Posted by: markfender | August 29, 2012

Guild Wars 2

So, Guild Wars 2 is out.

Which pretty much means I’ve been spending my time doing that. You know, in between the important work of attending classes and putting off doing homework.

I played in the beta weekend awhile back so it’s been interesting to see some changes. I don’t know that they necessarily read my last thing about the game but I can see some more obvious hints about how you’re supposed to play and what you’re supposed to be doing. It seems like this is Arenanet’s weakness, as Guild Wars 1 also suffered from a lack of documentation (or, at least, adequate documentation). I think that’s been compounded in this game as it’s a way more radical departure from most MMOs. They make interesting and dynamic games, but seem to be unable to adequately design tutorial scenarios that explain the fundamentals.

Thankfully, the fundamentals aren’t too hard to pick up. It’s just mostly trial and error to get to a point where you understand how the game is played. Once you get that, though, it’s pretty fun. It’s a very sandboxey kind of game, as there’s no quest chains to follow. It’s not quite a “real” sandbox as there’s not all that much experimentation that you can do (Isn’t that what most people spend their time doing in Grand Theft Auto?) but it is very much a “go to an area and see what’s going on.” There’s little guidance about what you should be doing, but that’s also one of the benefits – there really isn’t anything that you have to be doing.

That’s been a bit of adjustment for me. I’m not a completist gamer (and yet I’ve 100% two of the cities) and really prefer to follow the breadcrumb trail until the trail runs out and the credits roll. But there isn’t a breadcrumb trail at all in this game. But somehow I’m still finding myself amused by it. There’s also the pressure of the monthly fee that keeps me inexorably moving forward that’s missing from this game, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Anyway, Guild Wars 2. Gotta log in now.

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