August 31, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Criticisms

     I have decided to collect all the criticisms around the game in one article. The reason for this is that these criticisms are just facets of the larger systems and are spread across a wide number of areas. Let me start by saying that I have not found any problems that severely destroys the gameplay experience. However, I still find it worthwhile to take a step back and give some areas for improvement. This not only brings out some concerns that players might have, but at the very least, start a conversation between the players and developers to see if they could make the game better. Let's start with the dynamic event system.

August 30, 2012

Arena Net posts State of the Game Update on Reddit

     Arena Net has released a state of the game update on Reddit highlighting several aspects of the game.The topics they touched on revolved around account security and some game systems that have not yet reached its ideal state due to the large influx of players following the launch. Here is a quick summary of some of the topics they covered.

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Skills and Combat

Check out a video of combat at the end of this article
     Arena Net has been quite vocal about their intentions on skills and combat from the development of the game all the way to release. The team wanted a combat system that is more active as opposed to a more passive combat that has been the norm for this gaming genre. This is quite a departure since these passive systems already works quite well seeing as it has been adopted for a large majority of games. I myself don’t have any qualms about it but I am intrigued as to how Arena Net wants to implement this new system of combat. Let’s dive a bit further.

Trading Post is NOT Available!

Update 1: It seems that due to problems with the trading post when it went up yesterday. Arena Net has brought it down again for maintenance. We'll keep you posted on developments.

Update 2: Arena Net released a State of the Game Update that covers the trading post. See: Arena Net posts State of the Game Update on Reddit

     The Black Lion Trading Company a.k.a the Trading Post is now up and running. People can now buy and sell items using the trading post interface. The trading post was previously down for maintenance since the start of the early access last August 25 and no updates were given. It's well and good now since it is now accessible to all players. Note though that upon testing it a couple of hours ago, there are still some issues such as the buying and selling tab not refreshing, or the my transactions tab not showing the goods you have up for sale. Nevertheless, with a little patience, you will be able to get through. Let's hope to see some improvements in the near future.

The interface is accessible via the lion icon on the upper right of your screen or by pressing the default key "O"

August 29, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Character Development

     A well implemented character progression system is one of the key factors that keep players immersed in an online game. When we play a character, we expect a certain level of improvement and accomplishment as we continue to spend time within the game. This makes it an essential topic for review since this is what will draw people to play and define how long they will be playing. So, like my other review, let's get to it then. Let's talk about character development in Guild Wars 2.

August 28, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Review: The World

     For every MMO, it is essential to have a truly immersive world. The reason for this is that people who play these look for a vast world to explore and adventure in. The landscape is what the player immediately sees and can definitely make or break the player's experience. Let's see what Guild Wars 2 has to offer with its version of the world.

The Guild Wars 2 Review: Primer

     Reviewing an MMO is quite a challenging thing to do as opposed to reviewing games of other genres for the sole reason that an MMO is never quite finished. Because of this ever changing nature, giving an accurate review can be quite challenging due to the nature of the game. How you perceive it now may very well be quite different from the time of the review. Also, the content within an MMO is quite a lot more than your standard game. And because of this scope, being able to capture all the content is quite difficult as well. However, there are some points that can still be reviewed on that are relatively more static in nature. These are the underlying systems and design philosophies of these games. Arguably, these can very much change as well, but not as much as the content and scope of the game.

     Due to the sheer size of the game, I'll be doling out my review in multiple parts each covering one aspect of the gameplay experience. I'll give my objective thoughts on the matter and look at what makes the game great or not so great. With this, I present the Guild Wars 2 Review: A Piece by Piece Look.

Jump past the break to see the sections of the whole review.

August 25, 2012

Chilling with the Servers Down

     I have officially started playing Guild Wars 2 and managed to get my character to level 10 before servers went down around 2 hours ago. So far, my beta impressions are still spot on since I actually played the human area during the beta. There were somethings that were expected such as random lag spikes and flooding of people but overall, the launch was pretty okay considering and I was able to log a good amount of play before everything went down.

August 24, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Criticisms and Wrap-Up

      Based on the last few articles, it is clearly evident that I had a blast with the beta. Guild Wars 2 improves on so many things on the original (and even standard MMO fare) that it's easy to appreciate the game. However, it's best to keep things objective and try to see what areas still need some improvement. This not only makes for good journalism, it also helps the developers improve upon the game even further. So without further ado, let's go off to the criticisms!

Guild Wars Account Linking Now Available!

     I just noticed that you can now link your original Guild Wars account via a link in your account page. If you have not yet linked your account when you bought the game, you can now do so by visiting your account page then click on Link Accounts. If you have filled up your Hall of Monuments, you'll get a load of rewards for Guild Wars 2. This also grants access to character name reservation for your older characters in the original.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Making more Loot from Looting the Loot

     In the previous article, I discussed more on the loot system and how people gather loot in Guild Wars 2. Now I'll be focusing more on the systems that allow you to gain a profit from things you have gathered. Let's talk about trade.

