Faltering in My Determination…But It’s Worth It

Okay, I know I said I wouldn’t comment on anything until the end of Charr Week, and I did mean that, but I do need to make this my official best quote from Charr week…and it’s Wednesday. In the Artistic Origin of the Charr article on the Anet Blog, the end that they leave us with was probably the best way to end any of the “concept art days” from the race weeks. Here’s the last snip-it from the article:

Concept Art Team Lead Kekai Kotaki was responsible for bringing the look of the charr 250 years into the future, to the time of Guild Wars 2. The warlike charr have changed a great deal since they first appeared in Guild Wars, so their updated design had to reflect their more industrial culture. I thought we’d let Kekai get in the final word on the charr.

Q: Kekai, how did you approach the charr design for Guild Wars 2?

Kekai: My approach was simple: make the charr badass. And then make them even more badass.

[SWTOR] Attention: Piqued

After a bout of Spring Break, rediculous school trouble to be solved, and a new quarter of classes (featuring more classes than before in addition to new material), my free time was chewed up and spat out and I’m finally able to get back to talking to you fine folks. Now, what you came here for…

Before, Star Wars: The Old Republic barely appeared on my radar. Admittedly, I wrote it off as just another Sci-fi game that was supposed to come out, which I figured would either just be like SW Galaxies and become a lackluster attempt to bring back KOTOR or even go the route of Stargate: Worlds and disappear entirely.

Light vs Dark sides of the Force

All combat sequences interact, including lightsaber blocks and laser deflections.

This was before I heard 2 things: It is made by bioware and it features things we might find very familiar from bioware games, such as AI companions that you can form relationships with (when you’re not in a party already) and they can perform tasks outside of your supervision, reputation, “morality” in the form of light or dark side points (like KOTOR) and a personal ship to move about the galaxy in.
After further inquiry I found something very interesting concerning battle mechanics: interactive fighting. This is something I do not think I have seen in any MMO ever, and makes auto-attacking a bit more action packed. Lightsabers clash when jedi knights and sith warriors collide. They dont just stand there, doing their own animations (which could even cause people to move THROUGH each other, as if they don’t really exist). Animations actually connect to each other, making them seem real and visceral instead of just someone rolling some dice in a backroom of the game. You FEEL like you are fighting, despite being disconnected by that third-person point of view.

As the more ranged classes go, they also get a realistic animation, irregular blasts and shots. This is not QUITE as revolutionary, but it still deserves a looking into. How often do you hear perfectly intervaled shots fired in real life or any movie? NEVER, thats when. We are all familiar with the pew-pewpew of a blaster or a bambam-bambambambambam of a rifle. This seems insignificant by itself, but it adds to the fast pace feel of what is a naturally calm genre. Now, you may feel the rush of trying to manage the situation in an RPG or MMORPG, but its RARELY because you feel part of the action, as if it’s your pair of boots on the ground and you’re in the thick of it.

Between the story, the combat and the gameplay, I am excited to see what this major contender to the Guild Wars 2 machine will shove in our eager faces, but for now, I’m just waiting for the two games to live up to the hype they have created for their impatient, yet faithful fanbases.

EDIT: Above, I mention auto-attacking as the basis for normal attacks. Via video reviews I have discovered a mistake or misconception on my part. It seems that there is a skill that serves as a basic attack and you have to hit it every time you want to do a normal attack, but not a more resource consuming skill.

Living Vicariously

I recently just visited my girlfriend (out of town) for our 1 year anniversary, missing the opportunity to go to PAX East (although it was equally as fun as PAX sounded, just wish they were on different weekends). I found that I missed playing Guild Wars, but not for the game strangely, but solely for the people I played with. In this recent boredom due to the staleness of Guild Wars combined with the long wait ’til Guild Wars 2, I’ve found myself drawn toward looking for a fresh game. Granted that I continue to play Guild Wars (more socially now than anything), I need something to fill that gap. Continue reading

Crafting: Making a Living in Guild Wars 2

Continuing the build-up to PAX East, Anet’s Andrew McLeod talks about his assigned area of GW2 game design: Crafting. McLeod takes the time to briefly guide us through the different Disciplines, the different ways to gather materials, and the crafting process.The article does not reveal too much depth, but it does reveal what seems like a pretty sound system in place. Hopefully not much of Anet’s favorite catch phrase will be necessary (to clarify, I mean “iteration”).

Essentially, there are 8 disciplines. 3 that deal with melee, ranged, or magical weapons; 3 that deal with heavy, medium, or light armors; and 2 auxillary: Jewelcrafting and Cooking. You can only have 2 disciplines at a time. There is an experience bar to gain more crafting skill in that discipline. There are no “gathering” disciplines. Simple stuff that comes pretty standard these days, right? Anet made some interesting tweaks to the normal, vanilla mmo crafting system.

Continue reading

Racial Discrimination

At this point, we all know enough about each race to have an idea of what race we want to play. Especially since 90% of the choice is aesthetic instead of practical.

As someone going into the psychological field after college, polls and surveys have become my guilty pleasure. SO, I’m curious. What race are you planning to make your main character?