Guild Wars 2 Preview

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I'm really disappointed that, as far as I'm aware, there's no 'private' map, per say. What I mean is if a friend and I want to go out adventuring, just the two of us, we can't. Not to my knowledge, anyway.

Apart from that, I'm impressed with the game so far. I loved Guild Wars, and spent and crazy amount of time on there....I just hope that this lives up the the expectations...and can run on my computer well.

JWRosser:
I'm really disappointed that, as far as I'm aware, there's no 'private' map, per say. What I mean is if a friend and I want to go out adventuring, just the two of us, we can't. Not to my knowledge, anyway.

There's always the Home Instance (though not much happens there) and the Personal Story "quests" you can help each other with, as well as Dungeon runs.

freaper:

Simonoly:
I've never played an MMORPG before, but I quite like the sound of this. I'm glad to see there's no subscription fee and they're going for a micro-transaction system.

I might put a pre-order in when there's a release date.

One of their slogans is "If you like MMO's, you should check out GW2. If you hate MMO's, you should really check out GW2"

Here is their manifesto

I'm just really excited for this. From it's inception 5 years ago up until release there won't be another game I can fully enjoy.

Gosh. Well colour me interested. I shall be following this game very closely from now on.

Still stoked. In the process of farming my Guild Wars 1 prestige items...

2xDouble:
The best argument is, as always, "Play the game and find out". ...and prepare to get stomped past level 10 if you play GW2 the same way you play other MMOs. heh.

Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

Shjade:
Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

And you will fail, kite is not really an option due:

- Mobs having snares

- Mobs resetting their aggro and their health much faster than normal

- Mobs usually attacking in packs

This game isn't kite friendly at all

I already mentioned I liked the combat first and foremost, but I wanted to share my second favourite thing from the beta weekend experience.

I love dynamic events over questing.

Back when I played Everquest 2 and WoW my time was often spent doing this...
Find and talk to NPCs who are quest givers. Read what they want. Do it to completion. Then come back and get my reward. If they needed 15 wolf pelts, or needed me to collect an item and bring it back, then that's what I had to complete to get the quest from sitting in my journal forever. And if I can't do it solo, then I had to spend however long it took to get other players to group with me to do that quest.

During the beta weekend I spent most of my time in situations just like this...
While searching for a waypoint in the area I stumble across an area that is under attack (like little dredge mole people attacking an excavation site).
I didn't know how long ago it started as I didn't need to be there when it starts and I didn't need to be there when it ends to get rewarded. I just jump in and choose how to thelp.
I found that I could plug up dredge holes with boulders to stop them from spawning. I could find and repair broken digging machinery. I could destroy the dredge tunneling machines they used to get to the surface in groups. I could kill off advancing groups of Dredge intruders and drive them back. I could even just spend my time looking for, and reviving, fallen Charr guards who would then help the fight. Even if we failed protecting the area, and even if I had left before it was done, once the event was over I got a grade of medal and rewarded appropriate karma/xp/coin.

The only thing I ever lost from participating was some time from exploring or heading towards wherever I was headed. And maybe armour repair costs if I died a lot during my participation. And sometimes I would die a lot, because in some cases it is quite challenging, but not frustrating. Which I loved.

The developers also stuck so many whacky thing hiding around. During that excavation event I mentioned, there were items lying around in certain parts of the site. Items like molotov cocktails, rebar pieces, sledgehammers and even mole whacking hammers. I could pick up any of those things and it would change the first 5 skills of my skillbar to whatever the items did.
You could even play whack-a-mole in certain areas with the hammer. The mole people would burrow up and if you whacked them with it quick enough they would burrow back down. It was silly fun.

Shjade:

2xDouble:
The best argument is, as always, "Play the game and find out". ...and prepare to get stomped past level 10 if you play GW2 the same way you play other MMOs. heh.

Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

Gw has kd's. Everything uses them. Spells, skills, attacks, shouts. You can't just kite.

