While I was waiting and reading the stuff from the charr week, I started to wonder: why do I enjoy this game? Why is it so appealing? Why don’t I play another MMO? The answer was fairly simple. But, being me, I had to take it to the next level and couldn’t stop thinking about it until it was a whole blog post.
It all started with a blog post about how Guild Wars 2 is different from RIFT. Me, being the Guild Wars 2 fanboy I am, immediately said: “Well, have you taken a look at RIFT. It’s like a cheap rip off of Guild Wars 2. I must admit, I have thought about picking up RIFT, but didn’t care enough to look up if there was a subscription fee and how much the game costs. Why? Well, I had taken a look on their website and saw maybe one video, and wasn’t that into it. I immediately stopped looking at it when I hit the “profession page”. Normally, and I don’t want to brag, I’m a smart guy. I do research, think about things, look up and think about arguments to support my opinion and philosophize about things. But with an MMORPG, I want to escape all of that. I want to see the game, say: ‘Ow, I get it’ and launch myself into the game. But no, RIFT had to come up with “callings” and what I assume are like twenty-five professions. I was staring at my screen and said: ‘Hell no’. That’s when I clicked the cross and closed the browser.
I had a similar problem with a couple of other MMO. Actually, two MMO. The first one was World of Warcraft. I started to show an interest in World of Warcraft around the time that the Wrath of the Lich King came out. Could’ve been Burning Crusade, but I’m digressing. It was probably a little late to begin playing it, but then I took a look at the website and the wikia of World of Warcraft. Same problem with RIFT. The factions, the races, the professions, crafting, quests, bosses, the lore I didn’t get any of it. I tried to get the lore, but it’s too much. I read about it three night in a row and still didn’t finish. That’s when I said: ‘Your taking too much time, get out of my life’. I got interested again when I saw the Cataclysm trailer, but than I saw the PDF file with the lore again and stopped that before it could evolve. After watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory, I found out you can also have sex in the game, and that’s when I thought: “Happy that didn’t become an addiction”.
An MMO that I almost started playing was Lord of the Ring: Online. I had always been a fan of Lord of the Rings, I still am, and there was an event where you could play the game for free for about three days. I started playing it, I enjoyed it a little. Didn’t get to much about it, but I was probably to young, undeveloped and naive to start looking that up, so I just played and had fun. I played every race, in which you had like four options, so that was alright, but after those three days and about five hours of real playing time, and after losing two friends because I had to play the game because it was a limited time offer, I found that it didn’t capture my interest enough to let me, or my parents, pay the monthly subscription. That, and the fact that I spend approximately two hours on a quest I eventually abandoned. What a waste of time.
Now, there is one MMO I really almost picked up. That was EVE. It was new at that time, again there was an offer in which I could play the game for free for a week, and I was in my spaceship period, so I had to try it. Again, I just played it and tried to make it up as I went along. The character creation was beautiful, but I didn’t get that much. In any case, I enjoyed the game. Maybe because I was into spaceships, maybe because it is a good game. I was disappointed to be interrupted in the middle of my game by the message: Your time has expired. Bastards. I considered asking my parents to pay the monthly fee, I even did some recon, but in the end it never happened. A few years later, I watched some gameplay videos of the game and found out that, again, it was too complicated. How the hell could you get those large ships, who is the enemy, what’s that sonar thing? I was actually very surprised by the sonar system. For those among you who play EVE, I really think the sonar recon thing is a big waste of time. Adjusting it over and over again. No way I’m going to start doing that.
So that brings us to Guild Wars 2, and also Guild Wars. Why do I play them? Because they keep it simple and they are the kind of game I like. I like the graphics and the lore. I enjoy the community. If you’re stuck: go to the well edited and maintained wikia. Team up with people who are most of the time friendly. And the simplicity. Ow joy. You pick a profession and a gender, adjust the appearance and done. Go play. No nonsense about factions, races, callings, etc. Just go butcher some stuff. Their professions where so simply explained and still creative. No ‘I’m a warrior, but with this and that’. Just ‘I’m a warrior. I’m buff. I wield a sword. See me swing it. And again.’ The missions guided me through the game, I never felt lost. I always knew what to do. At the time I started playing the game, I was a twelve year old kid who could hardly understand English and I managed to finish Factions, also thanks to the tips players gave me (which I followed after asking my daddy what it meant). After dropping the game for a few years, I picked it up again and finished Prophecies, Nightfall and Eye of the North.
I first heard of Guild Wars 2 when a friend of me told that there was this announcement on the website. I saw a little announcement and a logo for Guild Wars 2, but that was it. I wasn’t really into it and luckily for me, that was around the time that I dropped Guild Wars. I forgot about it for about three years and when I picked up Guild Wars again, it took me a while to look up Guild Wars 2. I think I looked it up after someone said something about it in-game. I looked up the website and was surprised by the fact that there was a website. I got to the professions page and saw the elementalist and warrior were revealed, and that there were these gray silhouettes. I looked up the wikia, and started debating about the game in the discussion page of different topics. After three months of that, somebody said: “This doesn’t belong here, go to GuildWars2Guru and discuss it over there. I wasn’t really that into that GuildWarsGuru think and stuck to the discussion pages. But, after a while, those unorganized discussions weren’t enough anymore and I made myself and account on GuildWars2Guru and started to get really interested in Guild Wars 2. I still remember being greeted by the original Guild Wars two logo. A, nostalgia. But seriously, it’s time to change that GuildWars2Guru. By that time, the ranger was revealed and we were all anticipating the next reveal. Since then, I followed the official news, got really up to date after my absence and began to emerge myself in the community. That’s when I got worried. I read about traits, and I didn’t get it. I struggled with it, and was afraid that I would have to drop Guild Wars 2 too. I just set it aside and determined that I would look it up later. After de Gamescom demo and the first screenshot of the traits, I got it. I was revealed that it was something so simple and actually a really interesting and creative idea. Then, the attributes. At first, I didn’t really looked into it, and was glad when the blog post of the “We area simplifying the attribute system” came up. I read it and got what was going on immediately. And the last thing that got me worrying was crafting. It wasn’t really in Guild Wars and had seen something of crafting in World of Warcraft, so I was beginning to think that it was going to get complicated. Of course, when I read the blog post, I just said: “I’m going to master this and that”. That was the last time I worried about Guild Wars 2.
Now, why do I like Guild Wars 2?
Firstly, it’s simplicity. No looking up this or that, just being able to play the game like we want it. There are no more primary quests and missions, but there is the personal story, the dynamic events and the dungeons. The attributes are actually much more simple then in Guild Wars, and the traits system just helps your attacks and character develop like you want them to.
Secondly, the professions and the races. Again the simplicity. It’s just these races and these professions. No extra stuff that just makes it overly complicated like factions and calling and a hundred skill slots.
Thirdly, the beauty. I didn’t mention this, but it is a beautiful game. The graphics are really good and I just love the art style of the whole game. If I look at World of Warcraft, I always noticed the bad quality graphics, and that annoys me.
Fourthly, the community. People help out, praise your fan art and fan fiction and helps new players pick up the game. The wikia is already organized and has all the released information, and the game isn’t even out yet. You’ll never get stuck with that wikia. Be honest, the World of Warcraft wikia can’t even begin to compare itself with the one of Guild Wars 2.
And lastly, a game that took five years to develop just needs to be great.