     Trading systems in MMO's have come a long way from its initial roots. The most primitive form is physical trading where one person comes up to another person and initiates the trade. This is supplemented by a trade chat channel to match the potential buyers and sellers. As the genre grew more popular, people demanded for more sophisticated systems. One system that was quite successful was the auction house. While this system can be called a variety of names, e.g. marketplace, trading post, etc. I'll be using the term auction house as the general term for simplicity sake. The concept of this system is to have an automated in-game system that matches the buyers with the sellers while at the same time, allows the game to manage the trading process without requiring either the buyer or seller to be online at the same time. And like everything else that I talked about so far, Guild Wars 2 takes this concept and implements it in its own unique way.

August 23, 2012

The Guild Wars 2 Online Manual Now Available!

     It looks like Arena Net is starting to wet our appetites for everything Guild Wars 2. With just around a day left until the game's launch, the devs at Arena Net released an online manual for our viewing pleasure. The manual focuses on basic concepts that we need to know once we start our journey across Tyria. They explicitly said that this should pretty much cover our first hour within the game but even if it doesn't, it's still something to do while waiting for the game to launch.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Looting the Loot

     There is always a time in every new MMO player's life where you are just dead broke. If you start out on a new MMO, you start out with zero items, zero gold and zero gear. This is actually a very interesting part in every budding players game life since this is usually the point where you think how you can get the wealth that you were so accustomed to in your other games. Guild Wars 2 is no different. To be an successful in the game overall, you have to have a certain level of game wealth to fund your anything from crafting to collecting mini pets. In this edition of my beta impressions, I'll be talking around this topic. Farming and Trade.

     For those not very familiar with these concepts, there is a basic two-step process to get rich in MMO's. The first part is farming. This is where you go out to explorable areas of the world looking for items of value. This can be obtained in a variety of ways. Either killing monsters and looting their bodies or looking for resource nodes that usually give items useful for crafting. The second part of the processes is trading. While you normally get a small amount of game currency just by killing monsters, selling the items that you get farming to other players will be where most of your income will come from. This can be done either by initiating a trade, or using in-game systems such as auction houses or market places.

     Having said all this, Guild Wars 2 implements both these concepts be it in its own unique way.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Questing

     Here's a small history lesson. Back during the early days, MMO's were notorious for the grind. The basic concept back then was, to get to a certain character level, you have to kill a truckload of monsters. Then World of Warcraft came and took the MMO world by storm. They have made a way to progress your level without the "grind". What was their solution? Quests. And ever since then, every other MMO that released had a quest system to guide character progression. Because of this, people started to redefine the meaning of grind. Nowadays, quests are now sometimes classified as a grind. The irony here is quite interesting because as ground breaking ideas are created to address the preferences of people, people's preferences then change to consider these ground breaking ideas to be simply ideas. This was another issue that guys at Arena Net were thinking about when they were designing the questing system for Guild Wars 2. Let's see how it plays out.

August 22, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Beta Impressions: Transitioning into an Open World

     I was lucky enough to get a beta key for one of the beta weekends. I was able to log enough time into the beta so I have a fair idea of what to expect from the game when it comes out. One thing that immediately caught my attention is how differently this game feels from the original Guild Wars. Yes you have the familiar characters and places, but somehow it does not feel the same. The reason for this is actually very simple. If you followed the development of the game, this has been discussed for quite a bit. The transition from Instanced into Open World.

Thank you for your feedback!

     I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that sent in their feedback. From the messages I received, the initial thoughts on the beta impression was that it was a bit to general and had some room for improvement. In line with this, I have revised the first beta impression article to have a lot more substance. We are always happy to hear from the community and its always a great way to make the content in this site more relevant to everyone who enjoys reading about Guild Wars. Again, thank you for your feedback, it is very much appreciated.

August 20, 2012

Which profession will you start with?

     Classes. Well in the case of the Guild Wars universe, we call them professions. MMO archetypes that define how we play and develop in the world of Tyria. To some, they already know what general type they want to play be it healer, tank, melee DPS or range DPS. But for others, this will actually take some simmering and debate. And what better time to do it than right now well before the launch. You wouldn't want the scenario where you finally decided your profession after hours of staring at the character creation screen but suddenly can't pick a name because pretty much everything has been taken wouldn't you?

Guild Wars 2 Pre-Launch Checklist

     Only 4 days left until launch day. The guys in Arena Net are hard at work to ensure Guild Wars 2 launches smoothly and on schedule. We have had our share of Error 37 moments and I don't think they want this to happen to them. But even though it's their job to make sure everything is prepared, doesn't mean we don't have to make preparations of our own. So without further ado...The Guild Wars 2 Pre-Launch Checklist

Welcome to The Guild Wars Gazette

     The official launch of Guild Wars 2 is just around the corner and whether you have bought the game or not, I bet you will be scouring the internet about anything and everything about the game. That's why I am here. Welcome to The Guild Wars Gazette.