17 July, 2008

How Many Liches Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Tootsie Roll Pop?

Just. One.

Having finally beat Guild Wars, I have to say, the post-game quests are leaving me rather discouraged. I like the idea of them - having to stop the titan threat even after the big boss is taken out - but I feel like once again I'm being punished for being a solitary player. Having to go back to earlier parts of the game, but fight the same max-level enemies - without having the benefit of max-level henchmen (not to mention maximum party size), is ridiculous. To do the quest back at the first area in the game, my party size is down from 8 people to a measly 4 people, and the henchmen are all level 8 or something, while I still have to fight level 28 monsters. There's no way the makers intended anyone to play this part of the game this way.

Having beat the game, I now have the option of playing in Hard Mode, which, reasonably, increases the henchmen's levels up to 20 (which is the player max). But the monsters get even stronger - the level 28 ones go up to level 30 or something like that. Why should I be forced to play these quests in Hard Mode to even have the semblance of a chance of completing them? Not to say that there's any real possibility of that, anyway. The content of these quests involve the one objective I've seen throughout the game that I despise the most - keeping an NPC alive while armies of monsters descend upon you. A team of henchmen just can't take the enemies out fast enough. By the way, the objective I despise the second most is having to take out rapid healers, which are effectively immortal, /especially/ when they gang up and fight (well, heal) together.

Chillin' by the Onyx Gate

Having gone through all of the missions, seen all of the story (excluding the "after-story"), and explored at least 95% of the game world, as well as acquiring the awesome armors I wanted to have, and having some time to play with them, I feel right now that, for once, I could imagine stepping away from the game. Hard Mode doesn't have much appeal to me, since it just seems to be doing the same things over again, but even harder than before - and for a single player, they were hard enough the first time around. Gaining titles seems really cool, but looking through them on the wiki, it seems like a lot of effort (grinding) for a pretty inconsequential reward - the vanity of being able to display the title next to your name. If there was an option for a user custom title, that would be great.

Furthermore, there are a couple environments (dungeons, really) that weren't involved in the main storyline of the game that I have yet to explore. But they're supposedly really difficult and have really strong enemies and are even more biased against solitary players than the rest of the game, so I don't really see myself making the effort to explore them.

I could imagine continuing to play if I bought one or more of the additional expansions/campaigns, which would give me more "main storyline" type stuff to do, and supposedly with the addition of "heroes" instead of "henchmen" I might have a /little/ more of an advantage playing alone. But right now I'm thinking a break could be a good thing. Especially with the things that are coming up in the next month or two. Looking at my logs, it seems that I've been playing this game for the past two and a half months (ever since the beginning of May). That's actually longer than I thought.

Well, whether I continue to play the game or not, it's been a lot of fun. What with the addiction factor, I might have a harder time stepping away from it than I think. And if anyone else reading this wants to play it some more, I'd be more than happy to join you. Despite the difficulty, I've enjoyed playing alone, so that I can go at my own pace, but especially now that I've seen most of what there is to see, I'd probably be more comfortable playing along with someone else. And being able to play with someone I know is always a treat - even if it's a person that gets on my nerves sometimes. It was actually pretty cool to have a three man team going for that short period, and I was disappointed when that ended, even though I was a lightweight at that point, and my gaming endurance was constantly being put to the test.


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