• MMO/Gaming

    If you were a person, I would smack you so hard…

    I’ve been trying to casually work on some Guild Wars 1 achievements for the Hall of Monuments. When I say casually, I mean to say “bouts of work culminating in complete frustration and avowal to never play that stupid game again.” Then I forget, or someone posts how carefree and easy their trek to 30 points have been, and I think that I must have missed something and I try again. And again.

    If GW1 was a person, I would totally smack them right in the face, and not feel guilty about it at all. Totally.

    Much of my frustration has to do with lack of information. Now, I know how to Google, I’m not an idiot. It’s not as though I haven’t tried to find information to fill the gap left by inadequacies in the original (admittedly very dated) game design. They just aren’t there, for the most part. Take Zaishen dailies, for example. Oh, sure, the various wikis list all the rotating quests and a bit about what you need to do on them (which is taken from the quest text). What I haven’t been able to find is things like how you get to wherever you’re supposed to go to do them. Basic stuff, amiright? I took a mission quest at Embark Beach which informed me that I needed to rescue hostages in The Wilds of the Maguuma Jungle. Fine…but I have no frickin idea where said jungle is. It’s not on my map, I’ve never discovered anything called the Maguuma Jungle. I haven’t completed all the expansions yet – is that why? Surely I shouldn’t have been eligible for that quest in that event?

    Everything through the whole damned game is like that.

    I was levelling an Elementalist on Phil’s account so that he could do some of the HoM stuff with me. He doesn’t like GW1, and wouldn’t level one on his own, but if I got a character to 20 for him, he could help me with a few things. And I got stuck at level 15 with no Nightfall quests, sent to Cantha and Kaineng City, where all mobs are level 20+ and travel in massive packs. Even with a full group of heroes I get slaughtered over and over and eventually log off.

    Do me a favour…the next time I start talking about Hall of Monuments stuff? Smack me in the face, really really hard, until I come to my senses. OK?

  • MMO/Gaming

    Guild Wars: Almost Level 20

    After a rough start, I’ve been enjoying a return to Guild Wars. I’d thought about trying to do some Hall of Monuments stuff in preparation for Guild Wars 2 (not knowing how long said acheivements were going to take) and found myself enjoying the game just for itself.

    The game shows its age in a lack of nicety in UI and game mechanics (Phil calls it handholding, and he could be right), but visually it is still stunning. Although I do have an interest in MMO history, I have a difficult time playing the forefathers of our current crop of games solely due to the game visuals – they’re just so ugly in comparison to modern games. Guild Wars, however, is gorgeous, which really gives me hope for the system-friendliness of Guild Wars 2. If they were able to pack this much visual candy into a game that ran on 2005-era machines, then surely the stunning visuals of the upcoming title should run well on most machines. Or perhaps I’m talking out of my butt and haven’t the faintest idea how it all works – I’m open to that possibility, as well. ;)

    Click-to-move irritates both me and my RSI something fierce. The lack of help in accomplishing game objectives is also irritating. I dropped one ranger in Nightfall (or was it Factions?) when I reached level 10 and had no more quests. I ran around in the jungle and trotted through the desert looking for new quests, to no avail. The current one, in a different expansion, had no problem with quests. I have to do a lot of googling and wiki-ing (is that really a verb?) in order to figure out how everything works. I am attributing that to the age of the game as well – I think we’re all used to a lot more polish now. Handholding, as Phil says.

    Armour is gorgeous, even the low-level stuff. Characters are pretty, even without a lot of customisation. Ranger pets are few and far between (where the hell are all the animals?). Map travel is awesome and lovely. Heros and henchmen are wonderful, expecially for antisocial buggers like myself – I’ll miss them in Guild Wars 2.

    Difficulty varies wildly, sometimes with no warning whatsoever. (The lack of indicated levels for quests doesn’t help in this regard.) You can be happily slaughtering mobs with ease when all of a sudden you get wiped out by wave upon wave of what I am assuming are more elite mobs. There doesn’t seem to be any “elite” portrait frames, etc., to warn you that you are about to have more trouble than you can handle. Strange.

    All in all, a lovely, very playable game despite its age. And I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to Guild Wars 2.


