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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: Mar 8th 2010 6:52PM (Unverified) said

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I guess a lot depends on how the adventure group/expedition forms up. Whether its more of a get all five members together at Divinity's Reach (if they start from there), or some are met along the way. For example, I could see Eir being met during the crossing of Shiverpeaks.

Given Rytlock is a tribune and vanguard at the Black Citadel, it seems the group would have some ability to move through parts of Charr occupied Ascalon openly. Of course, the other two allied legions may have political agendas to throw a wrench in the expedition's plans. Not to mention the Flame/Gold legion probably not wanting a putative human-charr peace.

Given it seems a good part of the novel will fill in with flashbacks/stories of the past, I don't know how much it'll focus on the journey itself, tho its certainly an opportunity to show some of the landscape changes that have happened due to the dragons.

Posted: Mar 8th 2010 8:05PM wjowski said

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My biggest problem with Guild Wars 2 is that they're probably going dump all the interesting classes like Dervishes and Ritualists and stick with the generic, boring, MMO standard classes.

Posted: Mar 8th 2010 9:18PM (Unverified) said

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As opposed to the problem of Guild Wars 2 being vaporware whose development history looks like the love child of Diakatana and Duke Nukem Forever?

The day the game actually releases I will laugh my ass off when all the people who have waited years for this discover that it is crap
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Posted: Mar 8th 2010 10:40PM (Unverified) said

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I played Guild Wars a lot during the last two weekend. There was a bonus for Luxon / Kurzick combat. It was great fun. That's when the game lives up to the name... GUILD WARS.

When I look at the lore for the sequel, it's disappointing. Rubi did a good job this week on presenting the lore. But unfortunately, I consider the lore for the sequel to be the weakest thing.

Jeff Strain... a founder of ArenaNet... on his new site it says, "the world doesn't need more dragons." At first that comment made me furious... but then I got a better look at Guild Wars 2. I don't want a Human / Charr alliance. I'm not interested in the sleeping dragons. What's wrong with a WoW style Horde vs Alliance type of game play?

With the Luxons and the Kurzicks, there's a constant struggle... the battle is global, with no sharded servers. It seems that the sequel is a step back... higher emphasis on the lore I dislike, with crazy twists that make the game unappealing.

Wjowski... are you sure that's what's going to happen? I imagine that the professions will stick around and there will just be a lot less skills. Where did you read that the Dervish and Ritualist are going away? Heh... I actually don't like those professions, but I don't remember reading anything about those professions being eliminated.

CragN8R... according to the information released quarterly by NCsoft, it seems that Guild Wars 2 might be released early next year. My problem with that is Star Wars: The Old Republic seems likely to release around the same time.

When ArenaNet said that there would be a beta in late 2008, I highly doubted that it was possible. It usually takes longer than two years to make an "AAA" game.

So what now? How does ArenaNet get back that energy? How does the community get excited? Some of you might actually like this lore. For me, I think Ebonhawke should be set up as a human city where Charr are not welcome, false gods are not worshiped and there's no queen to fight for... no... instead it should be about players forming strong alliances, strong friendships... fighting the bad guys and having fun.

Dragon raids are cool... but it's supposed to be like a spice... a little salt, a little pepper... the real meat & potatoes is getting together with your friends. What new guild features are going to be included? How big will the battles be? How has PvP been improved?

CragN8R... while I don't consider Guild Wars 2 to be vaporware, your second comment is a problem... for fans of Guild Wars. I don't think that the game will be bad... but I don't think it will be as impressive as it was in 2004-2005. I'm not seeing anything that excites me about Guild Wars 2.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 5:08AM Dirame said

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@photics/CragN8r

Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean its not there.

The book talks about how they want to form an alliance with the charr but they never say it actually comes to be, maybe they only were able to form an allegiance with the black citadel and that seems quite possible but just like what happened in GW where the luxons and Kurzicks had to put their differences aside and help us with our quest to stop Shiro and the end of the day went back to their fighting, I think most of the charr won't even want to become allied with the humans. The Race v Race might be an ebonhawke thing at the end of the day, where players will travel to ebonhawke and have to work together to capture certain points in the region whilst the charr try to do the same.
But my words are just speculation although it seems like the route they are taking.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 8:29AM (Unverified) said

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This reminds me of the movie "Batman" from 1989. I'm in the back of the theater with my friends. The Joker pulls a big gun out from his jacket and he shoots down the Batwing. Batman, in the Batwing, goes crashing down in a fiery blaze... boom.

