On the surface, ArenaNet
killed it at E3
, kicking ass with a much-wanted and huge expansion for Guild Wars 2
, one of the biggest MMORPGs in the market. The studio unveiled a massive new guild hall system, one players have been begging for, one that will satisfy everyone from teeny tiny guilds to classic Guild Wars
fans. Those devs were riding high. They built it all up, and then they surprise-announced prepurchase tiers for the expansion. Cheering! Expansion! Woohoo! Take my money!
But then gamers got a good look at the tiers and what’s in them and what they cost… and the cheering turned to something else entirely. By Wednesday morning, the faint hum of discontent that began at E3 had turned into a seething rage across Reddit. Our articles on the subject taken together have racked up well over 800 comments as I write this. A single thread on Reddit exhorting players not to prepurchase is nearing 3000 upvotes, more than the subreddit has ever seen on a single topic. The official forums were offline all day Thursday. And through it all, ArenaNet has stayed eerily silent.
Whether you side with the angry mob or have a more nuanced view, Guild Wars 2 is thoroughly bungling its expansion prepurchase.
Here’s your Guild Wars 2 public service announcement of the day: Don’t get so caught up in the expansion fever and the price wars that you forget that there’s a sizable content patch coming between now and Heart of Thorns!
One of the big changes with the upcoming patch is the replacement of the current trait system with the new specializations. Enterprising Guild Wars 2 fan site Into the Mists is helping players prepare for the change by creating a handy build calculator for both PvE and PvP characters.
The calculator walks you through potential new builds step by step. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Or you can go sign the petition and try to get your money back at the cost of your account. Either one. Pitchforks for everyone.
Massively Opinionated welcomes some very special guests today from ArenaNet to debate content from its first expansion for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
Guild Wars 2 has obsessive fans who like to pick apart every little tidbit of information ArenaNet has to dish out. Well, GW2 fans, here’s your chance to comb through every word that they have to say about the upcoming expansion. Our host, Larry Everett, invited Content Marketing Manager Rubi Bayer and Narrative Designer Scott McGough to debate GW2 tropes with superfan and YouTuber Aurora Peachy.
Some secrets for the upcoming expansion might have slipped out, but you’ll only know what they are if you check out this week’s vidcast!
When Heart of Thorns
was announced back in January, the Guild Wars 2
community exploded with buzz as guild halls were mentioned as a main feature that the expansion would bring to the game. I was just as ecstatic, so I’ve been bursting to know more ever since the feature was discussed in a CDI proposal thread on the GW2
forum. Last night (or crazy early morning for me… see what I do for you?), Colin Johanson took to the E3
stage to give the expectant audience a brief synopsis of the guild hall system and the mechanics it would add to the expansion, and our very own MJ Guthrie
braved the E3 floor to bring us an interview on the topic
. Now that we know more, I want to unpack the basics and compare what we’re getting to the speculation.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I will unfold the new guild hall system in as much detail as we know, and I’ll also look to the further development of the feature and inclusions I’d love to see upon release. Game Director Colin Johanson’s time on PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show was admittedly very brief, and I wasn’t blown away with the show’s format in comparison to other E3 presentations. Nevertheless, there’s plenty to unpack before we see the guild halls running in-game this Friday in a special livestream on the official GW2 Twitch channel.
By now you are no doubt familiar with the guild halls arriving in Guild Wars 2‘s Heart of Thorns expansion. What you probably didn’t expect is that the expansion is available for purchase as of tonight and is already stirring up controversy for its $49.99 standard rate that comes along with a copy of the base game whether you’ve already got it or not. The deluxe version will run $74.99 and come with an extra character slot and several cosmetic goodies, while the ultimate edition runs $99.99 and is just like the deluxe set only with 4000 gems in addition to the fluff. All editions grant access to weekend beta events slated for the game, and many of the in-game goodies will be unlocked on accounts now instead of when the expansion launches.
But earlier today, ArenaNet wanted to dish on the guild halls coming to the game, and it was worth the flight to LA! I sat down with ArenaNet Game Designer Link Hughes, Design Lead Crystin Cox, and PvP Test Lead Jessica Boettiger here at E3 2015 to get a look at and talk all about guild housing. Here’s the scoop (and a video, too!).
I’m going to do something I don’t do a lot in Massively Overthinking — or anywhere, really.
I’m going to ask you to whine.
MOP Kickstarter donor Kayletta sent in this question, which I posed to our writers and our special Patreon guest, Roger, this week:
What’s the most nitpicky detail in an MMO that has caused you to log out/walk away/quit game in annoyance?
Let’s do this!
