Tuesday, July 18, 2006

From Scrabble® to Guild Wars®, my new online gaming pre-occupation and procrastination tool.

This is an online fantasy role-playing game, the kind of thing which my other procrastination tool - Kingdom of Loathing - spoofs.

No stick figures here. Here we have glorious graphics and adventuring in real-time with friends. So come on friends, get Guild Wars so I have someone to play with.

My inner blonde is a ranger/elementalist with the unimaginative name of Reg Nara. In Guild Wars you have to be dual-classed, though the second class comes as a quest. Your first class determines what you look like and what you wear. So of course I'm a gorgeous blonde in tight-fitting purple and blonde leather, showing off my kickers which go all the way up to my knockers.

Rangers are good with bows, and as soon as I reach 9 in marksmanship there's a really great bow I can start using. In the meantime I have learned beastmastery, and have a wild cat called a Metlandu Stalker to accompany me on my quests and help me fight monsters. It's a higher level than me too, which is great. It's big like a panther, but spotted like a leopard. I can make Troll Unguent with my wilderness skills, which is a healing potion. With all this nature that I'm so in-tune with, I decided elementalist would be a good secondary profession, because then I can harness the earth, wind and fire - wait, isn't that a band? I have water as well, so no singing.

My inner brunette is a necromancer/monk, Recna Mor Cena. I keep forgetting how I divided that up. Maybe I should just name my characters Janet P or Janet K, do we really need these semi-mystical names?

Necromancers are great! They suck the life force out of enemies and use it themselves to heal up. Every time I pass a corpse I get healing points. I've learned how to turn corpses into zombies that will fight for me and trigger traps. Hell, they're dead already and it saves me the bother of resurrection. Monk is the healing class, which is why I think it goes so well with necromancer. I hold life in one hand, death in the other, just like a mini-god. Goddess. Whatever.

I haven't created my inner redhead. Two characters are quite enough. Besides, I can't think of another combination I want to try out. I have only Warrior and Mesmer left unused. though there's nothing to stop me trying out all sorts of other combinations. I gather Warrior Monks are quite popular.

Anyway I've only been playing a couple of days and am still fiddling with game mechanics.
There is a learning curve. Standing around is a lot like in Second Life, where you get 3D views of the characters and can chat in real time. Moving around needs getting used to new mouse movements and too often I end up with leaves and rocks obscuring my view. Learning to use the mini-map to help solve quests also takes a bit of practice. And it can be quite hard to keep up with in-game characters as they run along.

So far, I cope by clicking on their names whenever I can to initiate a chat, in which case my character will run along after them until they stop to fight off an enemy. For characters in the same party as you, clicking on their name makes them the focus of your attention, then you can cast a healing spell on them whether they need it or not and your character will run off and find them to do so. That's also quite handy when you have to resurrect them but can't see them, just click on their name and then cast the spell.

I gather there's a big change in the game after you go to the academy, but I haven't got to the academy yet. I'm still doing all the Tutorial quests, mostly solo. Recna Mor Cena had a game with Vinny Ridara, Vincent's inner hunk, a Warrior/Mesmer. Funny he likes the combination best that least attracts me, but isn't that what fantasy role-playing is all about.

Maybe I can persuade Julius to resurrect Poofter Bruce. This was his original magician way back in the days of text-based Wizardry. A mesmer/elementalist maybe. Or Elementalist/necromancer. We'll see. I'll email him.

In the meantime, add me to your friends list. Maybe we can play together when we're both online at the same time.