game allows players to save media playlists in the “Documents\Guild Wars 2\Music” folder and the game will use those playlists instead of the default soundtrack. The playlists must be named appropriately, like Main_Menu, Combat, Exploration etc. That way you can customize the game to play any music you like.

Key binding works like a charm and allows binding of all keys + modifiers. You can play the game the way you like it. Graphic-wise the game is very good-looking although not optimized yet so I will refrain from dealing with this aspect of the game.

3. Character creation and development

There are 8 different professions in the game, 3 Adventurer, medium armored, Engineer, Thief and Ranger, 3 Scholar, lightly armored, Mesmer, Necromancer and Elementalist and 2 Soldiers, heavily armored, Guardian and Warrior. They offer a variety of skills and abilities.

There are 5 races to choose from, Human, Charr, Norn, Asura and Sylvari each with their unique starting zone and storyline.

During character creation you get to answer a few questions that define your character's background. Unlike games like Dragon Age: Origins or even Star Wars: The Old Republic, the storyline is actually different depending on your choices and STAYS different for a long time, they don't converge as early as in other games. Also, unlike other games, your choices during gameplay affect which quest you'll see instead of just changing some dialogue. Granted the story doesn't feel epic enough, but I guess it's because we are at the starting levels. At some time during your visit in Tyria you will get to choose one of three different Orders (organizations/factions) to join. They offer different stories and it will be difficult to change once you commit yourself. That means you will need at least 3 high level characters to experience all the different possibilities for end-game story. Given that each race has 3 completely different backgrounds you will probably need 15 characters to experience all the stories. Add the secondary questions, branches during gameplay and your profession, and you will be having a very different experience with each of your characters. There is an amazing amount of customization to the story.

As in all RPGs, in order to advance your character you need experience. After a certain level, you reach the experience cap, from then on you will be required to earn the exact same amount of experience in order to level further. So the leveling is flat after level 30 which means you won't see the regular MMO phenomenon when you play for hours and your experience bar progresses so little. Also, unlike other games, experience/level isn't the only way to progress your character. There are weapon skills and slot skills, there are also traits that can change your character.

There are two types of skills, weapon skills and slot skills. The 5 skills that are placed left of the big orb of life are the weapon skills. They change depending on which weapon you are holding. Finally, a game on which skills depend on the weapon you are holding giving you lots of versatility. Main-hand weapons offer 3 skills, off-hand weapons offer 2 skills and two-handed weapons offer 5 skills. Using Sword + Axe offer a different skillset than Axe + Sword or Sword + Sword. You always start with only a basic skill and in order to unlock the rest you must earn experience by killing enemies with that weapon. It's a very original way of progressing, taking the system of games like Skyrim and combining it with the “standard” skill system of MMOs.

Slot skills require skill points to unlock. They are the 5 skills placed to the right of the big orb of life. The first is a self-healing skill, you can unlock different self-healing skills for various effects but you will only be able to have one on your skillbar. The next 3 slots are for utility skills. Utility skills come into 3 tiers, you must unlock skills of a tier in order to unlock the next tier. You earn 1 skill point each time you level up after level 10. You can also get skill points by finishing skill challenges scattered around the map. You can do each skill challenge only once and they usually involve using an object of power or defeating a powerful foe in combat. These offer a varied way of progressing characters instead of simply earning a vague level. The last skill slot is reserved for the elite skill. Elite skills also cost skill points (but a lot more than regular skills), they come into 2 tiers and you must unlock a lower tier elite before unlocking a higher tier one, you can only have one slotted on your skillbar though.

When you reach level 11 you get your first trait point. Each profession has 5 trait lines which can be invested with 1-30 points. At level 80 you will achieve a total of 70 trait points split into these 5 trait lines, meaning you can have 2 trait-lines at maximum with 30 points and a third at 10 points, or any combination of points. At 5,15 and 25 you unlock a minor trait which gives a buff to certain skills. At 10,20 and 30 you unlock a major trait slot that allows you to choose one of the major traits. They are split into tiers, the most powerful major traits can be slotted only in the 30-point slot, which accepts all lower tier major traits as well, while the 20-point slot can accept all the rest. The selection for the 10-point slot is more limited. Each increase in a trait-line also boosts a character's attributes.

