Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Romance with Guild Wars

Guild Wars is a funny game really. I've heard it called "World of Warcraft Lite". I've heard it called crap, I've heard the glorious praise of many many neutral sites. In general, I love the game. To me it's a not repetitive Diablo. You have a series of skills, you can combine them into combos, you can use them to overpower, you can simply ignore them and chop frantically away at the villainous creatures inhabiting the game world. Either way, it's a simple game with a rewarding end that is easily accessible and fun to play. It's very long, it combined 3 full chapters and 1 expansion into a very fleshed out and large gaming world that literally puts games like World of Warcraft to shame in size.

It's unfair to compare it to WoW though, as it is a completely different game. World of Warcraft is a persistent, online realm. Guild Wars is not. Guild Wars really is more like Diablo. The only thing it has in common with WoW is that it is online. It also does it for free, which to be honest, was what originally lured me in.

About 4 years ago, my two best friends moved away. One for work, one for school. I wanted a way to help keep us in contact over the period they would be gone, and I suggested online gaming (that's my dreamy thinking, it may have been one of them, but who cares, it's my story!!:P) Anyway, I ran out and grabbed a copy of Guild Wars because I figured free online play and a fun fantasy world would be right up everyone's ally. They instead bought World of Warcraft. :P (Some thinking on my part...:P) Anyway, I started in on this game and really never did put it down. While everyone else was levelling and raiding in WoW, I was questing and following a story in Guild Wars. I did eventually sign up to WoW, but gave up on it far more quickly than the guys (we are all out now) as I found it a little repetitive and stale. I always loved my Guild Wars sittings. Getting to the next quest (there are NO unimportant kill or fetch quests in this game). Getting to level 20. Following the story. Finishing the odyssey that is. The first game of the trilogy, now dubbed Prophecies, took me over 100 game hours to finish. The ending was VERY fulfilling. As I completed it, the second game, Factions, took me about 75 ours to finish completely. I still have not finished the third installment, Nightfall, or the expansion called Eyes of the North.

Guild Wars got me through some tough times in life, like the break up of a long term relationship (not related to obsessive gaming, just the end of something bad), the loss of a shitty lifeline job, the long lonely nights of a single 20 something. Each and every night I played I was fulfilled and enjoyed it immensely. It wasn't an addiction, as there were long periods I didn't even play the game. (My recent stretch nearly a year!) It was simply something I enjoyed as a passtime and was contented to put it down once in a while.

This week, with the install of my new, $5, 128 meg video card, I was able to finally install and play the game again. I am so glad that my account is still there waiting for me and I can simply jump in, even after all this time and contribute to a party of strangers and contribute well. I typically use a hammer warrior and be the first to fight and squash anything that moves. I also have a dervish (think a grim reaper with a big fucking sickle), a monk (the typical rpg healer), and a ranger (bow, arrow, pet, you get the idea). I actually have 8 characters in total, but a couple were to just try them out to see if I liked them, which I didn't. The gaming style of your character revolves around what you want to do as a player. I hate being the monk, but he's very useful and easy to get into multiplayer parties as EVERYONE wants a monk in their party. But my passion in the game is warrior. I love smashing things mindlessly.

While others pander away at trying to kill 20 hour, 35 man raid dungeon bosses, I play more casually with the thought of doing it at my own pace with nobody telling me what to do, as I game for fun. World of Warcraft for me felt like a job, and I felt obligated to play as I was paying $15 a month to play. This game will be with me til they shut down the game servers and it drifts off into memory. I would recommend it to anyone, especially now as it is dirt cheap to buy and you can get multiple chapters for the price of one. you can even save a trip to the store and simply go online and buy, or try the 10 hour demo.


I'm off to run another mission before bed. Happy gaming folks, and I'll see you tomorrow.


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