View Thread : Guild Wars

A Black Falcon
Fine, I'll make it a seperate thread...

Online kinda-MMORPG. Free download playable from now until E3 ends in a few days (alpha). I played it for a few hours today. Fun.


Other than its unique features (not a persistent world, but focused on short missions with groups -- more like a standard multiplayer game, not a persistent MMORPG), the most interesting thing is the final version won't have a monthly fee...

This game looks sweet. My only concern is for how large the world is as it's not really a MMO.

A Black Falcon
No, it's not, but it's really fun... I've been playing all week. I'll definitely miss it. Sad that it just ended... :( Closer to Diablo II maybe, not quite. It's a mix of team adventures (chosen teams of 4) and various types of PvP... lot of fun, IMO. And free can't be beat... but I think it'll definitely be worth getting. Especially since there's no monthly fee... but you're right, it isn't a normal MMORPG, which is probably a big part of why it's free. You only interact with others not on your team in the non-combat areas... making the solo game lonely. Oh well, the rest makes up for it. Very fun. And a REALLY good marketing tool to release it free for 5 days... I just wish I'd beaten the fourth team mission (four players on a scripted mission)... oh well.

It locked levels in the demo, but I've heard the full version has less emphasis on levelling. It's more about getting the skills... and since it limits everyone to eight, higher level players have less of an advantage I'd expect. But you have to do something if the game's as focused on PvP as this... several of the major game modes are PvP. And it is a pretty action-oriented RPG... but with definite strategy, with choosing your skills and then using them wisely.

Oh yeah, and the graphics are great.

A Black Falcon
Want my impressions? No? I think I'll write some up later anyway. :)

Yes impressions. I never thought D2's PvP was all that. Mainly because it consisted of waiting by the entrance to town, running out and if you were unlucky (or me) being blasted to bits in about 3 seconds. :p

A Black Falcon
This post's best friend is the Attach Images Thread. :)

I played essentially all the time with one character. Maybe I should have tried out the other four classes as well (there are six classes and you choose a primary and secondary class), but I didn't... was having too much fun. Oh well. I was a Ranger-Elementalist. That means my only weapon was a bow and my skills were all ranged... makes for weak hand-to-hand combat and a tough single player game versus melee enemies. Oh well, it was fun...

There are six classes. Fighter (guess), Ranger (archer really; stealth not implemented yet. And pets not fully implemented), Necromancer (summon dead not implemented, so mostly for stat downs of enemies), Elementalist (battle magic -- wind, fire, ice, earth...), Mesmer (stat-affecting magics), and Monk (healing!). Only Humans are available -- the only nonhumans are monsters. And it's very limited in changing your look. All you can do is choose between three hair styles, four faces, four skin colors, and a few hair colors... can't change clothing (each class of the same gender will thus look almost all the same until people get Dyes from monsters, which let you dye your armor various colors.). So in the alpha, everyone looks very similar. Oh well, the game is early...

The way the game works in this version is that everyone is locked at level 15. So everyone's on par as far as health goes -- all classes have similar amounts of health. Armor varies greatly, though, so weaker classes will still die a lot faster. The game is built around a selection of eight skills. You start with just eight, but as you play you'll get gems as loot from enemies. If you bring these gems to trainers in the town, and the gem is for one of your two classes, you can add that skill to your list (it uses a Skill Point to do this. You get a skill point every time you level up. And though you can't level up in the demo, you can get skill points -- you "level up", but only get a skill point for doing so.). Then, in any noncombat area, you can switch skills to choose which eight you want to go with. Once in the mission, you're stuck with them. They cost mana, but it replenishes fast so you can cast often. But choosing which skills are best can be tricky, if you have several that you like... it adds a layer of strategy to the game.

The Main Menu

Character Select

I have shots here from all six classes, both genders, but I'll only post those if someone wants them.

Character Creation - Female Elementalist

Character Creation - Female Necromancer (second coolest looking after Ranger, IMO)

Character Creation - Male Necromancer. He looks very ... odd.

Character Creation - Male Fighter. Most common class probably, with helmet on.

The Ascalon Wilds. Where you start. Single player area only. It's got three main enemy types, scorpions, elementals, and gargoyles...

Most of the alpha was in wastelands like the Wilds. There are a few parts in other areas, though, including dungeon-caves and a jungle fortress. But the only single-player area that was populated with enemies was this Wilds. You get missions from a few people. Simple stuff, mostly 'kill enemies of type X and return items they might drop', or 'bring me items X and Y'. But the enemies don't drop stuff very often so it could take a while to succeed at the missions. But anyway, multiplayer is most of the game... and when you're an archer, it gets frusterating fighting some enemy types because of how hard it is to kill people at melee range.

