Yes, the long-awaited WoW killer is here
Had hope in Age of Conan, bought it, and many of us know how disappointing it was. Had hope in the The Secret World, but...meh. Rift sounded decent, but also felt like I'll just be back to another WoW, somehow at least. SWTOR was great in many ways, and I absolutely love its story mode, the conversation options to choose from a la Mass Effect, and that all its quests are spoken, but the combat just feels too "plastic-like" so to speak?
I grew to just dislike Blizzard through the years, for many reasons, which I won't list here as it would be too out of topic. So I had every reason to be waiting for an MMO that can finally seriously compete with WoW. I had hope in several MMOs before as I mentioned, and kept getting very disappointed. Long 8 years, folks, with WoW grudgingly having a near-monopoly on the most MMO or social gaming fun out there, at least in my eyes and heart. But not anymore!
Finally, after 8 long years, the long-awaited WoW killer is here! For me personally at least. Guild Wars 2 is almost everything I had hoped for, and then a bit more. It isn't perfect, but as far as an MMO goes today, it is as near to perfection as an MMO can be.
These first few days, there are issues with trading or auctioning and the mailing system, but honestly, I am having so much fun that I don't have time to complain or worry about that. Besides, these specific problems are there because ArenaNet's servers are SWAMPED, ever drowning in hundreds of thousands of keen gamers and ecstatic players.
The graphics of Guild Wars 2 are near perfect, and I mean it. Heck, someone just pointed out that if your character is standing on a slope, the very feet and legs look natural while you're standing on the irregular surface! That's how much attention they paid to little things...it's breathtaking, so long as you have a good PC and graphics card.
The music is beautiful, and at times, epic.
And gameplay? Well, combat is just the icing of the cake in Guild Wars 2...so fluid AND solid! Yes, I mean it...imagine that. Fluid in the sense that you can cast, dodge, cast again, run while casting, and you just feel like you're really fighting, not standing there and endlessly whacking something. With the right skills and well-timed dodges, you can actually take on higher-level enemies and be proud to have taken them down using your skill, not some sort of overpowered heirloom armor, you know? Then combat is solid because it FEELS solid! If you are a warrior, you can just FEEL the power of your two-handed mace as it falls down on the ground and "shatters" something; there's something about the combat mechanics that just feel perfect. If you're another Profession (class) than uses pistols, the dual-wielding pistol shooting just "feels" awesome...I love how they work. God, I can just go on and on about how combat feels great in Guild Wars 2. And mind you, I didn't like each and every Profession (class), but I'm darn sure that there is a Profession for every gamer in Guild Wars 2. There is variety in everything, tactics, strategy, leaving trap-like spells on the ground and luring enemies to them, or never anything like that in another class or Profession, and so on.
Another thing I love about this game is that it does not breed greed and spiteful competition between players, something that Blizzard does so well in WoW, almost as if they think doing evil is good and breeding bad manners and negative emotions in players is good? One example is the resource nodes in WoW as compared to GW2. Anyone who has played WoW long enough is very familiar with how frustrating farming ore or herbs can be sometimes, if someone else is farming and keeps beating you to the node just before you're there, or worse...if you fight a mob near the node for half a minute, and another player waltzes in and just grabs the ore and flies away. Such things brought me sooo much frustration and sometimes anger with how rude and inconsiderate players are sometimes, and it's all because Blizzard ALLOWS it. But not Guild Wars 2! ArenaNet has different mechanics for resource nodes...they're available for everyone, but you can't keep taking from the same node yourself unless at another time. Two or even three people can be mining from a copper node altogether, without worrying about anything. We all have a chance to get what we need, and there is no downtime or wasted time or frustration. I literally cannot describe how beautiful it feels sometimes to play Guild Wars 2...and how the mechanics and decisions that ArenaNet chose to make breed good manners, cooperation, and good feelings among players. Honestly, you have to play this game to really feel it. ArenaNet made so many beautiful decisions with the mechanics of this game to encourage the building of a lovely community that minimizes the chances of any spite or ill feelings happening among players, but on the contrary, we share and help each other out, at least outside the battlegrounds and tournaments. I'm so very relieved to finally have a beautiful social game like this to play.
If you, like me, have been long waiting for something worthy of the title of "WoW killer", even if just for you personally, in your eyes, then go get Guild Wars 2 without thinking twice. I already quit WoW more than a year ago, but there would have been a strong chance I'd go for it again with the "panda" expansion...if Guild Wars 2 had not come along. So truly, thank God for Guild Wars 2, so I don't have to get into the absurdity of playing as a fat, bear-like, lazy, clumsy creature that somehow was upgraded to the status of "Monk". And as one funny, awesome professional on this website once said while telling us the truth about pandas...."***K Pandas". =)
I am finally saying farewell to a certain MMO once and for all, and very happy to stay in Guild Wars 2's world, Tyria, for a long time to come. And I deeply thank ArenaNet for finally pulling this off, and look forward to them making the game even more fun and lovely.
See you in Tyria! =)