Tag Archives: ArenaNet

Skeptical Plays – Guild Wars 2 [PC]

For the past month or so I have spent most of my free time lost within Tyria, the world of Guild Wars 2.

Having played the game non-stop, almost to the point of obsession – I can say with confidence that it is perhaps one of the most polished MMOs on the market today.  However, I am sad to report that as much as I am enjoying the game, Guild Wars 2 has somehow managed to disappoint me in oh-so-many ways.

In the original Guild Wars, developer ArenaNet had chosen to ignore all of the traditional MMO conventions, and as a result created a game that was unlike any other on the market.  It was fresh, it was bold, and it was different, utilitising a mass of concept and novel ideas that were unheard of at the time. Its multi-layered single server for example – or howabout the non-stats and non-level focus of the game?  Not to mention the respec-focused design of the skill system; the multi-class customisable skillsets; the skill hunting/capturing system; the unlocking of upgrades from PvE-to-PvP; the customisable companions and henchmen… et cetera.

There were so many unique things in Guild Wars, and so much of that game were done just right – but, unfortunately there lies the source of my problem with Guild Wars 2.

The original game showed that it was possible to create a non-traditional MMO in this day and age and do well with it. Many players appreciated the non-cookie-cutter design of the game, and the unique experience that it offered.  With Guild Wars 2 however, I find it both strange and frustrating, that ArenaNet had abandoned most of which that had made them unique in the first place.

This time round they have instead opted to offer us a title that is strictly cookie-cutter in many ways.  Employing a more streamlined traditional MMO engine, while adopting features and design methodologies that were lifted straight from other games in the genre.  Features like for example skills that change based on the type of weapon equipped; dynamic public quests that pops up in selected points of the maps; the inclusion of daily quests; a more rigid class system with more limited skillsets; as well as the traditional levels-based skill points unlock system.

Overall in my opinion the game is a perhaps a step back for the franchise   It is by no means a bad game – quite the contrary in fact.  Like I mentioned the game is very polished, and there are some nice touches like the autobalancing of levels and stats when you go into a lower level area, and an achievement system that combines and records your activities across all of your characters.  But whereas the first title had, in some ways, help revolutionise the genre, every aspect of this follow up is strictly evolutionary, and does not bring anything new to the table.  I have to say also that I find the lore and the characters to be much stronger in the original game, and I was much more immersed in the original world.

Lastly, to end this post on a sad note, I would like to say also that having encountered way too many immature idiots on one server, and now finding my new server dominated by multi-boxing bots and farmers, my experience is entirely ruined, and I am at a stage where I am just about ready to abandon the game.


Guild Wars 2 – Discover Your Legacy

Discover Your Legacy in the Hall of Monuments

The original Guild Wars was probably the first major online game I have ever played, and to this day it still holds a special place in my heart.  Its amazingly lush graphics, the lore, the writing, the characters, the unique gameplay mechanics, its quest designs…  Back then I thought it was close to perfection, and even today I consider it to be one of the best games on the market still.

I must confess I have not been playing this on a regular basis this past year or so, but, having beaten the original Prophecies campaign with multiple characters, and an owner of all three campaigns, the Eye of The North expansion, AND the recent Ghosts of Ascalon novel (by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck), I am proud to call myself a fan of the franchise.

Like many fans of original I am very much looking forward to the upcoming sequel.  But unlike most fans I want to go into the new game with a fresh pair of eyes, and have been actively avoiding the myriad snippets of news and info that are floating around out there on the net.  However, when I came across this little link I was unable to help myself.  The link in question was http://hom.guildwars2.com/#page=welcome, a link to the newly released Rewards Calculator for the Hall of Monuments.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Hall of Monuments, it is a game place location and feature that was introduced in Eye of The North, the Guild Wars expansion.  This Hall is an in-game location which serves as a visual trophy display case of sorts, and acts as a link between the original Guild Wars and its upcoming sequel.  As you earn and complete various goals and achievements in-game, like for example completing a chapter of the game; earning your prestige armor sets; or maxing out rep with a particular faction, you unlock the option to display these as physical statues within your hall.  The idea was that when Guild Wars 2 is released, Guild Wars players would be able to carry some of their achievements over to the new game, though it was not clear how this system would work, or what exactly would be carried over…  until now.

Guild Wars fans, if you have not already, do yourself a favor, and go check out that link.  It is nice to note too that it appears to be a live-sync of sorts to your characters, so any new achievements you earn after exporting your Hall of Monuments data would be updated and carried over.  This means that even after Guild Wars 2 have been released, players will still be encouraged to go back to the original game to unlock bonuses for the sequel.  Just another forward thinking feature that makes me love this franchise so much.  I heartily approve, I really do.

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