Guild Wars 2 Beta Preview

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I didn't find targetting to be a pain at all, in fact, I just left it on auto-target. When i turned away from something, it untargetted and I could easily select a new target just by looking at it and selecting a skill.

Very useful against fast moving multiable targets. Maybe some people are too used to tab-targetting to just let the system do it for you.

Candidus:
I like the game well enough, but the engine is garbage. They could have made a far better game if they'd bought a license and spent the extra development time rethinking blunders like zero player collision and check-based Y axis hit detection.

Animation based game.
No collision. Good luck reading those animations.
Tabbing targets based on nearest-farthest.
No minimap tracking. Good luck predicting where your next tab will jump to. Did you just waste a critical skill on a downed player that your true target was standing in? Such a pity.

And A-net said they had e-sports hopes for their PvP. I had no idea they were such great jokers.

If you're tabbing in Guild Wars you're doing it wrong plain and simple. That and collision was in the first game so they did choose not to put it in although that's already been said. Those blurs you spoke of later as how you were supposed to tell skills apart in Guild Wars in high end PvP as you can't be watching the monk and the guy you are beating at the same time. So you needed to know which was a Protective Spirit that was just cast or Patient Spirit.

There are also no true interrupts or things that have cast times in this game so a skill under their health would not help you much especially in the large scale battles.

Whether or not the game has a high enough PvP standard like the first one remains to be seen when the game released and people can actually properly play around with the classes and traits.

Danceofmasks:
snip

actually, anet specifically made it so that every race, profession, and sex have the same hitbox. While it may be more difficult to spot an asura, simply pressing ctrl will reveal all enemy players, and click anywhere in the vicinity, even above them, and you will target them.

Glademaster:
snip

I actually think an icon would be helpful. Here is my reasoning. Let's say you're fighting a ranger with a necro. you're fighting and whatnot pretty evenly. Then all of a sudden his damage output goes up like crazy and you die because you weren't prepared for it. Why? He just used Rampage as One and buffed both his and his pet's damage. But you had no idea he did that because there is no visual indication for this particular elite skill.

Now let's take a hypothetical case. Same fight, same conditions, only now there is a small area under the ranger's name that displays what skills he is using. Now you're fighting evenly, but then he does a short cast and Rampage as One pops up under his name. Now let's assume you are competent and know that this skill will greatly increase his damage output. And you just so happened to have saved up an entire bar of life force for this sort of occasion. Now once he starts hitting you,you hit F1 and most if not all of the damage has been mitigated. After 20 seconds(that's how long the skill lasts), you pop your lich form and destroy the crap out of him.

I think that's a pretty good reason for adding an icon. Doesn't have to be a casting progress bar, just an icon that shows what skill they are using so you know what's coming your way. The same argument works for dodging: you could waste a dodge on a trash skill and then get blasted by a really powerful one, all because you can't really tell one animation from another.

Looks like chibi WoW is still pvp based for the most part.

*Sigh

What a fool I was to expect anything 'less'.

shadowkrai:
I felt the betas were pretty lackluster if I'm honest.
All of the "Dynamic events" seemed to be quests that you had to manually start, which I found to be a worse model then "Talk to dude, kill/gather x of y", it seemed to be "Find new area, have no clue what you're doing, pick up x, YAY PICK UP MORE x"
All this talk of aiming is also BS, yeah, you have to be looking at a guy for your melee abilities to hit, that's not aiming, aiming would involve cross-hairs for ranged abilites, which it did not have.
It felt like just another MMO that claimed to be innovative etc, whilst it was basically just like any other

That last part there actually made me laugh out loud.

Maybe I don't play enough MMO's but this games way different then the millions of other MMOs.

Gw2 has allot of cool features, while it may not revolutionize the genre it does update it and its still a quality game.

Polock:
Maybe I don't play enough MMO's but this games way different then the millions of other MMOs.

You're right. I completely agree.
They took the realization that they won't be charging a monthly fee and removed all the detestable stuff from traditional MMOs that bogged down playing time.

No LFG
No gear grind
No gear-based PvP
You can make a character and PvP immediately
Lower-level content is fun, useful, and can be endgame
Instantaneous Waypoint-based travel system
Encourage cooperation in combat and resources

In the end, much of that stems from the fact that there is no monthly fee and there is really no reason for Arenanet to waste your time.
More fun.

Oh and there's also the facets of 'good' MMOs such as responsive controls, stuff to do, dynamic events (like Rift), action-based combat (like Tera), etc.

the doom cannon:
I seriously doubt they will go to that model. They will lose most of their player base if they do, and then the game will just die. Their whole mantra is that everything is available to everyone, and that just because someone beats the last dungeon in the game doesnt give them the best gear. So yea, I seriously doubt they will.

That being said, the cash shop does offer boosts and stuff, but since the stuff you get boosted wont affect your actual ability, it won't matter. Useable items in the cash shop can also be found in game.

I don't quite understand why people think subscriptions are the only way to keep an mmo going, especially since GW1 did so well without them. The subscription model to me is just a grab for money.

You underestimate the playerbase's tolerance for such crap. If they do move in that direction(and there's no guarantee they won't), then certainly some of the players will kick up a fuss, and maybe some of those will leave, but depending on how decent the rest of the game is, the majority will simply turn a blind eye to it.

That mantra is as common and generic as they come. Arenanet aren't the first to make such a statement, and they won't be the last either. It's just empty PR.

And sure, some shop items might turn up ingame, once in a blue moon perhaps. But to find them with any sort of regularly you'd have to go directly to the shop.

With regards to subscription models, I agree.

banksy122:
I doubt this will happen, but even if it does, you can buy everything in the micro-transaction store with in-game gold. I am amazed at how many people don't know this, so I try to tell as many people as possible.

But is it for a viable amount of gold? If the pricing of such items turns out to be through the roof, then people simply take the shortcut and bring out their wallet.

Mr Cwtchy:

the doom cannon:
I seriously doubt they will go to that model. They will lose most of their player base if they do, and then the game will just die. Their whole mantra is that everything is available to everyone, and that just because someone beats the last dungeon in the game doesnt give them the best gear. So yea, I seriously doubt they will.

That being said, the cash shop does offer boosts and stuff, but since the stuff you get boosted wont affect your actual ability, it won't matter. Useable items in the cash shop can also be found in game.

I don't quite understand why people think subscriptions are the only way to keep an mmo going, especially since GW1 did so well without them. The subscription model to me is just a grab for money.

You underestimate the playerbase's tolerance for such crap. If they do move in that direction(and there's no guarantee they won't), then certainly some of the players will kick up a fuss, and maybe some of those will leave, but depending on how decent the rest of the game is, the majority will simply turn a blind eye to it.

That mantra is as common and generic as they come. Arenanet aren't the first to make such a statement, and they won't be the last either. It's just empty PR.

And sure, some shop items might turn up ingame, once in a blue moon perhaps. But to find them with any sort of regularly you'd have to go directly to the shop.

