Guild Wars 2 Preview
Hello, Killatia here. Normally I do video reviews of video games old and new, but for my impressions of Guild Wars 2 (which is based off the beta build as off April 29.) I’ve decide to write down this preview of the upcoming mmorpg. But before we dive in let talk quickly about Guild Wars history.
Back in 2005 when mmos were beings released you would always expect to pay not only a MSRP for the game but also a monthly fee to play the game as well. We didn’t think much about at the time, after all developers were always patching and adding new content to these games so the fee seemed reasonable. Sure there were some Free to Play mmorpgs beings release back then as well but in so few numbers compared to today. Then Guild Wars was released into the world of a still growing MOO genre by ArenaNet and well known mmo publisher NCsoft.
Now the original Guild Wars wasn’t one I would call a ground breaking game. It shared the setting and themes of the many other mmorpgs outside of City of Heroes, and the way it was designs the world did not feel as big as it should be. Throw in a low level cap of 20 and you have a game that did have enough to stay competitive, except or one thing. The subscription fee, or a lack of one.
That’s right after paying the MSRP you were not expect to pay an extra dime on Guild Wars. Now it may not seem like much today but back in 2005 it was a big thing, and was the on of the big reasons of the game’s success. After 7 yeas and 3 expansion packs (2 of which was standalone expansions) ArenaNet and Ncsoft is getting ready to release the next step of the game’s evolution, Guild Wars 2!
Now what has change between the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2? Well lets first talk about what has not changed: the price. Like its predecessor Guild Wars two is set to be released later this year at the MSRP of $59.99 (more of you get the limited edition) and no subscription fee. Seems like a good deal, but with virtually every other mmorpgs going free to pay these days this could put Guild Wars 2 at a disadvantage. That is if it was more of same, which I happy to say is not.
You can tell that ArenaNet was doing something different with Guild Wars 2 right off the bat at the character creation screen. During the beta you could pick between 3 different species, Human, Norns, and the Charr. Yes that right you can chose to play as the creatures that pretty much destroy almost every major human land in the first game!!!! There will also be a option to play as two other species, the Asura and the Sylvari (which is new to Guild Wars), but they were not available to use during the beta.
There’s plenty of good customizations to have with your creations. Though the human sides were predicable, I was surprise that you could have skulls embedded into the horns of Charrs! After you finish making your character into what you want them to look you can also decide what there back story is as well. It is kind of limited though but its a feature I like, and I hope to see something like this in other mmorpgs in the future.
Now for the game play itself. If you played the original Guild Wars you should have no problem playing the sequel: bot the controls and the game play are similar to each other. But the biggest difference between the two games is how the world is presented.
In the original Guild Wars once you leave the cite you are transferred into an instant map that covers THE ENTIRE WORLD, meaning that there is no interactions with any other players outside of your guilds. If you want to talk to other people and form a party for a mission or raid you have to do it in a city.
In Guild Wars 2 the world is not one gigantic instants map, instead you are free to interact with other gamers beyond the limits of a city. This gives the game a much more open feel to the players and makes it feel more of an mmo then its predecessor. Of course there are still instant maps throughout the game, but it seems to be only limited to story based missions.
With the world being more open then before there are plenty of more things to do then kill monsters. You can also smaller and quicker choirs in villages to create a much better relations to the villagers. These can range from watering plants, to plugging leaks in a dam, and even killing giant works that has invaded a farmland!! Yeah we’ll get to that in the next paragraph.
There is also bigger events to partake in called…. Events. These are much tougher then choirs and they can range from killing giant earth demons, to stopping an impending invasion, and the already mentioned giant worm slaying that also counts as a choir. There’s even an event where you round up loose cattle and bring then back to a ranch, Yee-Haw???!!!!!!……….. Sad part is that said event happens on the Charr side of the game. 🙁
The only aspect I did not get the chance to try out in Guild Wars 2 was PvP. Why? Because honestly I was not looking forward to it. I was never the PvP myself, preferring to PvE stuff more often then not. Even with that being said I felt that PvP was the weakest part in the original Guild Wars, just something about made it feel disconnected from the rest of the game. But if I get the chance to do a review of Guild Wars 2 later on I do promise to check out PvP and give my impressions about it.
Overall the first public beta of Guild Wars 2 left me with a smile on my face. Everything about it was a huge improvement over the first Guild Wars, and its only looking to get even better in the near future. I can’t wait wait for the next beta to see what improvements ArenaNet will make, and might even go on ahead and pay upfront for the game itself. Even if your on the fence about Guild Wars I can honestly say that this should be an mmorpg you should be keeping your eyes on!
I disagree with some of your sentiments in regards to the first Guild Wars. Though much of the setting lacked character beyond generic genre tropes, I thought that the gameplay and instance design made for a fun time independent of the experience you would have playing World of Warcraft; forcing players into only eight skills at a time required them to think more strategically than just having every ability at their disposal at once which translated into engaging dungeon crawls.
Guild Wars 2 does seem much more refined in every way, though, and I can’t wait to spend time with it for myself.
I tried the original for a review and I sort of dug it. May check this out too.