Gaki is Happy
This one’s for Ryan.
Posts Tagged ‘ Guild Wars ’
When I was growing up, I had a ritual whenever I started a new game. I would unwrap and open the box and take out all the pieces and literature. I would read the manual. If I was unable to get into the box while my parents were driving home I’d read it at home while the game and whatever gaming platform sat there enticingly close to each other, staring at me. When I was done with the literature I would put it carefully back in the box and never touch it again.
Only then would I insert the game. After install (if required) and upon start-up I would sit through everything. Developer and publisher logos, starting cinematic, and idle animations were given prominence of place on my screen during my very first time with a game.
Once I had seen everything there was to be seen I would play the game proper, but this first time was still special. I would carefully engage in every tutorial and read all instructions given to me. This would last until it was time for me to turn the game off and go do something else, usually 1-2 hours. Upon entering the game again all previous reverence would be abandoned. Intros would be skipped, tutorials rushed through, and quest text skimmed.
In the same way that the journey is as much, if not more, important as the destination, the anticipation leading up to finally sinking your fingers into an experience is something to treasure.
We have all been feeling the strain of the long marketing campaign that ArenaNet has chosen to pursue. That does not, however, excuse the sloppy releases and disrespect for ArenaNet I have seen lately among the gaming press. I wanted to express my disgust and sadness with my peers for the debacle and mess they have made of, not only the PAX East demo, but of the new updates to Guild Wars Classic.
Perhaps ArenaNet had it coming to them because of the way the title for the Guardian profession was ‘leaked’. We know that bounds were overstepped and NDAs were broken when video of the demos were published. I’m sure the offending parties are being dealt with. But a press outfit breaking news early because ‘it’s already been leaked anyway’ is not only unprofessional, it’s disrespectful to other gaming sites that were capable of holding their tongues and respecting ArenaNet’s wishes.
Such acts not only undermine trust, they breed a new and insidious dynamic into an otherwise mature and respectful community. Will fan-sites now feel obligated to scramble for news releases in order to turn around and scream “FIRST!” as they vomit their information across the internet? Instead, will ArenaNet be forced to withhold information because we /can’t be trusted/?
It’s an ugly picture no matter which way you dice it, and to the sites who, through accident or malicious intent, betray what trust has been given you and tarnish the reputations of the rest of us I say: You ought to be ashamed.
Perhaps my ideals of mutual trust and responsibility are nothing but a pipe dream. Perhaps this mess actually /was/ orchestrated and isn’t really the garbage heap that it looks like.
I don’t know.
All I do know is I miss the pre-Gamescom release strategy, when new information came first from ArenaNet and only after did the fansites publish their interviews.
Guild Wars 2 isn’t even live yet and I’m already pining for ‘the good ol’ days’.
One word from three: NDA
Non Disclosure Agreement
I’m a blogger, and a sometimes cohost on Relics of Orr. On the show we’ve speculated about the possibilities of a Guild Wars 2 beta. We’ve talked about how Alpha is the new Beta and the once revered term, spoken breathlessly in dark hallways “Baaaaay-taaaaa…” is now just another cheap marketing tool.
The “new beta” leaves me feeling sad and hollow. I participated in the Guild Wars beta events, not knowing that they were probably mostly for marketing. I didn’t make it very far out of pre-searing because I spent almost all my time poking around for problems.
Once I fell through the world, reported it, and then spent the rest of that night (We didn’t sleep during those beta events yo!) scraping pre-searing. I also found out that Gwen could get you trapped on the steps of those houses. Along with reporting a slew of graphical errors, I only did a little actual playing of the game. (The houses in pre-searing used to be floating 10-15 feet above the ground, did you know that? I like to think it was my report that got their foundations back on the ground.)
That heady time is over, however. Betas being delivered to fans are now simply previews, polished and largely bug-free. We only have ourselves to blame. It’s become more about the prestige of getting that first look than about the bug-finding. Precious few people are willing to scrape the walls of a world looking for places they could fall through. (I even did this in Ocarina of Time, want to know what the inside of Hyrule castle looks like?) Nope, when people talk about their beta experience it’s with a little bit of smugness, that ever-so-slight “I’m more special than you because I got in early.” Or it’s even a superior feeling because the beta-goer helped make the game better. That second one I’m most definitely guilty of.
But the betas the betas. Alpha is the new beta, and I want in, and I won’t be getting in, and neither will my compatriots. This isn’t meant to be a whine about the state of the industry, and I don’t want you to think I’m some kind of puling child throwing a tantrum because the boys won’t let me into their treehouse because I’m a girl and have cooties.
In a sense though, community voices like myself and others do have cooties. We have our arms plunged so deep into the dough that we can’t help but get flour on everything. Let us into a selective event and we’d become a liability. Slap an NDA on us and we’d be forced to either shut down or run every other word we want to utter through marketing first.
We are simultaneously the most valuable and most dangerous connections in the community. If a company wants to make something known we are gold that can be traded in for hype. Let us inside, however, and we could easily become an infection. It’s a risk any shrewd company isn’t willing to take.
It’s not a bad thing. It just means that we need to be patient and understanding.
Personally I’m going to grab some /popcorn and enjoy the show that ArenaNet is treating us to this week in regards to the human race. It’s almost like a party!
Wake me when it’s Guild Wars 2 time, I’m going back to bed.
An odd thing has begun happening amongst myself and the friends I play with most often in Guild Wars. We’re already playing Guild Wars 2, in our minds. The amount of anticipation and excitement has been percolating for so long that, unconsciously, we’re shoe-horning our Guild Wars playing experience into the Guild Wars 2 mold.
Our two monks are revolting against support. I play an echoed Ray of Judgement smite build and Odin is running Signet of Spirits. When we can’t pawn off heal/prot duty on a hero (like the other night when we were farming for Canthan New Year) we pack resurrection scrolls, a self-heal apiece, and Csquirrelrun, our token ‘healer’ fills up spaces in his healing build with smiting.
I’m a bit safer when I’m shooting lasers from the sky, but when I’m protting I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not a guardian yet. The reason for this is in the way I play protection. The vast majority of my skills are area-of-effect. Since Guild Wars doesn’t have the awesome ground-targeting that Guild Wars 2 will, in order for my spells to benefit our casters and our melee I often have to place myself in the middle of the action.
I’ll tell you what, tattoos don’t do a very good job of stopping a blade.
So there I am, laying on the ground, mournfully wishing that: “If I must play bitch duty/ support, why can’t I have heavy armor? If I must mother my group and save them from themselves, why can’t I have the luxury of being able to see the battle instead of constantly monitoring health bars and a minimap?”
Is it Guild Wars 2 yet?
Guild Wars is fun, but I’ll be damned if Guild Wars 2 doesn’t look like a game I really, really wish I were playing instead.