Hello again! I’m sure you’ve now gotten used to the sporadic and infrequent words that get posted here.. Not that the words themselves are sporadic or infrequent it’s just that the posting thereof is quite. (Yes, I am aware that that last sentence was stretching the bounds of correct grammar if not coloring outside of the lines completely). So, here I am again. I’ve been playing two games lately, Guild Wars 2 and WoW.
Yes, I have been playing quite a bit more Guild Wars 2 than WoW. I have been logging in to check out the 5.0.4 patch and setup my talents and glyphs and combine up all my achievements, mounts and pets. We’ve even tried to get the raid together last week to check out the recent changes. I’ve also been doing the addon dance to remove the ones that are broken and then wait for them to get updated and proceed to re-enable them. I’ve actually got my UI pretty much exactly the same as it was pre-5.0.4. I’m definitely looking forward to trying out the changes more but for now I’ve been concentrating on GW2.
So I have been playing Guild Wars 2 (GW2) since the early start because I pre-ordered the game. I really love the look of the game. I think they did a great job with a very stylized approach that combines a graphic novel feel with some more “realistically” rendered environments. Furthermore, I love how the game encourages exploration. The downleveling system makes it possible and possibly even encouraged to go to the lower level areas of the other starting zones and get your skill challenges and map completion achievements done.
The questing system is, while not “revolutionary”, a very good way to make the “kill 8 phobots” and “collect 5 cogsmageders” quests feel new and different. There is a MAIN questline that is your personal quest. This story based quest is based on your race and the answers you gave to certain questions during the character creation phase. It’s this that pulls you THROUGH the game and the individual stories of the sub-zones within each area are the filler. As you get to different areas you find tasks to do to help out the people of that spot. You are given the standard quest tasks to do however in a more natural way and with much more choice as to which activities you wish to participate in. Sometimes you can finish an area’s “heart” quests by just running around a non-hostile environment. There was one area I did where I could just take a bucket of water and walk around waking up drunk people. I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to have that in a game (ok, maybe not). I just find that while in the end, this is just the same idea as other quest hub things, the feeling is very different.
Another thing that stands out that reminded me, at first, of rift is the random events. Every area has a pre-setup selection of random world events that occur. These can be anywhere from escort quests to “defend the keep” events to “collect 5 fribbits to rebuild our submarine” events. There are many combinations and models in each event and many of these events have consequences in the world, if only temporary. There is one “defend a bridge” event that if you fail, the bridge is broken and you then get an event to defend the rebuilders so it can be recreated.
I’m also really enjoying the idea of a weapon type as being the vehicle to decide on your main abilities. Class/WeaponType are the main factors in which skills/spells you will have. 2H weapons get 5 skills that can be unlocked with use and 1H have 3. Offhands which are used with the 1H weapons have 2 that are unlocked after the 3 of the primary weapon have been unlocked. Additionally there are class level talents/spells that are unlocked using Skill Points that you receive leveling up and completing skill challenges. Some of the higher level skills are pretty sweet. Once of my “elite” skills is to summon a huge mechanical golem to help me fight.
The combat is much more chaotic than games like WoW. You don’t tend to move only because you are standing in the fire. You move because you can stay away from the mobs attacks. You have a way to manually dodge incoming attacks and general kiting is a skill that you’ll find very helpful in these battles. Of course, that depends on your class, doesn’t it. I chose, for my main, a Mesmer (which is like an illusionist). Fizh (Fizz was taken) is an Asura which is a race that vaguely resembles a cross between a gnome and a goblin. My mesmer has the ability to create illusionary copies of himself to fight mobs with. They can have up to 3 illusions up at once and they hit the target just the same as if they were real. There are many different types of “phantasms” ranging from some that shoot guns and even defend you by taking 1/2 the damage you would have received. Mesmers also get the ability to “shatter” their phantasms and cause different status ailments or just damage to your foe.
I’ve gone on for quite a while about the game and I’m sure there is even more to talk about that I’ve missed. I’m having a lot of fun with it and while I’m playing solo mostly, I’ve found that everyone seems to love being helpful as you are tooling around. Anyone who damages an opponent has the opportunity to receive a drop and get xp from the kill. There is no kill stealing because everyone shares in the eventual result. So that’s it so far. Let me know what you think if you are playing GW2 or have been messing with the 5.0.4 changes for WoW. What are your plans for MoP? Has 5.0.4 made you more excited or has it soured your enthusiasm?