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Tycho / on Fri, May 6 2005 at 4:30 am

Our Whimsical God, Part Three

I’m packing up to fly to a California studio where Gabriel’s
hideous creation will be birthed, no doubt there is an ancient
prophecy that details all the particulars, though I suppose technically those would constitute spoilers.  In the meantime, I dropped
a couple random pages from his “great work” on the webserver for you to ridicule.
Updates should continue according to the usual interval, and if
there’s Internet in the sheetmetal hovel provided by the production
company I’ll post as I can.

Alright, I know enough about Guild Wars to discuss it now.

Something I cannot stress enough is that you can play it for a very long time, very long, without actually arriving at the real game.  Because there is nothing to distinguish the “training period” from the “real deal,” you will - as I did - form opinions about Guild Wars that don’t have any bearing on the actual flow of play.

I suppose even that admission is a spoiler of sorts, but I’m mentioning it because before the switch I referred to I really wasn’t feeling it.  It’s my opinion that the starting areas aren’t anywhere near as fun as where you end up - they aren’t challenging, the “lewt” is below par, and I wasn’t terribly engaged by the setting.  I’d imagine there are people who, imagining sixty or seventy hours of that stretching out before them, might decide that there were (perhaps) more judicious time investments.  Perhaps those people are named Gabriel, though they might not have used the word “judicious” when they described their experience to me.  It’s simply a fact that I am willing to work at a game in the hopes of an eventual payout, let me direct you to my PC heritage, and there’s a very good discussion to have about whether or not there should be a toil element in our electronic diversions.  We’ll talk about it on AIM! }:o) 

I was shocked to see Gamespot’s 9.2 review of the game, though it seems like they’re just handing that shit out these days.  The reality, however, is that if the smoking hot Greg Kasavin played it with some guys from the office, earning levels and abilities, eventually culminating in some kind of epic player versus player matchup, the score just isn’t that surprising.  Once you get off the bunny hill and mount the shuddering chairlift to Death Mountain, you start to understand what they’re getting at. 

Combat is extremely fast-paced in Guild Wars.  A ten second buff lasts an eternity.  Things go to hell quickly.  They can be redeemed just as fast.  So if you’ve heard the words MMO and Guild Wars together, it creates a kind of mental template which you imagine will define certain elements of the experience, and then a warrior caves in your skull with a maul.  The immediacy of it is intense and strangely addictive.  I’m curious to see how long I will maintain this level of enthusiasm.  My guess is shortly after the banners come down. 

Perspiration became evident on my brow when I read that Mage Knight would finally arrive in digital form.  Of course, because my madness refracts real events, I had supposed the game in question would leverage the simple, elegant combat system utilized by all Wizkids’ click-base games - perhaps ultimately clearing a path for other click franchises to end up in simulations of their own.  That’s actually not what this is.  It’s some kind of action RPG thing, and it’s being developed by the company that made Iron Phoenix, which means that it has about the same chance of being a good game as the disc its printed on spinning its own cocoon and emerging a butterfly.

(CW)TB out.

it’s not like i owe him money

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