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O/T: Anyone else try guild wars?

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by barren, May 2, 2005.

  1. barren

    barren IncGamers Member

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    O/T: Anyone else try guild wars?

    Before I begin, yes I know there's a better place to post this, but the sp forum is my favourite place for a discussion :)

    My friends suckered me into buying guild wars this friday after a bit of convincing. I have a long and not so positive past with mmorpgs, for the most part I don't like them at all because they're incredibly boring with the monotous "treadmill" style of game play coupled with extremely boring combat. I've tried tons of them, and rarely play longer then a month, the longest time I've played an mmorpg was with UO for a total of 5 months after going on and off because it offered so many distractions besides poorly done combat.

    So back to GW, here's my initial impressions:

    To start off, GW is full of little features that'll soon become the norm for all MMORGP's to follow. There's no "realms", everyone plays together on the same big server that is divided up in districts. You can message your friends over districts, and meet up in any of them. Districts just divide up the towns to avoid overcrowding that every mmorpg is plagued with. Towns are still packed with people to interact with, but not to the point where the game drops down to a grinding halt due to hardware constraints.

    Messaging people is simple, there's a little message window you can resize (in fact, every window can be resized and moved around, the interface is completely customizable) and you can switch between team, guild, public, friend and other chat modes simply by pressing the appropriate tag. It includes a friends list as well, like your own in-game messenger, very, very handy.

    Travel is done entirely by foot, there are no mounts. Luckily, there is absolutely no need for mounts thanks to the map system. As you discover new towns they become highlighted on your map and clicking them lets you travel to them instantly as well as choose the district if you want to. The map system is neat, you have a mini map up in the corner that shows a topographical view of the world around you. NPC's, monsters, yourself, party members, everything shows up on it in different colors so it's easy to distinguish between them all. There's even a "field" around your character; any monster that's within that field will attack you if it's hostile. This is incredibly useful for avoiding a pack of tough critters. You can even draw on the mini map, just like a football commentator, making it incredibly easy to issue orders to people in your party. Finally, when you're questing, there's a handy green arrow that'll point you to wherever you need to go.

    As far as actualy combat goes, this is one of the low points for me at least. I suppose it's better then most mmorpgs out there, but that's still no good enough for me. You click a critter then proceed to automatically attack it until one of you dies. While attacking you can use 8 skills (hotkeyed 1-8) that you load into your skill bar in town between quests. You can scroll through targets with various different keys, tab for closest, and I forget the others, space bar initiates the attack. It's a little bugged, sometimes you won't target the closest beasty, instead you'll go running in a random direction toward a monster that's way off out of your vision even if one is currently standing nexting to while it thumps you over the head with a club. You can queue up attacks, and they will initiate in order so it's easy to string together a deadly combo. Combat is still boring as hell though, you stand still and press 1,2,3 over and over and over again.

    Since this game is designed primarily for pvp, the character stat design had to be "dumbed down" to keep everything as balanced as possible. As such, all skills have pretty much the same effectiveness, no skill is better then any other, they shine in different situations. Still, despite having 150 different skills for each class, all the skills seem to the be the same, and finding new ones is something hard to be excited about since they're all slight variations of each other.

    There are no stats at all, HP is based on level, and no one has any MP, that's granted by equipment. Really wierd, I've played 3 classes and they all have exactly the same amount of MP. Another strange feature is that you're eventually forced to dual class your character, but do not have to spend a single skill point in that class. Skills aren't "leveled up" individually; they all belong under a group and each class has 4 or 5 groups. 1 of those groups is class specific and can only be leveled if that group is in your primary class. By putting points into a skill group, all skills under that group, are powered up slightly; spells might last a second longer, or do an extra point of damage. Fairly boring really, you can't add much of a personal touch to your character. You can reassign points if you want too. Bit by bit over time you can reassign every point eventually so there's never a need to remake a character if you made a mistake, or simply want to try something new. The game is balanced so that you can be a generalist and use all 8 or 9 skills from both classes, or specialize in only 3.

