Greetings my ever loyal minions! I know that you have been anxiously awaiting my return, and just to make you yearn that ever little bit much more for me, instead of returning when I was able to, I spent the next several days at home entertaining myself with two wonderful new sequels to games that have already made smash hits with the original games that spawned them. And after long nights with Mtn Dew fed to me intravenously, I have stumbled upon a great conundrum. They both are frigging excellent games. As a member of the Evil Geniuses for America Foundation, I know that you simply can't have two loves. Unless, of course, you are a Mormon. And wanting to lead you by example so you don't suddenly start loving someone less worthy of the adoration you blindly give to me...someone like Katy Perry...I felt I must make a choice.
BUT I CANNOT!!!
So this is one of the wonderfully rare opportunities that I allow you, my chattel, to open your mouths wide and give me your opinion on just which game you feel is worthy of being my top game. But be warned, answering idly and without great thought on the matter will get you fed to my genetically altered terror guppy. Trust me, he's mean.
Before I give you the chance to feel as if you are making a difference and that you voice actually carries worth, let me give you a rundown on both games so you can make an educated decision. Mind you, this is the only time I will allow this as education is the catalyst to that old ball and chain called freedom which only I deserve, so don't get use to it.
GUILD WARS 2
After their first enormously successful game Guild Wars, Arenanet brings you Guild Wars 2. Even the developers of their only real competition, World of Warcraft, have bowed their head in shame to this game, stating they have raised the bar on what future MMORPGs will be like. So what makes it so awesome?
I bring to you first the dynamic event system. As you wander across the vibrant world of Tyria there are many events that can spring up along your path. You do not have to participate in them, but if you don't these events will have far reaching impact on other aspects of the game. For example, if you pass by a centaur camp being built, (they are called Modnir in Guild Wars, but we all know their real name), a little while later that very camp may attack the city you were going to for some after farming relaxation time. Now you will have to fight them, and in greater force. What you do or do not do changes the world you are in, leaving you to deal with the results.
The second thing they bring to you is a more balanced leveling system. Instead of making levels more and more difficult to get to so you are forced to spend more time on the game, a strategy WoW employs even though you are paying them every month to have fun, Guild Wars 2 offers you a level around every 80 minutes of game play. This doesn't mean you can put your controller down and come back to a new level 80 minutes later, it instead says that if you play the game, we won't punish you for getting good at it.
Next we have personal and world storylines. You are given several options at the creation of your character as to how they perceive the world, what economic class you were born into and what kind of personality you want your character to have. These questions lead you down a path designed specifically on your choices, rather than forcing everyone to have the same initial starting point and enemies. Layered over this are the world storylines. These are questions and events that everyone shares in that lead to your true destiny: to destroy an invincible dragon bent on wiping out all intelligent life.
Beyond all of this, you have other options for your character you do not see in other MMOs. For example, other MMOs give you a starter set of armor. When it is time to upgrade, you throw out the armor you were wearing and put on something better. Pretty basic stuff in games of this sort. But what if you liked how the starter armor looked on your character more than the better armor you obtained later in the game? Other MMOs tell you to suck it up. Guild Wars 2 gives you the freedom to put the better stats on the armor you like looking at for a small fee. And when you have your armor the way you like it to be, they also offer you hundreds upon hundreds of different colors to pimp you out to the fullest. You again have to pay for the dye you want, but it is generally pretty inexpensive to do so.
But the best thing about Guild Wars 2, in my opinion, the one greatest thing that lifts it up into the heavens to look down on the lesser MMORPGs with a saintly light, is the fact that all the special goodies they put out, the ones you would have to use real money to buy so you can look and kill better than your desperately broke companions do, you do not have to use real money to own! Sure, you can rip some of the money out of your diminutive paychecks, but you do not need to! If it is a bad week for you financially, you can farm up some gold and use it to buy gems, which is the special currency that gets you the good stuff. But don't get me wrong, Guild Wars 2 has plenty of spectacularly make armor and weapon skins in its own right, and the store is more for personal preference and past remembrances to the first game than it is a place to get things to put you above another.
I am also delighted with their trading system. In Guild Wars it wasn't uncommon to get scammed by someone offering one thing but giving another. Item skins could tend to look similar to one another, and the people playing were exploited for it. Guild Wars 2 eliminates the dishonesty by putting in a middleman known as the Black Lion Trading Post. It takes care of everything for you. You can see the going rate of items, what the item is actually worth, and how many people want to buy the item you are trying to get rid of. And since the game engine doesn't have screwing you out of your hard farmed currency, you know you will always get what you pay for.
Other marvelous things to mention would be the revival system where if you are defeated it doesn't mean you are dead. Another player, regardless of class, can rush to your aid and get you back up on your feet. In fact doing so gives you experience which means if you are one of those bleeding heart hippies, you could potentially make it to the level cap doing little more than healing people up. Though that is pathetic and I would call you names for it. Names like "stinky little poopy head." Yes, I would be that verbally abusive, so don't do it. There are also areas to gain skill points that are used to help you obtain better spells and fighting abilities that you otherwise only get when you level up. There are items on the ground that you can pick up and use as weapons, with their own set of combat skills, should you get tired of what you are currently using. And, of course, the huge amount of crafting styles offered makes you feel even that much more a part of the world. You can make armor and weapons, rings and staves and harpoons and guns. Yes, I said guns.
I could write a thousand paragraphs on just what this game has to offer you, but that would be encouraging laziness among your ranks and I am not the kind of mad dictator to do such a thing. I urge you to, if you have not already, buy this game and see the the vast, multi-layered world the guys and girls at Arenanet have created for you. Delve into video game history and witness firsthand the glory of what the future of games will be today.
This is what I offer you on the Guild Wars 2 side of things. But hold off on your voting right now, my children. For while it seems you can never find a game as spectacular as this one is, we have Borderlands 2 to put under the microscope.
To be continued...