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Quickie Review of Guild Wars
Previous | Next by elfie 23 April, 2006 - 11:15 PM

So per muhgcee's request, here's my first impressions review of Guild Wars at way-too-sleepy-in-the-morning o'clock. Right now, I have three characters that I'm relatively happy with: a Ranger/Monk, an Elementalist/Mesmer, and a Warrior/Necromancer. The last of those is the only one still in the pre-game, whereas the first two have a couple (like 2 or 3) hours each in the "real game."

Anyway, so far I'm enjoying it as a nice play-it-with-my-spouse game. I know I've bashed MMORPGs in the past, but this particular one has two things that made it appealing where the others weren't. First and foremost, no subscription fees. Oh how I hate the idea of a game that you have to pay $50 for the disk and then a FEE on top of that for the privelege of actually playing the game. That's just dumb. Guild Wars has no fees and is therefore not evil.

The other thing I really like is the unique playing space. When you are in towns or major cities, you share the gamespace with all of the other players in that town or major city, but once you head for the outside world, you and your party get your own individual copy of the game world. This means there's no waiting for an enemy to respawn because someone else already killed it, nobody luring high-level monsters toward your party just to be annoying, and more variety in quests, because the world does not have to be persistent for millions of players, but only for the 1-8 who are actually in the party. Some people have decried this as a lack of massively multiplayer interaction, but personally I like it.

I do, however, mostly like it because the person I'm playing with is sitting in the room with me. It is a LOT easier to make decisions about where to go or what to do next when the person I am questing with is within voice range. If we had to type everything, I think my head would explode. If I took the time to write out "there's one on your left!" then whatever it was that was on her left would have already either killed her or me. So having said that, I don't think I would be liking the game all that much if I didn't already have a live-in gaming buddy to play with who is always ready to play when I am.

Overall, the game is fun, but I can see where a lot of people have gotten bored with it relatively quickly. To be able to survive in the "real game" you should really be level 6 or 7 by the time you leave the pre-game, and there's a level cap of 20... that means you've spent about 1/3 of your leveling before the real game even starts. Now I know that leveling takes longer as you get higher, but in every MUD I've played, once I reached the level cap, things got really boring really fast. Sure, there's more questing and interacting and whatnot that you can do, but there's something about the reward of gaining levels that really keeps the drive going. We'll see, perhaps Guild Wars overcomes this somehow and will keep me motivated once I hit the level cap.

I enjoy playing. I'm glad I paid $10 for a pair of accounts instead of $80-$100. I'd really like to get a pair of copies of Factions, the first expansion, but I'm not paying $80-$100 for that either.

4/24/2006 >> muhgcee

Elfie -

Thanks for the review :-)

If you ever play with someone not in the room, I recommend using Skype in the background while you play. Excellent sound quality. You can hear everything in their room.

I might just install this after playing some Baseball Mogul.

4/29/2006 >> pyrex

World of Warcraft is superior. That is all.

4/30/2006 >> elfie

That it may be, and I'm sure there are others that are better. But as I mentioned, the primary draw for me to Guild Wars is the business model. As long as World of Warcraft imposes a monthly fee, I have zero interest in it.

5/7/2006 >> Jamin

I have played both, and Guild Wars was my first MMORPG, so it was my first love. Yes, WoW have more diversity, and more involvement, but I think I loved GW for it's lack, just as elfie said. I hit my level cap in GW many many moons ago, and it did get a little boring, but I had fun helping others. I actually can't wait to get a PC again so I can play it again. (Damn them for not making a Mac version!)

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