GW2: A Better Mouse Wheel

I have said often enough on random game boards and in conversation with other pvp’ers that if you build a decent mouse wheel the mouse will run forever. I don’t know what the perfect wheel will involve but the one thing I know for sure is that most mmo companies and developers haven’t even tried. They build their silly little Skinner boxes and port it over to PvP thinking it might finally satiate us, that our drive towards carnage can somehow be fulfilled with shiny things.. Sorry but we’re not Skritt, even if we do appear as brainless at times.

Looking at the mouse you may wonder why it keeps running when there is no aim or reward, it is not going anywhere in particular and has no real direction. That is us… a primarily misunderstood subsection that only a few have actually taken the time to study. When you do find out its rather easy, we do it, we run endlessly on the wheel solely because we enjoy the act. There is only us and the wheel. Killing and combat is its own reward, progression is being defeated and learning from our mistakes, gaining knowledge of ourselves and enemy. A hypothetically endless amount of content for us to run on near infinitely, that is of course if you can manage to build a decent mouse wheel first and so far it has been rather hard to find a functioning one let alone a well made one.

Sure people may leave even if you do, even though I didn’t play I have heard numerous times that DAoC appeared to have a decent one but people still left there but that certainly took a lot longer to leave then the current generation. The mouse wheel can feel old eventually and it may be good to have more modern features or just a new coat of paint. In the end what matters though is that it is a device tailored specifically to a certain type of mouse and not just a re-skinned Skinner box. If you look at Call of duty there’s one of your perfect mouse wheels, people continue to play that in excess and then pay again for a new coat of paint. They have a well designed product tailored to their market of blood thirsty murderers.

I was wondering when I would see the mmo version of the mouse wheel. The pre-packaged Ikea version was over at War but you really can’t count that. Illum was fifty shades of stupid and rift and the rest a mere carrot when we want a bloody steak. Monster play in LotR is actually not to bad and could become more if it got a few more essentials, and then there’s Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars and its WvW is the best true mmo mouse wheel I have experienced in what feels like decades, not really that long as it feels more like dog years but it still has been a while.

the foo kharma train

the foo kharma train

The funny thing is though that WvW is pretty broken right now with critical failures of core mechanics but even in its state right now I can’t help but be pleased with it. It has been.. what, 6 months and so far I would say our guild has been raiding Wuv Wuv next to every night. Out of this 6 months I would say around 80% or maybe more has been spent killing our enemy on the borderland of our choice. The culling has always been terrible, game engine lacking, features missing or very simplistic, and there was complete lack of community building from Anet. And yet somehow they have cobbled together an enjoyable long lasting experience. It was never going to be something ultra serious like Darkfall and co. but it never needed to be. It just created a nice little playground to mess around with, it doesn’t have the sandpit but fir now it doesn’t need to as the rest is adequate.

The combat system while no where near as complex as many games in terms of class skills and character building has its own charm. The simplistic nature of it and more single minded focus on your own damage and survival makes it perfectly suited to the core experience and enabling people to quickly jump in for short or long sessions, in a group or solely, new or seasoned and still enjoy themselves. Then you have the complexities hidden under the surface for guilds and well defined groups to explore and engage in that will keep us busy theory crafting and perfecting for a while to come.

You would think the complete lack of social features implemented by Anet could have ended the whole thing rather quickly since long term carnage is fundamentally built on a strong community. Yet it amazes me what has actually been built now solely due to this lack of support. The masses have taken over and we have websites for just about every server, large population voice channels for WvW players, guild groups,people looking for group for any of the content, and generally just people getting together, talking and forming a community around their servers war efforts.

Intense rivalries that began far back as beta and even from previous games are blossoming and now bearing fruit. Whole servers fight not only for their own sense of pride but because they couldn’t stand the idea of another server beating them. As of right now there is more people in WvW on Jade Quarry then I’ve seen in a while. The boasting from Blackgate was a part of it and then we have motives of revenge against many of the Sea of Sorrows crew that are now there. Guild groups are trying to get better and continuously learning as well as logging in to beat other guilds they may continuously be fighting against. Nothing at times is a bigger motivation then revenge, our crew a while ago became very focused on beating guilds like Never Die and Hire who often had the superior numbers or tactics and wiped us out…not to mention the propaganda vid that got us a little fired up. Sometimes motivation enough to play is just grinding someone’s face in the mud, and that is truly an excellent thing for a pvp game to foster.

They nearly screwed it up as well with the ease of transfers for such an extended time but luckily the foundations stuck together long enough for guesting to be implemented. We will still see inter server moves happen for individuals and guilds, and even big changes like half of SoS deserting a sinking ship but the regularity with which these occur will be a lot less. The communities now will continue to grow beyond their humble origins with more people getting involved. It is already starting to feel more like a family at times while playing, a whole host of names you recognise, a level of respect gained for guilds and leaders, and a burgeoning sense of server pride. I even see many of the PvE massed proudly displaying their server at times now.

There is also the lack of reward in WvW compared to its PvE cousin and yet people somehow look upon this with pride at times. The masses of siege purchased and used with gold and even real world money are a badge of honour. It definitely would be nice to earn a bit more even if I have no idea what I would buy beyond more siege, but regardless we still keep playing and playing and playing and that is a testemanent to what we have here..
Gw2 tower defense

The culling issues are a serious flaw, one they are hoping to fix in the near future. While it’s only a little frustration each time you experience it, in the end it will be the games downfall if it isn’t fixed in due course. The reason I think zerging has become such a hot topic is exactly because of culling as you never can truly tell where it is and how much it contains. Diving in as a group only to discover a mass of people you never saw is a terrible feeling as the outcome of battle feels out of your control. If we could see appropriately we could make better precautions, or be more defensive not just sigh once again and res up.

In the end though it’s one of the best mmo mouse wheels out there at the moment, with little to choose from and so little in the past its no wonder I want to cling to it and enjoy every second regardless of its faults. Often I don’t even care about its fault because I’m just having so much fun, other times I fall into wishful thinking about how much better it could be. Regardless what frame of mind though I’m thankful for this experience and a rather decent mouse wheel… At long last.


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