Before I begin, I want to say that this is absolutely not aiming to be a game vs game thread. I have a question, presented with a little bit of insight of my own, and would like to see how others feel about it. I absolutely do not condone bashing World of Warcraft (or any other comparable MMO) or Guild Wars 2 in an effort to prove any point you intend to make. If you would like to make comparisons, that's fine but do so in a fair way - not an inflammatory one. I want to talk about what kind of effect you believe GW2 will have on this dying genre, honestly.
The MMORPG has seen much decline lately in terms of fresh appeal. Most feel it's fair to say that there isn't anything "new" that we could be surprised with in this current generation, that we've seen it all, therefore all of the major MMORPG's released in the past 5-7 years or so, dressing to impress, have fallen short on their hype because how many new experiences are there really for developers to try without potentially wasting a ton of money.
Guild Wars 2 is coming during a very hostile period in the MMORPG genre's lifespan, a time where a large majority of players rooted in that genre are hyper critical, jaded, or downright angry. Gone are the days where we appreciate the charm and chipper qualities of a new MMORPG, where instead it is compared to an MMORPG of the past that may have done it better. I suppose it's not totally unfair to say such things, but the way in which we do it has led to an outbreak of community blandness, because no longer can we talk about what makes a game good, and what makes a game bad in a way that is objective. People are passionate about the game they play now, so it's almost a personal insult to said group of people to hear even the utterance that their game is inferior in some way to another.
Do you think GW2 will rise above this petty MMORPG war that has been raging constantly ever since World of Warcraft latched on to the dominant spot on top of its mountain throne? Do you believe GW2 provides an experience that, although of course has many familiar features, has enough freshness that it can actually launch and persist along side World of Warcraft without it being considered a "failure"? Now, for context, I don't think Aion failed. I don't think Rift failed. I think Warhammer, AoC, and SWTOR for all intents and purposes have failed in the developers vision of what they wished/thought it would be, but by definition they didn't *fail* either. Failed to live up to the hype, sure. Fail is a really packed word...which deserves unpacking each time you choose to use it so frivolously in regards to an MMORPG.
One single game considered "the" MMORPG to play is what is killing the genre.
In any case...the MMORPG is a dying breed, and it needs saving. Guild Wars 2 is incapable of doing that alone, but will it be a step in the right direction towards genre diversity? Obviously the game hasn't released yet, so most all of this will be conjecture but isn't that what forums are for? Let's have a real discussion here...what kind of kick-start do you think the MMORPG genre needs to put it back on the rise? Where do you think the genre will be in 10 years? This is a genre I love, and it makes me sad to see it in its current state.
Thanks for reading, and like I said up top, keep it clean, objective, and make your points in a way that isn't insulting or inflammatory, and we'll be fine.