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So a few days ago I put out a tweet and wrote a blog about expansion hype, both of which was prompted by Guild Wars 2 and the incoming End of Dragons expansion. Initially, I was very curious about the three elite specs that were previewed and was eager to try my hand at the game again to see if perhaps I’m in the right mood for the MMO.

That was all before I watched a large portion of an official beta preview stream, primarily for MOP work purposes and also partially for my own curiosity. And after having gone through that video, I am now significantly less interested in both End of Dragons and GW2. And it’s all thanks to some extremely bad presentation.

Among the devs that were in the presentation was Cal Cohen, one of GW2’s game designers, and this poor bastard was one of the worst people to be put in front of a camera. The dude looked and sounded nervous as all hell, he had the personality of wet bread, and he may have very well been wet bread with the absolutely massive amounts of water he was drinking. The guy was sweatslick from the pressure, his voice sounded like someone who was going to snap in half at any moment, and he kept on clearing his throat every seven damn seconds. On top of that, the actual class presentation was granular to the point of inanity as he droned on and on and on about the skills and boons of each spec.

Now it’s entirely possible that this livestream was not intended for someone like me, the hyper-casual player. It’s very likely that this entire stream was meant for the metagaming, theorycrafting, build refining kind of player. Also, I don’t doubt that Mr. Cohen is extremely good at what he does — his skills as a game dev are not being called to question. What my complaint is that, as someone who is passing curious about returning to GW2 and interested in these new specs, this presentation was drier than a desert in an oven, and Cohen was an awful choice to be on-camera.

Being in a presentation of this level of depth requires the presenter to have something a bit closer to charisma and this dude was not it. It was such an ordeal to watch that it has done active and very possibly irreversible harm to my interest not only in End of Dragons but in Guild Wars 2 entirely. The argument could certainly be made that my interest was threadbare at best if it was shaken by simply watching a video, but at the same time I’d argue that ArenaNet would want to drive interest and showcase how cool things are. Instead we got a systems guy who is very meticulous and detail-oriented forced to sit in front of a camera and use skills that he clearly doesn’t have.

I do feel for Mr. Cohen, genuinely. That whole stream is now the stuff of meme legend, and again I don’t doubt that he’s good for the Guild Wars 2 development team. But if there happens to be another class showcase, I desperately hope that ArenaNet has someone join them who can be a lot more engaging. Meanwhile, I’m going to have to process whether chasing this expansion hype is even worth it for me now.