The Secret World (TSW) is (almost) everything a nugget wanted GW2 to be.

TSW's combat is GW1 style, only evolved, and with enough differences to not be a blatant ripoff - more of a homage. Same way GW1 was a homage to Magic: The Gathering.

You can equip 7 active skills, which you can pick from any skills you've already learned, and you can use them as long as you meet the weapon requirements, if any. 1 of those 7 active skills can be an elite. There are another 7 passive skills, which can also contain one elite, so they don't crowd your skillbar. Similar, to, but at the same time, very different from, allocating skill points in GW1 to make a build.

In terms of combat mobility, you can move while casting (at least, I think you can), double tap to dodge, see AoE rings, blah blah. Circle-strafe like mad when outmatched, stand still and hit buttons when your opponents are puny. At least, in melee. Not sure how ranged works yet.

Mobs don't seem to be as smart as GW1 mobs, but I'm a newbie still (a whole 3 days!), so maybe they get smarter later on. So far, though, they're still better than many other MMO mobs. They DO try to surround you (and hit your back). But they currently don't run from aoe automatically, don't rez each other, etc.

The skills themselves have a lot of interplay between them, but the kind of interplay seems less sophisticated than what GW1 had. There's no costly skills that make a lot of sense - e.g., Flesh of My Flesh, Infuse Health, not that many skills that promote team play above selfishness, e.g. splinter weapon, and protection is not as subtle and beautiful, e.g. Reversal of Fortune, Aegis, Aura of Faith. And there are no minion masters. *sob*

If you like Lovecraftian alternate-universe type stuff, TSW is great. It feels like a rich, solid, plausible, well-built world. The world feels like it has history. Of course, it's easier in their kind of modern alternate-universe-history setting than in a purely made-up world, as it's as simple as going, 'Oh ohtay, that's New York, and Kingsmouth is in Maine.' ;)

Writing & Voiceovers
The writing is just a notch under Witcher and Witcher 2.

The voice acting is superb, AND, like Witcher and Witcher 2, the animations are well done enough that cut-scenes feel like movies, like actual... acting, instead of a poor relation.

Pricing Model
It's on a buy-the-box ($30 or $60, you pick), then subscription-optional model. As far as I can tell, the cash shop is not rapacious or evil. There are a few (very few, well hidden) lottery boxes, so it doesn't seem like that's their main revenue push, and there's very little to no outright selling of power. Lots of selling of fripperies. And subs members get a 10% discount.

Fashion is great fun. Since your gear doesn't show as clothes, your clothes don't matter. Meaning you can wear anything you like! ;) And there's heaps of it in the Pangea shop in London. And of course, more in the cash shop. I love fashion cs fripperies. XD

TSW is the place where crazed build-tinkerers from GW1 should go. For peeps like that, GW2 is an utter travesty. TSW is... the game that GW2 should have been.

LegendMUD folks - TSW is like GW1 met Legend, and they had an MMO baby. ~_o

We are all Junundu nao: 2 months worth of reflections on GW2 (and more)

After 2 months of more or less continuous play (moved to new country, job hunting, etc) the nugget did get 2 toons to 80, three into the 70s in Guild Wars 2, before the crispy golden batter did break down into a hopelessly soggy mass of despair.

Though the nugget originally aimed to give GW2 a 'fair' chance by getting five 80s with 1 of each profession maxxed, the nugget could not do it.

Instead, the formerly-juicy-with-adoration-but-now-soggy-with-sad nugget did log off after her poor ranger hit 80, hasn't logged back on since. (Ok, that's a lieTwice after that! Once to donate money to a poor friend who got hacked, and the other time because I was playing MMO-as-chat-client tag with another friend.)

The funniest - or saddest - thing is, the nuggetty toons weren't even affected by the nerfs that went down at the time. (Same time as ranger shortbow 'animation' nerf.)

Nuggety guardian was a hammer guardian, and nuggetty ranger had JUST changed to sword/dagger + axe/horn PBAOE trapper before the nerf. Literally days before. Which, incidentally, the nugget was rather liking - insofar as the nugget liked any of the gameplay in GW2.

