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Whatever. Guild Wars 2 nailed it. You can criticize anything, but at the end of the day this is a daym good game all around. Yeah I know "But you have to play it first" "Things can change" "The video was faked" the list goes on. And I still say this is a daym good game.
I love games. For me, the key to a great MMO is immersion. How well can the developer lull me into believing what I am playing is real. In my opinion that requires a few vital tenets.
Exploration? Phenomenal. Finally I can walk anywhere, JUMP over stuff. There are no mobs. Can I tell you how much I hate seeing enemies stand around like zombies waiting to be killed? Who does that? But I understand it was a limitaiton either of imagination or technology. Swimming. To explore I have to be able to go anywhere. If I see water I am going to want to go in it. Other games have swimming, EQ2 for example, but this just seems to scream "Hey look its a new world!" even though you are only under the water. Im done! That alone, will make me wander the first zone until I have absolutely seen everything. Which brings me to my last point invitation. To Explore doesnt just mean a ton of content, it needs to deliver something that invites you to actually want to experience it.
Combat? This is my drug of choice when choosing an MMO. I want to fight stuff, grow in character, and dominate. Or die (repeatedly) trying. The content can be the best ever, but If Im not enjoying the fight to explore the content, Im gone, on to the next one. Now combat is tough because everyone likes something different. Me? I love the mix of statistics of the attacks along with the mechanic of fighting. Its rare that a game gets it right for me. Back in the day, it was Chrono Trigger. More recent would be Fall Out 3. You know, where its fun to fight just to do it. Now to be fair, I have not experienced th!e combat and it for all intensive purposes it could be off. I take that. But from what Ive seen, and what I know the combat looks great! Dodge alone should be a staple going forward. Please lets move away from standing there. Part of the fun of the fight is the (little bit of) skill to avoid an attack, especially when you have little to no health. Its adds a randomness that says the outcome is more than just your build. Which leads me to PvP. Now I cant speak here because I dislike PvP i MMOs, and I come from Quake III Arena. But here I am eager to try it. I feel engaged to want to test my character against yours. Which brings up.. gear. I realized I hated PvP because it was gear based, and I simply didnt have the time or the desire to grind. Its not what I wanted to play for. Which brings me to the next tenet....
Grouping? Its a love hate relationship for me. I love the idea of playing with friends and strangers in the game. Working together to topple a mighty foe, Ahh man its great. but I hate what I have to do to get in a group. First of all, the fact that I have to figure out how to group is bad, and instantly breaks immersion. "Hey I wish I could go fight that thing with that person over there. Wait, how do I group again? What button? Wheres the chat? Well that was rude!" All I want to do is fight! Here, all I have to do is just that. Fight. What do you know insta-group! immersion maintained. Genius.
The last piece for me, and what keeps there are two fold. The first piece is Lore. Coming from consoles I get it. I cant get the same deep story as I do on the 360 when everyone else in the world has to play the same thing. SWTOR did exactly that and I couldnt wait until my 3-month sub expired. More power to its success. They didnt get it. The story isnt about a narration of events I get to live, its about a broad theme that I experience the way I want. I make my OWN story. Which brings me to my last, and now I mean it, tenet which I just happen to call my toychest. The toy chest is all the things OUTSIDE of the broad theme that I can do to pass the time. Gathering. Hunting. Smithing. Alchemy. All of that good stuff. A second profession system would be great, but not required. I love making stuff then selling it and see if I can make a profit from it. Addictive to me. To be the ultimate toychest would include housing that I can decorate and furnish.
All of which, if done correctly, would easily support a large and healthy population. Add in thats its effectively free after purchase (dont have to calculate value-to-subscription ratios), and you have an entry that I personally feel is refreshing, exciting, and most importantly innovative... I applaud ArenaNET taking a chance to F-I-N-A-L-L-Y do something different than the game-that-shall-not-be-named, cloned more times than the troopers in Episode II.
I will see you all in Tyria. Hoping to have a new home.
I am gamer. Play. Forever.