Combat is simple, as are controls. WASD or the arrow keys move directly (and QE for sidestepping), or you can use the mouse and click where you want to go. Click on an enemy to attack with your weapon. But it's not quite that simple, because of the skills. You have to activate those yourself, by clicking on the icons (then a target if you don't have one selected). Waiting for mana to replenish (it does so fast, but you will wait for the higher-cost 15 mana spells) or for a skill to be ready again (they have cooldown times that vary depending on which skill it is; the better, the slower), and then using them, is what you do. As well as changing targets (such as when one dies); you don't auto-attack anything. But you use skills a lot, so you do plenty while in combat. It's a fun and action-oriented RPG system that also manages to have good strategic depth.

Nice graphics

Combat - Elemental

Combat - Gargoyles


Your friend the loading screen. Unlike most MMORPGs you can warp to any zone by going to the world map and then selecting that zone. And then waiting on this screen.

Entrance to a zone. You can travel this way if you want, but the map button is much quicker... :)

Anyway, the multiplayer part where you talk to people not in your party is divided into the non-combat town, an empty area for just talking, and the lobbies outside of each area that you need a party to enter. Some of those involve random teams, though. There is the town (Khylo), where you can buy and sell stuff from the merchants and set up trades (since in this alpha trading isn't enabled and you can't drop things in town, so you have to go to one of the areas outside a mission and trade there). There is also the Arena, where you fight random team 4v4 battles. If your team win you fight another battle with the same team and if you lose you go to the Arena lobby.

The town of Khylo

The Crafter. Combine specific collections of items you collect out in your adventures and make some nicer items. With a crowd of people.

The Arena lobby. In the last few hours I found a purple dye (pickups that change the color of your character) and used it on the lower part of the armor. These shots are all from the last couple of days so my top armor has been dyed red in all of them -- but like with the lower armor, only the non-leather parts dye -- the undershirt part for the top, the pants for the bottom...

I'm on the blue team. The side is red (not shown).

The other PvP game types are a fortress defence where one random team of eight defends a special NPC while the other team of 8 tries to kill him. The defence has a fort with just two entrances and some NPC guards helping, while the offence respawns more often. 8 minuites. It's fun, but I only played it a few times...

The other one is the dungeon. It's got two parts. First, in the lobby you form teams (chosen, this time, not random). In this one they are also teams of eight. One is when you fight a defence mission against attacking monsters. You've got to protect a NPC character for several minuites from many enemies. The other is a much longer one. In this, three (or maybe as many as five?) teams of eight people duke it out. You win by killing the NPCs for the other teams -- otherwise their Monk NPC will just keep resurrecting them all every minuite. This can take a very long time, with many teams and eight-player squads...

And finally, the co-op missions. Teams of four players form and do a series of missions. I heard there are five, but never got through the fourth one, despite at least 10 tries... this mission is hard... they aren't very complex missions. Basically you just are given a goal and you go forward along the path (not always blatantly obvious, but you can figure it out given enough time) and kill all the monsters. There are NPCs who talk and some story, but it's easily ignored... and most people seem to. It's more about doing the mission than following the story, and I'd say the mission design makes that more likely. It's simple. Kill stuff. Then move forward in the scripted mission. But since you're working with a team, it works well and can be quite challenging. Oh, and you can't attack eachother. :)

These are from one of the many attempts on that long and very hard mission four

Front gate of the fortress

Still more ruins

So, what am I missing?

Oh, some skills. The ones I have on the bottom there are Resurrection Signet (start game with it. Once-per-mission-resurrect someone else.), Heal Signet (heal 50 health. Quick cooldown.), (forget exact names here) Poison Arrow, Targetted attack (do more damage, fairly quick cooldown), dual arrow (shoot two weaker arrows at target), cripple (not too good skill that slows down the target, supposedly), Rain of Fire (target enemy. Watch stuff burn all around it.), and Shock (walk up to enemy; it'll do lightning damage and stun them). I have many other skills too, but those were chosen at the time... I'd have changed a few, but didn't bother. The others aren't that much better.

A Black Falcon
Yes[U] impressions. I never thought D2's PvP was all that. Mainly because it consisted of waiting by the entrance to town, running out and if you were unlucky (or me) being blasted to bits in about 3 seconds.