In all of the Heart of Thorns hoopla and specializations diaries, did you forget that guild halls will also be arriving in Guild Wars 2 later this year? We might have too.
That’s OK, because ArenaNet will be on hand to remind us of the guild housing feature when it unveils it at E3 next week. There, the studio will “reveal how [the expansion] will create new ways for you and your guild to play, battle, socialize, and progress together through the guild hall system.”
An in-depth look into guild halls and their features will be broadcast on Twitch on June 19 for anyone interested.
One question that consistently pops up across the MMO gaming circuit is, “What are the most popular/healthy/active MMOs out there?” Every time I see this question, I sympathize with the concern behind asking it. For some players, finding a game that not only exists but is hopping and has the greatest potential for a future is of paramount concern.
Massively OP reader Duffy suggested that we cover this very topic when he asked, “Which MMOs are struggling and which seem to be rolling in gravy? Do MMOs in general do very well or are most just able to keep the lights on?”
It’s a difficult question to answer off-the-cuff because there are a lot of variables to consider. Instead, I researched several angles, including player tracking services, frequency of patches, financial reports, and even how often each game pops up on blogs. While the following isn’t definitive, I feel strongly that the following 10 games are the healthiest live MMOs on the western market right now.
Guild Wars 2’s next content update already is shaping up to be a groundbreaking one for the fantasy title, bringing a new look to Lion’s Arch and activating core specializations for each class. With those specializations also come a number of changes to combat, which are the focus of a dev blog today.
The combat tweaks will be mostly focused on making movement skills more reliable and improving the way that conditions stack and function. Condition-based builds will need to be aware that the devs are both nerfing and buffing the system: “We will significantly lower the base damage on damaging conditions while increasing how much they scale with the condition-damage stat.”
The team is also streamlining the player wallet, adding room for more types of currency including spirit shards, which will replace skill points. Current skill points will be converted to shards per-character upon the release of the next patch.
It won’t be long now, faithful Tyrians, before you will be walking down the streets of the shiny, reborn Lion’s Arch in Guild Wars 2.
ArenaNet announced that Lion’s Arch 2.0 will be fully restored come the next content update. As part of the facelift for the once-ravaged city, Lion’s Arch will get new names for its quarters as voted on by the players. The upcoming content patch will also contain the new core specialization system, replacing the old character traits.
There’s even something to enjoy right now, too! The studio pushed out a patch today that fully activates the streaming client for all. The new client will make getting into the game for beginners and downloading patches faster than before.
One aspiring Guild Wars 2 PvP team will be sitting on the sidelines when the world tournament comes to a conclusion later this year.
ArenaNet has announced that the European team Majestic Capricorns have been disqualified from the event due to misrepresentation and unsportsmanlike play: “After a thorough internal investigation it has become very clear that the players who signed up to play on the roster of ‘Majestic Capricorns’ in the European World Tournament Series Invitational Qualifiers were not the ones who actually participated in the event, violating a number of rules regarding eligibility.”
The disqualified team’s opposition will move on to the series finals instead, and ArenaNet promised to consider additional penalties against those involved in the deception.
Just because you’re a blindfolded warrior empowered by the Mists in Guild Wars 2 doesn’t mean you can’t support your allies. That’s the big focus behind the Ventari legend unveiled for the Revenant last week, that and the melee staff. The most recent official stream went into greater depth, naturally, and a summary of that greater depth is now available over on Dulfy so you can see all the details about this legend and weapon.
The Ventari Legend is more or less entirely focused on healing; all of your right-side skills will be some manner of heal, with an emphasis on placing your tablet in the right place for delayed or active healing. It’s perhaps one of the most aggressively group-focused options out there if you want to play a dedicated healer in Guild Wars 2. You can check out the full summary, or if you’d rather see things in action, there’s a video below with the relevant highlights, er, highlighted.
One of the stranger Final Fantasy tropes is that the more powerful a summoned creature is, the longer it would take for any given game to play its animation. By the time I left the series around Final Fantasy X, summons were getting ridiculously long (like, make yourself lunch and go to the bathroom long). I can only imagine how patient that Reader Jay Bird had to be when he pulled the following whopper out of his pocket.
OK, so it’s a boss, but still. Jay says, “Tonight my Free Company in Final Fantasy XIV took down Twintania, the final boss of the First Coil of Bahamut. This was a huge achievement for us, and afterward we were all treated to this beautiful money shot in front of the head of Bahamut. We must have spent about 20 minutes taking screenshots in there.”
Selfies in front of good-looking corpses — this is why funeral homes don’t allow gamers. But we allow it, so head on in to this week’s collection of player screenies!