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I'm confident that GW2 will be an excellent game and find a dedicated audience that will really enjoy it. I am not confident that GW2 will be a hit with more mainstream MMO players though, for the following reasons and these are the same reasons that is wrong with mmos today.
1. Players don’t want to look cool, they want to be cool.
Every time a player makes a choice based on a 1% dodge bonus, or wears stupid looking armor with great stats over visual aesthetics they are opting for substance over style. GW2 getting rid of these substantive differences between the races and high-level gear means that while a player may look cooler than another, they aren’t actually better than anyone else, and players will quickly realize it is a shallow system.
2. Players want to be the best without actually being the best.
Players want an advantage over everyone else, especially if they can achieve that with mediocre ability spread out over countless hours of monotony that the next guy can’t or won’t invest; a weapon that provides both a stat advantage and exclusive access to a dungeon to get an increased advantage allows mediocre players to get better simply through willpower and time invested versus actual skill or growth. GW2 goes the opposite direction of this, so far as to de-level players going backward in content, almost negating in total what advances they attained through gear and stats alone to keep things interesting. When stats fail to make players better, most players will have nowhere to turn.
3. When players can’t be the best they want somebody (preferably) or something else (works too) to blame instead of themselves.
Eventually things don’t work out as many players wish, and when that happens it’s easier to blame the healers or the tank, or the opposing faction, or the guildie who picked the dumbest class and is wasting a raid slot, etc. instead of doing a self-examination and figuring out how they can improve and then acting to do so. Considering that GW2 is more reliant on player-skill than any other MMO, and that professions are essentially jacks of all trades, finger-pointing will be awkward at best and accusations against balance issues or ad hominem attacks against ArenaNet just won’t work long-term for bad players.
4. Players don’t want to have to think, they just want to act.
Many MMOs cater to skill rotations, cool-down management, and provide high-reward abilities with no risks associated with their use. A perceived “I Win” button like Moa Morph that can actually miss is a foreign concept to many players, and one that will probably ruin their sense of fun in the face of more skillful opponents or challenging NPCs.
While some players are sighing in relief about the “low” number of skills in GW2, this is an illusion or an oversimplification, as many of the traits really do add an unparalleled level of depth to profession customization. That there is no one “right” answer for a profession, coupled with the fact that the “right traits and skills” would still require skillful and thoughtful use by the player, will only frustrate players more accustomed to traditional MMORPG gameplay conventions.
5. Players need validation.
In most MMOs it’s a simple matter to find one or two character builds that are optimal for the way the game is designed. In higher-level content, if a build can fulfill a role in a raid, and the raid succeeds, the build is successful, and the feedback is readily apparent. GW2’s reliance on player-skill and player-choice throws this system of evaluation out the window, and every request to evaluate a given build veils thinly the requestor’s doubts about having enough personal skill to succeed in spite of mistakes, oversights, and/or shortcomings at the trait and skill picking level. With player-skill being such an integral variable that many players won't honestly want to evaluate, validation will be difficult to come by.
If people are willing to accept new changes in GW2, I think its going to be a smashing hit. At some point, there has to mmo that tries to differentiate standard EQ/WOW based system and you know what, Guild Wars decided to do that.
EDIT: Changed Font and repost from Andre @SA forum