Guild Wars

Now for something that is not related to politics. I can see some of you sighing with relief. I have two things to say:

Thing #1 – I am now the proud possessor of two tickets to see Star Wars Episode III on Sunday at 10 am. Yes, Mr. Rochester and I will be paying our respects to God over a large tub of greasy popcorn.

Thing #2 – My last foray into online gaming was Neverwinter Nights, which was great. I went through the first campaign with Mr. R and then worked on Shadows of Undrentide with Mr. R and my brother. I had heard some buzz about a new game coming out called Guild Wars that was supposed to revolutionize online gaming. I ignored the buzz because I was unsure if I could afford the time and money for the game. Monday, Mr. Rochester sent me an email asking me to consider it for our next online adventure. I did some reading, was completely hooked, and we bought it that evening. How romantic, I know. Last night, was our first run with the game and here are some of my impressions:

The good stuff – Can you say beautiful graphics? The visual aspect of this game is simply amazing. We were running down a gorge last night and little puffs of sand came up at our heels. There were footprints in the sand after we passed through as well. You can join other players at will for different missions, but once you leave town, which is communal to all online players, the area is uniquely created for your party. You can choose to chat with everyone in the game, only your team, or only your guild. For those who are strictly into PvP, there are platforms for PvP and guild contests. You do not have to be a member of a guild. They have a unique take on some classes that are standard fare in fantasy games. The Warrior, Necromancer, Ranger, and Monk are pretty standard, but the Mesmer (Illusionist) and the Elementalist are new takes on old abilities. There is no fee to play this game! Woohoo!

The bad – No audio chat is my biggest gripe. In NWN, you could use certain emotes that had audio, using the voice you chose for your character, which allowed you to interact and get the attention of your party members. Guild Wars is strictly a chat based game with absolutely no audio available for the emotes. Players can subscribe to TeamSpeak, but that costs money in equipment and a monthly fee. The biggest drawback is that while running around or in combat, when it is essential to be able to communicate, the chat window often gets in the way and there is no way to say “Hey, over here!” or “Heal Me!”.

Overall – I am impressed. The controls for movement took some getting used to, but at the end of our four hour stint last night, I had figured out running and camera angles. It is worth the price of the game and I think it will keep me busy for many hours into the future.

Want more information? Here you go.

–Jane, wondering if she should eat one more chocolate egg