In honour of the fifth anniversary of the game, and with the new Path of Fire expansion being released later this month, and given how it is the only MMO I still play, I decided to make a five part series about Guild Wars 2. This is not sponsored content (nothing on this site is sponsored), it’s just something I made for the sake of doing so.
It’s important to have a well rounded perspective on subjects; People should know that their toaster will kill them if they go sticking their knife in it to dig out their trapped bread. That’s critical information, but you sure won’t find it written in big letters across the outside of the box! So, allow me to take a few minutes to share with you some of the things that piss me off about Guild Wars 2.
1. Crafting is so boring and grindy that I can’t be bothered to do it.
If I had to tell you the one thing I did the most in Star Wars Galaxies, that one thing would be “enjoy the hell out of the crafting system”. And it was great, because it was this multifaceted set of systems that came together to deliver a bunch of related activities that not only gave a person “stuff to do”, but also engaged the person’s mind in the process. Crafting in Guild Wars 2 is like, the total opposite of that.
I can sum up crafting in GW2 with the following…
- Get stuff.
- Combine stuff.
Now, some would say that’s not fair, because the process of “getting stuff” can be quite involved, but I wholeheartedly disagree. The process of “getting stuff” is also an utterly boring set of activities that amounts to “kill stuff, pray to the RNG gods, repeat” or the similar, “click on resource node, pray to the RNG gods, repeat”. However, that’s not the real problem with crafting GW2. Nope, the real problems are,
There are too many utterly pointless sub components required for damned near everything that you’d want to make. Why are they pointless? Because they don’t effect the quality or … any aspect of the final item, meaning that the sole purpose of their existence is to create busy-work for the player. Yay, busy-work! My life wasn’t already chocked full of shit that takes a lot of my limited time! 😐
And the other major issue is the sheer volume of items that are required for many of the recipes. It was one thing for an item in Star Wars Galaxies to use 7,000 units of resources, because in that game one could set up harvesters to automatically collect resources for them all the time, even when they were offline. But in Guild Wars 2 there’s none of that, yet many of the items one would want to make require 250 of some crusty buttknuckle that can only be looted by playing the same content over and over for weeks. Or you can buy your buttknuckles from other poor saps who have slogged away at that content over and over for years, if you happen to have earned enough gold by… doing some other content over and over for months or years! You see what I am getting at here right? It’s a straight up grind.
When you combine the sub component’s lack of purpose, the crazy amounts of sub components (with some items having a chain of subs that are 10+ items deep), and the sheer obnoxious volume of items that are required, it’s a sad, perhaps even pathetic, miracle that there are people who have dedicated enough of their lives to craft full sets of end game gear in this game. lol… I sure as fuck won’t be doing it!
It would be one thing if the crafting was interesting, like Beast Master crafting or even just normal crafting was in SWG, but the plain truth of the matter is that it’s just… not. Crafting in Guild Wars 2 is an uninspired, boring, “collect X bear asses, click combine” system that’s basically just… there. It’s really too bad, because crafting stuff in games can be extremely engrossing and rewarding.
2. Story instances are filled with gimmick riddled, long, boring solo combat sequences.
For the amount of times my character has been left to fight massive bosses and hundreds of enemies all by herself, I sincerely wonder why she even drags the other dead wieght characters along with her…
As a person who makes game mods and who designs game play systems, I see right through this bullshit. That’s all it is, an artificial way to drag out the time it takes for the player to complete the content. It’s super annoying, it’s not fun, and it’s not even challenging (let alone being challenging in a good way), it’s just a straight up waste of time.
I am doing the story content to… experience the story, not to slog through boring raid mechanics that are designed to be enjoyed by a small niche of “gamers”. Also, I am not there to constantly fight stuff. If I wanted to fight stuff, I can already do that! And you know what? If I wanted to experience raid or dungeon mechanics, I can already do that too!
If nothing else, they need to make the “Skip to End” button available at all times so one can move on to the next step of the script at any point. I would happily forgo rewards to skip boring shit that I don’t care about, because the reward of actually enjoying myself is far greater than some loot foozle I’ll probably just salvage anyway. It’s a foregone conclusion that your character will win the battle, so I don’t see the problem with fast forwarding and sticking up a, “combat happened, you won” summary before moving on to the next part of the story. I mean, the story of the world is far more than you punching stuff and being showered in praise…
3. Many Gem Store items are only available for a limited time.
Seriously, take my money! Gahhh!!!!! 🙂
As I have mentioned in the past, ArenaNet does not know how to make money. They don’t, plain and simple. Rather than making all Gem Store items available at all times, which facilitiates one’s ability to buy something the moment they feel compelled to do so, ArenaNet chooses to hide items away for months at a time. At the very least, they should have a “real money only” store on their website that allows players to buy any Gem Store item, at any time. I am more than happy to spend real money on stuff that I can actually buy.
The Gem Store’s conversion of in game gold to gems is far too generous, from a business sense. There’s no incentive whatsoever to take out one’s wallet and buy something, especially when the thing you want to buy isn’t even available anyway. I genuinely “don’t get it”. And that’s not even getting into their online gambling lock boxes, which I feel are predatory and inappropriate for games in general.
Simply making everything available all the time, even if it was only purchasable with real money, would be amazingly fantastic for every human being who has a life which is interesting enough that they plumb don’t care about following what comes and goes from the Gem Store in Guild Wars 2.
