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Guild Wars is a Good Thing(tm)


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Okay since this forum was looking all lonely and raggedy with no posts in it I just thought I'd say: Guild Wars is a Good Thing.

;)

I think the Skipper and I are going to review it up some, maybe Stag, Badger and Red (is your roof done) will pitch in too.

The things that have impressed me so far:

1) The skill system, only having 8 slots makes tactical choices very important.

2) The graphics, they sure are purdy and always surprising, like when you get into the Shiverpeaks for example.

3) The quests, they're well laid out and have actual stories to them, unlike many online RPGs. Having all of the zones spawn for just your group is brilliant, no more waiting in line to kill Bad Boss X because there are 20 people there with the same quest "camping" him, if you have a quest to kill So-And-So, then So-And-So is always going to be there because he's there just for you and your group, the same applies to all of the explorable areas, the only place you have to even see other players aside from your group is in cities and encampments which are good places to trade.

4) The missions, these just rock, period.

5) The scale, when you start the game it seems pretty big, not massively huge but about the size of say Albion in DAoC which is still pretty damn big. But then after that thing happens (not going to spoil it) you get to see just how massive the place is. I mean I'm level 13 with my main guy now and I haven't seen even half of the world yet, and I've seen a lot of neat places.

6) Stuff to do after you "max" out, appearently there are regions that you need a full group of 20 level people to adventure in, which adds stuff for people who like PvE to do instead of reaching the max and then going mostly PvP only like many games do.

7) The way that you can share a vaul between characters on the same account, find something with your Ranger that would rock on your Warrior? Throw it in the vault and then when the Warrior goes to the vault he can pull it right out. The same works with deposited cash as well as items.

8) It feels like a war. Seriously. The quests and missions have a warlike feel to them because there is a bigass war going on all around you. A lot of fantasy games have quests that have the "evil so-and-so's" in the quest but in GW you actually do combat missions where you hurt the enemy and they're not just there as the black hats.

9) The ability to pull attribute points off your character and rebuild them at any time, if you're in an area as a Warrior where your sword isn't cutting it because the enemy types there are undead for example, you can reshuffle your skills and attributes to go full on hammer which will do more damage against them, then later switch back. All without having to do any quests or pay money for "respec" items.

10) The salvage system is interesting, pulling runes or weapon components off of a unique item you found to use on your favorite sword or armor is good fun and a game almost all in itself. Balacing out what runes on your armor will make you the most effective at the least cost, whether or not you should try to throw that sword hild of poisoning on your sword or save it until you get a better one, etc. Again it makes the game very tactical.

Now it isn't all roses and sunshine though, here are some of the downsides:

1) "Your view to the enemy is obstructed." This is mostly for ranged attacks, I don't know how many times I've seen this when trying to lob an arrow down onto a Char's head. It is cool that the game takes line of sight into account, it's bad that it actually lets you go through all of the motions of the attack, including spending energy for skill attacks and all for naught. Then again, it's tactical right? But still a tad annoying.

2) Henchmen. Henchmen in many ways are a brilliant idea, need 6 people to do a mission but everyone you know is offline? Get henchmen to fill your party out. Great! The downside is that some of them (notably the Healer) are dumb as rocks, the Healer especially seems to like to engage with her minimal damage wand of marshmallows than actually do her job from time to time. The fighter types are great they always do what you want, namely rush in and make a meat shield for you, and the casters sometimes are brilliant and sometimes not so much, but that Healer...I swear she's a kamakaze sometimes. All in all they are a great addition, and honestly I've probably died more from dumb "real people" healers in other games than from the Henchman Healer in GW but she still needs some work.

3) Prices. The economy is a fun aspect of the game, the downside is that there are a lot of people with way too much time on their hands jacking up the prices of everything. Not that this doesn't happen in all MMORPGs, it does, but until you figure out good ways to make cash fast it'll seem like everything decent is out of your reach. It really isn't, I've not yet paid for anything, I keep hunting for gold and items on my own...so I guess I have too much time on my hands too.

4) People. It's a given that if you get enough people in one place a good percentage of them will be morons. Since GW doesn't have a monthly fee (which I applaud) it does have the side effect of lowering further the lowest common denominator, there are a lot of kids running around acting like...well bad kids. So play with people you know or solo until you figure out who the idiots are and who aren't. Some of the character (and guild) names are best left to your imagination.

