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Interesting read, Bill. But I really have to call you out on something - especially given the amount of praise and claims of "best game ever" being heaped on it by so many...
And to others - please let Bill answer for himself. He's an intelligent guy, well spoken and quite capable of speaking for himself. I'm sure he doesn't need any white knights coming to his aid.
Bill, the bit that stood out to me is this part here, regarding missing NPCs or otherwise bugged content...
"But it’s still annoying if you need an event for zone completion or if you just expected to do one and can’t because of a bug. It’s the price you pay for a more elaborate form of quest, I suppose."
Are you seriously making an apologetic excuse for ANet here? Are you seriously donning the fanboy outfit and attempting to dismiss so important an issue as people being unable to complete content? I've seen and heard of many problems in the area of people being unable to complete content due to one issue or another, so this isn't some case of remote or isolated incidences.
Is it the end of the world? No. It is something that would have been - and has been - a serious negative mark in any other MMO review. It certainly would be given more attention and criticism than "well, just the price you pay I guess!".
I can appreciate that people enjoy the game a lot. That's wonderful.
But when it gets to the point where you're making excuses, or dismissing what is and would be a significant issue in any other game, it tarnishes the rest of your review.
In a game that is hailed as being so high in quality and attention to detail as GW2 regularly is, something as major as not being able to complete content should be given more criticism, not less.
You really couldn't find anything to complain about in the economy? How about the fact that Arenanet is clueless on economies?
For example a majority of items are selling at vendor price. This wouldn't be so bad except for the 5% posting fee and the 10% sales tax when you sell it. Most people are making less (if it sells at all since there are tens of thousands of the same item for sale). There is no economy.. it's split heavily between max level players (who can make money on their mats/items) and everyone else.
Or their fact to help eliminate items screws over low level players? They added temporary mystic forge recipes that take 250-500 of an item to combine in the forge.. so rich people are buying low level crafting mats to throw into the forge, making low level crafting mats almost as expensive as high level crafting mats.
I'm not sure if you're only doing cooking or what, but you could talk about how crafted items are mostly junk and won't sell for near what it cost to make them. The only weapons/armors that sell are those very specific ones or Exotic quality ones at skill 400.
Or the massive amounts of time (or money, good thing you can buy gold by turning Gems into in-game currency!) it takes to grind and grind and grind for crafting mats...
I think if you looked harder you could find some things to complain about.. but I get it, it's a new shiny game and it's hard to see all of the problems.
Glad you are taking your time doing a review of MMO games, rather than the 1-2 days of playing a few hours and giving it an 8.0-8.5 rating. It was rather pathetic how it used to be done here.
I'm hesitant to buy the game because all I want to do is W v W v W PvP, but I'm not willing to sit in a 1-3 hour que to do it. I thought it was supposed to be zerg versus zerg and to have a que for a zerg is just a bit surprising. I guess it's to keep frame rates at an acceptable level and to keep some amount of skill and strategy involved rather than who has the larger zerg. Once the ques get fixed, I'll probably buy the game.
Originally posted by dimasok I think there should be an option to turn off the "lower lvl in lower areas" so that I could have fun obliterating all the enemies since the XP it gives me right now is negligible and not worth the trouble.
Yes let's go back to the days of WOW when I was trying to do a quest, only to find some hi lev farmer had wiped out every single mob I needed to kill...
Crafting: refine all materials, proceed with all possible discoveries. Craft a set of armour, weapons, jewelry for your character and you are at the next stage of crafting. I'm approaching GW2 differently then any other MMO I played. I'm actually leveling 5 different characters at the same time. All with different crafting skills and all different classes and various race to make it as enjoyable as possible. On the top of that it allows me to avoid unfinished and buggy content on higher levels.
I hear quite often from collegues who are leveling only one character that the content at high levels is buggy and they often can't finish a mission, an event etc. That's why ArenaNet left ability to switch between servers for free. Despite that some of the people I know were getting really frustrated unable to find a working instance of the same quest. GW2 is far from being perfect or polished at higher levels ( in fact I had few bugged, stack events at lower levels too ), but it is still the biggest fun I had in MMO for years.
I always enjoy your reviews Bill. I have a few annoyances with GW2 lately, many of which relate to WvW and the TP, but I love the game overall and you can't fault the progress with which Anet is squashing bugs.
Look if you really want to get WvW done create a character on Ferguson's Crossing. WvW queues are very short there although we tend to get crushed by other servers with some regularity. This can actually be one of the tough things about the game for me right now. I love WvW but once a server owns the majority of the map people get discouraged and give up. I do believe it's something Anet needs to address at some point.
You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks~ WC
Without quoting the huge debate about Bill's review of doe-see-doe queues, may I point out that unlike, say, Bill O'Reilly who could hire a crew of staff to play through and report back on an aspect of the game out of his contingency budget, Bill Murphy has to eke by on the revenue from this blog/zine/whatever afforded to him by the flash ads that don't get blocked by the 2% of you who haven't discovered ad blocking technology for your browsers.
As a result, he has only himself, and only so many hours in the day, and fewer hours in all likelihood, to play GW2, because he has to call all these game companies to line up the next set of ads and the next set of articles in order to keep the site running -- in addition to researching and writing these reviews.
He is a journalist and a fan -- and he can't be a good game journalist without being a fan. Works for football and all the RL sports, works for MMOs. You'd really hate it if he were like some of the shills in journalism that just wrote from press releases.
While I do think mmorpg.com needs more depth in the business, legal, and tech aspects of games among their writers, I have no beef with the fan and journalism and gung-ho they put in compared to the crop in the general market of stuff out there, when I think of what they are probably dealing with for budget.
Cut the man some slack. If you want more arms-length professional journalism regarding games, go read Gamasutra -- you won't have nearly as much rough-and-tumble fun, and you won't find the hands-on stuff, but you'll find that the staff is professional even when they are three glorious sheets to the wind (a fine journalistic tradition, I understand...).
But Gamasutra is also not a site *for* fans. And Bill is writing *for* you.
Originally posted by Blindchance Crafting: refine all materials, proceed with all possible discoveries. Craft a set of armour, weapons, jewelry for your character and you are at the next stage of crafting. I'm approaching GW2 differently then any other MMO I played. I'm actually leveling 5 different characters at the same time. All with different crafting skills and all different classes and various race to make it as enjoyable as possible. On the top of that it allows me to avoid unfinished and buggy content on higher levels. I hear quite often from collegues who are leveling only one character that the content at high levels is buggy and they often can't finish a mission, an event etc. That's why ArenaNet left ability to switch between servers for free. Despite that some of the people I know were getting really frustrated unable to find a working instance of the same quest. GW2 is far from being perfect or polished at higher levels ( in fact I had few bugged, stack events at lower levels too ), but it is still the biggest fun I had in MMO for years.
How odd, that sounds exactly like my experience in SWTOR, except SWTOR also has this amazing 8 part interwoven storyline that no one seems to appreciate as an incentive to level multiple characters together. And I don't know and don't care if I get to the end game before it levels beyond me, so long as the storyline recedes faster. Likely, sadly, the game will die first, because I'm one of a handful of people who figured out how Bioware meant the game to be played, rather than how EA insisted on them re-engineering and marketing it...
Wish you luck! Sometimes I feel like it's these "introvert" odd duck playstyles that are hidden easter egg gems in the game design. (Well, except that in the case of SWTOR, I think it was the original visionary game design, and EA nuked it till it glowed and then buried it in a salt cave and flooded it...).