WHYYYYY did we ever have to put up with the stolen killl BS in the first place?
cuz games are a mess.

I wish I hadn't played in the weekend beta event, because now my life feels empty without the lack of GW2. No amount of Starcraft or WoW expansion beta can fill the void it's left in my heart :(

My only hope for survival now is D3's arrival, which may do it for a while, but... there will always be that nagging feeling of "You could be playing GW2".

ResonanceSD:

Shjade:
Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

Gw has kd's. Everything uses them. Spells, skills, attacks, shouts. You can't just kite.

Tanakh:

And you will fail, kite is not really an option due:

- Mobs having snares

- Mobs resetting their aggro and their health much faster than normal

- Mobs usually attacking in packs

This game isn't kite friendly at all

And yet, looking at the combat tactics used in this very review video...

Fight #1: very straightforward kiting via backpedaling & rolling.
Fight #2: nuking a target that isn't looking at him.
Fight #3: hard to tell what's going on, but looks like stand-there-and-shoot-it aside from when he spontaneously blows up.
Fight #4: shooting a target that isn't looking at him; when it looks at him, reverts to fight 1 strategy (backward roll kiting).
Fight #5: more backward/strafe rolling.
Fight #6: ambush into what I assume is his full combo. No movement, nothing seemingly out of the ordinary for MMORPG rogue-style ambush of a solo target. He jumps on it, he unloads all his attacks, it's dead, he moves on to the next one.
Fight #7: stands around for a while, then throws a rock. >.>
Fight #8: alternates between "stand and nuke" and "roll to the side." "Don't stand in fire," anyone?
Fight #9: see Fight #1.
Fight #10: attempts to be Fight #1; is thwarted by architecture, so resorts to stand-there-and-trade-attacks like you'd expect to see in 90% of MMORPG's.
Fight #11: nuke while strafing/backpedaling.
Fight #12: group nuking down a few bandits with no apparent coordination, just unloading on them.

Yeah, you're right, I don't know how I ever got the impression that "shoot them while staying out of range" (aka: kiting) would ever be a valid strategy in this game. Truly, my eyes have been opened to the broad range and depth of tactical options necessary for success.

i haven't played a MMO since WoW about 3-4 years ago...

and i'd be lying if i wasn't interested in this one

I gotta say, the no sub fee is what sells me the most.
It still looks great though.

Shjade:
Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

Good. Keep thinking that while you play. Just don't play a Charr in the Blood Legion and you'll do fine. ...or a Cunning Norn. ...or a Human Commoner who lost a sister to Centaurs.

Maybe you'll reach Guild Wars 2 zen, maybe you won't. Either way, you'll be having fun, even if it's only the fun of "proving" everyone else "wrong".

Play the game and see for yourself.

Shjade, the featured video shown was only level 2-9 gameplay.
Kiting was often seen in early levels as the enemies are simple, and people found it easier than melee. Melee requires using blocks, CC, proper timing of dodges to conserve endurance.

PvE enemies at higher levels also start doing block and dodge rolls. They also start to hit hard with their ranged attacks. I seen a video of a thief in higher level PvE and they had to swap between ranged and melee often. And in melee they had to carefully use their spin to flank, and leap over the enemy type moves to keep from getting surrounded.

Also at higher levels, learning combos is really important as they actually are really effective. Those require planning and positioning.
Here's some simple combos...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AHUkAXPdvU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpMYO4YF6iE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg2qBWEcgdk

Game gets hard fast and many videos really don't showcase all the player deaths that happen unless you really learn to find the nuances of combat.

This is a good looking game and looks like alot of fun, especially the pvp, plus there is no monthly fee.
Defo getting this.

2xDouble:
Maybe you'll reach Guild Wars 2 zen, maybe you won't. Either way, you'll be having fun, even if it's only the fun of "proving" everyone else "wrong".

Play the game and see for yourself.

