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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Guild Wars 2: Reaction to Underwater Combat

Posted by BillMurphy Friday June 24 2011 at 1:05PM
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It's kind of funny how we are all sitting in front of our monitors today, drooling over the simple reveal that Guild Wars 2 is going to have combat underwater... Gasp! But really, so am I.

I just read Jonathan Sharp's blog on underwater combat and exploration in ArenaNet's next big game and I am as impressed as always with their ingenuity and foresight. At first when I read Carolyn's articles in the wee hours of the morning before passing them to Suzie for publishing at noon today, I don't think the premise really hit me. I figured, how many games have done that already? If an MMO doesn't allow water exploration, we tend to get the pitchforks out and begin our march. But then we began to hear more and more about the new feature as the day rolled on.

This isn't just killing some pirates off the coast of the Wetlands while floating in a 3-axis space. This is pulling on a breathing device ( which I hope has an animation). This is a whole new way to stave off dying, a whole new set of underwater-specific spells and skills. This is worlds and cultures to explore under the surface of that satin sheen. This is different sorts of weapons depending on your class and how you prefer to fight... I mean who doesn't want to use a harpoon gun and chase a white whale in Tyria? Heck, even the AOE spells now adhere to the total 3D nature of being under water.

I'm really finding it hard not to get more and more excited for this game. I'll try my best not to go all fanboy here as I know that's one of my weaknesses, but I never thought I'd look forward to fighting underwater in an MMO. I mean, I absolutely hated the underwater temple in Ocarina of Time. I hate all Mario levels involving octopi. I loathed Ecco the Dolphin. But this? This I want to immerse myself in. I want to go all Kevin Costner in GW2... but you won't catch me drinking my own pee anytime soon so leave that part of Waterworld out please.

PS. DUNGEONS? Click below then pinch me!


ormstunga writes:

I've pretty much had the same experience, underwater combat sucks. I have yet to see an underwater area or zone that wasnt just a huge hassle. Looks cool for about 5minutes, then just yawn. Lets see how it turns out this time =)

Fri Jun 24 2011 1:25PM Report
Aarinak writes:

I love that ArenaNet is taking their time and providing what seems to be a much more polished title than most MMO's released today.

Fri Jun 24 2011 1:34PM Report
HurricanePip writes:

I have nothing against GW, but underwater combat is basically just like any other z-axis system, which CoH did better in '04 than any subsequent MMO.  Even WoW doing flying mounts in TBC was lackluster because you couldn't interact/fight with anything while on the mount.  Nothing about this excites me and if this is a big deal, the MMO genre has officially jumped the shark and become stale.

Fri Jun 24 2011 1:54PM Report
MiserySignal writes:

I always thought that EVERY underwater levels in any game were always the worst parts. Hope they know what they are doing...

Fri Jun 24 2011 1:57PM Report
eric_w66 writes:

EQ1: Plane of Water. Spell fizzles. Knockback due to melee.

Pain and suffering........

Fri Jun 24 2011 5:13PM Report
Zeroxin writes:

The only problem I have with Underwater areas is the claustrophobic feeling I get when going through tight places. Yes I get so immersed in my games that when my character is in a tight spot I actually feel it myself and that can make things awkward for me but I can get over it.

Fri Jun 24 2011 7:54PM Report
bumfman writes: LoL @ SQUEEEE!! that sounded so high pitched it made my ears ring. I am Squeeing for this game too lol. Sat Jun 25 2011 4:40AM Report
daltanious writes:

I just hope only thing GW2 shares with GW is "GW". :-)

Sat Jun 25 2011 10:56AM Report
fundayz writes:



Did you even read the article? Hell, did you even read this very blog post?

"This isn't just killing some pirates off the coast of the Wetlands while floating in a 3-axis space. This is pulling on a breathing device ( which I hope has an animation). This is a whole new way to stave off dying, a whole new set of underwater-specific spells and skills. "

It is NOT just normal combat +Z-axis, there are:

1. Different Weapons. Shooting a bow or swinging a 2H sword doesn't make sense and Anet knows this.

2. Different Skills. Underwater skills take advantage of the 3D space(e.g. big net, bubble that forces enemies up, boulder that sinks enemies down).

3. Different "downed" mechanic. It doesn't make sense for people to fall down underwater so combat uses a "drowining" mechanic instead.

4. Amphibious species have different skills for land and water combat.


Sat Jun 25 2011 1:28PM Report
TotTWriter writes:

Honestly, watching the above linked 20 minute video of underwater combat laid my fears to rest. I've heard lots of crappy things about z-axis combt in other games, be it underwater or flying. 

If you actually look at what is on offer in that footage - even in one lake - it's pretty darn impressive. This isn't claustrophobic, fogged-out gloom. It is clearly underwater but it is just as open and beautiful as any other area of the game. And it seems to really make the most of the 3D space, rather than just have you hovering in one spot seinging swords more slowly than you would on land. Also loving the complete absence of fireballs and conventional arrows underwater.

Sat Jun 25 2011 3:56PM Report
BlahTeeb writes:

I guess it's probably not that interesting if you don't know much of the mechanics in GW2.

Personally, just having unlimited time under water and more realistic weapons/attacks make underwater great already.

All the other things like sinking or floating or sphericle AoE are just bonuses. Not to mention the drowning state, the vast races that are specific to underwater, or how mobs have two sets of attacks for land and water too.


But if you didn't know about those mechanics, then yea, GW2's underwater seems pretty bland.

Sat Jun 25 2011 5:43PM Report
jisatsujikan writes:

Guild Wars 2 has underwater combat?

Better drink my own pee.

Sun Jun 26 2011 12:49PM Report
kjempff writes:

And underwater combat is added to the checklist.. Is it needed ? who cares, wow got it.

Anyways, just a personal taste, I have disliked underwater fights since my first experience with it in 1999 everquest. Maybe GW2 can actually make underwater fighting fun and not just annoying you never know :)

Mon Jun 27 2011 1:20PM Report
Tyrranosaur writes:

It looked very impressive, graphically (as I've come to expect) and I liked the little touches (spell effects seemed to bloom in water) but it still appears to suffer from "MMO reality" in which people appear to be able to dive with a sense of weightlessness, and otherwise function fairly normally underwater...I'll be curious to see footage of a more conventional warrior-type class. If I can play a warrior in GW2 who has to pull out a spear or harpoon when underwater to take advantage of thrusting attacks because swings just don't work, then color me impressed.

Fri Jul 01 2011 11:58AM Report
JRamos1982 writes:

Looks new and fresh gameplay.

Wed Jul 06 2011 7:44AM Report writes:
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