Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GuildWars2 .. at least 2 good games

I've been playing GuildWars2 for a few days now and my impression is that its a good game.  In fact. its at least two good games.  And this could be an issue....

What I mean by that is that I've started two characters.  One is a Human guardian and the other is an Asura engineer, and the experiences seem totally different.  The first big difference  is art style.  My human is done in a fairly realistic if idealized art style.  Its not Age of Conan realistic, but its not that far off.  She moves like I expect a human to move and her environment while again a bit idealized is fairly realistic.  The challenges she faces are the typical fantasy bandits and monsters and evil plotting politicians.

On the other hand my Asura is in that cartoony style WoW made popular.  He moves with floppy exaggerated cartoon motions and gestures and his environment looks and feels like a 3D version of your typical platform game.  The challenges he's faced so far also more over the top and feel much more like a cartoon or plat former.  A simon-ish puzzle.  An experimental golem gone berserk, and so on,.

Now, both of these are reasonable artistic choices, what I am not sure about is the decision to put both in the same game.  Im dubious these two styles really mix in an immersive, roleplayed way.  Time will tell if I'm right or not.

Other then that, GW2 really is a tour de force of non-subscription game making.  If you had any inkling of the technology at play, The primarily P2P internals of the original GW really showed in its structures and limits.  It was pretty clearly chat room arenas connected by small group quests.  It was also hacked to hell, because thats the inherent weakness of a P2P game.  Any game play controlled by the client can be hacked by the user.

On the other hand GW2 does a good job of feeling like an open world game.  Even when you are forced into over-flow instances, that's only obvious because it tells you so.  Whether or not its more secure, again time will tell.

This is not to say the game is not having its teething issues.  They reserved social clothes to the cash store.  An annoying roleplayer tax but one that can be lived with if you aren't otherwise paying monthly fees.  However, right now that store contains a few silly costumes and thats it.  if they want that to drive sales they are going to need to provide much wider selections.  Secret World right now has a much greater selection then that, and it still feels quite limited.

Its also unclear right now if there are adequate mechanisms for encouraging group play and, quite frankly, Ive soloed so far.  My only group play being world-events where other happen to be joining in. And that sort of grouping is of minimal interest to a roleplay oriented player.

So, my ballot is still open on GW2.  Its engaging me reasonably in early play while I am figuring the mechanics out. We will see if it lasts after that.


Jeremy Booth said...

I'm enjoying it so far. I like the casual grouping mechanic, but then I'm not a roleplayer, I find it rewarding to find an event, form a group of random people who have the same goal, and go off and defeat/protect the objective. I've wandered around a number of the starter areas so I've seen the different styles. I like the fact that different races and starter areas have a different feel, as you venture outside of the starter areas the styles begin to mix, a gradual change as you cross areas. I'm only at 30, but the main story is still interesting to me. I've joined in with WvWvW and tried crafting. I don't feel that I must rush to max level like a lot of games, there is plenty to do, and join in on, on the way to max level. The end game is not the only way to have fun, which having played WoW is quite a relief :)

CyberQat said...

Hey Endolf!

Yeah I have the same feelings. I don't like to rush to end game in any MMORPG (the only game Ive ever maxxed a character in was CoH.) But your right, this is a game that really feels like they want me to have fun along the way :)

If I could find some serious but reasonable and mature roleplayers, Id be in hog heaven.

Im on tarnsihed Coast... but I assume your on a European server :/