I find Diablo II multiplayer boring and pointless. It's not very fun. Single is okay, while it lasts, but multi is just single with other people randomly running around and you trying to level up and get better stuff... it doesn't intrest me much at all. This is different...

You should have tried it! Oh well, too late now...

Dark Jaguar
The concept of PvP to me has always seemed very badly implemented in a LOT of games. They all allow anyone to kill anyone at all times. Considering how the majority of people playing those games are rude, a lot, and I mean a LOT of new people are going to be turned off simply because they get slaughtered and have no defense at all to prevent it.

Now, newer games have finally put a stop to this VERY terrible game design flaw. Some like FFXI outright disabled it completely at first, but now they have a tournament, so the only people one can kill are those who also took part in it, and are thus willing combatents. World of Warcraft's system is interesting. Simply put, they just put up a couple servers with completle PVP enabled. The rest will have it disabled unless you are in certain regions that are in conflict or something like that, and even then you can only fight against people who are part of another nation.

Just a couple games I've played have what I think is the best system yet. Basically, you just turn on PvP in your options if you want to take part in it. If you have the option on, you can kill or rob anyone else with the option on, but you can also BE killed or robbed. If it's off, you are totally immune to other players, but can't attack or rob anyone yourself. Of course, there's the occasional moron running up to you and DEMANDING that you turn it on so they can steal your stuff (why they think I'd do that is beyond me...), but it's really the best way so far. I am fully aware that it's more realistic to be able to kill absolutely everyone, but honestly, fun over realism any day of the week for me.

On a side note, some people are mad at Blizzard for not making ALL servers full PvP. Apparently, their idea of fun is not just attacking people who are fully wanting to engage in PvP combat, but in stalking and killing people who don't want to fight them at all. Seriously, those people are the ones I never try and play with.

By the way, can you guess that I've been sampling various MMORPGs lately? I haven't payed for any of these things yet, but I have had some fun trying out demos and watching friends play who happen to own a couple of them. Also, a few are completely and totally free anyway.

Guild Wars... I really didn't try this as much as I would have wanted to, so I'm afraid my opinion just isn't developed enough to be worth while. So far, it seems like a basic beat them up with nothing much to offer besides. The guilds the game takes it's name from were disabled, so I couldn't sample that part. Anyway, it's likely too late by now, but I really don't think I even figured out what I was doing in that game. It was fun killing stray beasts, but that's about all I could do.

Dark Jaguar
Oh yes, ABF, I must agree I never found the fun in Diablo myself. I assume Diablo 2 is just more of the same of Diablo 1 from what you describe. Anyway, it really was just fighting. Maybe if there was some strategy to it, or skill, it would be something. As it was, I just ran up, used magic if I had it, or if not, just clicked on the enemy and waiting until either I or it died. When I'm not controlling the battle, I'm watching, and that means I'm not actually playing the game.

Anyway, some people seem to like it, but I don't.

A Black Falcon
I improved my overview. 20 screenshots now, and a bit more detail. Will respond tomorrow, it's almost 5 am...

A Black Falcon
Oh. chat. In the arena, you cannot chat with the other team -- team chat only. Chat with everyone only enables for a few seconds at the end. In PvE missions of course you only chat with the team, and in single player you have no one ever talking to you except the NPCs. But in towns, you listen to everything... I don't know of filters. You can whisper to someone, but I never used it and the 'add buddy' system was buggy and didn't always find accounts.

Oh yeah, and as I said, no killing teammates. You just can't. And you also cannot attack anyone in the towns. And with everyone in instanced zones for anywhere where you might be in combat (either by yourself or in a team against humans or comps, it's a zone just for the bunch of you), they avoid any problems here.

(read my article! :))

And yes, the test is over now. Ended at midnight PST.


*writes down "second piece of evidence ABF is really a girl" in notebook of theories*

A Black Falcon
... 'Falcon' wouldn't work, and for a female character 'Falconer' would be stupid...

As for 'Ysaye', that's a character from one of the Darkover books. Rediscovery, to be specific.


*writes down "second piece of evidence ABF is really a girl" in notebook of theories*

:lol: :gay:

A Black Falcon

It's blank.


A Black Falcon
Fixed. Stupid Sound Recorder... Creative Recorder worked. :)

Be a man and post your voice. I would, if I could find my mic. But, of course, I have done so before anyway.

A Black Falcon
I just fixed it. That download now is of voice. :)

Sound Recorder only seems to accept input from ... I don't know what, but it obviously isn't the microphone I've got here.