Honestly, the only reason the nugget lasted so long was that her soon-to-be-soggy batter wanted so desperately... not to be underwhelmed and unhappy. Didn't work, but let it not be said that a nugget did not try! XD

1 sentence Nuggetty Review of GW2:
"We are all Junundu nao."

... and now, on to FPN - First Person Nugget!

Achievements - They Aren't All Equal
The saddest part of this for me is that I've lost all faith in ArenaNet. GW was the only game I've loved even 1/3 as much as I loved LegendMUD.

I have no problems with games being a business. I happily play PWE titles, and they are the polar rapacious opposite of what I loved about ArenaNet with regards to Guild Wars and the design philosophy behind it.

One of the hallmarks of Guild Wars was the burning idealism behind it that shaped it into the unique creation it is. It goes beyond the later additions like vanquishing, heroes and then all-hero parties, PvE skills. Those things were icing and evolution both. But the core of Guild Wars was the idea that playing could be fun and rewarding in and of itself. That if given the right platform, people could and would play for fun. That the fun could be the reward, because fun could be creative. That was what really differientated Guild Wars from WoW and all the other rat pellet MMOs I've played.

Don't get me wrong, rat pellets have their place, and I do like them. But they are, at heart, carrot-based. Guild Wars is not. Guild Wars gave me a sense of achievement. It still does when I come up with a build that looks like 'lol that can't possibly work... can eet?' on paper that turns out to be brilliant. Rat-pellet MMOs give me... achievements. ._.

And that's just one of the ways where Guild Wars 2 went wrong. How for the love of all that is crispy and fatty and cholesterol-filled in the world, did ArenaNet go from the sheer brilliance of the fights in War in Kryta to those in Guild Wars 2?

Dragon-slaying 101... Err... I mean... 1111111111111111111111
In Guild Wars: War in Kryta, every mob loaded a random skillbar from a pool, which then synergised anywhere from well to brilliantly with all the OTHER mobs also doing the same thing. And to make things even more hilarious and beautiful, the mobs were using skillbars based on the PvE 'meta' builds of the day. Which meant that prior to the content being nerfed (and even the nerfs were timed well), they couldn't be facerolled with the current PvE metas (in Hard Mode). Instead, fights were full of watching your opponents, adapting on the fly, switching targets fast in some cases, knowing when to spike in others... It's the closest I've ever seen to PvP in any game, and it was utterly fucking beautiful.

...and then in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has you kill dragons by spamming your 1-key (or 2-key), together with a whole horde of other monkeys also spamming their 1-keys.

I know I keep using the word 'heartbreaking', but there it is. :(

Oh Well, the Art Lived Up to the Hype. And You Can Jump.
Guild Wars 2 has none of the burning idealism that makes GW the unique thing it is. While it's certainly a beautiful game (if you don't think about the armour art), taken as a whole, it's definitely neither revolutionary nor unique.

It's not that GW2 didn't bring any improvements, it's that the improvements were far outweighed by the WTFery.

One Step Forward...
You can now jump.
I've seen people say they couldn't play GW because you couldn't jump with the spacebar. While I totally agree that /jump just isn't the same, I've never understood that point of view. Still, there you have it, in GW2, you can jump. With your spacebar.

You can walk over terrain and fall to your death.
Definite improvement - in GW2 you longer have to walk around that tiny kitten sized rock anymore. I liked that.

There's an Auction House, and you can sell from anywhere!
That's great. I wish more auction houses worked like that. It would be even better if you could also pick up from anywhere. Oh and if the auction house fee wasn't so stupidly high... but more about that later...

New graphics engine
Extremely beautiful, no denying it.

Underwater combat
I think I'm one of the few people who actually liked underwater combat - on all 5 of my toons (Guardian, Mesmer, Thief, Elementalist, Ranger). It is revolutionary for underwater combat to obey a different set of rules. From what I can tell, not only are the skills different (duh), but the damage patterns are also different. Unfortunately, the x, y and z-axis are incredibly buggy, and if you pull a mob up or down from the level it loaded on, half the time it goes invulnerable, while your toon, of course, stays all too vulnerable. Not until GW2 did I appreciate the sheer amount of work Blizzard put into underwater in Cataclysm. I don't recall ever EVER getting axis-based evades underwater in Cata.

