I think modern MMOs are missing an interesting opportunity, and the ones trying it are getting it wrong. We should be able to build teams / parties from the other characters in our own account.
Guild Wars May Have Invented This
Guild Wars 1 or just Guild Wars added a feature near the end of it’s popular life called Mercenary Heroes. See my previous post here. The idea was to allow other characters from your account to play along side you as party members. This was incredibly useful. You needed a party to play at all times since GW is an instance based game. And it was a money making opportunity too since you needed to purchase Mercenary Slots. There was a trick too that you could play. There are two kinds of characters in GW – PVE and PVP. And PVP characters are always level 20 – max level. So the trick is to buy your Merc Slots, then create a PVP character, assign it to a Merc, then Delete the Character. Your Merc remains. Then Rinse & Repeat to build a whole squad of characters of the classes you wanted. Necros and Ritualists are especially useful in your Merc list since there are some powerful Necro skills and Ritualists do powerful heals as well as damage. The Elite Necro Skill Discord does powerful damage and of course the Necro raises every mob you kill into another member of your army. Ritualists cause conditions, which empowers Discord. Anyway, you get the idea.
Why is this interesting?
Let’s take a couple of examples: ArcheAge and Final Fantasy XIV.
Ok. I’ve been playing Legion for a week or so. Time for some gripes.
It’s too hard. My fingers are bleeding here. Let’s look at some history. I first joined Wow back in Cataclysm days and being an Altaholic, I had a few toons up through the 80’s through Vashj’ir and Deepholm. I wasn’t into dungeons much, so I was wearing mostly quest gear and some crafted pieces. I was doing fine. The game was fun.
Then came Pandaria, and I got trashed. Why was that? There was a sudden item level jump between the quest gear of Cata and Pandy. And the gear they gave you on the Pandy Intro quests looked way better than Cata quest gear, but it was really just trash. So you step off the boat and get trashed by the 3 Hosen that jump you. I couldn’t move out of the outposts. Pandaria was just NO FUN. I never found out whether I should have ground up some dungeons for gear or whether I had to be a serious raider – never had done one back then – to get reasonable gear for Pandaria.
There are a few rules if you want to gold farm in Guild Wars. These are completely different from the rules in Guild Wars 2.
First you need to remember that the drops are divided among the members of the party, even heroes and mercenaries. So, the fewer members of the party there are, the better. There are “leechers” which are members of the party that stay far away from the action, and allegedly improve the drops. But they aren’t helping you kill mobs. So if you are solo farming, they aren’t useful. Do you have friends who don’t want to play, just stand around?
Second, you can employ pets and spirit helpers with no loot penalty. So a Ranger / Ritualist or a Ritualist/ Ranger seems like a good build to use for solo farming. Here’s the build that I use.
Update: What you really want to do however, if you are level 20 with strong heroes, is vanquish the area in hard mode. See below. But back to our story in Normal Mode.
Red Iris Flowers are seen often in Pre-Searing Guild Wars. Ok. Sure. What am I doing playing Guild Wars again? After all this time? After all, it came out in 2005. Well I’m showing a friend, and having some nostalgia time too. Back in the day, I rushed through Pre-Searing to get on with the game. Well to show my friend, I made another Pre-Searing character. Someone helped me go to NorthLands hunting Charr Bags – the only way to get bags in pre-searing – and we killed a few bosses there and I got a rare Charr Identification Kit that sells to other players for 10K. That is 10 Platinum or 10,000 gold. So I was able to buy my friend and me each 2 10 slot charr bags for 750G each and have lots of Gold left over.
Then I discovered what Red Iris Flowers are for. The only way to get the Equipment Bag in Pre-Searing. So I figured I’d farm those Red Iris flowers. I’d been collecting them but didn’t realize that I should have saved them rather than selling them to the merchant. Well it turns out that it’s easy to farm them.
I played GW1 for 2 years. All my 9 toons [of all classes] have done Ring of Fire. So I’m not saying that I’m the coolest player, but I have some chops.
So here’s my Rant.
With Arenanet, it’s not about careful design, it’s all about the hack.
They may think they are doing careful design. But by hiding that design and making it non-obvious, it’s really all about the hack that we eventually discover and document.
BTW: By hackI do not mean any exploit of the game. I mean an obscure play style, or path that allows you to solve a game problem. A solution that is totally legal and in keeping with the terms of service of the game, but is so obscure that you are not likely to find it without help.
Guild Wars recently added “Mercenaries” which are ways to add the other players in your account to your list of heroes – or players that you control as part of your team. Heroes were added with the “Nightfall” expansion and at that time were characters that you gained by progressing in the game. Nightfall had about a dozen heroes, and the “Eye of the North” expansion added many more heroes to this list, but still with the idea that you gained heroes by doing quests.
Mercenaries allows you to build your own heroes in two ways:
Use the other level 20 PVP or PVE characters in your account as heroes.
Create a PVP character in your account, use it as a hero, and then delete it.
My name is Windy Summoner. I was born on April 1st, 2010 on Shing Jea Island and began my training with Master Togo. My mission was to train to level 20 in Kaineng City and then emigrate to Elona to assist the Sunspears with the battle to save Elona from Night Fall. As a Ritualist I control the spirits of nature to help in my battles.
My weaker Seitung Armor was green in keeping with the forest colors of the island. But shortly after moving to the City, I found that Seitung armor was way too expensive since it required 32 Monstrous Claws which were 1800G each. This meant that my armor would have cost well over 40P [40,000G]. I was able to obtain Canthan maximum strength armor for 5P [5000G] and decided it should be purple. The market price for Monstrous Claws seemed very unusual.