Alec Meer writes:I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve walked into a room with a monitor and a nervously-smiling man at one end and been told I’m about to see the future of MMOs. I smile back politely, and the same old dance begins. Too often, I feel a numbness, a struggle to reconcile professionally wanting to know what’s going on with personally despairing of the idea of giving over dozens of hours of my life to what’s so often a mess of cloned features and over-sold, under-realised promises. My most recent sighting of Guild Wars 2 really did break through that numbness, made me sit up straight and pay full attention. I still don’t know how much of what it’s trying to do will be practicable and effective over long-term play, but seeing it took me back to a time before my awful genre ennui, back to when every time I sat down to see a new MMO my mood was excitement, not cynicism. Here’s why.