Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What MMO to choose?

Feel the ground shaking? It's no earth quake it's the stomp of millions of gamers moving onto the next great MMO title. As of right now WoW is the king of the heap as far as MMOs are concerned but there is a very close contender. That contender is Guild Wars with over 6 million players. That is a lot of players but WoW is boasting over 13 million players. Needless to say both MMOs are very popular for a reason.

WoW was released on November 23, 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft franchise. Game play design has stayed true to WoW's original origins. This foundation Blizzard built has stayed very static with slight improvements over the years. In recent years the improvement have focused on speed. Speed of casting, grouping, queuing and raiding. Speed has been a big improvement but the same old song and dance are still there just faster now. WoW has come a very long way and feels very very polished, but WoW has the same feeling from 1 to 80 the entire way. Never immersing the player into the the world of warcraft completely. It seems as if players are part of a different game than the world around them. Everything from quests to the dungeons and raids is too linear to really bring the player into the world. There needs to be more involvement and changed based on choices made during the game. Quests feel like you are training to work for orkin, trash collection and FedEx. Rather than going on a mission to accomplish a goal that effects the world you live in. Dungeons/Instances feel like you follow this bright lightened path killing groups of 3 maybe 4 mobs until you reach a boss who's mechanic is too easy to avoid and figure out. Raids are just a bigger version of dungeons/instances that take three times as long.

1. Very polished game play
2. Queuing system makes your time in WoW productive.
3. Instances help bring you up to speed in raids.
4. Open world where you can interact with others
5. Older PCs/Macs ran run WoW.

1. Too linear in game play
2. Very dated graphics
3. Expansion rehashes the same tired world with new objectives.
4. Expansion just sends you back to the old world
5. No immersion in game play
6. Content expires quickly

Guild Wars 2
With this one paragraph straight from the guild wars 2 website I am sold. http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/dynamic-events/

"Enter the living world of Guild Wars 2 - filled with thousands of dynamic events that ebb and flow through the course of your adventures. One day there may be a thriving village filled with vendors and townspeople, the next day that village may be a smoking ruin overrun by centaurs."

That is what MMO gamers want. Yes WoW has phasing but this is much better than phasing ever could be. Not to mention phasing was only used a handful of times in WOTLK. This is the way you want your MMO to run. Real time events that are effected by your actions. We want towns to be attacked and we make a decision to save it or join in on the carnage. We want what we do to have effect NOT just go through a motion and have no outcome. This type of game play puts the player into the game and not simply completing chores the NPCs don't want to do. Finally an MMO that does it right.

So far the combat systems in GW2 looks fantastic. http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/dynamic-events/
magic and physical attacks are going to intermingle on the battlefield. There is going to be 100s of different ways your attacks can work based on what is happening in the environment. Again this fully immerses the player onto the battlefield... completely.

PVP is and has always been one of the biggest focuses in GW. It will be a huge focus in GW2 as well. There will be battle grounds where a player can start playing that same day join a BG their friends have been playing in for months. Games should be about bring players together not separating them.

Traits http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/combat/traits-overview/ are going to be skills you learn by going out and using them. How epic is that?

The graphics in GW2 look amazing. Yes they are still using the same engine but ArenaNet has really added some nice graphics to this smooth game engine. I hate to bring up WoW again, but they are the leaders here, the graphics plain suck. The hands look like oven mits, character animations look awkward and clumsy. trees remind me of paper folded together. WoW really does look like a poorly drawn cartoon compaired to GW2.

Guild wars 2 is taking an open world environment stance now. Instead of the entire world being your when you left town now you can interact with a ever changing world much like WoW.

The price of admission into GW2 is the cost of the game and that is it. No monthly $15 fee. Just a single cost so you can play when you like and not feel like you are not getting your money's worth.

1. Too many to list. Check out http://www.guildwars2.com/en/

1. None I can see. But the game is not out yet.