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Archive for April, 2011

[GW] On Roads Less Traveled

That there's Peachy Keen. She'll cut you.

The reason my husband has not yet written a review of Dragon Age 2 is that he hasn’t been playing it. Instead, he has been running around in Nightfall with the new alt I rolled for the purpose of duoing our way across Tyria (the world, not the continent). I never realized how difficult it would be to take a screenshot of two characters and their pets until I tried it, which is why you only get to see yours truly above. Mr. Randomessa’s pet crocodile, Tusky, is camera-shy.

I don’t see it mentioned often, but playing through Nightfall I am reminded that ArenaNet had been toying with branching storylines even then. While the personalized mission was nothing new, and we had already seen how faction could take your story in one direction or another with Factions, Nightfall took things even further with the irrevocable (until the end of the story, at least) choices you have to make regarding hero selection, and, occasionally, storyline branch. If you choose Jin, you can’t have Sousuke. If you choose the Master of Whispers, you can’t have Margrid.

In my previous playthroughs of Nightfall, I had always chosen the Master of Whispers, and with him, the Rilohn Refuge and Dzaganur Bastion missions. Mr. Randomessa wanted to take Margrid, and so I am experiencing brand new content, not only for him, but for me as well.

I am curious as to why ANet backed away from the “this, not that” options in storytelling when they got to Eye of the North, only to re-instate it, newer and shinier, with Guild Wars 2. Was it a time restriction? Were they not pleased with the way it was implemented in Nightfall and they wanted to give it another pass or ten before implementing it again? I’ve no idea, but I’m glad now that Mr. Randomessa and I started with Nightfall. I think it’s an excellent primer for what Guild Wars 2 holds in store.

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This just in, via GameSpy’s latest ArenaNet interview:

GameSpy: How persistent are the game’s dynamic events? To use one of your common examples, if a bunch of raiders wreck a village, and nobody saves it, what happens next? Do players have to group up and retake it by force, or do the raiders eventually “reset” and leave the village on their own, or what?

Eric Flannum: Events are fully persistent. In the example you give, the raiders will never reset on their own, unless players intervene.

To address the inevitable comparison with Rift, which made a change to how invasions worked during beta since they tended to lay waste to quest hubs (to mixed reactions by the player base), dynamic events in GW2 are the content, so there is no argument to be made that a town taken over by raiders hampers content access.

I do enjoy how the confirmations of game systems trickle in by bits and pieces.

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Well, we made a difficult decision at chez Randomessa recently, and that is to cancel our Rift subscriptions for now. Due to the fact that I was traveling this weekend and have yet to finish resting up from the trip, I did not get to take part in the River of Souls event. We are only canceling “for now” because we aren’t saying we won’t play the game anymore, but since we haven’t logged on in weeks it didn’t seem frugal to blithely subscribe, essentially paying for nothing. When next we feel like logging in, we’ll re-up.

Meantime, I have been exclusively playing Guild Wars, while my husband has been mixing it up between Guild Wars, Dragon Age 2, Two Worlds II, and his constant favorites Bloodline Champions and Warcraft III. We almost missed all the April Fool’s fun, but I have to say (not at all biased! ;) I think ANet’s Commando reveal is the best, most elaborate prank I’ve seen come out of the MMO-verse. Good for them.

As for Corporal Bane, we managed to finish up his quest tonight – Mr. Randomessa’s first outing with a bonus mission! He quite liked it (free content he didn’t even have to level up for!) and is looking forward to Lieutenant Thackery’s once we get War In Kryta going. We are still playing through Nightfall when we find the time, and although I have tried rolling a Ranger on several separate occasions, this is the first time I am really enjoying it. It must be the camaraderie of my husband’s warthog with my flamingo.

Although he is weeks behind everyone else in his playthrough, I have asked Mr. Randomessa to write a review of Dragon Age 2 for me to post here sometime within the next week or so. I’d like to read how he summarizes his thoughts as a single-player RPG fan who prefers the Bethesda method of storytelling to Bioware, yet still looks somewhat forward to SW:TOR and deigns to play the odd MMO with me sometimes. I happen to think folks like him are a huge untapped market, but what do I know?

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