Pre-GamesCom 2011

This being my first post on Tyrian Stories I would like to thank Shongaqu, for getting things rolling, nice job. Hope we can keep it rollin’.

My gaming experience started at a young age with the beloved NES console. I remember late nights playing the original Final Fantasy with my father, learning to read just so I could equip the proper armor or use spells. At that point I was hooked. RPGs became a mainstay in my gaming lineup. I loved the fantasy, the medieval setting, the excitement of casting spells, but most of all the lore. Western, eastern, or action adventure it didn’t matter, the story drove me, it was my reason to keep coming back. If the story was solid or sometimes even if it was not (enix) I would take every quest, read every dialogue. I just had to know, to seek out every mystery available.

That said, you may now be surprised to hear that Guild Wars was my first MMORPG experience. The lack (or wealth) of lore in a MMORPG depends on your opinion. Although if you have been playing GW since release, (April ’05) you probably know the lore was enough to sate your inner scribe, however, narrative was another story. The story contained plot holes, a villain race with undetermined motive, and characters with more quirkiness embedded into their dialog than you could shake a stick at. Somewhere in the middle of the quirkiness scale is the well remembered Prince Rurik with lines such as:

“As a boy I spent much time in these lands. Look at them now.”

Which is great and all, except that it does not seem to match his character, nor is it pertinent information at the time. Furthermore, the statement makes your entire party wonder:

“If you spent so much time in these lands why do you keep getting lost?… we are all over here… fighting char… you know those things you hate so much.”

Suffice to say the game had more than storyline to worry about but the issues were not debilitating and gameplay was a ton of fun with your guildmates, or whoever else you picked up along the way.

If you managed to keep with the sequels (Factions, Nightfall, and GW:EN) things like AI, gameplay, and thankfully storyline, all improved. Most loose ends and gaping plot holes were accounted for and GW became a lore nerd’s dream come true. If you were the thorough type, seeking out all the quests that piqued your curiosity, you might have found a retelling of just a few years past. In a back corner of a Vabian palace there was a performance, where the not as well remembered Vaughn the Venerable stated:

“As a boy I spent much time in these lands. Look at them now. Just look at them!”

A game where the creators could laugh off past awkwardness, and not take themselves too seriously, was a pretty cool game in my book. Guild Wars had become my favorite MMORPG and one of my favorite video games as well.

Like any casual gamer that enjoyed Guild Wars I was pleased to hear (in 07’) that there would be a sequel, and like Guild Wars classic there would be no fees. But if you are reading this, then you probably know that for a good while there was nothing. It was the calm before the storm, and most of us were seeing it as the good kind of storm. There were details galore, concept art, videos, even a book series. It was a lore nerd’s dream come true. It was plain at the start that it was a massive wave of hype, “but why not?” I thought to myself. It is the good kind of hype. We were getting a peek at a game created by developers who genuinely cared about the product and even became emotionally involved in their work… perhaps too emotional judging from the “manifesto”. I especially enjoyed the community of fans rallying in anticipation of GW2. I casually read Secret Agent Cat’s blog and frequented Relic’s of Orr. The shared excitement and diffusion of game info through the fanbase did far more to increase the hype than Arenanet could have ever hoped for.

I enjoyed the steady yet slowly ebbing flow of game info, and of course endlessly debating tidbits of lore with fellow GW fans. Then about two months ago it hit me. We have been given a plethora of information, storyline, plot, gameplay, functionality, mechanics you name it, all of this for a game that has not even been released yet. Only days from now a playable demo will be showing at the yearly Gamescom convention… for the second time.

Now you may say that this game is worth the wait, or that the developers just have a severely undiagnosed case of obsessive compulsive disorder… but I disagree. GW fans new and old are waiting to hand out their money for a game that started development in 2007, a game that has debuted a playable demo at PAX and Gamescom. The hype wave has lost its momentum, just release it.

With that said, I head to GamesCom to see if the GW2 is worth the wait. Will it live up to the hype? Check back after the 25th for part two.

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