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Author Topic: Guild Wars Beta Impressions?  (Read 4374 times)
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KC
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« on: April 16, 2005, 12:02:47 AM »

Anyone else try this out this weekend?  I just started.  The graphics are better than WOW, but its running awfully slow right now.
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2005, 12:59:00 AM »

I just started too.  It's OK so far.  The clincher is PvP for me.  If it sucks, I'm gone.

If you want to contact me in-game for grouping or whatnot, my name is "Giev Itam."

One complaint:  the girls in this game are way too hot.  I seriously can't pay a lick of attention when a blonde elementalist is around, for example.
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2005, 01:12:40 AM »

this another one of those beta weekend things?
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2005, 01:32:38 AM »

I know the game is third person only, but can you use num lock to move your char? If it's point and click only, like Diablo, I have no interest.
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KC
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2005, 02:34:02 AM »

you use the wasd keys to move around
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Jon Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2005, 04:25:38 AM »

I just started playing this evening. I've been soloing a ranger character. I want to try out the different classes solo as well as some PvP. It's weird playing solo in large instanced outdoor areas.

You can point-and-click or use keys. The interface seems pretty good so far.
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2005, 01:04:58 PM »

Anyone have an extra key to loan out for this weekend?
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2005, 04:52:46 AM »

After playing with the game for two days straight, I think I'm getting pretty tired of it.  There just doesn't seem to be very much 'there.'  PvP is both too fast to be strategic and too slow to be ultra-engaging like an FPS would be.  The world is big, but with everything instanced, it's also dead and empty.  There have been times I've come across a NPC guard scuffling with a monster and my mind immediately jumps to thinking it's a player engaging a foe, but of course when I draw near, it's just an NPC.  There are no other living people in the game besides the people in your group... and the world feels very bland because of that.

All in all, I've played Guild Wars this weekend with a solo, single-player mentality.  And as a single-player game, it's just not that fun.  Indeed, if you play solo, the game feels almost exactly like Spellforce.  Except minus the RTS tacked on.

Guild Wars set out to be a game that bridges genres, but right now it just feels like it's stuck between them.  It can't decide whether it wants to be fast-paced like Diablo, or slower paced like a true MMORPG.  Instead of biting the bullet and picking a side, the game tries to shoot the middle--and instead of being new and refreshing, it turns out to take the worst of both worlds instead of the best.

I want to expound on that because it's the main gripe I have with the game:  everything about it seems too slow to be fast-paced and too fast to be slow-paced.  Combat is fun when you get new abilities or fight new monsters.  Otherwise, it's excrutiatingly boring.  Why?  Because after 10 nigh-identical encounters, you've figured out the best combination of attacks to use to finish off your foe, and it's just inefficient to do otherwise.  The game often feels like a worse grind than WoW or, at some really bad times, Everquest.  Let me explain:

In Diablo (2), the game came down to builds.  You built a Blizzard Sorceress, or a Whirlwind Barbarian, or a Lightning Fury Javazon, or whatever.  You spent time building up your chosen skill and then you used it as your main attack.  If your build was good, combat was said and done faster than it took you to finish this sentence.  And that was amazingly satisfying.  You didn't care if you were just spamming Blizzard, or Frost Orb, or Lightning Fury, or Whirlwind.  You were kicking ass, and the game was fun.

In Everquest, and to a lesser extent, WoW, the game came down to tactics.  Combat was of a much slower pace.  Success was only found in an intimate knowledge of your character's abilities and the abilities of your foes.  (As a class that could cast, which would be all but three), You had a large and varied selection of spells to draw from, some useful in combat, some useful outside of combat, some useful anytime.  Sure, you usually fell into a routine pattern of casting, but the game was good at throwing unexpected events and situations your way that broke up the monotony and forced you to think fast or die.  When the dust settled and you were still alive, it was amazingly satisfying.  It really felt like you "outsmarted" your opponent when he finally fell.

Then we come to Guild Wars.  The conundrum.

In Guild Wars, almost everything is fair, and what you see is what you get.  Let me explain.  If you're level 1, you have 100 HP.  If you're level 2, you have 120 HP.  If you're level 3, you have 140 HP, and so on.  No matter what class you are--even if you're a monster.

