Hello All!Guild Wars 2 has been throwing out content quicker than most casual players can complete it. For all the goodness that this brings (much of the content is unquestionably good) I do feel ArenaNet’s priorities are a little strange with much of this content forgettable, temporary and inconsequential distractions from ‘meaty’ content players are seeking.
I would go out on a limb and state that a large proportion of the player-base would happily see an update once a month if it meant that the content was permanent, to a high standard and offered true long term potential. What I keep coming back to though, when I think about the content that Guild Wars 2 is missing, tends to be the same thing by me and many others. I must also add that much of this editorial was sparked by Distilled Will’s opinions on the state of Guild Wars 2 as an E Sport.
Guild versus Guild and Spectating
This might sound as though I am banging a drum that has been beaten to death, but I do genuinely scratch my head at one of the finest additions to the entire genre to totally ignored by those who created it. My cynical side tells me that there is more at work behind the scenes on why they can’t do it, as to why they can. Whether it’s a naming rights, technical limitations on the engine or the fact that NCSoft just won’t let them do it, but to disregard an entire game type that would not only give Guild Wars 2 a huge audience but please absolutely everyone in the game, it’s hard to understand the logic.
There was something truly amazing about Guild Wars 1’s Guild versus Guild matches. They were fierce, competitive and became make or break moments for many guilds. Forget about some minor nerves you might experience during a game of conquest in Guild Wars 2. Thing nerves you had at the prospect of missing an interrupt on the opposing guilds healer or the rush when one of their players down was explosive. It really was such pivotal game-play. That isn’t to say that taking down a particularly challenging bunker guardian isn’t satisfying, but it makes little impact in a capture point map when coordinated teams compensate by moving points quickly.
What’s frustrating in all of this (despite my feelings that Guild Wars 1 offered a much more tactical and challenging PvP game) is that the adaptation necessary for the current structured PvP formulae, to work as Guild versus Guild, wouldn’t be particularly huge. ArenaNet have clearly demonstrated their prowess when it comes to the design of some structured PvP maps, so why not pull resources away from the Living World teams and instead invest that man power into a truly long term project? There would be a requirement to implement an infrastructure that supports GvG, such as the ability to teleport to your instanced Guild Hall, rankings for guilds (successful or unsuccessful) alongside a new layout on dedicated maps, but is that really outside the realms of possibility? Considering the Living World teams have thrown out dozens of new maps and instanced content, I genuinely believe the diversion of resource would be worthwhile.
Perhaps if GvG was to be implemented the dozens upon dozens of people who fight outside the windmill in World versus World, hogging queue space and creating their own sloppy system, wouldn’t have to. Yes ArenaNet have said they’re attempting to rectify this by giving them their own “space” but isn’t that a plaster on a gaping wound? The player base is pining for structured GvG with rankings, Guild Halls and true public competition. Sadly for us none of the justifications from ArenaNet sound logical or justified.
This leads me onto my final point and leading on from Distilled Will, which he summarises so well. We need a fully functioning spectator system to support both structured PvP and Guild versus Guild. Guild Wars 1 demonstrated that these two game types could co exist and more so on the basis that we also had Heroes Ascent. So the requirement to be able to record matches, replay them and allow innumerable people to spectate will really aid in Guild Wars 2 reaching its potential.
As much as a supporter as I am of the Living World (the Bizzare of the Four Winds will take some beating) I sadly want something tangible and permanent that my guild and I can all participate in, all of the time, that is much more intimate than World versus World and much more competitive than structured PvP. Guild versus Guild is the answer to that problem.