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Category Archives: Guild Wars 2

Ghosts of Ascalon – Generic, yet fascinating

60% DP? Hah.

Ghosts of Ascalon doesn’t pull any punches. I won’t either, especially since it’s almost two and I just finished the book after a criminal procedure final. Bottom line? I actually want more.

The book does its job in terms of giving a glimpse into the future. Technically, the book feels like an Eye of the North excursion with all the new races flaunting their zany expressions of typical xenophobia. As far as it as becoming a legacy of Tolkien, probably not.

If you’re into Guild Wars, I’d recommend it. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits and names thrown around that’ll make you nod and maybe smile. I enjoyed trekking through and got surprised once in a while.

One semi-spoiler: This book carries on the tradition of human’s completely dismal state in Guild Wars.

Humans have always been shafted throughout Guild Wars history. This book helps remind you that humans suck eggs and will continue to suck eggs as a race.

As far as the racial breakdown and time spent on the races, the book seemed to be split up between…

Human 30%

Charr 30%

Asura 20%

Norn 15%

Sylvari 5%

Which may come to a disappointment to some, given that the information on the Sylvari is relatively scant. At this point, I get Sylvari at this stage. They’re an open-source race, literally. They’re the speculation race because, despite seeming like the token elf, they’re absolutely bizarre. Still, if you carry any level of interest in roleplay concerning Guild Wars, Ghosts of Ascalon helps illuminate the way roles mesh together.

As far as gameplay is concerned, I think we might be getting a charr flamethrower somewhere in the future.  Necromancy is definitely on the caster plate and mesmer got a slight mention.   Moreover, the book gives you a look into how the writers might include you into the epic-club without necessarily making it seem awkward.

I guess the only emotion I didn’t feel was profound sadness. Didn’t have time to feel sad and tragedy couldn’t really grip me at the pace the book was going. Of course, I’m not reading anything particularly sappy to begin with. I still feel warm about the whole book and I really want to engage in the RP community now that we have something to base everything off of.

Anyway, I’m tired. Tomorrow is Starcraft 2 day. I can’t wait to go punch some faces in silver.

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Posted by on August 4, 2010 in Guild Wars 2

 

Looking into the Ghosts of Ascalon.

The first snippet of Guild Wars 2 literature is here.

Before I go too far, I am well aware that most literature pertaining to video games are not up to standards. However, I am more inclined to read literature pertaining to Guild Wars. Why? Just like everybody else, we’re looking to glean information from the books and hopefully translate them into relevant information that may be present in Guild Wars 2. Not just lore elements, but aspects of gameplay, particularly classes or the powers that classes use. Most gaming literature, from my experience, builds off the original product. Guild Wars literature is no exception, but it does have one particular advantage over, say, a book about Magic: The Gathering. (I read Lorwyn. It was quite hilarious.)

There is an unwritten future.

When I thought about it, the concept of a book filling in the space between one game and the next was thrilling. Guild Wars already has a reasonable backstory and setting to begin with, bringing me up to interest. The future, however, is the killing blow, because there is something exotic and unknowable at the end of these stories rather than simply catering to a meager sense of fandom. In essence, Ghosts of Ascalon avoids the primary pitfall of gaming literature by being largely unpredictable.

As for the actual guts of the first chapter, I’ve read better, but that’s coming straight from a G.R.R. Martin fan. Nothing struck me as particularly stunning from a literature standpoint. However, like most good games, it isn’t bad. If you’re looking for the next Tolkien, of course you’re going to be disappointed. However, we might be staring down the barrel of the next Forgotten Realms equivalent. That in itself seems dreadfully exciting.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2010 in Guild Wars 2