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Chris Smith over at Levelcapped is worried that GW2 may be too different from ‘that other MMO’ for players who have been trained by it to be comfortable with. He specifically picks up on the questing/adventuring model – that people who are used to clicking on all the NPCs with golden punctuation over their heads and then methodically working through the resulting to-do list are going to be confused, by the GW2 system, which is more like institutionalised knight-errantry (wander back and forth across the landscape, looking out for opportunities to do good deeds that may arise at any moment). He could just as easily have picked the difference in class roles (no dedicated tanks or healers) or the relationship between melee and ranged DPS (in other MMOs they are completely different roles; in GW2 the smartest way to play a damage dealer may well be to alternate between the two, swapping between high-tempo close melee that does more damage but gets you battered in return before backing off and using a ranged weapon to do lower, steadier damage while you recover before diving in again).

Chris has a point. It was painfully clear from reading the GW2 beta forums that there was a vocal body of players out there who were not ‘getting it’ and were trying to play and judge GW2 by the standards of the more traditional MMOs. I’m not convinced that it’s a majority, or even a sizeable minority, that have this problem – that’s the thing about forums, they never really tell you how extensive a problem or opinion is, all they can do is draw your attention to whichever monkeys are best at flinging faeces around the cage. HOwever, we have to hope that it’s not widespread enough to hurt the game’s chances and its reputation after launch. Because, as I commented over on the original post:

I think we have to hope that GW2 will succeed. If it fails for being “too different from what everyone is used to” so soon after SWTOR has been roundly lambasted for being “too much the same” then every developer in the MMO industry would be justified in throwing their hands in the air, yelling “screw you!” and going off to get much better-paid jobs in the financial services sector instead.

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One Comment

  1. If only more players got this.
    Reading some forum topics, it is hard for me not to go into super-patronizing and dismissive go-play-wow-you-poor-trained-monkeys-mode…just how inflexible are certain minds? What vexes me too is how they fail to realize that this is not yet a finished game; ANet actually acknowledge many current issues – why else a third beta?
    The irony of it all is that by this poor attitude players create their own selffulfilling prophecy. Give a new game no chance to be new and all you will ever eat is more of the same. Alas, I still expect GW2 will double sales once there’s a launch date. Forum whining is loud for every MMO.


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