With regards to subscription models, I agree.

banksy122:
I doubt this will happen, but even if it does, you can buy everything in the micro-transaction store with in-game gold. I am amazed at how many people don't know this, so I try to tell as many people as possible.

But is it for a viable amount of gold? If the pricing of such items turns out to be through the roof, then people simply take the shortcut and bring out their wallet.

The price is player driven. So it is really up to the community pretty much. Sure anet could charge way to much money for Gems which will lead to high gold prices for gems, but the price of gems at the moment seems reasonable.

Sober Thal:
Looks like chibi WoW is still pvp based for the most part.

The writer of this article chose to focus on the PVP portion of the game but there is definitely no shortage of awesome content in PVE.

Also.. "chibi WoW"?? I really do not understand how you can compare the two games and come away thinking GW is the cutesy/cartoony one.

the doom cannon:

Danceofmasks:
snip

actually, anet specifically made it so that every race, profession, and sex have the same hitbox. While it may be more difficult to spot an asura, simply pressing ctrl will reveal all enemy players, and click anywhere in the vicinity, even above them, and you will target them.

Glademaster:
snip

I actually think an icon would be helpful. Here is my reasoning. Let's say you're fighting a ranger with a necro. you're fighting and whatnot pretty evenly. Then all of a sudden his damage output goes up like crazy and you die because you weren't prepared for it. Why? He just used Rampage as One and buffed both his and his pet's damage. But you had no idea he did that because there is no visual indication for this particular elite skill.

Now let's take a hypothetical case. Same fight, same conditions, only now there is a small area under the ranger's name that displays what skills he is using. Now you're fighting evenly, but then he does a short cast and Rampage as One pops up under his name. Now let's assume you are competent and know that this skill will greatly increase his damage output. And you just so happened to have saved up an entire bar of life force for this sort of occasion. Now once he starts hitting you,you hit F1 and most if not all of the damage has been mitigated. After 20 seconds(that's how long the skill lasts), you pop your lich form and destroy the crap out of him.

I think that's a pretty good reason for adding an icon. Doesn't have to be a casting progress bar, just an icon that shows what skill they are using so you know what's coming your way. The same argument works for dodging: you could waste a dodge on a trash skill and then get blasted by a really powerful one, all because you can't really tell one animation from another.

But Rampage as One does have a tell. Both the pet and the main user have a red aura around their character for the duration that the skill lasts.

That video where he uses a ranger melee build really shows where he uses RaO as you can see him using it on the bar and then its visual effect. Now maybe I'm just used to learning this stuff from GW 1 GvG but that is the level of awareness you had to have in PvP and it seems they want that again.

Also in that scenario you have other options like using a Chill effect or if you have the dagger set immobilize which I don't see why you wouldn't be using the dagger set in PvP(at least in WvWvW) as a necro because of the Spectral Grasp immobilize combo.

Now maybe other skills have similar affects but I know if I see a Ranger coming at me when I'm with my Necro and the and the Ranger have a red aura that is what I would do. It is too early to know if they have reused effects but I think for the awareness you should have in PvP at least in arena style that would be pretty obvious after you've played the game more. All we have had really are 3 BWEs. Now if that were to happen in WvWvW and you were 1v1 you should go down as a necro unless you play well but in the group situation the Ranger would over extend and get destroyed by your allies.

I think there are more factors in PvP that you're missing in your original situation.

I've had a little interest in this - which is a big deal since it's an MMO - but the asura always struck me as something I would like to play as but would not stomach. The ending dialog between the two did ease me into them.

Saviordd1:
I really don't see how this is supposed to REVOLUTIONIZE the damn MMO industry, its another hotbar based MMO, while obviously a well made one its just another part of the problem and not the solution.

Once you play it, you will find that it is hardly another "hotbar based MMO". It won't revolutionize anything, however it is fun and different enough that it could help progress MMO's a slight bit further than what previous games had.

Mr Cwtchy:
You underestimate the playerbase's tolerance for such crap. If they do move in that direction(and there's no guarantee they won't), then certainly some of the players will kick up a fuss, and maybe some of those will leave, but depending on how decent the rest of the game is, the majority will simply turn a blind eye to it.

While it's true there's no guarantee ArenaNet won't turn the cash shop into pay to win down the line, they've been running GW1 with the same kind of cash shop GW2 has (cosmetic only) and they still don't sell power in it and GW1 is over 6 or 7 years old so I'd say at least they have a good record on keeping their claims that their cash shops won't be pay to win.

And you're right about pay to win not being the game killer so many people claim it is, like you said, most people will turn a blind eye to it if they like the game enough, there's even proof of that!

That link leads to a video made by a developer of the free to play game called Battlefield Heroes, a pay to win game, and he talks about the whole process of how the game got to that point and...

somonels:
I've had a little interest in this - which is a big deal since it's an MMO - but the asura always struck me as something I would like to play as but would not stomach. The ending dialog between the two did ease me into them.

I personally plan to stay away from the Asura. It's a shame because I like the style of their world and it seems interesting. The characters to me seem too silly and cartoonish. They stick out to me like the Jar Jar Binks of GW. Everything from how they talk, to the flappy ears, to the way the flail their arms when they jump. I don't like the look of them. Having said that, Still lots of awesome going on with the Charr and Sylvari IMO.

Glademaster:
snippity snip

I will agree that I made a very general scenario. However, I was just recounting a situation I had in pvp where I couldn't see a tell simply because they were on fire. The tells are all well and good but if you can't see them through a flashy particle effect then they lose that. I played gw1 pvp a bit and know what to look for, but with the overly flashy (which I like) particle effects it's very difficult to see them. Maybe it was also cuz I was getting 2v1 so I had my focus split between the 2 because now that I watch the video I can actually see it's fairly obvious. But my opinion still stands. I think an icon slightly larger than the condition/boon icons and just underneath them wouldn't hurt the very pretty and clean UI. Not persistent, just when they use the skill and maybe for like 1 or 2 seconds after. It would make it much easier to fight 2v1.

PS: not to brag, but my necro is pretty beast :P
Go guild wars 2!

captcha: She's a witch
NO, she's a NECRO

Hotbar-based combat was never what was wrong with MMOs, and at least this is partially action-based and requires movement and positioning. People don't seem to understand that the revolutionary part is in the basic structure of the game around those somewhat familliar gameplay mechanics, which really aren't all that familiar if you take into account weapon switching changing your first five skills, and a completely new set of skills and style of combat for underwater, not to mention class-based unique mechanics and elite skills. If it had the same combat as guild wars 1, it would still be a huge step forward.

Having played in all three betas myself, I can say that it's a fantastic game, no question. But "revolutionary"? No, not at all really. It pretty much revolves around a lot of the classic mainstays of MMOs, but it improves them significantly enough that they don't bother you.

For example, dynamic events are essentially just quests in another format, but because they can pop up seemingly at random while you explore, and because everyone's contributions are rewarded, you feel an urge to go help out in such events.

