Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sun Also Rises

with apologies to Earnest Hemingway.. 

So it's only taken me some six years after purchase to do so, but this weekend, at long last, I completed the Guild Wars Nightfall campaign with a single character - on Normal Mode!  And I gotta say, when you do at last get through that last mission, you are filled with an incredible sense of accomplishment.  Because make no mistake about it - the last few missions in Nightfall are hard.  In fact, what I thought I might do in this post is spend a little bit of time talking about the last two missions specifically in the Nightfall Campaign, and then close with some comments about the difficulty curve in general in Guild Wars, and what it might mean for Guild Wars 2. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Elementalist - Early Impressions

So as I was writing this, I spent a good bit of time viewing full builds over at the GW2 codex, and came to realize that if I'd spent some time in sPVP, I could have played with full, level 80 builds, and probably provided a more complete picture of how well the elementalist class is working.  I just about decided to ditch the entire post, because I know that first impressions are not always the most accurate, and they may or may not reflect the class as a whole.  But after thinking about it some, I decided to go ahead with it.  I think first impressions - and more importantly - player perceptions, are still important.  A lot of people may never step foot into sPvP, and so the only impressions they get of the class are those they get while leveling up.  Even if the class is perfectly balanced by the time you get a full level 80 build, it may not matter, if you feel like it's horribly under-powered, or stupid boring, for the first 40 levels of play, and quit it to go play something else.  So with that in mind, I decided to go ahead and share these perceptions, even though they're only from the first 18 levels of play for the class.  And of course, I respectfully reserve the right to come back and say "Yeah none of this is even close to correct" after I've spent even more time with the class.  With that being said, here's what I played, and what I thought.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"It's the Little Things" - How NPCs Connect You to Their World

"You know how it is DarkCandle.  In this kind of life, sometimes it's nice just to find someone really good to talk to who isn't a half-alien mutant, or the son of a god, or who becomes a programmed killer whenever he hears a train whistle.  Just a nice guy."

Five years ago, when an NPC said these words to my character, I just stopped.  And laughed.  It was a great moment.  So much so that I saved that quote to my documents folder, and have held on to it all this time.  It was great, because it completely and totally humanized that NPC for me.  Because at that moment, Indigo - former Knives of Artemis member, intelligence agent, and general mission giver - went from being a generic NPC to a character.  A person that obviously deals with people just like you every day - day in and day out.  And as you can see - she's a bit weary of it.  She's seen your kind and dealt with your kind and it wouldn't kill her to able to just have one day - one conversation even - with someone that was normal.

In  that single sentence, the developers created a memorable character for me -- an NPC that I cared about, and in doing so, connected me to their world.  And that's what I want to discuss a bit - NPC's, and how they connect you to their world.