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  1. #1

    Verdict on Guild Wars 2's innovations

    Every new MMO evolves the genre, progressing the game-play bit by bit, trying new approaches and new mechanics. Some may argue that MMOs have been evolving rather slowly since WoW but we should still take a moment to appreciate the changes made in Guild Wars 2.

    After all it expanded on quite a few areas without fundamentally changing the core MMO mechanics.

    I'd like to hear what your thoughts are on the following design-concepts and whether or not they may find themselves in future MMOs.

    -Dynamic Events
    -No holy trinity
    -Dodge system
    -Skills defined by Weapons
    -Combo Fields
    -Downed State (probably connected to "no holy trinity")
    -Multi-Guild system
    -GW2s take on RvR
    -Skill and Build system
    -sPvP "Lobby"
    -Cosmetic progression

    feel free to add more if you can think of any. Just make sure it is an actual concept, not just something isolated.

    Dynamic Events are something that really sets GW2 apart from other MMOs. While your aren't really doing anything different on a fundamental level I do find them a lot more engaging and natural than grinding quests. I love just being able to wonder about and participate in content without having to chase down NPCs. For me they are a definite step up from classic quests and much more suitable for an MMO.
    Verdict: Great, hope to see more in the future.

    I believe the Holy Trinity is something that was never fundamentally flawed. it had pros and cons. GW2 showed that you can make a great and engaging game even without it. I will admit that it seemingly makes combat a bit more shallow and less tactical but that's no necessarily due to the absence of the holy trinity. What I will say though that it did add a lair of class interdependence which is sadly missing in GW2.
    Verdict: Works, but combat feels shallower.

    Dodging is a core mechanic of GW2's combat. And I think it's great. It makes combat feel a lot more dynamic and "skillful" despite the relatively few number of combat skills. It adds a lair of "twitch" reflexes which more statics MMOs are sadly lacking.
    Verdict: Great fun, hope to see more games with dynamic combat.

    Downleveling is a great way to keep all the content relevant. Imagine how much content WoW would have if it had such a downleveling system in place. Sure, some people like to solo outdated stuff but I find that a real niche activity and a poor argument for withholding such a system. It also makes playing with friends a lot more engaging since you're not massively overpowered.
    Verdict: Will hopefully become a de facto standard in future MMOs.

    Maybe not a real innovation but and interesting take on a skill system having your weapon define a part of your skill set. It also makes more sense that a weapon would use different attacks than another. I could easily see future MMOs adapt similar systems although they may not make it such an integral part of the game.
    Verdict: Nice and I could easily see it in future games.

    Combo fields were supposed to be the "group play" mechanic in game and the main way in which people could support each other. It was supposed to give the rather accessible combat some much needed depth. And while the system works, the effects aren't meaningful enough to add anything to the game. It's a good idea...just poorly implemented.
    Verdict: Conceptually good but requires significant improvement.

    Downed State is a mechanic directly tied to the removal of a the holy trinity. Unfortunately it turns the entire game into something of a rezz war as well as having some questionable design choices. Players having three times their normal HP in downed state , the speed at which people can heal each other, the "fun factor" and the implications on both PvP and PvE are just bad. This is a feature I would not miss and I think GW2 would be a better game without it.
    Verdict: I can see why they implemented it, but pretty much everything about it is wrong.

    Multi-Guilds are largely a failed concept because they don't understand the concept of a guild. A guild is a social commitment (or is supposed to be) and as such goes against the idea of having multiple guilds at once. The reward system doesn't play well into it either. This as well as the lack of overall guild features shows the Devs never really "got" guilds in MMOs.
    Verdict: Proves lack of understanding of guilds as a whole in MMOs.

    World vs. World is GW2's take on large scale RvR combat. As such it has only really succeeded in one area, and that's it's appeal to more casual players. While that's quite a feat in itself, the WvW combat is rather stale and repetitive. Maps are too small, zerging to prevalent and Player vs. Door seems to be 80% of the combat. It feels more akin to Battlefield 3 than RvR.
    Verdict: Well meant but simply not "epic".

