We finally crossed over to Post-Searing in Guild Wars. In other words, we left the massive tutorial area, and emerged into the game world proper. The change in landscape was incredible. Everything in Ascalon is in ruins. The skyline is a red, hazy blur from all the fires that the Charr had set. Moderately powerful monsters, which had previously been found in the wilderness or in remote areas, roam very close to the city. All the beautiful trees, grass, and clean water are gone. The place is a complete mess.
When Dyannamika and I had been completing the quest to find and escort a Ranger who had been trapped beind enemy lines (Across the Wall), we had our first encounter with the Charr. We had to go beyond the Great Northern Wall, the structure that kept the Charr out of Ascalon. I knew this was meant to be more like a sneaking mission — don’t be seen, don’t get caught, or all is lost. We were out numbered and under-powered. We died on several occassions. The Charr are vicious, powerful, and well-organised beasts. We got our asses kicked a few times before we found a safe route to the Ranger. Since the Charr have an affinity for fire, I eventually thought that we should look for a route near water. I don’t know whether that was a logical deduction to make, but it turned out to be a good one. The Ranger was, indeed, reachable by going through some ponds. Bloody Ranger!
Those failed encounters with the Charr left an impression. I’m looking forward to when our characters become more powerful, so that I can kill some Charr. They’re going to be sorry for what they did to Ascalon, the bastards. My character is going to enjoy raising them into undead servitude in order to kill more of their kind. Ha ha ha!
Perhaps I am behind in experiencing the quality of PC graphics, so bear with me if gush over things that PC gamers are used to seeing. In my opinion, Guild Wars has brilliant graphics. Many things, like the sun shining through the clouds, glow with bloom lighting effects. The world is just so beautifully made. In the months leading up to the release date this past April, I’d seen promo trailers for Guild Wars whilst working at GameStop. Of course, all you can really experience by watching trailers is the graphical aspect. The trailers were astounding, but the in-game experience can be breathtaking.
The other day, we were exploring Wizard’s Folly, far to the southwest of Ascalon City, in search of Foible’s Fair. Soon, we found ourselves going higher and higher into the mountains. It begain to rain, and then there were some light snowflakes. We encountered massive, hulking creatures of glittering ice and stone, which we dispatched with a bit of difficulty. The scenery was amazing. The snow and ice caves were so gorgeous and different from the golden trees of Regent Valley or the pretty waters of Lakeside County. The reflections of light dancing on frozen ponds and waterfalls were beautiful. We leave footprints on the ground, and not just in the snow. The water in Lakeside County was so cool and water-like. That sounds lame, but it was still impressive.
Not only is the scenery nice, but the graphical detail on the characters is wonderful as well. I have a character whose Primary Profession is that of a Necromancer. She started out with this wonderful full-body suit of leather armour. I wasn’t too pleased that a Necromancer’s starting armour is green. Once I was able to afford dye remover, I was pleasantly surprised that removing the green dye revealed red. After I collected the items required for an armour upgrade, Khirsah was looking even more sexy than she had been before. When I zoom in on her, I can see that some parts of her new armour shimmer and reflect the light. I love little details like this. I still think that we should have more options in terms of differentiating character appearances.
The music in Guild Wars is pretty unobtrusive. I recognise certain musical pieces, but the music doesn’t change when we’re battling (not that I have noticed, anyway). The music is not overly remarkable, but it’s not crap, either.
Dyannamika and I quickly discovered that the International Districts are always less crowded than the American Districts. We agreed that it was more pleasant with fewer people running around in the common areas. We took to going to the International District after logging on, rather than stay in the American Districts.
After The Searing, one of my friends in the Wheres the Dice guild, who had started a new character, met us in Ascalon City. Since he has been playing the game longer, and already had other characters, we asked him for the location of the Guild Emblemer in the city. He ran around for a while, and after not finding key people, he suggested we go to one of the American Districts. We found them there.
We were puzzled as to the lack of certain NPCs in the International District. There shouldn’t be a difference, should there? There was no Guild Emblemer or NPC selling item storage accounts, but in the American District, they were there. I’m going to have a look on the Guild Wars website to see if they have an FAQ that addresses this…
Talking to the Guild Emblemer revealed that it would cost 2 Platinum Pieces (2 000 Gold) to make a cape for our guild! What a fucking rip off! In Pre-Searing Ascalon, the prices were not quite so atrocious. I suppose it stands to reason that a huge disaster like the breach of the Great Northern Wall and the invasion of the Charr would make prices skyrocket. We have a lot of hard work cut out for us to get capes.