Similarly, the game features significant grinding, perhaps the most I've seen of any game. There's grinding involved not only in leveling, but in finding crafting materials and leveling crafting up, in obtaining new weapon skills, in utility skills and traits (some of which are barred from access until you obtain a much larger number of skill and trait points due to an incredibly stupid tiering system), and so on. But the game never felt like a grind to me. You can obtain experience for doing just about everything: exploration of maps, completing certain jumping puzzles, killing monsters, completing any dynamic events, harvesting ore and wood from local sources, resurrecting fallen players in battle, and so on. So there's no shortage of ways to level. Crafting becomes less of a grind when you utilize the "discovery" mechanic to help find new and better equipment crafting recipes. Weapon skills are unlocked based on the number of kills you get "credit" for, and thus are much easier to obtain if you play large scale events where you're damaging several foes at once (and thus getting credit for helping to kill them all). Skill points can be obtained both by leveling and by completing special tasks scattered around the world, reducing the number of levels that need be grinded out. Even traits don't feel that grindy since you can start investing in them around Lvl 11, so the only real grind is the gold required to get started on traits.

The fact that it doesn't try to reinvent the wheel so much as make the wheel more efficient and enjoyable is an argument in its favor, not against it. This is a great MMO, probably the best I've ever played. Buy it. You won't regret it.

Saviordd1:
I really don't see how this is supposed to REVOLUTIONIZE the damn MMO industry, its another hotbar based MMO, while obviously a well made one its just another part of the problem and not the solution.

No, the problem with MMOs is that no one knows what the problems with MMOs are. Usually because they've played one or two and consider themselves experts.

Hotbars are NOT a core problem with the genre.

Saviordd1:
How about, and this is a crazy idea here, an MMO that actually relies on skill and aiming! (Oh god doesn't that idea just shake your britches)

You obviously define the terms "skill" and "aiming" much differently than everyone else. There is a significant combat difference between a player in GW2 who doesn't know what he's doing, and one who does. My friend, playing the same profession and level as me, usually struggled when he ran into groups. I could take out entire groups solo. That seems to imply that there's a significant margin between skilled and unskilled players.

Also, I gotta say, why does everyone seem to think that "aiming" is the only way to make a game's combat good? FPS logic, much? I've played enough "aim-based" RPGs to know that I'd much rather have my arrows magically guided into my targets, thanks. I think I'll suspend my disbelief on that one since aim-less combat is a hell of a lot more fast paced and fun.

kyosai7:
The Sylvari weren't "similar" to elves, that's all they were. Literally. Elves with leaf hair. You could have thrown them into Amalur or something and no one would bat an eyelash

Well now that's just dishonest. I don't know of many elven races that are born from trees (usually it happens when a mommy and daddy elf love each other very much) and exist within a metaphysical "Dream" construct that grants them knowledge beyond their years.

They certainly do resemble elves and that's probably because that's basically what they were originally, but the concept has clearly evolved beyond that.

the only race done well was Charr, but the stories were all B-grade fantasy novel cliches, with no real choices besides "let this traitor live or die?". There was no real choice. I tried the Sylvari, and I hated all the NPCs, I would have rather joined the evil faction, the Nightmare Court, but alas, no such choice was there, making each small choice you got to feel just kind of... "About time I got to do something."

The reason you can't join the "evil" faction is most likely because their faction would lead to the destruction of the Sylvari race, and thus the destruction of all of Tyria. Also because while it's not made clear, it's somewhat implied that they're on the side of Zhaitan (the big evil dragon) so since the end goal of the game is to kill Zhaitan, you're probably not allowed to join up with him. That'd be sort of counterproductive and stupid. I really dislike that people hold it against a game when they can't join the bad guys for no good reason except "for teh evulz". It's grossly unfair to the game in question and reflects poorly on the individual degrading the game for such a simplistic reason.

Combat was fun, but lacked any real impact. There was no real impact on anything I did. I never felt my sword hit a creature. I never saw a "tell" when a giant skill was coming, hence a sign to dodge. Speaking of dodging. It sucks. Period. It's way too imprecise and there was no reliable way to strafe and dodge without being a melee-based Ranger.

It sounds to me like you just suck at this game and want to blame the game for your own inadequacies.

Sorry to be blunt, but what you said in that paragraph is 100% false. Every monster has a "tell" for their big attacks, and it becomes really easy to see once you've witnessed it. Red circles appear on the ground to indicate enemy AoE, too, so you have warning against that also. Dodging is easy to do and is omnidirectional. With smart use of the right-mouse (the camera control), you can easily strafe around targets and pop them full of arrows and spells at a distance.

I played a ranger who used both a longbow and a sword/warhorn combo. The longbow allowed me to lay down suppressive fire, then I could swap over and jump straight into the melee, pounding things with the sword. The sword had skills specifically designed for evasion and dodging, making it a fantastic melee option.

Really, the combat's fun, and the world's pretty, but just about everything else needs to be redone from the ground up. because aside from the combat and the "dynamic events", which aren't really all that dynamic, there's nothing new in this game.

There's a lot of different things in this game, but the big problem here is that everyone seems convinced that a game has to be radically different to be a good game (unless it's a sequel of course in which case it just has to copy its predecessor and it gets a free pass!). A lot of what GW2 kept from old games, it either improved upon (as I highlighted above) or it didn't really need to change it anyways.

shadowkrai:
I felt the betas were pretty lackluster if I'm honest.

I did too, but I'll bet our reasons differ.

My personal reasons for the beta being disappointing were a lack of high quality finales and some changes which I significantly disagree with (such as the implementation of skill and trait tiers). Let's see yours.

All of the "Dynamic events" seemed to be quests that you had to manually start, which I found to be a worse model then "Talk to dude, kill/gather x of y", it seemed to be "Find new area, have no clue what you're doing, pick up x, YAY PICK UP MORE x"

This complaint makes no sense. You have to manually start quests in every other MMO too. >_>

All this talk of aiming is also BS, yeah, you have to be looking at a guy for your melee abilities to hit, that's not aiming, aiming would involve cross-hairs for ranged abilites, which it did not have.

Already highlighted why I think crosshairs are stupid in an action MMORPG. I will note that anyone claiming there is zero aiming to this game, however, is dead wrong.

It felt like just another MMO that claimed to be innovative etc, whilst it was basically just like any other

And your arguments to prove that it's just like every other MMO are:
1) The quests have to be started manually (which is true of any MMO)
2) There's no aiming (which is false)

Are you quite sure that you actually played in the betas? Because your comments don't refer to anything specific about the game, in fact they're both things that someone could make up just from watching footage of the game on YouTube. So I have to ask: did you really play in the beta, or are you just pretending you did? There'd be no shame in admitting it, for the record, I just think that it's rather silly and wasteful of one's time to berate a game they never had an interest in trying.

Sober Thal:
Looks like chibi WoW is still pvp based for the most part.

