This week, classic Guild Wars 1 has gotten its first real update in the years since going into maintenance mode. As we noted on Tuesday’s podcast, the update follows player feedback and requests in the original game’s recent AMA, which apparently took even ArenaNet by surprise (though it shouldn’t; this game is beloved for a reason!).
The patch notes tell the story: It’s primarily a graphics settings update, but it makes a huge difference to the 2005 MMORPG. In addition to getting better window support and improved anti-aliasing options, the game now boasts a level of detail toggle setting that makes the distant world look gorgeous.
“A new ‘Advanced’ option checkbox has been added to the Graphics options panel. This will replace the ‘-lodfull’ command line option that was added recently. Model LODs will always use the highest available LOD (Level Of Detail), regardless of distance, including the disabling of ‘imposter’ models. The max draw distance will be doubled. Ground cover vegetation draw distance will be pushed out even further.
Terrain LODs will almost always draw in highest.”
Big cheers to ANet’s Stephen Clarke-Willson for making it happen. Now, we’re expecting lots of GW1 screenshots for One Shots over the next few weeks!
is trying something new for Guild Wars 2
this season: In addition to its episodic AMAs on Reddit, it’s opened up a temporary Q&A forum on the new content
. It’s certainly a lot easier to read and find replies! Most of the topics since yesterday revolve around lore, and as I’m trying to avoid spoilers myself, I won’t subject you to them, but there are some more general ones that aren’t just AMA repeats that I can draw your attention to.
- Players didn’t make much headway with ArenaNet in the ongoing complaints about the difficulty of the solo story bosses.
- Planning for this episode began in November of 2016, to give you an idea of how long these things percolate.
- The studio agrees some of the instance chaining in this episode goes on for too long. (It was done for story purposes.)
- Will the personal story ever be developed again? “It’s something we consider often,” Jessica Price says, but it’s probably not happening, given the number of races, personalities, and backgrounds would need to be taken into account (1800 combos before personal story choices).
Last week, a reader named Chris, who is writing a paper on the MMO industry and revivifying sunsetted games, dropped an intriguing question into my inbox. It’s about bots – but not the sort of bots EVE Online is constantly fighting. The good kind.
“Do you think people would be interested in coming back to ‘closed’ MMO games if they were populated with AI bots instead of real players (to make them feel alive/populated)?” he asked me.
Let’s ponder that for today’s Overthinking. Certainly we’ve seen bots put to work in games like Camelot Unchained, which uses them to test massive numbers of players on the battlefield. Would you want to see them in live play? Would they help the feel of the world in ways that default NPCs simply would not? Is the AI even doable? Could AI bots take our place to make MMORPGs even better – or even to keep them viable and save them from destruction?
Spurred on by my excitement for Guild Wars 2
‘s second expansion, Path of Fire
, I reached out to ArenaNet
shortly before release to secure a post-launch interview to ensure all my most burning questions could be answered. I drafted my questions not long after launch, and while I most definitely wished to discover whether the initial launch hiccups affected the immediate uptake of the expansion, beyond that I sought more information on the development of such a decisively different expansion than Heart of Thorns
This launch diary installment will share ArenaNet’s responses to my PoF questions: Mounts, elite specializations, and the new maps were huge topics of discussion aside from the more general launch and development questions I had. Read on!
I’ve spent a chunk of the last week moving through the first part of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire, finishing up the Crystal Oasis zone into which a character is deposited right off the airship. Obviously, it’s far too early to give a formal stamp of approval until I’m fully through it, but so far, I’m pleased with my purchase. Very pleased. I’m already pretty sure the expansion is update-of-the-year material for the genre. But it’ll take a few months to see how it fully meshes with the existing game, and while the same was true with Heart of Thorns, my urge to stop writing and go back into Elona for the next zone as I type this already tells me that PoF has delivered on at least its basic promises.
So while we let the community savor the game until a fully informed consensus is reached, I wanted to dash off some quick thoughts based on this first week of midcore casual play. Consider it a top 5, bottom 5 list as we dig into the very best additions to the game – and the things that still annoy me.
Do you miss Vanguard? It’s been a while now since that particular fantasy world closed its doors to players, but warm memories of the game continue to persist among former fans. Reader PJ sent in several screenshots of Vanguard, although he says that he unfortunately lost most of his pictures.
I like this one because of the perspective. It’s not only pretty, but when you see the tiny character on the right, you develop a whole new appreciation of the scope of this area.
We’ve got a great tour of the sights of MMOs for you today, so let’s get this party started!
Late last month, the classic Guild Wars transcended its 10th birthday and prompted a flood of nostalgic posts and shared stories. A few MMO bloggers tore their attention away from the current crop of games to talk about what they loved about their initial foray into Tyria.
“Not only did GW1 revitalize MMOs in general for me, but it gave me a mission and story-based online game that I could play with [my friend],” said Aywren. “I remembered the music, I remembered the world, the Jade Sea. The colours! Oh, how I had loved the look of the world,” Paeroka gushed.
Tasha had perhaps one of the best testimonials: “Getting involved in something like Guild Wars to the extent I did seeps into every part of your life. Over the years I’ve treated the game as an excuse to learn new skills and open doors into new experiences I might not have had.”
Buckle up for an exciting Global Chat, as we hear a rant on double-jumping, a return to Champions Online, a player vouching for World of Warcraft’s virtues, and more!
Guild Wars — the first Guild Wars — celebrates its 10th birthday this week alongside several of my characters who are equally old. I originally picked up Guild Wars as a diversion from World of Warcraft, and at the time, I liked everything about it but actually playing it. Pre-Searing felt like home; it was pastoral and lovely with a haunting score. But back in 2005, the game past the Searing was difficult to traverse in a small party, let alone solo, and the deeper into the game I got, the less I liked it. In fact, I didn’t Ascend in 2005. I gave up on the grueling PUGs right around the time I got to the Crystal Desert.
But I went back, and went back again, and eventually I fell in love. That’s just the first of Guild Wars’ many lessons. Here are 10 things I learned from Guild Wars — in honor of its 10 years of fun.