Definitely about Guild Wars 2

The Pot is being stirred by Johnnie while Hugh takes a short break.

There doesn’t seem to be any really dominating GUILD over-arching GUILD WARS theme in the blogosphere right now OHMYGOD GUILD WARS. I’ve picked out a few IT’S NEARLY HERE IT’S NEARLY HERE disparate posts for you, nevertheless.

So, being slightly less facetious for a second, let’s take a look at some of our favorite bloggers’ takes on Arena.net’s new flagship game.

Chris at Game By Night is excited, despite having missed a lot of the hype so far:

“I missed out on the rising tide of excitement and was left with only myself to hype with. For what I gain in mystery, I lack in the infectious giddiness that’s come to typify launches up to this point. I am excited, there is no doubt about that, but I also recognize that Guild Wars is just a game like any other; it will be fun, I’ll make and play with friends, and I’ll feel satisfaction having spent my time there. Strangely, even knowing so little, it’s like going into Christmas morning already knowing what presents await you under the tree.”

Syl at Raging Monkeys is trying to manage expectations:

“How long will it all last us? I don’t know and frankly don’t care. GW2 doesn’t have to fascinate me for 5 years straight, I am no longer that gamer. Neither did I ever consider this the big, all-changing MMO revolution but as The Cynical Brit rightfully points out towards the end of his final beta conclusion, “a next evolutionary step”. A very important step at that – one that may impact on much to come. I care for this genre, I care for GW2 to be a solid success which I’m confident it will be.”

At ScaryWorlds, Scary gives a full Guild Wars 2 review (based on the beta), arriving at a very positive conclusion:

“I’ve spent months and months playing Guild Wars 2 and it’s fair to say I am ready to review it properly. I understand it was in beta, but I’m not reviewing the condition of the game, I’m reviewing the overall feel of it. Even with an unfinished product and it changing builds rapidly every week, I’ve nailed down every aspect of the game perfectly to get a perfect score that quantifies GW2 at launch and beyond.”

So there we go. It’s time. The most significant MMO launch for many moons is finally upon. Let’s hope it lives up to all our expectations. We’ll see you, blurry-eyed and sleep-deprived and grinning like maniacs, in a few days’ time.

Let us know your early experiences of Guild Wars 2 in the comments!

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New games, big and small

Hugh is taking a well-earned rest, so the Pot is being stirred by Johnnie for a few days.

We seem to be at a turning point for MMOs right now. With the next WoW expansion cresting the hill, Guild Wars 2 on it’s way as well, and all the excitement over alternatives such as The Secret World and City of Steam, we MMO fans are spoilt for choice. More significantly, perhaps, each of the MMO creators is really upping their game, with even the smaller indie games offering unique bits of gameplay unrivaled by the big AAA titles.

As one might expect, the blogosphere is ripe with discussion.

“… for a browser game and that little loading time, the game intro looked very impressive. That impression stayed with me for the rest of my test. Of course, you cannot compare City of Steam with dedicated game engines with gigabytes of local assets. But I was still impressed by the visual quality. Loading screens between zones rarely kept me for longer than 5-10 seconds, and only once or twice did I have problems interacting with objects or NPCs right after a zone change; canceling and retrying solved this consistently.”

“… this may be the future of the genre. Perhaps not City of Steam specifically, but here is an indie developer doing its best to craft an MMO on a shoestring budget in a world of AAA companies getting 38 Studio’d. And what is impressing me here is that the “nightmare scenarios” we tell ourselves in the blog world might not actually be that bleak. I no longer feel that it has to be $50+ million budgets or bust. Whether it is City of Steam or another indie offering, I am now convinced the possibility exists.”

“Project Zomboid is a top-down (isometric I think it’s called), zombie-survival game with retro-graphics that assumes, from the start, that you will die. When, and how is up to you, but you will die. It’s a zombie apocalypse and they will only increase in numbers. The power will fail, food will spoil, medicine will run out. You will get bored, depressed, anxious, frightened, and even lonely. And then you will die. Sound’s pretty cheery!”

  • Keen at Keen and Graev is concerned over GW2’s streamlined PvP model, and whether the desire to cater to high-level eSports will adversely impact the rest of the playerbase.

“World vs. World is teetering on the edge of greatness and short-term intrigue. The history of this industry shows that it doesn’t take much for a MMORPG company to cater to the extremely popular, public, and vocal community rallying around the sPvP type of gameplay. If sPvP becomes more popular than WvW, which could EASILY happen, what will happen to WvW?”

Finally, don’t miss the chance for free stuff: the Nerdy Bookahs are giving away a couple of Guild Wars plushies. All you have to do is submit your best MMO scenery screenshot. If LOTRO is more your thing, head over to A Casual Stroll To Mordor where you can win a Legendary Edition Riders Of Rohan code.

What will be your new game of choice? Let us know in the comments.

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Exciting new games, but which one to choose?

Hugh‘s away for a few day’s break, so the supply teacher is taking the class again – over to Johnnie.

Even though I love gaming, and MMOs in particular, I’m pathetically traditional in many ways. WoW is my game of choice, and has been for several years. I’ve dipped my toe into other gaming waters occasionally, but I’ve been pretty happy with Azeroth. Recently, though, I’ve found myself logging on less and less, and eyeing up other, sexier games with a lustful glare. That’s why it’s so nice that other bloggers are writing about their experiences in non-Azerothian locations: I can see what I’m missing.

  • Zubon at Kill Ten Rats has a great general post about how many games force you to be a bystander rather than a participant. This has become an increasingly big problem for me in WoW (perhaps exemplarized by the “PCs do all the work and Tirion goddam Fordring takes all the credit” storyline at the end of Wrath). Call me crazy, but I want to be the one who kills the bad guy. I don’t want to be the sidekick who stands at the back, cheering on the NPC hero as he gets to kill the bad guy. As Zubon says

“I’ll take fighting at the side of the Fellowship and being second banana there, and I’ll take being the hero of the B-plot while the Fellowship saves the world. I’ll not take being second banana in the B-plot.”

It’s a really great post, and eloquently sums up many of the frustrations I’ve had with recent gaming storylines.

“Maybe it was Tera’s action combat, or perhaps a general ennui with the genre as a whole, but I couldn’t find any spark of enthusiasm for Rift whatsoever. … The game was still as pretty as ever, but again, the incredible fidelity of a game such as Tera, whether you can stomach its design decisions or not, leaves other MMOs looking like so much aged tarnished brass.”

  • Guild Wars 2 is the game that I’m really excited about. If I’m honest, I wasn’t really too enthused at first, but after researching the game for a few of the Melting Pot’s info posts I’m totally sold. It’s been great to read accounts of the various beta weekends. Both Ravious and Hunter’s Insight have reviews of the latest changes. GW2 is looking excitingly pretty and pretty exciting!

  • GW players, incidentally, might be interested to hear that qq & pewpew are giving away 300k of in-game gold. All you have to do is reblog the competition stating what you’d do with the cash.

All of this is completely immaterial, though. I know exactly what game I’m going to be playing next. Mechwarrior Online didn’t appeal to me at all … until I saw Razer’s concept for a dedicated hardware controller. Woah, boy. It will be mine. Oh, yes. It will be mine.

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