Look closely at those who patronize you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.

Play the game, not the UI

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey, game designer! That’s about the stupidest thing ever typed.” And it kind of is. How else are you going to play the game? The way we mean it is: Since we are creating a living online world in which you heroically spend your time, we want you to viscerally experience that world.
                  Ben Miller, Game Designer, ArenaNet.

I know a certain set of MMO developers think that all players are dribbling innocents whose pretty little minds are preoccupied throughout the day by nothing but kittens and lollipops, but players have been talking about this for some time. No, really.

Respect the player

We respect you—as a player, as a human being.

“We think you’re clueless. But we respect you for it.”

It’s wonderful that you’re making a game for players, ArenaNet, truly. But could you stop making out that you’re single-handedly re-inventing the genre? When what you’re actually doing is implementing various features that players have been requesting (and subsequently been ignored over) for years.


What we have are these ‘buttons’, and you can ‘press’ them to activate ‘abilities’. We want you to be able to intuitively control your character’s actions using the input device of your PC.

Okay, okay, I made that last one up.

Melmoth—resignedly awaiting the invention of the device which allows ArenaNet to patronisingly ruffle one’s hair over the Internet.

6 thoughts on “Look closely at those who patronize you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught.

  1. spinks

    I’m glad I am not the only one who thought that. I’m sure the vast majority of game designers want to make games that are fun, also.

  2. Zubon

    I support rumination on and explicit implementation of the obvious and the familiar. With so many people failing at the basics, intentionally focusing on them can be an enormously good thing. People frequently forget things that “go without saying.”

  3. Vic Sandman

    I agree with Zubon. Sometimes, it feels like devs forget about the core of the experience, instead focusing on the next big gimmick or feature, resulting in a lacking base. GW2 seems to focus on creating a solid basis for a good MMO experience, which is something that most MMOs don’t have.

    Personally, having played through a beta weekend and a stress test, I must say that I’ve found GW2 to be a truly fun and solidly-built game. A true massively multiplayer role-playing game, emphasis on the massively-multiplayer part.

  4. nugget

    Well, I’ve recently picked up Infinity Blade II for the iPad, and combat-wise it’s almost everything I hoped GW2 combat would be – that GW2 fails to live up to.


    Of course, there’s the small matter of not actually MOVING your character in Infinity Blade II but XD.

    IB2’s combat is SO intuitive and SO fluid and SO fun that.. OMG if MMOs had melee combat like this, you couldn’t pry my melee weapons from my cold dead hands.

    And this is from someone who usually plays ranged.

    Not only that, but the balanced (sword/board), light (dual wield) and heavy (HUUUUGE 2Handers) actually *feel* extremely different in play.

    I know what I’ll be doing on my 11 hour flight shipment of a nugget to Australia. XD

  5. nugget

    (Oh yeah, that ramble above is because this is one of the few games where I could say ooh yeah play the game not the UI. It really feels… viscerally wonderfully rippy rip rip.)

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