Bye bye SWTOR, hello Guild Wars 2

I haven’t played Star Wars: The Old Republic in weeks. I may go back to playing it some once it goes free-to-play this fall, but I was getting pretty bored with it. And Sean, who had been playing a couple months longer than me, was over the game as well. Multiplayer games like that just aren’t as fun if we aren’t playing together, even if playing together doesn’t mean actually grouping with each other.

Earlier this week Sean started talking about Guild Wars 2. I never played Guild Wars and didn’t know much about it, so I didn’t know if I would be interested. I told him to go ahead and get it if he wanted it, and after I checked it out I would get a copy if it looked fun.

After creating a character on his account, I enjoyed it enough that I downloaded a copy for myself. Of course the download took forever, so I didn’t actually start playing until tonight. Right now I am only level 6, but I think I will stick with this one a little while. And the best part is that you don’t have a monthly fee!

There are only four races in the game, but they are so customizable that there is still plenty of variety. In all the character set up has 10 main steps. Once you pick the race and gender, you can choose from 8 professions (classes) and then further customize those by answering a series of about 5 “background” questions that have three options each. Furthermore, the character design has so many options that it is very easy to make unique toons. Time consuming, but easy. There are so many design options that it is almost overwhelming.

Since SWTOR was the last MMO I played, I can’t help but compare the experience. I joined SWTOR a couple months after it was released, and it was still incredibly buggy. It seemed you hit some sort of bug at every turn. In fact, it was still a little buggy the last time I played and it has been out since late December.

Guild Wars, on the other hand, has only been out a few days. I have encountered very few bugs. Only two things stand out from the hours I have played tonight. The first one was so irritating that I might not have even continued playing if I hadn’t spent $60 on it. I had spent a long time tweaking my character, deciding what I wanted and what I wanted it to look like. Then it just disappeared. Poof. Gone. I was near the end of the creation steps, when it suddenly went to the last screen in the process… but it was blank. All that was there was the background. So then I had to start over… the second time I didn’t feel like putting as much effort into the character.

The second bug was somewhat amusing. There are these zones you teleport to that are basically giant cubes. I fell off the side of one of these and got caught in a crevice, where I was “defeated” from the impact. Before I could use the handy button to teleport out of there I had a pop up inviting me to teleport to an instance with my group… which resurrected me and stuck me right back on the side of the cube. At least you can teleport for a few copper pieces.

So far I really like the game, but it is a bit different from other MMORPGs so it is taking a little getting use to. The graphics are great though, and there is an enjoyable sense of humor with the NPC dialogue. They have also done away with a few of the more annoying aspects of MMO’s, such as not having to hunt for a mailbox to get mail and not having to go “turn in” quests.