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 isn’t a game built around “tanks”, “DPS”, and “healers”. 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 you’re trapped in a small room with five guys in heavy armor. Or maybe you’re in an open field, but you’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 you’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 he’s an AI and you’re playing over the internet, he’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 “Invulnerable!” message flashing, so when he decides to allow your attacks you’ll be at a disadvantage.