Guild Wars 2’s half successful launch

, | Games

As an online game that you jump into to play simultaneously with a bunch of other people, the launch of Guild Wars 2 was remarkably successful. But as a game with the name “guild” in the title, the launch of Guild Wars 2 was an unmitigated disaster. I guess you could say they got it half right.

After the jump, belonging to clubs that wouldn’t have you as a member

Quarter to Three has a guild with about 70 people at this point (post your account name in the comments and I’ll gladly send you a guild invite as soon as I can). I say we have about 70 people, but many of them aren’t in the guild yet, because the guild feature collapsed suddenly and dramatically just after the game launched. My friends list is corrupted and my account is unable to participate in guilds, including the one I started. And since I was in the process of typing account names into the invite window, no one else had invite privileges yet. Furthermore, ArenaNet claims there’s no way to promote anyone in the guild, which I find hard to believe, but what do I know about technical issues? The bottom line is that we’re unable to get new people into the guild.

This is a huge issue, particularly in the first few days of a game’s launch, when the social element is a big part of the appeal. I’m not sure how widespread the issue is, and ArenaNet hasn’t addressed the situation much beyond mentioning it on their support page, where they say they’re “investigating”. In my experience, that’s the sort of thing you say when you don’t have any idea when something is going to be fixed. I’ve been given a couple of unofficial estimates about a fix, but those didn’t pan out. There’s also no apparent way to contact a GM or request support from within the game. The game’s official forums are closed.

To be fair, I haven’t seen any of the usual launch issues, such as login queues, broken quests, interface failings, or connectivity problems. Aside from the guild issue, the launch has been surprisingly smooth for me. And from a design perspective, Guild Wars 2 is a thing of absolute beauty. I cannot stress enough how much I love this game. It does so many things right, many of them things that other MMOs have been doing wrong for years. The user-friendliness, the amount of dynamic activity in the world, the freedom to explore, the encouragement to collect, the option to experiment, the staggering variety, the lack of a subscription fee, the autoleveling gimmicks. And the multiplayer. Oh, that multiplayer. I can think of almost no MMO that has this much breadth and depth in the multiplayer.

I’m playing a cat with a flamethrower. I’m not using cat in the hipster sense. Literally a cat. These cats are called charr. Get it? They’re called charr and I have a flamethrower. Check it out:

That’s me going all Robert DeNiro in Deer Hunter.

I know some folks might be skeptical about the underwater stuff, and I can’t blame them. You have to deal with a new set of skills and a slightly wonky Z-axis. But I’m sold. Here I am trying to capture the underwater point in a PvP map. It’s a killing frenzy down here.

One of the events I really like has me protecting an adorable little submarine from swarms of saboteurs.

It reminds me of the scene in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea when a horde of savages attacks the Nautilus. Nemo used electricity to drive them away. I prefer fire. Speaking of fire, I’m a sucker for crafting. The sillier, the better. Look what I just invented:

Also this:

But I’m mostly known for my blueberry cookies. That’s not a joke at all.

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