Saturday, August 25, 2007

Looking at the Eye

One of the key factors to a game is replay value. Granted, this is crucial in keeping players attached to the game. So it comes as no surprise when a game needs variety in order to support its replay value. In order to keep the game dynamic, something has to change. In the realm of FPS, the replay value is in the random people you meet. In my case, it's the challenges of going up against enemies who are either better or worse than me.

Guild Wars is one of those games that had some decent replay value, in which there are ways in order to enjoy the game without doing the same thing repeatedly, otherwise known as grinding. However, there are some activities that cannot be done without grinding. And there are numerous changes to the way the game work in that it is no longer "fun" for me to run around gathering interesting items. It's not possible to do some of the things alone anymore. My fun was ruined and I was turned away.

When two new chapters to Guild Wars were released, I purchased them immediately. Granted, this added something more to the entire game so that I don't have to play the same thing repeatedly. Yet there remains something that is needed in order to keep players in the game. It needed something to keep those players occupied. So the developers of the game, ArenaNet, added the area that was missing from the original release of Nightfall -- the Domain of Anguish. Sadly, the only way to enter is to beat the game first. Also of note is that there's nothing much else to add to the entire game.

Eventually the fabled Hard Mode became a reality and some changes were made to the way people accrue points to certain titles for Nightfall. Also changed was how some Titles work. The new titles that were introduced along with Hard Mode gave me something new to do... but it grew old quickly. Having been through all of the missions in all three chapters, I know how they work. What drove me away was the fact that some missions require the survival of characters, one of which would take point and rush straight into the battle. This lead to either rushing alongside with this character or leaving that character for dead, thus ending the mission prematurely. There is no control over this and there is no way to keep the character from rushing to its death. It frustrated me to no end and I went into haitus.

ArenaNet made the announcement that their first (and perhaps last and only expansion) to the Guild Wars game, Eye of the North, will be released on August 31, 2007. This completely blindsided many people who were expecting the expansion to be released during the 2007 holiday season (which would put the game around October or November). A Pre-Release pack was sent out to retailers and the pre-order component of the expansion was made available on their in-game online store. People bought it.

So as of now, for this weekend only, those who have made their pre-order are exploring the new areas. They are combatting monsters, participating in small games, exploring, and viewing what will become their monument to their own character. I am one of them. It is something new. And it is something to do. But sadly, all of this, all of the things that I have earned will be locked away for a week. It is only a week but it is understandable that things earned in a preview event should be locked away temporarily.

The world is vast... and it only felt that what I have done thus far only scratched the tip of this giant iceberg that I'm on. And assuming that the map that I have seen is correct, then what I am about to find out is that I'll be able to travel and explore an area that I have remembered so well yet never set foot on. How will this affect my time with Battlefield 2142? Honestly, I don't know. But after trying so hard to earn a particular badge, it is a nice change of pace.

No comments: