MMO’s and Meeting Up

 By Shamus Jun 15, 2008 22 comments

I just want to say I’m really grateful to those who logged into Guild Wars and looked me up and offered help. I’m also flattered by all the people who want to start a Twenty Sided guild or otherwise hook up in the game. I hope my refusals for help did not seem rude. Really, if you find me in the game I love to hear from you.

I just want to say that yes, it would be great to hook up and play with the friends I’ve made here. I haven’t taken anyone up on the offer just yet because I don’t want to launch some enterprise only to realize four days later that the game just isn’t doing it for me, or that I’d rather be playing something else. My personality is such that I’d probably keep playing out of guilt, and that won’t do any of us any good.

I’m also just not that great of a playmate. In Guild Wars I’ve been playing for an hour, then jumping to another window (and let us praise developers who can make games that Alt-Tab gracefully) to write a bit about the game.

I also think that in order to do my writing I kind of need to experience the early game content solo.

If I end up sticking with Guild Wars, or playing some other MMO, then I’ll probably start joining up. I’m too introverted to actually run a guild, but I’d join one if doing so would let me play with a group of non-idiots.

20222 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.


  1. TehShrike says:

    Have you considered trying Age of Conan? I just got it, and it seems to be pretty low on grinding and high on story and shininess.

  2. Changling bob says:

    I would suggest playing both with people you know and randoms in the lobby, as well as solo, before writing a final review. All three are very different; solo can get much harder due to the limits of henchmen AI, randoms are just that in quality, but if you find a good group, you end up with the actual gameplay, instead of the limitations of who you are (or aren’t) playing with.

  3. Kevin says:

    My wife and I have only played EQ and WoW, though I’m happy to say that the very reason I’ve stuck with WoW since the launch is its extreme friendliness towards my style of play, which is a lot of 20 minute sessions while I wait for Lena to get dressed/find her shoes/check her email, etc. I haven’t checked out Conan or Guild Wars, but I will say that having guild mates is in no demonstrable fashion inhibitive to the way I play. There are just folks for me to say hi to when I log on, bye to when I leave, and ask where the big gorilla is on the island in between.

  4. Mark says:

    Shamus,

    I’ll bet loyal readers would be willing to be patient and let you take breaks to write your reviews if they knew they were helping you have a fuller GW experience. A large part of the fun of the MMO is the M (by which I mean the second M).

  5. Matt says:

    “Too introverted to run a guild”, this is what I used to say. I joined a WoW guild and hung around for a year or so, and when the leader left he gave me leadership, and I had to change my personality in order to help my guildmates and run the guild. Why did I tell you this? The only reason I can give is that your sentence struck a chord with me.

    At any rate, if you’re looking the try other MMOs for a game with friendly players, GW is about as good as most others, and WoW is alright, for the most part. I definitely do not recommend AoC, as I found the community to be generally terrible. This is only my personal opinion, though, so if you try it, you may find otherwise.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “and let us praise developers who can make games that Alt-Tab gracefully”

    All praise the wise ones!I too love jumping out of the game to do something else(read a book,write something down,or even turn on the music because the game music is awful).But lately,I have no need for this since I have a wide screen and can just run the game in windowed mode(yet there are some games that,for some idiotic reason,dont let you move the mouse outside of that window,not even with alt-tab,thus I have to press the windows key).

    Again,hail the wise ones that do what the people want!

  7. CoarseSand says:

    I actually just picked up Eye of the North today, partly because I want to refresh myself on GW for your articles, but also because GW:EN is a steal at 10 bucks. Also, pretty new Ranger armor.

    If a Twenty Sided guild does start up I’d love to join, since I only left the game after Factions because all of my guild got into WoW, something I’ve vowed never to touch for fear of losing my life. Or if someone has an existing guild doing GW:EN stuff and is looking for a Ranger I’d love to join. Forming a guild from people who read Twenty Sided would be a lot more reliable than the usual yelling in Lion’s Arch/EoN/Etc.

  8. matt cid says:

    coarsesand my lvl 20 w/d is doing eye of the north at the moment, post your player name and look me up but i my not be on the same times as you.

  9. Tuck says:

    …but also because GW:EN is a steal at 10 bucks.

    10 bucks from where? :O

    If I could get it for 10 bucks I’d jump at that! Everywhere I look lists it around $40.

