Realistic game preview

GW2 Norn scholar armorArenaNet recently sent several screenshots to Guild Wars Insider and the reaction of the gaming community was… mixed, at best. I wonder if they had expected such a reaction or if it took them by surprise. Now, what happened? The culprit is the picture you can see on the left (if you want to see the screenshot in its full size, please click on the first link).

Now I don’t want to discuss the rights and wrongs of sexy-revealing armor. In the end, I think it’s really up to personal preference and opinion. I want to write about why we reacted the way we did. Of course, I can only really speak for myself here. But I’ll just assume I’m not alone. ;)

When I first saw those screenshots, I was disappointed and it took a while to figure out why. That’s the bad thing about emotions. We do not always know immediately why we react in a certain way. ;) When I look at this, I think it looks nice. It’s aesthetically pleasing. And yet, I was disappointed. So what’s the problem here? – Unmet expectations (which, by the way, reminds me of Skyrim). I was hoping they wouldn’t go the usual “sex sells”-marketing route. If they show a revealing outfit like that, why don’t they also show a non-revealing cloth outfit (which can be just as sexy if you ask me)? They have previously said that their armour is all about giving the player choices but we don’t see any choices here now and I would have preferred to see exactly this choice in the screenshots. Maybe in a week or two we will see such pictures and all the rage was for nothing (if anybody from ArenaNet happens to read this: pleasepleaseplease, can I see a screenshot like this? ^^). ;)

What it did prove, however, is that we all have very high expectations for Guild Wars 2. And with this, it is easy to disappoint us. Maybe we should engage in some kind of “realistic game preview”. We should look closely at what ArenaNet shows us, tells us about the game etc. and while praising ArenaNet for all the great ideas they have and the bold decisions they take (remember: no healers!), we should also look at all the stuff that is in the game which annoys us in current MMOs already. Because then we know what to expect and we won’t be as disappointed. Guild Wars 2 will not be perfect (and it will definitely not be the game every single MMO player is waiting for) and it’s about time we realise this.

Yes, Guild Wars 2 will just be another fantasy MMORPG. It will have bugs. And we will cry about what they put into their real-money shop. We will scream and yell about the imbalance between the classes! And don’t even get me started on pet pathing which hasn’t been too terrific in any of the games I’ve played so far. ;) At the same time, hopefully, we will also enjoy the game and find a new “virtual home” for ourselves. We will hopefully walk around and be in awe at the amazing world they created (while listening to an amazing soundtrack).