Tag Archives: gw2

Breaking the Funk

Things have been quiet around here, eerily quiet. Has a fog come in and taken me away? Have I been fighting a zombie uprising? Not quite, I’ve just been in a bit of a MMO funk for the past month.

In early July I entered waiting-on-Guild-Wars mode. It might be the hype, I might have been spoiled by the the GW2 beta weekend events (specifically GW2’s action bar/combat system), or it might be something completely different; but I found myself not only bored with SWTOR but also having lost the desire to return to Rift (or any other past MMO).

So what have I been playing? A little bit of World of Tanks: I finished the AMX 40 grind and unlocked the AMX 12t  before the release of  patch 7.5, while reconnecting with my German tier V mediums (I’ve missed you Panzer III/IV). I’ve also played some World of Warplanes beta, but can’t share anything other than it’s really fun but I’m a horrible pilot. Steam summer sale: I finally played Portal 2 and also picked up a copy of Quantum Conundrum.

But then this past weekend I broke the MMO funk. As you may have guessed from the first paragraph, I’ve joined The Secret World. I’ve been interested in TSW for quite some time but was leery for two main reasons: I’m not much of a horror fan and I kept getting flash-backs of the buggy, but fun, mess that was Age of Conan at launch. At first I wanted to take a wait-and-see approach but as more and more positive word-of-mouth crossed my Google Reader I started looked into the game more and became enticed at the thought of playing it. The class-less skill advancement, the deck system, the modern setting, investigative missions. They all called to me.

By the end of July I had decided that I was going to pick up TSW, at some point. I was all ready to buy it but one question held me back. Is it wise to buy a new subscription game only one month before the release of, an already paid-for, Guild Wars 2? I said “no, I’ll wait until that new-game-smell wears off of GW2 before jumping into TSW,” and was satisfied with my decision. That was until Funcom went ahead and threw a free-trial/celebration weekend into the mix.

I installed the client, logged in, created Chester “Cheka” Kasorski, and entered London. My first thought was that the game runs significantly better than I had expected from my experience in one of the beta weekends and AoC. I picked my starting weapon and, taking some “I wish I knew this when I started” advice from the forums, I then grabbed one of each weapon from the Crucible and headed off the Kingsmouth.

TSW has really impressed me. All of the little things that enticed me are there but what really makes the difference is the quest log/system. I enjoy the investigative missions; I didn’t think I’d like googling clues to solve puzzels but it feels very organic and natural. I’ve found that the one story, one dungeon, one active and three side mission quest log encourages exploration and makes you focus more on the mission at hand, which greatly adds to immersion. The mission system is truly new and different, it gives the game a very unique feel and I can’t but to think that this is what MMO vets must have felt when WoW was fresh and new with the great innovation of quest-based gameplay.

I was sold. While it may be a little stupid to pick up a new MMO only weeks before I’ll be starting another one, TSW is offering me a unique enough experience that I feel comfortable being able to get the most out of both TSW and GW2 at the same time. So, with my MMO funk broken, Sunday night I bought a game key and subscribed to The Secret World.

So the question left now is “what is an altoholic to do in such a single-character centric game?” Well, that’s a post for another day.


Perfect Timing

So August 28 for Guild Wars 2, awesome! I was really expecting a much later date: December, maybe November. Not that I think the game needs that much more time, I was just excepting ArenaNet to take as much time as they could to continue tweaking and polishing it.

But I had to just laugh at myself for the launch date and the last BWE dates. I have two “work things” going on this summer. The first is a company gathering during the July BWE and the second is a business trip the week of launch. Luckily I’ll have early access and a couple of days before I leave for a week but I still found it funny.

On another side note, that release date made up my mind on whether to go for Rift or WoW. I don’t have time for both before GW2’s launch so it’ll just be Rift.

Pay to Lose

Today I caught a Massively article from yesterday about leveling via crafting in Guild Wars 2. One of the devs, Linsey Murdock, had posted an explanation of how leveling by crafting works in GW2, basically leveling a trade skill from 1-400 grants 10 levels of XP so leveling all 8 trade skills grants 80 levels. While that’s interesting in and of itself what really intrigued me was the forum thread that prompted that explanation.

One player had started a thread in the crafting forums titled “Cooking = Buy to Win.” The poster stated that he or she had sold gems for gold and then used that gold to power level trade skills and gained 15 levels in the process. In his or her eyes this was a pay t0 win scenario: money was paid to accelerate leveling and apparently leveling is winning.

I may be in a minority here but to me, that’s paying to lose. It’s one thing if you enjoy doing nothing but crafting, have at it and take advantage of the ability to skip things you don’t want to do (grind gold and/or mats) to do the things you want to do (craft). But paying money to grind, just to make a little number go up isn’t winning anything. It’s doing something you don’t want to do just so that you can skip the bulk of the game, and paying for the privilege; in effect it’s paying to not play. If that isn’t the raw end of a deal, I don’t know what is.

So Much For the Zerg

I logged onto the Guild Wars 2 BWE briefly last night and jumped into WvW. My shard, Green team, was dominating solely by force of numbers. The zerg moved from tower to tower, destroying everything in its path. After the fact I thought, “hey that would have made some nice screen shots.” So once I got an opportunity to log on tonight I immediately jumped in WvW to join what I assumed would be another zerg to take some screen shots, instead I found this…

Where are the blue and red teams?

Give Peas a Chance

“Who does ArenaNet think they’re fooling? Sylvari are obviously just plant elves.” When I first read about Guild War 2’s Sylvari I quickly dismissed them as mere plant elves. I might be eating my own words. When ArenaNet had Sylvari Week I thought the redesign was beautiful but I still just saw them as plant elves. My mind might be changing.

After the BWE I was jonesing for some Guild Wars 2. It started simply enough: hitting the “F” key every time I walked up to a quest giver, wondering why my Jedi Knight wouldn’t dodge. But it kept growing, eventually I just decided to pick up a copy of Ghosts of Ascalon. It was a relaxing, easy read that proved to be an excellent introduction to Tyria for a Guild Wars neophyte such as myself. The book gives a sort of Cliffs Notes version of Tyria’s history through different characters explaining “their” side of the story, most in a human vs Charr manner. It also introduces readers to the four playable races in the members of the party of adventures at the center of the story. Each character seems to be a poster child for their race: the down-but-not-out human, the battled-hardened Charr, the vivacious Norn, the arrogant Asura, and finally the inquisitive and adventurous Sylvari: Killeen.

I may have been blinded by elf hatred but Killeen isn’t what I was expecting from the Sylvari. She is intelligent but with a child-like sense of wonder, inquisitive and adventurous with a thirst for knowledge. Best of all she has a complete disregard for social norms in the name of curiosity. She doesn’t mean harm or insult through her eccentricities but that doesn’t stop her from relishing in them. While her teammates are apprehensive about encountering ghosts, as a necromancer she’s overjoyed at the opportunity. She knows that they don’t want to be used as her undead minions if they die but she doesn’t fully understand their reasoning behind that request. These aspects of her personality intrigue me and, as an explorer Bartle-type, I can relate to her sense of wonder and thirst of knowledge.

If Killeen is a model of the Sylvari, I may be finding myself playing one sooner than anticipated. I’m hoping that the next BWE will add the race so I can grab a better picture of the their zeitgeist and see for myself. I still plan to start out with a Norn Guardian but I might just roll up a Sylvari Mesmer along side of him.