    I like the interchangeability and inherent flexibility of the skill system. It also makes balancing easier as it's easy to switch out underpowered abilities. However it also means your build hardly matters in PvE as long as you adapt. Knowing what skills are useful in which encounter becomes more important than actual skillful play. I'm not sure.....but nothing really stands out here.
    Verdict: Nothing special really as the flexibility has upsides and down-sides.
    Last edited by Dee-Jay Delicious; 2013-04-18 at 08:56 PM.

  2. #2
    If there was one thing I'd want future MMOs to take from GW2, it would definitely be no mob tagging/node stealing.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BlairPhoenix View Post
    If there was one thing I'd want future MMOs to take from GW2, it would definitely be no mob tagging/node stealing.
    From what I'm seeing from a lot of new mmos in development, it looks like this feature is catching on.

  4. #4
    On a few things:

    Combo Fields: Just an unnecessary gimmick for the most part. I feel they could have done far more with this. Other than Eles, they're really irrelevant.

    Downed State: Too much disparity between professions. They've done a lot to fix these problems, but they still remain. A big issue I have with it is that it's often more beneficial to just hit the downed person rather than finish them. It's probably necessary for PvE, but still really 'clunky' for PvP.

    WvW: Only fun for open world PvP imo. The entire siege warfare thing is a mess. Unless you're in an alliance or a really large guild, it's not very fun since it's basically hitting a door for 5 minutes. They need to do more to discourage zergs and encourage smaller group objectives.

    PvE Endgame: Probably the most fun PvE experience I've had in any MMO really. Other than PUGs, I never raid, so it's really refreshing to be able to actually do things.

    PvP: What they've done right in the complete standardization of PvP gear. I would probably still be playing games like TOR or WoW if they didn't have completely arbitrary gear grinds. But that's about the only large positive. The cosmetic progression is really flawed, and should have been done more like DC Universe. I feel that PvP progression should award something for PvE other than dyes. Something like receiving laurels, or coin, or just plain being able to go into WvW on an sPvP character. I also think that the sPvP part should be sold separately (like GW1), or even be free. If ArenaNet want the game to be anything close to an eSport, that would be the way to do it. Oh, and actually supporting sPvP. That would be useful too. GW2 is a really sad case. Even before the game was released, teams were forming and some even got sponsored. There was already people casting games, and the scene was just huge. Now look at the Mists and you'll see barely anyone. Look at Twitch, and you'd be lucky to see 100 people watching GW2 streams. The complete failure that was Paid Tournaments is only starting to be fixed. Ladder, MMR, custom matches, dueling, observer mode, all of these things STILL haven't been implemented in any real way. I don't understand how they expected an eSport with none of the basics. But hey, this did promise they'd do it faster than Riot did. We still have a few more months.
    Last edited by Larynx; 2013-02-16 at 05:02 AM.

  5. #5
    I think Combos (fields and finishers) are a great idea. They just need to flesh out the system more.

  6. #6
    Titan Tierbook's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Charleston SC
    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    I think Combos (fields and finishers) are a great idea. They just need to flesh out the system more.
    i thnk ESO will doa bit to help this out
    You're a fine example of how gamer communities have become infested with endlessly whining and bitching, arrogant, opinionated, unreasonable, all the way immature, completely delusional, tendentially psychotic, insulting individuals one really doesn't want to be linked with. And playing with you guys is certainly no fun at all. I don't know where this kind of folks spawns from. Must be a nest somewhere ...
    A fine summarization of the community

  7. #7
    Things I like and want to see in other mmos is the combo attack (even more of them that aren't AoE) and dynamic events but more of a minor and rare thing
    Things that should burn in the everlasying flames of failure is Downed State (didn't mind that much in PVE), if you get killed in PVP you are suppose to be dead....And some downed states are better then the actual profession lol. Also....the way they did WvWvW.....Takes 30 minutes to get to the fight just to find out its over or a stalemate.
    "I just wanted them to hand us our award! But they were just talk!, talk!, talk!......" - Wrathion

