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I stumbled into this article today and I think it has some application and relevance when it comes to Guild Wars 2.
"Super Metroid is mighty impressive in ways you may not notice, especially if you only played it as a teenager.
Before entering the room containing the destructive Plasma Beam, there’s a pile of goo requiring several shots. Samus--well, the player--enters the room, and finds the Plasma Beam waiting for them in the corner. Like almost everything in Super Metroid, once you’ve acquired the Plasma Beam, that’s it--triumphant music, and you’re back in the world. There’s no tutorial explaining why it’s useful, but the moment you leave the room, the pile of goo is back, but with a twist. The first shot from Plasma Beam freezes it, and the second one blows the whole thing up. Voila.
Today, that moment would have several minutes making totally sure players know what the Plasma Beam does.
"Lots of people applauding closure for not assuming the player is stupid,” wrote designer Tyler Glaiel on Twitter a few days after the launch of Closure, the game he’d been working on for the past three years.
The comment struck me, and I connected with him on Skype, and asked Glaiel to elaborate.
“That’s a comment that shouldn’t even need to be a comment,” he said. “It’s just sad that so many other games don’t do that, but it’s become a plus for games when it should just be expected out of them.”
Glaiel pointed to Super Metroid as an inspiration for Closure’s own design philosophy, a game that goes out of its way to avoid holding the player’s hand, while also ensuring they are completely informed."
This is how I personally feel things should work in GW2. It already does a good job in the first few minutues of the game. The elemental that everyone fights in the opening minutes of the human area isn't designed to be a threat like later encounters. It is designed to show the players how these encounters "may" work. It almost always forces you into a "downed" state and then you learn how that works in a trial by fire sort of way.
More systems imo should be done this way. I don't wish or need my hand held with every little detail of the game and neither should anyone else. Put players into situations where you introduce them to new mechanics without spelling it out (literally) for them. There doesn't need to be a dozen tooltips and on screen text for every system in the game.
Ultimately I bring all this up because I see threads asking for tutorials and tooltips. IMO people ask for the wrong things. The learning process for a game doesn't need to read like a manual. Developers need to have some fun with it and gamers will feel more of an accomplishment if they aren't walked through everything step by step.