So yesterday I began my explanation as to why I wouldn’t be purchasing the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion. I started with the state of WoW, and my place in it. I had a full post written for today explaining the other side of the coin but as I read it through I came to realize it was turning into an in-depth review and that wasn’t what I wanted. Don’t get me wrong, it fully illustrated something and would have gotten the point across. However, I can probably sum it up with this:
I’ve talked about it here a few times, but the fact of the matter is this: I’m excited about Guild Wars 2. In going back over my review that I had written (for a game that isn’t even out yet, oddly enough) I came to realize I’m simply excited about the game because for a change someone is improving on WoW, and I honestly believe the MMO genre is going to evolve via GW2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not half-cocked and thinking it’s going to kill World of Warcraft, because that’s not the case at all. I think there can easily be co-existence, if for no other reason than one is a free to play model (sort of, you have to buy the game initially, but ArenaNet isn’t charging for more).
Without going into full detail, Guild Wars 2 has been five years in the making and when the first big thing you flaunt (aside from no monthly fees) is “throwing away the holy trinity of MMO’s” then there’s reason for potential. That the game wasn’t rushed leads me to believe it’s going to follow through and I can’t wait to check it out. If you really do want all the juicy details, I recommend Vayne‘s thoughts because he really reviews the game as it gets set to launch on August 28th.
I’m not going out and getting the game the day it launches either. But, unless it miraculously flops and all the reviews say it isn’t worth it, then I’ll have it before 2013. So, I’ll be playing it of course. I’m at a point in life where I can’t justify my time and energy into two MMO’s. What I can reasonably do, though, is play Guild Wars 2 the way I’d like and still do enough WoW stuff like Laid Back Raids and what have you. Again, the no-subscription model helps me achieve that.
It really is hard to put into words just what it is about ArenaNet’s upcoming blockbuster that has me excited, without reviewing everything that they’re doing. If there’s enough interest, I can put it into perspective for us WoW players in a later post (just ask). I said I don’t think it will kill WoW, and deep down I’m hoping it forces Blizzard to step things up. I’ve eluded to being a wrestling fan in other posts and one of the best time periods was “The Monday Night Wars.” Why? Competition benefitted fans. The MMO industry is no different. It’s gotten stagnant and WoW does a great job of taking what other games do and make it better in their own game (achievements is a great example of this). There’s really been no challenge to Azeroth, where enough players turned and looked the other way…and kept looking. I think Blizzard needs that in order to really take Warcraft to the next level. And yes, I believe ArenaNet is the gust of wind to help that.
It’s a game that isn’t about end-game. It’s a game that can have cross-server guilds, a main source of healing being you, and a skill set that you can customize but is also dependent on what type of weapon your character has at the time. A game where standing there and taking damage isn’t an option. It’s about dodging. It’s…seemingly a breath of fresh air. One I’ve been looking forward to inhaling for close to two years now.
But I won’t get it on release day. I’ll give them time to work out the launch kinks and let the reviews start to pour in. See what the negative people have to say and see if the positives remain true. All the while, I will continue to enjoy World of Warcraft just as I am now. It isn’t because of Guild Wars 2 that I’m not buying Mists. It’s because Mists has done nothing to pull me in, and if I can keep playing WoW the way I am then I’m ok with that. Guild Wars 2 has done a much better job of pulling me in and combined with my complacency(?) in WoW, it’s where I’m at.
If there were nothing else on the horizon but Mists of Pandaria, I still wouldn’t purchase it. I’m happy others have enough to carry on their legacy to level 90 and so forth, and who knows…I may change my tune. I made this decision when Mists was announced and I had no idea when either was going to see release. It just so happens that as I turned my head away from the new WoW content, there’s this big old dragon’s head smiling with all kinds of loot underneath him. If I venture into her lair, I’ll still come back to the inn for fun and comradery.