i’ve realized this week of playing, that with all the marketting from various avenues selling the game as things it clearly is not, never was, and never will be, i had forgotten the reasons that the game attracted me w/e many years ago that are in teh realm of reality and actually things that the game is.
despite the fact that there are many aspects of the game that mar the overall experience heavily, of which a few i can see being potential showstoppers before too long, it has a number of elements that coincide with what i saw as the potential of the sandpark sub genre, but also go in with my own personal mmo wet dream wishes and desires.
the combat is pleasant proper rpg controls, which is largely responsive aside from on freshly spawning mobs, and have a good feel of impact and weight to them. andthe click targetting is while a bit senstive (maybe i need to look through the options), at least it is not unresponsive as have come to fear in any game i try in recent years. the rpg system is far from teh worst i’ve used, and while the game certainly is quite vertical power curve wise both in terms of of the character sheet stats and in terms of gear (which we are all goign to learn a great deal about in the coming months have absolutely no doubt), the level of verticality is not so extreme it feels like so far that it currently impacts my enjoyement of mid level pvp even when dealing with much higher levels, ofc with teh caveat that yes i have been one shotted by 4x players.
archeage in a number of ways has at different levels, what attracted me to teh mmo genre in the first place 11 years ago (that is, what got me to finally stop reading about it in magazines and get into it beyond games like utopia), andi think that is a good motivator for me and my guildies to give it extra time and effort we haven’t put into an mmo in quite some time. on the other hand it has a number of things which i have grown tired of in this genre.
the pay2win thing is ofc, as i like to quote myself, no game is pay2win unless i don’t like it. archeage has a number of avenues for first party pay2win in addition to the traditional classic 3rd party avenues that exist in all persistent online games since before it was seen as being a negative by anyone involved. and i tend to exploit the first party avenues as it is convenient and my wallet allows. so far it has been useful to stick to the silver pack’s 3k cash shop currency to do so.
10/10 worst game ever. GOTY.
i was notified that ff14 is much much worse launch and more recent than aoc. noted.
also i didn’t talk about spvp directly. consider that covered in the bits about combat mechanics and esports.
finally i gave the game a 9/10 despite focusing on the downsides. i feel the upsides have been talking about endlessly to extreme exxageration and need not be repeated even modestly.
also stfu about daoc. plox thx bai
so let’s start by talking about launch.
this has been perhaps one of the rockiest launches i’ve seen since aoc. tradepost has either been down or game breakingly bugged, with many players losing gold or items forever in it with no hope of compensation. the mail was up and down on a daily basis, including due to exploits ranging from scams to duping. europe had major conenctivity issues and continues to have major routing issues resulting in widespread lag and ability delay. some heavy unexpected downtime as well(to contrast this with other launches- it’s a bigger deal than long, but scheduled downtime other games tend to have) which is exacerbated by big talk about lack of downtime in gw1 by fans. wide range of broken events and quests. as well as the huge oversights on the prices of many items in karma and gold leading to some huge exploits.
that being said the game is a load of fun to play. perhaps the singular most casual mmo i’ve every played. levle scome quickly and easily and you wander aimleslly from heart to heart doing events and mining nodes along the way. in fact experience is perhaps the currency in game that is the easiest to come by within a huge margin.
gold on the other hand is far more valuable than exp, far harder to come by, and far easier to deplete than anything else. it’s also the main means by which ncsoft/anet hope to profit from gw2, that is by selling gems that are then converted into gold in a very non player driven system(regardless of any claims comparing gem system to plex, that is very much not the case- the main points being that plex is freely tradeable among players, and doesn’t have an exhorbant mark up when converting your irl money to in game currency like gems do). the gw2 economy has as ingularpurpose from top to bottom, and that’s to drive profits with gems sales to buy gold. we’ll get to this more below.