A silence grips the audience... except me... I say, in a loud voice, "Do you think he's dead?"

Of course he's not dead... it's Batman!

What does this have to do with Guild Wars? I don't see why I have to read the book to find out what happens. We pretty much know that some sort of alliance goes through. We know this from what we've seen of the sequel... specifically, the video on guildwars2.com... the Charr are walking around with the Humans and the other races.

If the Charr alliance falls through in the Ghosts of Ascalon, heh, then I might actually want to read the book.

You do make an interesting point... what if it's just a faction of the Charr that are friendly, while the other Charr still hold onto the Ascalonian homeland? That would give the game a lot more options. It does seem in ArenaNet's style, as as shown with the Charr hero from Eye of the North... and you can use him to kill other Charr. I never unlocked him though... I don't like how he would call me "mouse". "Some of us are more evil than others." ...to me, that implies he's still evil.

Maybe it's because I still remember the old Dungeons & Dragons days. Paladins can't align themselves with non-lawful players. Maybe I'm too "Lawful Good".

To this day, there's still some tension between the North and the South of the United States of America... and we're all Americans. I don't see how Charr forgiveness fits into a believable storyline. The Charr razed Ascalon... pushed the humans from their homelands... and now the humans have to fight for a peace treaty? How do you put a sticker on a box to promote that?

"Play a loser for $49.95... no monthly fees!"
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 12:41PM (Unverified) said

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@photics

The Horde vs. Alliance in WoW is one of the things i disliked most about the game. Why would all the Bloodelves have to ally themselves with the Horde, and why would they? They were brutalized and captured by the orcs in Tides of Darkness, that's how they allied themselves with the humans in the first place. There is no way every single one of the survivors of The Frozen Throne decided to join the Horde, why can't I have the option to betray them and join the Alliance? You should be able to form Guilds allied with whatever reace(s) you want, and fight everyone who challenges you, or whom you decide that you need to challenge.

And also, even if there is tension between the north and south, they still both fight in wars that America is involved in.

Forced seperate factions based on race do nothing but limit content, now this isn't too bad in a game like WoW where the low level content is grinding levels from quests, but in a game like Guild Wars, marketed as having less grind, does not need, and should not have limited options based on the race you want to play. It's good you mention D&D because in that you could have a group of a half-orc, a human, a halfing and a dwarf, there were no limits to the races you had in your party, a DM could even let you use normally unplayable races. Yes Paladins were originally only human characters, they changed this to allow any race to play a paladin, and required them to be lawful good, with the aditional requirement that they could not associate themselves with any creatures that persistantly did evil and may tempt them to fall, in other words, evil characters. Typically groups were made up of good and nuetral characters anyway, so that didn't limit much, and so long as the evil characters would act good around the paladin he was free to travel around them. And then of course the paladin always has the ability to train in another class and "fall". That is of course in the 3rd adition, 4th adition the paladin's alignment depends on their chosen diety, which would be a completely different conversation, and really a completely different type of character.

Posted: Mar 9th 2010 2:03PM (Unverified) said

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Hi Orry,

As far as WoW... I stopped playing just before the Burning Crusade. I didn't like the changes. It seems that they added Blood Elves just so the Horde could have Paladins. It's like you mention... limiting content... but also balance issues.

In respect to limiting content - there is no limit in WoW. If you want to see the Horde content, play as one of the Horde. If you want to see the Charr world, play as a Charr... or play as a Human to invade it. That gives players a choice. I remember in Dark Age of Camelot... there was a certain feeling I'd get when I was in hostile territory. It was like... maybe we shouldn't be here... at any moment Midgard is going to counter-attack. It was exciting. You had to plan out your siege. In a war... since the game is called Guild Wars... there should be things like supply lines, civilians and territory to protect, lands to conquer.

That's why I enjoyed the Luxon / Kurzick weekend bonus... it was good combat... more war-like... less about skill micromanagement.