  10. Zukhramm says:

    Hm, a Twenty Sided guild could be fun, mostly because I suspect that this site’s readers have a higher average intelligence than most of the Guild Wars population.

    Even if we start a guild and you left, it would still be a nice guild of people (I hope it would, at least).

    Only problem I have is that I’m allready in a guild and I’m friend with the guild leader and not sure about leaving.

  11. Alexis says:

    Smart move to play solo. As a fellow introvert, it’s important imho to get comfortable with the game before trying to play with others. It’s so tempting as a veteran to overload newbies with information.

    When you feel you’re playing at your limit, or you’re starting to get bored playing alone, that’s the time to involve some others.

    Kevin makes a good point, that being part of a guild does not have to mean a commitment to group play. My WoW guild is *extremely* casual, we had a guy log on yesterday who’d been away for a year. Think of the guild as an extra chat channel and you won’t be far wrong.

    I’d be interested in trying GW myself, I’m fast running out of characters to level in WoW. I’m in Europe though so not much chance we’ll be online at the same time :)
    I’m also kind of put off by the breadth of options… where am I meant to start?

  12. Zaxares says:

    Alexis: Well, the first decision you’d probably need to make is which campaign you’re going to buy. The Guild Wars series consists of three campaigns:

    1. Prophecies (titled as just ‘Guild Wars’)
    2. Factions (titled as ‘Guild Wars: Factions’)
    3. Nightfall (titled as ‘Guild Wars: Nightfall’)

    and one expansion:

    4. Eye of the North (titled as, you guessed it, ‘Guild Wars: Eye of the North’)

    You will need to purchase at least one of the campaigns before you can play Eye of the North.

    Each of the campaigns has their own pros and cons. I’ll try to provide a brief rundown of each:

    Prophecies is arguably the most ‘traditional’ of the 3 campaigns. It’s set in Tyria, a largely pseudo-Medieval Europe realm. You’ll have access to the six Core professions (Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Necromancer, Mesmer and Elementalist). It’s widely considered to be the most ‘newbie friendly’ of the three campaigns, since it is the easiest of the three campaigns, and it offers a very gentle learning curve.

    The same gentle learning curve is also considered by some to be a hindrance. Levelling is fairly slow in Prophecies, and you’re not likely to reach level 20 until well after the halfway mark of the game. Prophecies is easily the largest of the three campaigns in terms of map size.

    Factions is alternately loved and hated by much of the GW population. It’s set in Cantha, a continent heavily influenced by Asian style and culture. (Despite this, you will also visit areas that are inspired by Gothic and ancient Greek cultures.) You’ll have access to the six Core professions, as well as two Factions-specific ones; the Assassin and the Ritualist.

    Factions gets you up to level 20 very, VERY fast. However, the game then throws you against encounters that would challenge veteran players, let alone new players who are probably still learning the ropes.

    As such, Factions is not a campaign I would recommend for new players. It’s a solid campaign, and the most visually beautiful of all the Guild Wars games, in my opinion, but I nevertheless recommend tackling it only after you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals.

    Nightfall straddles the middle ground between Prophecies and Nightfall. It levels you up faster than Prophecies does, but slower than Factions, and is considered to be midway between the two campaigns in difficulty as well. You get access to the six Core professions, as well as two Nightfall-specific ones; the Paragon and the Dervish. It’s set in Elona, a third continent that is heavily inspired by African and Middle-Eastern cultures.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Nightfall allows you the opportunity to recruit Heroes, special NPC companions that you can equip and assign skills to personally. This gives them a considerable leg-up on the NPC henchmen (whose skills and equipment can’t be changed), at the cost of greater expenditure on your part.

    More information on Guild Wars can be found at the official wiki:

    http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Main_Page

    A more expansive version of what I wrote is also available on the Character Creation page:

    http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Guide_to_character_creation

  13. Zukhramm says:

    ” I’m in Europe though so not much chance we’ll be online at the same time ”

    Well, I’m from Europe, and I’ve seen Shamus online Quite alot.

    EDIT: I’d also like to say I dislike the official wiki for some reason. I prefer the unofficial one: http://guildwars.wikia.com/

    My favourite campaign is Factions, everyone else hates it. But I love the areas, Kaineng City, the Jade Sea, Echowald Forest!

  14. Heather says:

    Well, Mr. Wonderful. Finally have computer access and am checking in. Wondering if you got what you said you were going to get and how you like it so far. And yes, you are a anti-DRM crusader, of sorts. :) Love you, probably heading out in the morning. Will let you know.

