I imagine that the folks over at ArenaNet just love their little surprises. According to the fans of the Guild Wars franchise, they’re well known for making people wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and HOLY CRAP IT’S NEW NEWS! This has the effect of making millions of nerds across the world suddenly pee their britches without warning, which is unfortunate if it also happens during work hours.
Which, of course, this did.
ArenaNet’s all-out, shove-it-down-your-throat marketing blitz for Guild Wars 2 made me think of that old Simpsons episode, where all the kids wanted the game Bonestorm, which had a catchy commercial where a psychopathic Santa screamed at the kids, “BUY ME, BONESTORM, OR GO TO HELL!”
If nothing else, it’s an excuse for me to post this awesome Milhouse picture:
And his truly excellent video game handle:
Man, I miss the days when Simpsons was cool, watchable and quotable. Oh well. Where were we?
Yes. Guild Wars 2.
Anyway, I’m always watching how MMO companies handle pre-release marketing, because there seems to be no definite pattern to it all. Some studios roll out new info in steady streams with the occasional spurt of info (aka TOR), others wait until they can charge people well over a hundred bucks to hear the news in person (aka WoW), and then you have the charming marketers who wait in bushes, patiently, until we’re completely unaware and then
STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!
In a way, it’s really genius. There’s absolutely nothing on the near horizon that’s of major importance, so ArenaNet has the stage. They’ve released a mere token of information before this point, so people are starving for it. And seeing as how the previous Big News was WoW making raiding changes (again), all of this comes like a breath of fresh air to blow away the stale discussions we’ve been having.
Not to mention that they waited for Guild Wars’ 5th anniversary, which undoubtedly will help to boost sales of that game (yet again).
There’s almost too much information for me to digest, which sometimes happens when it’s poured out like this. Plus, I don’t want to start going GW2 rabid at this point, seeing as how we’ve got a long way to go before ever playing it.
What I do want to focus on is the shift in gameplay that they’re making with their event system. Events in GW2 are more or less Public Quests 2.0, except that that’s all there is in the game world — there’s no huge amount of collected chores to go gather, do and get a reward. Instead, you just wander until something catches your eye, and you participate in the event, whatever it may be. It seems a little less structured than traditional MMOs, but I have to say — that’s very welcome at this point.
It’s a bit risky, as people like public quests but they haven’t been without their sticking points, particularly that they aren’t as fun when there’s too many to do and few people to do them with. GW2 plans to make the events more dynamic, scaling up and down based on participation, which is intriguing — if it works. I just like the idea of roaming without the heavy press of a To Do list on my back, getting into adventures without passing someone’s entrance requirements first.
Anyway, if you feel — as I do — buried under all of this new information, then GameDrone has an excellent bullet-point summary for you to absorb.