Level 1 mobs seem to have roughly 100 hp, level 2s 120, and so on.  Maybe a little less, I haven't parsed anything.  They are highly scripted and almost unfailingly predictable.  They use the exact same skills in the exact same way at the exact same times.  What does this translate to?

Sameness.  One combat is indistinguishable from the next, not counting scenery.  The archer/healer pair you fought five minutes ago may as well be the same pair that's standing in front of you now.  The archer shoots three times then does a power shot.  The healer shoots you with his wand until the archer drops below 60% HP, then the healer heals the archer with a single-target spell.  If the healer goes down to 50% HP, the healer casts a PBAoE heal which heals himself and anything, including you, that's standing next to him.  The healer never, ever, EVER has the sense to stand next to the archer and consolidate heal.  And the healer never takes any action but shooting you with his wand while everyone is healthy (or while he's waiting on his skill to recharge) and healing under the listed circumstances.  And the archer just shoots.  And Power Shots when the skill isn't recharging.

Solo, there is only one way to beat this pair.  You can't wail on the archer.  He has just as much HP as you do, and he's being healed by a pure healer.  You can only take his HP so far before the healer brings him back to full again.  So you go for the healer first--a sensible tactic.  The problem is, he's got just as much HP as you, and has healing skills that are just as powerful as your damage skills.  You sling direct damage at him.  He gets down to 50% and heals back up to 90%.  Your skills are still recharging, or you're out of energy.  And your piddly little weapon is doing 5-6 damage a hit.  The fight's not going anywhere.

So you cast a DoT on the bastard.  Fortunately, every class has some kind of DoT, as far as I can tell.  Maybe not Monks.  But assuming you dual-class, (and there's no penalty for doing so--in fact, there are rewards--so it's basically a requirement), you've got a DoT.  You wait til the healer's weak enough to heal himself.  This is when you unload your damage.  After healing, he's down to 25%, and your skills/energy are gone.  So you plunk away at him with your piddly weapon, which keeps him locked at 25% after he casts his next PBAoE heal.  By then your energy and skills are back, so you use your direct damage skills to finish him off.  Then you kill the archer.

You get to do this about 100 times from level 1-7.  I haven't gotten past 7 yet, so that number might be a little low.

Guild Wars can't choose.  It can't choose if it wants monsters to be weaker than the players, ala Diablo, or to be stronger than the players, ala Everquest.  Lazily, it decides to make monsters just as strong as the players.  And so everything sort of ends up blurring together into one big blob of similarity.  PvP feels like barely glorified PvE.  Or is it the other way around?

Point is, it doesn't matter.
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Haavok1
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2005, 04:39:32 PM »

I agree with LE, the game feels very boring.  Graphically the game is great.  Maybe they are still adding things, I will say I see improvements every new beta weekends.  But it seems that evey player will be exactly the same.  My ranger will have the exact same hitpoints as anyone elses.  Hopefully this will all change at release.  The world is kind of dull with only people you see are in the cities.  But with no monthly fee it might be worth it to check every once in a while.
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2005, 05:43:33 PM »

Like most games this game is a bit boring solo.  If you are playing with a friend it s a lot better.  I played with some five man grops that were all friends of mine and it was a good time.  Solo is bleh since just about everything is an instance.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2005, 06:41:28 PM »

Quote from: "drifter"
Like most games this game is a bit boring solo.  If you are playing with a friend it s a lot better.  I played with some five man grops that were all friends of mine and it was a good time.  Solo is bleh since just about everything is an instance.
I've spent about half my play time duoing with my brother.  The difference between solo and group play is negligible.

I've gotta say, I was really pumped about this game, but now I'm pretty sure I'm cancelling my pre-order.  This game just went from must-have to must-avoid on my radar.
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2005, 07:34:42 PM »

Sounds like nothing has changed since their 'preview'.  The game seemed ok, but nothing really grabbed me.  It reminded me a lot of Diablo 2, but as an MMOG.  I guess its ok if thats what you want, but Im permanently burned out on D2; cant go back, and Ive tried.
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Falcon554
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2005, 11:34:48 AM »

Did you do any of the level 20 PVP? Thats where the game really starts to come together.
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2005, 04:10:12 PM »

Quote from: "Falcon554"
Did you do any of the level 20 PVP? Thats where the game really starts to come together.
Yup.  It was really disappointing too.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2005, 04:51:04 PM »

The pick up groups kinda suck but with 7 or 8 guys on TS it was sooooooo much fun.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2005, 05:15:02 PM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
Sounds like nothing has changed since their 'preview'.  The game seemed ok, but nothing really grabbed me.  It reminded me a lot of Diablo 2, but as an MMOG.  I guess its ok if thats what you want, but Im permanently burned out on D2; cant go back, and Ive tried.

