Guild Wars

I bought Guild Wars in the last week of April, apparently just about the day after it became available in Belgium. I had no problem purchasing a copy in the fnac, while in the forums people were aching to buy a copy in their local computer store – but it was sold out there. Just my dumb luck, I guess.

The thing that attracted me most to Guild Wars was the fact that you have an online MMORPG (Massive Multipe Online Role Playing Game) presence, but without paying those costly monthly fees. It’s not that I can’t afford them, but with the limited time I have, I would not be ‘using’ those fees efficiently. Last time I played an MMORPG was with Anarchy Online (AO)- which I really liked. However, 3 months after Tom arrived I stopped my subscription – I was getting so little sleep with our new baby boy that I had only been online 2 or 3 times in those months.

Apparently, every 6 to 9 months Guild Wars will bring out expansion packs, and it’s up to you if you purchase them or not. So instead of paying 150 euros or more a year (15€ per month, one or two months free) you pay the purchase of the game (in the fnac it cost me about 45€) plus the expansion pack.
I’m hoping that those expansion packs won’t be full-price, but something along the lines of 30 € maximum. No price setting for these expansion packs is known at the moment.

Guild Wars has been a very nice experience so far. The startup is very very fast, login is quick and moving about the world is smooth. This week however, some parts of it have slowed down -I think there are many more players now than last week, and when you pop up in a district (an ‘instance’ of town where a limited numbers of players are in), depending on the number of players, you see yourself appearing in about 10 seconds or so, while last week the apparition of your character was nearly instantaneous.

While each district (or copy) of a town is a separate instance, you can migrate freely between them : if your friend is in district 4 and you are in district 9, you can still chat to each other, and if you want to meet up, simply change to the district number and find him or her.

Compared to my AO experience, I very much like the improvements they have made to their game – GW has been described as a third-generation MMORPG. Gameplay is much smoother. However, there is still some room for improvement :
– you cannot control your pets (if you are a ranger give them a name with /petname , a command that is mentioned nowhere on the site, except in a forum)
– you cannot control undead horrors
– I would love to have some small scripting ability for the emotes, so that you can string them together !

More on this game later…