Let me finally talk about Guild Wars 2 since it’s been out for a few days. I’ve often thought (and sometimes directly stated) that I would love to be able to play an MMO that did not have raiding as an ultimate end-game objective. In fact, I wanted to play an MMO that did not include organized raiding at ALL in any form. I’m just not a real fan of raiding, so my interest in an MMO typically declines after I get near or at the point where my characters will need to begin regularly raiding in order to make more progress. If a game has other stuff to do besides raiding, then that other stuff will hold my interest for a while, but in the back of my mind, I know that it’s still going to end up being all about raiding and the raid grind unless I purposely hold back my characters from reaching max level, as I’ve done in Everquest 2. I focus more on crafting and quests there, and attempt to ignore the raid game as much as possible.
I’m mostly a solo player. I don’t mind big raid group events on a once-in-a-while basis when the rare mood hits me, but raiding in general requires regular commitment to particular times and to bunches of other people. I don’t want to have to obligate myself to regularly playing with a large group of people that often. I get too burned out when there are so many days when I am extremely sick and exhausted of being around people and just want to play by myself or with a small group of friends during my free time. MMO’s that include raiding ultimately do not allow this type of relaxation after a certain point. Although one may argue that we are not forced to raid in MMOs, and that we can choose to do other things in the game besides raiding, the raid game still ends up being the major focus and requires a large chunk of game dev attention.
So my long-time desire has been for a large-scale MMO that just didn’t have any raids at all. No raids. No raiding guilds. No dev focus on raids. No equipment or benefits that only raiders can get. None. Nothing. Nil. Much to my delight, Guild Wars 2 has so far fulfilled this wish for me. My greatest fear now is that players will whine so much about no end-game content (specifically raids), that the devs will cave and put them in, kind of like Mythic did with Dark Age of Camelot back when Trials of Atlantis was released and raiding was then made a requirement for Realm vs. Realm. The fact that the devs didn’t include raiding in Guild Wars 1 continues to give me hope it won’t happen in the long-term.
In fact, the only things that I find to be lacking in Guild Wars 2 are more of the sandbox features such as player housing. Supposedly, it’s on the dev list for later though. If housing and other similar sandbox features get implemented, Guild Wars 2 may very well end up being the perfect MMO for me. NO organized raiding! NO holy trinity! YAY! I can play any character and not be held back because I leveled up a gimp class.
I do think I will revise some of my current gaming goals though since there is only time for so much. In SWTOR, I’m going to drop my PvP goals for now and just focus on PvE storylines. I haven’t been playing Sacred since I started focusing more on Fallout 3, so I’ll put that game on the temporary back burner. Because of the MMO’s, I’m having some difficulty keeping up with more than one single player game. I plan to continue focusing on Fallout 3 until I’ve explored everything and gotten every achievement, and then I’ll likely focus back on Morrowind again. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.
Current gaming goals:
- Fallout 3 (Xbox 360): Discover all locations in Point Lookout
- Guild Wars 2 (PC): Get
Chefand Artificer to 75 with Sabine
- Guild Wars 2 (PC): Complete Gendarran Fields with Sabine
- SWTOR (PC): Complete Alderaan main quest with Jai’zhi
- Everquest 2 (PC): Complete A Gathering Obsession for Tier 6 with Drusi
- Torchlight (Xbox 360): Get max level of 100/55 with Sabine (currently 80/55)