*Sigh

What a fool I was to expect anything 'less'.

Someone doesn't know what the term "chibi" means, I see.

Chibi is a specific art style (one that refers to cartoon art, typically anime/manga art, in which all of the characters, even adults, are drawn to look like cute cartoon children). GW2 doesn't even remotely emulate this style. WoW is far closer to a "chibi" art style than GW2 due to its color style and the way its character models are drawn, so I find it hilarious that you'd say this because this means you either don't know what the term means, or you've never so much as looked at a single screenshot of the game.

Tip for next time: if you grossly misuse the term that you're trying to insult something with, you're doing it wrong.

No, the Sylvari are Elves. They just took the metaphorical speech elves are known for, and made it literal. Seriously, they feel ripped straight out of Kingdoms of Amalur, but with leaf hair.

kyosai7:
No, the Sylvari are Elves. They just took the metaphorical speech elves are known for, and made it literal. Seriously, they feel ripped straight out of Kingdoms of Amalur, but with leaf hair.

No they don't. Stop being silly and ridiculous. They are much more than elves and do carry similarities but they not ripped out of the general trope with no twist or change.

the doom cannon:

Glademaster:
snippity snip

I will agree that I made a very general scenario. However, I was just recounting a situation I had in pvp where I couldn't see a tell simply because they were on fire. The tells are all well and good but if you can't see them through a flashy particle effect then they lose that. I played gw1 pvp a bit and know what to look for, but with the overly flashy (which I like) particle effects it's very difficult to see them. Maybe it was also cuz I was getting 2v1 so I had my focus split between the 2 because now that I watch the video I can actually see it's fairly obvious. But my opinion still stands. I think an icon slightly larger than the condition/boon icons and just underneath them wouldn't hurt the very pretty and clean UI. Not persistent, just when they use the skill and maybe for like 1 or 2 seconds after. It would make it much easier to fight 2v1.

PS: not to brag, but my necro is pretty beast :P
Go guild wars 2!

captcha: She's a witch
NO, she's a NECRO

I do see your point but you could always suggest it to the devs and see what happens. I don't think it is needed but maybe others do.

CriticKitten:
-snip-

Aiming your abilities should be a thing. It's not willing suspension of disbelief, its annoying.

And by skill I mean something that isn't "Learn how best to abuse one of your 10000 abilities in combat"

By skill I mean something that actively involves dodging and possibly parrying attacks as well as relying less on abilities that are on a hotbar and more on your skill as a fighter. Hell I'd settle for something like Divinity 2, where the hotbar exists but you at least need to dodge attacks and actually think.

Sheesh, some people here are either picky or have no idea what they are talking about. Let's move combat out of they way since that is what the majority of the people seem to be talking about and focus on other excellent changes.

-Quests. Unlike most MMO's out now where you talk to an individual, get sent to another location to talk to another, than sent to another location to talk to a different NPC. GW2 hardly has that. The dynamic quests are nice in the sense that you as the individual are not the only one on it and are not the only one to help it get complete. There is a quest log on the top right corner that you can click on to let you know what you gotta do to complete the quest. Sure some parts of that quest are being taken by others but there is definitely something to do for everyone. Campaign quests are where you'll find the majority of the classic MMO based quests. Lack of kill marks is very important.

-Locations. They are beautiful and not flat or plains like. :P We have seen it in many MMO's where if your not in a mountainous area, the whole location is like a plain. GW2 barely has that and actually makes other locations pop out.

-Attack/weapon animation. Here is where it's interesting. A mesmer/caster does not use a 2-hander sword the same way a warrior/tank does. They have their own "method" of how to use a two hander and it's quite amusing. You can actually swing your weapon with no one else around and miss because you were not within reach of your target. Range is even effected by this. You can mark an individual at a distance with a range character and miss because they were not within your attack distance. Weapon and skills are also effected by your distance from the individual. Some take strength from being as close as possible to being as far as possible. So depending on who you see is attacking you, from some study, may know whether to get close as quick as possible or further away.

Do, do some of you even take internet connection into consideration when you talk about "skill" from actively moving? I see lag-switch being SO abused if attacks are not auto aiming. I see slow internet connection from some individuals who have no choice being over-run by better skill (internet connection) players. And I don't want to hear, "well then they shouldn't play the game than." Since that is a Elitist excuse that would do nothing more than lower the population in an MMO which is something that is contrary to what an MMO is trying to do -_-

CriticKitten:
Snip

this man wins post of the year.

:D

Polock:

CriticKitten:
Snip

this man wins post of the year.

:D

agreed

CriticKitten:
snippity snippity snip

I will only disagree with you on one thing. If it doesn't feel like a grind then it isn't a grind, get what I mean? My understanding is that grinding implies repetition, which gw2 simply doesn't have. you CAN go run in circles killing the same things over and over or complete the same dynamic events over and over, but that's the worst possible way to play the game. And as for weapon skill unlocking, it only takes like 10 minutes to unlock all of them....I don't consider that grinding at all.

The rest of you post is spot on :D

Saviordd1:

CriticKitten:
-snip-

Aiming your abilities should be a thing. It's not willing suspension of disbelief, its annoying.

And by skill I mean something that isn't "Learn how best to abuse one of your 10000 abilities in combat"

By skill I mean something that actively involves dodging and possibly parrying attacks as well as relying less on abilities that are on a hotbar and more on your skill as a fighter. Hell I'd settle for something like Divinity 2, where the hotbar exists but you at least need to dodge attacks and actually think.

Have you even tried the game? You have to "aim" many of your abilities (although not in a cross-hair sense), and dodging and blocking were very time-based skills required from the player. Your description of Divinity 2 sounds just like the combat in Guild Wars 2.

CriticKitten:

Sober Thal:
Looks like chibi WoW is still pvp based for the most part.

*Sigh

What a fool I was to expect anything 'less'.

Someone doesn't know what the term "chibi" means, I see.

Chibi is a specific art style (one that refers to cartoon art, typically anime/manga art, in which all of the characters, even adults, are drawn to look like cute cartoon children). GW2 doesn't even remotely emulate this style. WoW is far closer to a "chibi" art style than GW2 due to its color style and the way its character models are drawn, so I find it hilarious that you'd say this because this means you either don't know what the term means, or you've never so much as looked at a single screenshot of the game.

Tip for next time: if you grossly misuse the term that you're trying to insult something with, you're doing it wrong.

lol

It's slang for small child. Guild wars is the small child next to WoW.

NOTE: I don't think that's a bad or negative comparison, considering the behemoth that is WoW.

Sober Thal:

CriticKitten:

Sober Thal:
Looks like chibi WoW is still pvp based for the most part.

*Sigh

What a fool I was to expect anything 'less'.

Someone doesn't know what the term "chibi" means, I see.

