Monday, March 21, 2011

Guild Wars - Seven Heroes yay?

Guild Wars allows players to solo through the use of AI controlled Heroes and Henchmen instead of other real players.  Heroes are distinctly more powerful, being customizable by the player and able to use upgraded weapons and elite skills.  They're also more controllable by the player, as their skill use can be managed manually if desired.  Henchmen are weaker with no customization and controlled purely by the AI. 

Historically groups of a player, 3 Heroes, and 4 Henchmen has been sufficient for doing normal content, but for the harder content in the game you really needed players.  In a recent Guild Wars update the Arenanet team added the ability to fill an entire group with Heroes, rather than the previous maximum of three per player.  This is a huge change that dramatically increases the power of solo groups, opening up the option to do the harder content solo, and steamroll the normal content with ease.  I'd been loking forward to this change for months.

Except . . . now that it's here, I'm finding my enjoyment a little mixed.  Why?  The Heroes are SO good, that for normal content my participation in the game is almost unnecessary.  I'm not even running an optimized group, I just added four random Heroes to my usual three, and they don't need my silly Warrior anymore.  I can move the group into range of a spawn of level 24 enemies (the level cap in Guild Wars is 20) and stand there and do nothing while my Heroes decimate everything in sight.  I can try to participate, but things are usually dead by the time my melee character can get to them.

For harder content it's important that I be there to direct the flow of battle, but for regular content the game pretty much plays itself now, and that's really not much fun.

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