the comba tis a lot of fun, but you will quickly learn that it has some of the heaviest handicapping in an mmo combat system since warhammer. for me personally the biggest of these is the attack arc followed by the strafing speed. attack arc is less than 180 degree forward, which means no proper strafe kiting, which means that you spend all of your time dpsing on the move circle strafing. which admittedly was pretty fun- in 1994 quake and duke3d. strafe speed being roughly 3/4-2/3 of forward speed only compound this issue. as well as various bugs with some skills/weapons missing even when in range, or show up as obstructed randomly in a string of hits when conditions remain the same, or skilsl not registering any results from obvious hits, or simply goign stright to colldown, nevermind the lack of animation/visual for pivoting(which makes puzzles more “interesting”), strang elos rules for gtaoes, and the once in a while slow moving auto attack skills which aren’t homing missles, leading some people to believe the game would be better suited by fps/action rpg aiming system. it’s all a bit odd, and all of the combat quirks and handicaps is why either this game will never be an esport, or will serve as another reminder of why esports is such a joke these days.
wvw is one of the best classic mmo pvp experiences in an mmo since lineage 2 chronicle 3. alot to love here for the old school mmo pvper. very strategic, and regardless of what anyone says, there’s room for every size group here to make a difference. although “night capping” is super effective at winning matches within the first few hours, imho this is just a part of this style of mmo pvp that can’t really be nerfed without it becoming yet another carebear fest fps mode tacked on to an mmo a la wow bg’s that’ we’ve seen so much of in the last 6 years. and while plenty of people whining about wvw being unfair want that kind of thing, they just need to stfu and learn that wvw was never meant to be fair. something i sat as a person on a server that regularly gets matched up with servers that cap 90% of the map with in the first few hours of anew match and stays there.
i’[ll say that the gold sinks vs gold rewards of wvw are a bit out of wack. an upgraded tower is going to cost several gold, and for no return on gold to the payees. as well that tower is going to need several siege golems to break down the doors, again with minimal(1.5s per player) ROI. nevermind upgraded keeps with defenders. nevermind repair bills*(*it’s easy enough to focus on avoiding dying to minimize repair bills). but having a war machine is a crucial part of this kind of pvp. i can see some tight matches being decided simply on who’s warmachine lasts longer and who runs out of gold to throw at wvw. which is a good thing.
endgame. w/e claims about hte whole game being endgame, or w/e bullshit anet adn fans have been selling for years now goes out the window when you hit 70 and hit orr. while you’ve seen undead for a long time now(risen) and are no doubt getting sick of them already, the game changes quite dramatically here. now it’s all about farming events hours on end for drops and karma and gold while battling anti farming code on drops and karma and dealing with dense fields of mobs that have incredibley long lasting cc that they spam relentlessly. rule of thumb here is don’t travel alone unless you are focused on condi removal. at this point you are goign to be focused on grind, the one thing anet promises you should never have to do. ofc tehgold income vs the costs of gear and money sinks is aimed at one thing- making anet money
and let’s talk about that finally. much of player’s gold costs are not player driven here, but rather they are set by anet directly. the main cost of leveling a craft for example is vendor mats, followed by fine mats that have relatively poor drops rates adn require you to grind if you want to avoid spendign gold on them, fighting against anti farming code to do so. the best gear in teh game stats wise is all buyable with gold, making gw2 very much pay 2 win in teh same way RMTing in any other non f2p mmo is pay 2 win. bags are perhaps the silliest money sink, with everything above 10 slots bags being proihibitvely and exponentially mroe expensive to some full retard degree inspired by aion.
and much of this game’s systems and what not are going to be familair to aiona nd l2 vets. whatever any claims to contrary from the ignorant- this is very much an ncsoft game, with code engines and plugins used in other ncsoft games as very cnetral and ecompassing parts of gw2.
all caveats aside though- gw2 is a blast to play, and will keep you coming back if you truly enjoy mmo’s. i coudl go on and on about thigns big and small that add up to make this perhaps the only true AAA/proper mmo to be released since wow. the great looking armour, the great loking environments, the overall enjoyability of the available activities. yes some gamebreaking bugs, a pay 2 win cash shop driven economy, but definitely worth the price of admission.
i’m giving it my highest score ever at
**before anyone brings it up- no, diablo 3 is not an mmo. stfu abotu fucking god damn motherfucking diablo 3 launch and learn what an mmo is.
