Monday, November 17, 2008

Guild wars to tide me over. . .

I still don't know if/when I am coming back to Wow. I havent really gotten that far. I did put out feelers to my friends that I know play to see who plays where. What I was really looking for was an Alliance PvE server. Nobody that I know plays on one currently. Wow isnt my ideal game, but in looking around, it appears to be the best of what's out there. I don't know if that justifies coming back, I'm still working on that decision.

When I sent out messages to my friends to see who plays where, I got a reply back that one of my friends from college started playing Guild Wars. I had written this game off previously because I'd heard it was heavily centered around PvP. Well, its $20.00, no monthly fee, and I have a friend who plays. I figured at worst, I play it a couple hours, get bored with it, and quit. I'd be out $20.00, no big loss.

I have a few observations about that game both good and bad. First of all on the good side: I really like the ability to pick primary and secondary classes. Primary gives you a "special" class only ability and controls armor you wear, but you can select skills and abilities from either class. As an example, I picked warrior as my primary. I had an option of going straight warrior, picking monk as secondary to go more paladin, necromancer to be more of a deathknight, or some other combo. It really gives you a lot of variety. The other feature that I think is AMAZING is that the world outside of towns is all instanced for your party. I can go kill 10 rats and not have to worry about someone else having come by and having to wait for the rats to respawn. I can solo at my leisure and don't even have to interact with other players unless I want to.

On the negative side there are a few things that take away my enjoyment from the game. First of all, where the hell is the bank? For that matter, can I get a little better marking of who does what and where? In wow there are these enormous signs or other features that mark things like the inn, AH, flightmaster, whatever. It took me almost an hour to find a vendor to sell my excess crap to and I STILL CANT FIND THE STUPID BANK. Also the crafting system shows promise, you get items, use a salvage kit to break them down into component parts and you can give those parts to an NPC to make things for you. Great in theory, but A) the salvage kits are expensive and B) I'm tired of carrying around wood planks and iron ingots. Also, I'm not getting much in the way of story or flavor from the quests, I'm just kind of running around doing things. And the text is pretty small and hard to read. And I'm allegedly almost 1/4 way to the level cap and wearing the same armor. In wow, I would have changed armor 2-3 times by level 20. I also am not crazy about the armor models. Maybe I got too used to wow with the over the top shoulder pieces and more manga-esque designs, but I like them. Also, where's my facial hair? I like the abililty to vary my height, face and haircut, but is it that hard to program a beard on someone?

All in all, I like system, quests are pretty tedious, graphics are not what I prefer, the items have promise (life stealing is my favorite feature in games). Overall I'd give it a B- so far, enjoyable enough but with plenty of room for improvement.

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