At Pax East 2012, there was a Future of MMOs pannel where the Arena net producer (Unfortunately I do not remember his name) said that in the end mechanics don’t matter as long as it’s FUN.
I agreed, if a game is Fun it doesn’t matter how you get there. Unfortunately the very game he is working on has some strange notions of “fun”.
Granted, I am not max level in GW2, but I am missing or not understanding what is fun about this game. Let me run you through my experience so far with the game so you can understand where I am at.
I have a level 10 Norn:
I have done all the heart quests in the starting area for the norn. These quests consisted of:
- Gathering Ravens eggs
- Killing things in leopard form with 10 other people doing it.
- Trapping fish and running back and forth to feed them to bears.
- Following slow wolf npcs around to kill 4-5 bad guys
- Scratching some paintings off the walls
Then I went to the town, and then I left the town and went out into the world where I:
- Carried bags of rabbit food where I was slowed and the rabbits would knock me down if I didn’t push F.
- Threw snowballs at delinquent children
- Followed a merchant around.
Add in a few dynamic events that don’t change, and that are severely lacking any participants, and that has been my experience on my Norn.
Enter my two human characters, Elementalist and Guardian. My elementalist is a commoner.
- Try to group with friends, can’t find each other till we both get into the real world, no join options.
- Turns out friend is a noble and I’m a commoner, now we have to do two sets of instances for story quests.
I switched to my guardian who is also a noble to make life easier.
Go out into the world and:
- Feed cows and water corn.
- Shake bushes and get ambushed
- Kill spiders and bats in an orchard, for 20 minutes
- Trap drakes and kill them in 3 hits
- Do a dynamic event to protect pipes that consists of 20 people just mowing over everything with no real organization.
So my take on this game so far, is that I don’t feel like I hero. I feel like some schmuck out in the world shoveling cow poop and scooping up eggs off the farm for the uppity ups. The pacing on the game is very slow. I don’t feel like I am making much headway. After I finish a heart and a story line quest I feel a little lost on what to do except wander over to one of the “dynamic” events I’ve done 10 times already while trying not to fall asleep carrying cow poop around. I find that I get behind on levels for the story quests, but have no idea how to get levels except to go do the same dynamic events 40 times or just go out and grind kill monsters. Both of which get old fast and do nothing to open up the game to me.
Grouping irritates me, most of the time I cannot find my party members without logging in and out several times, and then having to do different instances (or do them solo) for story quests was a feature I found unfun from SW:tor. Why can I not progress in the game with my friends seamlessly without having to go to instances, special story groups or anything for 10 minutes at a time while they wait or follow me along for something that doesn’t even involve them?
MMOs are meant to be Multiplayer, but lately it seems like they are single player games with multiplayer features. This is my take on GW2. I’m playing a slow, want to be sandbox single player game that’s not quite a sandbox. Sure exploration is great, trying to get to the vistas, points etc is an interesting way to work on maps…it’s one thing the rest just feels hollow and souless.
I feel like I am missing something. Many people I like and respect like this game….but to me it feels unepic, slow and boring…with no soul. Beautiful, but empty.