Dispel the Rumour that GW2's PvE is too Casual

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Just doing my first explorable run in Arah and just beat the 3rd boss - Giganticus Lupicus. 3 Phases. First phase - prevent Boss from buffing up by eating risen grubs. Second phase - movement movement movement. Third phase - even more movement. 10-15 minutes high concentration encounter. Epic.

Add videos and stories about PvE stuff, to dispel the rumour GW2 is too casual.

#2 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Also learned that I can retreat mid-combat, because 'out of combat' regeneration kicks in at a semi-safe distance. Gives the whole combat system an additional tag team dynamic. Dig it very much. Goes great with the lack of dedicated healers. Fuck up? Low on health? No cooldowns ready? Retreat. Take a breather. Hope your guys hold out for 10 seconds without you.

#3 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (732 posts) -

I was surprised at the amount of what would be considered raid encounters there were in the world. The most memorable right now being the Fire Elemental in the Asura starting area. Yeah it was for players around level 10, didn't make it any less intense.

#4 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -

I don't find it too casual. I find it devoid of greater meaning. Everytime they give me a new quest, every time Farmer Block tells me he needs me to kill worms, the Eight Deadly Words come up.

If I could just do the personal story, maybe we're getting somewhere.

#5 Posted by Turambar (6726 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I don't find it too casual. I find it devoid of greater meaning. Everytime they give me a new quest, every time Farmer Block tells me he needs me to kill worms, the Eight Deadly Words come up. If I could just do the personal story, maybe we're getting somewhere.

I don't understand what that sentence means.

#6 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I don't find it too casual. I find it devoid of greater meaning. Everytime they give me a new quest, every time Farmer Block tells me he needs me to kill worms, the Eight Deadly Words come up. If I could just do the personal story, maybe we're getting somewhere.

Heart-thingys are just the baseline. The real adventures you go out and find yourself. The game is built that way. He who seeks adventure will find it. It's so much more meaningful, if the adventure you find, is not on the nose - but to be discovered on your own.

Just made the thread, because I often read that GW2 is too casual gameplay-wise. Too easy and forgiving. Lacking mechanical depth. Which is simply not true.

There's loads of tough content in the game, especially explorable mode dungeons do require true skill, and often a portion of ingenuity. And the amount of mechanical depth through character customization, skill combos, and the sheer fact that everybody has to contribute valuable gameplay in every discipline of the genre (tanking, healing, supporting, kiting etc.) - as well as the action game flavour through active dodging.

GW2 being to casual is a wholly wrong notion, which is only superficially true - if all you do is zerg the open world content.

#7 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

People who think the game is too easy have not played it, or have played with big groups all the time.

#8 Posted by wolf_blitzer85 (5254 posts) -

@dekkadekkadekka said:

I was surprised at the amount of what would be considered raid encounters there were in the world. The most memorable right now being the Fire Elemental in the Asura starting area. Yeah it was for players around level 10, didn't make it any less intense.

Oh man I stumbled across this and it was complete madness. That bridge was covered in nothing but death.

#9 Posted by MiniPato (2727 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Brodehouse said:

I don't find it too casual. I find it devoid of greater meaning. Everytime they give me a new quest, every time Farmer Block tells me he needs me to kill worms, the Eight Deadly Words come up. If I could just do the personal story, maybe we're getting somewhere.

I don't understand what that sentence means.

Where's the social commentary in the combat? Does it contribute anything to humanity? Is it art?

But seriously, all MMO combat gets old after a while. It's not something GW2 alone is guilty of. If a game has you do the same thing over and over again, of course the combat will get stale. But heart quests are really only there for you to 100% the map and get some exp so you can level up to do the next story quest. Random events will also help you level up. So it's not like you have to do every heart quest that pops up on the map unless you're an adamant completionist.

