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So there's lots of threads that say "GW2 is gonna fail!1!1!" or "GW2 is the second coming11!11". Allow me to exercise skill while you recognize real.
The game isn't going to be a bust, but it indeed does not innovate on as many levels as people realize.
First, let's give credit. Anet managed to obfuscate or hide the 'Kill 10 rats' part of their quests very well. By making things into a progress bar instead of a count, you're not left wondering 'how does this guy know that 10 rats will cull the rat population?'. In renown quests, being able to make progress on a quest by doing different things is a great way to consolidate the 'overflowing quest log' problem while giving players some choice in what they want to do.
The game rewards you for doing almost everything - gathering, crafting, exploring, questing, PVP. This is game design that isn't far from what Blizzard is doing in MoP - trying to reward players of any play style. While I disagree with level scaling as a concept, it's employed well in this MMO, and means you'll always have somewhere to go even if you've cleared past areas. The tradeoff for not feeling your character become more powerful through levels is the fact that more content is available to you at any one time, which is a risk that does have a reward, thanks to the execution by anet.
That is good game design by anet. As a top GW1 pvp player that has been trolled by anet almost every patch, I am impressed by the company's execution of their 'manifesto'.
Now the problems.
Obfuscating kill 10 rats doesn't change the fact that the quests are still the same (destroy, drop, deliver, discover, defend in the words of TB). While the packaging / wrapping is nicer, the concept is still the same when you break it down. For a themepark quest grinder, GW2 does very well. For an MMO (or a video game for that matter), GW2 is still stuck in the same rut. And I'm not talking about sandboxes, because they are shit too - I'm talking about good games, which did exist far before the sandbox vs themepark argument that has this forum in a noose.
The game bases its sustainability on level scaling and being able to enjoy all content. The problem occurs when this content dries up for players (which varies based on the optimism of the player as well as how much time they invest in the game). PVP is technically player-created content, but imbalances are starting to show up from day 1 and it's not pleasant to see. While you can say 'it's impossible to balance' or 'you're just an endgame hound', you're just playing yourself if you really believe that anet can make this game thrive without continuous updates, which must be funded by microtransactions and bundled into large releases. Although the costs of running an MMO are miniscule compared to what they used to be, anet still needs to pay for server bandwidth and salaries. Expect a cut in staff as things get more stable. Solving this problem will involve releasing content to keep players interested. It will be interesting to see how they can fund this with microtransactions and expansions.
WvW isn't a groundbreaking innovation. I'm sure the people on this forum that claim they are some MMO expert can share quite a few games that had three-faction siege warfare. To be honest, three faction persistent PVP has become a stereotype of itself since so many MMO companies are turning to it (Trion, Funcom, Anet, Beth, and numerous others). You can look back on DAOC with rose-tinted glasses as much as you want, but the game was a total mess when it comes down to the truth and zergs still run rampant in the zones, no matter what version of WvW you play. To solve this problem, steps need to be taken to reward small-group combat or punish zergs.
Zone puzzles were done in RIFT, skill challenges are just quests with a unique reward, vistas only need a leap of faith to become their source, and being able to level your character in different ways was explored in games far beyond the average age group of this forum. See how I can trace things to previous incarnations? The video game industry builds off the previous games to create better ones. It's not a clone just because it uses all these things, but it isn't an innovator because it failed to provide sufficient deviation from the standard.
The people who say GW2 is a clone are dumb, but the people who say it's some sort of godly epitome of innovation aren't much better off either.
Overall, gamers, GW2 is an MMORPG. Play it loud.