  • MMO/Gaming

    First Impressions: LOTRO and Guild Wars

    First, a link to a GREAT post on the West Karana blog: Dogs and Frisbees: Why your MMO sucks.

    “…3) If I’m on a Quest, it better not be a Quest to cross the street or kill a zillion of some nearby mob which isn’t bothering ANYONE. I do Quests for Holy Grails, or to Destroy the One Ring, or to Avenge my Family. Killing puppies in the North Downs isn’t a quest. It’s just sad.

    4) Mobs shouldn’t stand around looking stupid. They should see you before you see them, scatter for the trees, call their friends, instead of just standing there while you kill them. I’ve read lots of times that devs feel giving mobs some actual AI would be too challenging for the average player.

    5) If I am going to be in a battle, it better MEAN something. If I just killed one hundred hapless orcs, there better not ever be an orc within a league of me. They better be running screaming saying, OH NO! NOT HER! RUN!!! I should be being stalked by some sort of ORC GOD for killing so many of them. Yeah, maybe that orc god wouldn’t be kind to me when he caught up with me and took out payment for killing a hundred of his followers, but dammit, there should be consequences for killing stuff.”

    Amen, brothah! Hallelulia, sistah! :D

    Guild Wars:

    I wouldn’t actually call this an MMORPG. From what I can tell, aside from the town areas, you’re in instances, not in a persistent, shared world. You can make a party in a town and go out to quest, but it’s not really a MMO. Aside from that, it’s been fun in a lightweight, casual sense. PvP isn’t that important to me, although I used to do a lot of it on Kit, so that’s probably not an area that I’ll explore too much. Movement still pisses me off a bit, and there is a clunkiness to interacting with the environment – talking to NPCs, looting, etc. Nightfall is much better, with more of a storyline, than Factions.

    Pros: It is fun, and it’s certainly pretty. A bit too pretty in regard to avatars…does every one have to be beautiful? If you just want to run around killing things for an hour or so, enjoying the scenery, this is a good game.

    Cons: As above, but no major ones if you don’t think of it as an MMO. One thing, though – if I get a quest, and the area around me is unexplored, please give me a hint as to where I should go. I don’t need my hand held, but a simple “in the northwest” pointer would help loads. Is that too much to ask?


    I’m actually starting to like this a lot, although I haven’t spent much time playing it as of yet. I started a hobbit, and their starting area is much better than the elves – it feels like the Shire, and you are immediately introduced to story in the conflicts that you stumble across – dark riders interrogating hobbits, etc. I think I might get more involved as I go on.

    I am reminded by the quote that I read (and I cannot for the life of me remember who said it) about LOTRO being the methadone of WoW. You get invovled, but to a lesser extent, never really as addicted as you were to WoW. That’s probably a good thing. :)

    Pros/Cons: Very pretty environments, but the avatars bother me. I don’t want exclusively pretty avatars, but I simply cannot find a face on any race that I like, and the hair really bothers me. Shallow? Yes, but the way that my avatar looks is important. It’s something that WoW does very well. I can’t make any judgments about gameplay yet, as I’ve only done a few of the starting quests sofar, but it definitely has possibilities.

  • MMO/Gaming

    Guild Wars Noob

    Ravven Ni AzsharaI took today and tomorrow off, as I was totally wiped out. I’ve been making a hash of DIY today, and also decided to try the old copy of Guild Wars that we had laying around. I think I quite like it, actually. It’s not as noob-friendly as Warcraft, in terms of leading you from quest to quest, but the classes are a lot of fun and the idea of combining them is interesting. I filled up my four character slots with a monk, a ranger (of course!), an elementalist and an assassin. The monk sounds the most interesting so far. At left is my elementalist.

    The chat in general is as inane as in WoW, as you would expect. I haven’t tried any PvP yet. And (bonus for us unsociable types!) I think that you can have a party of NPC “henchmen” to help you. Perfect! Instant party, with no idiots or little kids that have to go because their mom just found out that they were on the computer again, or whatever. I think it might be my ideal game. *slight sarcasm*

    Anyway, back to destroying our entrance hall. :)