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  1. #1
    Scarab Lord Karizee's Avatar
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    Guild Wars 2 Review Update: The Long Game

    Polygon updates Guild Wars 2 review, going from 8.5 to 9.0

    http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/24/372...-second-coming



    If there was one concern I had about Guild Wars 2 when I initially reviewed it in September 2012, it was the future. An MMO lives or dies by its updates, and since ArenaNet chose a non-subscription model for its game, it theoretically had less reason to provide consistent, free content updates.

    I'm happy to report that if that temptation existed, Guild Wars 2 has dodged it completely. While the game had big updates monthly from the start, beginning in April of 2013 ArenaNet launched an ambitious plan to provide meaningful new content every two weeks for free. It sounded unbelievable — it still does! — but it has been pulled off almost flawlessly.

    These updates run the full gamut of what's available in Guild Wars 2. They've included new zones, more story content and changes to the player-versus-player and world-versus-world systems. Most recently, ArenaNet introduced a major overhaul to character progression and some huge quality of life changes in a rare mechanics-focused update.

    While Guild Wars 2's population has fluctuated, the mix of constant new content and no subscription fee has made it easier for players to jump back in whenever they feel like. And the additions to the game are, by and large, very good — whether it's wacky platforming challenges like the April Fools Day-themed Super Adventure Box or serious ongoing stories like the saga of the villainous Scarlet Briar and her effects on the whole world.

    ArenaNet is not only matching the quality of update I'd expect from a subscription-based MMO, it is surpassing the quantity by leaps and bounds. Between the unmatched speed and the dedication to these updates, Guild Wars 2 has improved greatly from its already impressive launch.
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  2. #2
    Legendary! Thelxi's Avatar
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    Omg wow. If I hadn't already bought the game I would totally buy it again after seeing this!!

  3. #3
    He really does give the game entirely to much credit.

    Has it gotten better? Somewhat. Considering the game just now got around to adding features that should have been in-game since launch isn't a reason to praise it either. It's a reason to question the devs on why they released such a half-assed product to begin with.

    The fact that he is ranting and raving about the LS updates speaks volumes of how seriously you should take him. Because the overall impression most people have gotten from LS is "meh".

    And while the updates have come frequently, quantity=/=quality. I dare say a lot of people were downright disgusted with how some of the updates panned out. Why has this mentality come to exist in the MMO market that as long as we get content (regardless of how shitty it is) then we should be happy? And add in the fact that most of GW2 updates have been temporary, that only makes the situation worse (especially for newer players).

    And before people start going off on me about how I'm bashing the game again, I will say the game HAS gotten better in some regards. Just not enough to warrant the kind the praise some people are giving it.

    I get that some people are in love with this game, and that's fine. What's not fine however is giving entirely to much credit and false praises to Anet when they could be doing so much better (because I know they can....GW1 was good...so what happened?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    ArenaNet is not only matching the quality of update I'd expect from a subscription-based MMO, it is surpassing the quantity by leaps and bounds. Between the unmatched speed and the dedication to these updates, Guild Wars 2 has improved greatly from its already impressive launch.
    Highly, HIGHLY debatable there. The overall quality has been pretty bad. Quantity is there, but quality? Don't make me laugh. And the quantity doesn't even really count for much considering that once again, most of it has been temporary.

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans Lemposs's Avatar
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    So how much exactly is a step from 8.5 to 9.0?
    Also is that scale MMO review only, or across all games?
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  5. #5
    The Unstoppable Force Aeluron Lightsong's Avatar
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    Is this to the game overall of just the player models themselves?
    Blizzard do not destroy Jaina Proudmoore's character. Make her who she once was, not full of rage and vengeance.,If you are curious about me or about my writing aspirations, feel free to pst me. Paladin-Sorcerer at your service! My Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Aeluron Big fanboy of Yrel now. Love her now

  6. #6
    If GW2 gets a 9, then WoW should be getting like a 23 or something.

    Wasn't it GW2 that was advertising itself as like a super pro e-sport or something?