Nodes for all
No more node-ninjaing! Now work together to get to that node! This was a definite improvement.

Two Steps Back
Fully customisable UI is gone
In Guild Wars you could drag, drop, resize and reposition anything and everything, anywhere you wanted. That's gone like it never was. You're gonna use ArenaNet's 'vision' of what their UI should be, and that's that.

Your screen is full of you
Unless you play an Asura, you'll notice that you're more important to yourself than ever before. No longer can you zoom way out like you can in Guild Wars, for a tactical view of the battle. Nope, you'll spend most of your time looking at yourself, and if you're a Norn or a big Charr... Lol. Reminds me of being in bear form in Sunken Temple back in the day in WoW.

Two upper torsos with heads talking against a backdrop
Gone are the meaningful, in-world cutscenes. I don't think the voice acting has gotten worse, but the whole backdrop thing made the entire experience of watching my toon interacting with NPCs so utterly disconnected that I ended up turning off all voice acting and just reading. When I bothered to read. There is one bright spark though - Tybalt. I loved Tybalt and his apples. XD

Armour design is leaves something to be desired
Guild Wars armour is beautiful from level 1, and every class has a unique look even across all the different variants. No classes share armour skins. It's perfectly possible to mix-and-match a gorgeous set of armour by combining expensive elite pieces with dirt cheap ones. No armour is inferior to any other in looks. In Guild Wars 2 cloth, leather, heavy armour wearers all wear the same sets of skins until you get to the grindy prestige skins. And there is a definite sense that non-prestige skins are not 'worthy' or real art attention and love.

Combat isn't strategic anymore
How did we go from mobs understanding front/mid/backlines, and healer mobs kiting to force you to fight their frontlines, to mobs whose idea of kiting is to run away from you in a straight line about 200 out, and then in a straight line back?
As for the rest ... just scroll back up and re-read the part about War in Kryta vs GW2 dragons, ok? XD

Economy was built with no idea how a F2P game economy works, and none of the finesse needed to wring every last drop of money from a player and have them be okay with it
Yes, I realise you pay for the box, so it's not even strictly F2P. But when 6USD = 1.5g in a system that has gold, silver, and copper, something is wrong. It just doesn't stretch far enough, and it feels like a swindle. Add that to the ridiculous 10-15% (I forget) tax on all items in the AH, and you really start to feel the squeeze. I made enough to buy the upgrades I wanted, sure, but I haven't felt I've had to be this careful about money in a game in years. And as for friends who'd never played anything but GW? Lol - if you have no idea how the usual MMO economy works (e.g. raw mats sell for way more than crafted goods until you have the very high level recipes...) - good luck.

In contrast, while PWE wasn't always as amazing at it as they are now, they learn and evolve. If you play Forsaken World, their newest in-house title aimed at taking a large slice of the English-speaking F2P market... you'll see that they're very very good at not just squeezing money, but deflecting hostility.

A couple of years ago I played another of PWE's in-house titles, Jade Dynasty, and lol. So long after that I still *resent* the US$20 I had to pay for a flying mount so I could continue to level and do content. Fast forward a few years with Forsaken World, where I've dropped US$130 over a year of play, and I'm happy and not at all resentful. These guys are *smart* and they learn *fast*.

ArenaNet, on the other hand, with GW2, seems to have stuck its head in the sand, or up its own arse, singing, 'Lalalala we have a loyal fan base so we know best!' without bothering to even look at how others in the industry are doing things.

Dynamic events are poorly done
GW2's DEs are basically: succeed and restore status quo vs fail and retake 'blah' until you can ... succeed and restore status quo. They are boring, and feel utterly pointless. And they're set up so that if you fail, even though you still get a reward, it *feels* like a failure. The importance of that feeling cannot be overemphasized, because it's one of the reasons why Rift's DEs work much better.

