Weekend Roundup: Guild Wars 2

This weekend’s been quieter than some on the MMORPG front, but the bulk of writing, discussion and debate reveals one thing: an awful lot of bloggers are still playing Guild Wars 2.

From NPC personalities to Arena.net’s sales tactics, it’s all here:

  • Dusty Monk writes a fascinating piece examining the new roles that replace the Holy Trinity in Guild Wars 2 dungeons“When ArenaNet said there was no trinity, what they meant is that the traditional trinity didn’t exist. Because there is still a trinity of roles, and there it is: Damage, Control, and Support. “
  • Klepsacovic writes explaining why he feels the Hearts system is far superior to conventional MMO quests” Furthermore, having many people helps average things out, so I can imagine that despite my obsession with shooting wasps, someone did eventually get around to fixing the pipes. Quests can use the trick of stacking, having a few quests that relate to the same area, but this doesn’t give the flexibility of wasp-killing vs. pipe-patching.”
  • Green Armadillo looks at a question that has a few people concerned – given that we don’t pay a subscription, how accountable will Arena.net and similar publishers be for what they do to or with player accounts?“We don’t have the data to tell whether bannings in Guild Wars 2 is actually more prevalent in other games since none of the studios routinely publicize such numbers, but one can certainly imagine that removing the subscription fee removes a financial incentive NOT to ban a customer. “
  • Azuriel still isn’t convinced by the Guild Wars 2 economy, and makes some good points in an admittedly somewhat pessimistic article on the subject“I do believe Guild Wars 2 brings some extremely nice innovations to the MMO formula. However, I am getting the distinct impression that other MMOs do not have these features precisely because of all the unintended consequences they bring down the line.”
  • Stubborn has a bit of a problem with the Sylvari and Human NPCs he’s met so far – they all appear to be bad guys (warning, spoilers)” It seems like all the NPCs I work with or against are bad. I won’t go so far as to say they’re evil, as some of their actions, like murdering a murder, are morally neutral, but they’re certainly not good.”
  • Syl applauds Arena.net’s reverse-psychology attitude to persuading players to buy items on the in-game shop“Of course they don’t just give away stuff for free. Well, they do – but not in the way one might think. They’re way more devious than that.”
  • Keen explains the feel of GW2 dungeons in a nutshell – which might have been intended to put us off, but had the opposite effect on me. The comments are fascinating too“I finally figured out how to explain dungeons in Guild Wars 2. Previously the best explanation I had was simple chaos and dodging. My guildmate has a better explanation: It’s like a WoW dungeon when the tank dies. “
  • And Tesh indulges in a great bit of creativity, coming up with Twitter-length backstories for every possible race/class combination“Norn Necromancer – Preparing heroic spot in afterlife for friends… by any means necessary.”

I’m fascinated to see how the Arena.net “exceed expectations of free stuff” strategy works out. I know some people in the Internet Marketing space have used the same technique to make really large amounts of money, so it’s not without precedent…

What do you think? Are dungeons chaos? Is the economy fine?

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GW2 – Dodging, Downlevelling, Friends and Gamification

It’s still full-on Guild Wars 2 mania in the blogosphere, and there’s some great writing coming out of it! Today, we’ve got a number of really interesting posts focussing on various aspects of the game – from guides to combat for the dodging-impaired to a contrarian view of down-levelling…

  • Pewter looks at Guild Wars 2’s social options, and wonders why Massively Multiplayer games don’t pay more attention to social aspects of gameplay“Currently, Guild membership is held at the account level, but active participation in a guild is controlled by the player at character level. This means that choosing to Represent your PvP guild while you arse around in the Mists results in cutting off your access to the guild chat of your RP or PvE guild.”
  • Azuriel ponders Arena.net’s fascinating decision to refuse to sell more copies of GW2 right now“This sort of news story can probably be a pretty good Rorschach Test for people. Another sign of of ArenaNet’s “dream team” working outside the box? Baffling corporate hubris? Turning cash-strapped business model lemons into delicious PR lemonade?”
  • Tobold found the downside of downlevelling – when GW2’s ingenious downlevelling system levelled him below the monsters” I was level 8, but had been downleveled to 6 for that instance. But most of the mobs I was fighting were level 8! Why the heck am I being downleveled so that mobs of my level end up outleveling me?”
  • Flosch considers GW2’s Vista mechanic (and TSW’s Investigations) – replacing the old school of “climb if you like the view” – in light of all this talk of gamification“This one might be good, because it broadens the appeal of a part of the game. It might also be bad, because the original intent (get up the mountain, enjoy the view) is lost, and because more obsessive achievers might feel they have to complete an arduous task they don’t enjoy just to tick more items off their list.”
  • And Syl writes a really useful guide to getting your head out of the WoW combat mindset, and into GW2’s dodging, weapon-switching, reviving dynamic conflicts“Level-inappropriate mobs and bad pulls aside, the majority of all my deaths in GW2 so far can be attributed to not moving and dodging enough.”

How’s Guild Wars 2 treating you?

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