My experience with Guild Wars happened in the month of February so this is recollection of my thoughts then, as promised in my recent blog. Because Guild Wars 2 really is a different kind of MMO, I wanted to share some obstacles I faced and offer some tips if you decideto give the game a try the game.
The night I installed the game I asked for some pointers and received quite a few warnings that haunted me during the installation.
"You need to re-train your brain about everything you know about MMOs"
"It will take a while to get adjusted to Guild Wars 2 but it's hella fun"
"Guild Wars 2 is not for everyone"
"The crafting is one of the best of its kind for an MMO"
"Leveling up doesn't take too long"
Consider yourself damaged to play a game like Guild Wars 2 if you're known to be a creature of habit. If you give the game a chance though, you will find yourself in a new kind of MMO experience.
- Forget what you know. When I was told I have to look at an MMO differently, it was great advice. There will be many occasions you'll almost reject the gameplay elements, but try your best to overcome the creature of habit within!
- Play different classes to find what works for you. With most games I'll pretty much stick with the class I tend to play like a Ranger or Creature Handler. With this game I tried something different, like the Norn engineer. It took me a good 30 minutes to realize it wasn't the class for me and I almost stop playing altogether. I then switched to a Human Ranger to find that the entire game changed for the better. I won't spoil why, but if you like action right when you get in the game, this class is great for that.
- Pay attention to your opponent's level. One of the circumstances that got me really early on was not being able to determine how powerful an opponent was in the game. I often would attack people or creatures only to find that I was too low of a level. Beware of lots of deaths in the game just because there's no real indicator aside from you looking down at your level and comparing the level of your opponent.
- Personal quest instances make you feel disconnected at first but you'll get used to it. You unfold a story that is dedicated to you, and if a friend would like to join that instance, they must join with you at the same time or theyget stuck outside the instance waiting for you. Think about it as you getting a chance to run solo without any random people interrupting your experience! But if you want your pal to join up, be sure to time it so you both can join at the same time.
- Lack of Loot: I can't believe I'm saying this but I felt like I couldn't loot everything I killed. But if you want to re-work that urge, consider it as less junk to get rid of! It'll take a while but you'll get used to the lack of looting.
- Lack of harvesting. I have a thing about gathering herbs or other items and finding ways to craft them into items. The fact that it is extremely lacking in the world caused me to realize that I must have some kind of addiction to harvesting pretty things!
- Inventory storage never got so easy! There are some really nifty user interface in this game, and once you find them, you'll probably never go back to traditional MMOs again. One example, if you go to your inventory, there's a button that allows you to store anything that is considered crafting material. The same goes for when you sell items to a vendor, you can actually tell it to sell all junk with a click of the button!
- Trading post isn't really like an auction house experience. One of the gameplay elements that also gets me hooked is selling items and figuring out obtain more in-game currency. I felt like the trading post is much slower on the sales front. Although, it sure is nice to sell something anywhere in the world, when you'd like, right through your inventory!
- Map is really the key to your happiness. The map in the game is very helpful, displaying initiatives you can do in the game. You also have vistas, which allow you to see a type of trailer that displays the area, and some occasions these locations are difficult to reach.
- Where you're at on a map could determine a nearby quest. You don't always have to accept a quest; if you step in an area near a quest giver, you can take the steps to finish it and then head over to the quest giver. Sometimes world events happen nearby too.
- Look for telescope icons to unveil new areas on your map. There you'll find unfilled yellow hearts, which become solid when you finish the quest. You'll also find skeletons, and based on my experience they are people you can revive within the game but watch out for ambushes!
- No mounts, but travel is easier than ever. As long as you've unveiled the areas of the map, you can visit previous waypoint locations, which means there's really no reason for a mount in the game.
- Creature handling simplified. I would say the creature handling is much simpler by finding a juvenile version of that want you want to train. You also benefit when you're almost dead. You can ask the pet to tend to your wounds, and you may respawn!
- Leveling up works for the better. You can be a higher level toon, and play with your low level pals only to find that items will drop at your level, and not theirs, which is a good benefit.
And, then my experience came to an end. Why oh why? My friends stopped playing the game after reaching the level cap and no matter how awesome it is to explore alone, I started to realize that maybe there was much more connection to them playing with me than I realized. They helped me learn the game, and then they were gone, like the wind. ;)
Have you tried the game? Is there something else that took a while to overcome in the game?
Side note: I'm publishing this very late tonight so I don't have time to upload some in-game shots just yet. I'll share those at a later time.