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Monday, February 29, 2016

GW2 Elementalist: My Personal Story

Between Wow runs in the Tanaan Jungle, I've been inching my GW2 Elementalist along and finally am at level 10, and gain "My Personal Story".

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Personal_story

The personal story is the unique campaign of each character which, along with dynamic events and map completion, makes up much of PvE gameplay. The personal story is independent from random world events and is always available to follow through the game world and the events which occur there. The personal story is told through character specific instances and is personalized by decisions made before and during gameplay.  

I don't remember the personal stories of the other characters I've gotten to level 10, but I like this one so far.

 

I'm sent back to Divinity's Reach, the main city in Queensdale to see an old friend who runs a tavern with her father.  Some local ne'er-do-wells cause trouble and I have to take them all down.  Unfortunately, dear old dad was injured in the fight.  He needs medical supplies which bizarrely are not available in this, the largest city I have ever seen in a game.



Off I go to an encampment near where I started my character.  Bandits/robbers/boneheads have stolen the supplies and are holed up in a nearby cave.  I must go in to get the supplies back.   It was late when I did the opening of this series so I haven't gone cave crawling yet.  I'm expecting bunches of baddies and a boss.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From Deep in the Archives: Blizzard's Brave New World

As everyone sort of mourns Blizzard putting World of Warcraft on the back burner, I came across an article I'd copied from Computer Gaming World.  I don't have the date on my copies, unfortunately.

The headline "Is World of Warcraft the breakout online game everyone's been waiting for? Blizzard's Brave New World" is so much fun, and reminds us the game was once all shiny and new, with an uncertain future in a crowded market.

 

The article is written by Jeff Green and Thierry Nguyen (two writers I miss!).  Here's some of what they liked:

"...the game world is beautiful.  Blizzard has truly realized it's goals with the game's graphics; it really feels like you're inside the WarCraft strategy games.  The landscape and architecture boast Blizzard's distinctive painterly, slightly surreal perspective--not quite realistic, but not overly cartoony either."

"...World of Warcraft opens almost as if it's a single player RPG--giving you very specific goals, cool rewards, and an easy, gradual introduction to the world around you."

"World of Warcraft takes its quest interface almost straight from WarCraft III.  NPCs with quests to offer appear in the world with large yellow exclamation points above their heads, just like in the strategy game."

"Before we started playing, Blizzard told us that one of its goals was to achieve what it did in Diablo II--make World of Warcraft so fun that "level ups" come as a surprise.  We'll be darned if that didn't happen a number of times throughout our two days of playing."

"World of Warcraft, more than any other MMORPG we've tried, plays much more like a single-player RPG--something Blizzard designed on purpose."


"...it's that fun, it was everything that made Diablo and the WarCraft games so addictive, and more."

"The biggest worry all along might have been that Blizzard would be out of its depth here, in a tough genre in which it has no experience.  Instead, Blizzard has taken genre and done the best thing it could possibly have done: made a Blizzard game."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Guild Wars 2: What It's Missing

I played a little Guild Wars 2 this week.  My low level Elementalist is working in the Queensdale area.

It finally occurred to me what it is about this game that doesn't grab me.  You work through a map area, doing tasks and filling in "hearts" for quest givers.

There are Vistas to discover, usually involving some climbing or jumping, and a point of interest or two.



You don't get your "Personal Story" till level 10.  My experience with those so far has been that it's an instance where you fight a boss and some other more challenging fights.  It hasn't felt personal at all with the characters who have done them.

For me, the world is curiously empty of story, and any connective quest lines that you would usually have to move you from one area of the world to another.  You don't get the sense that you're really getting anywhere.

It's sort of all exploration and check boxes.

I thought it was that I hadn't found a character class I liked, but it's the world itself that is pretty but sort of hollow.  It doesn't feel like a world, really.   Relaxing for a break sometimes, but not so far compelling.

My character, however, is stunningly beautiful.  There is that.