Proving others wrong isn't fun for me. It isn't even the point. I'm just asking for an explanation of what makes this game's combat so much different from that of other MMORPGs I've played when, from all descriptions and appearances, it seems extremely similar aside from maybe one or two mechanics that are emphasized more than where they are present in other games (rolling/evasion being an often-used low cooldown ability rather than a long cooldown panic button like a WoW hunter's Disengage, for instance). Thus far there hasn't really been one, just a lot of "it's great, play it," which is nice and all, but doesn't really support an argument.

As for the game, I'm hoping they release it with a free trial first. Not so much to test the gameplay - it looks fun - but to test game performance. I'm riding the red line of the minimum requirements and I've already seen people saying it seemed to chug somewhat performance-wise during the beta, which makes me wonder if it'd run well enough to be worth picking up on my machine.

Have gone from having no knowledge / interest in this game to now actually considering buying it. Not sure whether to thank you for informing me, or despise you for possibly ruining my free time ...

Shjade:
I'm just asking for an explanation of what makes this game's combat so much different from that of other MMORPGs I've played when, from all descriptions and appearances, it seems extremely similar aside from maybe one or two mechanics that are emphasized more than where they are present in other games (rolling/evasion being an often-used low cooldown ability rather than a long cooldown panic button like a WoW hunter's Disengage, for instance). Thus far there hasn't really been one, just a lot of "it's great, play it," which is nice and all, but doesn't really support an argument.

I probably can help you with that but you need to be more specific, what makes it different from which MMO and in what aspect? Leveling PvE? Battlegrounds? RvR?

The more specific you are the more satisfying answer I will try to craft. BTW, all are old ideas, i don't think i saw a genuenly new idea in GW 2, the implementation however is amazing.

Shjade:
I'm just asking for an explanation of what makes this game's combat so much different from that of other MMORPGs I've played when, from all descriptions and appearances, it seems extremely similar aside from maybe one or two mechanics that are emphasized more than where they are present in other games (rolling/evasion being an often-used low cooldown ability rather than a long cooldown panic button like a WoW hunter's Disengage, for instance). Thus far there hasn't really been one, just a lot of "it's great, play it," which is nice and all, but doesn't really support an argument.

As for the game, I'm hoping they release it with a free trial first. Not so much to test the gameplay - it looks fun - but to test game performance. I'm riding the red line of the minimum requirements and I've already seen people saying it seemed to chug somewhat performance-wise during the beta, which makes me wonder if it'd run well enough to be worth picking up on my machine.

Guild Wars 2 combat can't be described accurately. On paper, it's nothing special in comparison to an amalgam of "other MMOs". But in practice, in combination with all of the different mechanics (i.e.: smarter AI, deceptively complex aggro mechanics, dynamic events, party and teamwork mechanics including the skill combo system, active movement and positioning mechanics, no root animations or global cooldowns, fluid skill chaining anims, leveling systems ensuring no content gets "used up") it's amazing. The only way to get real understanding, it must be experienced.

Game performance hasn't been optimized yet. The recent beta test had the graphics CPU-locked, which causes massive lagging on certain setups. Closer to release, when optimization is completed, it will run significantly smoother on a wide range of systems, including my horribly outdated rig (which ran the recent tests comparatively well on maximum settings, incidentally).

There may or may not be a trial system in place upon release, though there is a high probability of one. Release details are nowhere near finalized (because it's still in beta testing).

Slycne:
working together with other players without jumping through hoops

When I saw this claim, before the image loaded on the front page, I thought this article was about The Secret World, not GW2. Having played both, it's most true for the prior.

They're both good games though. I'm getting TSW as my main game for it's higher substance, content and skill system, and GW2 as a second casual game when I need a break.

Tanakh:

Shjade:
Considering the way I play other MMOs is already "kite everything," I don't think "circle-strafe everything" is going to present a deep challenge.

