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.