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Guild Wars 2 Devs Aiming For the Top 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the work-cut-out-for-them dept.
As various MMOs have been released over the past several years, their developers have been wary about the inevitable measuring against World of Warcraft, often saying that "second-best" is more than good enough for them. Not so for ArenaNet as they work on Guild Wars 2; they're aiming right for the top. And according to a detailed preview now up at Eurogamer, their effort is paying off : "Two huge and risky decisions have been made in its design: junking the 'holy trinity' of character class roles (protective 'tank', damage-dealer and healer) and doing away with the quest-style architecture for game content. Yet, in moment-to-moment play, Guild Wars 2 looks and feels instantly and reassuringly like a fantasy MMORPG – just a noticeably fresh one. It's a question of flow. Combat is still hotkey-based, but faster and smoother and more streamlined, involving more movement and positioning. The levelling curve is now an almost flat line, replacing the epic ascent with a steady journey where content, not advancement, is king."
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Guild Wars 2 Devs Aiming For the Top

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  • by Kokuyo (549451) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @03:52AM (#35596174) Journal

    This sounds rather good. Correct me if I'm wrong, but might this be the MMO that does away with mindless grinding? At least a big chunk of it. Might this be the MMO that does away with standing right before the enemy, slashing your ten foot two-handed sword diagonally and freaking missing (I optimistically read that into the whole 'positioning is important' part)?

    Time will surely tell.

    • by Tarkhein (2007710)

      Might this be the MMO that does away with standing right before the enemy, slashing your ten foot two-handed sword diagonally and freaking missing

      Guild Wars already has the auto-hit you're describing... you don't have to wait for Guild Wars 2.

      • by Kokuyo (549451)

        Either you have completely different ideas of what the word 'auto-hit' implies than I do, or I didn't make my point particularly clear.

        • by osu-neko (2604)

          Either you have completely different ideas of what the word 'auto-hit' implies than I do, or I didn't make my point particularly clear.

          You said...

          Might this be the MMO that does away with standing right before the enemy, slashing your ten foot two-handed sword diagonally and freaking missing.

          Guild Wars does precisely that. You never miss unless your opponent uses some skill to counter your attack. Failing that, you simply cannot miss -- your hit chance is 100%.

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            It's also worth noting that one of the aspects of "skill" in guild wars has been kiting projectiles. Unlike wow et al, they do not auto track, and in fact, rangers' choice of bow was always based on three things: bow's range, bow's attack speed and arc in which bow fires the arrow (the higher the arc, then longer it takes for arrow to reach the target). In many cases, picking a bow with highest arc meant that it was very easy to just sidestep the arrow completely through movement.

            So yes, positioning-based h

            • by Kokuyo (549451)

              Thanks for clarification, then. For me, auto-hit means you don't press the button for each attack :).

              • I've heard that called "auto attack". I remember it first in Everquest. Having come from FPS' at the time, it was very foreign to me.

                • by Luckyo (1726890)

                  In guild wars, there is an auto attack if you target someone and either click attack or hit space, i.e. it's a default action for hostile targets.

                  Unlike wow auto-attack is interrupted when you use any skill other then "on next attack" skill. So if you're a ranger and see a hostile approach you can select + space him, shoot him a couple of times, then hit crippling shot skill, execute it, and after finishing the crippling shot your character will again default to start auto-attacking.

                  In many regards it was k

              • by cforciea (1926392)
                IIRC Guild Wars 2 only has auto attack in the sense that you can set one of your weapon skills to automatically activate on recharge. All attacks come from your skill bar, so there is not auto attack in the strictest sense.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      uh no. it's going to be the nwn clone you play with friends. that's what content means in this sense, it means a tunnel cave of scripting. dunno what top they're going after though. and their business model needs there to be this "2", they can't just evolve the existing.

      I'd prefer a mmorpg with a truly dynamic world, not a circus fair ride.

      • by osu-neko (2604)

        I'd prefer a mmorpg with a truly dynamic world, not a circus fair ride.

        Me too. What's what I find lacking about WoW -- it's not a dynamic world at all. No matter what you do, the world never really changes. The same foes are still there menacing the same caravan that never seems to make it to its destination, etc. They've using phasing here and there to try to combat that, but they don't do it nearly enough. GW2 has a very interesting system to make the world truly dynamic. I can't wait to see it in action...

        • Re:Damn! (Score:4, Informative)

          by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:04AM (#35596512) Homepage Journal

          That's an incredibly difficult goal for a game with tens of thousands of players on a server, all trying to change the world. Unless they stick with their "instanced world", but that isn't really an MMO, it's a single-player or small-group game with "3d avatar chat rooms" called "towns". What I like about WoW is that you can bump into people doing stuff while you are out there doing stuff. I've made friends by seeing someone having a tough time in a fight and going and helping them out. That never happens in GW. Having that flexibility and a dynamic world seems impossible to me, but I hope I'm proved wrong some day.

