Obligatory Guild Wars 2 Head Start Weekend Wrap-up Post

Looking around the blogs I read, my options for a head start weekend wrap up post seem to be (1) talking about the effect of the launch on any other games I play, (2) praising the game as the best thing since ballsack, or (3) trolling about the game’s fanboi community.

Let’s see, it had little to no effect on Glitch — no huge surprise there given the games’ target audiences just barely overlap.  Maybe a few of the devs are playing GW2 in their spare time instead of dreaming about drunken kangaroos.

I don’t know if it’s the best thing since ballsack, but it is better than ballsack.  I’m not convinced that it’s better than toast though.

Trolling fanbois is too easy — we can skip that.

Overall, I’m enjoying the game.  Clearly not as much as some, as by the end of the weekend I have one character at level 12 who is nowhere near finishing the Sylvari starter zone, and I’ve read a number of bloggers a bit beyond that, some of whom I know have unavoidable responsibilities I do not share.

I’m playing it much like I would a single player console RPG.  For the most part, I play alone, just with other people around that sometimes help out.  And then much along the lines of Mass Effect 3, I can queue up for multiplayer now and again when I tire of the game’s stories and settings.  I imagine if I were to put a lot of time into the game in a short span, I’d quickly tire of it.  I don’t see anything about the game that will retain me longer than other theme parks have in the past.

But that’s okay.  That doesn’t make me snicker behind my hand and believe the game is a failure, unlike other recent games I’ve ignored.  Just by simply not charging a sub, I don’t expect Tyria to be my new digital home.  I expect it to be a game I play now and again, jumping in and out when the urge catches me, killing time when I tire of Glitch.

Guild Wars 2 is certainly not the best game that will ever be.  And theme parks are still not ultimately where I want to put my money.  The theme park still doesn’t feel like it’s built for retention.  They still have an end that can only be extended by doing PvP and other repeated activities.  Given that’s exactly what most single player RPGs do, take players through a story then end with optional multiplayer modes to extend the experience, the only difference between such an RPG and an MMO seems to be the presence of other players while you run through your story.  And that alone has not been worth a box cost plus a subscription fee to me.

But even if GW2 were identical to WoW or SWTOR in every single detail, it would still get a thumbs up from me.  It’s an interesting RPG with some entertaining multiplayer modes thrown in.  Can’t ask for much more than that for my 60 bucks.  But I’ll still demand more, from the same game, for $14.99 a month.

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