We've heard a lot of naysayers making outlandish claims about ArenaNet's upcoming MMO, but do they actually make sense? Find out, as Gazimoff takes a closer look at the most common doubts.
There’s a strange new MMO that’s hitting the streets later this year, and it’s like nothing else we’ve played before. There’s no dedicated tanking or healing, so combat looks completely different. It doesn’t have any endgame raiding, with everything revolving around PvP combat. It doesn’t even require a monthly subscription in order to play.
You’ve probably heard us talking about how Guild Wars 2 breaks the traditional MMO rule set, but doesn’t that mean it’s setting itself up to fail? ArenaNet doesn’t believe so, and for once we’re inclined to agree with them. The choices they’ve made actually make sense for the game that they’ve built, even though sometimes it’s not immediately obvious. I mean, why does end-game begin at level one?
We’ve done a bit of a thought experiment here at ZAM, collecting the top five most common arguments against Guild Wars 2. We’ve then applied intense scrutiny to these arguments before pulling them apart like delicious cake, all for your pleasure. See which ones stand up to our analysis and which ones crumble like the finest chocolate sponge. Grab yourself a plate as we dig in but remember: no leaving crumbs.
1 - I don’t like PvP!
All right, I understand. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell you how great WvW is, there are some of you out there who will still say you don’t like it because it’s PvP. I get it. I’m not a big fan of PvP myself, particularly one-on-one duels or small arena battles. This is mainly because I’m crap at it and I’m a bitter loser. I’ve lost one too many keyboards that way, and MMO gaming keyboards aren’t cheap.
Here’s something important: you don’t have to PvP. Seriously. You can spend your entire time immersed in questing, events, dungeons and more.
If you’re paranoid that you’ll run out of content in a week there are two things you need to know. Firstly, unless you’re pulling a no-sleep-till-80 binge it’ll probably take you about 4 weeks to climb to the level cap. Secondly, you won’t have completed all of the quests, events and dungeons out there, all of which are still worth doing.
Outside of your core weapon skills, all of your additional abilities require skill points to purchase. You gain some skill points simply by leveling, which is enough to buy a set of skills for most situations. But changing skills requires a trip to the trainer to reset, which takes time. If you want to buy every skill out there you’re going to need to hunt down the various skill challenges dotted around the world.
Forgetting the dungeons, the renown quests and the world events for a moment, there’s still the Personal Story for your character to work through. If you’re interested in the lore of Tyria and how your character fits into it, you’re going to be chasing this down to the exclusion of almost everything else. If you want an adventure that’ll take you beyond your homeland to dangerous locations and forgotten shores, this is what you’ll want to do.
2 - There’s no raiding/PvE endgame!
Actually, there is. It just takes a bit of lateral thinking to find it. Guild Wars 2 uses a system called Dynamic Level Adjustment (DLA) to make sure that the content you’re experiencing is challenging to you. It does this by dropping your character down to an appropriate level when you’re out questing or completing dungeons, or boosting you up when you step into World versus World (WvW) or PvP.
So, if you’re going to be using the same skills in the same way if you’re out questing or in a dungeon, and DLA means you can’t just zerg content, you don’t really need to be at level cap (80) or have specially tailored level cap content in order to truly test your skill. You can find it anywhere in the game where group combat takes place.
After that, it just becomes a case of which style you prefer. If it’s the large scale fights then there’s a bunch of world bosses out there just waiting for you. If it’s challenging dungeons packed with loot then the exploration mode dungeons are what you need. And because you’re playing characters and not roles, there’s none of the “find a tank or healer” syndrome that other MMOs suffer from. If you want in on a group, it’s because you know how to play. Not because of some high-demand role.
If it’s just the feeling of being in a guild and working on something together that floats your boat, then you’re in luck. Everything you do in Guild Wars 2 contributes toward your guild’s Influence, allowing it to buy permanent upgrades and temporary buffs. As long as you’re not standing in the middle of Divinity’s Reach watching the sun rise and fall, you’re making a contribution. Plus, if you want those really big guild moshes there’s always WvW.