          • Re:Damn! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by SharpFang (651121) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:40AM (#35596648) Homepage Journal

            It is doable,
            epic missions - battles involving hundreds of players,
            massive events (enemy assault on a town, siege progressing day by day),
            timed progress of situation as players complete their tasks,
            stalemate situations that need heavy power to throw them off balance
            important positions relatively easy to take over but difficult to hold, so they continuously change ownership
            significant guilds shaping the politics, economy, influencing the world,
            VERY difficult missions which would be attempted and failed over and over until someone succeeds and the result is permanent,
            construction of massive structures progressing by tiny phases, so your contribution is permanent ("I built THIS door of the castle"),
            active environmental engineering (channels, lakes, dams) controlled from well defendable positions you can take over then hold or protect with traps,
            portable structures that can be built anywhere by consolidated effort of a moderately sized group ("let's build a fortified checkpoint HERE.")
            Instantiated personal space (a room in a hotel or a house) so that every player has a fully customizable personal area without cutting into the massive bulk,
            expensive, prestigeous public locations for rent/sale and personalized use. ...want more ideas?

            • Workable and realistic ideas, yes.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              ...want more ideas?

              Since every single one of those has been suggested dozens, if not hundreds of times on the boards, and I imagine every single one of them has had a reply from a developer saying they are doing it or explaining why they aren't doing it (with good, legitimate reasons every time I've seen it), yes, you are going to have to do better. A few examples.

              epic missions - battles involving hundreds of players,

              They've had a 40 vs 40 battleground for half a decade. Then they introduced a pvp area that could take unlimited players. The servers strained near the point of cr

              • I pay just as much for this game as everyone else. I should have the opportunity to see and experience all of it without having to sacrifice my job and life to make sure I'm part of the "elite" guilds that can get that first kill.

                Is this really what we think? It doesn't really make sense to me if that's true. As an avid, but non-elite, gamer I can feel the sentiment, but I can't say I believe in it. Surely there is a justified difference in reward for people who pay the same as you AND sacrifice their

                • by RobDude (1123541)

                  The only level of input that matters is $$$.

                  And casual gamers are more cost effective than hardcore gamers. Spendings 20 hours a day on the server and paying $15 per month isn't as beneficial to the game company as someone who plays 5 hours a week and pays $15 per month.

              • by SharpFang (651121)

                Since every single one of those has been suggested dozens,

                Keyword Single.
                Nobody gathered a bunch of them and combined them all in one game.
                There are one-off implementations of some. Half-assed and under-used.

                Nope. What made original Duke Nukem a great game remembered until today? Pipe bombs? Jetpack? Freeze gun? Shrink gun? Fabulous lines? Interactive environments? Not one single of these things but all of them combined. So all your "this, implemented here" is pointless.

                Now it maxes out at...80 vs 80, as I recall.

                So split it into many smaller areas, where smaller battles of 20 vs 20 can take place, but make

                • by PhilHibbs (4537)

                  Now it maxes out at...80 vs 80, as I recall.

                  So split it into many smaller areas, where smaller battles of 20 vs 20 can take place, but make the whole zone a war zone. Or make an engine that allows transitions between such areas seamlessly. And not just a duel arena, but a war ground between major factions. Still, sounds primarily like shoddy programming.

                  No, sounds like an inevitable consequence of an MMO. That first M? That stands for "Massive". Not "Up to 20". As soon as you put in changeable worlds, a bunch of trolls will flock to a single point and make a fort the shape of a penis.

                  • by praxis (19962)

                    In my dream MMO (such a game already exists in a different setting) if the community didn't agree with that penis, they'd get together a posse and destroy it and kill the guy who made it.

                  • by SharpFang (651121)

                    You don't talk with everyone at once. You don't see everyone at once. Even on goddamned IRC there are channels.
                    A split into smaller manageable sections is perfectly viable as long as transition is nearly seamless.

                    Are the GTA games a set of smallish town pieces? Technically they were, but since transition was seamless, from the player's standpoint it's one large piece of land.

                    Is the game's requirement to run on a single server to be a MMO? Or can it be distributed over a cloud, where each server manages a sm

              • by PhilHibbs (4537)

                Blizz also tries to avoid implementing mechanics that encourages everyone to join up in a few large guilds. Sure, large guilds do have advantages, but right now, they aren't overwhelming.

                That's actually the biggest problem I have with the latest expansion - it has practically destroyed small guilds. All the active players are consolidating into the big guilds with all the perks. And those that aren't consolidating are finding it hard to get raid places, as you need 75% of the raid to be guild members in order to get guild credit for raid kills.

