This is our first post this year. I hadn’t even realized that I had taken such a long break. Although it’s only a break for you as readers because I actually do have several drafts that I may finish within the next few weeks. ;)
As you have probably already seen, ArenaNet told us about their future plans for Guild Wars 2. There’s some interesting stuff in there. Guesting finally arrives! The good news was that it’s coming on January 28. I, personally, am very happy about that because it means that I’ll finally get to play with my German guild with whom I’d already played Warhammer Online. So in about 2 weeks, you’ll see Flummi bouncing around between Aurora Glade and Drakkar Lake. I am fortunate that both my gaming communities are settled on European servers as you will not be able to guest between EU and US servers.
There’s a more detailed explanation why we cannot guest between regions on the official forums. To me, it sounds as if they’re not planning to give us global guesting at all. With the emphasis they put on “community”, I find it very disappointing to not have this feature. But as I said, I was mainly waiting to guest on Drakkar Lake, so in the end, it works out for me. Still, I understand that others are upset and disappointed. Still, it sounds like ArenaNet has great plans for the game and I’m curious to see what we will get next.
Additionally, there are some more songs uploaded to their SoundCloud account. One of our favourite songs is “The Great Toymaker”. Oh, and check out the German and French versions of “The Tale of the Mad King Thorn”. I don’t always understand his German, but it’s still very fun to listen to!
But that’s not all that happened in the gaming world. Path of Exile is getting closer to its open beta launch (on January 23, 2013!). If you love Diablo 2 for its atmosphere and love games like the Diablo franchise in general or Torchlight, then Path of Exile is definitely worth checking out! It is free to play with a cash shop that lets you buy cosmetic/fluff items and character slots. I played during closed beta. Not much, but enough to recommend it to a friend and I will certainly play it again after launch. The atmosphere alone is very much worth it. The classes are fun and the passive skill tree is definitely something special. It lets you customize according to your playstyle and that’s what I really enjoyed.
Vanguard is a game that I’d only tried for a short time when I was looking for an MMO to call my home. It did not make it back then for one reason only: It didn’t seem to have any developers left and I didn’t feel like investing money into a game with no further support as that usually means that it’s bleeding players until only the “hardcore base” is left. Now it’s gone free to play and apparently, they – or the players – found their f2p offering too restrictive. The producer’s letter came with the announcement that all races, classes, levels AND housing are unlocked for non-subbed players!
I am currently playing Guild Wars 2 (no surprise here, right? ^^), World of Warcraft (yeah… nostalgia got me and I bought a gametime card to check back into the game. Once that time runs out, I won’t renew) and The Secret World. With those changes above, I will add Vanguard to the list. World of Warcraft’s game time will expire in about two weeks anyway and three games are all I can handle with the way I play. But eh, all three “future” games are without a sub, so that’s okay. ;)
Last but not least, another trip to nostalgia lane: GoG.com now offers Cultures 1 & 2! I squealed when I saw that. I own Cultures 1 (incl. addon), Cultures 2 and all the other games in the Cultures 2 universe (same characters/game but different settings/stories). Cultures 1 was the first game I ever played through till the end. It also accompanied me through the first half of university as some of the game is so slow that you can read while playing. This may sound bad for some people, but for me it was perfect. I don’t like strategy games where you need to react fast and Cultures just has a much slower pace. It’s also micro-management in the way that you can direct each Viking. You choose a profession for each of them, train them, etc. I like the graphics of the first Cultures game more than the one from the second game. But all in all, I still think it’s not bad to look at. I am considering buying it but in order to take this screenshot, I just installed Cultures 1 again and it’s still working on Windows 7. Soooo… probably not necessary? Not yet, at least. ;) I’ll have to test Cultures 2, of course. And it’s a bit sad that they’re not offering “Cultures – Northland” or “8th Wonder of the World”, but maybe it’s in the works. If you know German, the Wiki entry gives you more information about the games. There is also Cultures Online, a browser game that uses the graphics of Cultures 1. But I actually can’t really recommend it as it’s pushing you too much to the cash shop for my taste.