Guild Wars fail

The quest to find an MMO to play with Aria has hit another snag. In short, here is how Aria views Guild Wars “go kill plants, kill more plants, then more plants. We do the same thing every time”. Granted I don’t view it quite like that, but I can see her point.

The NightFall campaign, while better than Prophesies, still has some pacing and direction issues, and overall the PvE of Guild Wars is not what I expected. I think going in I was expecting something a little closer to Dungeons and Dragons Online in terms of instance use and pacing structure. Not AS heavily instanced and on-off as DDO, but more along the lines of the very first NightFall mission rather than all of the explorable areas that follow. I must say the PvE that we have experienced so far feels very much like a poor-mans co-op fantasy action game, but with tab-target 1-2-3 MMO mashing combat rather than some decent action game combat. My plan is to stick with GW a bit longer (at least to the cap) and see how it plays out, as I don’t mind the repetition as much as Aria does, and I think I’m a bit more into the skill combo stuff than she is.

But this means we are back to square one in terms of finding something to play. So far we have failed with DDO, EQ2, Allods, and now GW. Games we have already played a considerable amount of time and enjoyed include LotRO, WoW, and WAR.

Aria is pushing for a return to WAR, but my main concern is that what we found entertaining in our first pass through the game (a heavy mix of PvE (PQs being the highlights)) and some PvP, more so once we got into T4) might not be available should we reroll now. I’m sure tier 1 would be great, but am I wrong in assuming that both T2 and T3 would be empty-ish, and we would have considerable difficulty finding others to complete PQs with or to find some random RvR? I am curious to see how WAR has improved since we last played (just after LotD arrived), but that curiosity is tempered by the fact that no major addition has really found its way into the game. The new city siege mechanics do sound like fun though, and while we never had heavy performance issues before, that area being improved can’t hurt either.

The other option might be Aion, although that heavily depends on HOW the grind plays out. I’m not questioning that the game is a grind, but rather what you do while grinding. If it’s combat-heavy and not a direct repeat day-in-day-out, and some progress can be made in hourly chunks, that could work. If it is just doing the same exact uninteresting thing for hours before moving on to the next area to rinse and repeat, that would obviously be bad. I’m leaning heavily towards the latter based on what I know of Aion atm.

WAR is currently ahead if for no other reason then the fact that we already own it, so the initial cost to try it again would be lower (Aion still sells for $40). Reader thoughts?

Chuck-o-the-day: Leading hand sanitizers claim they kill 99.9% of all germs. Chuck Norris can kill 100% of whatever the fuck he wants.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Aion, Allods Online, Combat Systems, DDO, EQ2, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, MMO design, Site update, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Guild Wars fail

  1. Wizard 101. Only because I would love to read your posts if by some miracle you become as enamored with this game as I have. :)

  2. says:

    You know Chuck Norris is an aggressively stupid Young Earth Creationist who writes columns about how evil liberals are, right? He also seems to think that people think he’s cool unironically.

    • Anne says:

      Nothing wrong with having your own beliefs. Everyone is biased, you are biased against Chuck Norris. Also, Creationism vs Evolution is basically like two retards fighting atm. There is neither enough evidence for either of them. Evolution you have no beginning (or universe or on earth itself), no evidence of there ever being progressive/helpful DNA coming out of anything and the elements of Evolution (include animal timeline, etc) are so vague and changed every week with new discoverys (Darwin himself was racist and 6 billion years will soon change to 10 billion years within a decade or so). While Creationism isn’t any better (depending on your point of view of course, just like with anything) and mostly based on a faith most people don’t have (yet they can put faith in an unscientific theory, unscientific because it disobeys many specific laws of science… and both beliefs do that anyway).

      Also, Chuck has noted in the past that he knows these jokes are just that. And yes, he is cool. Some of the greatest people in the world were people I disagreed completely with on most issues yet I still admit what they did in their specific area was great (e.g. some actors, or Roman Polanski, he SHOULD be in jail), so I think you need to grow up if you cannot get past his personal beliefs and see him for the ORESOME guy he is.

  3. Maladorn says:

    For GW, stick to the primary quest/missions for story progression. IIRC, there are 4 missions on that first island. If you’re approaching cap and only done one, you’ll want to see if you have the next primary quest and follow that. Unless you’re trying to kill a specific boss or get Sunspear points, I wouldn’t head out into the explorables without a quest.

    • SynCaine says:

      We have been doing the main missions, but right now we are ‘stuck’ at the one asking for a certain level/rank, and we have completed most/all of the quests in the 4-5 hubs we have discovered. The last time we played we went up into the northern marshy area and found an NPC, got his quest, and killed some sea monster that was bothering the boats at the dock.

      • Maladorn says:

        Ah, right. I had forgotten that they level-gated a lot of things in Istan.

