Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guild Wars 2: The Little Things Edition

Yeah I've been writing about Guild Wars 2 a lot. Yeah it's not really in a very positive light. Yeah this is likely gonna be one of the final pieces on it before I give it a proper "review". Probably.

Tonight I figured I'd get down to the nitty gritty, and talk about some of the minor things that Guild Wars 2 doesn't seem to get, but on the more positive side, I'm also adding in the small things I think it does right.

The Not:

PvP gives no XP

sPvP(which I believe I discovered means "Structured PvP") gives you no experience. At all. Instead you level an independant "rank". This might be nice once you've hit the level cap, but on the way up to that point, this makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. WvW happily does give you exp, but we'll discuss WvW a bit further down the line.

Social Solutions

The first thing I tried upon booting up GW2 for the very first time, once I had actually managed to join the world I wanted, was try to see if there was a form of custom chat channels. There is not. Now I understand, if you want to keep in touch with your friends, perhaps they want you to join a guild. The word is of course in the title. But the option at the least would be nice.

Another problem I find is the Friend's List. My problem with this is that it almost seems to copy Blizzards BattleTag/Real ID system. Except it doesn't tell you this. When you add someone to your Friend's List, you will see that person no matter what character they're playing on. If you stick to only adding your friends, this shouldn't be a problem. If they want some privacy, they can list themselves as "invisible" and you won't see them pop up, which is very nice, and a feature I'd like to see in other games. But this is a double edged sword. Someone can also add you to their list, without you ever knowing(in my experience), and see you at all times. Do you see where I'm going with this? I see this as partially an invasion of privacy. It's not likely to be a big problem, but it could be a problem none the less, thus, I'm not a fan of it.

Cruel Crafting

Crafting at first seemed like an excellent way to level, or grab a few levels here or there. But if you want to actually do a lot of it? Prepare to go through a lot of picks, axes, and scicles. You will need a lot of crafting materials, from areas you've possibly outleveled, to continue leveling. And with cooking at least, you're going to need to "discover" many recipes to move on. Now some of these are actually so easy to figure out, you're likely to miss them because they're in a game. Bread and butter make...Toast! Of course! This is actually a bit fun at first until you realise that they're a bit specific with what you need to discover a few recipes. Also the amount of items you need to make dyes is out of this world. Why do I need 25 potatoes and 25 of something I can't recall off the top of my head to make a dye?

Dynamic Dilemma

The first time an NPC runs up to you, points to you in particular, and informs you of a settlement being attacked? Awesome. The second time, same dialogue, same direction? Less awesome. The fourth time? Not on your life.

The world at first feels very alive. People move and you don't get the feeling they're waiting for you to show up to go about their lives. Caravans move along their routes, towns are harassed by various hostile races. The list could go on. But then, you walk into the same area, and find the same event going on for the tenth time. Going through the second Charr zone, I can't tell you how many times I killed what I assume was the same giant that kept attacking the same town. Moving through zones helps a tad, but the feeling once lost, is a bit hard to get back.

The Got:

Alright, alright. Time to give Guild Wars 2 a break and talk about a few of the smaller things that I think it truely does well.

Crafting Correct

Now, I bashed crafting just a bit up on this page, but there are a few things that it does very well. The more of an item you craft, the less time it will take to make that item. This is very nice, and very helpful. I don't feel like I'll have time to play a game of Monopoly when I make large stacks of items.

Also, even though I complained about the discovery system, when you actually figure out something on your own, and haven't seen it in an article, or a guide, or something, it's actually really awesome. These times can just be so far and in between, for me at least, that it's sort of a let down when you don't find one for a long stretch.

Community Channels

While the lack of custom channles is a bit annoying, the channels you're provided with are actually amazingly pleasant. The people are pleasant and helpful, and it's a far cry from say, WoW's trade chat. Perhaps the community is just different, but whatever the reason, it's awesome to see.

Subtracting the Subscription

This is probably the reason Guild Wars 2 is really big. Because in my eyes, if you slapped a sub fee on this? Uh, no. I think the game was built with the fact that you don't have to worry about getting your bang for your $15 a month.

Really, perhaps that's the problem I'm having. I simply want to get my most out of it, but when I try to, I simply end up grinding away like I have before. I'm not saying that is my problem, but it's possible, I suppose.

I would mention something about WvW here, but I actually added some new thoughts on it/corrected myself back on my impressions part 2. I was wrong about part of it, I'm always willing to admit when I am. :)

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