GW2 – Leave Your Preconceived Notions at the Door








The more I play Guild Wars 2, the more I realize that this game is simply not like other MMO’s.  In many cases, some of the key differences are subtle.  Gamers may not understand or appreciate the differences at first glance.  In fact, some gamers have reported frustration or confusion on the front end because the game plays differently than they are used to.  To the point, this is a game where you have to leave your preconceived notions at the door and enjoy the experience of not always knowing exactly what to do next.  There is no canned approach or path you need to follow.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

This article provides some tips on understanding the differences and why we as gamers will appreciate the GW2 approach to fantasy MMO gaming …. Continue reading

The Number One Reason to Play Guild Wars 2

With all the reasons on why you should check out Guild Wars 2, is it even possible to select a single item from what is a substantial list of goodness?  For myself, it’s a challenge because there are so many things I like about this game.  But if I have to put something on the top of the list, it would have to be how GW2′s game mechanics work together to create a never before seen opportunity to play the game with friends.

What?  Does not every MMO offer the opportunity to play with friends?  I mean heck, every MMO I have ever played I played with friends.  What are we talking about here?

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GW2 – The Cash Shop That Rocks!

Mike O’Brien recently posted a piece on Microtransactions and the GW2 Cash Shop over on the Arena Net blog.  Once again, the forums erupted, this being a subject that virtually everyone has an opinion on.  The main thread over on Guild Wars 2 Guru had close to 170,000 views and almost 6500 posts.  Certainly the subject is resonating with the community!  So what is Arena Net’s approach here and why do I think the approach is absolutely going to rock? Continue reading

GW2 – The Subtle Power of Unplanned Activity in PvE

For me this past month has been one of bouncing between a number of MMO’s.  I am still working on my level 43 Marauder in SWTOR.  I played the TERA Closed Beta 1 last weekend and this weekend I re-upped my RIFT account to start a new toon along with some friends trying out the RIFT free trial.

As I was playing those games, it occured to me that dynamic events and/or unplanned activity was fast becoming a huge element when it came to how I felt about a game.  I also came to the conclusion that it was more than a specific dynamic event or content generating engine such as we see in RIFT and will see in GW2.  Rather, it is any unplanned activity that demands my attention and results in breaking up my PvE content journey into bite sized chunks that keeps things fresh and engaging. Continue reading

GW2 – World versus World PvP

On Wednesday Feburary 14th, Mike Ferguson, Arena Net Dev, posted the latest on GW2′s World versus World PvP Mode in the Arena Net Blog.  Yes, I think we can finally officially call it WvW instead of WvWvW as that is how Mike referenced it. :)

WvW PvP is similar to the Realm versus Realm (RvR) style PvP we have seen in Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online.  I suspect we call it WvW instead of RvR because instead of Realms that exist on the same server going head to head, GW2 pits entire servers versus other servers.  This is consistent with their design philosophy that players on the same server are working together for common goals while the ‘bad guys’ are the other servers or worlds out there. Continue reading

GW2 – Combat Mechanics

While there are a ton of diverse things for players to do in every MMO, engaging in combat is arguably the core game system players experience most.  As such, the combat system becomes one of those ‘make or break systems’ that determine whether we will be sticking aound or moving on to the next new game.

We ask ourselves; Is the system fun to play and is it fun to watch?  Is it engaging?  Is it challenging and does it demand an element of skill without becoming something that only caters to a small group of players with little strategic flair but superhuman ‘hard wired’ reflexes?  Does it feel balanced and provide for flexible stratagies as opposed to a ‘Push This Button To Win’ approach.  Yes, its an important mechanic to be sure and GW2 is charting some new ground in an effort to make combat something people love to play. Continue reading

GW2 – Character Skills

As mentioned in previous posts, flexible character builds are constructed using skills and traits.  We’re going to be looking at character skills today and will be discussing traits in a follow on post.  Skills are the core basis of your character build and we’ll be talking about the different types of skills, how they are obtained, and how they are improved once you unlock them.  If you have not looked at the Character Build Overview, you may wish to take a peek at that first.  The character build overview can be found here.

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GW2 – Flexible Character Builds

Flexibility is the Key!

I want a game system that allows me to bring the right tool to the party no matter the situation.  If my group needs higher damage, more healing, or greater crowd control, I want to be able to tweak my build to provide it.  If a particular situation we encounter can be better handled using a kite and range strategy, I want to be able to adjust my build to better serve in this role.  In this regard, GW2 delivers!

Flexible and ‘tune-able’ builds are not a new concept.  Most MMO’s today are recognizing the fact the players like options and don’t want to spend weeks and weeks leveling a character that is only good serving in one very specific role or playstyle. Continue reading

GW2 – The Future of MMO Game Mechanics

I started playing MMO’s with MUD’s and MOO’s in the early 80′s so I have been around the proverbial MMO block so to speak.  That said, save a couple, few have held my interest for long periods of time.  Other than EvE and Battleground Europe, both of which I played for many many years, 5-6 months has generally been the engagement limit with many failing long before that.  Why?  And what is GW2 doing differently that may result in it being my next long term gaming passion?

I am convinced that it’s core game mechanics that make the difference in terms of game longevity.  There are certain mechanics that virtually ensure a games early demise, and regretably the majority of recent MMO game developers apparently just do not get it. Continue reading

Guild Wars 2 Manifesto. It’s a big deal!

The ArenaNet Manifesto was the very first piece of GW2 media I ever encountered while surfing the net for the next ‘big thing’ in online gaming.   And I tend to do that often simply because I have not found anything in quite some time that has held my interest for more than two or three months.

If you don’t care to read further, I will simply give you the short version … I watched the Manifesto and felt a slight lump in my throat.  Could this be it?  Could this be the game that smashes the ‘Me Too’ MMO mold?  Could this be the game that stands a chance of becoming my new gaming passion; something I have not experienced since the mid 2000′s playing Battleground Europe and Eve?

Well they are certainly saying all the right things as far as I am concerned.  So let’s put this one on the watch list and start digging into the details. Continue reading