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Worth the Wait

David North Posted:
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Wow, what a weekend!  I can’t believe it’s over.  I’ve spent every spare moment playing ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2, since I’m a lucky person with the 3 day head start, and I’m loving every second of it.  But I’m still in a bit of shock.  I still can’t believe that the wait is over.  It’s been years and years of waiting, and these days it seems a bit odd for a developer to have so many years to make a game.  Honestly, it’s the way games should be developed.  A rushed game is really a waste of the developer’s time, and the player’s money.  ArenaNet has had a unique opportunity to work on Guild Wars 2 until it was actually done.  They wanted the world to receive a game that was a true evolution to the MMO genre, and in this fan’s opinion: it is and more.

So is the wait worth it?  I’m sure we have all played a game, MMO or not, that had a rushed development, causing you an overwhelming amount of disappointment.  It could be glitchy animations, poor graphics, and disappointing endings.  But no matter what it is, it’s unacceptable.  ArenaNet isn’t known for disappointing their fans, and they didn’t want to start now. 

I’ve been playing almost nonstop.

It’s clear that ArenaNet has put time into making their game beautiful from a visual standpoint.  It’s what I do for a living, so let me approach it from that angle.  It takes a lot of time go from the concept stage to modeling.  If you rush it, your art for every element in a game wouldn’t fit together.   ArenaNet has taken time to create a huge amount of lore to build their visual look on.  They even spent time doing paintings just to figure out a mood for their visual style.  I’m really jealous!  I’ve never gotten to do that!  There are paintings that didn’t even make it to the final stages; it’s like they got to paint for fun!  But look at the awesome results it’s produced.  The actual game itself looks like an interactive painting.

If you don’t take the time to get a look for your game properly developed, you could have designs that contrast too much.

With rushed development you end up just taking another game’s design and switching the visuals, and changing the name of features, just so you could call it a “unique” game.  ArenaNet has taken the time to play games and look at what makes the genre fun, but also what makes the genre a pain to play.  Over the past couple years they spent time trying to fix these issues, creating whole new ways to play.  Without the proper amount of time, Guild Wars 2 would just be another basic MMO game that we’ve already played for several years. 

I hate quests and storylines that don’t make sense, and are just different versions of storylines that I’ve already played through earlier in the game.  One quest I played in a game, and hated more than anything I’ve ever experienced, was collecting piles of dirt.  Here the world is plagued with a great evil, but my task as a hero is to collect dirt.  How does that make any sense?!  ArenaNet has taken plenty of time to make the story behind quests in the “Personal Story” and in the dynamic events make sense.  Some even run into each other, with multiple possible endings. There hasn’t been a quest that I’ve played yet that didn’t have a story behind it, and didn’t make my character feel, heroic.  I felt like my character was making a difference.  It keeps you immersed, and that’s what a game should do.

ArenaNet has listened to its players in the past.  It’s one of the reasons the original Guild Wars was so successful.  Listening to your players is a lot more than just throwing up a Facebook page and throwing some updates on it every once and a while.  ArenaNet has used forums to hear what their players have to say.  By not taking the time to listen to us, they wouldn’t know what we like or dislike.  They wouldn’t know what we expect, and what we’ve never experienced before in an MMO.  

Time to go forge some legacies.

Time is a developer’s number one tool.  If every developer had enough time to work on a game until it would actually be done, I feel that every game would be amazing, and worth checking out.  I think that we would see genres constantly evolving.   I believe ArenaNet has an amazing development team that has great talent and a ton of ideas.  But without time, you can’t utilize your talents, and you can’t try out new ideas.  If it means I have to wait for a good quality game to be released, then wait I shall.  It’s not without its bugs and troubles, but by and large the game feels great.  Congratulations to the ArenaNet team for launching Guild Wars 2.  It was worth the wait. Now… fix those Guild bugs, will you?


David North