Guild Wars 2, and the Player Dynamic of Online Gaming

 

So, lately I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 (It’s awesome and you should try it out if you haven’t already, by the way). A funny thing happened to me the other day. I can’t recall exactly what I was up against,  but after a certain point in my early wanderings, my luck ran out – I couldn’t take them all on, and my last stand was…less than glorious. I was dead.

A random player happened upon the area: I’d never seen him before, and we’d never had any prior affiliation. He proceeded to slaughter the foes which ended my life. Just as I was about to return to a waypoint, he paused, turned, and revived me, then continued on his merry way without so much as a word.

This sort of thing, I’ve come to learn, is normal in the game world- even if it’s  tacitly unusual in pretty much every other MMO on the face of the planet. Curious, isn’t it?

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Is The Traditional MMORPG Business Model Dying?

The MMO simply isn’t the powerhouse that it used to be. When it released back in 2004, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft effectively took the industry by storm, gathering millions of subscribers in a matter of months and transforming them into one of the most instantly recognizable gaming organizations in the world (though, to be fair, they’d kind of already managed that with Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo.) WoW’s had a good, long run, crushing virtually every competitor that attempted to step up and challenge them, but for over a year now, even they’ve been losing subscribers by the millions.

It would appear that it’s time for a change.

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