Global Chat: Guild Wars 2 needs to get its act together

    
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Hunter’s Insight is a long-time fan and player of Guild Wars 2, but recently he had some pretty harsh words to say regarding the development team’s approach to the game, which he called “consistently inconsistent.”

ArenaNet is consistent in its inconsistency,” he wrote. “That is to say that they repeatedly and frustratingly introduce things and then never touch them again, never adjust them, never support them, never standardize how to acquire an item or worst of all they only briefly make them available and they’re never seen again. They set the groundwork for something, make a show of it, and then don’t follow through. It’s a combination of neglect and lack of foresight.”

His essay on the state of the game is only the tip of the iceberg of great MMO community blog posts this week. Keep on reading for Elder Scrolls Online first impressions, how MMO silliness is hurting the industry, and the great hotbar shrinkage of 2015.

GamingSF: Character engagement with the virtual world

By comparing three popular storytelling MMOs — SWTOR, FFXIV, and The Secret World — Telwyn looks at several methods of dealing with how player characters interact with the story (talky, noddy, and quietly, respectively).

“In The Secret World your character is always a mute-observer of what’s happening in the cut-scenes,” Telwyn said. “This is consistent throughout, sometimes characters will rail at your character for not responding (beyond a minimalist facial expression or shrug), othertimes a joke is made about your silence. It can work well, although having now played through to Issue 10’s content (the penultimate release), I’m starting to feel like it was just a cop out.”

Occasional Hero: Hotbars: Less is more

Have you noticed how more and more MMOs are eschewing the old design of multiple large hotbars for a single one limited in space? ChaosConstant has, and he says it’s actually a smart move on the part of the industry.

“At first I disliked this change and viewed it as a dumbing down of my favorite genre. Now I recognize it as a design choice which, while occasionally frustrating, is actually preferable in the long run.”

Trail-food for Thought: Has your game gone from serious to silly?

I’m a big fan of MMOs letting down their hair and being goofy from time to time, although there is a limit to the amount of silliness I can take before it becomes too distracting. Fredelas thinks it’s a bigger problem than that, and has some harsh words to say about the “gimmick” of getting too silly.

“Over the past few years, I’ve noticed what I believe is a change in direction for some MMOs that started out as serious places with serious stories,” he wrotes. “A few games I play seem to have embraced these absurdities to such an extent that their worlds really have begun to resemble the garish theme parks to which they’re so often compared.”

Z is for Zeirah: Elder Scrolls Online; first week, first impressions

“I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls Online for about a week now and so far I am incredibly impressed with the game. It not only is visually beautiful to play but the gameplay itself is really fluid, intuitive and the questing experience flows so well.”

Thus begins a first impression piece on ESO from a brand-new player. As always, I love a fresh set of eyes on a game that’s been out for a while, and Zeirah has a lot of positive things to say about ESO, down to the little details.

Through Wolfy’s Eyes: Bad (guy) roleplaying

Wolfy has a few words of advice for MMO studio writers who are wrangling up yet another big baddie for players to face. The key point? Give the villain that something extra so that he or she is not just another brute thug. Also, he brings the TV cartoon Tale Spin into the discussion.

“I think, honestly, charisma is the best avenue,” Wolfy said. “My favorite bad guys weren’t only just threatening or scary, but they also had a touch of entertaining madness to them. They were scheming, arrogant, just a bit insane and were often running jokes that you enjoyed booing at instead of getting enraged at.”

Dragonchasers: Play it your way

Pete shares an important life lesson about eschewing min-maxing and expected play styles to simply enjoy an MMO the way that you want. I 100% agree.

“All of which is a long-winded way of me reminding myself, and maybe you, that we shouldn’t let other players dictate how we play a game. If trying to keep up with, or match the accomplishments of, friends makes the game less fun, just let them go and do their thing. If you want to get better then yes, certainly work at it, but give yourself time to build skills and don’t push yourself to where you’re starting to hate a game that you used to enjoy.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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kgptzac
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kgptzac

Armsbend zyrusticae it’s a cheap choice which sacrifice story quality in favor of reducing development cost.  As someone who would like my own character to have some kind of characters in stories of MMO, it’s clearly the wrong choice.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Line with more hugs Telos_ The thing with dungeons is that last time I checked, it’s still a reliable daily source of gold income and people are compelled to do them even though the content has not been reiterated.  If ANet want people to stop whining about dungeons, they either have to man up and fix those, or increase rewards for basically all other pve activities.

Superbrak
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Superbrak

Nreff Superbrak Heh… got me there. :)

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

McGuffn Sorenthaz  Some people will never be happy.  That’s kind of the reality ArenaNet needs to accept.

Superbrak
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Superbrak

Nreff Superbrak Because the problem with that good content was it being removed from the game thanks to Anet’s Living Story delivery system.

Tizmah1
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Tizmah1

luxundae RicharddeLeonIII Eh, I don’t agree.  It was never more complex to me.  Many moves always seemed like they could be combined into one, and most of the moves were extremely rare to use anyway, only have one case scenarios.

I’m glad to have it reduced.  Always thought it needed to be since the old EQ days

Superbrak
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Superbrak

McGuffn Superbrak SoMuchMass TomTurtle They did? Good on them.
Just after the edit expired I remembered all the BL weapon merchants they added too with skins from old LS content. Even if all that stuff is locked behind lockbox style paywalls.

Superbrak
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Superbrak

Nreff Superbrak No. People are fixated on quality, satisfying content whether its delivered in expansions or otherwise.

McGuffn
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McGuffn

Superbrak McGuffn SoMuchMass TomTurtle But they didn’t build their content solely around players that wanted prestige loot. They even added all or almost all of the non-rng based season one loot back into the game for the queen’s gauntlet 2.0 last year so that new or returning players could get it.

Superbrak
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Superbrak

McGuffn SoMuchMass TomTurtle I’m pretty sure the lack of foresight was building their content solely around players that wanted that prestige loot at the expense of the vastly more numerous and profitable players that didn’t.
I wouldn’t call them neglectful though. I think they genuinely got caught with their pants down and it took a lot longer and more resources to button their fly than they thought.