***if you don’t think gw2 is pay 2 win, you don’t understand what pay 2 win means or that it existed long before cash shops and f2p games like allods online or world of tanks.
so tsw has been out about err 2-3 weeks i think and me and my crew have for th emost part beeen playing fiarly casually. we have some people that have grinded the fuck out of the first region - solomon island- in particular either expanding the variety of their possible builds on one toon or making multiple toons with different specilizations.
this time around i’ve decided to expand on my previous tanky dps role and allow the possibility of proper full tank specs. the reasoning for this was simple - cbt feedback about the 3rd zone in solomoon island was that the math on mobs there made it very “dificult” to solo, and there were even streams of fansite owners getting owned hard in duos- though they seemed to be badly specced and constantly pulling aggro and getting caught in the mob’s aoe things(which is something i’ll get to below). having been there myself now i think perhaps this may be overblown slightly - but it’s certainyl very easy to end up severely undergeared for the zone when you arrive and stay in that state- especially if you don’t run the 2nd dungeon multiple times or are specced only for dps.
nwo w/e you’ve heard about the combat in the game is perhaps possibly overblown- both for good and bad. i’ll say for the most part rotation wise yes it’s very simple- although my actual key usage has been a bit different lately because of one high dps tanky type finisher i have been using that is due for a nerf in teh first blance/content patch at the end of the month, essentally you are using a builder skill with low dps to build up 5 resources on both your weapon counters at the same time and use two finishers at the end of that, multiple times per mob/pull. what it boils down to is basically alot like how warriors or rogues work in rift (at least the first six months when many of us played). the dodge seems mostly cosmetic but does come in handy if you’re snared then a mob does an aoe thing. the aoe things are kinda like an OP DBM mod, which shows you an animation of where the aoe is going to happen and a countdown animation thing that gives you an idea of how long you have to avoid it. alot of the time if you are geared and specced for suirviability you can kinda ignore them though alot of the time they do cc’s like knockbacks and stuns.
the real draw o fthis game is the quests in particular the investigation missions which i have personally along side device chosen to cheat at but only when it’s just me and him, but which at least some o fmy guildies have really enjoyed working to figure out either solo or as a guild function. these quests are both clever and sometimes infuriating, and you are going to want to use google, as well as goign to lengths such as using different kidns of apps, maybe on your phone or pc to figure these out, such as decyphering a morse code transmission.
the cut scenes are very very good. while your own toon doesn’t talk for good or bad if youare attentive their facioal expressions and body language are quite expressive and appropriate. this was improved dramatically during that last week or two before launch, so if you on;y saw this from the beta weekends adn were thinking omg my toon is a motorcycle accident victim- you may want to check out a buddy pass to give them another look. the voice acting is absolutely above par and even better than the quality scenes in swtor. the writing and direction here is way better than what bioware rpg fans are going to be accustomed to imho. adn there’s certainly some high teir talent on the actor’s roll including but not limited to voyagaer’s tim russ(tuvok).
and that brings me to the real world tie in’s. unliek in wow and rift the real world pop culture refrences are not 4th wall breaking beccause the setting for this game is behidn the scens of the real world we actually inhabit. which sets the scenes for some pretty fucking epic references. you’ll also see some of the ways that earned this game it’s pegi and esrb ratings, such as profanity and drugs usage and references. probably the show stealer for me has been one illuminati faction specific character that talks largely in memes.