About the grind... I'm thinking that ArenaNet has slowly added grind to the game... probably even more so with Guild Wars 2. Titles... one Zaishen key per day and you'll still be playing Guild Wars well into the 2060's... over fifty years from now. Guild Wars has the best skinner box around... it's cloaked in the shroud of deception. Players are led to believe that Guild Wars has no grind, but can click away towards their title of 10,000 Drunkard minutes. Guild Wars 2 seems to be moving towards World of Warcraft... a traditional MMORPG. And even though the players complain about it, the wack-a-mole gameplay is what keeps gamers coming back for more.

I remember Beta. A friend of mine had joined. He quickly hit level 15 (the level cap at the time) and he said something like, "That's it?!" With no lofty goals to pursue, he left and later played WoW. The whole notion that Guild Wars needs to be grind-free doesn't seem to stick. 1) There's lots... if not more... grinding in Guild Wars. 2) Lofty goals are good for the game, as long as it doesn't feel too tedious.

As for Dungeons & Dragons... lawful good... Paladin can align with others if they're good. I remember that, which is why I have a problem with the Charr... and the Asura... and the Norn... and the Centaurs. They constantly insult the humans. This is not about xenophobia... this is about respect. The humans work very hard to hold Tyria together, while the other races give them lots of grief. Why can't the Asura be cute and fun... more like Gnomes. As for the Charr... why should I forgive their past atrocities if they're going to keep insulting me? The Ghosts of Ascalon should be about the Charr finding reason to ally with the humans... not the other way around.

Sure, in real life, things are a lot more gray. That's why I enjoy these fantasy games. It's supposed to be a lot easier to be a hero. Guild Wars lore just mucks up a good thing.

No monthly fees... great graphics... and... Rurik? It just doesn't seem to go together, does it?
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 2:44PM (Unverified) said

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The grind in GW just feels a lot more like pursuing a goal then it does in WoW, yes it is far from non-existant, but one doesn't need to be a drunkard in the way one needs to have level 80 and whatever the current max gear is. Honestly, I like the blurr effect the alcohol in GW gives, I may be one of the few, but I do actually enjoy it, I'm not grinding out the drunkard title on any one haracter, I have several characters with minutes in the drunkard title. Drinking while vanquishing or doing a full UW clear can hardly be considered grind, can it?

Some of the titles in Guild Wars are made to give long time devoted players a reward, mainly PvPers, Hero and Zaishen are good examples of this. The go in the hall of monuments at a relatively low rank, but they require years of continuous play to max, if someone wants to grind for them than it is there fault, nothing requires r15 Legendary Hero except for the dragon emote you get with it. You can get GWAMM without it, you can get the Hero monument without it. You should get it because you like playing in Heroes' Ascent, not because it's shiny. WoW you absolutely need good gear and max level, and it is admittedly less grindy now then it as before, but it is still that, grindy. Just to get to the point where you actually start relying on skill and actually playing the game. So yes, WoW does limit content by seperating the two sides because you have to grind up multiple characters to experiance both sides.

Most fantasy actually is dark, seeing how most fantasy nowadays is based on LotR and that was the very essence of dark fantasy, in fact Tolkein sold the film rights for practacly nothing because he figured a dark fantasy film wouldn't sell. Saying a dark fantasy game won't sell is exactly the same thing, you won't really know until it is released, except a lot of fantasy games are dark. Fire Emblem sells rather well, and it can get very dark and convoluted at times, and people praise it for it's story. Really, anyone who wants a more light fantasy would probably stick with WoW regardless of whether GW2 fit into the category or not, so it is better to try and carve your own niche, GW1's original approach was competative PvP as seen in FPS games instead of the kind seen in other MMOs, but they changed to a PvE focus partway through which left both parts in somewhat of a mess. Now it seems like they plan to focus on both from the start, still going for that competative PvP niche, but allowing for a PvE story and some sort of open world PvP in The Mists.

Trying to compete directly with WoW is suicide for a company, the game has to be different enough to capture those who don't want to play WoW, since those who do want to play it will do just that, the only thing capable of killing WoW is WoW itself, expansions continuosly make the game more simplified to the point where people quit due to others have max gear too easily, strange but true occurance. However, if they continue to simplify it, it will become it's own worse enemy, and that really appears to be what Blizzard is doing.

Guild Wars 2's event system is what will either make or break the game, and worth it to me to pick up and try.

