bakapyrite (bakapyrite) wrote,

Warm Tuesday

After a weekend of grey windy days bookended by a grey Friday and a grey Monday, it seems Tuesday is finally sunny and warm.

This weekend I, by way of Jim, picked up Hot Shots Golf for the PSP and Guild Wars for the PC. I haven't played Hot Shots too much yet, but I have put a decent amount of time in to Guild Wars. Apparently the people that created it, ArenaNet, used to be Blizzard/BattleNet guys. However, after having played the new game, it's difficult to say that the game is a direct ripoff of Diablo or even shows many Blizzard elements. Yes, you have a character and kill stuff, get levels, skills, and loot, in a somewhat Diablo style, but outside of the general framework of the game, most of the major design elements and styles are quite different from Blizzard.

For one thing, all the skills are fairly balanced. The more damage a spell does, the more mana it costs and the longer it takes until you can cast it again. If you have a defensive skill, it usually bolsters one area while weakening another. Also, rather than having thousand point fireballs flying around, you cast flares which do (in my case) upwards of about 60 damage. Of course, monsters don't have millions of hps, they only have 100-300ish, so in essence it balances out, but it still feels like everything's on a small, almost tiny, scale.

And that leads in to the graphics. Everything is pretty detailed, but the characters are sort of small. They have fairly spindly looking limbs. They have a variety of emotes, the most popular being dance, but dancing is fairly sped up which feels wrong after looking at the various WoW dances (and in the dances you have one of the "rip-offs" in that the dance styles of the classes in GW look very similar to the dances of the races in WoW).

Ultimately your character level stops at 20, although some would say that reaching 20 is merely the beginning of the game. I'm not sure that I agree with this design decision. I've always enjoyed games where your character can expand in power to extreme levels, but with only 20 levels to work with, you're not going to get more than somewhat hardcore. Also, my current character is level 12, but it still feels like I have to work at killing level 3s and 4s.. I'm used to getting one shot kills as a spellcaster when a mob is significantly lower level than I am. That doesn't happen in this game.

Lastly I'll talk about the online aspect of this game. In essence, there is no offline content.. while you're playing, you're connected to their servers. This doesn't mean you have to group with anyone to do stuff, but a lot of the higher end content seems to be designed with groups in mind. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that there are NPC "Henchmen" you can take on your adventures. I soloed quite a bit of the opening content, but once the stuff started getting more difficult I switched up to using a party of NPCs which has allowed me to go about my business (I have yet to find something I can't do with myself and Henchmen). What the online factor is good for is that you can trade with people if there are any items you need. I haven't really taken advantage of this yet, but it's more likely that I'd trade with anyone than group with them, unless they're my friends, but I only know one person that also plays (and he hasn't been on much yet). I think it would probably be pretty fun to play with Mason and Bill, but Mason doesn't currently have the hardware for it (I think), and Bill definitely doesn't have the hardware.

Oh well, time to get ready for work.

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