      • Randomessa says:

        That’s the “come back when you’re level/rank whatever” part I mentioned in your earlier post – truly absurd and doesn’t happen in any other campaign, so I’ve no idea why they did that. All I can say is that if you manage to get past that, there are no further similar gates and the content flows a lot better. Of course, I realize you’ve made up your mind and Aria especially is sour on GW already, so carry on.

  4. PeterD says:

    Don’t bother with Aion. I just tried it again to see if time had improved it, and I was still bored out of my mind within 30 minutes. Save your money. If GW is too grindy and repetitive, Aion will make you cry. At least in WAR you can pvp from the start.

  5. Ponder says:

    A good MMO is …

    . get Aria pregnant
    . have a shotgun wedding
    . get a mortgage
    . do regular grouping with extended family

    • SynCaine says:

      We don’t live in the south, so your order of events is off…

    • Bluefleye says:

      Greatest post ever.

      Even though some MMOs have repetitive and draining grinds, I heard that the baby grind of waking up several times a night for what seems like eternity is quite a bit more taxing…

      Stick to MMOs.

  6. David says:

    I was going to post with a suggestion, but Winged Nazul beat me to it.
    Wizard 101 has zero start-up costs, although once past the initial zones you either subscribe or pay per area to unlock.
    The reason I suggest it is that combat is not the standard MMO button mashing. It uses a simplified version of the Magic Trading Card Game mechanic.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t know if a MTG combat system would be a plus, but it might be worth a shot. Just wish the game did not look like a Saturday morning cartoon.

      • Drew says:

        Having to watch each of the card animations every time you “attacked” was just painful. I absolutely loved MtG, but I couldn’t get past the slow pace of combat plus the cartoon graphics you reference. Shame, too, I suspect I’d really enjoy the game.

        • You really do get to the animations (I think they sped them up since I first played and the PVP is just brilliant. Takes me back to my M:TG tournament days.

        • Bhagpuss says:

          I love W101 for one go through, but I think it is one of the least replayable MMOs I’ve tried. It’s also hands-down the grindiest and one of the most hard-core in terms of the time commitment and concentration required.

          I find it hard to believe any actual children play it far beyond the first ten levels.

        • Bhag, surely you were joking about the Wizard 101 comments? I am leveling up my second 50 (which took a few weeks to do from scratch) and can’t wait to roll a different wizard of each school to 50. From the comments on the Wizard 101 Central forums, this isn’t unheard of either with quite a few members sporting multiple grandmasters.

        • Bhagpuss says:

          No, not joking.

          Firstly the game has a strict linear progression, which means repeating the content exactly each time you level (this may have changed since I played, but seemed to be pretty much hardwired in).

          Secondly, it’s heavily quest-based and the quests are largely linear along a small number of long storylines. I loved these once, but I would need a long break before I wanted to read the same stories again.

          Thirdly, by MooShu every fight was taking 15 – 20 minutes. It was taking me an evening’s play just to do the equivalent of a Kill 10 Rats quest. I gave up when I reached DragonSpyre and the first few fights ramped up to 30 minutes each.

          I don’t doubt there are plenty of people who are doing all this and enjoying it. That’s why I think of W101 as a very hardcore game.

          Having said that, it’s getting on for a year since I last played and it’s been enough of a gap that I am quite keen to give it another go. I’ve not seen any of Grizzleheim yet.

      • If Mooshu fights are taking you 15-20 minutes, I’m going to guess your spec and/or deck isn’t set up optimally. I’m leveling a Life wizard right now which has the lowest DPS of the wizards and normal fights last about 5-10 minutes in Dragonspyre.

  7. silvertemplar says:

    I don’t see Age of Conan in there…tried it? Hated it? Or just not interested? It’s got a solid PvE and Leveling experience i’d say, PvP is another story, but that is optional at least.

    • SynCaine says:

      I may give AoC a shot with the trial. Depends how involved the combo system is; if its too fast/twitchy it might not be a good fit for Aria.

      • silvertemplar says:

        Just roll a caster and you’re basically “absolved” of the combo system. Even then, they simplified the combo system significantly since launch [shorter etc].

        As for twitchy, i’d say a Mesmer in Guildwars is alot more twitchy. Warden in LOTRO , which also use a combo mechanic is more involved than AoC’s system.

  8. Drew says:

    Having tried AION a couple times, I’ll keep it brief. Bottom line: If you’re going for the journey and not the conclusion, AION is very pretty and an okay game (IMO, not worth two $40 boxes and subs, though).

    In addition, if you’re looking for meaningful PvP and/or endgame, go somewhere else. A quick trip to the AIONSource forums should show you why; it’s a self-loathing endgame community (understandably so if the complaints are real – lack of content and obscene RNG).

  9. Elleseven says:

    I’ve been playing WAR since they started the free trial. I made 3 level 10’s and had a blast. Lot’s of action, tons of players. When I bought the card and went to Tier 2 there was quite a huge drop off. I’m on the busiest server and still scenarios are much more difficult to pop into except for weekends. Getting into a PQ is 50/50 too. So I have made WAR the weekend fun and Dragons Orgins is my weekday fave. One bonus I love in WAR is the new pink dye. I’m baby pink top to bottom. It’s a simple pleasure but I love it.

