Oh Guildwars, how you disappointed.
There were so many good things about it, most notably the visuals, but also the interesting quests, fun combat, an innovative henchman system, cool spell-effects and general polish. For the time, all of these virtues seemed great when held up to WoW’s cartoony, cutesy style.
So what was the problem?
Well, it comes down to this. When I explore a world I kinda want a world in my world. And this was GW’s biggest problem. Everything was an instance. Everything. Locations, quests, exploration, PVP, bossfights, all of it. Yes, all of that was clearly intentional. But precisely the opposite of what I want in a “Massively” multiplayer online RPG. This design decision obviously gave developer ArenaNet cost-savings. It solved continuity problems within a world of shared play, which was a common criticism levelled at the popular MMORPGs of the time. But without a contiguous world to explore, filled with people and places and surprises, it just felt terribly lonely.
And that was it. Constant loading screens and player hubs were simply not what I was looking for in my life. I moved on.
And so, it would seem, has ArenaNet.
I recently happened upon something or other mentioning something or other about Guildwars Two. I remember supressing a yawn. My interest in anything Guildwarsish would be coloured by my original disappointment. But nonetheless, I had a look. And within a short while, discovered something shocking, interesting.
Guildwars Two looks like it’s an actual MMORPG!
Excited so far? Well, I’ll keep goin’. Not only does it look like an honest-to-goodness world, but that world looks freakin’ awesome! Watch this vid for proof :
Aside from the clever blending of ArenaNet’s always-gorgeous concept art into a flythrough trailer, some of the key points from the developer blogs yield these tidbits…
- GW2 is a persistent world
- Will incorporate event-based public adventures
- Implements true 3D environments and physics
- And… the elimination of the stale healer-tank-dps silliness
From these points alone, together with the conceptual feel of the original, doesn’t it sound better? Doesn’t it sound like the game they should have made in the first place? Hindsight aside, I’m all tingly about it. Guildwars had a lot going for it, but it’s great to see they’re looking to address its predecessor’s main failings. Mix that into a game with some intelligence and innovation, and it sounds like win. I’m hopeful.
Follow ‘em on FB, I did.