Chibi is a specific art style (one that refers to cartoon art, typically anime/manga art, in which all of the characters, even adults, are drawn to look like cute cartoon children). GW2 doesn't even remotely emulate this style. WoW is far closer to a "chibi" art style than GW2 due to its color style and the way its character models are drawn, so I find it hilarious that you'd say this because this means you either don't know what the term means, or you've never so much as looked at a single screenshot of the game.

Tip for next time: if you grossly misuse the term that you're trying to insult something with, you're doing it wrong.

lol

It's slang for small child. Guild wars is the small child next to WoW.

NOTE: I don't think that's a bad or negative comparison, considering the behemoth that is WoW.

GW1 could certainly be described as that, but GW2 has grown up and now far surpasses WoW, because WoW is growing old, and like old things, it doesn't get better, but gets static and deteriorates. I don't hate WoW, but after 2 and a half years and 4000 hours, it is nothing compared to GW2. From my experience, the people who play WoW still, don't play it because they find it more fun then other MMOs, but play it because it is WoW, and they can't not play it. They don't even look at other games.

Saviordd1:

the doom cannon:
-snip-

How about, and this is a crazy idea here, an MMO that actually relies on skill and aiming! (Oh god doesn't that idea just shake your britches)

I mean I've heard Vindictus had good combat, but I also heard that's basically just a RPG with mulitplayer zones.

The first MMO developer to actually have a good combat system with less grind and actual content would be king of the god damn world for years...yet no one can grow the brain cells to NOT copy WoW and its predecessors.

Edit: Again, no quoting please, I ceased caring against the wave of people who claim GW2 is going to be god.

I know you said not to quote you again, but I feel I want to anyway since I agree wholeheartedly. There is absolutely nothing special about GW2 when compared to all the other MMOs I have played in recent years. It plays like a clunkier WoW, has a bigger grind than TERA (seriously) and is about as ugly as any non-AAA MMO you can name.
I don't get why people think the quest system is so amazing, either. It IS just kill x of y or gather x of y or sometimes both. The ONLY difference is they give you a bar to fill instead of telling you an actual number. PEOPLE SERIOUSLY FALL FOR THIS!
Sure, it's handy that you can run into a field and gather/kill x of y and not have to hand it in to an NPC somewhere, but that's not revolutionary in any way, shape or form. At most, it just removes the need to click the mouse two times more. And getting experience for finding places on the map is nothing new, WoW has done this from the very start as has TERA. They both offer experience and rewards for discovering points of interest.
GW2 is just another standard, run of the mill MMO. Also, the whole "dynamic combat" system they promised is utter garbage when compared to TERA. The dodge function might as well not exist considering how limited it is in use and considering you can walk out of the way of anything that would hurt you anyway.
Really, I was so excited for this game but the last three beta weekends have left an awful taste in my mouth.

Saviordd1:

CriticKitten:
-snip-

Aiming your abilities should be a thing. It's not willing suspension of disbelief, its annoying.

And by skill I mean something that isn't "Learn how best to abuse one of your 10000 abilities in combat"

By skill I mean something that actively involves dodging and possibly parrying attacks as well as relying less on abilities that are on a hotbar and more on your skill as a fighter. Hell I'd settle for something like Divinity 2, where the hotbar exists but you at least need to dodge attacks and actually think.

Sorry to quote you twice in one post, but if that's the kinda gameplay you're after, you should give TERA a try, specifically Warrior. That's pretty much a perfect description of the class besides aiming arrows, which they can't use. But dodging, parrying and finding an open path to your opponent's back is how they roll.
If you're worried about the people on this forum that screamed "pedo" on the release, just ignore them. The game is genuinely good and there is a free trial now, so there's no reason not to give it a try.

Sorry, but nope, nah uh and negatory. Korean games have a nasty habit of being extremely grindy and Tera is no different. I have experienced quests where you have to kill 60 mobs, 20 of 3 different types, for xp that is equal to another that just had me kill 15-ish. No, this type of quest is in-excusable and is nothing more than a time sink artificially lengthen an MMO. Though I believe GW2 is more evolutionary than "revolutionary" Removal of kill marks, anyone can heal, anyone can rez, lfg nearly non existent, most obvious grind quests gone, unfair gear/lvl in pvp gone (you know what I mean, I don't want to go into detail). Want me to go more? Terrain actually looking different instead of just flat with trees every where. Being any class and able to kite or kill monsters a few levels above you instead of that being exclusive to range or healers.

No, GW2 isn't like every other MMO, BUT it still has level progression and some quests to be done before others just like other MMO's.

GW2 isn't Revolutionary, it is Evolutionary. Compare the very beginning quests of most MMO's compared to GW2 and if you tell me that they are similar and boring. You are full of **** :P

Edit: I don't mind the combat that the Korean mmo's have given, they are fantastic. What kills it every single time for most MMO's is the xp grind, always the stupid xp grind and quests.

The game doesn't revolutionize anything really. It is more of an evolution of the genre I.E it keeps things that have served the genre well over the years and then adds other features to make things more interesting, like dynamic events and WvW pvp, to the point where it feels different from most other mmo's

From the betas, about the only thing new that I could see from this over the other established MMO traditions is the business model. You pay for the game, then they have the RM store that I'm still not sure how I feel about, but it doesn't tilt toward "good."

The vaunted "event" system that's supposed to "change the world"... doesn't. Most of them just fall into the same old MMO quest types: Kill X mobs, Kill boss, gather X parcels, escort stupid AI. At least the localized event system keeps stupid "FedEx quests" at minimum, though.

Have to disagree that it feels any different from any other MMO, though, other than in the wallet. Unless that other MMO is "Guild Wars," at least.

Saviordd1:
Aiming your abilities should be a thing. It's not willing suspension of disbelief, its annoying.

So I'm assuming you haven't played the game, then, because in this game the auto-aim keeps combat fast-paced and very exciting. Adding additional aiming would be obnoxious in a game where you're also expected to strafe and dodge on a regular basis. Playing a ranged character (especially using a bow) would be damn near impossible if you had to individually aim every arrow.

So basically your dislike of this game boils down to knowing nothing about it and never having tried it. I'd recommend you try TERA but I doubt you'd like that either since hotbars are so "evil".

And by skill I mean something that isn't "Learn how best to abuse one of your 10000 abilities in combat"

So you DEFINITELY haven't played the game, then. I know this because there's nowhere near that many skills in the game.

There's a five-slot weapon skill system (skills that change based on your weapon), one skill for healing, three for utility functions, and an elite which does all sorts of wacky things. So half of your hotbar is controlled entirely by your choice of weapon, and most classes have a limited selection in that area. Then on top of that, you've got usually about three choices of heal skill, around 25-30 utility skills total, and 6 elites. And significantly less than that if you play in PvP, since (IIRC) racial skills are limited to PvE. That really doesn't lead to as much selection as you think and it starts to boil down to how smart and tactical you are with the handful of skills (and choice of weapon) you do have. It works out quite well, actually, and places a significant gap between skilled and unskilled players. It's not so much about abuse as it is about being smart with your skills.

