If you’re into the MMORPG scene at all, then you know that the newest generation of MMORPG is always lauded as the one that will completely revolutionize the genre. Entirely new UI elements. Innovative gameplay elements. No grinds! All fun! And time after time, MMORPG enthusiasts are utterly disappointed when said MMORPGs are finally released.
Ever since World of Warcraft’s debut in 2004, pretty much every succeeding MMORPG has been compared to it. WoW has become the gold standard in the world of MMORPGs, and those MMORPGs that are supposed to be revolutionary are dubbed as “WoW killers.”
But here I am to tell you that Guild Wars 2 will actually live up to the hype. Though the past 8 years have seen the failures of supposed “WoW killers,” here are 5 reasons why Guild Wars 2 truly will change the genre on a fundamental level.
Beautiful and Stylistic
One of the most lackluster features of most modern MMORPGs is second-hand graphics. When you see a screenshot of an MMORPG, 9 times out of 10 it will have no distinguishing style. They all look the same!
Look at a game like World of Warcraft, which is often seen as the king of stylistic graphics (at least in the world of MMOs). WoW’s graphics aren’t top-notch, per se, but they are definitely unique. When you see a screenshot, you know you are looking at WoW.
In the same vein, Guild Wars 2 is not only stylistic but downright beautiful. When you see a GW2 screenshot, you know which game you’re looking at. The concept art is mind-blowing. The art direction is unmatched. Not only is this game supposed to be fun, it’s going to be a joy to look at.
No Monthly Subscription
MMORPGs often fall into two main categories. Either you pay a monthly subscription for access to the game, or you play for free with the ability to buy in-game perks. Guild Wars was the first MMORPG to break that model, and it will likely do it again with its successor.
For Guild Wars 2, you’ll only have to buy the game. That’s it. Of course, there may be expansion packs that you can purchase, but if the developers follow the same model as Guild Wars 1 then expansions won’t be mandatory. You get what you pay for and you won’t need to keep shelling out more cash just to keep playing a game that you’ve already bought.
Skill-Based Action Combat
RPGs as a genre have a long history that reaches back to turn-based times. In games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, combat is mostly just standing there with “auto attack” enabled. Player interaction is limited to casting certain spells every once in a while. Boring!
And then comes Guild Wars 2, which will have active combat. No more standing around and watching your character swing away. You’ll be able to aim your spells and dodge incoming attacks. If you’re out of reach, the attack misses. If you aim your spell incorrectly, then you blast the wall instead of your opponent.
Gone are the days of putting your fate in the hands of dice and random numbers.
Player vs. Player Options
There is a lot of hype surrounding Guild Wars 2, and this is the main reason: player-versus-player (PvP) mechanics. As of now, two different forms of PvP have been announced. There’s World PvP and Structured PvP.
World PvP is a special game mode where players from 3 different servers will duke it out in a week-long battle for server-wide rewards. This will be a large-scale PvP event that feels epic in scale with real results.
Structured PvP is a special game mode that pits one team of five against another team of five in a battle for territory control. This is the type of PvP that will be used in competitive tournament settings. In fact, with Structured PvP, the developers of Guild Wars 2 intend for the game to be a central feature in most e-sports events.
No “Holy Trinity” of MMORPGs
What is the “holy trinity” with regard to MMORPGs? The archetypal trifecta of Healer, Tank, and Damage Dealer. Remember how in EverQuest your group needed to be composed of a Cleric, a Warrior, and four DPS classes? Or how in World of Warcraft, your raid groups were restricted by class roles?
Yeah, those days are gone.
In Guild Wars 2, every class can be self-sufficient. Each class can dish out damage, restore their own health, and dabble in utility. What distinguishes class from class, then, is not what they can do but how they go about doing it. This leaves a lot of room for innovative playstyles and fun gameplay.
There are a lot of things to look forward to in Guild Wars 2. I’ve covered 5 of the most exciting features, but there are a lot more to explore–dynamic events, sidekicking, catering to both hardcore and casual players. I know that I’m waiting for the game’s release with heavy anticipation, and hopefully this post has shown you why I’m so thrilled.
Are you interested in Guild Wars 2 enough to play it when it comes out? Why or why not?