[MUD-Dev] Guild Wars ?

Max Battcher me at worldmaker.net
Thu May 5 01:14:46 New Zealand Standard Time 2005

Louis d'Ambra wrote:

> Guild Wars, aka the "free" MMO, will get out soon. Does anyone
> already played it ? Any comments or impressions yet ? Is the
> combat system really good and most skillful than most of the MMO's
> out there ?

I've been playing it in bits and pieces since one of the early betas
(the free to anyone World Preview Event).

It's very impressive from a technological standpoint.  The game was
very much developed for the "casual" gamer.  It is very easy to
quickly jump into the game, find you friends, and play together.
Most of that is due to the technology.  Ultimately the experience is
built to feel closer to a LAN game in a battle network than a
typical MMO.

  - "Shard-less" approach: Instead of multiple servers with copies
  of the game world, the game follows a "hub and spokes" approach
  with "lobbies" connecting instanced areas and missions.  Most of
  the game is instanced.  Therefore, the game isn't a hugely
  persistent world, which isn't to say that there isn't persistence,
  but in many cases dynamic and low server overhead were prefered
  over persistent.

  - On the fly patch system: This has long been a pet peeve of mine
  in dealing with graphical MMORPGs, and what first drew me to Guild
  Wars (I'm not a big fan of the Fantasy genre).  The developers
  spend so much time writing good software and then use something
  like RTPatch to update it.  Often users are forced to download a
  100+ MB patch which touches a several GB tree (and can take
  upwards of a half an hour).  Guild Wars updates only the assets
  needed immediately and streams the rest of the downloads into the
  background.  The launcher only updates the client exe and assets
  for the login "area".  Level loads update the assets for that
  level if necessary.

As for the combat system, it is an interesting departure.  It is
much more akin to a Customizable Card Game (CCG) approach than the
classic D&D approach.  You can "collect" hundreds of skills in the
game (all of which work with any level character), but can only
"equip" 8 of them.  There is a lot of skill and strategy in choosing
your 8 skills for a mission or battle.  Another interesting thing is
that each skill has a specific set of animations (particular glyphs
and lighting, mostly) that all characters use when using that skill
(including computer controlled non-human enemies), so really skilled
players would come to recognize particular skills and know how to
counter them.

--Max Battcher--
The WorldMaker.Network: Now more Caffeinated!
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