Lately, I've felt real distant from you guys; like how EA must feel with the hardcore demographic and people who like games with complicated words like "Synapse" and "The" in them. Everyone is talking about Borderlands 2 these days, and I feel like Bart Simpson did on snow day, watching through my basement window as I try to keep from being distracted by your frolicking, collective love for one anothers game penises. G penis.
Well, not anymore. Because I just got paid, and now I'm down with the crew and cool as hell in the way only an aging white male can be; very slightly. I had a choice to buy Borderlands 2 and Guild Wars 2, and so I created a complex mathematical algorithm to determine which one had more gameplay, and would be more worth my sixty dollars. I'll print it below so you can see it.
It didn't end up telling me much since I instantly remembered that I don't even know what an algorithm is, and that I just really like saying algorithm. So instead I just bought Guild Wars 2 anyways because Angry Joe gave it a really stellar review, and honestly, I usually don't like that guy. If Angry Joe can sell me on a product, it has to be good.
Well Joe, you were right. Guild Wars is the first coming of MMO space Jesus. It's really incredible.
Now, I can't give it a fair shot yet because really, I've only invested a few hours into it. But unlike, oh, every other MMO ever made in the history of the universe, those first few hours didn't bore me to death and make me start considering reading Lady Chatterly's Lover instead for a few brief, dark moments before admitting to myself that I was a sucker for punishment and carrying on to level 10. I'm looking at you, starting area for humans in WoW before the Cataclysm update.
Here is a sequential list of things that happen in the first five minutes of Guild Wars 2
Before you even have time for the game to tell you that WASD moves your character like you are some kind of fucking idiot who hasn't been forced to do this shit a thousand times, the game is throwing you into the fray. Your first major encounter is with a giant earth elemental, and from there, you are helping people around the countryside. I started as a human, so this will obviously differ depending on your race and such, but that was my experience.
GW2 knows what it is, and it doesn't pretend. MMO's started out as virtual worlds you could inhabit, where there was some RPG shit to be done. MUD's and games like Ultima Online half expected you to be roleplaying and creating your own stories, while providing you big worlds full of tough enemies with which to grind your ass off on. WoW wanted to be something more of a game, so while it did this, the focus became on quests and PvP. it got rid of a lot of the more interactive elements (which Everquest already murdered entirely) and a weird culmination was born; it was a game where you existed in some giant world, but in which the only real thing you could do was killin' mobs. There was crafting and all those goodies, and some pretty fun quests to be done, but this was an RPG on a global scale, not the virtual world Richard Garriott had originally envisioned the genre should be.
Oh and then after WoW, everyone just copied the fuck out of that model until we were all red in the face. Asian MMO's focused almost exclusively on grind, and the only ones I can think of that tried to be unique were Dark Age of Camelot and Dungeons and Dragons Online, due to heavier focus on roleplaying in the former, and some really unique dungeons in the latter.
And then there was that fucking Star Wars game.
Anyways, Guild Wars 2 is a smart MMO. It takes all the best parts of every MMO, and attempts to eliminate the rest. I knew the game was trying to trick me into thinking I wasn't doing fetch quests early on by giving me multiple fetch quests AT A TIME instead, but that was okay with me. Since no matter what I was doing, I would always find myself with a group of players every few minutes trying to complete some task, I felt immersed and surprised. Although I'm not a fan of storylines in MMO's, the instances and story quests in the game are interesting enough that I am compelled to keep working my way through them. And combat is a total gas; standing there and doing jack shit but hit the 1 key isn't going to get you anywhere. I have had several fights where because I was doing things in a tactically sensible way, I was able to take down bosses that would have otherwise pummeled me into oblivion. It's a really fantastic experience.
So yeah, I'm just like you guys now. I play the new games. So what do you think about-