Guild Wars 2 Ranger Profession | WoW Hunter Rip-Off
A Strong Sense of Deja-Vu
Guild Wars 2, which is not only not out
at the time of writing, but doesn't even have a release date, is drip
feeding the gaming public information about their new classes in the
hopes of stirring up anticipation. Because Guild Wars 2 is going to be awesome and innovative. It's going to blow the socks off all the MMORPGs gone before. We will be singing the praises of Guild Wars 2 to the heavens for eternity. Or maybe we won't.
Prior to the Ranger class, the Guild Wars 2 team released details about the Elementalist and the Warrior, and because I'm not planning on playing either of those classes, I didn't pay much attention. However, when I played WoW (World of Warcraft) I played a Hunter, so the Ranger class is of some interest to me. I was looking forward to seeing what Guild Wars 2 was going to do to advance the class.
Imagine my disappointment when the Guild Wars team put on their best straight faces and released the 'exciting' news that the Ranger class in Guild Wars 2 would be a straight WoW Hunter rip off. Of course, they didn't say that, they left that to their potential player base to figure out, which didn't take long.
Let's compare the WoW Hunter class to this exciting, innovative Guild Wars 2 Ranger class.
In WoW, hunters use pets, which they tame at a low level and which gain experience points as they accompany the hunter on his or her quests. As the pet continues to level, you are able to teach it abilities from its pet tree.
In Guild Wars 2, rangers will charm juvenile animals, which will gain experience points as they accompany the ranger on his or her quests. As the pet continues to gain experience, you are able to teach it abilities from its pet tree.
In WoW, hunters are a primarily ranged class that use their pets for inflicting damage or drawing the ire of mobs whilst the hunter kills them.Pets can be set to Aggressive, Defensive or Passive, and can also be commanded to Attack, Heel, or Stay.
In Guild Wars 2, rangers are primarily a ranged class that will use their pets for inflicting damage or drawing the ire of mobs whilst the ranger kills them. Pets can be set to Aggressive, Defensive or Passive, and can also be commanded to Attack, Heel, or Stay.
In WoW, hunters use traps to inflict damage, slow down enemies, and allow themselves to get into ranged distance.
In Guild Wars 2, rangers use traps to inflict damage, slow down enemies, and allow themselves to get into ranged distance.
Seeing a pattern yet?
The only two noticeable differences between a GW2 ranger and a WoW hunter is that the GW2 ranger will be able to have shark pets (in aquatic regions) and summon 'spirits'.
When, oh when are MMORPGs going to stop blatantly ripping off WoW in an attempt to be successful? If I want to play a WoW hunter, I can play WoW. The whole draw of Guild Wars 2 was the alleged idea that it would be somehow different, somehow new. But it would seem that all they're really planning on doing is rehashing tired old mechanics, fancying them up with pretty graphics and hoping that gets people to pick the game up off the shelf. What a boring and cynical approach to game development.
Ironically, the video released along with the Ranger class seems strangely, well, off. The graphics have the polish that we've come to expect from Guild Wars, but seeing a bunch of rangers stand in line, rapidly firing arrows without apparently even needing to reach back and nock a new arrow every time shows the downside of having improved graphics if you can't be bothered to make them make sense. In Guild Wars 2, rangers literally just yank at the bow string over and over again, firing invisible, never ending arrows as if they're firing a gun. This may seem like a pedantic gripe, but as the point of improved graphics is theoretically to increase realism and game immersion, it makes little sense if you can't be bothered making your shiny animations coherent.
The sad thing about this is that it will no doubt be defended by people who are looking forward to Guild Wars 2 and disillusioned with WoW in a sort of that-hot-ex-I-can't-forget-about way. Guild Wars 2 could pretty much clone WoW and they'd still buy it. But gamers deserve better. Do we really want to spend the rest of our lives playing ever shinier versions of the same hunter class we could play in the 90's? I don't.
Guild Wars 2 use the world 'evolve' a great deal in their description of the ranger class, providing a rich source of bitter irony for those of us who note that evolve is the one thing they've utterly failed to do.