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Archive for October, 2010

If you want the skinny in a few words, I can sum it up thus: I’ve certainly played worse WoW clones.

Early travels in the Human homeland

However, I’m not sure it’s that simple. I think Forsaken World is getting a bit of a bad rep — somewhat fairly-earned — in part due to the abundance of screenshots of well-endowed and scantily-clad Kindred Assassins that every reviewer seems to have rolled (truth be told, it’s only members of the Kindred race that can be Assassins [Edit: Whoops, I completely forgot that Humans can be Assassins, too], but the females of that race have the most alarming proportions and lack of modesty in the game).

The other reason for the poor reputation has to do with PWE’s discarding of the conventional F2P wisdom that “Closed Beta” means “anyone who has a key gets in” and actually seems to be restricting access by Beta phase, as well as their poor communication of that fact well in advance. This has led to a lot of confusion and hard feelings from fans who obtained beta keys but were not let into this Phase 1 of the Closed Beta.

Due to a generous giveaway by Massively, I am one of those in this phase of testing, and I have been playing multiple characters for hours. While I have been trying to submit bug reports like a good beta tester (see the overlooked Chinese characters and typo in the screenshot), I can’t say that my playtime has been through sheer determination – I’m actually having fun! Much like with Allods Online, I know I won’t be staying with this title due to the emphasis on PvP (after level 30, PvP or Player-Killing will be open-world and that’s just Not My Thing), it’s not stopped me from enjoying the content in the meantime.

Minor glitches aside, Forsaken World plays smoothly and the aesthetic is much more Western than previous PWE titles. Having explored a few different races’ starting areas, I have already experienced a couple of unique quests that I haven’t experienced many places elsewhere, if at all. The usual PWE conveniences are there, such as auto-pathing and pets, as well as other F2P staples such as level-gated gift packages. Character customization is less than PWI and more than JD, and felt much like it would if you could only use Aion’s default customizations with no feature sliders – that is to say, a fair amount of customization is possible, though no varying size options are available. No boob size customization, unfortunately.

I am still hovering around level 20 and the game is telling me I should start running dungeons (in-game chat is lively with LFG requests at this stage), but not having done this thing much in traditional MMOs (the closest I’ve come is the Barrow-Downs in LOTRO, and that was a crash-course in Healing With An Aggro System if ever there were one), I am leery of the abuse I would face from strangers if I failed in my Priestly duties. So far there is still plenty I can do on my own – the game is not hurting for quests, and not the sorry excuses for quests that PWI offered, with “kill 50″ requests rounding up post-level 20 content – so I shall continue on until, as usually happens when I play a traditional MMO, I get tired of never-ending questing and give Forsaken World a rest.

Or maybe I’ll try running a dungeon then.

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Now that I am back full-time from that exhausting raid business, I have more time to devote to that revered task of adding to my Guild Wars Hall of Monuments. When details were first revealed about the HoM reward system, I was sitting pretty at 18 points out of 50, and I was pretty satisfied with my lot, as it granted me the coveted Black Moa Pet and the full set of legacy armor, as well as other assorted goodies. Since that time, however, I along with most of the existing GW1 population have been scrutinizing my achievements to see if I could squeeze any more blood from any particular stone without driving myself crazy with grind or ridiculously high-priced items.

Since I was laid up with a cold for a few days last week, I took the opportunity to hop online and see if I could finally get a group for the Battle For Lion’s Arch, and thus snag an Oppressor Weapon for my Valor monument. Fortunately I was able to group with Nugget and a friend and messily slay our way to a victory my first time through. Score 2 points for adding that first weapon.

Also on the roster were my plans to finish Factions with my main character, an Elementalist – having already added Eternal Hero of Cantha to my HoM via my Assassin who completed Factions years ago, I was closer to the Protector of Cantha title with my Ele. Nugget and friend helped me kill Shiro in under 0.001 seconds and I successfully PUGged my way through The Eternal Grove for three points to my Honor Monument, my Assassin captured the Black Moa Bird for 2 points for Fellowship, and my goal of 25 was achieved.

I don’t see myself netting the remaining 5 points for goodies without considerably more effort, and I haven’t decided how I want to go about it just yet. I could get a Kurzick and Luxon armor set for 2 more points (1 for 7 armor statues and 1 for Kurzick/Luxon armor), but I only have an Elementalist and Assassin at that point in Factions and don’t care for either of the armor sets for those classes. I am at 24 dedicated minipets among my 13 characters and don’t cherish the thought of buying more just to round out the 30 for one extra point (though I am toying with the idea of trying to get a Black Moa Chick). I hope to have the time to join some intrepid group on a dungeon run someday, but there always seems to be something popping up at the last minute to prevent me from taking part.

I feel I’ve accomplished a reasonable amount for my casual level of play (981.5 hours to date – considering there is a Guild Wars 2 Guru forum thread slamming someone for reviewing Guild Wars with under 1000 hours worth of gameplay, I assume my lack of time in-game is quite shameful!) and I appreciate the HoM letting me see that there is a lot I could yet have accomplished without making me feel like I’ve got nothing to show for five years’ worth of gaming just because I have never completed an elite dungeon.

Edit: I should also add that this Hall of Monuments hoopla has re-kindled the newly-dubbed Mr. Randomessa’s interest in Guild Wars 1. We may just pick up a second account of Factions so that he can get a Black Moa Bird of his own, and find a way for him to acquire the requisite points for the same pet in GW2 through some quick and dirty method.

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