    Is 1 "ET: The MMO" with 10 being "Good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as World of Warcraft." or something?
    Last edited by spinner981; 2014-04-27 at 11:18 PM.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by spinner981 View Post
    If GW2 gets a 9, then WoW should be getting like a 23 or something.
    It would depend on the publication or outlet that reviews World of Warcraft.

    I don't believe Polygon ever gave World of Warcraft an initial review. Highly unlikely a relatively NEW media outlet is going to go back to review a game a decade old as part of review features.

    Also I am pretty sure the Polygon review quotient goes to 10 only.

    Wasn't it GW2 that was advertising itself as like a super pro e-sport or something?
    No. But the developers did wish to develop their tournament style SPVP into an esport.

    That didn't gain enough popularity to happen in the wider media space. Though GW2 has held several tournaments with various prizes since release.

    Is 1 "ET: The MMO" with 10 being "Good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as World of Warcraft." or something?
    Well, it is possible for people, many people actually, to not think very highly of World of Warcraft. Those self same people may even consider other games in the genre superior due to their own subjective qualifiers. Qualifiers which are just as valid as the subjective qualifiers of those whom believe World of Warcraft is a "23 out of 10".

  8. #8
    What I noticed right away from most comments (not only on this forum), is that is seems new games are absolutely not ever allowed to make any mistakes. It has to be perfect from the start. We demand quality as if they owe it to us.
    I think it's gotten to the extreme. And I disagree with that. If we demand perfection, they will play it safe. We see this exact same thing in the RPG industry. There are barely any new titles coming out (except for Watchdogs), and they are pooping out new Hi Res copies of the old games. The whole industry plays it safe.

    No thanks. I don't agree completely with the high ratings, 9 is a bit too extreme. But I do want to give the GW2 team credit for what they did do (not only the negative side) with the small team and the low budget.

    Probably also because they couldn't have a better timing for myself, I have to add that.

  9. #9
    Granted I don't have too much experience from multiple mmos, but I do think GW2 should be complimented for the sheer fact it introduced the LS concept itself. For me this whole thing (and I think ANet sees it similarly) was a huge experiment. They played around with the various aspects for their releases including the quality (which varied greatly from start to finish) and the frequency. I hope they learned a lot of lessons from this experiment so that the next LS release will benefit from them and some of the comments of the playerbase. I believe the idea of LS updates has a huge (untapped so far) potential.

  10. #10
    I'll have to give it another try. Didn't make it past the "free month" :P

  11. #11
    I would have given GW2 a far higher rating in the beginning than I would now.

    An MMO lives or dies by its updates
    Yeah, and LS basically killed it for me in a lot of ways.

    ArenaNet launched an ambitious plan to provide meaningful new content every two weeks for free.
    Except it wasn't meaningful and each update was basically an in-game commercial for their cash shop.

    They've included new zones,
    Plural? Only new zone I recall is Southsun, which became desolate after any LS update that didn't focus on it (which would be all of twice).

    more story content
    "Story" used very loosely.

    ArenaNet introduced a major overhaul to character progression
    If s/he is talking about leveling, I actually hate the changes they made. As someone who typically enjoys leveling after I read the patch notes I was really glad I already had an 80 of every class. They sucked most of the fun out of it, IMO.

    And the additions to the game are, by and large, very good — whether it's wacky platforming challenges like the April Fools Day-themed Super Adventure Box or serious ongoing stories like the saga of the villainous Scarlet Briar and her effects on the whole world.
    Most of the content updates worth their salt actually had little to nothing to do with Scarlet. SAB, Zephyr Sanctum, and Queen's Pavilion come to mind. Though, I will say that when people were still doing them the Scarlet invasions and Marionette were entertaining. So, basically, ~5 updates out of (24?) LS weren't terrible.

    ArenaNet is not only matching the quality of update I'd expect from a subscription-based MMO, it is surpassing the quantity by leaps and bounds. Between the unmatched speed and the dedication to these updates, Guild Wars 2 has improved greatly from its already impressive launch.
    I could not disagree more. The quantity is there, absolutely, but not the quality. Frankly, if LS is the quality that this person is used to from subscription games that's really sad, even moreso that s/he says it surpasses it. (Unless they're specifically referring to WoW and not releasing anything since SoO. Let's face it, WoW has the luxury of basically doing whatever the Hell they want and millions of people will still fork over $15/mo. for it. Most other subscription MMOs I've played actually put in a good deal of effort to retain their playerbase with their updates.)

