Monday, September 22, 2014

It's The Little Things : GW2

Of all the changes that came with the Fall Feature Pack the one that seems to have been an unmitigated success is the Liberation of the Minis. Where other MMOs have vanity pets the Guild Wars franchise has Miniatures; knee-high (or shoulder-high if you happen to be an Asura) copies of mobs and NPCs. It's a great idea but the original implementation, up with which we have had to put for two whole years, was dismal.

You needed to keep the Mini in your bag and re-activate it every time you changed map. On top of that, Minis had a tab in the Materials section of the bank, which meant that if you forgot to put one of  your many Queen Jennahs in your Safe Box or Invisible Bag then the first time you hit the "Deposit All Materials" button to clear your packs of copper and green wood, off her royal highness would fly to a bank slot on the other side of the world.

All in all it was just too fiddly to be fun. Unlike in EQ2, where I often travel around pursued by a duck or jelly mound desperately trying to keep up with my unfeasibly speedy mount, in GW2 I rarely bothered to "have a mini out" as the jargon has it. That's all changed now.

The new implementation, which is blindingly obviously the way it should have been from the start, sees a mini, once summoned, stick with you from the jungles of Maguuma to the snowfields of the Shiverpeaks. Their new state is so persistent they even re-appear beside the character who summoned them each time he or she logs back in.

The slight downside is that they are now one-time consumables incorporated into the wardrobe system rather than permanently tradeable items. They have become account -bound on use, although they can still be freely traded provided no-one actually uses them, and they also have a test-drive function, whereby you can have a good look before you commit. I can live with that. Happily.

It's jolly to see all the strange little creatures milling around. They look particularly, charmingly, out of place in WvW, where a Princess Doll and a Candy-Corn Elemental hardly fit the theme of eternal internecine warfare.

It was in WvW, at Askalion Hills Keep (our spare Hills to be precise, the one we keep on SBI's borderland for convenience) that I discovered something about minis that I didn't know. They can talk.

Well, one of them can: Evon Gnashblade. Scared the bejeezus out of me when his gravelly baritone ground out "I was the favorite". He still hasn't got over that rigged election but then neither have I. I had to tab out and check the Wiki to reassure myself I wasn't having a psychotic episode.

Whether he's the only one that talks I'm not sure. I hope not. Persistent, talking minis ares something I could definitely imagine making some effort to collect.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the minis out, too, except for one thing. Understandable, but the first time I tried pulling mine out I was in Dry Top, and it didn't show. No idea whether the system was working or not. Turns out, there were too many people in the area that the game refused to render minis, too. As I said, understandable. But having lots and lots of people around is kind of Guild Wars "thing".


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