There are 5 major attributes and 5 secondary: Power increases your damage, Precision increases your chances for a critical hit, Toughness increases your damage reduction and Vitality increases your hit points, the fifth major ability depends on your primary profession. There are five secondary attributes: Concentration increases Boon duration, Expertise increases Condition duration, Prowess increases Critical damage, Compassion increases healing and Malice increases Condition damage. Gear can boost your major attributes, while leveling also gives some small boosts in all major attributes every so many levels. Secondary attributes increase only by investing points in trait-lines.

Character customization is indeed one of the main strengths of the game.

4. Combat

Combat in this game is active, not passive, characters can attack while moving, even with channeled skills. Also, you don't require a target to use a skill, you can attack the air, or start a slow animation while moving, so when the animation stops you are near your target. There is no “out of range” message displaying all the time. There is also the ability to dodge by double tapping a movement key or clicking on the dodge bar, dodging depletes Endurance which is restored slowly and you can perform only 2 dodges in quick succession before running out of Endurance so you must use them wisely.

There are no passive benefits in the game, except for the chance for critical hit, Aegis boon allows you to block the next attack targeting you, while Blindness condition makes the next attack miss. There is no dice roll to determine who hits or not, you can't stay among 10 mobs and block them with your high evasion, you must use tactics and plan your movement in combat. Also, mobs give a fair warning when they use a highly damaging skill, offering you the opportunity to counter it by interrupting the skill, blinding them or using an aegis skill on yourself. The best way to avoid them is to not be there when their attack is resolved, it takes some time to get used to the system but once you do it's fairly rewarding and an amazing combat experience.

The sound cues during combat help a lot, for example there is a very specific sound when you block an attack. There also visual clues to indicate when you take damage, or when you deal damage, you can “feel” the combat instead of passively looking at each other hit point total.

Although there have been combat systems with a more realistic feeling, Guild Wars 2 manages to capture the best aspects of both “real combat” and “skill-based combat” and create a hybrid by combining them very well.

5. Questing

I'm going to say it now and repeat it as often as possible. Guild Wars 2 is about the journey, not the destination. Rushing to reach the level cup is not what the game is all about. Unlike other MMOs it's not two-games combined in one, one boring up to the level cup, and a second game after the level cap is reached. With all the different character customization options you will return back to the old zones and find something new to do, there is a lot of re-playability.

Imagine this now, you enter a dungeon with your friend and you see them rescuing some people from cages. Unfortunately you are not on the proper quest on the chain and can't save them, you need to deliver some letters first or talk to the mayor. Imagine now gathering the flags of the evil goblins while another player is killing them saying “the next quest will have you kill these”. Imagine having to kill 10 rats, then 10 worms, then deliver a letter then then then.... The next time you are on the wrong part of a quest chain you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

In Guild Wars 2 there are no quest chains and no NPCs with exclamation marks above their heads. Your first target when visiting a zone is to go talk to the “scout” NPCs as they will reveal the nearby renown hearts and give you a clue as to what to expect. Renown hearts work like quest hubs in other MMOs, they give you tasks to do, but you can do any of them, in any order and in whatever quantity you want. The typical “kill 10 rats” quest in a Guild Wars 2 way would be like this: An NPC is requesting help with a rat infestation, you can talk to him to get some clue as to what to do, but you can ignore him altogether, it's not essential to talk to anyone to get quests. The quest might involve the players killing giant rats, fixing rat traps, luring rats out or fixing the damage the rats did to local machinery. You can ANY of those to the extend you like and you will be rewarded for doing so.

Filling a Heart is important but it is even more important to understand that there are many ways to fill them. For example at the Norn area I could fill a heart by playing snowball fights with local children (there was a festival going on). If you are the berserker/killer type of player you can avoid this. Later on, some pack of bears might attack the town and it is up to you to defend the festival, and you will fill the heart by killing the ravaging bears instead of participating in the festival. That's a Dynamic Event.

