Ive just stopped playing guild wars the other day, and im now completely hooked on World of Warcraft. Indeed, both games are completely different, with both offering different reasons to play. I put in 250+ hours to Guild Wars since its release day, so these are my main likes and dislikes of the game:
-Excellent combat system, never gets bring. You only have 8 skill slots to fill and you will eventually have 300 skills to choose from so it can be quite dynamic.
-Excellent interface. Ive been put off by other MMO’s before because of their poor interfaces, but GW’s is so intuitive and user friendly. First thing that stood out to me when i first played. MMOG developers take note.
-Very helpful and friendly community. Interacting with the community and
forming teams etc is very simple and alot of fun.
-NCsoft have created a really stunning world. One of my big loves about MMOG’s is being able to explore. I had my finger hovering over the PRINT SCREEN key more than any other. Its that beautiful. Some of the vistas and environments are simply breathtaking. Pat on the back.
-The PvP arena’s are tremendous fun. The battles which are a maximum of 8 on 8, are fast paced, require logical movement and quick reflexes and are highly addictive. There are a number of match types, like hold the throne, capture the flag etc and they really are quite exciting. When you play in a PvP arena for the first time and a list of the 5 other teams comes up on the screen, and a minute countdown before the fight starts, you cant help but rub your hands in exitement. The battles are so tense you forget about the real world. Nothing more satisfying than picking off a target with an arrow when they are running for their lifes. Its like taking the first mouthful of a fresh pint.
-The guild ranking system is excellent and really gives you something to challenge for. Your guild can also be rewarded with a guild hall which you must defend from attacking guilds. Excellent system.
-The game design itself is very tight and well balanced. When you play a game for say, 15-20 hours, its flaws start to appear. After playing GW’s for +250 hours, those flaws are doing a very good job of hiding themselves.
-How you succeed and progress in the game is all down to skill and not button bashing. Its all about timing and when you do achieve something great, you feel like a king.
-Last of all, this game is built around the keyword, Fun. Its just a blast to play and the addition of NO MONTHLY FEE is a breath of fresh air to the already alienated MMOG genre.
-Level cap. Level 20 level cap is reached within say, 120 hours. Ok thats alot of gaming by anyones standards, but after this cap is reached, you will have completed all missions and quests. So all there is left to do is play in the PvP arena’s. Not to say thats a bad thing, but a little more variety for maxed out characters would have been nice.
-Look its my twin! If you strive for an MMOG that lets you create and personalize your OWN character, you better look elsewhere. There is very and i mean VERY little variety in character models and combinations and i dont know how many times ive seen my mirror run past me. There is also only about 5 different armour sets. Now when everyone is maxed out at lvl 20, and has enough gold to splash out, they will obviously go for the best set. So again, mirrors mirrors everywhere.
-The guild system, although mostly flawless, could be a little more robust. Its divided into 3 different ranks. Leader, officers and members. Officers can fire and recruit and members are just members. Nothing major, but its something that NCsoft said would address in the near future anyway.
-My biggest annoyance is that when you are fighting in a PvP match with 7 others, nearly everytime, a person leaves. Which gives you a straight disadvantage. These arenas are instanced so nobody can join/replace once your in a fight. Same with missions etc. There are main towns, which act as a hub for team building etc, but once you have a team together and leave the town or outpost, you will be loaded into an instance. Its a system that people will either generally either love or hate.
-Towns and citys are generally void buildings and shops etc. Each place has a weapon and armour vender and some other traders, but they all stand in the middle of nowhere. No homes, buildings or shops are to be seen! Nothing major, just a little strange.
-When exploring or questing, the environment feels very restrictive and linear. You are always pushed along set paths and routes and having a look off the beaten track doesnt happen. For some reason, my character can walk up a slope which is pointing about 20 degrees.
Thats about it really. All i can say is, is that if you are picking up GW’s expecting a big, open-ended experience, you will be let down. However, i really dont want to talk about its negatives anymore, because combat and teamplay is its core gameplay mechanism. What GW’s offers is an excellent experience marred with a friendly community and some flawless games design. Its more like Diablo or Baldurs Gate, than any MMOG, but thats what NCsoft set out to achieve. Some of the above dislikes I mentioned above like no buildings etc cant be held against this game as its not a MMOG in a traditional sense and it certainly isint pretending to be. Maybe the word dislikes should be changed to recommendations. Its just someting for potential players to keep in mind if they are looking for a big MMO. I would thoroughly recommend GW’s to any player, casual or hardcore. It will draw you in and offer you some seriously quality gaming for what seems, a measily 45 euro.
Sorry that this turned into a review and most of you probably wont even finish reading it, but there you have it! :P I wont talk about WoW right now because i need to play more to see what it has to fully offer for my 13 euro monthly fee. Signs are good so far. Very good.