Monday, June 13, 2005

Guild Wars

I'm not playing Guild Wars (and stop sending those e-mails), but many of you are, and the reactions I've received have been almost universally positive. DQ reader Doug Walsh shared some excerpts from the weekly Guild Wars update, and now I know why people are so impressed. Here's an excerpt:

We know that some players currently engage in repetitive farming activities for the primary purpose of unlocking skills and items for PvP. Rather than preserving the effectiveness of farming for this purpose, it is our intention to address the larger issue of the need for farming by assessing how players acquire and unlock items, runes, and skills, and then by taking steps to ensure that players can acquire and unlock these things through normal gameplay. We believe that the most effective way to play the game should also be the most fun way to play the game. You can expect to see the first meaningful changes towards this goal next week.

That's one of the single most intelligent statements I've ever heard from a developer. Instead of freaking out and banning five thousand accounts at a time, the developers accept the responsbility for making gameplay changes to mitigate the desirability of farming. That's brilliant. And the phrase "the most effective way to play the game should also be the most fun way to play the game" should be taped to the top of every game designer's monitor.

Guild Wars has no monthly subscription fee. There's been quite a bit of discussion around new content and features and how they would be handled. Well, they're being handled logically: new features will be free, while new content must be purchased. That seems entirely fair.

Just seeing how clearly these guys are thinking through issues makes me want to play this game.

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