5) Storage space. The vault is brilliant as I said, the downside is that no matter what you'll never have as much storage space as you want. For one thing the 20 slot vault is shared, so if you have 2 characters you play a lot they'll be filling it up fast, hell I have it mostly filled just with one character and items that will be for the 2nd after the thingmie happens. Otherwise you have your 20 slot backpack, a 5 slot belt pouch and up to two 5 slot bags, which can be expanded to a maximum of 10 slots each at the cost of 500 gold for a Rune of Holding each. That adds up to...45 slots of inventory actually on a character at any given time. This may sound like a lot but once you have your weapon sets (I keep my bows and swords in my belt pouch, humorously enough) and your Collector items, your quest items, things you want to save yet not waste vault space on, the salvage and identification kits you'll need, etc. then you won't have much room for "loot" to sell back later that you pick up in your travels. This is vexing.

Now Doug, before you go "Hey that's a review!" it ain't, it's just the barest bones of what I like and don't like so far. There's lots more to be said, with specifics, to each of the good and bad points let alone the general impressions and whatnot. But I just wanted people to know that this game does rock and yeah it does have some downsides. But hey, doesn't everything?

Besides the new forum needed a post dammit!

;)

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Yes Marc, and things that go *BOOM!*

Every class has some magic really.

Rangers have all sorts of nature magic, animal magic and of course Shooting the Everloving Crap Outta Stuff magic.

Warriors have...ummm...well they have kinda a Berseker sorta magical skill dealy.

Elementalists blow stuff up with fire magic, or slow them down with earth magic or electrocute them with air magic or freeze them with...water? I dunno, mages are squishy.

Necromancers raise undead armies and suck the life out of their enemies. Think Army of Darkness.

Monks are like priests, they heal but they can also smite people with the wrath of whichever god they follow. Smiting is fun for the whole family.

Mesmers do...ummm illusions and mind tricks mostly, but they can also mess you up with curses.

The two guys I play are a Ranger/Warrior which means I basically shoot things with a big frickin' bow, sic my pet wolf on them and occasionally light my arrows on fire to ruin their day...and it makes a big boom; the other one is a Warrior/Monk who basically runs into the center of the enemy, goes berserk and swings a really big flippin' axe around in circles to hit everyone that's surronding him, whilst smiting them with the holy smackdown. It's pretty effective.

If you didn't want to have any magic at all on a guy the only real option would be a Warrior with no points in any of his seconday profession (since you have to have a secondary to get past the training areas basically, just have the secondary but never put points in their skills) and put all your points in your weapon, in tactics and in strength. And never, ever, push the Fury button...

So it could be done, but it'd be a little weird and you'd probably die a lot.

The Ranger skills are magic (since they use energy points) techincally but they're also sorta like Rambo type stuff, lighting arrows on fire, attacking faster with your bow, using certain shots for certain effects like pinning down an enemy or making him bleed, etc. Which is why they call them Skills not spells, even though some are actually spells, and others are actually skills and some are a weird mix of the two. So I'm pretty magic-free-ish with my Ranger/Warrior, the only Warrior thing I use on him most of the time is the Sprint skill and since I didn't put points into Strength I don't sprint all that long anyhow. At least right now, there are some times I shuffle my points and my skills around and go pretty much all hand weapon, some Ranger healing stuff and the like. It all depends on the circumstances really, and what will be the most effective for a mission or quest.

But yeah there's magic, but not all of the magic is really magic some if it is skill, and vice versa...if that makes sense.

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Thanks Rick, that's all I needed to know.

Well ok, more than I needed to know but much more fun reading than a simple yes or no. :lol:;):)

I'm a stick in the mud when it comes to stuff like magic. For instance, I find the Merlin in the latest King Arthur movie infinitely more interesting than the spell casting wand/staff twirling Merlin of the other more traditional Merlins.

But that's just me. :)

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I'm a stick in the mud when it comes to stuff like magic.

Hah! Me too. That's probably why I have never been drawn into any RPG environment. The use of magic in most fantasy and in games is too easy, in my humble opinion.

Magic, if used at all, should be something done at great cost to the practicioner or it should be more of a sleight-of-hand, misdirection sort of thing that LOOKS like magic, but really isn't.

