I read a whole thread on the official forums about the Aftermath update yesterday. It was almost 100% negative but not in an unpleasant way. Not in an inaccurate way, either. I found myself nodding now and then, especially over the distaste for some of the dialog options, one or two of which went right past inappropriate into downright offensive.
Much of the dislike stemmed from the very things Jeromai picks out - supposed inconsistencies in the lore and the quality of the writing. GW1 lore is almost completely opaque to me so I'll pass on that but quality of writing is something I'm supposed not only to understand and recognize by dint of my education but which I'm required to be constantly aware of in my day job.
|I felt embarrassed to read this. Imagine if you'd written it.|
I think I've been doing a lot of that. Like Jeromai, I've been...content. It's not really good enough, is it? I think I've tended to praise the writing of the Living Story in particular and GW2 in general too highly, rather on the principle of the dog walking on its hind legs - it's not that he does it so well that pleases, it that he manages to do it at all.
|Just think of the scrap value alone.|
So, more critical rigor in future, or at least that's the plan. As for whether it's becoming ever-harder to "turn these things into a conversation point", well Zubon at KTR took someone to task recently (towards the end of this comment thread) this for expressing a disinclination to discuss in detail why we like or don't like aspects of our MMOs, his dry reply being that the commenter's position "cuts to the heart of reviewing: some things are good and some are bad. We say good things about the good and bad things about the bad."
And that is the thing. When we agree to disagree and acknowledge that much of what we might dispute is really no more than differing tastes (which often is all that it is) then we risk having very little to say to each other at all. There's seeing the other fellow's point of view and then there's refusing to engage. Of course, we can all just post screen-shots. That's always a plan.
Looking ahead to where The Living Story goes next and thereby to the prospects for GW2's future I also do think that MMO players steeped in years of playing certain MMOs that worshipped less slavishly at the altar of DIKU-MUD - City of Heroes, the original Guild Wars and Asheron's Call come immediately to mind - have a better understanding of and a higher tolerance for horizontal progression and goals that aren't primarily oriented towards a direct and tangible increase in character power.
|Going to be a lot of that come The Tourney|
It's probably true, as Jeromai suggests, that the people who complain about the lack of an expansion (I'm one of them) would be reasonably placated by new races, classes and explorable areas were those to be added through other means, but the problem is that after a year and a half there is no sign whatsoever of that happening. An expansion, even just the announcement of one, gives players confidence that there will be jam tomorrow even if the bread remains dry today.
|Repairers throughout The Mists are rubbing their hands with glee.|
Not to mention that I like buying things that plop through my letterbox with a solid THUMP. It's just much more satisfying to get that content delivered in a box all at once than dribbled out invisibly over weeks and months. Even a digital download carries something of the frisson of an actual purchase. Stuff you get free is worth what you paid for it, as the saying goes, or at least there's the risk that that's how your non-paying customers will see it.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. We have The Tourney to enjoy before Living Story Season 2 kicks off (is there even a date for Season 2? Will they overlap? If they don't will we really see no new content 'til the Summer?) and Ruined Lion's Arch, with the sad music, very nearly pays for all.