    Aside from some of the QoL changes in this past feature patch, I wouldn't say GW2 has "improved greatly" at all. Personally, I found it to be progressively disappointing from when I first started playing. The game definitely didn't go in the direction I'd hoped (or expected) it would.

    The initial 1-80 experience at least was very good and so was the personal story. Map completion was a lot of fun (except for Orr). Beyond that, GW2 hasn't really added anything of merit -- and if they did it was removed because: temporary content!

    I think I would have been more forgiving of GW2 not having any updates for a year with an actual expansion pack than having been a guinea pig to their arguably failed LS experiment. If I could go back in time and give myself advice re: GW2 it would have been to quit after getting a couple characters to 80 (and/or 100% map completion) and to completely ignore the LS. I really wouldn't have missed out on anything except a year-long string of achievement grinds.
    Last edited by Lane; 2014-04-28 at 11:05 AM.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbleed View Post
    What I noticed right away from most comments (not only on this forum), is that is seems new games are absolutely not ever allowed to make any mistakes. It has to be perfect from the start. We demand quality as if they owe it to us.
    My main issue is comparing it to WoW, but you have to compare it to current WoW (not at launch) and need to ignore the bugs from WoW since they don't matter, but you also aren't supposed to point out the vastly outdated graphics of WoW and the bad update schedule for old content, let alone the release schedule stuff.

    All games have good and bad to them, the internet is the king of cherrypicking details to fit the argument. Same with the opinions, some folks loved the Living Story, some hated it, most were probably somewhere in between, but everyone that discusses it pretends that their side is the vast majority.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lane View Post
    I would have given GW2 a far higher rating in the beginning than I would now.



    Yeah, and LS basically killed it for me in a lot of ways.



    Except it wasn't meaningful and each update was basically an in-game commercial for their cash shop.



    Plural? Only new zone I recall is Southsun, which became desolate after any LS update that didn't focus on it (which would be all of twice).



    "Story" used very loosely.



    If s/he is talking about leveling, I actually hate the changes they made. As someone who typically enjoys leveling after I read the patch notes I was really glad I already had an 80 of every class. They sucked most of the fun out of it, IMO.



    Most of the content updates worth their salt actually had little to nothing to do with Scarlet. SAB, Zephyr Sanctum, and Queen's Pavilion come to mind. Though, I will say that when people were still doing them the Scarlet invasions and Marionette were entertaining. So, basically, ~5 updates out of (24?) LS weren't terrible.



    I could not disagree more. The quantity is there, absolutely, but not the quality. Frankly, if LS is the quality that this person is used to from subscription games that's really sad, even moreso that s/he says it surpasses it. (Unless they're specifically referring to WoW and not releasing anything since SoO. Let's face it, WoW has the luxury of basically doing whatever the Hell they want and millions of people will still fork over $15/mo. for it. Most other subscription MMOs I've played actually put in a good deal of effort to retain their playerbase with their updates.)

    Aside from some of the QoL changes in this past feature patch, I wouldn't say GW2 has "improved greatly" at all. Personally, I found it to be progressively disappointing from when I first started playing. The game definitely didn't go in the direction I'd hoped (or expected) it would.

    The initial 1-80 experience at least was very good and so was the personal story. Map completion was a lot of fun (except for Orr). Beyond that, GW2 hasn't really added anything of merit -- and if they did it was removed because: temporary content!

    I think I would have been more forgiving of GW2 not having any updates for a year with an actual expansion pack than having been a guinea pig to their arguably failed LS experiment. If I could go back in time and give myself advice re: GW2 it would have been to quit after getting a couple characters to 80 (and/or 100% map completion) and to completely ignore the LS. I really wouldn't have missed out on anything except a year-long string of achievement grinds.
    I couldn't agree more!

