Just in time with my private life going back to normal (adjusting took a little longer than expected but hey, new apartment is shiny!), the NDA of the GW2 closed beta was lifted and so I’ve spent the past few days catching up on all the juicy details on what’s no doubt the most anticipated MMO of 2012. I was somewhat disappointed at the material on youtube, but some of the written reviews were able to bring back the proverbial ants in my pants! Facing such a flood of informational tidbits, it’s hard to decide on what news were the most exciting – to me it is probably the confirmation of many anticipated features that bloggers have already been discussing or hoping for for months now.
Let me say once more that I love love love the cross-profession combos, they sound every bit as cool as I hoped they would! Then, there is confirmation that using terrain will indeed affect the outcome of combat (for example you can use a boulder nearby to your advantage). Questing is supposedly a lot less grindy and yes, less kill-ten-rats than ever. I just want to believe that for now. There’s the intriguing “downed” combat state that appears to be a lot more fun in practice than it sounded on paper. There’s the way equipped weapons affect your key abilities which will greatly add to tactical gameplay.
Most of all though, there are finally firsthand experiences on the cooperative aspect of Guild Wars 2; I was very happy to find reviewers confirm that every class could self-heal easily enough and that grouping up is a non-issue for any group setup. Some people still doubt that GW2 will manage without any holy trinity, but I actually do – and if there’s ever going to be more “dedicated” healing or tanking going on in a specific encounter, it will probably be a situation in which everyone must take turns or decides on a random player. It won’t be that classes are associated with fixed roles though.
All in all, awesome news on the combat front for someone like me. I believe that longterm Guild Wars 2 will rise and fall over its battle for me personally, on mid- and end-level / PvP. This is really where I need to see big changes, the way classes and groups can play together dynamically, cooperate and find different solutions to the same challenge. ArenaNet has promised us a lot in this department, they really need to improve, innovate and hit the ball home. I can’t help but think back to their instructional pages on combat from long ago, where they first lit the spark and also took a not-so-subtle yet brilliant dig at the most popular MMORPG to date, namely World of Warcraft –
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Now, we all know that there are no Orcs in Guild Wars 2; we also know which popular concerns of WoW are being presented in each comic frame – the lack of role flexibility and heavy gear focus, the holy trinity, the lack of “world” and impact therein. ArenaNet intends to do better on all accounts and make the Orcs a symbol of days past – something not to be found in their upcoming MMORPG.
And yet, it all sounds a little too good to be true. I can’t help but worry, the closer we get to open betas and the long overdue launch; so much waiting has gone before GW2, so many genre lovers’ eyes worldwide are fixed on this blockbuster title. All the high expectations – it’s filling me with dread. Who can possibly fulfill that many big wishes? As more and more information will be released over the coming, unbearable weeks and months, the ultimate question will grow: where will GW2 fall short? Where will it disappoint and fail to deliver on its promises?
Where will be the “Orcs” in Guild Wars 2?
I’m curious about the prime concerns currently out there among all the antsy veterans. I admit that the beta reviews did not dispel all my doubts and that there were a couple of things I found concerning among the clips and summaries I’ve come across. But more on that in a follow-up post on my current GW2 concerns. If you’re already down with your own, now’s the time to share them!