Thursday, August 23, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - I'm Here, Now What?

So you've decided to jump into Guild Wars 2. You could be brand spanking new to MMOs or coming to this game with experience from other games. Either way, Guild Wars 2 is not quite like other MMOs, and so I'm giving you this insight into what's going on, in the form of answers to some questions you might be having.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Guilds

There are two things that really keep me interested in a game beyond the core story and fighty stuff. Certainly, these are important in their own right, but there needs to be more to really maintain my interest. 

One is crafting systems. I can spend hours crafting and not doing anything else, if the system really allows it. Aion was best for this to date, letting me craft and level while not actually having to go out and obtain materials. I'll get into the crafting system for Guild Wars 2 at a later time, bit it is interesting, and I enjoy it.

Second, and in the end most important, is guilds. Not that the system the game uses for guilds is a vital part of the experience (though having an interesting one makes being in a guild more fun), but really the fact that I'm in one with my friends. Of course, different games have different systems for how guilds work. Since I'm very interested in Guild Wars 2, and am planning on dragging many of my friends and guildmates into it, I figured I'd investigate how the guild system works.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An Argument For Small Skill Bars

I was listening to the wonderful daily that WoodenPotatoes does for Guild Wars 2, because I love listening to his views and encyclopedic knowledge of Tyrian lore. One of his viewers mentioned in this daily that the number of skills available was small and might become boring to use after a while. I will admit I had considered this in my early exposure to the game, but I've had some time to think about that, and I now disagree with the idea.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Oddities

I know I said I was going to talk about Utility Skills next, but I haven't gotten around to it, and I'm the one in control here. Heh.

I was in the recent Guild Wars 2 Beta weekend, which gave me some more insight into the game, and also revealed some things I wasn't entirely aware of. Some was very easy for me to grasp because of my time in the original Guild Wars, others less so. I'm going to briefly talk about some of those today.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Weapon Skills

In my last GW2 post, I tried to give an overview of all skills. It ran a little longer than intended, but I still didn't get into specifics. So in my first attempt to get into said specifics, I'll try to talk about Weapon Skills today.

Playing Guild Wars - Slow Beginnings

I finally managed to get somewhere in Guild Wars Prophecies, but not very far. I feel like doing the first Post-Searing Ascalon mission is actually a step forward. I'll briefly talk about playing the game here.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - An Overview of Skills

The core of any game is the abilities your character(s) have to affect the world around them, most commonly to murder things stylishly. They are called by many names in MMOs, spells, abilities, skills, etc. You gather them by progressing your character and training new abilities, slowly filling up your hotbar with new and fascinating options, or simply adding new ways to murder people with your mouse depending on the game. In Guild Wars 2, these are referred to as Skills, regardless of whether they are magic spells or stabby things or traps or whatever.

I'll be going into the specific types of skills in more detail in future posts. First, however, I would like to examine the basic layout of skills in Guild Wars 2 as it compares to that of other games.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - The Sour End of Combat, Or Why Death Is Also Awesome

I will be submitting some posts to describe some of the more fascinating innovations in Guild Wars 2. I figured that I would start at the end rather than a beginning. So we're going to start with the mechanics involved with losing fights, death, etc.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Commitment and MMOs, Guild Wars

For those who know me, this will not come as a surprise... I am easily bored. When something new ans shiny comes out, I immerse myself in it and focus on it to the exclusion of all else, but after a short period of time, usually following a notable milestone of some kind, I lose interest and start rooting around for other things to occupy my attention.

I've decided to work on this a bit, partially by investigating the reasons behind it within games, and partially by choosing to do otherwise.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Why I Want To Play It

The Subject At Hand
I was talking to my brother-in-law today about Guild Wars 2, and he asked me why I was so interested in this game, when my descriptions thus far had made it sound like more of the same. Obviously, my descriptive capabilities are not particularly good, at least verbally, and certainly when I'm excited, but I want to make up for this particular shortcoming here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marvel Super Heroes RPG - Why I Don't Like It

I would love to call this a review and sound all fancy about it, but that just isn't the case. I haven't actually played it, I have not read every single line of the game book, nor do I have much interest in doing either. This is, instead, an examination of the flaws I see in this game.

With that in mind, feel free to read on.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SWTOR: Awkward Moments

"Why don't you just let the military handle this..."

This is what I said to a guy on Balmorra who was panicking about getting something done. I play a Trooper, so I have a very military bent to all of the things I say. When he mentioned his inability to get the job done, I chose the "I'll handle this" option and the above is what I said. Nice and simple.

Except I was running with a group when this happened. I've decided to try leveling with a group for a bit, so I can see more of the game - I get to spectate for the other character's stories - and also actually do some of the heroic quests. My sister and her husband are playing Jedi, a Consular and Knight respectively, so we have very different activities.

So when we first start the conversation with this fellow, it's the Knight who starts the conversation. "Oh, thank goodness, a Jedi, maybe you can help." And then the poor fellow gives out his sob story of being sucky at his job of guard/rebel/soldier and asks us to do it for him. And I say the above line.

The context of the conversation changed a great deal there. I am the Captain of an elite Special Forces unit in the Republic military. I am a badass, and so are my squad. Heck, I just went into an Imperial Destroyer with only one partner in tow and captured the whole thing. I'm awesome. And this guy is all "Oh, thank goodness, a Jedi." I am learning why the Republic military hates the Jedi. Friggin' scene-stealing, scenery-chewing, showboating psychics.

And I'm reaching a point where if someone tells me me "May the Force be with you" one more time...

What this really highlights for me is the strangeness of the team conversation in everyday use. Sure, you see it all the time in Flashpoints, and occasionally in heroic quests, but you don't fully see how weird these team-ups are until you're teaming for plain old quests. Suddenly every ounce of praise given to a Jedi is one more insult to Havoc Squad. Every time you flirt is one more time you try to mack on some chick while a judgmental space monk is watching.

It's fun, but it changes the way the story progresses. I love being able to breeze through difficult areas, and actually accomplish heroics. But it's at the cost of me feeling like I get my due. Which is funny. Also, I get no more affection from my companion, because she's never around. Very frustrating.