    If anything, GW2 has gotten arguably worse, maybe except for some of the QoL changes they've made. And let's face it...some of those should have absolutely been in the game at launch......because it launched in 2012, not 2004. This notion that as long as a game adds what most people consider essential to MMOs nowadays at least at SOME point in the game's life cycle, then everything is ok and forgivable. Ummmmm, no. Things that have come to be considered standard MMO fare need to be in new MMOs at launch...not 1 1/2 to 2 years later.

    And as I've said before. Quantity=/=Quality. GW2 definitely has the former and not the latter. And even that is highly debatable because a large portion of it has been temporary content. So for a brand new player showing up on the scene, they are going to ask,"Where is all this content I heard so much about?".....Ummm, yeah, well you see....it's gone.....

    I mean come on....if what is basically a running string of cash shop grabs is considered quality content updates, then people have set their standards extremely low to help make GW2 sound better than what it is. Oh yeah....and grinding achievement points....can't forget about that. New update? Let's go grind some more points! Got those points? Time to quit the game for another 2 weeks then!

    I have a hard time taking the reviewer seriously when he/she says things like "Serious ongoing stories like the saga of the villainous Scarlet Briar". You mean the extremely corny, Saturday morning cartoon saga that had me cringing every time she opened her mouth? The saga that had me wishing they had never introduced this Mary Sue of a villain in the first place?

    It's like the reviewer is looking at GW2 in a vacuum where no other MMOs exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svifnymr View Post
    My main issue is comparing it to WoW, but you have to compare it to current WoW (not at launch) and need to ignore the bugs from WoW since they don't matter, but you also aren't supposed to point out the vastly outdated graphics of WoW and the bad update schedule for old content, let alone the release schedule stuff.
    You cannot compare it to WoW when WoW launched in 2004. Technology as well as expectations have GREATLY changed since then. To forgive a brand new MMO nowadays of things that are considered standard fare because, well "WoW had issues at launch" is not a forgivable excuse. It's merely an excuse to try and cover up the fact that developers are either lazy or don't know what the hell they're doing or don't know what their community wants/needs. I hate it when people say "You need to compare a MMO at launch today to Vanilla WoW at launch. No, you don't. You need to compare it to what is currently available on the market, because THAT is what it is going up against for competition. It may seem unfair to some people, but tough shit....that's just how it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svifnymr View Post
    All games have good and bad to them, the internet is the king of cherrypicking details to fit the argument. Same with the opinions, some folks loved the Living Story, some hated it, most were probably somewhere in between, but everyone that discusses it pretends that their side is the vast majority.
    Cherry picking? Maybe on some things. But there are things that honestly just can't be argued. Like the fact that almost every LS update was released as a tool to get you to buy something from the gem shop or to make you mindlessly grind achievement points in the hope that you ignored the overall poor quality/temporary nature of the content until Anet could puke out the next two week installment. And I, as well as others, can now honestly say that the vast majority of people did not like the LS, now that it is over and we can look back over it as a whole. There was and still is, a huge outcry of how shitty the updates were over the past year and how it has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths.

  14. #14
    Scarab Lord Karizee's Avatar
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    And the flip side of that argument is with how many things a new game like GW2 got right, why haven't older MMOs implemented them yet? I mean WoW is trying to copy GW2 concepts as fast as they can, but their development is so freakishly slow.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr Storm View Post
    If anything, GW2 has gotten arguably worse, maybe except for some of the QoL changes they've made.
    In the sense that everything from launch is there, but with additional material and improvements? It's objectively better.

    You cannot compare it to WoW when WoW launched in 2004. Technology as well as expectations have GREATLY changed since then.
    You're doing exactly what I said, so I'm not sure why you needed a paragraph to agree with me. So if we talk about how much better graphically GW2 is than WoW, you can't say "well WoW is 10 years old, so you can't compare it".

    For myself, I would usually compare WoW at most recent expac launch. During TOR discussions, the comparions to Cataclysm for example. The main advantage that WoW's age gives it are battlegrounds (since they're always current and just keep getting added in) and invested player momentum.


