Most any time a new MMO comes out, one of the first questions that's inevitably asked is, "Can it play against World of Warcraft?". The reason that question is as inevitable as it is, of course, is because pretty much every MMO that's come out in the last, oh, five years or so has been quickly outmatched by the wunderkind Blizzard
rolled out. As for the answer, from the way the early going looks, it's a safe bet to say "it's got a chance."
How can we tell? While admittedly, there's only so much to go on--the game is technically just now active--the early indications suggest that something very big is going on in the land of Guild Wars 2
. One character has actually managed to already hit the level cap; yes, that's right, one lone French gamer, backed up by guild supplies, has managed to hit level 80 before the game technically opened. There are already videos--one such video currently on YouTube managed to distill the storyline behind Guild Wars 2 into a one-minute package, and it did a reasonably good job of explaining things--and some have even gone in to analyze the economy of the game's mercantile system.
Basically, there is a lot of love out there for this game. The fact that it's something of a sequel certainly doesn't hurt, and that's enough to make me think that this package, overall, probably has enough firepower behind it to at least make people think about putting down the World of Warcraft for a while and branching out a bit. This whole business with Pandaria hasn't exactly been helpful, either.
While World of Warcraft is likely to remain the dominant MMO--it has, in recent days, been losing some subscribers--it's clear that no one wants to just stand idly by and let WoW
keep its top rank unchallenged. This is, of course, great for the market and great for consumers who may well be wanting a little something different from WoW's standard lineup by now.