During my multiple 'tests' I've done on Guild Wars, this is exactly how I describe the game. It's Diablo 2 as a MMOG. If you love that type of game, you'll love Guild Wars. If you're tired of Diablo 2 or if you want a single player experience, you won't love Guild Wars.
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2005, 05:29:16 PM »

Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "unbreakable"
Sounds like nothing has changed since their 'preview'.  The game seemed ok, but nothing really grabbed me.  It reminded me a lot of Diablo 2, but as an MMOG.  I guess its ok if thats what you want, but Im permanently burned out on D2; cant go back, and Ive tried.

During my multiple 'tests' I've done on Guild Wars, this is exactly how I describe the game. It's Diablo 2 as a MMOG. If you love that type of game, you'll love Guild Wars. If you're tired of Diablo 2 or if you want a single player experience, you won't love Guild Wars.
I wouldn't say that at all.  The game is nothing like Diablo 2, and that's why it sucks.

If you go in expecting fast-paced, enjoyable combat ala Diablo 2, you will be heartily disappointed.  Combat is like frozen molasses creeping up a hill compared to, well, almost any action/RPG I can think of.

In short, if you want Diablo 3D, or Diablo 2.5, or whatever, stay the hell away from Guild Wars.  If you want a same-old MMROPG grind that you don't have to pay monthly for, by all means give it a shot.
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2005, 07:46:47 PM »

I played a little bit of single player and it felt like Diablo to me which is a good thing.  Most of my time was spent on level 20 PvP however and it was a lot of fun.  The comment someone made that the characters are all the same couldn't be further from the truth.  There are so many combinations of skills and professions possible that you can spend hours just creating that build that fits your style of play.  Pickup groups are fine for a quick match and to try out some skills but the real fun was in guild groups playing over TS.  Yes combat can be over real quick but we came accross situations where two groups were just probing each other while the battle swayed back and forth.  Just like there really isn't any uber character builds since there is always a counter, groups work similaryly.  For example, a heavily defensive group might be countered with a dis-enchanting type group.

I think GW is shaping up to be a great casual MMOG.  Looking for groups is not an issue at all if you don't mind pickup groups (just hit enter mission and it will match you up automatically).  For someone coming from a hardcore EQ background but just can't afford the time/cost anymore, GW should scratch that MMRPG itch.
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2005, 07:48:35 PM »

Quote from: "Raven"
I know the game is third person only, but can you use num lock to move your char? If it's point and click only, like Diablo, I have no interest.


I noticed that there is an FP view if you zoom all the way in.  I suppose you can play it from this view but I didn't try it.  Traditional WASD and point and click are both supported.  I will definetly not be using point and click.
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2005, 08:17:51 PM »

My experience this weekend was similiar to skystride's. It was my first time playing Guild Wars. I expected that I would just want to play PvE. I usually play rangers and controllers PvE in MMORPGs. To my surprise, I ended up playing PvP most of the weekend, trying out different warrior/monk and warrior/necromancer builds. I had a blast. I got in some great groups and joined a guild.

I wouldn't compare PvP combat to the hyper-quick combat of Diablo 2, which I didn't like. I like the speed in Guild Wars. It's fast and intense, but I never found myself dying so quickly there was nothing I could do and frustrated with my inability to click fast enough.

I'm impressed the variety of builds and skills. I made a couple of variations each of just the warrior/monk and warrior/necromancer classes. I tried elementalist and hunter builds, and, as I expected, it was very different. There are a lot of the usual MMORPG combat dynamics, but there's enough new and different to be interesting to me. I'm glad the days are gone when you just have to hit 'a'.

All that said, I don't know how much I'll like the PvE, and I don't know how long its appeal will last. Some of veterans who had played in 5 betas were kind of bored at the end. I'm sure I'll get my $50 worth (only $30 with my Phantom Dust rebate). Treating the game as an RPG-combat alternative to UT Onslaught, I had a blast.
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2005, 09:19:03 PM »

Quote from: "Zarkon"
Anyone have an extra key to loan out for this weekend?