  15. Deoxy says:

    I’m too introverted to actually run a guild, but I’d join one if doing so would let me play with a group of non-idiots.

    Some people would think you are setting your expectations low, to make them easy to meet.

    People with real MMO experience (or any experience with people in general) realize that you’ve just set the bar VERY VERY high, and that the vast, overwhelming majority of guilds will fail that test quickly, painfully, and obviously.

    Individual non-idiots are hard enough to find – you want a whole GROUP of such people?!? Good luck with THAT!

    :-)

    Edit: I have the honor of posting after the Mrs! And not just any post, an on-the-road-checking-on-you-and-I-love-you post, too – that’s so sweet.

  16. Kristin says:

    Factions is the most beautiful. I could spend hours just running around the Jade Sea.

    Unfortunately, whoever designed Kaineng City fails at city design. I don’t mind that it’s grey and ugly, I mind that it’s a royal pain to navigate.

  17. Deoxy says:

    I don’t mind that it’s grey and ugly, I mind that it’s a royal pain to navigate.

    Which means they created a very life-like city from any areas of the world more than a century old (a small exaggeration at most).

  18. I think it bears mentioning that in Guild Wars, people can play together regardless of where they are. Europeans don’t have to jump through hoops to play with their North American friends. This is one reason why GW has become popular with my guild. (and why it has shunned some other MMO’s.)

    The fact that friends are added by account, rather than character name, helps a lot as well. No need to flood your friend’s or guild list with alts.

  19. Gary says:

    Don’t worry. I figured you would want to solo, and I defintely encourage that. I soloed almost the entire thing except a handful of missions at the end. So don’t feel bad telling us ‘no’ to hooking up, just know that if you ever need help, or have a question, you have a group here. :D

    I personally have beaten GW: Prophesies about five times. Factions around 4. For some reason I never got around to beating Nightfall…one of these days :D

    One of the nice things about GW is that you don’t have to pick a server when you start. All of your characters and everyone else’s characters can inhabit the same space. (Ok, yeah, technically there is a separate US server, Euro server, etc, but really a lot of the people just stick to the US one and you ARE allowed to switch for free) :D

    For the record, I love Kaineng City. It is a beautiful warren of twisting passageways and criminal scum. I thought it was brilliant.

  20. Gus says:

    I balked at playing WoW for a long time, but once I got started I got hooked. It runs well on older machines, there is tons of content to be explored, the playstyle options and customization thereof is DEEP, and outside of questing there is craploads to do (crafting, PVP, etc.) It’s easy to play and as relaxing or as intense as you want it to be. Don’t listen to the haters: they didn’t get to 7-10 million subscribers by putting out a crappy product. Are there plenty of dumbasses there? Yes, but anyone who’s done customer service or tech support can tell you that the world is full of those people.

    Just don’t roll either kind of elf or a hunter. Nobody will take you seriously.

    PS: There’s a lot of talk about finding “intelligent” players. Intelligence is no guarantee of likability, or any other desirable quality, and it’s a conceit to assume otherwise.

  21. Gus says:

    Addendum to the above: It must be understood that the WoW experience is very much a Diablo experience: 85% of the game is killing and looting. Grouping up with people is essentially a means to more efficient and/or faster killing. If what you want is a more “authentic” adventuring experience, I recommend D&D Online. The social system and UI have some flaws, but the level designs are classic D&D.

  22. Con the Lurk says:

    First time poster, long, long, long-

    Gives you time to go fetch sweet, sweet sustenance-

    Long, long, LONG time Lurker, and I feel like I should finally comment.

    Plus, MMO’s? They’re my life-giver. Whenever I don’t get sick of them. (Having played EQ2, Runescape (euch), WoW (Still on it), GuildWars and various non entertaining Web games, I’m pretty much covered for not being a newb). Anyway, my current recommendation for a game (inspite of its current ‘not out’ state) is WAR online. Though it is all PvP (well, almost 85%), I’ve been doing… Well, a lot of reading, and frankly the world of… Warhammer… Seems to literally be a rich, albeit bloody and violent, tapestry. I have a feeling there will be people willing to play a character in this world (there always are), and if I ever meet these people, I’ll be sure to give you a shout. After I join them.

    And slaughter some Stunties.

    Back to Lurking (thank god, I know. I’m terrible at this), for now, Con the Lurk.

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