    Cherry picking? Maybe on some things. But there are things that honestly just can't be argued.
    Oh, hey, lets go ahead and pretend that your opinion is the majority, and even go so far as to say it can't be argued...
    Like the fact that almost every LS update was released as a tool to get you to buy something from the gem shop or to make you mindlessly grind achievement points in the hope that you ignored the overall poor quality/temporary nature of the content until Anet could puke out the next two week installment.
    You're wrong. It's not a fact. "Selling" items that tie into the Living Story update is a part of their marketing strategy, certainly, but the items are add-on's, rather than the update being a tool to sell. Same with achievements, they're a way to measure and drive gameplay through a content cycle, not the purpose of the content. You need to widen your circle of friends that play the game, or at least stop forming opinions via complaint threads and assuming they're representative.

    And I, as well as others, can now honestly say that the vast majority of people did not like the LS, now that it is over and we can look back over it as a whole. There was and still is, a huge outcry of how shitty the updates were over the past year and how it has left a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths.
    It's the internet, how huge is your outcry? 100 folks on a forum? Out of millions of players? There is no vast majority, there is no bandwagon, it's not representative of things. You have been complaining about the game since long before the Living Story ended, there's no need to take up the cause like you came to your opinion after careful analysis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    And the flip side of that argument is with how many things a new game like GW2 got right, why haven't older MMOs implemented them yet? I mean WoW is trying to copy GW2 concepts as fast as they can, but their development is so freakishly slow.
    WoW is very good about assimilating ideas from other MMO's when they see them implemented well elsewhere. It really is deplorable how they treat their past content though, everything is forward or dead. Even with The Shattering, they tied the world into a timeline rather than creating a toolbox to allow themselves to update easier. I do think GW2 planned out a system for updates so they could do it smoother.

    It's also amusing that no one else has figured out phasing like WoW. TOR used personal story instances to good effect, as does GW2, but phasing had some very good advantages when not overused.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    And the flip side of that argument is with how many things a new game like GW2 got right, why haven't older MMOs implemented them yet?
    This is a matter of perspective. What you believe is "right" might not be what others believe is "right". Or what other developers believe is "right" for their game- or possible, technologically.

    The latter bit there is also why "other games" do or don't implement features seen in other games. Not just in GW2. It may not always be possible to implement from an engineering standpoint.

    A lot of stuff a game launches with is "baked in", so to speak. So it might be way easier for Arena.net to plug in X, Y and Z systems because they have already established the code base, pipeline and platform to do so. And if a developer is responsible for the creation of their engine wholly, they know exactly how to implement those additional features.

    Provided the engineers responsible for the game engine are still there!

    Which is something customers might not realize. Engineers leave- they can leave a project, switch departments, get another job, quit, retire, be laidoff, get promoted, etc. It's very common. And it's not like when an senior software engineer leaves they somehow magically hand down a book with all the secrets of code in it to the next guy. Plus all developers have their own internal structure and method of development that might shake things up further.

    So what GW2 "got right" is very broad and open to interpretation. That is one's right as a consumer. But it's nearly inconsequential to other developers working in active development of pre-existing software.

  17. #17
    Stood in the Fire Cipero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karizee View Post
    And the flip side of that argument is with how many things a new game like GW2 got right, why haven't older MMOs implemented them yet? I mean WoW is trying to copy GW2 concepts as fast as they can, but their development is so freakishly slow.
    I'd argue most new games don't copy GW2 because they don't view it as successful. ESO didn't, wildstar certainly didn't...Archeage doesn't look like it is. Honestly, I don't see any game designer that is quick to implement any of the things GW2 tried to do. And as fast as they can? What is WoW even copying? World bosses? Pretty sure they've had those. Rares? Pretty sure they've had those. Events? Was GW2 the creator of events? In the upcoming expansion they are doing housing...did they copy GW2 on that? In the end I think you just don't know what you are talking about anymore.
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  18. #18
    Scarab Lord Karizee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    This is a matter of perspective. What you believe is "right" might not be what others believe is "right". Or what other developers believe is "right" for their game- or possible, technologically.

    The latter bit there is also why "other games" do or don't implement features seen in other games. Not just in GW2. It may not always be possible to implement from an engineering standpoint.