If you have a Target nearby, check there. Over the weekeend,  they were selling preorder boxes (which have the beta in them, IIRC) for a whopping $.99.
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2005, 09:27:15 PM »

Too late now, though, it's over and that was the last beta weekend biggrin
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2005, 10:52:22 PM »

Quote from: "Zarkon"
Too late now, though, it's over and that was the last beta weekend biggrin
Yeah dude, I'm sorry.  I would have given you my buddy key but my brother had first dibs on it.  Genetics is a bitch.
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2005, 10:55:45 PM »

How much customization goes into your character?  Are we looking at a system comparable to WoW's character creation?  Body type? Hair color?
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2005, 11:04:17 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
How much customization goes into your character?  Are we looking at a system comparable to WoW's character creation?  Body type? Hair color?
On creation:

-You can select male or female.
-You have ~8 hair style choices.
-You have ~8 face choices.
-You have ~8 hair color choices.
-You have ~6 skin color choices.
-You have a slider that makes your character shorter or taller (proportions are kept).

So, on creation, you have a decent number of options.  Probably better than WoW, EQ1, or AO, but worse than City of Heroes.

If you join a guild, you can get a cape which has your guild emblem and colors on it.  (Amusing side-note re: intarnet homogeny -- some variant of Red-on-Black with some kind of dragon or sword as the symbol was by far the most common choice.  I must have seen 20+ guilds with designs that matched those criteria.)  These capes are actually kind of pretty, especially with the neat, if exaggerated, cloth-rendering the game uses.

Then, of course, there are armor/weapon skins.  IMO, World of Warcraft, EQ1, and AO all beat out Guild Wars here.  Everyone of a given class in GW looks very, very similar.  Yes, there are dyes in the game, but you really can't tell if someone is dyed or not until you're practically on top of them.
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2005, 11:06:04 PM »

And just to note, I'll be happy to answer any other questions about the game anyone may have, despite me not being too fond of it.  I felt like I got a good feel for the game, especially the early aspects, and would be glad to field any lingering questions while the info's still fresh in my mind.
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2005, 11:10:26 PM »

I've got a 1.8 GHZ, 512 RAm, geforce FX5900 xt.

Is it going to play like ass?
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2005, 11:15:30 PM »

I had a total blast with this game.  It's got all the good elements of a action based RPG, with a super deep skill system, and PvP MMO fun if/when you want it.  There are something like 200 skills per class, though you can only take 8 with you in an instance...  An not one single skill is just "fireball level 3."  They're all unique.

There is no month fee, and I can say it's one of the best looking games I've ever seen.  You zone into an instance in <2 seconds, the world is immersive, fun, and surprising.  Whole zones change with story progression.  There are random encounters, and even Henchman are available if you want to play solo.

All in all, day one purchase game.  I cant wait.  If you like MMO's but don't like the grind/timesink, this is for you (instant travel anyone?!)  If you like action-rpgs - this is for you.  If you like pretty games you can play for a couple weeks before the next pretty game come out, this is for you.

I, too, have been playing since the E3 beta and can answer any questions.
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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2005, 04:11:29 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
I've got a 1.8 GHZ, 512 RAm, geforce FX5900 xt.

Is it going to play like ass?
No.  It should run fine.  Just let it Auto-Detect your graphics settings.
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2005, 08:46:55 PM »

Whenever there is large scale PvP in WoW, it lags my comp to holy hell.  Is it all 8v8 in GW?  And does it lag to unplayability?

Edited to add: And what kind of pets can the Ranger have?  Can he name his pet?
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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2005, 01:48:23 AM »

I'm not sure what the max PvP is, but every zone that's "MMO" is I'm not sure what the max PvP is, but every zone that's "MMO" is instanced.  So, for example you can have 20 instances of the same city.

I experience no lag what-so-ever while playing.  Not once.  I did not participate in large scale PvP however.

A ranger can charm an animal he encounters if it's within his level range.  I did not see an option to re-name the pet, but that doesn't mean there isn't one (I'd bet there is.)
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2005, 01:56:40 AM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Whenever there is large scale PvP in WoW, it lags my comp to holy hell.  Is it all 8v8 in GW?  And does it lag to unplayability?