Rift's DEs have (mostly) timer-based stages that you can complete based on whichever DE it happens to be. This means that if you're alone and you want to do a DE (or close a Rift, really, because that's what they tend to be if we leave out Instant Adventures), you can complete as much of the objective that's set before your time runs out, and you successfully close the rift. There are of course some rifts that are very hard to solo (raid rifts), but by and large the ones spawning all over the world follow the pattern above, and by doing so, they grant players what GW2's DEs fail to - satisfaction and the illusion of control.

Teamwork? Lol.
In Guild Wars, I'd group if I felt like being around people, and I've met some cool folks and made good friends that way. In Guild Wars 2, everyone else is basically another NPC that I hope dies before I do. A simple thing like auto-grouping would help so much with this. Time and again in Rift, (which gives you the option to automatically join the DE group and so see people's nameplates, hp, mana, and role...), I've seen people join the group, assess it... and switch talents / builds to fill the gaps they saw. It doesn't have to be requested of them. There are always people who enjoy tanking and/or healing, and if they see that it's needed, *they will do it*.

In Guild Wars, there are so many spells based around buffing other people because it helps your group as a whole. Splinter Weapon and Great Dwarf Weapon are just two in a whole long list. In Guild Wars 2, you have combo fields that you can't even control properly in the zerg that GW2 is.

Working as a team was built into Guild Wars from the ground up. In Guild Wars 2, that concept's just been ground up. =P

Talent trees added, build diversity and flexibility removed
Not only that, but GW2's talent trees are inferior to the talent trees in other games, let alone the system in the original Guild Wars. Don't give me the whole 'switch on the fly' thing. Rift does that too, and much better. With GW2 talent trees, sorry, traits, NO ONE puts 13 points in one thing and 7 in another as an end build. So why does GW2 have points in increments of 1, when only 5s make a difference? Probably to make the 80 levels feel less pointlessly drawn out.

Lore is gone
There's a bit in Nightfall in Guild Wars where you have to answer questions about the gods. I remember being shocked that I could answer them all even though I never really paid attention to the lore while running around killing everything. It just seeped in. I just KNEW. I found that to be an amazing achievement. In Guild Wars 2, erm... the only reason I know which gods are which are because of all my hours in Guild Wars. In fact, there's a bit in GW2 where you ALSO have to answer questions based on the history of Tyria, and the only reason I could answer them was Guild Wars... not GW2. XD

FFS ArenaNet, don't let your devs post on official forums without vetting with PR or a CM first
This thread
is why. I once thought ArenaNet were brilliant not to have official forums. I thought that it was because they realised that in general, fan forums are far more thoughtful and civil. Now I think they were just incredibly lucky - and never realised it. Not only that, but they're locking any threads on the official forums where people are unhappy. Almost every other MMO company out there has learned the hard way not to do that... but I guess ArenaNet knows better, yeah.

System encourages training mobs & inconsideration
...there is a ridiculous amount of mob training in GW2. Go and read this post. It's hilarious, and it has zmobies. Seriously, zmobies and training! How could it get better! (I'd stick with just reading the OP's posts though.)

Lack of Trinity isn't well implemented
If Guild Wars was a lovingly done Magic: The Gathering the MMO, then Guild Wars 2 is a Diablo clone poorly ported to MMO space.

The thing about Diablo clones is that they give players a degree of self-sufficiency that GW2 doesn't. Just because you can quaff a potion the moment the effects wear off doesn't mean that you can stand there and tank everything, all the time. Just that single change - being able to use your utility skill the moment the effects wear off - would make GW2 play much better. As it is, GW2 combat alternates between 1-key mashing while taking no damage, and hoping someone else will take the hits (or dodge them) while your endurance regens and you wait for your utility skill to come off cooldown.

In nuggetty conclusion...
...and I still love Guild Wars.

...and all I have is this long rant. ;)

Okay, I know I said no more GW2 posts but... It's a Gamasutra article! C'mon!

The pre-order numbers for GW2, then, should tell us that trust itself is a commodity for which players will flock to pay.

Ok, enough about that, let’s talk about the actual game.

