Everything to Everyone
Guild Wars 2may seem to have it easy, but there’s a tall task ahead of it. PvE and PvP have been major offerings for players in MMOs for years. Some games try to put more emphasis on one type of gameplay over another, and that sometimes makes potential players look elsewhere for their gaming needs. To me it seems that a game should try to have an equal offering in both game modes so they don’t push players away. ArenaNet did a pretty decent job with offering some great storytelling in PvE and extremely competitive PvP for players in the original Guild Wars. But Guild Wars 2 is going to offer much more. In fact, it’s an awesome fusion of both modes that makes players want to take part in both, which really opens up the full game to everyone.
I love to play both cooperative and competitive gameplay. I usually play through a lot of the PvE experience before trying out PvP. Once I reach that point, I play more PvP because I get hooked once I’ve built my character. Then eventually after a few weeks it balances out. It’s going to be very different in Guild Wars 2. Both modes feel very similar to each other with the focus on team work and keeping you surrounded in a familiar environment. It’s all about keeping everyone happy playing the game.
So how do you please everyone? You have to balance out the content of each mode, and that means you have to do more than just add more maps to PvP. In reality that’s only part of the solution. ArenaNet has pulled off a pretty neat trick and I think it’s going to change the way some players look at how they play the game. We all know that the game was going to have bonuses for players for controlling areas and win in WvW. This is a great way to make competitive player even more intense, but does it bring the PvE players in to try gaining those rewards?
I have a few friends that aren’t fans of PVP and for years I’ve been trying to get them to try out PvP. The main issue they seem to have is that they feel it isn’t very user friendly. In Guild Wars 2 they made the process pretty simple. When you enter the Mists, you merchants who offer you pieces of PvP equipment. You then get to choose where you’d like to combat, or just enter WvW from a gateway. You can also choose an option that places you on a random map “competitive PVP” mode like Battlegrounds/Warzones/et al. Other games let you do this but what I think will really appeal to more casual players is that it feels more like what we experience in PvE. Merchants and other NPCs telling us what our options are will feel more familiar than static windows. While some players do prefer those UI menus, others just need a bit more immersive experience like that of the PvP world in the Eternal Battlegrounds.
Some design makes PvP an easier experience to get into for casual players, but what makes PvE appealing to those who prefer competitive play? Well part of it would be to take advantage of the bonuses you would get to see how they affect you and the other players in your world. The thing that will really bring competitive players to PvE is the cooperative feel that you find in both modes. ArenaNet has done a lot to make players focus on teamwork. I found that if you try to be a lone wolf in any form of PvP and PvE you will just get stomped on. They not only made things comfortable for casual players, but also comfortable and familiar for competitive players as well.
The events in PvE are also going to be a real draw for the PvP players. The events and dungeons have a difficulty level that will interest everyone. It’s the thrill of conquering a great challenge that appeals to any type of player no matter how you like to play. The feeling is similar to taking a keep or fort in PvP.
By making things more approachable for casual players, and brining the thrill of victory we get from PvP to PvE, players will probably fall out of their stereotypes and try new things. Guild Wars 2 makes things so easy. The transition from one play type to the other will keep players comfortable and ArenaNet understands how important that is. It has me really excited as I have never been able to get a large group of people to all try PvP at once, forming a team of supreme awesomeness. That won’t be a problem anymore, and the best part is we will be rewarded when we switch back over PvE! I wish this game was out now!