The February patch has come and is now live for Guild Wars 2, and after the hype that has seen the build-up to the final release there are some very strong reactions to the update.
The newest update for the Living Story is live and active, with portals opening and disgorging dredge and flame legion attackers in the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau. Massed groups of players have gathered in both regions to oppose to apparent inter-dimensional invasion, enough to have both regions using their overflow areas on multiple servers for hours after the patch release.
Aside from the invasions, with achievements for how many invaders are felled, several of the refugees have lost possessions in the two zones, offering further achievements and extra glimpses of the evolving story being steadily revealed.
These gatherings of players have brought certain dynamics together in low-level zones that are otherwise entirely absent from them, giving new players a glimpse of what they can one day claim for themselves.
Unfortunately, the PvP side of the update proved significantly less positive of an experience. While back in January the February patch was indicated as being a very PvP-focused one, the actual release saw only a single new map being provided and a shift in the way static PvP is handled with the removal of paid tournaments.
Even worse, that new map, the only true update to the PvP side of the game, didn’t work. For the first hour or so it was available, the map had a bug whereby players weren’t respawning after their first death. While the bug was fixed quickly, the reaction was only to be expected.
While Arenanet tried to back down from many of its early comments about the PvP content being updated and included, the expectations were already set. Matchmaking remains a largely invisible factor, and one that is still under experimentation. The forums lit up quickly with PvP fans raging about the lack of new content or updates almost immediately.
Still, not all were so down on Arenanet, and I am one of those who is still patiently optimistic. The game has no subscription, and I would rather see it take its time to get the content and updates that have been hinted at right rather than rush content that is filled with bugs.
Guild Wars 2 has probably missed the window in which it could get everything stable and immediately jump onto the scene as an e-sport, but since every single person who has bought the game is and always will be a potential competitor, I doubt it will take much longer once it is ready.