                • by bckrispi (725257)

                  That's actually the biggest problem I have with the latest expansion - it has practically destroyed small guilds. All the active players are consolidating into the big guilds with all the perks. And those that aren't consolidating are finding it hard to get raid places, as you need 75% of the raid to be guild members in order to get guild credit for raid kills.

                  Oh, bollocks! My guild is the epitome of a "small, casual" guild. We have a core of less than 20 "dedicated" players. Our Cataclysm raid progression is currently a whopping 1/12. And still our Guild is already level 18, which provides some pretty sweet perks, as it is.

            • It's been a while(read: years) since I've played EVE, but it strikes me that a lot of the things you mention is already incorporated in that game.(BTW I'm not an EVE fanatic, I actually found it somewhat boring, despite a quite compelling world)

              "epic missions - battles involving hundreds of players"

              - Well, there's plenty of that, just check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2LHvByxM70 [youtube.com] for some huge battles

              "massive events (enemy assault on a town, siege progressing day by day)"

              - Not too sure about this, but sh

              • You answered these pretty well, but here's a few you missed:

                "timed progress of situation as players complete their tasks"

                - I've no idea about this one, but being a single server game surely some "endgame" quests are one-offs?

                Incursions, they came with the last expansion. If you don't kill them fast enough, they come back.

                "important positions relatively easy to take over but difficult to hold, so they continuously change ownership"

                - Ok, can't find a single example of this.( haven't looked very thoroughly though)

                Syndicate. Curse. Pure Blind. Pretty much, name any NPC 0.0.

                "VERY difficult missions which would be attempted and failed over and over until someone succeeds and the result is permanent"

                Again I take the position of one server = one-off quests.(again no idea if this is the case or not)

                EVE really isn't about PvE content, it's all PvP. But no, there are no one-off quests--not that you'll miss them. There are some very difficult missions, where if you're a solo player it will take you a year or more to build up the skills to be able to do them, but the only thing that's perman

                • by JDAustin (468180)

                  "expensive, prestigeous public locations for rent/sale and personalized use."

                  - Ok, got me again.

                  Delve.

                  Watching PL keep people from taking Delve while they themselves don't bother conquering it has given me a laugh.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              Watch the gameplay trailers. 2 words. Player Housing.

            • by DarkJC (810888)

              I thought this was supposed to be a tech site? How does a bullet point wishlist of features with absolutely no regard to the difficulty of implementation on the technical side or pitfalls on the game implementation side get modded to +5 insightful?

          • It's quite doable. Take a lesson from the real world, where we have billions of people all trying to change the world (to some extent).

            Star Wars: Galaxies has a really flexible (albeit buggy as hell) system of professions and virtually no content at all back when it launched. So, it was a sandbox, basically.

            Yet you had players having a massive impact on their servers - crafters would set up business empires employing dozens (or, in some cases, hundreds and maybe up to a thousand) people, politician classes

        • Your post reminds me of a game a friend of mine and I "designed" (at least in our heads) a few years back. Its main ideas were
          (1) players can change the world permanently
          (2) the world progresses with player-made technological innovation
          (3) the player factions' purpose is to organize technical progress and labor for a common purpose

          You could dig a hole and it would stay there, or make a plateau for defense, or burn down a forest, or plant one, or set up mining operations. The natural world would basica

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          The same foes are still there menacing the same caravan that never seems to make it to its destination

          What do you propose as an alternative? Because, without respawning of bad guys/quests, every new player would enter a pretty much empty world.

          • by GooberToo (74388)

            What do you propose as an alternative?

            They could dynamically move (or at least have times where they were there and not) rather than statically persist. It would actually make the game more enjoyable by giving a sense of a real world with real people rather than a static, inflexible, unchanging, unyielding world.

        • by bckrispi (725257)
          Phasing was used piecemeal in Wrath of the Lich King. Zones like Icecrown and Storm Peaks used it pretty extensively. With Cataclysm, every new zone makes heavy use of phasing. Their design goal was to make it feel like as you quested, you were actually making a difference in the world around you. However, this came with an unforeseen drawback. I can level numerous characters from 1-80, and have a different experience every time. There are enough disconnected quest hubs in each zone where I can pick a
      • by Feinu (1956378)

        I'd prefer a mmorpg with a truly dynamic world, not a circus fair ride.

        Sounds like GW2 is exactly what you want. While I agree that the original Guild Wars series was highly linear in terms of plot, Guild Wars 2 includes lots of dynamic events which have a tangible impact on the world you experience. Have a look at this description of dynamic events [guildwars2.com] for more detail.