the big selling point for this game for a long time has been the ability wheel, and perhaps it’s a bit overblown with the 525 unique skills- because quite frankly there’s alot of very similar skills here, and skilsl differentiate themselves from each other not by how much damage they do but what extra components they carry, or for example being single target vs player based aoe versus ground target aoe et al. a fiarly straight forward synergy to build on is affliction, which is basically tsw’s term for dot’s. you can proc things like impair(stun) or hindered(snared) using certain abilities and passives on afflicted targets or vice versa. even though it may not be as complex as many fanboys are selling it as, it still ends up being quite interesting and alot of fun for meta gamers and thoery crafters.
the dungeons are fairly interesting, i’d put the ones i’ve done above average compared to wow clones. but they are definitely int he average range for the typical instanced 5 man dungeon fare. the very nice thing about th eones i’ve done so far are that they are very light on trash- you’ll be spendign most of your time attempting bosses rather than slogging through endless trash pulls. and they still end up beign roughly 45 minutes or so long.
the ui leaves alot to be desired, whcih is both a product of devs not making it as high a priority as they maybe shoud’ve in some areas as well as using scaleform whcih is known for it’s lack of responsiveness in updating things like the tank’s hp for example in rift and swtor. here is no exception and i’ve already hearing complaints about how i died while tnaking a boss because it looked lik ei had full hp or their resource counters weren’t updated in teh ui. as well the bank and gbank ui and functionality are in a shit poor state. while it’s great ohave a gabnk at launch at all, managing it is a night mare- which ties in twith guidl functionality which is at best barebones and resricitve, as well as having some nightmarish bugs. first off guild types come with preselected ranks and permissions by rank, with the first 1 or 2 ranks having absolutely no rights. only the 2nd top rank can invite new members, and the middle rank has gbank access coupled with changing the motd for some bizzarre reason. which overall will fly in the face of most guilds’ rank structures from my experience. to tip things off the word on th street on my server is an officer rank player was able to disband a 300 man guild somehow due to officers for somereason having the right to do that kind of thing… pretty fucking halfassed imho, and a worst case scenario for any guild manager.
back to the setting and lore- you will see a shit tonne of refences here to both popular and obscure stuff. the primary sources that the game’s lore is deriviative of include the illuminatus! trilogy and hp lovecraft. solomon island in general especialyl the ending also had me gettign nostalgic for twin peaks. if you’re a stephen king fan be prepared to get some heavy duty loving, though his “horror” novels were at least inspired by hp lovecraft in several ways. as you progress though the game the references and basis of lore and such do not stop. don’t think garbage shti references like harry potter and twilight either- if you’re 25+ and a real Tru nerd and movie/book buff you are definitely going to appreciate what the game has to offer here.
overall despite it’s fairl ymajor(in my eyes) flaws the gameplay and content quality is well above par for an mmo released in teh last 6-8 years. it’s not revolutionary nor is it a strqaight wow clone- though it will be familiar to wow clone players in many ways.
but what it is is worth giving a try for a couple weeks and sinking scores fo hours into in the free month at least. becauseutlimately in this day and age of 60$ games with 10 hour sof sp content 100 hours for $50 is a pretty fucking good deal.
addemndum - i didn’t include cash shop as an oversight so let me put in here - youc an spend a relatively little amount of money and get some pretty nice clothes. not sure how i feel about the $20 title or spending $6 to $10 for a set to get a single piece though- but have no doubt, it’s 100% cosmetic stuff currently. aside ofc from teh starter packs you can still buy in your account page that give stuff ranging form starter weapons you will replace within the first few hours to exp pots.
and insce i noted that i should also note that when it comes to clothing obtainable through in game means, or future content patches, the devs have gotten into a bad habit of calling this stuff “free”. this has been going on for several weeks now and it irks me because we pay a sub for this game therefore there’s nothing about it that is free. but we know what the implication here is- that is that guidl wars 2 will nickel and dime players for content patches say $10-20 for 10-40 hours of game player every 1-3 months. as if somehow releasing 10 hours worth of new cotnent a month with a $15 sub is some how a better value- btu since posting about it the applicable dev posts since have avoided usign the word free for these things.
8.5/10 - your milage may vary.