Those who know me know I’ve done my fair share of ragging about the negative things in this game, and heavens know there are a few: Scarlet is a failure as a character, Ascended having higher stats than exotic is literally the worst thing that ever happened to this game, Rangers are sad mess, and time gating can go take a long walk off a short cliff… Preferably somewhere in the heart of the sun…
What I, and many other people, haven’t done enough, in my view, is spend some time talking about all the things this game does right.
That’s right. You see, despite all of my ragging and complaining, this is still, by far, the best MMO I’ve ever played. In fact, I only bother making gigantic essay posts about this game because it matters to me, because this is the only MMORPG I actually still play. All the rest I looked at and said “kitten it, not worth it”. I didn’t type pages of what was wrong with them and how I thought they could be fixed, I turned my back and walked away because they simply weren’t relevant.
For all the wrongs I can point to in this game, I’m still playing. I’m still here. And I’m hanging around for all the things this game does right. And if there’s one thing my college degree taught me, and there is – there are a lot actually…but that’s another story, is that it’s important to give someone feedback about what they’re doing wrong… But equally important to give them feedback about what they’re doing right.
So without further to do, I bring you, everything I think Guild Wars 2 has done, or keeps doing, right.
1 – It is the first MMO I’ve ever played where I want to hang around people from my “team”.
I can not stress how important this change was to get me into playing the game. This isn’t just “removing PvP from PvE” (i.e.: PKing). I appreciate that, but many other MMOs offer “non-PK” servers. What I mean is that this is the first MMO I’ve ever played where I don’t mind when someone else comes into the same place I am… In fact I welcome it. You see, in most other MMOs when you see someone, someone that’s supposed to be on your faction, you are now competing with that person. You’re competing for loot, for exp, for quests… Despite being social games by nature, most MMOs reinforce anti-social behaviour by making social play undesirable – you lose experience, loot, quest pieces… GW2 changed all of this in such a colossal manner that I was completely blown out of my skull.
For the first time, I wasn’t trying to “defend my turf” from my own allies! I was happy that people joined the same space as me! We talk! We have social experiences! I’m not trying to get them to go away, I’m enjoying their company (in as far as I enjoy the company of any living being really) because their presence is only positive (as a general rule at least)!
This is one of the major changes that “broke” other MMOs for me. I never liked the older systems, but now I can’t go back. I just can’t. It’s like driving a Ferrari for a year then being asked to trade it for an old, 3rd hand, Fiat Punto, with the steering slightly off… Can’t do it.
2 – Quests
“Man, I love running up to an NPC, going through inane text, accepting a quest, then running around doing the same thing every time, and then running all the way back to deliver it!”
- No one ever
You know what they say: “Hindsight is always 20/20”. In retrospect there is no reason why quests were done the way they were. It should have been obvious… And yet, it took GW2 to change it.
It’s one of those things GW2 broke for me in more traditional MMOs. Not only does GW2 move away from the tired old routine of “run to NPC, skip text, do quest, run back to NPC – often on the other side of the world”, but it also managed to break one of the oldest issues in MMOs – Variety in quests. Sure, most of the hearts in the world can be done by “killing X amount of creature Y”, but that’s perfectly fine given that they all give you alternatives. Sure, you can be a walking genocide if you want… But you can help farmers grow crops. You can catch rabbits. You can disable land mines on a busy road. You can play “golem chess” or try to win the affection of easily impressionable youth! You can do so many things more than simply killing a certain number of creatures… And you do as much of them as you want! You can start a quest by judging wine, then decide to complete it by killing pests instead!
And, of course, there are dynamic events… DEs are really just another part of GW2’s different approach to questing, but it’s such an enthralling approach… Events simply start in the world… Things that just happen, that can even change the landscape of the world depending on their outcome! This gives the world a feeling of being lived in and alive, instead of the typically “uncanny valley” zombie towns of old…
it’s just so much more dynamic and open… I can’t go back.
(edited by ProxyDamage.9826)