        • I can only assume that griefing has crossed their minds and they have some mechanism of coping with it. I am extremely excited about this game but when I read the bit about events scaling...
          "To help ensure there is always enough for everyone to do, our events dynamically scale, so the more players who show up and participate in the event, the more enemies show up to fight them. If a bunch of players leave the event, it will dynamically scale back down so it can be completed by the people who are still ther

          • by Anonymous Coward

            There is no PvP in the "main" (PvE) game world.

            There are two kinds of PvP:
            Structured PvP where teams battle each other for glory in special arenas.
            Unstructured World vs World vs World PvP where you battle players from two other servers for control of a common area.

            Structured PvP is the only way you can kill someone from your own server.

            ArenaNet has gone to great length to prevent other players from your server to be seen as enemies. Two other examples: Multiple players can mine the same ore simultaneously

          • I can only assume that griefing has crossed their minds and they have some mechanism of coping with it. I am extremely excited about this game but when I read the bit about events scaling...They're talking about how they've solved the problem of kill-stealing but is PvP interaction enabled in public areas? If ten people are "participating" in an event but two or three of them are attacking the other players, that's a problem. Heck, if ten people are participating and two or three are just hanging around doing nothing to make the event scale harder for the remaining players, that's a problem. I can only hope and trust that this possibility is obvious enough that there was some consideration of it in the development of these interactions.

            At Pax East, they commented further on this. Kill-stealing is solved because everyone who participates gets full credit and full reward for doing so. They also said that if 10 people are fighting and 2-3 are standing there, the AI is smart enough not to count them in its scaling calculations (they can even plink the enemy a bit to "act" interested...but still not count because they aren't meeting the level necessary to be considered "active" participants). From what they said at the convention panel, it doe

    • Definitely seems promising, and looks great too! I guess this will be the next mmorpg I'll be looking forward to, and I already managed to stay clean of those for couple of years. Anyway, been disappointed after getting excited by great promises too many times in the past so will have to wait and see. It does bring that glimmer of hope for the next great game though!
    • No, it wont. When you have people that are willing to sink 12hrs+ a day into a game it is impossible to develop enough content to make it non-grindy unless you wanted to sink billions into development.
      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        But it IS possible to create something non-grindy for people who can play 1-2 hours a day at most.
        Make levelling atleast partially dependant on real time and those who want to play 12+ can grind, those who don't get new content.
        Perhaps a 1-2 hour player gets to see 50% of all content once and a 12+ hour player repeats 100% of the content six times.
        Most MMO's I've tried had me grinding within the first half hour. Hence I don't play any MMO. Perhaps GW2 might be different.

      • Re:Damn! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Solandri (704621) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:55AM (#35596990)

        No, it wont. When you have people that are willing to sink 12hrs+ a day into a game it is impossible to develop enough content to make it non-grindy unless you wanted to sink billions into development.

        GW and GW2 are not very level-dependent, and use a skill system where you don't have access to all your skills. You have to pick and choose which skills you have available to you at any given time. That and the interactions between skills creates a complexity and depth of play which provides plenty of replay value for the same scenarios. In other MMORPGs, each class uses pretty much use the same 3-5 skill combos for everything because they're the best. In GW, there are literally millions of different combinations of skills to explore, with dozens and sometimes hundreds of effective combos. The "best" combo will vary almost with every fight. So no, they don't have to sink billions into development to give you something new to try. When the player gains new skills or they add new skills, suddenly the old content becomes new content. It has a very high degree of replayability.

        Most MMOs turn into grindfests because that's the best way for the company running them to maximize revenue. People are paying $15/mo to level, so its in the company's best interest to slow down your leveling as much as they can. That way you stick around playing longer, which means they collect more months of fees from you. Sinking 12+ hours a day into the game is also a consequence of that. You want to level faster, but the game deliberately slows down your leveling, so you spend more time playing it every day.

        GW and GW2 don't have a monthly fee. You pay for the game, you pay for expansions, and you pay for certain upgrades. That's it. So they have no incentive to make the game a grindfest. In fact the opposite is true - they want to do everything they can to get you through the content quickly so you'll buy the next expansion, but they also want to make every minute you play as fun as possible so you'll feel it's worth spending the money on the next expansion.

        Couple this with levels not being very important, and there's no incentive to play 12+ hours a day (unless you find it fun enough to play 12+ hours a day). You just play for as long as you're having fun. I've played GW 12 hours a day, I've played it 1 hour a day, and I've stopped playing it for months at a time. It's very friendly to casual gamers, and the amount of fun per hour is much higher. IMHO it's a much better model than the level/grind fest that other MMOs have become.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          Wish I had mod points. Very informative.

        • Re:Damn! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Quirkz (1206400) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @10:34AM (#35599002) Homepage
          I think you may have just sold me on trying this game. I've stayed away from many other MMOs because real-world time is a huge barrier for me (and also because I can't stomach monthly fees, though part of that comes back to feeling like I need to play to get my money's worth). But this sounds like something I can enjoy casually, or in depth, as time is available and the mood strikes.
    • "We're basically saying, listen, this as a core game mechanic [tank/healer/damage roles] is tired, we can do something better, we can do something more interesting than this..."