People misunderstand Dynamic Events and want them to come to them. Instead players need to go to the events instead. I'm not sure what triggered the bear attack on my example above but something did and the bears came. There are events of all kinds scattered around the map. this is a perfect example of a Dynamic Event that most people will probably miss. There are tons of events in the game that are both Dynamic and fun but people will miss them and then complain there is no content or they can't find enough experience to level up. I say take it slow, talk to everyone, listen to their dialogue, interact with the world and immerse yourself, don't rush to the level cap! This is what makes Guild Wars 2 an amazing game. The next time you roll an alt and experience the exact same content you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

Those events happen without an indicator on the map or an exclamation mark. True, after an event starts there will be an indicator of the event area, however how they start won't be obvious. Most people tend to believe that events start on a timer, reset all the time etc, well, they are NOT, there are triggers to activate them by talking to NPCs or participating in Heart events. Killing lots of spider might anger the mother spider which will spawn to kill all the players around.

What makes this system even better is that it promotes teamwork among strangers. There is no mob-tagging, you get rewards for fighting monsters even if you weren't the one that attacked first. Players are in a “global” party all the time, sharing experience and loot. Of course, in order to get the experience or loot, you need to deal a meaningful amount of damage to a foe. The next time a ranged player “steals” your mobs you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

It is also worth noting that when you go to an older zone (either a starting area of another race, or maybe you go back to experience Dynamic Events you missed) you are reduced to a level more appropriate for the zone. While you don't lose any skills or traits, your attributes are lowered and so is the strength of your items. That way a high level player that returns back to explore or help his friends won't steamroll through all content. It is also a way to increase the longevity of the game considerably.

6. Exploration

This is a game for explorers. The scenery is magnificent and you never know what you might find. There are well hidden Places of Interest that you need to dive into underwater caverns to find, there are insane jumping puzzles that will require all your platforming skills to complete, like this one:

There are hidden treasures, hidden events that begin when you interact with objects or characters that reside in caves or well-hidden places. Players earn experience with every new area they uncover. 100% exploration of a map gives a very high amount of experience, coin and powerful loot. It is a great incentive to fully explore a map. Full exploration means, filling all hearts (by doing Dynamic Events or participating in the static “quests” around them), finding all Places of Interest, scattered around, some in hard to reach areas that will test the exploration skills of players, finishing all skill challenges, which is one of the best activities to do on every zone because they allow you to buy more skills, and finally unlocking all Waypoints. Due to the deleveling feature, exploring is always exciting even if you surpass the mobs in level.

Anet created a system that eliminates distance in the game. Of course, those looking for a more immersive experience, can ignore these features, but those with limited time will appreciate them the most. First of all is the Waypoint system which allows players to teleport around the map from wherever they want. Say you enter a dark cave and in the end you finish a skill challenge and now want to get out. You can simply open your map and teleport to a Waypoint instead of running back, killing the same mobs a second time. The Waypoint system works across the map, so you can go from a Waypoint in Kryta to a Waypoint in Ascalon easily, although the further away the Waypoint is, the more money it costs for the teleport, however the amount required is very low in comparison to teleporting services in other MMOs. This allows players to easily move from event to event, when they see the event flag on their map, easily reaching the “fun” before it is over. Walking for the shake of walking isn't fun.

You cannot travel to a waypoint you haven't explored yet, so you need to make that first trip to find it. Also you cannot travel if the waypoint is contested. A contested icon appears on waypoints that are under attack by monsters or if a waypoint is inside a fortress/town that is already taken over by monsters. Players need to cooperate in order to reclaim those waypoints from the forces of evil.

7. Crafting

There are two aspects of crafting in the game, gathering materials and crafting items.

Unlike other MMOs, resource nodes aren't contested by players, which means different players can harvest the same node. This allows the reset duration to be set a lot higher, so players don't stay and farm the same nodes over and over again. The next time another player “steals” you resource node, you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

Gathering and crafting gives a healthy amount of experience points. Apart from harvesting you get materials by killing foes and using “salvage kits” on items you don't need. Those materials don't take inventory space as you can easily right click on them and select Deposit Collectible, which will automatically send them to your bank. There is a separate “tab” in your storage that is used for all materials so there is no need for more space. The bank is usable by all characters on your account so materials can gather up quickly. The next time you run out of space on your character you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

There are changes in the crafting process as well. When you craft lots of items at the same time, the process is sped up considerably. The first item will be created at the same speed (giving you the option to cancel) while the few next items will take gradually decreasing time to finish until it is almost instant. Crafting 10 items will take approximately the same time as 100 because the last 90 will be instant. The next time you realize it will take you hours to finish your crafting you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2.

