Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Changing of the guild

Another quickie.  I'm officially moving Guild Wars 2 down to the "Departed MMOs" pile.

Don't get me wrong: GW2 is a fun game and I enjoyed the hell out of it.  I think it's going to remain for me the benchmark in describing games that manage their learning curve perfectly.  GW2 doesn't have a learning curve: it has a gentle uphill slope treadmill that guides you into the more and more challenging aspects of the game in a way that makes the game fun, and fun to learn.  It's a fantastic achievement, and something ArenaNet can and should be proud of.

In addition, I love its scope, grandeur, and wow factor.  The game is balanced beautifully, and has some of the best PvE I've ever experienced.  And it does a simply fantastic job of drawing players into low-level social interaction that feels fluid, dynamic, and unforced.  It has weaknesses too, of course.  The AI is not particularly good, and in places the difficulty scales up in an unintuitive fashion.  And the less said about gear and crafting, the better.

But all in all, I enjoyed my time in Tyria immensely.

Why quit?  Because at the end of the day, there's not much there there.  The game is broad, but not very deep.  As someone who's never played World of Warcraft, GW2 demonstrated to me the essence of the theme park game.  Theme parks are great, and I loves me a good roller coaster, or even a whole day of them.  But then the day passes and it's time to check your watch, gather up the kids, and go home.  For me, there needs to be something meaningful behind all the color and flash.  This is the major quality that GW2 lacks and its PvP game play proves unable to pick up the slack.  And while low-level social interaction is beautifully handled, at a higher level, GW2 drops the ball.

If you haven't played it, I do still recommend you pick up a copy.  It's worth some time to experience it and I suspect I'll still reference it here from time to time.  Hell, I might even revisit in a year or two to see what's changed.

So for a while, EVE is going to be my only MMO.  However, even with its flaws and a likelihood of being another theme park, I will be playing Elder Scrolls Online when it's released, and I'm also going to put a few dozen hours into World of Warships when that one comes out.  I could no more not play ESO than not breathe.  I'm such an Elder Scrolls fan-boy.  ;-)  And I'm also such a World War II naval nut that I'm definitely going to want to try out the new WoW.  But neither strike me as having any sort of deep game play and I doubt that either of them will claim my allegiance for long.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, it's been a tough year for MMO development!  On the other hand, multi-player shooters are looking to have a fantastic year, but that should probably be its own post, even if as another quickie.


  1. Shame Guild Wars (Classic) had absolutely stellar 8vs8 PvP in it's GvG system, in the days before League of Legends and DotA2 it was arguably the best competitive team PvP game out there. With championships in 2005 and 2006 in Taipei an Leipzig respectively, with the at the time really high prize pool of $100000 (this was quite a lot outside of pro-SC in those days).

    And then for GW2 they abandoned all that, presumably to build a better PvE game (I shall never forgive Anet for that capital sin) resulting in me never picking up GW2 despite having over 4000 hours (yes really) in GW1.

    Because at the end of the day that's what all PvE mmo's are doomed too, you run out content and then if the PvP isn't exceptional there's just *nothing* there.

  2. It's surprising that you are that interested in World of Warships if you are naval buff. I have a very hard imagining how they aren't going to run face-first into a hard historical wall given that they are including aircraft carriers. Back in the World of Battleships era I was really enthusiastic about the game, enough to create a World of Tanks account to get some idea on how they do game design, but I've dropped away since.

    Seriously, how do you incorporate aircraft carriers into the game and not make it a race to that hull?

    "Sure, attack with your battle group of five Yamamoto class BB, I have an Independence class CVL."

    1. It's looking like carriers are essentially going to be the artillery of the game. Your cruiser scout plane scouts out a large enemy fleet, you send in the aircraft first while your ships are moving into position to attack.

      It'll be a bit goofy, but this is a game, not RL naval tactics.

  3. I might have played GW2 longer if not for EVE, but yes very well done and I got my $ easily.
    ESO, I dunno - I started with Morrowind, fantastic but flawed, Oblivion was pretty but meh, Skyrim felt much better.

  4. Speaking of years, ehm;
    "(...) for about five years."

    It's time, isn't it? ;-)

    1. Yep. I need to update a lot of the sidebars and title bars. I'll go after them this weekend, I suspect.

  5. Neverwinter Online is not terrible, and invites a lot of comparison to Guildwars2. GW2 was pretty much dead to me as soon as they started the gear treadmill with fractals. NWO is also MUCH more free, and the pay2win stuff isn't tempting at all, I like that aspect.

    The one thing that makes me really mad at GW2 is remembering how much better GW1 was.

  6. Good post. Thanks. I have not played GW2 for almost 3 weeks now and I don't feel like coming back. I've been focused mainly on PvP and WvWvW. I don't feel like there's anything else I can do. I am a bit angry for the artificial depth created. By that i mean grind to get a bit better item. And that grind is not in complex dungeons/instances. It's doing the same, quite easy task over and over again. It was fun. It was enormous fun even. but it's over now.

    Again, thanks for the post.

  7. I play GW2 and the PvP aspect is more prevalent in World vs World. Even that is somewhat limited with only a few large maps and a culling problem which prevents seeing all the players on the field at the same time. While culling was supposed to have been removed I don't think it has.

  8. I got a good six weeks out of GW2. It's worth the price of admission and no sub-fee is great for popping in once in a while. However ascended gear is a big turn off and contradictory to many other elements of the game and the developers own promises. As for pvp sPvP seems ignored by the developers and WvW doesn't hold a candle to previous RvR iterations, even flawed ones like WAR, AION and EvEs own FW.

  9. I got to level 80 and then I kind of lost interest even though I haven't finished my personal story line. Maybe one day I'll go back but I'm enjoying EVE too much. Still waiting on Wildstar and then EQNext.

  10. If you are into WW2 stuff you should try War Thunder when they introduce navy stuff (next year I guess since tanks will come first it seems). By now it is still open beta and only planes are in, but omg they already did awesome work with that.

  11. If it ever gets off the ground take a look at Pathfinder Online at https://goblinworks.com/about/. It could be an epic crock of shit, but I'm keeping an eye on it anyway

  12. for me GW2 lack the choices of skill bars - seem like gears war than guild war and its predecessor gw1 is better in many respect like alliance battle unlike it WvWvW more like horde of angry roving red mob that blob the lanscape (it lack finese). in GW1 and all its expansion i finish the whole campaign but in gw2 it feel like meh experience for me


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