Have you ever played it? I never had, until just yesterday. Imagine Diablo II, in 3d, without the annoyances of Everquest. I really enjoy this game.
The online play is free, of course, and the graphics are simply amazing. The quests are possible, at least so far, solo or as a group, and the rewards keep the game moving along.
There is not a requirement that you get 6-8 guys, all from the same guild, to do a quest, it is possible even if you have no affiliation. There are a bunch of weird quests that you have to do to improve your armor and the such, but that is all optional (not really if you want to live). This game melds the sprite based Diablo II type game so seamlessly with the EverQuest type game that Iwas amazed at how fluid it was.
The biggest and most persistent complaint about MMORPG’s is that they have a level treadmill, meaning that you can only go up in level if the planets all line up just right: You have to be in the right group when the right monster spawns. I know that is true, since I did play everquest. Guild Wars, however has totally shattered that belief.
Each time you leave town the monsters spawn. I am not sure if party size matters, but even if it does, and there is only one of whatever you are trying to find, you could simply go back to town and respawn the zone. If you leave town alone you can still complete the majority of the quests, provided you do them in the correct order.
The good attributes of the ‘maphack’ that people use on Diablo II are embraced rather than scorned. You can see, at a glance, whether the hunk of crap you are picking up might be usefull, whether it is magical, whether it is a quest item.
The map is displayed on the screen, with unexplored areas blurred out, but, it is displayed, and it shows monsters! Blizzard seems to frown at the thought of showing the monsters prior to them entering the screen, my question is do they assume that a human (with normal vision) can see only in say 1024×768 ressolution, and only in two dimensions? If that is their assumption I have a load of “Star Trek” to watch before I believe that they have a cybergenic leg to stand on.
In summation, Guild Wars good.