Guild Wars 2 & 1
Like just about every MMO player (or so it seemed) I played Guild Wars 2 during the recent beta weekend. Despite never playing Guild Wars 1 for longer than a week, I’ve still been interested in how the sequel would turn out. ArenaNet still has problems to fix, they’ve resolved most of the issues I had with the original game. All of the invisible walls are gone making the world more inviting to explore. The towns are no longer glorified game lobbies.
My only complaints about GW2′s beta weekend were the lag and the art/animation style. The lag was something I expected and was totally reasonable given the volume of players that ArenaNet was supporting. The graphics and animations weren’t something they really needed to address, it’s just that the Asian influenced art style has always something I’ve tolerated rather than enjoyed.
All in all, I enjoyed GW2 as much as I’d hoped I would. The only surprise to come out of the weekend has been a renewed interested in trying GW1 again. This must be the fifth or sixth time I’ve tried to let the game hook me, so I don’t give it good odds of succeeding this time, but I would like to have some emotional connect to the old world as I think it’ll give me more appreciation for the changes when I start playing GW2.
Even more surprising to me than an impulse to give GW1 another shot, is the fact that I bought Tera Online and have been enjoying it. Tera’s not something that’s been on my radar at all. The Eastern art style and animations (especially the running animations) are really not my thing. Because of my GW2 weekend, renewed interest in GW1, and several friends really enjoying the game, I ended up buying the digital download from En Masse and rolling an Archer on the PvE-RP server.
The combat is definitely the strongest feature of the game for me. There’s no tab targeting, so position, timing, and aim are important to winning fights. There’s no auto attacks, instead a primary basic attack is bound to the left mouse button. There’s also the ability to set up skill chains, so instead of manually having a rotation where you go through ability hotkeys, you can link multiple skills together and then start a chain with a hotkey but then press space bar to fire off chained skills. Initially this sounded pretty bland to me, but in practice it’s quite fun.
Unfortunately the combat is really the only fun thing for me about the game. The art is definitely beautiful, especially the environments, but the characters and animations are something I play in spite of not because of. The lore and quests in the game are also very standard. Too be honest, I haven’t given them much of a chance which is pretty out of character for me. I’ve even been skipping the cinematics that play during major points in the main story line. I think it’s because Tera doesn’t feel like a game I’ll be playing past the free month (or maybe the first subbed month) so I’m just sprinting through the game taking whatever fun I can from the combat systems.
Tera is basically MMO candy. I feel a little guilty playing it, and I don’t expect much longevity from it, but I’ll enjoy it while it’s fun and move on once it’s not.