Stop Asking Me For Money and Put On Your Pants

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or, my preliminary thoughts on Guild Wars: Nightfall.

If you’ve been reading here regularly you probably know that I play Guild Wars semi-regularly and that I only own the first Guild Wars product, Guild Wars: Prophecies. I’ve been considering buying Guild Wars: Factions but have been waiting for the price to drop a bit before picking it up. Imagine my surprise, then, when I logged in to Guild Wars the other day. I make it a point to at least log on to Guild Wars every few days if only to download the latest game updates. On the “Announcements” panel a new item appeared, proclaiming next weekend to be a PvP preview of Guild Wars: Nightfall.

Here I am, mulling over the price point I want to buy Factions at, and ArenaNet is already almost done with their next expansion pack (I expect it released in November). They really are following through with their strategy of two standalone expansions per year.

Unfortunately the press release was extremely sketchy. The known facts are that the expansion will take place on a continent called Elonia. I believe there are references to this continent in the backstory of Prophecies as being related to the worship of the gods, so it is not a great surprise that the two classes that have been announced for Nightfall both have a religious bent to them.

The Dervish…

and the Pants-less guy… err, Paragon.

Here’s the thing: Given that I still haven’t purchased Factions, the release of yet another expansion/standalone product intimidates me. When I purchase books I almost always purchase the entire series. If I buy Factions I will feel compelled to purchase Nightfall as well, but from what I know I’m not encouraged to buy Guild Wars: Nightfall. Two new character classes do not appeal to me — Seven class choices is plenty. New armor designs to appeal to me, but they can’t justify the purchase price. I don’t know yet if this new expansion is going to have a distinctive visual theme — From the screenshots of the new classes I suspect it won’t. It may have new monsters and new skills and new items, but those things aren’t enough in themselves either.

What I really want are things that will improve the gameplay experience, not adding in redundant content within the pre-existing paradigm. That is to say, my two main desires for Nightfall are (1) that it provides for a more involved non-instanced and/or non-combat play and (2) an auction house. The first is probably wishful thinking but I am heartened with how the introduction of titles added a new sense of purpose to the game. The second is just a plain necessity. An auction house has been “in progress” for two years now, I’m tired of having my characters loaded down with extraneous items that I can’t sell off because I’m unwilling to stand around in the game for hours looking for buyers.

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