And you will fail, kite is not really an option due:

- Mobs having snares

- Mobs resetting their aggro and their health much faster than normal

- Mobs usually attacking in packs

This game isn't kite friendly at all

One of the reasons I love TSW, you can use any skill in the game while moving, and the game punishes you for being a turret/ beating bag. It's also a game more for the veteran player overall with some very challenging stuff.

The other reason I love TSW is that all of the trinity can be shared among the group exactly how they want that responsibility to be shared, while GW2 is more about always sharing it, thus forcing blandness upon players. Whatever, GW2 won't be remembered for it's group PvE anyway. The PvP is where it's at.

Tanakh:
BTW, all are old ideas, i don't think i saw a genuenly new idea in GW 2, the implementation however is amazing.

Actually, that answers my question right there, as it confirms what I thought: fun, but not ground-breaking.

2xDouble:
Game performance hasn't been optimized yet. The recent beta test had the graphics CPU-locked, which causes massive lagging on certain setups. Closer to release, when optimization is completed, it will run significantly smoother on a wide range of systems, including my horribly outdated rig (which ran the recent tests comparatively well on maximum settings, incidentally).

There may or may not be a trial system in place upon release, though there is a high probability of one. Release details are nowhere near finalized (because it's still in beta testing).

Well hooray for that, optimistic though it may be.

Shjade:

Tanakh:
BTW, all are old ideas, i don't think i saw a genuenly new idea in GW 2, the implementation however is amazing.

Actually, that answers my question right there, as it confirms what I thought: fun, but not ground-breaking.

Suit urself, but i don't remember a single new idea in the last 10 years of videogames so that ain't saying much, even longer if you are talking about AAA titles.

Shjade, I hope they do have a trial so anyone can test it out on their computer. And I hope they optimize it better. Just hoping lots and lots of people get a chance to play it and have fun too. I had fun, but I don't plan on marrying the game.

I really want GW2 to hurt other mmorpg game's subscription numbers. I know that sounds spiteful, but I have a history with mmos that made me grow to feel they need to change or fail.

I used to play EQ2 and WoW for years and years, and overtime it really began to insult my intelligence by how these mmos are at their core the same thing. And how often that design is directed towards thoroughly exploiting online gaming addiction, and convincing gamers that mmorpgs need to stay that way or fail.
I want GW2 to showcase to aspiring mmorpg developers that they need to rethink what mmorpg can mean. To think about whether the game they are planning on making is actually fun, and not just some attractive/addictive candy-coated MUD.

Shjade:

Tanakh:
BTW, all are old ideas, i don't think i saw a genuenly new idea in GW 2, the implementation however is amazing.

Actually, that answers my question right there, as it confirms what I thought: fun, but not ground-breaking.

Consider it like this: GW2 takes all the best parts of previous MMOs (the PvP of DAOC, the public quests of WAR, and so on), as well as other games (TF2 being a big inspiration), combines them, and then improves on them even more. You may have seen most of their ideas before, but never all in one place and never done so well.

There are new ideas, but they aren't things that you would notice immediately (overflow shards instead of queues, for example). Though it depends on what you consider "new" because you could claim that that's just another form of instancing. (If you go that far, though, there hasn't been a new idea in video games in decades.)

It seems promising and might just be the first MMO, after WoW for two months in 2004, that I'll get into. Especially as you don't have to pay for playing time. But we'll see and I won't decide anything until there's a release date and I'm not crazy about another RPG. Getting to try out the beta would also be great.

My biggest attraction to Guild Wars 2 has to be the World vs World. This video should give anyone a taste of what to expect (if you have a good group to play with).

Maguuma was doing well wvw-wise, but i'm less interested in wvw having played the beta ... at least when you start ... i'm down with being in a huge group and rocking a path of destruction, but i'm just interested in learning the economy now ... the beta event was super fun and informative. i've been waiting for the game for so long, it seems surreal that it'll be out soon

Shjade:

2xDouble:
Maybe you'll reach Guild Wars 2 zen, maybe you won't. Either way, you'll be having fun, even if it's only the fun of "proving" everyone else "wrong".