  8. #8
    Herald of the Titans
    Join Date
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    Vineland, Cumberland, NJ, USA
    One of my favorite things was vistas. I like platforming every now and again and this made the game a bit more enjoyable for me.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Linkedblade View Post
    One of my favorite things was vistas. I like platforming every now and again and this made the game a bit more enjoyable for me.
    That reminds me. I really love GW2's jumping. Compared to WoW, there's just so much more control over it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Larynx View Post
    That reminds me. I really love GW2's jumping. Compared to WoW, there's just so much more control over it.
    I agree, but there is one thing that annoys me the most: you can't use skills while jumping....

  11. #11
    Dynamic Events were the biggest let down, aoe events. Boring.

    Dungeons are a mess and boring.

    Dodging gets boring fast and pointless.

    Down levelling, yay, who cares...

    Boring after level 7.


    Down state was bad and still is, I won't moan about it though.

    edit: I loved jumping events!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tekkommo View Post
    Dodging gets boring fast and pointless.

    The other points are certainly valid opinions for you and the first part of this is a valid opinion, but pointless? It certainly isn't pointless.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Zilong View Post
    I agree, but there is one thing that annoys me the most: you can't use skills while jumping....
    I was never a fan of the constant jump spam in WoW. Other than jump+disengage or any sort of jump+instant ability while kiting, it really didn't have much practical use. It would probably be overpowered in GW2, I think. Strafing is slower than normal running probably for a reason.

  14. #14
    Verdict: GW2 sucks, it's lucky to pull in as many users as SWTOR.

    Last edited by Darsithis; 2013-02-16 at 05:46 AM.

  15. #15
    -Dynamic Events

    I liked the idea and think it was an ok evolution of Rift's events. I wish they truly permanently changed the world though, they feel superficial when everything just resets and things pretty much run the same over and over and over. Wish they were truly dynamic in that regard.

    Verdict: B-

    -No holy trinity

    I think the problem here is they took something away but didn't replace it with something else to equate the teamwork required in holy trinity. I personally could care less about the trinity, but one thing it did was add a layer of teamwork and roles that isn't really required in GW2. Just makes GW2 seem much easier and simplistic. They needed to sit down and think more about what they can do to add complexity to the battle system.

    Verdict: C

    -Dodge system

    Found it to be an attempt to add skill to combat, but the reduction in complexity of all other aspects of skill required made it even simpler combat overall. There is no complexity to builds and combat skills, so overall the combat is too simple. If they were going to dumb down combat so much, I think they should have went all the way to FPS style full-skill combat. So I have no issue with the dodge system per se, but the fact that they lost so much complexity everywhere else made it overall a failure. In fact, the uber boring combat is why I quit the game.

    Verdict: D (combat in general not Dodge specifically, but they are tied together)


    Stupid. But more harmless than I thought. It is pointless to do old content the rewards are worthless to higher level characters. But at the same time, who cares. It is pointless with or without downleveling so not an issue either. I thought this would be annoying, but instead it is just meh.

    Verdict: C

    -Skills defined by Weapons

    I like this. Good idea and makes a ton of sense. Just need more skills per weapon. But since I already penalized overall combat lack of complexity in a previous rating, I will not penalize the boringness of combat twice in this verdict.

    Verdict: A-

    -Combo Fields

    Good idea, but doesn't really seem to add too much in practice. People don't pay close enough attention

    Verdict: B

    -Downed State (probably connected to "no holy trinity")

    Horrible. Other games already learned this is a very annoying feature for most PVPers

    Verdict: F

    -Multi-Guild system

    Bad idea. Along with the lack of meaningful factions, the super happy joy joy lets all get along just takes a lot away from the game in my opinion. I hate the total lack of competition in this game. The whole think reeks of protecting egos.

