Things Gamescom Makes Me Want To Talk AboutAugust 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 20 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
While gamescom is over, I’m still pouring over what there is to see from Guild Wars 2. A lot of information came out and I’m still digesting much of it. Here are the things I’m still mulling over.
Guild Versus Guild
I’m both surprised and not at all that there aren’t going to be any GvG formats. In an interview, many moons ago, I recall noticing that they seemed to be dancing around the issue of guild teams in PvP. I mentioned it in a post, but,
I now have over 750 posts and it’s impossible to find things. Found it.
This seems on the surface to be unreasonable. The name of the game is Guild Wars, and I’ve always felt more heed should be paid to the name. Their explanation is that they want guilds to be more about social networking and less about the competitive aspects. So while PvP teams can form within guilds and register for competitive PvP, there will be little official acknowledgement of their guild status.
As they note at the tail end of this interview, teams will likely still be in the same guild and known for which guild they belong to.
I guess I’m of two minds on the subject. There are a few plus and minuses here. On the one hand smaller teams of 5v5 make it much easier to field full guild teams, while the 8v8 structure (of the original Guild Wars) seems to be one of their main reasons for doing away with it. On the other hand teams of 5 certainly exclude large numbers of people in a single guild from participating in Guild versus Guild battles, particularly if rankings and ladders are important. One doesn’t want their ranking affected by the less experienced GvGers in a competitive guild.
Does this broaden the glory of a guild, or lessen it? One of the best parts of being in a guild in an MMO is guild pride. The number one raiding guild on a server, the number one PvP guild, the most hated guild or the most benevolent. If you’ve got PvP teams inside your guild but nobody associates them with you, it kinda takes the hot air of the balloon.
In one of Arenanets updates on the Guild Wars 2 website, the following phrasing caused a lot of upset.
Guild Wars 2 PvP features different maps that all dramatically alter a single game type called Conquest.
What Conquest is exactly can be found elsewhere, the thing that upset people was the use of the word ‘single’. Even though it has been generally acknowledged that there would be multiple formats of PvP, many took the wording and ran with it. Immediately there were long threads and shouts of discontent that there would only be one type of PvP.
Regina Buenaobra responded with the following.
Just to clarify: Conquest is not the only PvP game type. We have other formats that we are not ready to talk about, so for gamescom we are focusing our information releases on formats that we are ready to talk about. We’ll talk more about other PvP game types in the future.
Look I don’t know how many PvP formats Guild Wars 2 will have, but one thing I do know is freaking out about it before we do know is not exactly productive. We already know about World Vs World and Conquest, so anyone with reading comprehension skills should have been able to see that the use of the word ‘single’ did not refer to Conquest being the only format. Reading internet forums too often can lead you down a path of over-reaction and dramatic flair. So lets just relax and wait for more PvP format information, something I suspect could come as early as PAX Prime.
In this interview from GCOM.com we get a brief description of guild membership from Mike Zadorojny around the 2:30 mark.
It’s a little bit different for Guild Wars 2, you can actually be associated with multiple guilds, you can choose which kind of guild you’re displaying at a particular time, beyond that we really haven’t talked about it.
Pow! This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve long been waiting for in an MMO. If MMOs are about socializing and interacting with real people, we shouldn’t be shoe-horned into one guild at at time only. Great innovation if this turns out to be implemented right. Can’t wait to see guild information for Guild Wars 2. Also makes choices like no GvG make a bit more sense.
Skill Use Unlocks Skills
They’ve updated the skill mechanic so that as you play you unlock skills. For each monster you kill you move closer to the next skill in line on your skill bar. The demo videos show that your progress is measured right on your skill bar. It doesn’t appear to take very long but I haven’t seen any videos where the later skills are unlocked.
Again I’m of two minds. While purchasing skills from a vendor really breaks immersion, (I mean lets face facts it’s really quite odd) I also find it quite convenient. I’m not the best video game player in the world but I think I’ve learned enough over the years to skip most basic tutorials and that essentially is what Arenanet has come up with for weapon skills.
On the other hand it is a much more natural learning curve. As long as the grind is taken out of it I don’t think it will be too much of a hassle.
Anyway these are the weapon skills, the left half of your skill bar. They seem to be saying the right half, the utility/racial/elite skills will come from personal story rewards, monster drops, or other acquisition methods.
In an interview with programmer Braeden Shosa, they quickly touch upon character slots.
What will be the max number of characters on an account?
5 character slots will be available but as with guild wars you will be able to buy more slots.
Now of course Arenanet was quick to quash this on the Guru Forums.
We have not yet finalized the number of character slots that will be available on release of Gw2. This is something we’ll reveal when we get closer to the final release of the game after our BETA process has been completed.
My guess would be that currently in the alpha you have this number of slots or in discussions about the number of slots, the number 5 was discussed. If they’re adamant this isn’t finalized then I have no reason to disbelieve them, but this isn’t far off from my own speculation.
The complete removal of energy potions was a surprise to me, I didn’t think Arenanet would bother to bend. How will it effect gameplay? It’s hard to say. I haven’t seen any major problems from demo videos because of the change, but knowing they’re still working on mechanics to augment the loss of energy as a resource means this discussion is practically moot.
It is innovative to take energy out of an MMO though. No denying that.
That’s all the things I’m personally interested in talking about. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about PvP, customization, and other topics in the coming days, but some of those topics might require stand alone posts.
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