      Finally I think I can enjoy MMORPG's! Instead of relying on other players to fill those skills your avatar lacks, players are now more well-rounded. Focus well shifted, I say.

      "questing is replaced by a dynamic events system that bins all the busywork and box-ticking admin from your adventures."

      Wonderful! :-)

    • by Arjes (1572161)

      Might this be the MMO that does away with standing right before the enemy, slashing your ten foot two-handed sword diagonally and freaking missing

      I agree it has always annoyed me as well. But since most of these games are one way or the other based on the game play style of D&D (and its very predecessors) I feel like I should point out that a miss in D&D isn't a swing and a hit to the floor. It could be a parry, or just a glancing shot that didn't do significant damage (armor deflection). It will be a nice day when our games display all of that easily, but then we will complain about the slight distance between the weapons.

    • by Rayonic (462789)

      This sounds rather good. Correct me if I'm wrong, but might this be the MMO that does away with mindless grinding?

      No chance. People will always complain about grinding. If there's a leveling system, they'll say they have to "grind" to the level cap. If there's better equipment then they'll "grind" for that. This isn't the days of Everquest when grinding meant killing the same enemies over and over, or other simple and repetitive tasks.

      Anything in between now and "endgame" (however it's defined) has been classified as grind by modern MMO players. Doesn't matter if you have fun and fast-paced combat, awesome quests

    • by morari (1080535)

      For me, that's always been the BIG failure of MMOs. The combat is boring. It's practically turn-based in all but a few games. The handful of titles that do try to implement a real-time, skill-based system fail miserably. Assuming one game got that right, it just might be enough to make up for redundant quests and pointless grinding... it still wouldn't be enough to mitigate the monthly fees though (at least Guild Wars gets that one right).

    • The holy trinity comes from EQ and it comprised of the Tank, Healer, and Slower. DPS concept didn't play into that and was an afterthought.

  • There's just no way any MMO is going to "beat" World of Warcraft, except maybe Blizzard's next one. Maybe Guild Wars 2 is going to be a better game in every way possible, it's not going to matter anything... It's like if I sat down and made a "social network" site that was better in every way than facebook, and then expected that everyone would stop using facebook and use my service instead. It's just not going to happen, the momentum is too big.

    Trying to market a large fantasy-themed MMORPG at the moment i

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ICQ's momentum?

      Myspace's?

      Halo? TV? CDs? VCRs?

      What about every single fashion and fad in the history of mankind?

      When the momentum is "too big", time and time again it has proven to be "too big".

      Tell your theory to the next guy you see cancelling his facebook account.

      • by mikael_j (106439)

        ICQ's momentum?

        Was beaten my MS bundling MSN/MSN Live/Whatever they call it these days Messenger with Windows.

        Myspace's?

        Was not the first nor did it have nearly the dominance some people who were themselves myspace users thought it had. Most people I know, who are now Facebook users, hated Myspace and did not have Myspace accounts.

        Halo? TV? CDs? VCRs?

        CDs and VCRs have basically been replaced by new technology supported by those who previously supported these formats.

        What about every single fashion and fad in the history of mankind?

        No one is saying WoW will live on forever, only that it's not realistic to assume that

        • by malkavian (9512)

          You don't have to assume that everything will be a WoW killer. Just that one completely different model (free to play, unsubscribed, content rich game without grind) has a chance.
          Sooner or later, WoW will topple. It's not if, it's definitely when. The question that needs to be asked is what it takes to topple it. That's what the game devs are theorising about; it just takes one of them to get it right.

        • by Sky Cry (872584)
          Skype has beaten ICQ for me, because Skype does so much more: voice, video, etc. Facebook has beaten LiveJournal for me, because Facebook does so much more: faster/easier sharing of interesting links, photos, organizing events, etc. The same for CDs, VCRs, etc. And the same applies to Guild Wars 2 - it can beat World of Warcraft, if it manages to offer more.
      • More than 10 million people are playing World of Warcraft, all with social connections within the game.

        Sure, maybe in a few years only 5 million people will be playing, but it will probably still be the biggest MMORPG out there.

        Of course the game isn't going to live forever, but the idea of Guild Wars 2 "beating" WoW is just absurd.

        • You know, people said that about EverQuest, when WoW came out. That the idea of WoW beating EQ was simply absurd because there were so many people playing EQ who wouldn't want to simply switch.