Play the game and see for yourself.

Proving others wrong isn't fun for me. It isn't even the point. I'm just asking for an explanation of what makes this game's combat so much different from that of other MMORPGs I've played when, from all descriptions and appearances, it seems extremely similar aside from maybe one or two mechanics that are emphasized more than where they are present in other games (rolling/evasion being an often-used low cooldown ability rather than a long cooldown panic button like a WoW hunter's Disengage, for instance). Thus far there hasn't really been one, just a lot of "it's great, play it," which is nice and all, but doesn't really support an argument.

How's this for an explanation:
In my experience with WoW, you simply did not have the abilities to survive against and kill anything about 3-5 levels above you. The fight was absolutely impossible, regardless of your spec, because the monsters would resist your CC and their attacks were unavoidable in any way, and they'd inevitably win the shin-kicking contest.

In my time in GW2, I used a thief (relatively squishy, medium armor and low health) class to solo lvl10 personal story quests as a lvl5, lvl13 quests as a lvl8, and lvl18 quests as a lvl12. These are quests that, if you read the forums like Guru and the official forum, other people were having trouble completing, even with characters of the appropriate level. Why was I able to beat them? Because you're given the tools to do so, and I used them. Yes, I'd get one-shotted if I ever got hit, and it was completely up to me to dodge, snare, evade, and kite. There are no percent chances to block or evade; every time that happens, it's because you used a skill at the right time to make it happen. The mobs don't auto-resist your CC (though you do do significantly less damage to higher-leveled foes), so if you play perfectly you can fight foes that are far above your level.

Yeah, if you fight low-leveled stuff, or stuff that's at or below your level, you can pretty much do any of the open-world content by circle-strafing and using your abilities on cooldown. That's basically what the review video shows. So what? It's an MMO, not everyone is a power gamer who wants to push themselves. The point is that the combat system allows for a very high skill cap even in PvE, because the game isn't cheating by making the mobs immune to all of your spells or making all of their attacks unavoidable. If you're sitting there bored spamming your abilities on cooldown, move on to the next area and push yourself harder; you absolutely are not expected or required to complete all the DEs in one area before you explore a different one.

And dungeons? Dungeons aren't going to pull any punches; they WILL expect you to play to the best of your ability. We have videos of players trying out the lowest level dungeon in the game, and it's brutally difficult.

So...yeah, that's the difference. GW2 combat is different because it gives you a set of tools and forces you to figure out how to make the best of them, and if you can use them well you can do a lot with a very limited skill set. If you die, you know exactly why you died, and you know that it was (probably) avoidable.

MetalHandkerchief:
When I saw this claim, before the image loaded on the front page, I thought this article was about The Secret World, not GW2. Having played both, it's most true for the prior.

I've never played TSW, but I'm not sure how you can claim that GW2 doesn't make it easy to play with anyone around you. It's the first open-world MMO I've ever played where you're not actively punished for playing with other people in the open world, while just doing "normal" leveling content. Help kill a mob? Full XP and loot, no partying required. Help with an event? XP, gold, and karma based on participation, even if you came in late or left early. See a resource node? They're instanced for you, so no need to race anyone there. The overflow server issue definitely needs to be looked at, but other than that, playing together (not necessarily the same as grouping up) was so simple and rewarding for even the most basic of content. It's probably the biggest improvement over "traditional" MMOs in the game, IMO, in terms of PvE at least.

Well, now I'm pretty sold on this. Looking forward to the release.

I hope they sell it on steam soon after launch.

Need Guild Wars 2 Naaaoooo!! The beta wasn't enough, I wan't to play more. T^T

Skyy High:
In my experience with WoW, you simply did not have the abilities to survive against and kill anything about 3-5 levels above you. The fight was absolutely impossible, regardless of your spec, because the monsters would resist your CC and their attacks were unavoidable in any way, and they'd inevitably win the shin-kicking contest.

