Friday, September 10, 2010

Guild Wars 2

Another Guild Wars 2 post. But I will try to keep it short.
Have a look at this video.
For 72 minutes the Guild Wars 2 designers explain their game.

First: I think these are smart people. They talk alot about player mentality. That alone is prove that they are smarter than most developers :)

They analyse a lot of problems correctly. It is just that usually these problems have several solutions and they consistently pick the 'wrong' one. At least from my point of view.

Problem: Players are conditioned to ignore a poisened lake, because there is no ! on top of it (player mentality).
Solution: A lot of green gas erupts from the lake. Thus it is easier to spot. Unfortunately, it also does not look like a lake anymore! They also add NPCs with symbols over their head. Just to be sure.
My solution had been: Make trailer/intros that condition players to lookout for problems in the world. Add an extensive tutorial.

I congratulate the GW2 team to make a new MMO experience and to try to move the genre forward. That is quite a deed! I even like some elements they introduce.

Unfortunately, they cater to a completely different player than I am. So I will buy that game, have some fun and then .. hope that CCP makes a good MMORPG - finally.

On the other hand: All they seem to want from me is to buy that game once. Not to play it for some months. I consider this a waste, but .. well. They will get what they want. I will spend 50€ on the game once, instead of some 200€/year. Serves them right.


  1. 72 minutes? I don't think so. (Why is it that videos and podcasts are always so long anyway.)

    That's a really good point though about not being sold a game as a longterm proposition. But then, how exactly would you sell a game as something for someone to play for a long time? is it enough to say 'well, there's a lot of content' ...?

  2. They are so long, because there is so much to say. :)

    Honestly, I recomment listening to it. You can do it in the background while doing something else. It is well worth it.

  3. The thing is that ArenaNet *is* selling Guild Wars 2 as a long-term proposition (with branching personal stories, dynamic events, multiple races with different starting areas, 2 forms of PvP, minigames, alt-running, dungeons, and helping others with their personal stories), but while you *can* play the game long-term (Guild Wars 1 is still my main game, and there is still plenty I have remaining to do in it), they don't make you feel you *have* to play it.

    I know that people who like subscription games unsubscribe and re-subscribe as they need to, yet don't say that the games they play don't have the content to keep them, so I don't understand why taking that middle administrative/billing step out suddenly equals lack of content.

    I do, however, understand that GW2 is not all things to all people, and I'm not sure I would want it to be. I'm just happy it's the game for me, because I've been wanting a new one!

  4. @Casualdoes:

    As a consumer I am always happy if things are cheaper. I am not argueing here that I would like GW2 to be more expensive.

    The funny thing is that ~50€ is a price that I'd pay for almost any AAA MMO/S RPG game. No matter the gameplay. The graphics/story alone are worth it.

    I still consider my first 30 days WAR to be more than worth the cheap price. But I never subscribed to that game, because it is (probably) not good enough in the long run (for me!).

    The irony here is that ArenaNet really seems to try to make a long lasting game and I see no financial incentive on their side to do it.

    Then again, perhaps that game is not that long lasting at all. In the linked presentation their answer to end game content is: "Allow the system to scale down your level and then repeat low-level content."

    Now, that is not something that I look forward to. Persistent world: Great. Non-persistent characters: No, thank you.

    But to repeat that: Due to their ridiculously low price I will buy that game, play it and pay as much as anybody else! And they never wanted me to do anything else, in the first place! Somehow I am one of the players they aim for. And then I know that I am not.

    Isn't that strange ? :)

  5. Well, ANet will likely want you to buy their new chapter, set in another continent, for 50 Euros (not sure how to make the symbol on this keyboard, sorry!) in another year after release [rough guesstimation of their business model based on how GW1 went], so I assume it's in their best interest to keep you interested if not until then, at least interested enough to want to spend that 50 Euros on the new content! :)

  6. new chapter, set in another continent


    I just praised them to not copy WoW. But then, they probably did this in GW1, too, and it is just a coincidence :)

  7. Yes, there were three chapters in GW1, based on three continents in the world. Each contained a full story, introduced new clases, and was not an expansion on any of the others. The original business plan of GW1 was to release a full new chapter every 6 months. As mentioned in the GDC video, they overreached on the 3rd chapter and that's when they decided to scrap that model and just make GW2 instead.

    GW2 is set on the first chapter's continent, the other two have been given a history to cover the 250 intervening years between GW1 and GW2, and will likely be opened up later on in further chapters.

    Well, we don't know whether they'll be box sales or added for free or for some reduced DLC charge - that's entirely speculation on my part.