          Of course, GuildWars doesn't have to sink WoW to win. It just has to have a large enough player base to succeed financially. And that's going to depend on the quality of the content and gameplay. And if it's good enough, then it will slowly win out over WoW... those social connections that you mention? They're WoW's a

          • You know, people said that about EverQuest, when WoW came out. That the idea of WoW beating EQ was simply absurd because there were so many people playing EQ who wouldn't want to simply switch.

            I'm pretty sure that it was a different kind of people who played EverQuest. The appeal of WoW is just so much broader. I'd say the current WoW has more in common with FarmVille than Everquest :P.

            Of course, GuildWars doesn't have to sink WoW to win. It just has to have a large enough player base to succeed financially. And that's going to depend on the quality of the content and gameplay. And if it's good enough, then it will slowly win out over WoW...

            You're right, as far as I know, none of these "failed" WoW-killers actually turned out as big financial losses. They usually start out with a huge amount of preorders and a couple of months of insane growth, mostly from WoW-players who are tired of the game and want to try something new. But after a few months thes

            • You know, people said that about EverQuest, when WoW came out. That the idea of WoW beating EQ was simply absurd because there were so many people playing EQ who wouldn't want to simply switch.

              I'm pretty sure that it was a different kind of people who played EverQuest. The appeal of WoW is just so much broader. I'd say the current WoW has more in common with FarmVille than Everquest :P.

              Oh my god, this is the best line I've ever heard. I'm going to troll the shit out of the WoW-players with this.

              Thank you, so much.

            • by bckrispi (725257)

              I'm pretty sure that it was a different kind of people who played EverQuest. The appeal of WoW is just so much broader.

              Six years ago, WoW started out more like "Casual" EverQuest. Keep in mind that "Casual" here meant you needed to coordinate a group of 40 players who could dedicate a four hour stretch to raiding if you wanted to see 80% of the end-game content. Burning Crusade replaced the 40 man raids with 25 main raiding. Wrath allowed the flexibility of each raid supporting either 25 or 10 man teams

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      ... It's like if I sat down and made a "social network" site that was better in every way than facebook ...

      "Betamax vs. VHS" comments in 3,2,1, ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      WoW is going seriously downhill, the developers are making horrible decisions, I cancelled my account and havent gone anywhere near looking back. to be honest when guild wars 2 comes out I along with many others, specifically PvPers will be moving to it.

      A lot of people have lost faith in blizzards ability to balance recently, sorry to say but soon there will be a new MMO king, and I do not think it will be made by Blizzard.

      This of course does not count Blizzard's new MMO that is coming out, That might have

      • I've played WoW since release and I share your view that the game is going downhill (since end of TBC). The reward/effort ratio is simply too high for the average old-school MMORPG player. But we need to realize that we're a tiny minority, nobody cares if we stop playing. We can go play Rift or Guild Wars 2 or whatever, Blizzard isn't going to notice it.

        WoW caters to a huge spectrum of player types. The cartoonish style of the game appeals to casual players ranging from young kids to housewives. Just lookin

        • well to give you some ideas 3 couples i know are quitting, my wife is quitting, 15 fellow gladiators(along with a host of their followers)...

          its more along the lines of they are losing more than are coming in. so slowly but surely they will start to notice the impact.

          most players start playing because of other friends that play that started because other friends got them in. the same order works in reverse. when all of your friends are quitting you slowly lose interest in the game, being that it relies on s

          • As you say, people usually quit in groups because nobody wants to play anymore if all their friends have stopped.

            Basically my entire guild quit the game shortly after WOTLK was released, but for every people who stops playing, either a new casual player wants to try the game or an old WoW veteran is drawn back by nostalgia. If you check out the WoW subscription numbers, they've been remarkably stable since WOTLK.

            Another thing we shouldn't forget is how much we've changed ourselves. Personally I like to comp

            • This happened to my guild as well; most of us were IRL friends and got tired of Blizzard's single minded attempts to kill world PvP. It's as if after the debacle that was Halaa they just stopped trying. Cities are now all but impossible to attack with anything less than a full on raid, and when that happens... Well we all know how well the WoW engine deals with large numbers of players in one area. Even with Wintergrasp you now have to queue to enter the battle. There are so many ways they could improve wor
            • by Anonymous Coward

              I say this as well, but what it boils down to, I won't go on to another MMORPG that I have to pay for. Two accounts for my wife and myself is $30 a month I'd really like to have back.

              Guild Wars is appealing because they're pushing on the no monthly subscription. I don't need to feel as guilty if I stop playing for a month. Right now, I log in once a week to raid and my wife just plays auction hall games. Neither of us wants to full quit, but that money per month is starting to look rather wasteful.

          • by ildon (413912)

            15 fellow gladiators

            You missed his point completely. The fact that you're friends with 15 gladiator players shows that you are a hardcore player and hang out with hardcore players. But hardcore players aren't what makes Blizzard the big bucks. And just because you're married (or "a couple" or whatever) doesn't necessarily make you a casual player.