#10 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -
@Turambar The Eight Deadly Words are "I don't care what happens to these people". I'm interested in Logan Thackeray and the shenanigans in the Court and all that jazz, I like my protagonist, I like when I'm doing things that matter. But all the active quests and heart filling is just shift work, not heroic adventure. You're suddenly given work without anyone asking you to do it, twelve other people are doing the same thing, and when you do enough of it money is deposited in your account. That's a job.

I think about like if Mass Effect 1 had you walk into that bar and suddenly "Find OSD for Emily Wong" popped up. You've never met her. Who is she? Why does she need that thing? Why should you care? Just to fill up a progress bar? Hell, they pretty much did that for side missions in 3, and it's the worst part of that game.

It was like "people don't like the quests in wow so we made it so you don't have to turn the quests in" when that's not really the problem.
#11 Posted by Turambar (6726 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Turambar The Eight Deadly Words are "I don't care what happens to these people". I'm interested in Logan Thackeray and the shenanigans in the Court and all that jazz, I like my protagonist, I like when I'm doing things that matter. But all the active quests and heart filling is just shift work, not heroic adventure. You're suddenly given work without anyone asking you to do it, twelve other people are doing the same thing, and when you do enough of it money is deposited in your account. That's a job. I think about like if Mass Effect 1 had you walk into that bar and suddenly "Find OSD for Emily Wong" popped up. You've never met her. Who is she? Why does she need that thing? Why should you care? Just to fill up a progress bar? Hell, they pretty much did that for side missions in 3, and it's the worst part of that game. It was like "people don't like the quests in wow so we made it so you don't have to turn the quests in" when that's not really the problem.

How then do you suggest an MMO accomplish that without instancing off, and thus tailoring, all its questing for you? What incentives should you be presented with for traversing the world and killing things? If your care falls strictly to what is tailored to engage with your protagonist, wouldn't the very "MMO" nature of the game and all the other game designs that come with it be an inherent "negative" to the experience you're looking for?

#12 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -
@Turambar I think SWTOR made a good try, but they underachieved. There weren't enough quest lines that carried through areas, not enough phasing to give a sense that the thing you just did actually mattered. Guild Wars has some control points that may or may not be captured, but that ends up being repetitive busy work. More central characters for each area, more plot hooks that feel like they pay off (this happens later in the game in SWTOR but is demonstrably absent early on). The multiplayer is easily the quests and instances designed for group play, that allow each character to express themselves and gives that sense of both persistence and heroic adventure. It's you and your crew purposefully cleaning out this wretched hive of scum and villainy, not just a dozen random people killing dudes as they respawn. And then PvP is PvP. Fitting it into the narrative makes me happy, but it's not mandatory.

Sandbox MMOs should keep up being sandbox MMOs. But for gameplay-focused themepark MMOs like Guild Wars, SWTOR and WoW, you need to give great reasons for people to want to see the rides. You need that narrative and content reason behind the gameplay, or it's just kind of empty (look at Tera). I'm not sure the big open world server design really makes sense for non-sandbox MMOs anymore. Look at the reaction when there's no dungeon finder and warp tool; it's not about persistent in the same space as others, it's about wanting a browser to quickly get into the gameplay. Torchlight was going to be an MMO... But would people actually want a massive world that they had to walk across, or would they just want good multiplayer functionality and the gameplay with their friends? Does the big shared world really matter if it's a mostly static or purely cosmetic thing?

For the record, I loved GW1.
#13 Edited by EXTomar (4641 posts) -

Who is claiming Guilt Wars 2 is too casual? Taking nothing more than a quick glance at the game even in screen shots should tell one that this isn't a "4-button game".

If anything I feel like the PVE content in Guild Wars 2 is a bit too slow. In the one serious character I'm running there were a couple of points where I couldn't find something else to do where I had exhausted world events I had access too but was too low for the next stage in the character quest. That just made me wander around without a goal and trying tradeskills which isn't desirable at all. It is like Arena.net didn't like filling a zone with quests so they made world events instead.