Someone who never played a warlock. (I know other classes could do this as well, but warlock's the one that comes to mind for having videos made of soloing instances and elite quests intended for 3-5 players in BC.)

People get down on WoW for being casual and easy to play. That's true - it has a very low skill-cap for someone to enjoy playing the game. That's not to say it lacked players who could basically break the game doing things most couldn't or weren't intended to do.

It sounds like both games actually share the same conditions for failure: if you attack something bigger and meaner than you, and then you just stand there and trade attacks with it, you're going to die. If you use the abilities available to you to their utmost, you can tackle much tougher opponents than the stats suggest should be possible. It's overused, but when being wielded accurately, this is exactly what the term "learn to play" is meant to describe.

That said? Nice to hear that resists and the RNG are a minimized factor in GW2 as it's one of the things that annoys me most about RPGs. Of course, there's still probably the issue of lag making your dodges end up being not as effective as it looks like they are (I've "dodged" things in Vindictus only to have it hit me anyway...from five feet away), but that's a different kind of RNG you have to deal with in online games anyway. Can't really hold that against the game unless it's significantly worse than it should be. Sounds like a nice change of pace for RPG combat, though I have to think it means "boss" type enemies are going to have whomping unavoidable attacks to compensate, otherwise you'd have entire teams of thieves or whatever squishy damage class doing things they're not "supposed" to be able to do by their players just never getting hit by anything, ever.

I was listening to a recent you tube episode from total bisuit, and I think he described the difference in combat quite well. So here is my paraphrasing...
Also, if you want the full video its here ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti0aSSioAzc&list=UUy1Ms_5qBTawC-k7PVjHXKQ&index=2&feature=plpp_video ) It's specificly about the upcoming skyrim online deal, but covers MMOs in general.

In WoW, attacks will always hit. If you press the fireball button, then your character will now cast a fireball, and that fireball will hit its target, always. Now, whether the attack is resisted, evaded, or missed somehow will all be determined by the computer. In essence, the whole system is optimised to the point where you cant even use the skill if you are out of range.

Compare that to an action style game, such as God of War. Any attack you want to do, you can do anytime. And how the effectivness of that attack is due in how you use it. If you want to swing your swords like a madman while 50 feet from your target, go ahead, but you obviously will not hit it. You dodge attacks because you move out of the way, you block them because you used your shield, and you hit the enemy because you aimed at him.

GW2 is in the middle of these right now, and I would say leaning more to the action side of things. Most range skills (namely spells) are difficult to miss with, however arrows fired will not chage route mid air to hit a target, so there is an element of aiming for range play. I played mainly an elementalist, and there was a fairly even break down between utility skills, single target homing skills, and AoE skills that require aiming. Same thing in melee, you can swing away while no where near the target and miss, however the game does still help a bit once your closer.(I didnt play melee as much, but I believe if you arent moving around you will auto face your target). It is much more on the action side of things for defensive moves, like dodges and blocks. These only happen when you use the action, and not because your dodge stat says so.

Lastely, I know some people have made the argument that its like wow because you press a skill button and things happen... To those people I say thats how every game works. Every game is based on things happening when you press the right button, whether its WoW, GW2, or guitar hero. Saying that is like saying because you can change weapons, Halo is the same as CoD.

Shjade:
Nice to hear that resists and the RNG are a minimized factor in GW2 as it's one of the things that annoys me most about RPGs.

Me too. I have grown to hate RNG influencing anything in online games. In GW1 it was essentially non-existent, but in GW2 the ugly mug of RNG has managed to pop up in certain runes and sigils used to augment gear.
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Rune
http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Sigil
If endgame in any way relies on simply min/maxing RNG builds, then I will be pissed.