Edited to add: And what kind of pets can the Ranger have?  Can he name his pet?


It's not all 8v8.  There are lots of variants -- some bigger (8v8v8 I think is the max?) most smaller.  8v8 PvP didn't lag in terms of FPS or connection for me.

The game's not connection lag-free, though.  A really bad area for me was the area right outside Post-Charr Ascalon, I think the zone's called Old Ascalon.  Lag was frequent and annoying there.  Obviously the more people playing, the worse lag you'll see.  Every server is hosting multiple instances, after all.

Graphics/FPS lag all depends on your hardware, but I think the game does a good job at autodetecting appropriate settings, scaling properly, etc.  Make sure you have the latest drivers for everything--that should go without saying.

Kinds of pets Rangers can get:  I saw two kinds, a big cat and an emu-like thing.  I'd bet that there are more as you explore more of the game.  I saw some pretty stupid/l337 names on the pets, so I assume you can name them somehow.

GW differs from WoW when it comes to Ranger pets in that Rangers charm friendly animals, not hostile ones.  You can't charm mobs.  Instead, you find what I guess could be called 'creeps' on the maps that you charm into becoming your pet.
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2005, 02:25:52 PM »

I've played with 6 teams of 8 playes in GvG.  It was lag free but I didn't see all 6 teams in the same area.  I've seen 4 teams fight  in the immediate vicinity with no lag (graphical or network).

My friend asked me to turn up my graphical settings and I was refusing because I have an old computer and like the smoother animation that comes from higher frame counts.  I finally succumbed though and was surprised how well the game ran with max setting including 4x AA at the highest resolution.  About the only complaint I had about Diablo 2 were the graphics.  So if this game can have similar gameplay and not sacrifice on graphics, I will be very happy.
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2005, 03:48:27 PM »

I'll say it again:  this game is NOT like Diablo 2.  At all.
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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2005, 04:50:11 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I'll say it again:  this game is NOT like Diablo 2.  At all.


I have to disagree.  Advancement is slightly different (there aren't really any skill trees that I am aware of), but the general feel of the game is a bit like Diablo 2.  Even to the point of forming groups and adventuring in the instances.

However, I think a better comparison is to Dungeon Siege.  It's a bit like a multiplayer version of that, with PvP aspects and some crafting.
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« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2005, 05:06:13 PM »

Quote from: "Fez"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
I'll say it again:  this game is NOT like Diablo 2.  At all.


I have to disagree.  Advancement is slightly different (there aren't really any skill trees that I am aware of), but the general feel of the game is a bit like Diablo 2.  Even to the point of forming groups and adventuring in the instances.

However, I think a better comparison is to Dungeon Siege.  It's a bit like a multiplayer version of that, with PvP aspects and some crafting.
Have you played Spellforce, by any chance?  Guild Wars is more like that than either Dungeon Siege (which was, let's be honest, a screen saver) or Diablo.

I'm just trying to warn people that the game does NOT play like Diablo.  I got the impression it would from previews and such, and was sorely disappointed when it didn't at all.
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xbl tag = cthonic horror

NNNOOOOOO!!
skystride
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« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2005, 05:07:33 PM »

Ok maybe it's somewhere in between Diablo and MMRPGs but this is a very good thing.  I loved Diablo but it had its' shortcomings in terms of character development depth.  GW offers tons of skills so you can always switch em around if you start getting bored of your current 8.  Unlearning is in the game too if you really feel your build is gimped.  Combat is a little slower than Diablo but much faster than other MMRPGs and not grindy.  I've heard reports that it takes about 40hrs to hit max level.  The scripted events possible because of instances also makes it much less grindy.

You can't get away from Diablo comparisions especially considering that the developers have worked on and enjoyed Diablo and other Blizzard titles.  There's bound to be inspirations from Diablo.
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Ranulf
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« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2005, 08:26:26 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Whenever there is large scale PvP in WoW, it lags my comp to holy hell.  Is it all 8v8 in GW?  And does it lag to unplayability?

Edited to add: And what kind of pets can the Ranger have?  Can he name his pet?


Add in another stick of 512mb ram and WoW won't lag so much anymore, at least not because of your system. Lagforge is still fairly bad but when I upped my ram to 1Gb it was night/day for lag/loading.
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