#14 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Turambar I'm not sure the big open world server design really makes sense for non-sandbox MMOs anymore. Look at the reaction when there's no dungeon finder and warp tool; it's not about persistent in the same space as others, it's about wanting a browser to quickly get into the gameplay. Torchlight was going to be an MMO... But would people actually want a massive world that they had to walk across, or would they just want good multiplayer functionality and the gameplay with their friends? Does the big shared world really matter if it's a mostly static or purely cosmetic thing? For the record, I loved GW1.

This part sums up my feelings about the game and MMOs in general as well (GW2 being my first MMO experience). I felt like GW1 (PvE) was a much better multiplayer experience even though it was instanced. Instances simply require far more coordination and effort than any open world event could. I found myself doing open-world content in this game simply as a filler until I was a high enough level to do my next personal story instance.

But of course, the defining characteristic of an MMO is the open-world content. That is exactly why so many people love the genre. Getting rid of that would mean the game becomes just another online RPG. It would be interesting to see if a developer could ever find a way to merge the two concepts.

#15 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@UssjTrunks said:

@Brodehouse said:

@Turambar I'm not sure the big open world server design really makes sense for non-sandbox MMOs anymore. Look at the reaction when there's no dungeon finder and warp tool; it's not about persistent in the same space as others, it's about wanting a browser to quickly get into the gameplay. Torchlight was going to be an MMO... But would people actually want a massive world that they had to walk across, or would they just want good multiplayer functionality and the gameplay with their friends? Does the big shared world really matter if it's a mostly static or purely cosmetic thing? For the record, I loved GW1.

This part sums up my feelings about the game and MMOs in general as well (GW2 being my first MMO experience). I felt like GW1 (PvE) was a much better multiplayer experience even though it was instanced. Instances simply require far more coordination and effort than any open world event could. I found myself doing open-world content in this game simply as a filler until I was a high enough level to do my next personal story instance.

But of course, the defining characteristic of an MMO is the open-world content. That is exactly why so many people love the genre. Getting rid of that would mean the game becomes just another online RPG. It would be interesting to see if a developer could ever find a way to merge the two concepts.

Already happend. The Souls series has the perfect idea. Make other players 'Random Encounters'. If, let's say Bethesda, would pick up the idea of seamlessly integrating online multiplayer as 'random player encounters' - maybe even way more freeform than in the Souls series - just random players phasing into each others world, either interacting in some way with each other - trading, grouping, talking - or fucking each other up - or simply just walking past each other, not giving two fucks. That's how it's done, and I'd be surprised if the concept isn't picked up and refined upon by countless developers.

The highly regarded Journey kinda has, and its critical reception and commercial success are proof positive of how awesome multiplayer done in that manner can be.

#16 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3234 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

@Turambar The Eight Deadly Words are "I don't care what happens to these people". I'm interested in Logan Thackeray and the shenanigans in the Court and all that jazz, I like my protagonist, I like when I'm doing things that matter. But all the active quests and heart filling is just shift work, not heroic adventure. You're suddenly given work without anyone asking you to do it, twelve other people are doing the same thing, and when you do enough of it money is deposited in your account. That's a job. I think about like if Mass Effect 1 had you walk into that bar and suddenly "Find OSD for Emily Wong" popped up. You've never met her. Who is she? Why does she need that thing? Why should you care? Just to fill up a progress bar? Hell, they pretty much did that for side missions in 3, and it's the worst part of that game. It was like "people don't like the quests in wow so we made it so you don't have to turn the quests in" when that's not really the problem.

The option to care is there for people who want it, but I agree that it isn't as fleshed out as it could be. I try to talk to heart and event NPCs as much as possible to get context for what they're having me do and often there's great writing (and grammatical errors) buried in that text. A lot of it is helped by seeing an event through from start to finish, because there's always some in-world reason for why something happens and how it's resolved.