    The whole item system is fairly annoying, you're forced to collect materials, scavenge items that critters drop for materials then visit various vendors to get all the ingredients for a certain piece of equipment before you can actually purchase a new item. All told, it's a headache, and you don't actually craft any unique items yourself, everyone else will get exactly the same stuff. Think of it this way, instead of only 1 currency to buy stuff with, you need several. Items have very basic boring modifiers (I think 3: defense, regeneration, and +mana) and all look the same, but you can change the colour of equipment with dyes.
    I tried "personalizing" an item, but that only gave me an insignificant bonus (+1 damage yippee!) and made it so that I could no longer trade or sell that item. Each item when equipped makes a visible difference to your character which is a nice touch.

    As far as graphics go, this game is drop dead gorgeous. I've played all the pretty game, half life 2, doom 3, dungeon siege 2, and this game competes with them all handily because of the use of all those fancy features that go mostly unused on our video cards. It uses a lot of stuff I don't know about (triple somethin AA? pixel shading? techo wizardry anyone?) all I know is that the end result is very impressive, and it runs perfectly on my out of date gaming rig on maximum settings at the highest resolution. The graphics themselves aren't what makes this game so pretty, it's the art that went into designing every detail. Every leaf on a tree moves in the wind and casts its own shadow, breath taking views are everywhere. Every 5 steps in the catacombs at the beginning of the game kept throwing another breath taking view at me that I had to stop and look at. Character models are insanely detailed and very well animated.

    This game lacks in the sound department, it holds it own, but the sound and music simply don't match up with the visual splendor.

    In the end, think of this game as an easily accessible mmorpg for the masses that has been dumbed down so everyone can pick it up, make a new character and jump in right away. In fact, you can make a lvl 20 pvp character right off the bat (complete with end game equipment) and start cracking skulls without fighing a single monster. GW scores majoy points for fixing lots of the crappy parts in other mmorpgs; there's no spawn camping, no pking, you make a group, grab a quest and complete it in your own version of the game world with no one else to bother you. The death penalty is great, you respawn nearby and simply suffer a temporary negative to skills that wears off as you gain experience. Think of guild wars as a hot blonde, but like the stereo type, it turns out that she's dumb and incredibly boring once you get to know her :(

    I want to hear from other people who've played!
     
  2. NSXdreamer

    NSXdreamer IncGamers Member

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    Thought about migrating to GW, but after read how the items works, I guess I won't be anytime soon, or at all. I just hate spend 99% of your play time hunt for itamz so I can enjoy the other 1%. Another reason I stick to FPS'.
     
  3. TenYearsGone

    TenYearsGone IncGamers Member

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    Hmm... Thanks for your thoughts.

    The game looks like it has promise and the graphics do look splendid, but I am som much of an SP person that I didn't think this would be for me. Can you play this as strictly an SP game, or do you have to MP and duel?
     
  4. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast IncGamers Member

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    Nice to read a write-up like this.. I was more or less in doubt whether to buy it or not, mostly because the idea of a good MMORP appeals to me and the graphics looked really amazing.

    But you are not the first one I hear commenting (most elaborate though) about the suckie way character building/creation is done... and this is more or less the most important part of a RPG imo, also the fact that it all revolves around items (again) does not sound very nice...
    Combined with the fact that according to you it is mainly about pvp makes the game seem like a waste of my money, for me at least.. :)
     
  5. barren

    barren IncGamers Member

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    I should've mentioned this, but didn't because I haven't done any pvp yet. When you start you can choose between 2 types of characters, PvE (player vs environment) or a strictly pvp character. A pvp character can only duel, starts at lvl 20 and uses all the skills/items that your pve characters have. Even if you've nevered played PvE, the pvp character starts off with enough skills and equipment to compete with everyone else since all gear and skills are essentially the same when it comes to raw power.