  10. Cross says:

    Mortal online released today :O

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea but by the time I DL it it’s going to be F2P, and by the time I create an account it’s going to be closed.

  11. Ob says:

    how has the recent foray back into Eve been?…would love to hear how it’s going

    • SynCaine says:

      Slow and steady. Rejoined my old Corp and I’ve just slowly been getting back into the game. Working on getting a Marauder for easier lvl4 mission running. Still no set plans for 0.0.

  12. Yarr says:

    How about something a bit different, like Dragon Oath (Kung Fu)? I haven’t played it yet (will soon), but Tipa did an interesting first look of the game (with video) on April 26th on her blog It looks like a nice break from the usual and has sweeping quests… as in sweeping the courtyard! Woot! Seriously, I’m giving it a try tomorrow, mainly because I forgot about it until just now.

    Hello Kitty Online? I couldn’t even make it past the website before my eyes started to bleed, but apparently it has a wide variety of things to do in-game. Ditto with Wizard 101, I just can’t take the graphics, but it might be worth checking out.

    Aion – I’ve played since the first beta, am still playing and enjoy the game. I do now hate NCWest with a passion though. But from Aria’s thoughts on GW, I’d say look elsewhere. You both might enjoy it up through the mid-20 levels, but probably not much beyond that. I like the combat, the flying and gliding, and exploring new areas. But it is heavy on killing stuff, brutal on lack of loot and crafting is just plain evil. Save the $80 for something else.

  13. Bhagpuss says:

    I currently have over a dozen MMOs on my desktop and I’m in one of those phases where I’m playing a bit of all of them, a few hours here and there as the whim takes me. I’d recommend all of them, or else I wouldn’t be playing, but I think you have already rejected most of them.

    I doubt you’d consider trying Mabinogi, given how cartoony it looks and how “cute” it can get, but it does have fascinating gameplay. I haven’t got very far into it myself, mostly because I fear it might really grab me if I let it get a hold.

    Fallen Earth I really liked, but having stopped playing it I can’t really say I am drawn to return, which isn’t a great reccommendation. I think it’s a solid, entertaining base for a game that just doesn’t currently have enough variety.

    I would always push anyone towards Vanguard or Everquest, which I think remain the two most consistently enjoyable MMOs I’ve ever played, but I know you won’t go there, so let’s pretend I didn’t mention it.

    If you’re looking to play as a duo, I really wouldn’t reccommend W101, much as I like the game. Mrs Bhagpuss and I found that we only benefitted from duoing for Boss fights. The rest of the time we both felt it was more fun and more efficient to solo.

    I bet you end up in Age of Conan, which I haven’t played!

  14. Marchosias says:

    I went back to WAR last January (leaving EVE and LotRO) and haven’t looked back. I love the spur of the moment PvP, or the option to just PvE in relative unbothered bliss.

    T2 and T3 are slower than T1 and T4, but they’re not deserted by any means. In fact, T2 and T3 are probably have my favorite open RvR areas.

    If you’re a big scenario fan though, you’re going to have a pretty big wait for T2/3 scenarios to pop. I’ve hated the scenario mechanic since launch anyways, so that’s not a problem for me ;P

  15. TzuDevil says:

    I will follow your Blog closely!

    I think AoC is much better these days, and have heard good things about it, though have never tried it myself.

    I have played WAR since beta with no breaks. The recent move to make Carrie Gouskos Producer has had big effect on the direction of the game, as it is already much better, and I feel the Endgame content is now all the way there. Things will only continue to get better, as she is just full of pure win.

    That said, I would highly recommend you continue trying out other stuff before making a return to WAR. The next patch (1.3.6) is going to be big, and by 1.4, this game will reek CG (the sweet smell of pure win). So I would say hold off until 1.4 (fall maybe) and come back to the *new* WAR. It is really in transition right now….

    Though I am not able to switch MMOs easily, I do love reading about people who can!


  16. Ben says:

    just play WotLK already, even if you do nothing more than group-quest through all the zones, many of the quest chains are varied and enjoyable.

  17. PTD says:

    I agree with Ben. It’s the perfect time to get in there so you can complain about WoW even more vehemently. And honestly, if you’re looking for a more casual, PvE focused experience for the 2 of you, nothing is better. Nothing.

  18. Azyrie says:

    Have you considered Dungeon Fighter Online?
    It just released this week, though it’s been in beta for a good while before that.

    Free2Play, which is a plus. The gameplay is reminiscent of old side scroller games like Golden Axe or Double Dragon, with combo meters, RPG-like gear collection and skill upgrades. You can youtube a few videos to see if it’s your cup of tea.

    I thought it would be a good casual thing since I quit WoW, and it’s fit the bill pretty so far.

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