            Every person I know could quit WoW right now and Blizzard would not notice. It'd be invisible behind their regular churn. It might cause a ruckus on my server but

        • by elrous0 (869638) *

          Everything has gone downhill since I was young.

      • by feidaykin (158035)
        funny, my opinion is that wow is in the best state it has ever been in. granted, with a game as old as wow, it is hard to recapture that shiny newness that a fresh mmo has. but wows endgame has never been better. now 10man raids are on equal footing with 25 mans since the loot is identical. this means players no longer feel forced to run both 10 and 25 mans to advance. this gives smaller guilds a huge advantage, making wows endgame more accessable than it has ever been. at the same time, the game is f
    • by loufoque (1400831)

      There's just no way any MMO is going to "beat" World of Warcraft

      As far as I'm concerned, any MMO is better than WoW. I never got why people liked it so much. It's the most terrible one I've ever played.
      It's pure grinding, has little to no character customization, uninteresting classes that are all the same, very poor graphics...
      It's like an old school MMORPG but without the roleplaying nor the old-school feel.

      • I think what caught most players in the WoW trap was that they did not want their investments to be for nothing.
        Think about it, they spent a lot of time any money on virtually nothing and if they quit, they will lose it.
        The hype lured them in, by the time they had noticed it was 'rinse&repeat' gameplay, they had already invested so much time and money.
        Then they went for the raids, hoping it will bring back the enthusiasm, but that wears off quickly and their last resorts are trying to get the super-dupe

      • There's just no way any MMO is going to "beat" World of Warcraft

        As far as I'm concerned, any MMO is better than WoW. I never got why people liked it so much. It's the most terrible one I've ever played.
        It's pure grinding, has little to no character customization, uninteresting classes that are all the same, very poor graphics...
        It's like an old school MMORPG but without the roleplaying nor the old-school feel.

        I played WoW for quite a while, and I can understand some of what you say. To begin with, I was between jobs, with a lot of time to kill. I thought I'd play WoW to see some interesting landscapes, which of course meant you had to level. It was a bit of a grind, but at least it changed somewhat every couple of levels, and there were new abilities, new instances, etc. I could play the game as I wanted, in my own time, without relying on other players, while still playing it as a multiplayer game.

        But when I go

      • by Talon88 (975382)
        I don't know how many MMOs you've played, but I'd like to address some of these points.

        'Pure grinding' - you can level up through pvp, questing, or dungeons, and currently can get a 35% increase in experience gained, meaning that you can fly through 'old content.

        'No character customization' - Well, yeah, aside from facial expressions, skin color, and a haircut, you're right, they're just cookie-cutter clones.

        'Uninteresting classes that are all the same' - Here, I have to wonder what your actual experi

      • by ildon (413912)

        When people talk about "beating" WoW they're talking in terms of subscriber numbers. What you personally like or don't like isn't really relevant. I don't really like Call of Duty but that doesn't stop it from being the most popular, fastest selling FPS game around.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      It simply needs to reach a certain critical mass. Once there are enough players (I have no idea how many "enough" is), then it's going to look like an equally attractive proposition. If other aspects of the game are more compelling then the larger player base is less important.

      Exactly how they get to critical mass, I have no idea.
    • by Bengie (1121981)

      That's assuming they charge the same amount. If they have different subscription plans, like $5/month or free again, then they may not have to directly complete with WoW. All they have to do is offer an comparable experience and capture the audience that couldn't afford or didn't want to pay WoW's $15/month+transfer-costs.

      Once your base gets big enough, friend referrals and good gaming will capture many many more players.

    • by Shillo (64681)

      Anet guys specifically say that their goal is to build the highest quality game ever, not the best selling game ever. They also never mention WoW.

      WoW comparisons in the article are all Eurogamer editorializing, not Anet statements.

    • by ildon (413912)

      Also, in the context of social networking companies and game companies, imagine Facebook was owned by Google. Even if small pockets of people have started to dislike Blizzard for various reasons, they're still a giant in the industry as far as releasing hugely successful blockbuster titles, even ignoring WoW completely. You could put the Blizzard logo on a completely random game and sell 2 million copies due to brand recognition/trust, even if it turned out to be crappy.

      To beat WoW, you're not just beating

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Another wasted /. put towards advertising.

    A game coming out, with no real information and touting greatness.

    Even drunk I can say... why is this here?

  • I'm so waiting for an MMO game that doesn't feel like WOW disguised with prettier graphics and different models. I hoped Champions Online, in a completely separate setting, would feel more refreshing to play, but ultimately did not. The original Guild Wars was fantastic, and I'm yet to play an RPG game that felt anywhere near as compelling to play as Guild Wars. I'm expecting ArenaNet to deliver something that will be as much a joy to play as Guild Wars, perhaps even better. I think ArenaNet may well be t
  • After 6 years of watching new "WoW killers" pathetic little MMOs come and go, i'm not bitting anymore.

