The Debate Over Guild Wars 2

A month in, and Guild Wars 2 is attracting plenty of controversy. Prominent bloggers are claiming that its end-game is lacking, whilst others are still loving the game. So, what’s going on, and will GW2 stay the course?

  • Syl writes a lengthy, well-considered article rounding up and commenting on the controversy, considering the MMO player mentality and MMORPG history back to Ultima Online” If there’s one universally defining aspect for this genre at all, it’s that MMO worlds are created to be lived in, rather than be played through. GW2 has some gamey aspects for certain but its clear lack of endgame and progression, its attempts at a “flat” gameplay experience maybe more alike to Skyrim, emphasize this very oldschool virtue.”
  • Syp writes at length on the social nature of Guild Wars 2, which has also taken some stick, saying that just because he’s not talking to other players doesn’t mean he’s not socialising with them“Guild Wars 2 reminds me of testimonies I heard from Journey. Not the band, that game where you played as a silent, anonymous character who would sometimes pair up with other silent, anonymous characters. People raved about how it made them feel connected to another person, even though there was a barrier of communication between them. “
  • And Windsoar also takes on the social aspects of Guild Wars 2, but she’s far less impressed with its social nature“The GW2 model, at least for outdoor auto-group type raiding doesn’t make me invest in others, which means I have less reason to want to talk to them, help them, or form relationships with them. As a result, I fail to see how we can say that the GW2 model encourages socialization. “

Personally, I’m enjoying Guild Wars 2 a great deal, for most of the same reasons that Syl cites – it’s a flat, open, highly explorable world, and the lack of rails makes it more appealing to me, not less. But I’m also playing very casually – I haven’t even hit level 30 yet. Would I find it as appealing as a hardcore player? I don’t know.

**What do you think? Is GW2 succeeding in shaking up the genre, or failing at holding long-term appeal.