This is actually a reaction post to episode 55 of TWIMMO where Gary talks about the GW2 panel at SDCC with Pokket and Mike B.
Yeah, I know this post is very late but I do hope you’ll read it anyway.
So you guys must be wondering, what has this got to do with whether ArenaNet is doing enough, and enough of what? These are good and valid questions and I’ll address those at the end. But for now, join me as I walk through possibly the most painful 25 minutes of my life as a GW2 fan.
I want to clarify beforehand that as much as I’m a GW2 fan, I don’t think I can be considered very hardcore because I tend to forget the source of my information and I only vaguely remember so-and-so saying such-and-such in some interview. I can’t compare to veterans like Izzie or Rubi from GuildCast where they have photographic memory where GW2 is concerned.
But I do scour the Internet for GW2 news though and relish it with as much delight as every fan out there. Hope I didn’t shoot myself in the foot, I just don’t want people jumping on the “he’s a fanboy so he obviously just blindly defends GW2” bandwagon.
Right… are we ready? So jump in and let’s talk some GW2!
Since Pokket and Mike seem to not have a grasp of the basic mechanics of GW2, I’m going to be nice and break it down for them.
So Pokket goes on to say, “Oh hey! RIFT has dynamic events too!” If you don’t fight the invasions, ultimately they’re going to take over the quest hub and you will have to fight to reclaim it. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m really not that familiar with RIFT so I don’t quite know how these invasions work, so I’m going to just take her word as it is.
She fails to realise that these quest hub invasions are very linear and are one-track type of events. They don’t branch off into different scenarios based on what the player do or don’t do. What I gather from what she said – if I’m mistaken, then obviously she’s doing a bad job of explaining RIFT’s game mechanics – is that the invasion comes, mobs takes over the quest hub, players charge in to do battle and regain control of the area. And we rinse and repeat.
But for GW2’s dynamic events, it undergoes several chains depending on how large the DE is and based on the success or failure of the event, it can go in different directions. It’s changing, it’s evolving and it’s not stagnant. And like every ANet staff has been preaching, the DEs have a persistent effect on the world and it has a productive result.
Compare “I saved the farmer’s field and he sells me watermelons and lucky rabbit’s feet” to “I saved the quest hub and hey, I have access to more quests“. Really Pokket?
And as Gary points out – god bless that gorgeous man for his sharp mind – the invasions will eventually reset if no one comes to free ye enslaved townfolks. Unlike GW2 where the DE will remain at the particular chain until someone comes to do something and it could be days, weeks or even months.
You’d think she’d be convinced by now right? Oh no… she’s like, “That’s where they’re taking it one step further…” Okay Pokket, I know you’re a big RIFT fan – you even have a poster behind you – but I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to define GW2 by RIFT’s boundaries, mmm’kay?
Like Jareth commented on the GW2Guru forum thread, “I could take the blue haired lady’s criticisms about repetition more seriously if she didn’t have a RIFT poster in the background.” Two words, J: Sing it!
The only decent query that was thrown out in the first 7 minutes was by Mike who was asking if the server reset (if there are any) would cause the events to reset. Which actually is a very fair and valid question. What I like about him is that he knows when to speak and not shoot his mouth off about everything and play the devil’s advocate at every game mechanic that Gary introduces. Maybe P could pick up a thing or two from him? I’m just saying…
The next concern P threw out was that “once you defeat it (the DE), eventually it’s going to reset… it’s not permanent”. Note to P: One, if you had bothered to try and read up on the basics of GW2, you would have noted that ANet constantly mentions that DEs are meant to have a persistent effect, not a permanent effect. Two, they did explain that if they’re going to create enough DEs to the point where you’ll never have to repeat a DE, they’ll need 10,000 developers (correct me if I’m mistaken), something humanly and financially impossible. Thank you very much.
And now we move on to her next critique which is the fact the DE gets “repetitious” and she gives the example of the centaur DE that Colin mentioned. Cliffsnotes version: Town is overrun, I take back the town, now we go to the centaurs and fight them to get our people back. She was worried that she might have to repeat the event several times because it’s such a simple DE and it resets fast to the point where she gets bored.
She also expresses her concern that players might have to grind on an event several times to reach the quota before they can move on to other zones.
While I do admit that these are legit queries, again I stand by the fact that had Miss P gone to brush up on her ANet/GW2 knowledge instead of spending all her time in the world that is NOT AZEROTH (and Tyria isn’t Azeroth too, why don’t you try it out next time huh?), she would have known that ANet’s philosophy is to take out the grinding factor in MMOs so they would firstly, never put you in a position where you will repeat the same DE on a very frequent basis and two, never make you grind on an event several times to reach the quota before you can hit the next zone.
The final thing that irked me was when she said that maybe the pirate event might result in some item/gear related reward for the players. It just showed me how ill-informed she was because ANet stressed (I’m starting to sound like a broken record) that they didn’t want to do that for fear of people manipulating/griefing the event to get to that particular chain for that particular reward.
I know such vidcasts are meant to spark healthy discussions and provide constructive criticisms but overall it just felt like a very contrived attempt to constantly question the genuinity of GW2 based on a very, very ignorant point of view. Which leads to my question: Is ArenaNet doing enough?
Is ArenaNet casting their net wide enough and educating gamers on GW2’s mechanics and their own philosophy and design goals? Because I felt that the overarching problem was the lack of awareness of the game’s mechanics and the design philosophy. Granted, it’s not completely ANet’s fault – heck I don’t even know if it’s their fault because GW2 is the only other highly hyped MMO besides SWTOR – because the guest speakers should have gone to brush up on GW2 news.
I’m not asking them to be know-it-alls like us but if you’re going to go on Gamebreaker TV and air your views to hundreds of people, it’s only respectful if you know what you are talking about. All the concerns and questions and worries were already answered in interviews, articles and blog posts months and months ago. All they had to do was just go to the website and read, it’s not really that difficult.
I guess that’s the major gripe I have about the episode and the speakers. I felt it was very unfair to go up on such a high profile platform and voice your unfounded concerns to would-be potential consumers who may not be familiar with GW2. And there was no one there to rebutt these concerns save for Gary but he wasn’t that familiar with GW2 as well as others would have been.
Am I taking it too personally? Maybe. But I think if you’re going to do something like that, be mindful and respectful of it. Note to Gary/Gamebreaker TV: Please, if you’re going to have GW2 in any future episodes, I would strongly urge you to invite Rubi because though she may be a fangirl, at least she knows what’s going on and is able to give a clear perception on GW2.
So what do you think, fellow GW2 fans? Do you think ArenaNet has done enough or do you think they should do more? Should Miss P take her words and put it where the sun doesn’t shine? Okay, I might be kidding on that one. Do you think we should ask Gamebreaker TV to make it compulsory to get Rubi on every GW2 episode? Sound off in the comments below!
– Written By Damagedself
Check out Episode 55 of Twimmo: http://www.gamebreaker.tv/this-week-in-mmo-55-wabbits/