In which I squee over Guild Wars 2

I didn’t really play Guild Wars.  I glanced it over, poked at it a bit, and ultimately decided I had other games to play.

So naturally, I wasn’t feverishly awaiting the arrival of Guild Wars 2.  I figured it would be more of the same and I’ve been happily getting my angel on over in Aion now that it is free to play (more on Aion later).

I picked up GW2 for A on Friday night.  He was interested and it had been a rough week.  A new game is exactly what was needed.

The evening went a lot like this:

Me (crafting in Aion and knitting): 145! The comedy of crafting whilst crafting is not lost on me.

A: It’s finished downloading!

Me: Yay!

A (making a character): Let’s see, Norn.

Me: No, not that hair, it’s awful.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope, just watching.  No, not that tattoo, it’s not pretty.

A: Do you want to do this?

Me: No, it’s your game, you enjoy.  Her clothes clash with her tattoo, you should change one or the other.

A: …

Me: What? She clashes!

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: No, I’m just watching.  Oh god no. Not the monacle! It makes her look like a borg.

A: …

A plays happily for a while, while I continue to craft and knit and watch GW2 over his shoulder.  The first character was an engineer.  A class I enjoyed in Warhammer.  They also have public quests, something else I enjoyed in Warhammer, which have been implemented in a more spontaneous fashion (and thus more fun).

A couple of levels in and A decides it’s time to check out another class/race combo and see how it feels.  This one is an Asura Warrior.  Maybe a Guardian. I wasn’t paying attention to the class.

Me: She looks like a bunny!  (After A changes her face.)  Now she looks like a house elf.  OMG it’s WINKY!

A: I’ll name her Winky.

Me: Yay!  Oh god not that hair!  It’s like a Princess Leia afro.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope. Just watching…

Much hilarity ensued as the opening cutscene tells Winky’s story.  I find particular joy in “not MY golems, of course” and A plays this character for a few minutes.  Now it’s time for A to try out a Charr.  These are sort of cat-like critters, which of course, makes them particularly interesting to me.

Me: Why does the kitty have horns?  Did her mom get roofied by an antelope or something?  What the hell?

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope. Just watching. Carry on.

A fiddles with the character options some more and I pretend to not watch.

Me: Why does the kitty have four ears?

A: Why? Are you jealous?

Me: No, it’s just… Horns and four ears?  The poor kitty is a freak.  OH! Go back to the lynx face. I like that one. And wow, she looks really surprised.  Why do you hate her?

A: …

Me: Why on earth is the poor thing wearing a leisure suit?  Those went out in the 70’s.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope, I’m crafting. You go on ahead.

A couple of minutes pass, in which A continues to make character choices that clearly need my assistance.

Me: Why are you making her an earth focused elementalist when you have her dressed in FIRE colours?

A: (sighing and clicking back through the choices) There, is that better?

Me: I suppose, but now she’s all drab and muddy.

A: Now you’re just being an ass. Be quiet and let me play!

Whilst not 100% word for word, this is exactly how the evening progressed.  At some point A made a male ranger, who I swear looks like a guy from a boy band. Possibly Joey Fatone. I’m just saying.

I finally purchased my own copy yesterday morning and proceeded to make properly pretty and coordinating characters. I also discovered the dual evil/awesome of the map. Evil, because they spell out for you how many points of interest, waypoints, vistas (neat panoramic viewpoints in high, sometimes difficult to reach places) there are.  Naturally, I must find each and every one of these things in order to check off the counters. Awesome, because I know where all of these things are located, thanks to the map.

It’s a cruel double-edged sword. I’m compelled to find the points, but at least the game helps me by showing me where to find them. I can live with this. It took about an hour and a half of wandering about with my nose to the map and toggling back and forth so I didn’t walk into a corner like an idiot, but I cleared all of the points in my human’s city.

Other squees include:

Account wide guild membership. This makes me happy. There’s nothing more annoying than having to log in and out of five different characters just to tag them all with the guild name.

You can access your mailbox at anytime without having to be physically standing in front of a mailbox. Thank you!

You can have different weapon/spell focuses and change back and forth between them, giving you different skills to play with. Unlocking these is a matter of use, rather than spending thousands of coins buying your skills and lugging them around so you don’t have to make several trips back and forth. Yay!

My mesmer’s illusionary clones disappear in a cloud of purple butterflies. This is freaking awesome.

I can choose my armour colour scheme at the beginning of the game and that scheme stays with me through my armour upgrades. Yes, I’m a girl. Whatever. The important thing is, I don’t have to sacrifice upgrading something just so that I can still match or be pretty. There are few things as annoying as walking around looking like a box of crayons pooped on me, or looking like I threw together a bunch of hand-me-down pieces of armour without regard to weather or not they belonged together. Squee!

The quest system is fun. Instead of “kill 10 rats”, I get a little bar with several options of tasks to perform for the populace. It fills up as I run around throwing buckets of water on worms, feeding corn, and stomping cows. Or something like that. It’s far less tedious than counting down the kills.

They have different starting areas and experiences for every race and your story questline is influenced by the choices you made during character creation. This. Is. Freaking. Awesome. OMG.

There will be more GW2. Lots more.

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