4. Guild Halls are a housing system that is only able to be enjoyed by a handful of people.
Housing systems are cool. Like, really, really, really cool. Unfortunately, someone over at ArenaNet thought it was a good idea to make a housing system for Guild Wars 2 that can only be enjoyed by the smallest imaginable minority of the game’s population.
Yup, rather than give every player the ability to have their own house (or houses, as we have seen in so many other games), ArenaNet locked their housing system behind a massive wall that requires a player to either make their own guild or take over someone else’s guild. You can’t earn a guild hall solo, therefore you can’t use the housing system as a solo player. Now, if you manage to convince a bunch of people to help you complete the quest to earn a guild hall, you can play with the housing system solo, but good luck levelling it to the point of being useful (because doing so requires more materials than one could gather in twenty life times).
It’s just stupid to put a housing system into a game that only has one mode, especially when that one mode is “group play”. Everquest II just walks all over damned near every other game on the market when it comes to player housing, but it totally makes a mockery of the sad little housing system ArenaNet made for Guild Wars 2.
Now, some would say, “Idiot! It’s not a housing system at all!” and and they’d be right, because it’s not. Unfortunately, it should be. As it stands, the guild hall system is a giant “fuck you” to the vast majority of people who play the game, because they paid for it, yet for no good reason at all, they simply won’t ever have the chance to use it.
5. PvP isn’t worth doing, because it isn’t fun.
Unreal Tounement, Quake, Counter-Strike, and other FPS games where players are on equal footing and combat is … “point and clicky” I suppose, is the kind of “player vs. player” game play that I enjoy. I played my fair share of Alterac Valley in World of Warcraft back in the day, but honestly the “group together and mash buttons until people fall down” thing isn’t really my cup of tea. It’s boring and dumb, especially in games like WoW where, “my stats are bigger than your stats, therefore I win!” is prevalent.
Guild Wars 2 has two types of PvP. One where everyone has the same gear level and there are matches, similar to other match based PvP games. And the other is the “World vs. World” open PvP, where everyone is the same level, but the stats on their gear is taken into account. I don’t find either of these game modes interesting, because they all amount to is that thing I mentioned above, where there isn’t any actual game play or strategy, it’s just a ball of people moving around a map smashing buttons. Whoopie… I’ll pass, thanks.
Apart from how fraught with cheaters, exploiters, and general dipshits it has always been, Planetside 2 is really the perfect example of the type of PvP that I actually enjoy. The game play is varied, there are a lot of options for moment-to-moment game play style, and at least initially one could employ actual strategy to accomplish something (even if that “something” was ultimately pointless in the grand scheme of things). I don’t play it anymore though, because it’s full of cheaters and it’s run by a makeshift studio who I have absolutely no faith in whatsoever. Why waste my time on that? I digress… The point is, if PvP in Guild Wars 2 was actually interesting, I would do it, but it’s not, so I don’t.
Dishonourable Mention: The forum/Reddit/dungeon/pvp communities are toxic.
I’ve spent years taking part in various game related forums and I have yet to find one that is as utterly dominated by a few dedicated blowhards as the Guild Wars 2 official forum. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what the topic is, the same twenty or so people will come in, tell the original poster how wrong she was, and then they’ll spend the next fifteen pages shitting up the thread while they squabble with each other about unrelated topics. It’s very sad, but also quite fascinating. ArenaNet’s community team does not appear to be equipped to deal with it, either that or they just don’t care. All I know is, it’s not my job to do the research for them – people get paid to do that shit!
As for the Reddit, it’s a cesspool of unjustifiable “downvoting”, because fuck you for being different, that’s why! 😐 I don’t do “social media” (because it’s stupid and a waste of time), but it is nice to discuss topics of interest with others from time to time. Traditionally, games would have their own forums or there would be a fan website with a forum, but this Reddit website, much like 4Chan before it, is basically a forum that has a section for any topic and that convenience appears to be appreciated by many. It certainly cuts down on the number of logins and passwords one needs to remember! Anyhow, the section for Guild Wars 2 has more than its fair share of dedicated trolls and antisocial people, who will crap on folks for asking legitimate questions (because God forbid, someone ask a question… Sadly, the “Google it, asshole” crowd also crap up the in game chat too), troll people for not enjoying the game the same way they do, and who seem to religiously “downvote” posts for all the wrong reasons.
Bottom line? Don’t waste your time in either spot. If you have feedback on game play issues that you would like to send to ArenaNet, type it out in a bug report or a customer service ticket. That said, neither the Guild Wars 2 forum nor it’s Reddit thing are as laughably full of shit as the Elite Dangerous forum lol… That place is just retarded – even the staff and mods there are trolling assholes.
As far as the PvP and dungeon crowds go in the game, I have read many, many times about how shitty these people are to each other. I don’t have time for that crap, so I don’t even bother with any of that content. I have better things to do with my life than spend it entertaining other people’s petulant children; Fuck them and the broomstick horse they rode in on.
And that concludes my therapeutic venting for the day. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! 🙂
Disclaimer: I have nothing against people who enjoy riding “hobby horses”. I just pictured an obnoxious 20 something man-child riding one around a public place annoying people. Turns out, riding them is actually a sport that encourages female pride in some places, which I think is great! Totally bizarre, but great none the less lol…