There is also discovery mode, which allows players to combine different materials and discover the recipes themselves (instead of buying them). When there is a recipe available given your materials, you will get a message stating “this looks promising” and you will get a new recipe once you finish crafting! Crafting is a fun and rewarding experience. Apart from this, there is also the Mystic Forge, a machine that takes 4 items, combines them and gives a more powerful item, some recipes are random but some others are fixed. It's a perfect tool for crafters which will create lots of low level items in order to progress their crafting, combine in the forge to get far superior items!

8. Items

White items are the lowest quality, blue are the next step above and green items are masterwork quality. There are higher quality items in the game but I didn't encounter any of those, except for the Orange PVP items. Items boost certain major attributes and their attribute boosts are lowered when the player enters a lower level zone (deleveling)

Each item can be upgraded with special items that give them new properties. There are also “set items” but work differently to what we are used in other MMOs. The “set bonuses” come from upgrade components instead of the items themselves. Slotting the same rune 2 times will give the first set bonus, slotting more will unlock the more powerful bonuses. That way you can move around the set bonuses to your next items.

Also, you can use transmutation stones to change the appearance of an item. You take the powerful stats from an item and put them on an item that is better looking.

It is worth noting that inventory management is fairly easy (with the deposit collectible system) but you might find yourself with limited storage. There are different kind of bags you can use to increase your inventory space, all made by any of armor crafting disciplines, armorsmith, leatherworker and tailor, or found as drops from mobs.

We have 3 kinds of currency, gold which is the most common, karma and gems. Karma is a special currency earned by participating in Dynamic Events and filling Hearts. There are vendors, they are the same people who offer information on the Hearts, that “sell” items for karma. The idea is that the vendor is rewarding you with items (that's why you don't pay) but you still use some kind of currency as to what kind of reward you will get.

You can send mails from wherever you are, to anyone you want, you can send materials or even items you just found in a dungeon chest that you don't need but someone else does. You can read letters from wherever you are, you don't have to visit a mail box, you can even read a mail while in a dungeon and “upgrade” your gear before the next big boss battle. Obviously you can't change gear while in combat.

9. Underwater

There is a lot of underwater exploration, and fighting, in the game. Moving in three dimensions is a blast. There are many underwater caverns to explore, treasure to be found and monsters to be fought. There is no need to go up for air either which is certainly a nice plus. Lots of Dynamic Events happen underwater too, while there are lots of resource nodes as well.

10. Downed/Drowning state

It is worth noting that players who take enough damage will fall to the ground and enter a “Downed” state or “Drowning” if underwater. In this state there are 4 usable skills, 2 spammable skills, 1 more powerful skill and a self-healing skill that is disabled if you take any damage. If all mobs are dead, skill4 can be used to make the character ready for combat again. In PVP there is the option of killing a downed opponent which has a rather lengthy animation. If not killed outright, anyone can revive a downed character, even while in combat. It's useful to keep rezzing people, especially in hard fights. Even if someone dies, anyone can still come and revive them, also a downed/dead player appears on the map, so anyone can go and help a friendly soul in need. Just be careful, whatever killed those players might still be there!

Each time your health is depleted, your downed-state health is reduced, so after 4 downs in a row you instantly enter the dead state. This penalty is removed over time.

My complaints with the Downed system is that “skill3” isn't balanced. Some classes have way overpowered skill while others have totally useless skills there. Also, Downed in PVP is more of a hindrance than a benefit, sometimes you want to “die” faster in order to respawn to the nearest Waypoint and get back into the action.

11. Death

When a character dies, he has the option to release to a Waypoint. Just like the map traveling system, you can release to any Waypoint, just open your map and find the Waypoint you want. Whenever a character dies, one of his equipped armor items gets damaged. Once all items are in a “damaged” state one item will become unusable until repaired. Generally, the player has 6 lives, one for each armor item until an item gets destroyed. Still, there are repair vendors that can repair the broken items for a small fee.

