Guild Wars 2 has finally hit store shelves and the game, according to just about everyone, is a lot of fun. The full sequel to the popular game Guild Wars has been in development for a full five years; Guild Wars originally debuted in 2005. Today is the first day anyone could play; pre-orders were given a three day headstart that kicked off on the 25th. Like its predecessor, Guild Wars 2 is an MMO without a monthly subscription fee; character development and story arcs are handled by dynamic events rather than by static quests.
Early reviews point towards a strong story, interesting crafting system, and a streamlined form of the skills / profession system that was used in the original game. It's visually gorgeous and I have to admit, I've nearly been pressured into plunking down my own cash for it. Of course, it's launching barely a month before WoW's own Mists of Pandria is scheduled to launch; I've been spending more time in Azeroth of late, and we'll have data for you in the not-too-distant future.
One interesting (and humorous) event that's played out thus far is the game's naming/social policy. Members of the Arena.Net development team took to Reddit today to answer criticism from gamers who claimed they'd been banned for no reason. Players were invited to state their name and have the reason for the ban publicly published. Hilarity ensued.
Mind checking Invalidation?
Name: OK Chat -- Not OK: "GET THE F*ING CAVERN SCUTTER ENERGIES YOU F***sses."
Character Name: lol
Name: OK Chat -- Not Ok: "This isn't Africa, you don't adopt black kids."
I Am using the name niegromancer as a character name. Is this why i was given a 3 day blocked access
Yes, that is why your account was suspended.
My name is "The Skylar" ... Could you tell me what I did
Name: OK Chat: Not ok -- "wantting copper b**ches, eat d**k, GAAYYY
It goes on. And on. At least one fellow admitted that naming his character "Adolf Critler" wasn't very funny. While this sort of action inevitably brings on the "OMG FREE SPEECH" reactions, Arena.Net is a company, not the government. The rules of free speech in a public forum don't apply. It's also interesting to see how many people with inoffensive names apparently have no recollection of blatantly offensive things they spewed into public chat.
Arena.Net has said from the beginning that it wants GW2 to be a place that's inclusive and welcoming to everyone. One of the purposes of the Reddit thread
, beyond amusing all of us, was to quickly inform players if their accounts had been hacked. The team has been extremely responsive with responses and notified a number of users of problems that weren't name related.