I mentioned it last week on my last article and thought I’d give it a week before I really got into what the game is like, you know, let it marinate in my mind and in the minds of others before delving into the nitty gritty.
So: is it good?
It’s different. It has its goods, it has its bads, and coming into the game as a casual player of GW1 without even touching the beta or looking at gameplay videos I felt like I was playing a completely different game and this is true. The game is COMPLETELY different compared to the old one. It is a lot faster paced in regards to traditional questing and leveling but the time it takes to level seems about right for a casual gamer.
What I mean by fast-paced questing is that there is no “!” or “?”. Just “<3”. And if you’ve played it, the joke should make sense.
Basically you don’t pick up quests, you run into “events” that just so happen to spawn while you’re wandering the world. Anyone can step into an event and start one or join one that’s already happening. It enhances the experience, making a world feel more “alive” in that these people aren’t going to wait for you, the hero, to start a quest before shit goes down, no, if an army of ghosts attack a camp, you better be there or else the mission is failed. And when this happens, you have something like 5-20 other players doing this quest so it turns into this whole giant group quest where the reward is experience and karma. Pretty cool if you ask me but at the same time, you may miss a lot of mini-stories just jumping into events like this.
The map is very nicely detailed. You can zoom in and out and see all the important markers as well as the not-so-important ones. This was one of my peeves about the game. It was really nice to see all this detail and stuff on the screen but at the same time, there’s just so much stuff you miss what you’re looking for. That is, until you notice that tiny eyeball on the lower left of the screen which you eventually find out is the filter. The map is really user friendly though and isn’t limited so much on the area you’re loaded into. Navigating from one way point to another is as simple as clicking and paying the toll, no need to run to a way point first to be able to use it.
The skill system is also a little strange. Each set for the skills is limited to the weapon you and to be able to use that skill you’d have to first level up the weapon and learn it. This can get annoying when you got that really nice weapon upgrade but you can’t use it right away because you’d get rid of four of your five weapon abilities. At the same time, though, it forces you to change up your fighting style, try new things, etc. I mean, a mesmer, (the illusionist class) was basically a ranged support mage in GW1, now you have them in the front lines with detonating clones. Also, the healer class is completely gone. Every class has their own healing spell that works differently depending on their class.
The environments are beautiful. A lot of work was put into it and I guess this is the only real part of GuildWars 1 that carried over to the new game. Its nice to be able to see some mountain in the distance and actually run over to climb it (and actually jump… yes you can jump and fall of ledges in this game).
And what’s really really nice is that you have a lot of different starting areas. Five different races + different factions within each race = a lot of different story lines. The Charr alone have three with different heroes as mentors depending on who you pick.
All in all: The game sucks because you can’t draw penises on the party map anymore.