Guild Wars: Nothing To See Here, Folks. Seriously. Move Along.

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.

6 thoughts on “Guild Wars: Nothing To See Here, Folks. Seriously. Move Along.

  1. PeterD April 30, 2010 / 11:08 am

    Guild Wars 2 has me alternately excited and worried. We’ve been waiting for this game for a long time. It’s been more or less implied that a sequel was coming eventually even when Prophecies was the only campaign available, and of course Eye of the North was clearly intended to shephard in a sequel. Yet here we are, years later, still waiting.

    Guild Wars is a great game. It’s always on my hard drive, no matter how many OS re-installations or computer swaps I do. With no sub, there’s really no reason NOT to have it on my hard drive, as I can drop in at any time and play for a bit, then move on if I want. I LOVE that they’re keeping that aspect of the business model for GW2. I don’t mind buying a box, and honestly I don’t mind paying a sub either, but having the freedom to drop in and out of a game at will without worrying about it is fantastic. The fact that GW and GW2 are true AAA titles and not crappy F2P imports means I’m happy to buy the extra content they push out to fund ongoing operations.

    But . . . a lot of the changes to the gameplay model worry me. Getting rid of the massive instantiation of the game is great. It had its benefits, but the impact on the ability to socialize in the game was significant. The other stuff though . . . no secondary classes? No quests/missions, just ‘events’? Considering how crappy the WAR public quest system ended up being I’m not sure this is something good.

    I have faith ArenaNet can deliver a good game, I just hope it’s a game *I* want to play.

  2. Wasdstomp April 30, 2010 / 11:56 am

    The game had me at Hello. I remember the video a few months ago with underwater zones, and stuff. It was eerily similar to the Aion Vision trailer.

    It isn’t hard to get excited over a new game these days. People are holding on to their current MMO like a bad girlfriend that you know you should break up with, but lousy sex is better than no sex.

  3. Cedia April 30, 2010 / 3:16 pm

    I agree completely with your “nothing to see here” statement. I was never fond of the artwork in Guild Wars, and more of the same just doesn’t interest me at all. And nothing else that they’ve announced really stands out for me.

    Public Quests in WAR were a great new idea, but people only solo grind them now because they are predictable and static. I could be wrong, but I think GW2 is doing the same thing?

    I am looking forward to the Trion game in development, Rift: Planes of Telara, just because they have taken the Public Quest idea one step farther and will have them spawn randomly.

  4. Tesh April 30, 2010 / 3:18 pm

    I’m a bit bummed about losing secondary classes. I really liked the flexibility of GW’s character classes, and have been itching to get away from strict classes and combat roles (enough with the friggin’ trinity!) for a long time now. This seems like a step back in my book… but it’s hard to be too mad at them considering the other goodies they are offering.

  5. Hunter April 30, 2010 / 9:07 pm

    I don’t know about you but I am sick to death of the posts on 10vs25.

    gw2 looks great.

    @other commenters, a little too early to be worrying this much isn’t it?

  6. TheAlarmist May 1, 2010 / 10:22 am

    Even though GW never held my interest, the event based quest system, even if it only works half as good as planned, officially puts GW2 on my future buy list.

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