#17 Posted by project343 (2816 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

I don't find it too casual. I find it devoid of greater meaning. Everytime they give me a new quest, every time Farmer Block tells me he needs me to kill worms, the Eight Deadly Words come up. If I could just do the personal story, maybe we're getting somewhere.

I think you're fucking crazy. While the personal story isn't awful, it's real boring compared to the compelling open world stuff. I made an alt and didn't touch the personal story until level 30...

I'm going to say the taboo phrase with this game, but if you need more context for events: you aren't playing the game the right way. Most of the events have so much voice acted context bookending the events that is 'so' much better written than nearly all of the personal story. Turning into an NPC stalker made me love the event system more than I already had. And the communal objectives feel a lot more rewarding (to me) than the conventional MMO tasks forced into a lonesome experience. Leading a zone-wide siege across a zone against centaur forces is such a blast; but so is doing a lonely caravan escort with a singular other person--barely surviving each attack.

It's all 'go here and listen to boring writing then do boring lonely shit'; the average-to-bad writing isn't worth abandoning the some of the most communal multiplayer gameplay that I've ever played.

#18 Posted by Brodehouse (9793 posts) -
@project343 Maybe I'm crazy. Everytime I disagree with the general consensus, I assume its me (Red Dead Redemption, Portal 2, Skyrim after the first 30 hours or so)... But I don't feel crazy.

I actually really like the open world design on Guild Wars 2, I want to see all the different countries and enemy varieties. But none of the events feel involving because they all feel like my presence is tangential. I compare this to the missions in Guild Wars 1, the personal story (and some of the better aide quests) in SWTOR or the better quest chains in WoW where I was interested in what happened beyond my reward. That hasn't happened yet. I haven't got the rush of accomplishment from anything yet. Maybe that's later, maybe that's only for people who want to do PvP, or the hardest raid encounters. It hasn't happened in my first 18 levels.

Like I said, with big popular games that everyone loves, I try them and continue to try them until I discover what it is people see. And it's nice that I can pop it back on whenever I want. But I can't justify putting it on over Persona 4 Arena or Borderlands right now. Actually the thing that almost got me back in was reading about the Ashford Catacombs instance. Because I want to see them and I want to be a part of whatever story is happening there. But mostly because it will be me and a crew doing it, not 35 dudes standing around killing waves of mobs spawned for no reason other than to be killed by 35 dudes.
#19 Posted by project343 (2816 posts) -

@Brodehouse: For this discussion, I hope we're working with the assumption that hearts are not the primary PVE content in the game and that they are more akin to a vista or skillpoint: a location on the map designed to move you about. Events are the main thing on the table, right?

It sounds to me like you really need that contextual narrative and sense of permanence. You need someone facilitating an illusionary narrative with the constant reminder you that you are the hero, and that the task you have just accomplished will stay accomplished in your own little world. And I can completely understand that desire. But I think the point where all that falls apart is with the multiplayer nature of the genre. Like, I fucking loved all the narrative bits of SWTOR... right up until I saw another Imperial Agent standing right next to the same objective that I had.

Obviously for the hodge-podged multiplayer-singleplayer experience there's the suspension of disbelief that every other player isn't also a grandiose hero who's accomplished all the singular, specific events that I had. But the great thing with the open world content is that the majority of the events don't need that suspension. The majority of the bosses are nameless 'Flame Shaman,' and the majority of the enemies that you defeat are constantly vying for control over objectives that they would realistically continue to want to pursue. Just because you'd defended a fort from centaur doesn't mean that they would never want to attempt to take it again. And all the dragon lieutenant boss fights end in an animation that shows them retreating (to reemerge at a later time). ArenaNet goes to great lengths to keep these event streams believable as repeatable content in the world.