"Real magic bites back." That's kind of how I feel about the subject.

I agree that the latest Merlin is more in line with my ideas about how stuff should work.

But that's just me. Go on back to your magic vaults and stuff.

See, I don't even know the terminology.

:)

Jim

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Ahh that would be conclaves Jim :D , and yes i agree that magic should be used but with a cost to the castor , in the form of diminished health pionts or being unable to move for a round or 2 , but the effects would off set that with a fireball filling a room and incinerating all with in , with the exception of the castor of course.

Back in the day when i was a AD&D addict , i DM'd a lot of games and that is how i ran magic users they were scary mofo's when they were casting but if you survived the effects then it was a lot easier to stroll up and brain them with the trusty axe.

Never Winter Nights uses that to a degree the castor has to stay still and incant , will he does that you can hit him with ranged weapons like bows crossbows or rocks to break the casting and make it easier to kill him , mind you his henchmen are usually high level fighters with similar big axes and they move and hit art the same time :D

Enough of my reminising , back to the sims

PS check out Never Winter if you like a game that runs for at least a month or 2 depending on how often you play , it has a central theme but a large quantity of side missions designed to boost up yout character so when you start running into bosses later on you stand at least a good chance of survival.

I have the first 2 of the series and they were great fun to play , the 3 rd in the series is meant to be a real meat grinder as you pit yourself and a compainion agaianst the denziens of the underdark . Drow Dark Dwarves Mind flayers and the like , a real straty one for sure as the shadows hide many foes that like to tear limbs off.

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These guys ain't your average pointy hatted freaky Merlin/Gandalf wannabes though Marc.

The Mesmers look like the Riddler if he was a Renaissance highwayman who studied under Christopher Marlowe.

mesmer8dp.jpg

The Necromancers look a lot like if Spawn met the Roadwarrior

necro0bo.jpg

The Elementalists are the closest to your "typical fantasy" mage and even they look sorta cool, no pointy hats to be found.

elementalist0mq.jpg

Those are all character creation screen shots, and the clothes do change somewhat as you get higher level armors and whatnot, but the "style" is pretty consistant for each class.

With the PvP only characters you can see how they'd look at level 20 too if they were wearing the normal "For 20" armor sets. Some of the female ones are...interesting to say the least.

20mesmerf1bt.jpg

That's the getup on a 20th level female Mesmer, if Donnie sees this I may have just sold them another copy... ;)

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Huh, you guys were posting while I was screenshotting.

Magic in GW has a cost, sometimes a huge cost. You can't move at all while you're casting, you have a limited ammount of spell points/mana/energy whatever you want to call it and if you drain down too much too quickly it comes back more slowly than normally.

You only have 8 slots for skills/spells so you have to really manage what you want to take/think you'll need. You could frontload as a fireball chucking Elementalist like your typical D&D type magic user but you'd be drained quickly, a very visible target (AI enemies and smart humans always attack the guy being flashy first) and with your cloth armor very shortly dead.

I don't like your typical fantasy fireball chuckers so much either, but there are enough interesting possibilities with the different mage-y classes that I have the strong desire to play a Mesmer as my 3rd character. They're illusionists mostly, tricksters, they don't have many "Boom You're Dead" type spells but they're more insidious, they can slowly leech out the enemy casters' energy and feed off it, slow down enemy parties by giving them imaginary burdens, they can totally strip down all the beneficial magical effects that an enemy might have, etc. They're sneaky buggers.

Rangers do have one kinda showy magical spell too...one I want to find. Oh yeah you not only only have 8 spell/skill slots but everything beyond the basics have to be found through quests, missions, or my favorite...ripped from the corpse of a defeated enemy with a special sigil. The high powered stuff is very hard to get because you have to search for it, and then fight some nasty to get it. But this big darn spell kills ALL magic in the radius sorta like nature saying "No you don't fingerwagglers!" ;)

Necromancer Blood rituals are spooky too and best left to the imagination...

Bog standard mages bore me too, this is the first online RPG where I even have the desire to try one and actually all 3 have their intersting bits. But I know where you guys are coming from.

:D

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But I know where you guys are coming from.

You do?

Will you tell me?

It would help if someone would tell me where I'm going as well.

The suspense is killing me. Really. Eventually, it will.

Heh.

Jim :P

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