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I have noticed some people complaining about the chaotic nature of battle in Guild Wars 2, and I wanted to provide my take on it.
There is this concept that is mentioned in stories of all stripes, called (by me at least), battle fever. The idea that in the heat of battle, things are chaotic and it's every man for himself in a way, and every man trying to save everyone else's life in another sense. It's fast and brutal and hard to know exactly what's happening or why. The adrenalin pumps and time slows and you gain a clarity through the chaos that lets you focus on what needs to be done, and see the battlefield as more than just a series of explosions and clashing swords and powerful magic (or gunfire and bombs in the real world and modern stories, but this is a fantasy game). You see things in greater detail and can focus in on your enemy. The pace and the fury overcome you, and you are part of the battle, not an individual in the same sense as your would expect.
I'd never played a game that game me this feeling I have seen described so many times until Guild Wars 2. It's always a mindless zergfest on one end, or a precise numbers game with not real skill needed on the other end. It never felt like battle, where skill matters, but the heat and chaos affect you personally as well, when everyone is fighting for their lives and everyone elses, and where a split-second decision can save your life or kill everyone.
Guild Wars 2 made me feel this, especially in PvP, and I think that is a triumph.
"There are two great powers, and they've been fighting since time began. Every advance in human life, every scrap of knowledge and wisdom and decency we have has been torn by one side from the teeth of the other. Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit."
John Parry, to his son Will; "The Subtle Knife," by Phillip Pullman