In between my adventures as a clumsy siren in Borderlands 2, I have also been dosing myself with shots of MMORPG through Guild Wars 2. I have been loving every minute of it. A mini review for those who populate the crevices on the edge of civilisation: Guild Wars 2 a nice alternative to World of Warcraft. Graphics are nice. Classes are interesting. You can pick up the storyline when you want, level capping makes every area a good challenge, and people are ridiculously cooperative. It is a game that I can pick up and grind for about 30 minutes and be on my away to another level. (I’m on level 25. Yes, this demonstrates that I have been busy).
But more importantly, this is the first time that I have actually played an MMORPG with other people.
I’m going to place a disclaimer on this. I play games alone. I enjoy playing games alone. When I was a kid I would play video games with my brother during the summer holidays, but this was not always multiplayer – it was often that one person would play and the other would be there to berate or offer moral support. We would have our own little language of play, and my mother would shake her head like a cheesy television commercial and ask “haven’t you finished that game yet?”
These days I like the freedom to pick up a controller or turn on a computer in my own time and just be a general klutz on my own. Liberation from cooperative player mentality! Freedom from the necessity to own more than one console controller! I AM HAPPY TO BURN MY ETHERNET CABLE LIKE THE SOCIAL UMBILICAL CORD THAT IT IS.
Yes – I get a lot of flack for it. I get Twitter followers who like to say that playing games on PS3 is “retarded” and not playing multiplayer is “lame” and means that I “have no friends”.
I have friends.
I have awesome friends.
But I don’t need my friends to hold my hand in order for me to play a video game.
Now that I have explained that, I am going to open my mouth and insert my foot. You see, I have been “inspired” by the random acts of charity to attempt to play Guild Wars 2 with others. The “others” happen to be my brother Monotone Bob and two of his friends. He and his friends apparently have this cooperative thing downpat, and I am now starting to discover what successful cooperative gaming entails.
Monotone Bob sometimes comes over for dinner and he will ask me how my Nord ranger is doing and tell me what new spell his mesmer has learned. He will ask what the aim is for my character (aim? What aim? My character automatically aims). His friends will look at my skill points and suggest skills that I can invest in. He sends me through weapons that he thinks will help me, and will craft me some new bags since I have too much crap to lug around. The language of play has returned.
This has been happening for about four weeks now, and now the community has developed further. My mother will yell at us “are you two talking about STUFF again?” And with that, ‘stuff’ was introduced to our lexicon. Monotone Bob will message and ask “you collecting some STUFF?”, and I will yell to Mom that I’ll be on my computer “talking about STUFF.”
Apparently I need to be educated on the etiquette of”stuff” too, with this delightful note put next to my keyboard one evening as I talked to Monotone Bob and his friends on Ventrilo.
See, I can get away with this when I do not have to play with others…
No, my opinion on cooperative and multiplayer games has not changed. I still play Guild Wars 2 on my own time, trying desperately to keep up with my guild. However, I believe it will be one of the very few games that I will be tempted to play with others.