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62. Re: Guild Wars 2 Stress Test Today Aug 3, 2012, 08:47 NewMaxx
NKD wrote on Aug 3, 2012, 00:43:
People saying "I had fun in the last test." aren't called on to say specifically what they liked, and they don't often elaborate. I can't speak for others, but the reason I don't call for more detail is because I know the reason someone likes or dislikes something can be hard to put into words. I enjoy WoW, but disliked Rift, which is incredibly similar and even has a lot of features I wish WoW had. I'd have a hard time explaining why I dislike Rift. It just doesn't do it for me.

As one of the guys who said I "liked" Guild Wars 2 during the test without a lot of explanation, I can only say that I didn't feel the need to defend it with an essayed argument. I'll stay general but give you more of an idea, though: it did a lot of things "right," although many of these were done or tried in other MMO's, but often not as well. It's different enough and combines enough of these ideas to be worth my attention.

The experience to me felt very relaxed if I wanted to just drop in for 30 minutes and do stuff with a random friend who might not be at the exact same spot I am. Although the game was confusing at first, I found the underlying non-linearity to allow more flexibility. I have a lot of RPG and MMO friends who absolutely don't get Skyrim's open-endedness, for example, who feel more at home with being told everything. On the other hand, I felt Guild Wars 2 had a nice "completionist"-friendly setup that also vibed similar to that open idea.

Level matching, cooperation, etc., were also all nice, but again, a departure from what a lot of people expect in MMO's. Keep in mind I got a lot of my ex-WoW friends into the test, many who played other MMO's and are RPG fans, and half of them came away uninterested. One of the largest reasons, beyond the "non-linearity/confusion" I mentioned above, was the fact they didn't like feeling forced to cooperate, even if the game is very soloable (although you could compare it to GW1 with some deficiency in that regard).

So, again, as I said in my first post, it's a matter of managing expectations. I never come into an MMO expecting a revolution, because it's not going to happen. It doesn't happen pretty much anywhere in a set genre because people are full of crap when they say they want something new, and what they really expect simply isn't achievable. That's not to say developers shouldn't promise and try, but again, expectations must be managed.

Long story short, I approach it like it was any other $50-60 game I'd buy, and judge it by that. By that token this game would be better judged versus Skyrim in terms of hours than anything else, although this is multiplayer. Not surprising that Bethesda wants to cash in on the combination, but if it did, I'd expect something like Guild Wars 2, which is fine by me. I don't mean this literally but rather as a practical example of how the market actually works.

It remains fair to compare the action elements, skills, PVP, etc., to other MMO's, though. In that regard, this on the whole brings nothing to the table other than a new mixture of old and new elements. That's fine by me...I don't mind being able to get only a few months out of that, if it comes to it. I understand those who expected more and find this underwhelming, though, but they need to temper their expectations while knowing what to ask for next time!

This comment was edited on Aug 3, 2012, 08:57.
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