Now that the 20th of February has come and gone and we’re all drunk on GW2 news – holy crap, *beta registration* much? – I’d like to toss out a thought I had about their Holy Trinity-less combat while I was introducing this epic game to my friends. Of course, my greater goal – besides bringing more revenue to ArenaNet – was to have people to play with so I wouldn’t be stuck swinging a lightsaber alone. Oops, that was the lonely, bitter, SWTOR-playing, side of me talking.
Like any hardcore GW2 fan out there, I started off with the three basic, but most common, factors on why you should be playing GW2 and combat definitely came into play. I smugly proclaimed to my friends: “ArenaNet aims to remove the Holy Trinity so you will never have to ‘LFG’ again if you want to run a dungeon. Why should the game make you wait to have fun instead of just letting you have fun? It doesn’t make sense.”
"I'll guard you. Let them come through ME first!"
I often wonder what life will be like after Guild Wars 2 is released.
Being an equally cold and boring day last week, I decided to load RIFT for the first time in months. It was the first day of their new “Lite” program (letting you play for free until level 20), so I figured, “Why not?” The patch took ten minutes and making a new character took twenty. Smooth as expected.
But when I loaded into the tutorial zone and played through it to the actual game itself, I started to wonder if I will ever truly be able to play a MMORPG like this again after Guild Wars 2.
My initial reaction to the multi-guild news from PAX-Prime was pretty harsh, I admit. Anybody who’s run a guild knows how stressful and consuming it is, and we know how players can be. So for many past and hopeful future leaders, they’ve met this news with mixed emotions, and most of us initially against it are in the vast minority. I feel a lot of it has to do with statistics; a very small number of gamers have been guild leaders in comparison to those who are simply guild members or guild-less to boot. A smaller number still have lead competitive / progressive functioning guilds, so it might be hard to understand why we feel the way we do.
I know how it is to be on both sides, as a member and a leader, and so I understand the relief that the majority of players feel. The multi-guild system is an interesting shift in power from leaders to members, perhaps humbling, but is it necessarily a good thing? Like it or not, guilds within games are a system of politics, and politics have proven that a true democracy, one in which the people are all equal in power, rarely works out well. Imagine a military in which all ranking officers have equal jurisdiction. Imagine a school where the students have the same say as teachers.
When it comes to things like this, hierarchy & bureaucracy are needed and more often than not the ‘citizens’ either don’t understand or resent the system by proxy, without realizing why and how it works. Of the games I’ve played, the most successful guilds always have a strict system of leaders and members. Some even borderline tyrannical (not that I agree with that sort of system). Strong leadership and loyalty to a cause is needed for success. And that kind of brings me to the central point:
Guild Loyalty – What & Why?
During PAX Prime, among all of the demo and PvP playing there was also a myriad of panels from the ANet team. Most of the information wasn’t strictly news, but we did manage to snag some tidbits about the upcoming guild system. Although it is far from complete, the biggest announcement was the structuring of guilds and their relation to accounts.
Here’s the set of relevant information:
– Account belongs to a guild
– One Character can represent multiple guilds
– Can choose to not represent a guild
– Earn influence with guild
– Perks: storage, ect… bought with influence.
– Use influence to make keeps harder to take in WvWvW
Those were pretty much the words I had in my mind as I read through the blog post by Jon Peters on what the new demo at Gamescom/PAX will encompass.
Instantly, he starts off with: As a company, we like to say that we iterate on our game—a lot.
And I was thinking of 2 things. First, this is going to be exciting. Little did I know how right I would be on so many levels. And second, ArenaNet, I love you guys, I really do, but you have to stop telling us in every single blog post that you guys “iterate and reiterate”. Seriously, it’s in almost every blog post. And frankly, I’m getting slightly annoyed.
Another PAX Prime has come and gone from our city of Seattle. Fortunately we managed to avoid the H1Nerd1 outbreak like we had a few years ago but as always, PAX can be a very draining experience. Just like Frenzy + Healing Signet: it’s awesome and hilarious, and probably will leave you wiped. There’s so much to see and so much excitement in the air! NCSoft has always had a large presence at PAX, typically having a large space with huge murals of the games on display along with tons of demo stations. While they did just announce their new MMO Wildstar, GW2 was really the star of the show; so much in fact that it had 3 different locations dedicated to it (Alienware and Logitech). Even with more floor space than probably any other single game aside from Halo, the Guild Wars 2 stations and booths were always completely packed for all three days, literally from opening to closing.
I’m having a hard time balancing how very full and exhaustingly interesting the second day of PAX was against how incredibly quickly it seemed to fly by.
I was incredibly lucky enough to not be bucking for a shirt or a party pass by the time day 2 rolled around, which meant that while I was far from the first person to the booth (I’m guessing it was closer to number 200 or so), I was one of the first people to the demo stations themselves. This means my day started off right off the bat with a spin through the high-level asura engineer.
It’s been mentioned that some classes, like the guardian and the engineer, can take a bit more finesse and mastery to play to their fullest extent than other, possibly more straight-forward, classes. From my experience, and the experience of a few other fans I spoke with, that’s very much the case. I enjoyed the engineer, but I was never expecting it to be my favored class anyway, and I think it’d take a while longer playing the game to get really comfortable with the profession. That said, I did very much enjoy my time in the land of flamethrowers and equipment packs.