The point of all this long-windedness was two-fold: an attempt to understand why Guild Wars 2 is successful, but also to point out that once you strip away the value added by being genuinely player friendly, GW2 is—especially when compared to the achievements in design GW1 realized—honestly an underwhelming game, though not an unenjoyable experience by any means. That is to say, perhaps our evaluation of the game is skewed because it treats us like real people, not cash cows.

In many ways, it actually feels like a step backwards compared to its predecessor. Gone are the sophistication of GW1’s 8 skill/dual class system (where one skill change could impact every other skill on your bar, and in fact make entirely novel builds possible), the level 20 cap, and the secondary relevance of items and loot.

"The pre-order numbers for GW2, then, should tell us that trust itself is a commodity for which players will flock to pay."

Yup yup yup (and yup to a lot of other things too..).

But the problem with trust in a consumer relationship is, it's a fucking dangerous commodity. And if you have customers buying on trust you had bloody well better not betray that trust.

Trust in consumer relationships = of course I'll buy it!

But the flip side of that is, betray that trust and not only will the customer never buy from you again, they will go out of their way to warn others about you.

Rift: Now that takes talent.

I have no idea how Rift manages to make a scantily-clad female warrior in 'plate' armour complete with panties showing, and using a good graphics engine, look so incredibly unsexy, but by God do they manage.

And here's my warrior from Guild Wars. She's not wearing the Kurzick panties but sheesh look at the difference.

Of course, in Guild Wars 2, none of the armour looks even half as good as any of the armour in Guild Wars. In fact, most of it is rather ugly. Unless you want to be a salad person. 2 level 80s, 3 level 70+s. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

In Guild Wars you grind / farm for the skins you want but all skins are nice, and mix+match of cheap skins with expensive ones can get you great looks. In Guild Wars 2...

...let me not talk about Guild Wars 2. ._.

Guild Wars 2: Yet one more summation (and good thread), and I promise my last post on GW2.

GW1 > all MMO's. No competition. GW1 by far had the best storylines of all MMORPGs and the best combat mechanics and skill system.

It's skill system was extremely unique, combined with the hero system the amount of combat combinations was unlimited.

It will always be my favorite MMORPG, and GW2 doesn't even come close to it.

Comparing GW1's story to GW2: GW1's storylines had memorable characters: Mhenlo, Togo, Kormir, Koss, Abaddon, Shiro, Rurik. Honestly, i've played through all the races storylines in GW2 up to lvl 20 and don't remember ANYONE's name. That's how weak GW2's story is compared to GW1's. The actual plotlines are really weak as well, there is no reasonable excuse for this IMO, considering the quality of GW1's campaigns, I don't know what ArenaNet was thinking...

GW2 using GW1 music is just as weak--I'd even call ArenaNet lazy for doing this, GW1 pre-searing music shouldn't be played in GW2, they're different times in history that aren't even remotely related.

The main difference I feel is that GW2 feels dull and pointless, I don't feel like a hero at all. Mainly because many of the events are ridiculous chores from picking apples off trees to digging up worms. In GW1 they put you right into the drama of the plotline, the Searing, the war of the White Mantle, the invasion of Kourna, the infection of the plague, the rise of Shiro.

In GW2........ it's just ridiculousness everywhere...Where is the drama of the plot? What is the danger? What is my motive as a "hero?" Why am I killing Skirtt over and over again? ...Why am I picking up apples to help bake apple pies... Not impressed at all, comparing the quality of both games.

GW1 = masterpiece, GW2 = Your traditional MMORPG with extra features but missing a LOT of features at the same time. GvG? Guild halls? 1v1 duels? direct trade? capes? the activities we were promised(shooting range)? trade chat?

Anyways that's my perspective from a hardcore GW1 player who ended off with 2022 hours over 4 years, now playing GW2.

EDIT: Don't even get me started on the dungeons... they're extremely short and not challenging at all. They're a joke in my mind. WoW is still the superior game in terms of traditional MMORPGs BECAUSE of how polished it is, along with its nonbullshit specs that GW2 requires to play at a CONSTANT 50-80 FPS. Christ, WoW even has "officer chat" for guild officers. I mean if GW2 was going to take things from other games(downed state), they should've looked at WoW, the leading and most successful MMORPG to date.