By skill I mean something that actively involves dodging and possibly parrying attacks as well as relying less on abilities that are on a hotbar and more on your skill as a fighter. Hell I'd settle for something like Divinity 2, where the hotbar exists but you at least need to dodge attacks and actually think.

....much of GW2's combat revolves around dodging and parrying attacks. Are you paying attention? >_>

I'll give you a good example. Rangers can wield a 1 handed sword which grants them skills in slots 1-3. The default skill allows them to slash and kick at their foes, but used wisely with the targeting system, can also allow you to spring away or towards an enemy that you want to engage instead. The second skill on that sword allows you to roll backwards away from a foe, and then if the skill is promptly hit again, allows you to leap right back into the fray with a large slash downwards on your enemy's head. The third skill allows you to essentially snake your way around the foe and hit them from a flank or from behind. So the entire build of the Ranger's 1H sword is all about the sort of combat you describe.

Many other skills in GW2 also have blocking and placement functionality. Greatswords on both Ranger and Warrior come with a parry ability to counter an incoming attack (or yield some other benefit if no attack is parried). Shields on every profession that has access to them come with some manner of blocking skill that only works if you're blocking in the right direction, and Guardians can use shields to create an AoE "shield bubble" to help protect nearby allies as well.

And any number of skills in the game depend on proper placement and orientation. Elementalist fire walls, Rangers' AoE torch drops, traps, etc. There are also utility skills and traits which provide you with unique benefits, such as additional damage or statuses, for flanking your opponent. There are plenty of ways to play this game in the smart and tactical manner you're looking for. You just refuse to see it that way because, apparently, hotbars are the devil. And that's fine, it's just your loss really. I honestly think you're missing out on combat that is essentially what you're describing. But hey, you don't want to give it a chance, that's your call.

the doom cannon:
I will only disagree with you on one thing. If it doesn't feel like a grind then it isn't a grind, get what I mean? My understanding is that grinding implies repetition, which gw2 simply doesn't have.

Actually there's quite a lot of repetition. Keep in mind the number of things you have to grind in this game:
* character levels
* crafting levels
* crafting materials
* gold
* skill points
* trait points
* weapon skills

And so on. Also keep in mind that while some overlap (you can grind for gold and mats and levels at the same time, and levels/skills/traits have significant overlap), you're still going to be doing a lot of grinding nonetheless. At some point you're going to hit a brick wall where you have to go grinding for something before you can develop any further.

For me, I was actively trying to level up crafting by keeping every little drop I could find, salvaging mats from ANYTHING I wasn't using, and spamming the discovery mechanics like a man possessed. And it was STILL a grind and nothing but. I ended up having to stop crafting to run out and locate specific mobs, then ground those mobs for a while to rebuild my supply after I spent most of my mats crafting. So crafting ended up being a grind just to keep the level high enough that I could actually craft stuff at my level.

There is definitely no denying that the game has grinding, and a lot of it. A lot of the game is built around the grind mentality, in fact. To get 100% on any map location requires a lot of exploration and beating several platforming puzzles, some of which are more absurd than others. That is a form of grinding. It's mindless for the most part and not too hard, you may not even be thinking about it much. But you're repeating the same tasks over and over to obtain each mark on the map, that's textbook grinding.

Another more harsh example is the skill system and its nasty evil tiers. In order to unlock a tier 3 utility, you must first unlock five tier 1s (at 1 point a piece) and five tier 2s (at 3 a piece), plus the cost of the tier 3 itself (6 a piece). That means to obtain your first tier 3 utility, you need 26 skill points from start to finish. You must either explore like crazy for skill points (and IIRC there aren't that many on all of the starter maps combined) or earn them at a rate of one per level. So assuming you unlock none from the maps, that means you've got to be at least Lvl 30 to obtain that first tier 3 utility. And at that mark, congrats, you've just unlocked elite skills and will now be needing another *10* skill points per skill for those (and that's at minimum, there's also tier 2 elites at *30* points per skill). The devs' explanation for this is that they want to keep from overwhelming you with choices and want your character to "continue to evolve over the levels", but by lvl 20 or so I had obtained most of the skills I wanted anyways and I wasn't figuring on changing them. So the tiering system fails even at its own stated goal. It's pointless really and shouldn't be there, it's just another form of forced grinding.

you CAN go run in circles killing the same things over and over or complete the same dynamic events over and over, but that's the worst possible way to play the game.

Actually it's extremely smart.

One of the best ways to get good gear and plenty of XP/Gold/Karma was to farm the Sylvari starting area's "big boss", a giant wyrm creature. By playing the events leading up to that, you get plenty of gear and XP and gold, and then killing the creature gives you a chest filled with green items and more rare crafting items as well. I farmed that boss a few times to great effect, ended up with a mostly green weapon inventory as a result.

And as for weapon skill unlocking, it only takes like 10 minutes to unlock all of them....I don't consider that grinding at all.

Again, this one varies. The problem is that weapon unlocks are counted based on the KOs that you get credit for. This means that the absolute best way to unlock these skills is to join up with a large group of people and bash through an event that you probably have no business being in. Even if you're severely underleveled, a few slashes at several opponents and you unlock skills very rapidly. By comparison, if you try to unlock skills individually....it takes....I dunno. How long does it take, Pinkie?

Er, yeah, that long.

To unlock a full set of five weapon skills, I've estimated that you need to earn credit for about 50 kills (approximately 5, 10, 15, and 20 if I counted right). That means for most characters, you're looking at several hundred kills to unlock every weapon set (plus at least 100 underwater kills). And it's pretty nasty for elementalists especially, who need 50*4, or 200 kills to fully unlock each individual weapon since you only get credit per attunement instead of overall. This is an incredible number of kills and can be a real drag on anyone who starts out trying to solo as I did. Once I learned the trick it was no trouble, but you risk discouraging people before that point with the mark this high. Unfortunately it's something they seem unwilling to change, suggesting that you can train them across the entire 80 level journey and thus it's not that much of a grind....but I double dog dare you to try soloing mobs with one skill in your twenties. I've tried. It is no cakewalk. >_>

Sober Thal:
lol

It's slang for small child. Guild wars is the small child next to WoW.

NOTE: I don't think that's a bad or negative comparison, considering the behemoth that is WoW

You would be the very first person I've ever seen to use the term in that fashion. Congrats, here's your prize:

More seriously, that comparison really doesn't make any sense. You're using the word in an improper way (common use is in describing the art style when it comes to games, not the scale of the game) with improper context, and the tone of your post suggests that you WERE using it in a derogatory manner. So you really should have expected someone to call you on that, honestly.

VanQQisH:
I know you said not to quote you again, but I feel I want to anyway since I agree wholeheartedly. There is absolutely nothing special about GW2 when compared to all the other MMOs I have played in recent years.

You must not play many MMOs.

