Popular blogger Shamus Young has posted another MMO-themed editorial, this time on Guild Wars 2. Expressing frustration at trying to talk about game mechanics in a title prone to patching so often and rendering his complaints moot, he's instead focused on something that won't change on him or readers anytime soon: the story and quests.
This isnâ€™t a game built around â€œtanksâ€, â€œDPSâ€, and â€œhealersâ€. No character in this game is supposed to tank a half-dozen guys at once and expect to come out on top. Having said that, some classes are a lot more squishy than others, and a warrior has a much better chance than an elementalist in a close-quarters fight against many foes. Which is a shame, since this is a really common kind of fight in story missions.
The game is not shy about ganking you in cutscenes. You approach a battlefield, and a cutscene takes over. The talking heads talk and the cutscene exits into a scenario where youâ€™re trapped in a small room with five guys in heavy armor. Or maybe youâ€™re in an open field, but youâ€™re somehow two steps from a group of five centaurs, and each centaur has an attack that can stunlock you for three seconds while the others murder you. If youâ€™re a caster, this is pretty much a worst-case scenario.
There are also cases where your foe runs in and is invulnerable while they deliver their mustache-twirling pre-fight taunt. Since heâ€™s an AI and youâ€™re playing over the internet, heâ€™ll get to enter combat mode and tag you at the same time, meaning he gets the first hit, even though he was the one running his mouth. Boo ArenaNet. I boo you so very hard. Bonus points if you unload all your big attacks on him before you notice the â€œInvulnerable!â€ message flashing, so when he decides to allow your attacks youâ€™ll be at a disadvantage.