March 25, 2006

Now Playing: Guild Wars

It's called boredom. Not boredom with Guild Wars, but boredom with other games I'm playing. Battlefield 2 is great, but it seems every month I have fewer friends to play with. EVE Online is great and I love it! However, I don't have the time to get anything out of it currently. I am paying for my account, but that’s just to ensure I am training skills.

So I reinstalled Guild Wars a couple of days ago. I spent about two hours starting up my new Monk/Mesmer, named "Column I". I seem to be shifting towards using the name Column as my avatar names more and more in MMORPGs. I already have a level 17 Warrior/Necromancer named "Heartless Foe" in Guild Wars.

With "Column I" I've been focusing on completing every quest available in the tutorial area of pre-searing Ascalon. This is something I never did with my original characters so it is a treat to discover some of the missed items.

So far I haven't noticed any dramatic changes. The same clunky movement is in game and is still my biggest gripe. I am just a stickler for fluid and graceful movement which is something I don't see Guild Wars ever having. It's just very jerky and flat out warpy sometimes. This doesn't ruin the game experience, but when you pick the game up after a few months off it takes a bit to get used to again.

The biggest changes revolve around the graphics, but this is nothing Arena Net did. It is my new computer. I can run the game at MAX settings at a widescreen resolution. The game is much better looking and the extra screen space changes the UI a lot. I can put loads of things off to the side and still have a 17" screen area in the center clear of everything except my hotkeys and group window. This adds a lot to games and I can't ever imagine gaming without a widescreen monitor ever again!

I also got about 45 minutes to fire up the Guild Wars : Factions preview that was occurring this weekend. I started with a pre-made level 20 PvP character nicknamed a "Shadow blade". The shadow blade is a Warrior/Assassin combo with the Assassin being one of the new classes available in the upcoming GW:Factions expansion.

Sadly though, I didn't make it far into the Factions content. I did the first few quests that teach you about the various arena battle types; annihilation, priest annihilation, obelisks, etc. Then I got stuck on the "Defeat 5 enemy teams" part before having to log.

Hopefully I will get more time to experience the Factions event before it closes down. I suspect I will buy factions because of the territorial PvP concept and the fact there is no monthly fee. I like Guild Wars enough to play it for a week straight every few months, but not enough to be in a competitive guild for GW.