    Verdict: D

    -GW2s take on RvR

    Nice try, but just a zergtastic mess in practice. Again, they need to sit down and use their brainpower to figure out how to make it work better. If WvWvW worked ok overall, it might be enough to compensate for the overall boring combat. But as it is, boring combat along with boring zergs = doubly boring. But I think it was a good try, so I will up their score a bit higher than I should:

    Verdict: B-

    -Skill and Build system

    Part of the overall boring system I talked about earlier. So simplistic and boring, my builds in CoD are way more complex and interesting LOL.

    Verdict: F

    -sPvP "Lobby"

    Nobody cares about sPvP in general, too boring. So sPvP overall:

    Verdict: F

    -Cosmetic progression

    I think it is fine. Goals that require effort and grind I am fine with. I'm not against there being things that not everybody will achieve. I just wish the combat wasnt so boring that no way I can stay awake to achieve the end of the progression here. But the progression itself is fine, but certainly could be better.
    Verdict: B+


    Here are some of my own categories:

    -No open world PVP and no real open world competition

    Hated this. Think how fun dynamic events could be with competing factions trying to get different results! Think how less boring the world would be if there was something to actually worry about while in it.

    Verdict: F

  16. #16
    Pandaren Monk ShimmerSwirl's Avatar
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    May 2010
    DE were dramatically overblown

    Lack of trinity led to simple zerg mechanics on far too many fights.

    dodge system was fun, needs to be a part of a bigger action combat system not the only thing

    *~To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.~*

  17. #17
    -Dynamic Events
    -No holy trinity
    -Dodge system
    -Skills defined by Weapons
    -Combo Fields
    -Downed State (probably connected to "no holy trinity")
    -Multi-Guild system
    -GW2s take on RvR
    -Skill and Build system
    -sPvP "Lobby"
    -Cosmetic progression
    I think you mean to ask which GW2 systems do we [readers] believe will gain wider popularity or iteration. In that spirit~

    - Dynamic Events
    Will likely be the norm of content, and context, in virtual worlds. A few upcoming MMOs are attempting to deliver story and gameplay motivation through this kind of device. I think the most far reaching of which will be in Everquest Next. Though Defiance, Wildstar, TESO and so on also claim varying degrees of organic content/context to the world.
    Verdict: Will likely be the new form kill 10 rats for years to come.

    - Dodge System
    Unlikely to gain momentum as implemented in GW2. The method of dodge in GW2 is very tied to the specific circumstances of combat in that game. I do think MMOs are trending toward more action/twitch gameplay of mass market console titles. So we will unequivocally see this in titles such as upcoming Blade & Soul, Neverwinter, TESO, Wildstar, Ein and so on.
    Verdict: Action/twitch gameplay is the takeaway, not the mechanics of dodge in GW2.

    - Downleveling
    Widely popular in many games for many years. Proliferation will depend on the DD/T of each particular MMO to come.
    Verdict: MMOs have been doing this for years already. Time/resources of development is the bottleneck.

    - Skills defined by weapon
    This is also something very tied to the particulars of GW2's combat. Would vary by game more so than the concept being a sound, innovative design.
    Verdict: Works well within GW2's combat system. Other games would have to use a system that was dependent on weaponry to some specific end. Unlikely to gain wider proliferation.

    - Combo Field
    Too anemic in GW2 to be of any great mention. And seen in other games from the Pacific and Atlantic.
    Verdict: We'll just see MMOs trending toward action/twitch gameplay in their own particular ways.

    - Downed State
    This is another device you have listed that is very specific to the circumstances of GW2's combat system. So you could have rolled several of these into just "combat".
    Verdict: Way too dependent on the exact primary and secondary systems of GW2's DD/T. Not the sort of thing one adds to a new MMO willy nilly. In the way one would design around the generic idea of context delivery.

