Now that the Sony Online Entertainment debacle is dying down, The Guild Wars 2 Engineer might have been the biggest controversy in MMO-land all last week. Truly a love-it-or-hate-it class, the Engineer sparked some serious discussion. Massively reader Kalec delved a little deeper with some great insight on the concept of both magic and science evolving together in the same MMO:
I never played the original Guild Wars (though I always knew it was worthwhile, the fact it was heavily instanced put me off), but when I heard about Guild Wars 2 I said I'd give it a look. When I realized it would be some sort of steampunk (I don't remember the context, but I know there was a lot of metal and a huge tank-looking thing surrounded by dozens of Charr), I immediately fell in love. While I like high fantasy and the such, I never get enough of it, but steampunk, man that really gets to me.
I love the idea that magic exists in a world that science may also play a role in, where maybe another civilization never discovered magic or decided to combine magic with technology (Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends anyone?). Why should a Mage be able to shoot fire from his hands but a normal bloke can't make a flamethrower?
I love the idea of magic evolving separately from science or a civilization that not only combines them but can't imagine a world where one would exist without the other (Asura).
The full comment thread included discussion on gameplay, graphics, and how suited (or unsuited) the Engineer is to the Guild Wars 2
world. It's an interesting read even for those who aren't following development of the upcoming game.
Marvel Universe Online
has seen its share of controversy lately too. Our recent post highlighting comments from Gazillion Entertainment's David Brevik
caused readers to share opinions on both sides of the fence. SiML
expressed some concerns that are shared by a fair number of people keeping an eye on this game:
I still haven't heard one reason why this is an MMO over what appears essentially to be Marvel Ultimate Alliance Online. No player-created toons, no chance to exercise your own creative ideas for characters; [this] equals a massive misreading of the number one top reason players love superhero MMOs in my honest opinion. I'll give it a shot but only ever as Marvel Ultimate Alliance Online, and I will never invest microtransaction money in a toon in which I do not feel creatively invested. Big opportunity missed, however Marvel/Secret Identity studios spins it.
Probably almost as many players share a differing opinion: Try the game before condemning it, because maybe it's not as bad as it sounds. Julius Seizure
Look at the story in other games for a moment. Notice how limited the options are, how the story your character goes through is extremely generic -- about the only option you have to differentiate from others' characters is to elect to not do certain quests.
Certain upcoming games like The Old Republic are doing a bit to fix this, with intricate and branching stories, but even that only has so many optional paths, all of which branch back into the main story for the important beats. MUO looks like it may solve the problem from another angle by giving highly personalised stories specific to the character you play, while still allowing you to make decisions that affect the way the story plays out.
On top of that, it's giving all players access to a great many characters to play and explore their storylines, apparently without limit, save whatever unlocking process they may have in place. The only thing it's sacrificing is the capacity to name and customise the look of your characters. Those things are very nice, but I don't see why they have to be in every game, especially if sacrificing that allows new avenues of gameplay and immersion to be explored. The likes of Vindictus already take some of that choice away from you.
It's not like playing this game will prevent you playing other games that do allow you that freedom. I mean, it's F2P.
There are many more opinions and comments in the original comment thread
-- they're definitely worth checking out, especially if you've missed it until now.
Take a peek at the stories that inspired these comments, then let us know what you think! Finally, big thanks to Kalec, SiML, and Julius Seizure for your insights this week!
Global Chat is the weekly feature that's all about you, our readers. Every Sunday we collect the best, funniest, and most thought-provoking comments from the Massively readers and round them up into Global Chat for discussion. Read over them for yourself, hit the comment button, and add your own thoughts!