12. Achievements

There are different types of achievements in the game, others track your entire progress, while some others track your progress each day or month. Regular achievements reward titles and ArenaNet points, which have no influence in the game, only for bragging rights.

Daily achievements are short and reward experience points. They reset each day.

Monthly achievements are more long-term achievements, that reward gold and experience points. They change each month giving new incentives each month for players.

13. Guilds

Just like in Guild Wars 1, when a player joins a guild, his whole account does as well. There is no begging to add one your alts in the guild. Also there are no alts showing on the guild roster to make the guild more “active” than it is. The Guild window offers as much information as possible, level, profession, race, crafting discipline rank, anything you might need to know about your fellow members is easily accessible.

Players can join many guilds but can only represent one of them. You can represent different guilds with different characters.

There is a complex system of guild leveling in the game, giving certain buffs to the guild or allowing the usage of the guild bank, a guild cape etc. In order to level up a guild aspect a special currency is used called influence. Guilds earn influence when members participate in Events. The more Guild members participating in each event, the more influence is gained per person.

14. PVP

There is structured PVP and World vs World vs World, however I'm not qualified to include them to my preview yet. My PVP experience is very limited so far.

Although from what I already played, it appears that the game is rather imbalanced and favors certain professions over others. I hope with all the positive feedback from the Beta events they will balance them out.

15. Dungeons

I've been to only one dungeon so far, the only one available during the Beta, called Ascalonian Catacombs. Dungeons can be played in two different modes. First it's the story mode which is easier and lower level, finishing the story mode allows access to explorable mode which is a lot harder than story mode. The explorable version offers new encounters, it's not the same dungeon but with higher level foes.

Dungeons reward special collectible items that can be traded for set items. These items are not powerful, they just offer a unique look.

Unfortunately that dungeon was very badly designed. Mobs hit ridiculously hard and have millions of hit points. I wasn't expecting a “walk in the park” but how is a Guild Wars 2 dungeon different to a dungeon in another MMO? They feel exactly the same, in a game that nothing else feels the same, except there is no Holy Trinity. What happened to the amazing Dungeons of Guild Wars 1 which were unique in so many ways. They offered a challenge, there were LOTS of mobs to fight, group sized, instead of fighting single “elite” mobs. The bosses weren't scripted encounters and some where very interesting. Illsudur is one of my favorite bosses (the whole encounter), Shiro / Glint were also good bosses compared to the AC bosses, they both had unique mechanics and a way to self heal instead of millions of hit points. Fendi Nin and Zoldark are far better Undead boss experiences than the “ghosts” in AC. What happened to the Guild Wars 1 dungeon team?

16. What I like

I must say I was expecting a bit more from the game, but I was still positively surprised by it. The game is well polished and offers a new and refreshing experience. It's only a matter of time to see if they keep the same amount of polish and uniqueness all over the game. I really hope they don't tone down the difficulty, finally we got a challenging MMO, or at least if they do, they should increase it on later zones.

However what I love the most in this game is that it finally breaths some fresh air to the genre of MMOs. Is it completely unique and original? No it's not, but it shows the way. The more people that are going to actively play this game instead of the “usual clones” the better for the future. It's a small step forward as a game, but a huge leap forward for the genre. I'm expecting Dynamic Events to be “normal” in later games, we already have Secret World to thank for that as well. I for one won't play a kill-10-rats MMO again, or a game that has quests with exclamation marks. There are SO many features that Guild Wars 2 does right, of course they could be done EVEN BETTER but it's a healthy start.

The game totally change what I WANT from MMO games in the future, going back is impossible for me now, I can only go forward. Even Blizzard will allow players from multiple servers to group up, because it's such an amazing feature. Everyone is talking about dynamic events these days and there is good reason for it. Quests that don't repeat on set timers will be the future.

