|Guild Wars 2
||[Sep. 4th, 2012|07:21 am]
Bi Poly Pagan Geeks on WoW.... Decadence Inc
I've been playing GW2 for a week now (didn't pre-purchase, so no headstart or beta). Very brief review: I like it.|
Slightly less brief: best graphics of any MMO to date. This game is very pretty. I'm only up to level 13 (of 80) on my highest character, but the world feels very big. There are 5 races and 5 distinct starting zones. Also, in creating your character, you make several story choices, and your personal story quest will be based on all of those, so even within the starting zone, the content varies. They took Rift's dynamic event concept and improved it. Events happen more often, but are smaller scope, with the result that several times an hour you will have the opportunity to join in on some large group action if you choose. Unlike Rift, this doesn't mess with your current party structure.
There are some big changes from the usual sorts of game systems. Your abilities depend on your class and weapons of choice. The action bar is 10 slots, and 5 are determined by your choice of weapon(s), and so can be changed on the fly. The other half are your choices based on abilities from your class. This is both more limited and more flexible than the usual model. Each class (there are 10) has a skill mechanic that is completely unique to their class.
What's harder to describe is all the little things they get right. So many annoyances have been removed. For instance, crafting is done at crafting stations, which are available in quite a few places. You have full bank access at a crafting station so you can shuffle ingredients, intermediate results, and finished products back and forth with your bank with out running back and forth. Also, crafting materials that you gather can be transferred directly to your bank from anywhere, and the bank has special storage for those materials that don't take up regular bank inventory slots. Also, your bank storage is shared among all your characters. (Which means you don't have as much storage if you have a lot of characters, but if you have characters gathering crafting materials, you don't have to do a lot of inventory management to get them to your crafters. Resource nodes and non-competitive. Each person can mine a copper node once per spawn, rather than only the first one that gets there. You can put money in the bank, wihch can then be accessed by all your characters. There are no mailboxes, you can send or receive mail from anywhere.
There are waypoints all over the map and you can port between them at will for a small fee once you've been there once to activate it. No running long periods of time just to get back to where you were questing before, or to go to town and buy something and then come right back. There are portals between all the major cities that do NOT need to be unlocked. If you join a guild, or a party, your account joins. All your characters are in that guild, or party. If you switch characters, your new character is in the same group, and same guild. There are pros and cons to this, but mostly it's a convenience.
There are no pvp servers. There are no player factions. pvp is either arbitrary teams, guild vs guild, or server vs server. So running around the world, there are no inherent conflicts among player factions.
It's hard to explain how nice the lack of "standard annoyances" is. Many of those things you just have to put up with in all the other MMOs simply aren't there.
So, if anyone winds up in GW2, I'm on the Sorrow's Furnace server. I've joined a small guild run by a co-worker's husband, which most of the people I know would find comfortable. If you're looking for me, search for "ChooseYourMasks.5784". That's my account display name, it'll find any of my characters that happen to be logged in. (It might even find me if I'm not online, not sure.) Convenient, no? Friends lists work that way too, you only have to friend the account, not every character on it.