GW2 is still a traditional MMORPG, I would even say it's less of a traditional MMORPG, because it lacks challenge and many features that the majority of MMO's offer, GW2 is a disaster that really shouldn't have been released until it was DONE, meaning EVERY SINGLE FEATURE should've been release into the game already, trading post should've been up since day one, email authentication, the guild and party system should be working at all times, overflow shouldn't exist, all activities should be released(we only have keg brawl(?)..., etc. I have no idea how ArenaNet went from GW1 --> GW2, they removed everything that was good and created a ridiculous experiment that uses way too much CPU power. Give me five GW1 expansions ANYDAY.

No more GW2 ranty nuggets! It's all been said. No more buying stuff from ANet either, unless it's a GW campaign, which everyone knows won't happen.

Here's nugget looking forward to PWE's Heaven Sword Dragon Sabre MMO.

I trust PWE more than I trust ANet by a mile now. Never thought I'd see the day.

Guild Wars 2 Forum - From a longtime Guild Wars 1 player on why Guild Wars 2 is, so far, a huge failure.

First of all, I played Guild Wars for over 2000 hours on multiple accounts. Initially, I wasn’t too impressed (I started playing in 2006) but over the years—-and expansions—-it got better, more addictive and, ultimately, more rewarding.

Guild Wars 2 is amazingly beautiful. Jeremy Soule has done a masterful job, as usual. But after playing Guild Wars 2 for over 220 hours, to say I’m disappointed would be a gross understatement. This isn’t even a ‘There is no endgame’ gripe’. I’ve been reading lots of posts by people who purportedly enjoyed getting to level 80, only to be bored and disappointed with a lack of endgame, but I was bored really from the start.

I have a huge amount of problems with this game, but ultimately, because of everybody’s time, I’m only going to address the big three. Again, I’ll preface by saying I played the original Guild Wars for 2000 hours, I’ve never touched WoW (lest I be called a Blizzard fanboy) and I come to this game after years of waiting and anticipation. I’ve tried my absolute best over the past 200 hours to love this game. I spent three grand on a system that would be able to max it out. And so far, I’ve been bored out of my mind.

This guy pretty much nails everything I feel about Guild Wars 2, only with less bitter rage than in my video. XD

GW2 has caused me to lose all faith and trust in ArenaNet. Yarrr! Melodramatic a nugget. But true. ArenaNet broke what LegendMUD left of my little gaming heart with GW2.

GW2 is obviously not for the tinkerers, the builders, the testers, the THINKERS. It's for a totally different target market, and ArenaNet never even had the decency to tell us that.

I don't even know why they retained the original IP, and all I can guess is that they'd dumped too much on art and assets to build a different, new IP instead. There is nothing left of the beautiful core combat architecture that was and is the soul of Guild Wars (1). Nothing.

At least Perfect World Entertainment is an honest whore.

Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend | Click to Respawn

So let's get back to the fucking. Fuck fuck fuck. I've waited for this game for over five years now. It was announced in March 2007, and, being an avid Guild Wars fan, I have been really excited for it since day one. Five years. I'm only twenty-five. That's a fifth of my entire life. I felt safe, though. Everything I'd read in the media gushed over every facet of the game, so I knew it would be an amazing, sweep-me-off-my-feet-then-pin-me-down-and-penetrate-me-violently kind of experience. I knew it. Well, my feet remain planted and my asshole decidedly empty.


...ok sorry, I feel a little less bitter, lonely and betrayed now. ;)

Thanks ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 has made sure that it's the first and last game I ever pre-purchase.

Well, if I was ANet and planning to make changes to the game that may alienate the passionate fans, then obviously I would try to get the money from those fanboys before telling anybody about those changes. :devil:

And I'm quite sure they still remember what happened when they talked about Transmutationstones for the first time...

If I could cancel, I would. But I can't, since I bought directly from ArenaNet.

If you're happy with Guild Wars 2 and where it's going, good for you. Me, I now know better than to trust any game studio again.