Guild Wars 2 Launches Dirty

Pointing out the problems with an MMO launch makes one a hater, of course. But despite the label I am enjoying Guild Wars 2 thus far, no matter the issues — at least once the dealbreaking issue of not being able to log in was fixed. That’s the one unforgivable issue you can’t overlook.

And some people are still reporting it, although it’s hard to say how many of those folks have issues on the user end. A lot, to read ArenaNet’s note on the subject, although I would like to think that folks read the fine print when they elected to reserve a copy using the traditional method rather than pre-purchasing… but then, some retail outlets, notably Best Buy, were very unclear about how this whole thing was going to work.

Other, lesser issues abound. Lag is still sometimes an issue. The event in the Charr starter instance is stuck on the stage before the boss. Players are getting kicked from guilds randomly, and guilds can’t send invites. The Trading Post is still down. The forums are still down. This launch cannot yet be called a catastrophe, but it’s been far, far from clean.

There are excuses to be made, of course. And maybe everything will be cleaned up come the true launch on Tuesday. But if I had to guess I’d say the problems will get worse when that happens. I have little doubt that things will sort themselves out eventually, and I personally am inclined to be lenient when the game is fun and novel and the difficulties aren’t game-breaking, and they aren’t at the moment.

I have my main up to level 18 and did my first brief batch of WvWvW, and it was a lot of fun. I can definitely see the great game design at work here through the swarm of bugs. When it’s working it really does sing.

5 responses to “Guild Wars 2 Launches Dirty

  1. Well, come on, this is an MMO launch after all. And if we compare it to nearly every other one in the last five years, it’s doing darn well. Lag hasnt been an issue at all for me and a lot of the bugs are solved simply by relogging, the charr intro being one of them. Not to mention, we can nitpick about the game being down for a few hours but most MMOs have that or something similar on day one. It’s been fine since. Plus there is no queue which is such a huge bonus it has to be given its proper due. Yeah, servers were down but if this were any other launch those three hours would have been spent waiting in line. Or worse yet, waiting for servers to come back up to then wait in line.

    I agree that the launch has had rough points and that there are bugs to be addressed. But they are small with the exception of the AH. To be honest, having been a part of nearly every major AAA MMO launch in the last five years, this has by far been one of the best experiences. Some of it is game design (no mob and node stealing) but the rest is technical and I think they’ve done well.

    I don’t mean this as an attack on you at all, by the way. Just offering a counterpoint from my own experience so far.

  2. I would never label you a hater. A combination of white knighting from the fan base and the lack of nuance in 140 characters means that anyone speaking up about problems is going to get labeled. I didn’t have nearly the problems that most people had, but I would be an idiot to assume that means everyone else is lying about their experience.

    I really hope that the fanboyism subsides at some point. I really like to have some honest conversations about this game.

  3. Not calling you a hater, but really… there’s rarely ever any “major” MMO launch that goes without issues. In fact, I’d venture to say that MMOs pretty much always have problems at launch. They always either underestimate the population and general amount of activity they get, or have bugs/glitches along the way that people find.

    I work for a software company (granted, not a game dev), and I can tell you that there are some things that can only be found by the public for some reason or another. You can put all the testing in the world into something, and there will still be ways it will break.

    Not you, obviously, but others, are pointing to the bugs as a sign of GW’s failure, when in fact, ANet is handling the launch brilliantly. These individuals in this case are either ignorant or completely naive about software and game releases. OMG I FOUND A BUG, WORST GAEM EVAR.

  4. I think I’ve been pretty even-handed about the game, and I haven’t been shy about saying I’m enjoying GW2 a great deal… but somebody did whine on Twitter about something I said.