#GuildWars It’s not what I had hoped…

There’s been a ton of Guild Wars 2 hype around of late (I blame Justin Olivetti*) and it really piqued my my interest to the point I decided to try Guild Wars 1 (which has a free trial, which helps).

Ooo I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it but I just don’t get the same buzz from GW that I don from LOTRO (and did from the first moment I started in the Blackwold jail with Strider). The game just seems to lack something… it seems flat and disjointed, hard to get into and feels unintuitive.

Now I do think some of this is that MMOs are not my natural gaming style – I’m a soloer at heart. Also fantasy novels have never been my thing, I’m a Tolkien fan but that’s about it. So poor old GW was on a sticky wicket from the start – the story of this world just hasn’t grabbed me and I’m not enthused by the strangely limited social aspects that don’t seem as well developed as LOTRO.

Then there is the world. You can’t jump. I have no idea why, but the last game I played I couldn’t jump in was Doom in ’94. And there are these weird barriers to stop you dropping over the edges of cliffs that are all over the bloody place so you can’t even walk down a small incline, very annoying!

And then there is the social interaction. You can only chat with the rest of the world in certain locations, the rest of the world being instanced just for you. In these ‘public’ areas there is a cacophony of people bellowing about all manner of shite. There is no obvious channel to ask the kind of dumb newb questions that you don’t want to shout out to all and sundry and that leads me to keep schtum and log out.

I dunno… I’ve got past the Searing part and into the story proper, but it still isn’t grabbing me. Maybe Guild Wars 2 will be different… maybe.

* I heard Justin over on Casual Stroll To Mordor’s podcast, began to read his excellent BioBreak blog and from there followed him to Massively at just the time he was taking over from Shaun as the podcast host with Rubi. It was there I began to hear so much good stuff from Rubi about Guild Wars 2 that I went and bought Guild Wars 1. See, it’s all Justin’s fault.

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4 comments

  1. Guild Wars 2 is verrrrry different mechanics-wise than GW1, and yes, you can jump, and interact with people outside of town. It has much of the same underpinning philosophy, but feels like quite a different beast altogether.

    GW1 had a unique feel to it anyway, quite different from even other MMOs of its age (and it wasn’t strictly an MMO at any rate), so outside of using your experiences after the Searing to provide you with some context for 2, don’t worry about running into the same issues.

  2. Hi Random, thanks for the comment (and I love your blog!). I’ve been listening to Guildcast and reading everything I can on GW2 and it really sounds amazing – I just need to get into the world of GW, buy into the mythos, submerge myself in the stories of the world until I fall in love with it – as it I just have no anchors, nothing to get passionate about. Any suggestions for sites that deal in such things would be greatly appreciated (and greedily devoured!)

    1. Well, there are the GW novels that bridge some of the content between GW1 and GW2 (Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny), that may put things into context for you. Aside from pointing you to the Lore wikis I’m not sure what I can offer to make you feel more involved in the world, but if you’re just curious about who’s who and why you should care, maybe just reading the details of the Prophecies campaign will shed some light (the entire collection of official lore articles is at the bottom of the page): http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Storyline_of_Prophecies

      Let me ask you, how long did you hang out in Ascalon before the searing? For a lot of people (back in the day), meeting up with Gwen and doing all the profession quests put faces to a lot of the names that end up becoming among the dead in the post-Searing world. The loss of that idyllic world and all the NPCs you end up helping is what drives people to stay in pre-Searing Ascalon permanently, so if you just sort of did the minimum of quests and left as soon as you were able, it might be contributing to your disconnection with the world.

      Another suggestion I have is to try starting from the Nightfall campaign. Since you get access to heroes right away, each with their own backstories and connections, that might help you to feel a bit more involved, since you’re not just helping yourself, but helping an ally who becomes indebted to you.

      Sorry if I’m way off base with my suggestions!

      1. Hi Rand – first of let me apologise for the huge delay in approving your wonderful comment & replying to you – in my defence I have had a hell of a busy two weeks*. Next let me thank you for your really helpful reply and all the information you passed over – the strange thing is that just before it popped into my email inbox I had ordered the Ghosts book and have been reading it over the last few days (in between nappy changes) and it’s not bad at all – I’m already feeling like I know the world & lore more and that’s very important for me.

        In GW1 I did do some of the quests pre-searing but I just found the instanced nature confusing and couldn’t get into it. I went into post-searing a little too early and found I couldn’t navigate clearly in & around the blasted city** and I gave up about a week ago. I don’t think I’ll be trying it again now, I’m going to wait for GW2 instead (which looks bloody amazing – I’ve spend a week watching ever youtube clip I could find!)

        Until then I’m back on with LOTRO, but come June (or whenever) I’ll be all about the GW2 😀

        * Adopting an young ‘un – it’s a hell of a process.

        ** It didn’t help that I was playing on a 10″ netbook, if I’m honest.

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