    Nobody ever says that they aim to be "second-best". Even if they realistically expect to be 6th or7th, Sales & Marketing will boast that their lame product is the best ever, the new king of the market-share.

    Steaming pile of bullshit. If WoW will ever be overthrown, it won't happen over night. It will be a very long and slow process, requiring tons of work and patience from the competitor. My bet is
    • by osu-neko (2604)

      ...it won't happen over night. It will be a very long and slow process, requiring tons of work and patience from the competitor.

      Indeed. There's a reason why there's a "2" at the end of "Guild Wars 2". ArenaNet didn't spring up overnight. They delivered a product that was superior to WoW in just about every conceivable way back 2005, but with one significant issue: it wasn't really an MMORPG. WoW had just launched months before, BTW, so they weren't looking at making a WoW killer -- there was nothing to be slain, they were just trying to make a great game, and they succeeded. Ultimately, though, it was no more an MMORPG than Di

  • WoW since two weeks after it went live, GW since the day Prophecies went live. Love both games! GW 2 is going to be a very big game with player base potentially as large as WoW. However that potential will mostly be realized without drawing players away from WoW. GW 2 players will like the RPG element of the personal story line, enjoy the excitement of the ferocious fps style game play, and the many other innovative features of GW 2. Not to mention having no monthly fee! I will be getting the super deluxe e
  • Only Blizzard will kill World of Warcraft; some will say the latest expansion was a major attempt at doing that; and while GW2 looks very nice it still is a PvP centric MMO which don't do well in America. Blizzard succeeded wildly with both the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions because they made content accessible to the majority of players. The game became very friendly towards even those who did not make it a second job. This put them so far over the top I really doubt Guild Wars 2 wil

    • by ildon (413912)

      Without a subscription model, it's actually in ArenaNet's interest for people to hit level cap and quit playing until the next expansion, then quit playing again when they complete that expansion's content.

    • Guild wars 2 is NOT a PVP-based MMO. The majority of the content is PvE. There is no ganking or open-world PvP, all PvP is in seperate PVP-only areas.

      Guilds Wars 2 is a western MMO from a WESTERN developer. I'm not sure why everyone thinks it's an asian MMO. GW1 was most popular in Europe and the US.
    • by bckrispi (725257)

      Only Blizzard will kill World of Warcraft; some will say the latest expansion was a major attempt at doing that;

      To be fair, some said the same thing after Wrath came out... and after Burning Crusade was released...

  • They've been "wary" about measuring against wow? I don't know where they're getting their information but there's been a steady stream of Games over the past few years that have claimed they were the wow killer and have failed miserably. If I remember correctly even Guildwars1 claimed they may take down wow... about 10min into the game and realizing it was all instancing, I knew better.
    • by ph0rk (118461)
      You are confusing what the game developers and marketers have said with what the community has said.

      The only time I have ever heard the term "wow-killer" or anything like it was from a gamer that was consumed with the fervor of a new game - zeal of the converted.

      What I -have- seen is developers/marketing pointing out one or two specific facets of WoW that their game does better or differently. Not the same thing.
      • by bckrispi (725257)
        Hmm. Last time I checked, the official marketing slogan (both online and on TV) for Rift's release was "You're not on Azeroth anymore!"
  • That would be great. That is the worst invention of all rpgs...the higher the level you get the longer it takes to get to the next reward. Why do game developers think adding boredom to the game somehow makes it better? I hope they make a great game and topple that regime.
    • Look at ANY game. Look at LIFE.

      If something is easy to get, everyone will get it. And once they get it, they toss it aside easily.

      I got Ashkandi after months and months of raiding; it was a symbol of achievement in both patience and ability. Still keep it in my bags at level 85. All that badge gear? Destroyed.

      The actual leveling part of WoW is not very grindy, and the gearing part has gotten MUCH less so but you still need SOME because it teaches you how to play your character and work through your strength

  • Every other "WoW killer" is more or less trying to beat WoW at its own game. Thinking you'll be better than something because you have the better skills package, the better graphics, the more interesting franchise or whatever is missing the big picture.

    GW2 is one of the few game changers out there. It's not trying to copy WoW and improve it here and there, it's trying to re-invent the MMORPG genre. The only other example I know that was brave enough to question pretty much everything and do it differently w

  • This sounds exactly like what I want. The question, though, is "can they pull it off?". Will people like it so much that they forgo the classic design of MMORPGs (read flock away from wow), or will they just be a footnote in history. I, for one, will at least have a try. Unless diablo 3 or torchlight mmo comes out first. Then all bets are off...

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