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A (former) hardcore WoW raider's perspective on GW2

Discussion in 'Guild Wars 2' started by Kane, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Kane

    Kane Server Administrator Staff Member

    Saw this and wanted to share it since it was really well said :)

    First off, my WoW career. I played the game from launch day until the week after my guild killed hard-mode Deathwing (February of this year), with a one year hiatus for a deployment to Iraq in 2005. I got into raiding near the end of Vanilla with a 20-man guild that ran ZG and AQ20 in preparation for TBC. By the end of TBC I was in a guild that consistently ranked top 100 in the world, top 50 in the US, and stayed with that guild until I quit the game. I am one of those players that believes TBC was the pinnacle of the game, and that it has consistently been dumbed down in the years since. With that said, this is what I think of Guild Wars 2 after having played since headstart began, with my level 38 Norn Warrior (yeah, yeah, generic I know, but I have always made the archetypal warrior class my first character in any RPG, eventually I will branch out and probably find something more enjoyable).
    The game is, quite simply, absolutely amazing, nearly perfect in every regard. Launch issues aside (even still extremely minor, it is easily the second smoothest MMO launch I have been a part of next to Rift), I haven't had this much fun in an MMO since 2005.
    • Skills that change based on your equipped weapon. Holy shit! This was a phenomenal idea. I have to say at first I was a bit skeptical being limited to only 5 skills at any given time, and having the same 3 skills for 1hers, 2 for off-hands, and the same 5 for 2hers, but I absolutely love playing around with 1h/oh combinations to find the perfect set of skills for a particular fight, and hot-swapping weapons for situational use is just genius. I find myself constantly completing a fight and thinking, "What weapon combinations could I have used to make that fight easier or less stressful?" Where I once thought we were being restricted, I now realize that this system adds an extra level of depth to character development and even to matching my own play style (right now my favorite combo is 1h sword/oh shield, and 1h mace/oh warhorn). It is the same with slot skills. I constantly find myself messing with skill combinations to find what works best. Am I solo? Am I with other people? Do I need survival, or do I need DPS? There is no correct answer.
    • The combat. At first it was a bit simplistic. I could sit there and just beat on a mob and eventually it would die before it killed me. As I am progressing more into the higher level areas I am finding that I am required to be more tactical in my thinking. My weapons choices matter. My performance in the fight matters. When I dodge and when I activate abilities matters. There are no rotations, there's no button mashing. It's pay attention and know your class or die.
    • The environments. Just... wow. Everywhere I go I find something new and fun to explore. Where does this cave end? What's behind that mountain? What's on top of that mountain? I can't help myself but go look, I feel compelled to find out, because I know there's always a reward, even if it's just a chest with some crappy Fine item that I can't even use. The stellar graphics just make it that much better, I was a bit surprised to see that the game is DX9 considering it looks just as good as some of the DX11 games out there. Though, I wouldn't mind if ANet got to work on a DX11 client (wink wink, nudge nudge).
    • The "questing" system and story. I may ruin the circlejerk here, but at times it really is merely, "Go fetch 20 boar butts," just cleverly masked as not being fetching 20 boar butts. The point is, even if that is all the Renown Heart requires, the game gives you a multitude of other things to do while you are fetching those 20 boar butts. Boss events, invasion events, NPC dialog, and eventually those 4-5 event strings that all tie together in later zones. I love that there's no quests to be tracked, no real metrics by which to gauge progress, and that there are several different ways to complete an event. The bottom line is that by pushing exploration the vast majority of these events and Renown Hearts are things that I would have been doing anyway, and in that way the "questing" just becomes part of the experience, not a means to an end, and that is the true innovation of this system that sets it apart from MMOs like WoW, Rift, and SW:TOR. In regard to SW:TOR, the story mode is leagues ahead. Fully scripted dialog (as opposed to SW:TOR's repetition of a few tens of lines), interesting characters, highly developed lore. This is the first MMO since WoW that I have been interested in the backstory (and WoW was mostly because I came to it as a WarCraft 3 player). I actually care why the Dredge hate the Priory, and why the ghosts of Ascalon and the Flame Legion are giving the Charr shit. I like Eir Stegalkin, I care what she has to say. Crusader Thurkill is a total bro, I'd love to share a pint of mead with him once we've saved the Priory together.
    • Lastly, the thing that I expected not to like, and was actually fairly outspoken against it during the beta weekends for various reasons (primarily because I like feeling overpowered as a high level in a lowbie zone), the down-leveling system. I take back every negative thing I said about it, it is a wholly welcome design change. Yesterday I found myself behind in my crafting, yet woefully short of Copper and Green Wood Logs. Well, the Trading Post is down, what am I to do? Hey, I hadn't ever checked out the Charr starting era, not even in beta, fuck it I'm going to go farm there. An hour later I found myself striving toward 100% map completion of the Plains of Ashford, farming my crafting materials, but at the same time still gaining experience, enough experience to actually gain a few levels in my mid-30s, while still having a bit of an advantage over the lowbies because of my Trait and Slot Skill point allocations. I was humbled by that experience and that is the point that I was convinced that ANet knows exactly what they are doing.
    I am absolutely flabbergasted by the game. At every turn something else amazes me, and I am more and more convinced that this is the best $70 I have spent on a game in quite a while. I came into it expecting a more casual experience, and for all intents and purposes it is a casual experience, which is what I wanted considering I'm about to start a graduate program for a masters degree and won't have much time to devote to an MMO. But, there is a level of depth to it that is not immediately obvious, all wrapped up in an exquisitely presented package. If anyone reading this is a former WoW raider/player and is on the fence about the game, just get it. You won't be disappointed.
    tl;dr: WoW sux, GW2 gud.
    TTG_Agility likes this.
  2. Billdew

    Billdew Whitelisted Player

    Quotation marks would have helped. I Got into the story and saw "with a one year hiatus for a deployment to Iraq in 2005". And i was like WTF? Kane was in the military!?. Then i realized it wasnt about Kane.
    ot0_m0t0 likes this.
  3. Togeh

    Togeh Whitelisted Player

    Kinda gave it away for me

    Oh BTW Kane I give, I've finally brought it (the cheaper one from play.com rather than digital download), you win you persistent sod! :D
    Kane likes this.

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