It plays like a clunkier WoW,

No it doesn't. I've played WoW. It's not "a clunkier WoW".

has a bigger grind than TERA (seriously)

That one is probably true. I've admitted myself the grind is somewhat excessive even for my tastes.

and is about as ugly as any non-AAA MMO you can name.

But that comment....that's an outright lie. It's actually so false that I can't help but immediately question whether or not you've even seen a screenshot of this game, much less played it.

I've played a lot of non-AAA MMOs and can't name a one that has graphics as polished as this one. I daresay it's far prettier looking than SWTOR, which only goes to show how badly SWTOR was botched despite its nine-digit budget. And I'd argue that it appeals more to me visually than TERA, too.

I don't get why people think the quest system is so amazing, either. It IS just kill x of y or gather x of y or sometimes both. The ONLY difference is they give you a bar to fill instead of telling you an actual number. PEOPLE SERIOUSLY FALL FOR THIS!

No, there are other differences as well.

There are usually at least three different ways to make progress on that bar, leaving it to you to determine what you want to do. You can kill monsters, or test out items, or revive NPCs, or activate environmental items, etc.

And this is true ONLY of the renown heart system. It's not true of the dynamic event system since those events vary in function significantly, ranging from "collect items" to "kill monsters" to "escort given NPC" to "kill boss" and so on. The fact that most of these are indicated by bars is to give people a visual indicator of their progress other than numbers. It doesn't "fool" anyone except the incredibly dense, and quests vary enough that you really don't tend to mind in the long run.

Sure, it's handy that you can run into a field and gather/kill x of y and not have to hand it in to an NPC somewhere, but that's not revolutionary in any way, shape or form. At most, it just removes the need to click the mouse two times more.

Which is somewhat helpful in itself, really. I happen to like getting credit for an event automatically, without having to speak to Standard NPC Cardboard Cutout #405 and listen to him spout some dialogue about how wonderful I am, myself.

And getting experience for finding places on the map is nothing new, WoW has done this from the very start as has TERA. They both offer experience and rewards for discovering points of interest.

Good for them! And obviously they offer XP for quests too.

Do they also grant you experience towards your next level for *all* of these things?
* crafting
* locating waypoints
* harvesting food, wood, or ore from material hubs
* reviving NPCs or players
* completion of jumping puzzles
* completion of achievements (be them daily, monthly, etc)

Really, it's like you took one small sliver of my argument about how easy it is to level, and formed a big ol' straw-man out of it. No one is arguing GW2 was "first" to do any of this shit, nor does it matter who was first. What matters is the ease of leveling, and by offering so many ways to gain experience, GW2 leaps ahead of the pack. I don't know of any MMO I've ever played in which all of these things granted XP towards a new level, which does make GW2 a more easy MMO in that you can basically do just about anything and gain experience for it.

GW2 is just another standard, run of the mill MMO. Also, the whole "dynamic combat" system they promised is utter garbage when compared to TERA.

Sounds like we have a TERA fan here. You repeatedly call back to this game as a point of comparison.

Alright, I'll humor you, how is TERA's combat better?

The dodge function might as well not exist considering how limited it is in use and considering you can walk out of the way of anything that would hurt you anyway.

This is both true and false. There are times that you can walk to avoid attacks and times when dodging is the only way. You must not have played enough to realize that most projectile attacks will hit you even while running, so you really have to dodge at some points. Part of the strategy is learning when to dodge. You can also amplify your dodge ability either by loading up with utility skills that grant dodging (like Lightning Reflexes) or by using traits that enhance your Endurance. I personally never found myself in a situation where dodge wasn't fairly useful.

For the record, I've experienced both GW2 and TERA combat, and I find that TERA's combat is essentially a half-assed version of GW2's. You're stuck standing still when spamming skills (akin to WoW or any other MMO), but are also expected to dodge and evade attacks through skill use as well. That plus the setup of the keys made my trial of TERA the first and last time I wanted to play it. It definitely wasn't action-adventure combat, as they claim to have. It's standard MMO combat with the added twist that occasionally you have to haul ass to avoid a big blow. I found GW2's system far more fast-paced and fluid, a lot more reminiscent of the action-adventure genre than TERA claims to be.

Not to mention that TERA's combat system is literally the only unique feature it has. The quest system is so much of a WoW rip that even the interfaces look the same. People constantly have told me that TERA's combat is what sells it, and if that's true, then I'm not sure how any reasonable person can play both GW2 and TERA and conclude that TERA's is the more polished and fluid of the two. I suppose it's a matter of opinion, but it's one opinion I will never understand.

Really, I was so excited for this game but the last three beta weekends have left an awful taste in my mouth.

That's disappointing for you, but I'm inclined to think (given your fervor in bringing up TERA at every turn) that you weren't planning on giving it much of a chance anyways. To each their own, I suppose. I hope you enjoy Korean WoW!

CriticKitten:
I'm just gonna snip this

Ok first point on grinding. Of course crafting is going to be a grind. It's a niche mechanic that requires people to invest time and currency to max out, and that won't ever change. Ok now to the other grinding stuff. By your reasoning, you want to be max level out the gate with everything unlocked and have no rpg aspect to the game at all. I know that sounds harsh, but it's really true. If you get rid of leveling, skill unlocking, and materials collection, then what do you have left? It's definitely not an rpg.

I will agree wholeheartedly that the skill tier system is complete bs and needs to go away. To compensate, they should add an achievement or achievements for unlocking all the skills.

Trait tiers on the other hand need to be there because it allows them to balance a handful of extremely powerful traits so they can't be abused. Traits are meant to tailor your play style, not create a play style.

Now for weapon skill unlocking. you're right. It is a grind, by your definition. But if you just take the time to play the game and enjoy it, you will unlock all 5 skills without even thinking about it. I think you, and others, see the 5 skills as something to get. While this is true, this also follows the checklist mentality, which is what Anet is trying to discourage. You can unlock all the skills for each weapon before you finish the early game if you actively switch your weapon set when you complete all 5 for a set. I don't see this as grinding because it just occurs through basic gameplay.

Addressing your point of farming the same DE over and over: you CAN, if you want. GW2 allows you to play however you want. If you want to farm a DE, then by all means go ahead. That doesn't mean it's a grind just because of how YOU want to play it. And you're seriously going to put exploring into the grind category? It's fucking exploring! Ok sorry that was mean but seriously.

I have nothing against you and I agree with some of your points. I just happen to disagree with a lot of them. You and a lot of other people have the "checklist mentality." As long as you retain this, then you will see everything in GW2 as a grind and won't have nearly as much fun as you could.

the doom cannon:
Ok first point on grinding. Of course crafting is going to be a grind. It's a niche mechanic that requires people to invest time and currency to max out, and that won't ever change.

The problem isn't so much that. The problem is that it's one element of many in the game that requires significant grinding to properly utilize.

Ok now to the other grinding stuff. By your reasoning, you want to be max level out the gate with everything unlocked and have no rpg aspect to the game at all. I know that sounds harsh, but it's really true. If you get rid of leveling, skill unlocking, and materials collection, then what do you have left? It's definitely not an rpg.