    As for the actual pvp, there's 4 modes (capture the flag, king of the hill, etc) all team based events so this game is actually perfect for guys who like the quick run and gun play of UNreal or quake. It's the first mmorpg to blend a fps with rpg elements, even those hybrids like planetside are less fps like then guildwars.

    EDIT: I caught a typo
     
  6. Nibiru-

    Nibiru- IncGamers Member

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    I don't think I'll play it, I usually wait till a really large title hits the shelves to try a new game out. Everquest 2 was a disappointment though. Back to the retro-ish nostalgia that is Diablo 2.
     
  7. water_moon

    water_moon IncGamers Member

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    What classes have you played? I'm a messmer (ranger second class the first time around) and my skills vary quite a bit. I can put a "hex" on you to make you move slower, do damage if you attack me w/ magic or cast a spell, or take off all "hexs" which also include stat boosters. Or I can steal your mana for my own or to give myself more health. So can certian monsters, different monsters can use the same skills you can. A ranger can have a "pet" which will attack monsters you target. Monks are major healers and warriors don't need mana. Which is a good thing, beacuse your class affects how good you are at casting spells (how long it takes, how long they last, etc.) and warriors stink at casting.

    One thing to keep in mind is that they are constantly updating, unlike D2 where they have to bother to make the patch and then enable it for SP, if they want to change one thing (monster and pet agressivenes have changed a lot from the beta test weekends); they put the new data in and the next time you go into town, start up the game, or leave town, you get that new data.

    As for the items, the personalization was explained such that when a weapon or armor is designed for you, it works better with your own abilities, aromor must always be personalized becasue you can't expect to pick up a random Brest Plate and it fit you (I'm sorry, but you can't tell me that a 'zon and a barb would fit into the same green BP, or belt for that matter). Clothes vary by class and differnt classes get different bonuses. Different materials that go into making the different clothes make the various clothes do different things, for a mesmer, silk went into regal items and linen went into entertainers items. Regal had lower plus energy, but made your spells last longer, enertainers had better plus to energy, but less defence. Etc. (BTW, the materials can be bought because at first they could only be salvaged at a point further into the game and thus people were having trouble getting at them. But the cool part is I got pretty far in the game in beta (lvl 12, not bad for 6 days tot. split w/ goltar) w/ my base items and what I picked up/ traded for w/ the in game collectors (for every 3 spider legs you bring me I'll give you fasionable boots, a holy emblem, or one of these other 3 items--spiders drop spider legs).

    @ TYG, in town it's MP--sort of, you can turn off what everone's saying and just ignore anyone there, and a few quests require help, but once you leave town, you're in your own little world, if you had a team, you're in it until you hit another town, but you can decline to join if you like. And if you want to quest with someone, you can still play on your own time. You can get 1 to 4 of 4 hirelings to join you in chapter 2, it doesn't cost money, but any gold you pick up is split between everyone in the party, as is xp; and fewer items drop. BTW, when an item drops, it is tagged for you, or another memeber of you party if you're playing w/ real live people. In other words, if you want to MP w/ some one on your buddy list, join them and leave them at will. When they log off you are still exactly where you were before. If you want to play all by yourself (like me) you can, and if you need some extra help to get over this or tha thard spot, it's there, their AI is better than an Act hirling in D2, that's for sure.

    @Slartibartfast: it is NOT just about PvP, which is done only in certian ares, so you don't have to worry about someone joining up with you and then going hostial. I only quest and the game is quite in depth for that. If you complete certian quests first then you can not do others at all. The world is very large and youhave to go off the beaten path to pick up some quests, also different classes have different quests, designed around how your class would handle the quest. (Necros have extra trainers and quests in the catacombs, monks have to go save a little girl. Rangers have to go kill a plant monster for the root to make a pesticide.)

    BTW, I'm Marti Gras in game, and I was in on the last 2 beta weekends.
     

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