So I was looking for a new game, and Guild Wars 2 won the showdown by virtue of going on sale (again) for $40, plus offering a free trial key, which I picked up from Curse on Thursday.
A few keys might still be available. I don’t know. I thought about giving a heads-up on my blog, but the download was super-impressively fast, and then I was in the game playing.
GW2 is an amazing and beautiful game. It kind of reminds me of Aion but dialed up to 12. It’s a single purchase to play with no subscription fee, which did gave it an edge over SWTOR or Mists of Pandaria, other possibilities.
Guild Wars 2 also offers Spanish, which is another perk for me. This is enabled by a mix of voice and text that is very effective. When the mechanics of the story delivery are invisible, you’ve got it right. The Sylvari (the GW2 plant-based rendition of pointy-ears) turned out to be pretty cool.
Sylvari is the race for me, and I think Thief is the class. I’m still depressed over quitting my L65 Burglar in the other MMO I play, because the Burglar just doesn’t stack up to my Lore-Master for various reasons. Well, the GW2 Thief can swap daggers for dual-wield pistols in a heartbeat, so that’s an issue solved.
I’ve looked at countless videos and articles about this game, and lots of good things have been said. I don’t want to go crazy on all of the good things. I could write a long essay. For example, Angry Joe’s fun video review on this is memorable. He rates the game a 10/10 with a “badass seal of approval”, a game that belongs in your “liberry”.
The dynamic (public) quests and cooperative gameplay really are a big deal for MMO innovation, and a lot of fun. I’ve been revived a number of times by other players, and it’s a warm fuzzy for sure. On the other hand, I know that GW2 has issues with dungeons due to no holy trinity, and lack of a trinity means lack of group roles, so how deep can the cooperation hole go?
Also, what happened when I tried to /thank cooperative people for giving a poor thief a hand? Um. Nothing. Nada. In fact, the list of GW2 emotes is a little short at the moment.
Another trivial thing that shocked me was no lipstick. Ten minutes into creating my first character, I was alt-tabbing and searching Google in disbelief. Surely, I thought, there is a hidden color picker somewhere. Nope. Dolce & Gabbana have left the building.
So the only flaw of my character is her lips, which are an off-body color. Still eminently kissable. No need to panic.
Supposedly one of the GW2 writers is disappointed that a great majority of players are choosing Human, so players are widely missing the great stories he wrote for the other races. Well, it seems obvious that if the races are ugly, less people are going to play them.
Exhibit a: those poor Trolls in WoW, ever vying with Dwarf and Gnome for least played race in the game. I’ve tried a half dozen times to make a female Troll, but it’s never, ever going to happen. It’s going to be the same with the female Asura in GW2.
There is no good-looking female hair for Asura, while there are many more and better hair options for human and Sylvari women. Asura and Charr women also have NO breasts. Who wants to be a member of a race with no breasts? Maybe Asura are actually amphibians of some kind, but Charr are surely mammals, aren’t they?
This is admittedly kitty logic and not rocket scientist logic, but still valid.
Asura could have been properly cute, but instead they look like walking salamanders. And I don’t mean D&D salamanders, which are more attractive. Maybe they were going for a Harry Potter house-elf look. I don’t know.
So, the kitty conclusion is: here GW2, take my money, thanks for the free trial key. I love you. This is the game I want to play right now. The word on Neverwinter is two more classes in the works. I’ll be waiting on those instead of showing up at launch next week. That’s fine.
Syp (or maybe we are back to Justin Olivetti again per the current byline) interviewed Andy Valesquez this last week and did get an interesting explanation on why so few classes at launch in Neverwinter:
“We figured that if the classes we released were really good, people would stick around to see what comes later, as opposed to if we put out a bunch of classes that are whatever, then nobody will care when we say that class 10 is coming next month.”
Here’s hoping that works for them.