Can Guild Wars 2 be an esport?

From the board re: “Best solution for correction in Community Attitude?” 1

I think a decent way to go about how to improve community attitude in MMOs is to fucking acknowledge it for a change, but that might be too difficult of a solution for Guild War 2’s esports wannabeism since it requires a developer actually DO SOMETHING.

Generally, I’ve always considered MMO communities to be comprised of three groups of folks: the complainers, the intended audience, and the scammers. Complainers generally include players who consider themselves hardcore that groan at every considered change in a game that would constitute changing their play style. Scammers are looking to make a buck on the game or at least ruin the play for other players by griefing them into rage fits of agony.

The intended audience in MMO communities are only a handful of users at any given point in the game’s lifetime. These players are the casual players who play less than ten hours a week, the dedicated players who run group content more than three days a week, and players who are just flat-out interested in the game and the story that it generates. They’re not cunts like the other two groups of players, but they’re mild-mannered and they don’t speak out enough for outsiders looking in to truly appreciate them.

Some complainers might be the target audience for a lot of competitive gaming, but catering to them risks drawing the ire of the rest of the upstanding community who just wants to play their game with friends. RPGs like Guild Wars are generally viewed as the casual MMO where there isn’t a monthly fee and content is purely a la carte, perfect for the player in the intended audience group.

Adding competitive features to a genre of game with a pretty limited PVP experience (such as modern successful MMO, World of Warcraft, soon to be called World of Pay to Win), isn’t the direction to head in. It has competitive features already: it’s called PVP.

Spectating games like these also raises the issue of viewership—it is inevitably going to be shit without direct developer support and the level of reworking that Blizzard never gave to its 3v3 arena system.

For my last point, let’s get on the circular logic train for a moment.

  • Playing a game is the fastest way to get engaged in a game’s community.
  • The game’s community eventually wants to make PVP popular.
  • Making PVP popular requires playing the game.

HOOOOLD UP. Did you disembark the circular logic train? I hope so. Here’s the revelation you should’ve picked up: making X popular isn’t about making PVP popular to the rest of the community, it’s about persuading the community to PLAY YOUR GAME in the first place.

“Yeah, Guild Wars 2’s PVP is going to give a swift kick in the cunt to Soon-to-be-named-World of Pay to Win. It’ll be GLORIOUS.” No no no.

“Guild Wars 2 is going to be a great game because of [describe shit you can do in it that has nothing to do with PVP]. And the community isn’t that bad to boot!” YES. OVER 9000 TIMES YES.