And honestly a lot of countries make peace in far less than 250 years after their last open conflict. I seem to recall the French and English being allied during the first world war, which was far less than 250 years after they fought last.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 6:23PM (Unverified) said

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>> Drinking while vanquishing or doing a
>> full UW clear can hardly be
>> considered grind, can it?

I think the feeling of grind comes from the gold sink titles represent. I can get alcohol by defeating Fronis Irontoe over and over and over again. I only have to do the run thousands of times to get all the alcohol I need for the title... or I could spend 200 gold per drink. 10,000 minutes x 200 gold per minute = 2,000,000 gold. I don't know if I've seen that much gold in the 6+ years that I've been playing the game... and that's just one title.

The loot in Guild Wars is screwed up. You fight in hard mode... easily one of the most challenging things I've ever seen in a video game... and you get.... drumroll... a 5 gold item because it's using part of the loot table from normal mode. It feels like ArenaNet is stingy with loot... which is why the game feels like a grind to me.

Here's another way to show ArenaNet has backwards priorities. The game is called Guild Wars. I think that there should be considerable effort to make a guild. It should be the result of teamwork. It's not. Last I checked, one person can form a guild - complete with a cape and Guild Hall - for less money than a black dye. The game gives little reason for players to team up and pursue these lofty goals... so you end up doing it by yourself... and that is another reason why the game feels like a grind.

As far as Lord of the Rings, Jizato (at my forum) had a great analogy.

http://guildwars.us/threads/311-Ghosts-of-Ascalon-The-First-Guild-Wars-Novel?p=1055#post1055

...would the Fellowship team up with Sauron? Would Frodo team up with the Orcs? That seems unlikely. Lord of the Rings doesn't seem all that dark to me... Golem seems annoying... but basically it's a quest. The good guys fight the monsters and save the world from evil.

You posted in that thread, so I think you saw it.

Would the Smurfs team up with Gargamel?
Would GI Joe team up with Cobra? (I think they have and it never lasts a full episode.)
Would the Autobots team up with the Decepticons? (Again... the decepticons can't be trusted.)
How about Lion-O and Mum-ra head down to the arcades and settle their differences through a game of Street Fighter?

Those are popular franchises... easy to understand. In Tyria... just about every ally you meet dies. Here's another analogy... Star Wars Episode 2. Anakin Skywalker's mom dies. I was in the movies when I saw this supposedly dark and touching scene. Do you know what a group of kids in the front did? They laughed. I was angry, because they ruined the moment for me... but they were right... it was absurd as her head just rolls back.

ArenaNet is trying too hard to make the game dark... or whatever it is they're trying to do. It doesn't work for me. Instead, I just detach myself from the story... words words words... another human dead... more words words words... oh, here's someone ugly to make fun of me.

Someone insults Optimus Prime and there could be a fight. Someone insults Rurik and you'd get laughter... or... "Who's that?" There's just no attachment. You have some decent characters like Gwen, Cynn, Devona and Mhenlo... but their story is pushed to the side. ArenaNet is focusing on things like false gods and a Charr human alliance. If they had simply told the story of the Ascalonian lineage, I'd probably be more interested. Did Cynn and Mhenlo get together and have kids? What battles happened in the 250 years that pass?

I like the comparison people make to human wars. Here's the major difference... we're all human. The Charr are predators. Do bunnies and Lions join forces?

Use ArenaNet's lore, but swap out the word Charr with something else...

The roaches proved too powerful for the defenses of Manhattan, so the humans decided to put away the bug spray and face a more powerful common enemy... the dragons.

Actually... ha ha... that sounds almost cool... but they're roaches. If you can barely look at them, how can you be allies?
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 6:39PM (Unverified) said

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>>ArenaNet is focusing on things like false gods

Except, in Tyria they're real, same as any gods in D&D are part of that games lore and are real in the context of that universe. There are also gods in WoW, the titans that created Azeroth. Along with in many other games.

>>Would the Smurfs team up with Gargamel?
>>Would GI Joe team up with Cobra? (I think they have and it never lasts a full episode.)
>>etc.

There is an important difference between these examples and the Charr. The Charr are not evil, the Flame Legion is, and the Charr are in civil war. A question you should have asked is "Would the orcs team up with the humans when confronted with a larger enemy?" and the answer is yes, the Orcs, Humans and Nightelves all fought together when confronted with a greater evil. (See Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos) Even if they went back to fighting after, they were allies for as long as they were fighting The Burning Legion.