But there's also the affect on the world and the affect on other, actual people. And this is where I think the open world content is really stands above the personal story content: the events you do will affect other players, even if it is a temporary. It's a celebration of the genre within a themepark context in a way that we haven't seen since Rift's zone-wide invasions many years ago. When you clear a town, that waypoint will be open for other players to take advantage of. When you push the metaevent further into Orr, you are facilitating the travel and/or safety of other players. If you fail an event and the enemy takes over an important location, you are directly affecting the other players in the zone. And this really stands apart from Rift insofar as it adds that narrative context to each of these world events--either through their variety, objectives, or the impressive amount of recorded world dialogue that not enough players are listening to.

There really isn't much else to say. I just feel like the personal story is an inconsequential, entirely forgettable journey that would make for a really mediocre singleplayer experience. To be quite honest, the only reason I did it on my main character was for the XP and rewards. There were certainly some memorable moments, but you had to slog through the tons of the disjointed, poorly plot beats to get there.

I have to ask: you're level 18, correct? And what race/racial starting area are you in?

#20 Posted by hollitz (1496 posts) -

I am loving the shit out of the game, but personally, I find it to be pretty devoid of challenge. Granted, I've not yet reached max level or done any dungeons, but it's all been pretty smooth sailing from what I've encountered so far. Not saying that won't change, and I'm certainly not saying that I'm having a bad time with the game. I'm really really loving it.

#21 Edited by EXTomar (4641 posts) -

is right. It the world looks great but that it feels like a disjointed mashup. One world event in one area does often have a chain but another has a completely different one that has nothing to do with anything beyond it is in the area. It isn't that this isn't bad that one event wants to kill this and another area wants an escort but there is no narrative thread between any of the points of interest. In fact without the map telling me there is a point of interest out there I'd have little reason to go there beyond filling in the map. None of them acknowledge the existence of anything beyond the "scouts". This isn't exactly a cohesive storyline.

I complained in the other thread that Guild Wars 2 leaves me directionless and no goals where how the world works is a facet of this. I'd be happy with a narrative thread where the only thing I have is the vague big bad and that character's story quest. I've only seen vague indications that the big bad is doing bad things while I readily admit the character story quest is an interesting setup but not exactly compelling where another character might have something more interesting. In any event, I feel very aimless playing GW2 which isn't exactly a way an MMO should introduce itself to a player let alone a casual one.

#22 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7614 posts) -

@EXTomar: Talk to more NPC's. You're often given a reason for doing things, even if it's as simple as "we need help" and many of the bigger event chains in a specific area do come together to form a larger story. I do agree that the game sets itself up poorly and doesn't offer adequate tutorials to teach people how to play the game, but in regards to story/what you should be doing, it seems most people are just skipping through the dialogue and not bothering to actually speak to NPC's or discover any of the history/lore that is there, ignoring the RPG aspect of the MMO.

#23 Posted by jesterroyal (350 posts) -

@hollitz: The game on the whole isn't super intense. It does a great job about getting out of your way and letting you do what's fun. Dungeons are definitely harder because they require a little communication and some planning(in addition to correct level gear). The game also gets harder when you start searching for world bosses and such but I've not really found it to be overbearing yet(At 60 on my main). I've been challenged by a few story quests and the likes but if you stick to the path and don't go out of your way you can have a very easy time of it.

Online
#24 Posted by shinboy630 (1134 posts) -

@hollitz said:

I am loving the shit out of the game, but personally, I find it to be pretty devoid of challenge. Granted, I've not yet reached max level or done any dungeons

Well there is your problem (for lack of a better word) right there. Some of the explorable mode dungeons are rough, especially if your team is unprepared.

#25 Posted by kerse (2110 posts) -

The explore mode stuff is pretty tough, but I am just finding the game boring, especially the storyline and gameplay. I also really hate the way you kinda have to run back and forth through the zones to various events til you can move on.

#26 Posted by Nentisys (888 posts) -

Too bad the endgame content is nonexistent :(

#27 Posted by Carryboy (640 posts) -

who cares if you enjoy it great.

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