Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guild Wars: The Return of the King

Has been surprisingly underwhelming so far. I reinstalled the game yesterday and left it running to update itself overnight. Headed back in for the first time in a long time. I can't remember the last time I logged in actually, although a quick check reveals that it's only been since the summer. It feels like longer.

It feels weird, actually, like stepping into the middle of a high school reunion. About five minutes after everyone's realized that the class clown died some years before. I can't quite put my finger on it but all the air, the energy on which a game thrives, seems to have gone out of it all. Or maybe it's just me reflecting my own apathetic attitudes onto events.

Anyhow, I've been away long enough to have accumulated a pile of birthday presents. I've only opened one so far to find it was filled with grape flavor, so that was nice. I haven't opened any others yet, as I've set them aside for a rainy day.

I was still in Dark Alley, much to my surprise. I'm thinking of quitting now since a high rated guild's tag might not be a good asset since I, you know, suck and months of rust aren't going to help much. Wasn't expecting to have to deal with that, though, as I figured I would have been kicked to the side for inactivity or during a roster shuffle at some point in time. Not so, though, as a quick glance at the guild panel shows that I'm not the only one who'd taken an extended sabbatical. Indeed, I haven't seen signs of any of my friends just yet - probably all off playing WAR or something else.

Didn't have much time to do anything much yet, just a quick peek around to see the lay of the land. Took in a few obsed matches, listed to the chat in some of the larger towns, rearranged a bit of inventory to make some space. About the biggest thing I've done is pick up the Moxon Man. Ran through a bit of what I'm going to call Spooky's Quest.

For what it's worth, I thought it was generic if workmanly done. The bit in the beginning with the priests and the bonus gave it all a nice twist but there's only so much you can do with the old defend a point quest. Nice rush with waves of enemies crashing down, some scrambling as spawns headed for a precious NPC, but, really, it's just slaughter. After a bit of initial fumbling until I figured out that I didn't need to have an oversized Dervish henchman in my group, I loaded up on the wards and other wide area anti-melee (I'm pleased to report that a good team of Paragons with support still makes a mockery out of PvE.) and, after that, it was just wading through corpses and picking up loot.

Although I'm, perhaps, being a little bit harsh because I hated the end boss so much. I had the misfortune of being on the old CripSlash build I'd been on before I quit the last time around so running into a horde of non-fleshy creatures was a bit of a kick in the pants. But ROX or SOX or CUBBIEs or whatever he was called was evidently from the "raise the challenge by giving him a ton of health and a bunch of obnoxiously overpowered attacks" school of boss design. Not that he actually got to hit much since he was constantly blinded, hexed up, or hammering into Aegis or Defensive Anthem wall. But it was kind of annoying to watch his health bar go down pixel by pixel while he was one-shotting my idiotic henchmen in those rare moment he'd broken contain. A quick scouting trip to the next Golem bounty on the quest list confirms that I can expect more of the same. It was a long fight, in other words, but not especially challenging. And I know this because I was completely useless, running around and trying to remember the basic things like how to target and what the icons meant - this is how I can tell I'm rusty or just growing increasingly decrepit, everything in the game is happening in a blur that I can't understand. At least, not until it's gone past. If I was on top of things, the game would be slowing down and I could not just tell but influence what was happening.

So, the heralded MOX quest line looks a lot less impressive than I'd thought. It's more like a series of boss fights and not like the addition of hours of new content as with Sorrow's Furnace.

Ah well, I'll likely steal another hour or two tonight. Or maybe tomorrow. Need to check out the ABs or get my ass handed to me for a bit in the Arenas. I'm not exactly up to speed, after all, but that's why I logged in before the grand event started. Still a few hours to get some practice in and sharpen those old reflexes. But, as the old saying goes, you just can't go home again.

No comments: