Sunday, April 20, 2008

Guild Wars: Thoughtful Commentary on the Latest Patch

You know, in that last post when I wrote "Heck of a job, Brinny" I was doing so in a completely non-dickish manner.

I meant nothing to it beyond that Brin kinda sounds like Brown. This is what we call a punne of a play upon wordes. After which we all share a hearty laugh, sniff our brandy, and then inform our manservant to bring the horseless carriage about because we should like a jaunt about the countryside where we may scoff at the peasants at work in their fields. Also, crumpets fit in there somehow as well. What I didn't mean was for the context of that alusion and the self-negating irony of the original quote to apply to Brinstar who, I'm sure, is, in fact, doing a heck of a job.

But, I can see how it might be taken the other way especially after I took a closer look at the dev notes and saw the following:

"This month's update is unique. It is a "temporary tournament update" targeted at the final cash-prize tournament, which will take place at the end of April. The skill changes are temporary and will be in effect for only two weeks. They are all geared toward addressing the most immediate issues with Guild Battles.

In order to reduce the possible negative impact on PvE play, we will be reverting the changes on May 1st. For future tournaments, we aim to focus on changes that will not impact PvE play at all. "

Time now for some of that thoughtful insight and well-reasoned commentary that discerning people have come to expect from me. My trademark rational and evenhanded approach to thoroughly, even exhaustively, covering a subject as well as I'm possibly able in my own iminitably wordy style.


What. The. Fuck.

Well, so much for Guild Wars. Looks like I got out of the game in time. That's pretty much the sixth seal opening right there and now the apocalypse draws ever nigh.

Look, it is one game. A commonality of rulesets is vital to the game working as a coherent whole instead of a lot of little gutters strung together by common art assets.

But instead of recognizing that, instead of sticking to their guns and keeping the game consistent through its variations, the developers have, instead, listened to the screaming of those people who are somehow offended that the skill bar they hadn't changed for 16 months was affected by a patch. I want to take those people into a back alley and beat them about the head with their Collectors Editions and mini-pets because they're playing the game wrong. That is not the game I cared about, worked for and with for so long, and devoted so much time to but a strange pervesion of it. Which was fine so long as it didn't touch upon me and my enjoyment of a flexible game, always changing and forcing me to adapt fueled by its system of quick and easy streamed content.

Now, it seems, the chasm between PvE and PvP is not only recognized but going to be reinforced by the game's makers. Instead of working to channel the dwindling pool of players back and forth across the divide, they're going to wall each off and let them get on with their own little games.

Sadly, this was a bridge we'd long since burned with the addition of PvE skills. But it's a move that leaves me deeply concerned. I've heard a lot of things about GW2, the game that's in development right now, and most of it has been getting further and further away from the sort of game I'd like to play. How it's going to be getting away from instances so I'll have to put up with the horde of clueless idiots I'd rather not deal with constantly getting in my way and stealing my kills or fouling up my quests. How the skills are going to be simplified and dumbed down. How there are going to be even more PvE only skills. The Asura. I'd been willing to give the developers the benefit of the doubt and at least try the game before recoiling in horror. But now? I'm not so sure.

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