The next time you play an MMO and your friends are on different servers, you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you see a long login queue you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you are on the wrong part of a quest chain you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you roll an alt and experience the exact same content you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time a ranged player “steals” your mob you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you are on a long boring trip to the next “fun” part, you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time another player “steals” you resource node, you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you run out of space on your character you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you realize it will take you hours to finish your crafting you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next you die by someone with better gear/more level you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

The next time you feel like a bot doing your job better than you (or you can play while sleeping) you would wish you were playing Guild Wars 2

17. The Future

What I want to see in the future... both in Guild Wars 2 expansions AND other games.

First, I want the mob respawn to end. I want developers to create a whole Monster Habitat instead of plain spawn points. The mobs shouldn't respawn on timer, instead there should be a whole active Monster Habitat created specifically for them. It is way better for immersion, than the current “timed respawn” we see in games.

Someone might ask, how do you “respawn” centaurs or other sentient creatures in a convincing way? It's easy really, just look at a game called Borderlands, there are indeed enemies spawning around the map, but what strikes me as perfect is that most of the sentient creatures, like Bandits, appear from inside buildings, tents, caves etc. Now imagine a camp of centaurs in Guild Wars 2, they would all spawn near some tents/barracks and then move to take position as guards instead of simply appearing from nowhere at their predefined guard post.

Second, remove that worthless and ambiguous feature in most RPGs called level. Completely. The Secret World removed player levels, but it has gear levels, not much of a difference again. In Guild Wars 2 we already have other ways to improve our characters, traits, weapon skills, skill challenges, WHY do we need LEVELS? Simple answer: because people want to see an “experience bar” moving forward to know that they are progressing. Well I don't, and it COULD be done in Guild Wars 2. Then there would be no need for deleveling either.... They could do it like in Guild Wars 1, level until a specific level, in Guild Wars 2 level 30 seems most appropriate as that's were you get your Elite Skill slot, and then STOP increasing your health/stats anymore. There is absolutely NO need for further fixed progression. Let the players improve by increasing their effectiveness and versatility instead of giving more and more hit points.

I already mentioned that Guild Wars 2 is a hybrid combat system and it does a perfect job as a hybrid system. Still, a system closer to Blade of Darkness would've been even better for me. Even MORE action. I know people would hate it (most ex-MMO players) but I would certainly appreciate an even more Combat-oriented system.

There is also the matter of traits. There was an EXCELLENT blog post, they removed it now, if anyone can post me a link I would appreciate it, explaining how the OLD trait system worked. Where you actually had to perform certain deeds to unlock traits. Instead, now we get a system that is far inferior (you just have access to all of them at once) it was only natural they added tiers because with the old system tiers wouldn't be necessary, obviously more powerful traits would've required more challenging/high level encounters so it would be balanced out. Somewhere along the way they switched to this ridiculous system we have now where you just select traits.

I liked the idea of having to perform certain deeds before getting a trait, I was waiting for something like that with the Perks in Skyrim, I was sadly mistaken. Imagine a system like the traits in Guild Wars 2 and the Perks in Skyrim (they achieve about the same functionality) instead of plain leveling you had to perform deeds to get them. Like the best “stealth” ability will come to someone who achieved grandmaster rank in the thieves guild (Skyrim), or a “Swordmaster” trait in Guild Wars 2 that you had to defeat solo various Swordsmen around the world to get, to prove that you are the best.

Finally, although I'm of the opinion that plot storylines are best left for single player RPGs, at least they could make a different system and group them together in chains. Instead of requiring certain levels before being able to do them, add a “lower entry level” and then the rest of the Plot chain will be of the same level. Once it is resolved a new quest chain will start with a higher level requirement.

I'm really sick of quests like “go save the hospital before the bandits burn it” and you can't go because you are low level, so while the bandits wait outside the hospital for the valiant hero to appear, before starting their job, he goes outside, feeds the cattle and fights centaurs... for a few days. And the bandits are still there waiting, and nobody cares.

I hope some will find this useful and informative. Peace.

Block the trolls, don't answer them, so we can remove the garbage from these forums


Novice Member

Joined: 3/19/04
Posts: 6382

6/12/12 3:19:44 PM#2

That was one heck of a post :) Thanks.


I just pre ordered the game yesterday, had decided not to follow it until just before release in order to minimize pre release/beta burn out. Since I have never played the original GW I was trying to figure some things out from the official forums and the Wiki but this cleared up a lot of my questions

I miss DAoC