I keep going back to Warcraft because you mention it as a better story, but most of the criticisms you have for Guild Wars are apparent in Warcraft.
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Posted: Mar 9th 2010 9:00PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think World of Warcraft has a better story. I think it has a better presentation.

1) I don't have to participate in the lore. I can skip whole dungeons... even a whole continent and still hit level 60. I don't remember any required quests.

2) The interface is awesome.

3) I've done the quests in WoW, there's a feeling of travel and adventure. It feels more alive. Pre-searing has something close to this feeling, but it's lost when the lands are turned to ash.

Wow... this makes me want to play WoW. Ha ha... the human noobie area was great. The PvP was awesome too. I had great fun in the battlegrounds. I was a Rogue. It didn't feel like a grind to me. The revamp of PvP ruined the game for me.

...and how are the Charr not evil? The Humans are not the aggressors.

If there were gods in WoW, I don't remember seeing them. The presentation seemed more neutral. While this is a fantasy game, it is played in reality. That means real people can be offended. I didn't like how the relics were set up in Dark Age of Camelot, but I can see how Mythic Entertainment didn't want to encourage religious extremism. I understood that. The game developers had to accommodate players of different preferences and styles. I feel World of Warcraft does a much better job in this area than Guild Wars. From what I'm seeing of the sequel, it seems like more forced lore for Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars... I like the graphics, I like the business model, but I'm not liking the lore.

Posted: Mar 11th 2010 9:12PM (Unverified) said

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>>...and how are the Charr not evil? The Humans are not the aggressors.

Aggression=evil? I mean after all, by that definition the United States would have to be considered evil based on the war of 1812, and far less than 250 years after that Canada, Britain and America were all allied nations.

But seriously, according to the Charr, Ascalon was originally theirs, the humans took it, so they decided to attack the humans.

>>If there were gods in WoW, I don't remember seeing them.
http://www.wowwiki.com/Titans
Actually, Sargaras, leader of the burning legion was once one of their number. And he is deep in the Warcraft lore.

One must remember WoW has a rather large back-story which is where it's lore lies, if you don't see the lore it is because you ignore it, not because it isn't there. You can get a similar effect by accepting quests without reading their dialogue, skipping all cutscenes and turning off chat whenever NPCs talk because honestly the only difference is one is included directly in-game and the other requires reading/playing the previous games to get the lore, which IMO is bad design, but I was familiar with it anyway.
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Posted: Mar 12th 2010 7:44PM (Unverified) said

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>> One must remember WoW
>> has a rather large back-story
>> which is where it's lore lies,
>> if you don't see the lore it is
>> because you ignore it, not
>> because it isn't there.

I stopped playing before the Burning Crusade, but I don't remember any parts about titans or gods. The game was more generic to me. The NPCs would say things like "For the Alliance"... and "The light" ...not gods. That more neutral approach allowed me to enjoy the game more. I didn't just blast through quest dialogue. I enjoyed reading what was going on. It felt like the quests were more about my adventures than an overall lore.

If I saw something that I didn't like, I could skip it. I didn't have to play through the Deadmines or Gnomeregan. In the original Guild Wars, it was a lot easier to skip stuff. In Factions... there were annoying checkpoints, requiring you to play on the storybook path. That hurts the fun if you're not interested in the story.

To me, the lore should come from the players. For example, EverQuest. I didn't like their gods in that game either and the overall lore is not that memorable. For much of the game, I was slaying Freeport Guards... and Orcs... and Hill Giants. What stands out? Fansy, the Famous Bard. (You can do an Internet search for Fansy if you are not familiar with the story.) It's stuff like that which is more interesting to me. It's players being creative in the way they play. It's the stories that occur in the epic battle of good versus evil.

Even though game developers try really hard to create a rich lore, players still regress into the skinner-box mentality. To break the mold, the story should come from players. One of the things about EverQuest that I really liked... heh, if I'm remembering this correctly... you could click on someone to inspect them and players could write a brief story about their character.

Photics is looking at your armor.

It's real simple for me... if I can't avoid the lore I don't like in Guild Wars 2, then unfortunately it seems that I'll have to avoid Guild Wars 2.

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