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Famous Fails: Guild Wars review

Famous Fails: Guild Wars reviewThis is my first post in the “Famous Fails” list (not mentioning the introductory post i wrote prior to this one). In short, i am going to write about the famous, well-rated games that are liked by many – and found almost totally unplayable by myself. This is my (not so) humble opinion, so you’d welcome to throw shit at it only if you have some cool arguments to prove me wrong.

Join the millions of players worldwide who have become enraptured by Guild Wars®, the award-winning, epic game that revolutionized online role-playing.
Enraptured? Oh, you bet i was!

Everything is half-assed with this game, more or less… But the very first thing you see is their half-assed trial.

First, i must say that GW uses a bit unique payment system, where you don’t have to may monthly or use item shop (you can buy some stuff, but it’s not particularly in-game things like mounts or money or etc.), instead, you need to buy the box itself and all of the expansion boxes that you’re planning to use. Before you do that, you can play a trial, which is said to be 14 days long. Quite a standard option (we’re not speaking of the latest Final Fantasy MMO, oh noes, not just yet!) for an MMORPG these days, isn’t it?

If you’re promised 14 days of free game time, you’re expecting it to be 14 days of free game time. But when i registered for my 14 days of free game time i was really *surprise, surprise* registering for 10 HOURS of free game play! WTF?! – i thought. I looked closely and found that 14 days were in truth mentioned because you can spent your 10 hours of game time IN 14 days – so if you play 10 hours in one day you have to pay right away! Isn’t it nice?

Not that i needed whole 10 hours to form an opinion about this game, but still… This is part of the game’s advertisement program. In Russia you’d have to pay a large fine to government because it would be considered a deceptive (or fraudulent) advertising – for promising of something that is not actually there. But who cares about an MMO?

Second, is Guild Wars half-assed client.
The normal MMO offers you a client that you download and install. GW offers you an installer that downloads pieces of client as you progress further in the game. This seems like a nice idea at first – you don’t have to wait for 15GB to load like you do with Conan, and the client doesn’t clutters your HDD with 25GB of unneeded files like (again) Conan does. But this idea only seems fine at first.

Guild Wars Loading Screen I am sure that there are places in the world that are highly developed and offers broadband Internets at the speed of light, like, downloading GB’s of data in a matter of single minutes, but I personally – and many other people like me or that can not afford super-light-speed-internets – are forced to sit and wait, wait, wait ‘til it loads. I want to play, not play like 15 minutes and then wait for another 40 while the client downloads something! When i created my character i had to wait for the load. Eventually i forgot about GW still downloading something and opened a video file. And then, in the middle of my movie, like after 40 or 45 minutes, BANG! GW jumps at me from out the corner and shows some horrifying movie of its own, made on game’s engine!

What a creepy lil’ bastard… I must admit, next loading periods weren’t taking so long, but it was still annoying like hell. Why not to offer a single client file for those who don’t want to use this part-downloading one? Plus, they don’t show neither the size of a file being downloaded, nor the estimated finish time.

My third complaint is half-assed graphic user Guild Wars Interface Sucks!interface of Guild Wars.
In Eve Online GUI is quite complicated because there are so many options and nuances, you have to take your time to learn them all. Usually, you need time to find whatever it is you were looking for, because it may be deep inside – but it’s at least logical and overall is quite handy. In Lord of the Rings Online (which GUI was licked off World of Warcraft almost entirely), everything is much simpler, even if you have a lot of things at your screen at the same time – it’s quite handy too.

In Guild Wars they drew GUI on someone’s knee, i assume, and words such as “user-friendly”  and “ergonomic” they don’t even consider cussing, because GW’s developers never heard they exist. Overall, GW’s GUI persistently reminds me of Ryzom interface, and Ryzom was released back in 2004, mind you, when a GUI like that was considered normal, but again they had other interface standards back then. Okay, now, GW wasn’t released yesterday, but why not to improve the damn GUI? Said LOTRO offers API for gamers to tweak GUI and even create skins for that, and i also saw better GUIs than that in many cheap Chinese/Korean free to play games. I was playing Ryzom back in 2006-2007, then i came back at it sometime in 2009 and couldn’t play – after playing contemporary games the interface was too ugly, inconvenient, uncomfortably and it just sucked hard to play. GW’s interface is all the same, plus client loading times…

Guild Wars Interface Sucks Still!Oh, you’re asking what’s so bad about GW’s GUI? Here are the few examples: effects applied to character are in one place, life/mana bars are in another; effects applied to party members you cannot see at all; mini-map is hard to find and mission maps are shown in different place too; the missions itself aren’t informative and the goal is not obvious from the text and not marked in any way (like in LOTRO we have a quest description and summary “go kill 5 boars”, GW doesn’t have that). The quests was most annoying, actually, you had to read them twice or more to get what is it NPC wants you to do. Ah yes and you can have only 8 skills on your skill bar – no more skill bars for you, suckers, we know you don’t need them, says NCSoft and does the evil laugh!

And the last feather in one’s cap: Guild Wars uninstaller.
Opening “Run” in my Windows didn’t showed me anything like Uninstall option in GW’s folder. I had to look for it manually in my system’s programs list, and after i uninstalled the game that folder in my “Run” was still there! So i had to delete it manually again. It was a part of netiquette even for freeware developers like 6 years ago to supply user with clear uninstalling options and make sure that nothing is left behind after the user did uninstalled the program.

I wasn’t expecting a failure like this from NCSoft, really… And if you have noticed, i did not said a word about Guild Wars graphics – i knew that the game is not fresh like a sakura blossom, so why judge it for its visuals… The interface, that’s what got me.

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