And as for resists. The closest thing to it during my fiddling with PvE, was when certain NPCs were doing something that is part of a special entrance or exit, like a guy jumps down from the rafters and boasts that he's going to steal your family heirloom. Then they do get immunity to damage until they are done flapping their gums.

Shjade:

Skyy High:
In my experience with WoW, you simply did not have the abilities to survive against and kill anything about 3-5 levels above you. The fight was absolutely impossible, regardless of your spec, because the monsters would resist your CC and their attacks were unavoidable in any way, and they'd inevitably win the shin-kicking contest.

Someone who never played a warlock. (I know other classes could do this as well, but warlock's the one that comes to mind for having videos made of soloing instances and elite quests intended for 3-5 players in BC.)

People get down on WoW for being casual and easy to play. That's true - it has a very low skill-cap for someone to enjoy playing the game. That's not to say it lacked players who could basically break the game doing things most couldn't or weren't intended to do.

It sounds like both games actually share the same conditions for failure: if you attack something bigger and meaner than you, and then you just stand there and trade attacks with it, you're going to die. If you use the abilities available to you to their utmost, you can tackle much tougher opponents than the stats suggest should be possible. It's overused, but when being wielded accurately, this is exactly what the term "learn to play" is meant to describe.

That said? Nice to hear that resists and the RNG are a minimized factor in GW2 as it's one of the things that annoys me most about RPGs. Of course, there's still probably the issue of lag making your dodges end up being not as effective as it looks like they are (I've "dodged" things in Vindictus only to have it hit me anyway...from five feet away), but that's a different kind of RNG you have to deal with in online games anyway. Can't really hold that against the game unless it's significantly worse than it should be. Sounds like a nice change of pace for RPG combat, though I have to think it means "boss" type enemies are going to have whomping unavoidable attacks to compensate, otherwise you'd have entire teams of thieves or whatever squishy damage class doing things they're not "supposed" to be able to do by their players just never getting hit by anything, ever.

You're right, I never played warlock, I have no idea what they were capable of. I played a mage (and a little of a hunter), for about 3 months or so, and my experience didn't change much during the general leveling content over that entire period. Fights consisted of using my skills on rotation (it helps that most of my damage skills were also snares, gogo Frost line), using the occasional blink as an "oh shit" button if I aggroed too many foes. Against ranged foes, it basically didn't matter what I did; I had one interrupt, but there was zero information that I saw to tell me if it was worth interrupting a skill or not, so most of the time I ignored it and just did my same rotation. Context was only barely important in any fight I experienced in the open world.

I played GW2 for a weekend, and in just that tiny amount of time, I found cool ways to use and combine my skills that made me much more effective than if I had just been using them in a rotation. I'm sure that my time with WoW is minuscule compared to the really good players who can break the game over their knee, but I think that 3 months of shin-kicking vs. a weekend of thought-provoking action speak for themselves.

Regarding dodge "RNG": dodge also makes you invulnerable for a half second, so if you're slightly out of sync with the server position-wise it still does a good job of protecting you.

@RedFeather: The sigil and rune RNG in GW2 is tiny compared to the RNG we had in GW1. Sigils and runes proc occasional (mostly small) effects, and they're all limited by timers that govern how often, at maximum, they can proc. They're not going to decide if you live or die, at least not terribly often. GW1 RNG, on the other hand, was all over the place: almost every single block skill in the game gave you a % chance to block. Yeah, they still needed to be skillfully used, but with (for example) Guardian up you still had a non-negligible chance of getting hit with a full chain of attacks from a warrior or assassin and dying miserably. Then you had the incredibly important half cast time / half skill recharge weapon sets that were used by every caster in the game, which only proc-ed 40% of the time (roughly). One of those could turn a skill from interrupt-bait to interrupt-proof, randomly. It could also effectively double the number of condition or hex removals on your bar, randomly. I never really minded the RNG, because I thought that it averaged out pretty nicely over the course of a match, but to claim that GW2 has more RNG is just ignoring how many effects triggered randomly in GW1.

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