    A lot of stuff a game launches with is "baked in", so to speak. So it might be way easier for Arena.net to plug in X, Y and Z systems because they have already established the code base, pipeline and platform to do so. And if a developer is responsible for the creation of their engine wholly, they know exactly how to implement those additional features.

    Provided the engineers responsible for the game engine are still there!

    Which is something customers might not realize. Engineers leave- they can leave a project, switch departments, get another job, quit, retire, be laidoff, get promoted, etc. It's very common. And it's not like when an senior software engineer leaves they somehow magically hand down a book with all the secrets of code in it to the next guy. Plus all developers have their own internal structure and method of development that might shake things up further.

    So what GW2 "got right" is very broad and open to interpretation. That is one's right as a consumer. But it's nearly inconsequential to other developers working in active development of pre-existing software.
    Absolutely, 99% of these discussions boil down to a Coke v Pepsi kind of argument.

    For me, I liked the game so well that I was willing to overlook the delay on features like the LFG.
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  19. #19
    Stood in the Fire Cipero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svifnymr View Post
    It's also amusing that no one else has figured out phasing like WoW. TOR used personal story instances to good effect, as does GW2, but phasing had some very good advantages when not overused.
    GW2's lack of phasing was one of the biggest turn offs for me. You have all of these events, and they are supposed to be meaningful, yet nothing ever changes..they are just stuck on repeat....there's no difference to me than how it is in WoW where you do all these quests to save a town or whatever and once your done it's the same thing being attacked by the same monsters you just 'defeated'. Sure, they've gotten better with the last couple expansions at actually showing change in a couple questlines but not as much as ESO does.

    In ESO you actually do see huge phases and choices actually matter. I did this one questline to help these ghost people out in a town that had been decimated by banshees and at the end of the questline I had a choice to allow the banshees to stay and release the spirits of the ghost people, or I could kill the banshees, making the town habitable for people again but trapping the ghosts there forever. and When I decided to kill the banshees the town actually became functioning with vendors and crafting stations and all. Anyway, in my opinion this is phasing done right and I wish SO much that arenanet had done this with their events where choice matters in a very real way.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Cipero View Post
    I'd argue most new games don't copy GW2 because they don't view it as successful. ESO didn't, wildstar certainly didn't...Archeage doesn't look like it is. Honestly, I don't see any game designer that is quick to implement any of the things GW2 tried to do. And as fast as they can? What is WoW even copying? World bosses? Pretty sure they've had those. Rares? Pretty sure they've had those. Events? Was GW2 the creator of events? In the upcoming expansion they are doing housing...did they copy GW2 on that? In the end I think you just don't know what you are talking about anymore.
    Wildstar, from the bit I played, definetly had a feel of WoW+GW2 elements. The exploration elements and such from GW2 have entered WoW in some ways and the Barrens patch for Mists certainly shared some elements with GW2.

    ESO did seem to be it's own thing for the most part, but I'm sure there's plenty of overlapping elements.

    I mean, how many ways can you really do an MMO?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipero View Post
    GW2's lack of phasing was one of the biggest turn offs for me. You have all of these events, and they are supposed to be meaningful, yet nothing ever changes..they are just stuck on repeat....there's no difference to me than how it is in WoW where you do all these quests to save a town or whatever and once your done it's the same thing being attacked by the same monsters you just 'defeated'. Sure, they've gotten better with the last couple expansions at actually showing change in a couple questlines but not as much as ESO does.

    In ESO you actually do see huge phases and choices actually matter. I did this one questline to help these ghost people out in a town that had been decimated by banshees and at the end of the questline I had a choice to allow the banshees to stay and release the spirits of the ghost people, or I could kill the banshees, making the town habitable for people again but trapping the ghosts there forever. and When I decided to kill the banshees the town actually became functioning with vendors and crafting stations and all. Anyway, in my opinion this is phasing done right and I wish SO much that arenanet had done this with their events where choice matters in a very real way.
    There really is so much they could have done with phasing, but maybe they couldn't make it work. The issue with ghost-town vs people town would be mixing players between the two towns, but there's ways to work around that and it's sort of the point of phasing really. The ability to plop 3 characters in the same area and show them each different things is a great storytelling tool.

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