The original Guild Wars did not really work for me. When I complained, people said that the game “isn’t really about leveling”. Which is like offering me a sandwich and suggesting that I not judge it by the taste. I was then told that the real heart of the game was PvP, which is like saying that the thing that makes the sandwich good is the live scorpions. So I walked away from Guild Wars with the impression that this was a game for Other People.
Guild Wars is a strange creature. It’s an MMO, but there’s no monthly fee. You just buy the game and play it. The towns are shared space, but the adventuring areas of the game are all instanced. There is no “open public gameworld”.
Say what you want about the game, but it’s not just another second generation WoW clone, which was an Everquest clone, which was an Ultima clone, which was spawned in the primordial soup of some pre-graphical MUD on a dial-up BBS in the early 90’s. People use the word “clone” in these conversations to imply that the game is somehow bereft of new ideas. But I think we can trace a line from those early MUDs to current-gen MMORPGs and see a pretty clear evolutionary progression. And I’m not talking about the graphics. Smartass. But Guild Wars doesn’t seem to fit into that lineage. (No pun intended.) It’s as if they made an MMORPG without having played one before, and thus came up with all of these different ideas about how these games should work. It’s like some alternate-universe MMORPG.
Anyway. The game seemed to do well. I wouldn’t blame them for making a sequel that took these core ideas and just gave us more of the same but with better bling mapping and more fishnet armor. Better to keep your existing fans happy than to go chasing after folks like me. It’s not like there’s some sort of leveling & exploration drought in the MMORPG genre. But instead of making a nice, safe game, ArenaNet has gone loco and decided to reinvent the wheel… again?
Consider me intrigued.
And it really does take great physical effort to not comment on those graphics. I’m trying to be grown up about this, but… wow. That’s like, amazing and stuff.
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