Summer’s gone, holidays are almost over, all your books and games are finished and there’s little money left because you spent it all on that amazing trip to the south. Traffic to and from work has become dense again, raindrops seem to fall from the sky on the most unsuspecting moments and there’s nothing on tv.
Good thing you still got “a little” money left to spend on a good game. The question here is “which good game?”. There are so many, it’s true.
Well, since Skyrim launched in november last year I have barely played any online games save for Diablo III (which was a little disappointment, although that may be because we are spoiled!) and some Mass Effect 3 multiplayer action. You may (or you may not) know that I used to play World of Warcraft for many years, at first casually, then intensive, and then casually again until I lost interest. Next month in September there will be a new expansion pack coming out called Mists of Pandaria.
MoP will add Pandarians as a race (yea you get to be a huge Kung Fu Panda), add some Pokémon style pet battles & make lots of collectibles account-wide. Which means you will finally be able to use the mounts you grinded so long for on your old main on every character. Sounds good right? Yea I thought so too.
This week the 5.0.4 patch comes out which adds most of those changes, including a new (again) talent system. Hey it was only 12 euros to reactivate so I gave it a shot.
I hadn’t played yet since they introduced the transmutation device -which makes it possible to change the look of your items to any similar item you posses- so there were a lot of new things going on. I looked up my old guild, The Elders (actually it’s an online community of older roleplayers, playing several different MMOs and offering a friendly and stress-free environment for adult [25+] players), to find out that half of them were playing Guild Wars 2!
I had seen a few things on the interweb about this game but it didn’t really spark my entusiasm. Until I saw all those screenshots on The Elders’ Facebook page… I read up on some things and it did spark my enthusiasm. There are 5 races, some more original than others. Someone described it as being the MMO that takes all the best pieces from other MMO’s and brings them together into one game. And the best part? There’s no monthly fee!
Unfortunately this was one day after I had reactivated my WoW account so I was a little held back from buying that Guild Wars game. It only took me a few more videos, screenshots and (p)reviews to be convinced but in the end it was worth it.
By buying it online I got a 1-day headstart to the official launch which I spent almost entirely in the character creation screen. Tons and tons of customization options, just the way I like it. The second evening was the official launch so there were some login problems but I managed to get a few peeks at the gameplay.
Smooth character animations, beautiful worlds, spoken dialogue and lots of freedom are some of the first things you notice. ‘Nothing special’ I hear you think. True, but nonetheless important! What stood out were the ‘events’. Whenever you are in a questing area, there’s a chance an event will appear nearby. You get notified and you can choose to help out. The fun thing is that everyone goes to check it out and it often ends up as one massive battle against fearsome creatures. A little bit like in RIFT.
Another change is the fact that you don’t need to talk to questgivers to get your quests and deliver them. You just enter their area and their quest shows up, there are multiple ways to help them out and complete your objectives.
Anyway I’m not going to write a complete review, I don’t know enough yet but it looks very promising!
I’m secretly hope I got you interested since an mmo is better when played with people you know right? Would you play Guild Wars 2 or rather stick to the familiar WoW & Mists of Pandaria? Or have you completely no interest in any mmo’s whatsoever? All is well and I like to hear what you think!
Now I just need to find some spare time to play…