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Tycho / on Fri, May 20 2005 at 4:30 am

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Let Doctor Gabe Help You

 

 


It has been an “interesting” show, and we are flush with sketches whose elegance and simplicity may well destroy you.  In the intervening period, please enjoy this comic about Guild Wars which is the product of my frustration with my guild.  And since my guild only includes one other person, I think you might be able to guess who that could be.

Guild Wars requires one more brief discussion to really get the meat of it across, because as you’ve probably been able to tell my position on it hasn’t really been fixed.  So here it is,  the “real deal,” as it were:  my final, genuine coordinate on Guild Wars is that they have, in fact, made an extremely fun game with wonderful aesthetics, satisfying equipment collection, and an abilities system that makes you synthesize a discrete set of compatible capabilities out of a larger “deck” of earned powers.  They’ve really done it, and they deserve the stratospheric reviews you might have read. 

And if you play it for ten, twelve hours and quit?  I don’t blame you for doing so.

When fist discussing the game months ago, shrewd readers admonished me for even discussing the game in MMO terms - and they were right.  One way that it absolutely subverts the expected arc of MMO play is that instead of building up a powerful character and then not really knowing what you’re supposed to do with it later, they’ve created an amazing game that culminates in fast-paced fantasy action and customizable equipment but gives you no hint of its existence until you’ve waded hip-deep through a lobotomized version of the game.  My mild Asberger’s was able to get me through this initial phase, what I will call the “Sawdust Eating” portion, because it does satisfy, but is without the distinguishing characteristics of later play.

Because they can update the game at virtually any time - they plan to release free areas via the same mechanism - I think this first area may eventually show more vigor.  I don’t know to what extent I fault them for focusing on the portion of the game where you will spend the most time, because where I’m at now has grave challenges commensurate with my abilities and level of experience as well as epic missions atop snowy peaks and whatnot.  They could do a much better job introducing you to the advanced concepts and the game in general, but I absolutely vouch for the game they hid behind the other stuff.

E3, as I mentioned, has been interesting.  I’ll go into what that means when I return home and am marginally less psychotic.  I appreciate very much those bold souls who invested their time at the world’s largest exposition of electronic entertainment to come and see us, if briefly, and we appreciate very much Ubisoft’s loaning us a portion of their booth.  We imagined that operating under official auspices would soothe relations with the center’s security forces, men who have long been our foes, but it would appear that even now they hound us - yea, even unto the ends of the earth.  The line was apparently a “fire hazard,” even though the entire show fits that description, but unless they actually doused our readers with gasoline (a wicked act I would not put past them) the chances of our readers combusting without provocation is actually fairly low. 

(CW)TB out.

there’s something even you don’t know


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