Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Welcome to Angel Cress

posted by John Blanco @ 8:17 PM


On Sunday night, Michele and I decided to cure some of our boredom we were having by playing...get ready for this...

World of Warcraft!

Yes, yes, we did. There was a 10-day trial and the least I should do is try it, right? So, we did.

Our experience was lukewarm. It's just a small experience, so don't get too excited. ;-) We actually didn't get to play until late Monday night as it took all Sunday night to download the client program and then on Monday we spent time downloading patches and updating files.

But, at around 9:15 PM, we were finally ready to create characters and get in the game.

I made a Night Elf Rogue named Turquoiz. Of course, a chick -- as always. I did a couple quests and tried to get used to the items and economy. In the beginner area, there's not too much excitement. However, the big problem was that my laptop made the game look like shit. :-)

Michele created a Night Elf Druid named Emeralee. She chose the Druid because of their ability to turn into animals -- we believe, anyway. :-) Let me tell ya, the PC did a great job if displaying the game. Sooooooooooooo much nicer than the laptop, I tell ya what!

As a Guild Wars veteran, and not a hardcore MMO guy, it's only really possible to offer up a quick review based on my experience with these two games.

First, on graphics. Guild Wars can display a much better screen. It also does it much better on my laptop! Also, you can do any size window, which is helpful.

World of Warcraft has fewer surfaces, so it's not as *nice* as Guild Wars, but the environments are a lot more interesting. So, in the end, it's a more enriching experience in WoW than Guild Wars. Of course, I have played Guild Wars from time to time on the PC and it's even more beautiful...and some of the more advanced levels might provide some more interesting detail.

In terms of music, Guild Wars trumps WoW. Hands down. The music styles are a little different because they have to match the environment, but Guild Wars has a wonderful score.

In terms of UI, Guild Wars wins again. I found the quest presentation really lame on WoW. Perhaps there is a way to speed things up? Also, it's harder to get a quick idea what the quest is in WoW. Lots of reading. Guild Wars highlights the keywords and even used your map very effectively to direct you on what you need to do.

Character wise, WoW beats Guild Wars in terms of personality. You can do more in WoW, and it helps that you can scale the landscape in WoW moreso than in Guild Wars, which makes mere 2-foot drops impossible. Jumping is fun in WoW, even if it's a gimmick. Guild Wars does have lots of actions to do (dancing, air guitar, etc.), but WoW can match it easily.

Where WoW beats Guild Wars by miles is the fact that WoW is a true MMO whereas Guild Wars is not. In WoW, every area is a multiplayer area. In Guild Wars, only the towns are -- and there's no fighting to be had. You actually have to form parties in the towns and go to the quest areas to have multiplayer action. Not so with WoW, where the two areas are always integrated (with specific instances along the way where needed).


I'm not going to say one game is better than the other. It's not fair. Both games have beautiful graphics, sound, and solid gameplay. Where they differ is choice of environment, pricetag (WoW has a monthly fee, Guild Wars does not), and game style. Guild Wars was designed to be free to play, but sacrifices overwhelming server power to do it. WoW goes all the way with MMO-style gameplay while matching the beauty of Guild Wars -- easily making it the best MMO today.

I think players of either game would like the other. I also think it more likely that a Guild Wars player would love the expanded gameplay in WoW moreso than a WoW player coming to Guild Wars in its limited Internet environment. However, you can't beat the price.

So, in the end, both games are great. I'm sticking to Guild Wars, however, because my laptop told me so. ;-) It certainly is tempting to play some WoW and "join the worldwide sensation," but it will have to wait until I have more access to a powerful PC.

In the meantime, I am excited to start another Guild Wars character...meet Angel Cress. :-)


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