    - Multi Guild System
    Think it can gain wider traction. Final Fantasy 11 and Guild Wars 1 [somewhat] had it for years now. One of the superhero MMOs had it too, iirc. Not hard to implement it's just a matter of resources and priority in development.
    Verdict: Might become more popular over time.

    - Guild Wars 2's take on RvR
    Not really, no. PVP itself if a niche and fringe game mode. True 3 faction PVP in the modern era is confined to what are essentially large battlegrounds such as in Rift or Secret World. A few games are on the horizon which seek to offer true factional and open world PVP such as Camelot Unchained and the restructuring of Darkfall.
    Verdict: It's a big undertaking for a developer. I don't think upcoming bimodal MMOs will invest overmuch in these game modes. Niche titles might try to serve RvR and Open World PVP to a greater degree.

    - Skill and build system
    Skill system is already covered by "Weapon skills". Build system IS highly unlikely to proliferate. Along with twitch/action based gameplay will be a move toward even slimmer, more streamlined stat allocation.
    Verdict: Something like Diablo 3's skill/rune system is far more likely to be the future of "builds" in AAA MMOs aimed at the mass market.

    - SPVP lobby
    Was in Guild Wars 1. Unlikely to become popular. The most popular form of joining instances in exemplified by the number #1 game in the genre, World of Warcraft.
    Verdict: MMOs will be queue-a-thons forevermore. Even a number of the supposed upcoming "sandbox" MMOs. Genie is out of the bottle.

    - Cosmetic Progression
    Bimodal, vertical scaling MMOs are the most popular MMOs. Total cosmetic progression is contra to the greater trend toward F2P business models. I don't think B2P will ever be as popular as F2P. So really this question isn't so much about cosmetic progression as it is about business model.
    Verdict: Very unlikely. F2P is biggest sea change in the genre. Cosmetic progression really isn't going to be feasible/profitable for a long time.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2013-02-16 at 05:51 AM. Reason: took out the part about innovation because it sucked.

  18. #18
    Innovation also means improved methods on what was previously used that does end up different, Fencers. Some of what was stated are just improvements, which isn't innovation, but some are innovations by definition. Something completely new is called invention, not innovation.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    Innovation also means improved methods on what was previously used that does end up different, Fencers. Some of what was stated are just improvements, which isn't innovation, but some are innovations by definition. Something completely new is called invention, not innovation.
    The only one there listed that is an innovation is the Dynamic Events. And that's sorta debatable as the concept itself is not new or even delivered in a better fashion. It's more that the connection between events being a novel approach [inventive]. Like "SPVP lobby" is not an innovation really. We already had similar, and at best it is an iteration of what we already seen [improvement].

    But I think you are right, it's not really worth getting in a tizzy over. A lot of that can be very subjective, I admit. I shall edit.
    Last edited by Fencers; 2013-02-16 at 05:53 AM.

  20. #20
    Pandaren Monk Duravian's Avatar
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    San Franpsycho, CA
    "Dynamic" Events is a load of crap, it's the same stuff over and over, with no interesting outcome.

    I can't figure out for the life of me what the hell a "Holy Trinity" is....

    Dodging is pretty neat but when there is no room to dodge, it sucks. I also hate accidentally rolling when I'm doing the jump puzzles(which I do like).

    Downleveling is the worst system ever. Leveling is pointless, and I never get to feel powerful. What the hell is the point???

    Skills by weapons is pretty cool, I like that a lot.

    Never figured out combo fields so that's that.

    Downed state...? Again with the holy trinity thing? Explain!!

    Multi-guild is neat I guess, never had a reason for it though.

    Don't know what RvR is.

    I think I know what "lobby" you're talking about. If I'm correct, yeah that's a pretty cool place I suppose.

    Cosmetic progression... I hate the transmog stones, they're confusing as hell. I wish every game had a cosmetic system like Lotro and Rift.

    The game was kind of fun when it started but... needless to say, I don't play it anymore.
    It's pronounced "Dur-av-ian."

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