This is the typical logical extreme that most people take this argument to, and the inherent flaw with this argument is that there IS grey area here. You can have grinding and not go too far with it, and GW2 most definitely goes much too far with it.

I don't mind individual bits and pieces of grinding, I start to mind when they consume a significant portion of my time. I don't mind grinding levels in any MMO unless it becomes an absolute chore to level. I don't mind leveling crafting so long as I'm not stuck making things well below my level just to enable myself access to craft stuff AT my level. I don't mind unlocking skills on my weapons until it becomes an absolute chore to do it outside of major events as it is right now....keep in mind, earning credit for 50 kills solo is NOT the same as credit for 50 kills in the middle of 30-man melee. And by themselves, none of these things individually is all that bad, but they ALL exist in this game at the same time and they are all rather heavily dependent on each other. In order to keep my crafting at such a level that I can craft gear at my level, I must grind for materials, which means being able to grind and kill monsters, which in turn means grinding out weapon skills and skill points to unlock utilities, which requires that I either level up naturally or do a lot of exploration and monster hunting....and so the cycle continues.

Trait tiers on the other hand need to be there because it allows them to balance a handful of extremely powerful traits so they can't be abused. Traits are meant to tailor your play style, not create a play style.

Except there's a problem with this: they didn't really balance the traits, they just made them harder to access.

The tiers really only encourage min-maxing of trait lines, which as I understood it was precisely the opposite of what they wanted (they wanted a system in which you'd be perfectly justified in loading up traits however you wanted).

Now for weapon skill unlocking. you're right. It is a grind, by your definition. But if you just take the time to play the game and enjoy it, you will unlock all 5 skills without even thinking about it. I think you, and others, see the 5 skills as something to get. While this is true, this also follows the checklist mentality, which is what Anet is trying to discourage.

They ARE something to get. And the earlier you get them, the better, because you sure as heck cannot solo mobs later in the game with a brand new weapon. I know, I've tried. >_>

Let's give an example using the class I prefer: Ranger. There's a Greatsword, Longbow, Shortbow, Axe, 1H Sword, Dagger, Torch, and Warhorn (not including the 100 kills you need to unlock the underwater weapons). That makes for 50, 50, 50, 50, 15, 35, 35, and 35 kills minimum to unlock them all. That's a total of 320 kills. Keep in mind that a "kill" in a group is any mob you've tagged and damaged at one point, so you don't even have to "kill" a single one of those....just damage that many. But playing solo, that's 320 monsters you must tag and kill all by yourself. I encourage you to try soloing with weapons when the game is released, you'll see what I mean.

This is further complicated by the fact that the game doesn't exactly hand over an arsenal of weapons. You will either have to luck out and get every weapon type you can use to drop, or you'll have to buy them all. Now consider that a brand new player is given no indication of what weapons work for them unless they look it up in the skills menu themselves, so it's very likely and possible for a newbie to struggle to locate weapons they need, or to be unaware of what weapons they have yet to unlock. This is not as newbie friendly as they want to make it seem.

You can unlock all the skills for each weapon before you finish the early game if you actively switch your weapon set when you complete all 5 for a set. I don't see this as grinding because it just occurs through basic gameplay.

But the issue with that logic is that you are, essentially, obligated to spend your time in groups to obtain the skills faster. Considering that GW2 was proposed as an MMO where it would be perfectly valid to go solo, this seems to discourage solo play almost entirely.

Addressing your point of farming the same DE over and over: you CAN, if you want. GW2 allows you to play however you want. If you want to farm a DE, then by all means go ahead. That doesn't mean it's a grind just because of how YOU want to play it.

I'm calling it a grind because it is. And it's also the smartest way to play the game. Farming the starting zone's "big boss" nets you XP/gold/karma for at least three major events and several dozen kills, and all the drops associated....and then on top of that, a final chest containing a minimum of two green items at your level and several other more rare materials and equipment bits. No other type of play in the game nets that level of rewards for the effort. I gained several levels as a Sylvari just farming the giant wyrm boss and all of its related events, and unlocked multiple weapon sets in the process (not to mention the fantastic gear and crafting mats I received for what amounts to very little personal effort) People are going to grind these events because it's far, far more efficient than anything else.

And you're seriously going to put exploring into the grind category? It's fucking exploring! Ok sorry that was mean but seriously.

It becomes a grind when you're obligated to complete X number of tasks to "finish" the map. There's a lot of that.

Consider this: you must complete the following to "finish" any given map....
* Visit all regions
* Locate all points of interest
* Locate all waypoints
* Complete all skill challenges
* Complete all renown heart quests
* Complete all jumping puzzles (vistas)

The only ones which are completed "as you play" (that is, automatically) are regions, waypoints, and PoIs. The skill challenges must be individually hunted down and completed, just as the vistas and hearts are. The reason I call this a grind is because full map completion takes a significant portion of your time and actually requires you to strive for this goal. You cannot, I repeat cannot complete this goal without being aware that you're doing it. It requires you to purposely hunt for places you haven't been, goals you haven't completed, etc. It's not something that, as you state, can be completed unawares. It's an active goal to strive for, not something you can stumble onto accidentally like the daily achievements. That technically makes it a grind.

And while it's easy to do on just the starter zone (you may have done it for the starter zone in a single beta weekend, as I did), consider that to complete the world map, you'll have to repeat the above stated process on at least twenty individual region maps, plus at least five major towns. It's extremely hard to argue that this isn't a grind when you are eventually going to be repeating the exact same procedures over and over on every single regional map and city you enter. It's a grind, it's just one that you probably didn't think too much about since it seemed so easy in the small beta regions.

Believe me, it's in the same category as skill capturing or cartography from GW1. It's most definitely a grind that you will have to spend personal effort on completing, it's precisely the "checklist mentality" GW2's devs claimed they wanted to avoid. And it was easier before vistas got added. With them there, the grind is actually significantly longer now, since some vistas are much harder to reach than others.

I have nothing against you and I agree with some of your points. I just happen to disagree with a lot of them. You and a lot of other people have the "checklist mentality." As long as you retain this, then you will see everything in GW2 as a grind and won't have nearly as much fun as you could.

I have plenty of fun with the game, but experience with a lot of MMOs has me acutely aware of what is and isn't a grind. A lot of the things you're willing to chalk up as "just part of the game" really are grinds. The fact that you're able to forgive them and not even notice them is part of the reason the game is so good. But they are definitely still a grind, and while some folks can forgive it, others might not. It's something people need to be aware of, if they intend to play the game.

Anyone who goes into this game expecting all grinding to be gone is barking up the wrong tree, as this is probably one of the most grind-focused games on the market. The reason I still recommend the game highly to anyone out there is because a lot of these grinding elements are things you won't notice, at least not to the degree that I did. But there's most certainly no denying that they're there.

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