Fluidity and StupidityAugust 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 13 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
The dungeons in Guild Wars 2 are interesting in that there are free waypoints to travel to inside the instance. Fail or wipe and you can travel back to any waypoint you’ve unlocked. The first waypoint at the entrance even has the convenience of a repair NPC.
I was going through the Ascalonian Catacombs yesterday with some people who were new to the experience. Their first impression was negative. “That’s stupid.”
I have to disagree. For a number of different reasons.
At first glance maybe it does seem like it takes the game out of killing things. Why should there be little to no penalty for dying? Doesn’t that take the difficulty out of the dungeon?
The trash mobs in Ascalonian Catacombs are mostly pretty tough. Veterans of varying difficulty. It’s interesting because most games would throw cannon fodder at you to simply waste time, give you something to do before you get to a boss. Sometimes they’ll require strategy but usually there isn’t much difficulty.
Guild wars 2 tries to make each enemy encounter something of an experience. As a result I feel like there are far fewer mobs that might be considered trash, although I won’t say playing through a dungeon is entirely different in this respect. It’s still similar.
In our dungeon, early on, we had taken out a few groups of enemies and at some point we had begun to get downed/defeated. It was looking grim but the defeated in our party warped to the waypoint and ran back to continue the fight.
I guess this is where the idea came in that it was “stupid.” The idea being we should have wiped, failed, and started from the beginning.
In a more traditional MMO you would start, stop, start, stop, depending on how successful the run goes. In Guild Wars 2 unless you’re doing particularly badly it’s always just go.
It’s a much more fluid experience. I think that is to the great benefit of Guild Wars 2 players.
Raiders won’t like it, I admit that at least in this early story mode dungeon it makes things easier and removes difficulty. However I think explorable mode will probably increase in complexity and strategy. And I can’t agree that adding roadblocks to playing is a fun mechanic. Coming to a dead stop should never be a large component to a game. There is something to be said for momentum.
Guild Wars players will love it. I’ve argued before about how Guild Wars is essentially the ultimate casual MMO with loads of content all packaged in small, defined, pieces. Guild Wars 2 is the same way. We finished this dungeon with a pretty fast time, somewhere between 30 to 45 minutes.
I think, generally, taking the start/stop functionality out of dungeons was a smart move, not a stupid one. It is easily less frustrating and more fun. I enjoyed my time in the story mode and look forward to the explorable versions of the dungeon.
A couple other details about the dungeon.
- I was level 32 and the dungeon IIRC is targeted at level 30. I was too low level to be doing the dungeon (I think) and it only took a couple of hits to put me down so I had to stand at the back and be very mobile and shy.
- I didn’t get any of the trade-in items for the dungeon armour, but I did get the helm. In truth I’d rather have gotten the trade-ins. Choice is better.
- Everyone is calling my new helm the Pimp Hat.
- I’d be remiss if I did not mention what others have been clamouring for. Items that are useful to our own professions from chests and other rewards.
- The random events inside the dungeon are pretty cool and count towards stuff like monthly achievements and reward XP etc.
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