RuneScape: Membership Preparation Guide

These are my guidelines for some skills preparation before you become a Member on RuneScape. I’ve also added in where I did my training to get to these levels for each skill as a sort of “skill guide” in case you’re requiring any help. Obviously it is your choice to make, but you may find yourself restricted if you aren’t prepared enough (many of the quests have high skill requirements). The Free To Play (F2P) Worlds are reasonably sufficient for early levelling so I highly recommend you to try to meet these guidelines so you don’t spend your membership time levelling skills that could have been achieved whilst you weren’t paying.

Member skills Farming, Theiving, Agility, Hunting, Montage

Member Skills: Farming, Thieving, Agility, Hunting

You can now also buy Bonds from the Grand Exchange that can be redeemed for RuneScape Membership. They are rather expensive with the current price at a costly 6.3 million in game currency, providing 2 weeks of membership each. I suggest here that unless you do have tons of in-game gold and are still a free player, that you pay the first few months using real money (which is only $7.95, £4.95, €6.95 a month depending on your country) as this is a relatively cheap subscription in comparison with other MMOs, and to later pay for your membership with Bonds once you’ve amassed your millions as a Member – where it is much easier and quicker. Again this is just my opinion, but I think a £4.95 monthly subscription is great value for the vast content that becomes unlocked.

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Guild Wars 2: Game Review

Guild Wars 2 is the newest released game featured in my “Battle of MMOs” review series. This is indeed quite an advantage, but visually I consider it to be the best looking MMO out there, with the in-game vistas begging you to pause to admire the detail and epicness. Like the first Guild Wars, it is just a one time purchase, with no subscription required like RuneScape or World of Warcraft. Sadly as a big fan of the original series, it has introduced a lot of change, and not all of which is an improvement in my opinion. This isn’t to say it’s not enjoyable; there are many positive aspects to the game which they achieved better than its predecessor, and the non subscription means that I’ve kept it installed and can easily return to Tyria whenever I get that urge.

Guild Wars 2 Hero Equipment Customization

Equipment: Plenty of customization possible, including unlimited use of dyes once collected

Story

I think having a story in an MMO is important – it gives players something to distract themselves from the expected grindy nature of the genre. In GW2, the plot takes place 250 years after the end of the original series, and features a much changed world having been the victim of the now awakened Elder Dragon’s destruction. The story involves uniting the major (playable) races to put aside their differences, to form a pact to combine all their strength to fight back against these Elder Dragons before it’s too late.

While I don’t find the story as engaging as I found Guild Wars, it’s still interesting. You play an active part on how you wish to proceed with many different paths to choose, something uncommon in MMOs. Perhaps my reason for not being as hooked to the story is how you need to be a certain level to be able to progress. This is fair enough – it’d be silly if you could complete the main story as a noob – but the original series did have a much lower level cap of 20, meaning the story flowed quicker and felt more like you were exploring new areas to fit with the plot, than in the sequel where I found it felt more of a side, instead of the focus.

Guild Wars 2 World Map

World: Currently 27 massive zones to explore and 6 impressive cities

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World of Warcraft: Game Review

World of Warcraft is a name that everyone will be familiar with after being one of the most popular MMOs on the market for many years now. This addictive game has seen numerous expansions added since first launched in 2004 and is consistently attracting new players to see what all the fuss is about. It is quite an expensive game to play, with the newest expansions required to keep up with the world and a comparatively high subscription fee to pay monthly – something competitors such as Guild Wars 2 lack. But is it worth it?

Classes: A wide variety of fighting styles to check out

Content

Well in short, of course. The game has good reason for its popularity! Its addictive nature certainly drew me in, and must have been the only game I played throughout 2010. The developers, Blizzard, have been adding expansions to keep the game fresh since its release, “The Burning Crusades” (2007), “Wrath of the Lich King” (2008), “Cataclysm” (2010), “Mists of Pandaria” (2012), and shows no signs of stopping with the announcement of the upcoming fifth expansion “Warlords of Draenor”.

These expansions have added huge continents to explore, new races to try out, increased level caps and a major environmental redesign to the existing world with the Cataclysm release. A pretty neat move by Blizzard is their recent decisions to provide the first three expansions as part of the base game to new players. Perhaps necessary but still their choice, I think it will further entice new gamers to join now you don’t need to spend money on so many expansions, as this may have been a previous put-off.

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Guild Wars: Game Review

Guild Wars is pretty special to me. It must be one of my most played games having staying in the world for almost six years from the 2006 release of the campaign “Factions”  to the release of the sequel Guild Wars 2 in 2012. I’m very thankful that it doesn’t have a monthly subscription like other MMO rivals such as World of Warcraft  – so it luckily didn’t bankrupt my younger self!

Guild Wars Character Creation

Character creation: Great in-depth customization

Content

The Guild Wars series features three campaigns, “Prophecies”, “Factions”, “Nightfall”, and one expansion called “Eye of the North”. They each have their own engaging story and vast maps to explore. When creating your character you have to choose which campaign you wish to start in. Each campaign has a different story and is set on a different continents. This therefore impacts the background of your character with each continent having their own ethnic feel. Your choice also decides the first starting steps and early quests before you are free to travel among the continents.

The expansion is different as it is simply more of an add-on.  It complements the existing content with new skills, weapons, armour, and the Hall of Monuments (a place to show off all your achievements). Eye of the North seemed the perfect way to end the series giving players the chance to prepare for the upcoming sequel by filling your Hall of Monuments with collectibles and titles, providing points towards unlockables that can be redeemed in the sequel.

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RuneScape: Game Review

RuneScape has got to be a game that nearly everyone at some point has played! This is another free MMO like MapleStory, but has an optional monthly subscription available to unlock much more content. This enables you to try the game out for free before spending your money.

Skills

I started playing the game back in 2005, giving in to see what all the fuss was about. It features the familiar activities of completing quests and killing monsters which the genre is known for. However in addition to this, you can take time out of combat to work on the many other skills which are available such as Mining and Fishing.

I think what makes these non-combat skills great is how they tie in with each other. Smithing for example is useful for crafting armour and weapons, Cooking for those raw beef you’ve amassed and fish you’ve caught, Firemaking for logs you’ve cut down.

This is just free to play, once upgraded to “Member” you can improve on these skills with new resources available, as well as also opening up many new skills such as Construction to build your own home, and Farming to grow your own crops.

Runescape Hero Tab Skills

Hero tab: A handy overview of your character

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MapleStory: Game Review

MapleStory is a free to play MMORPG with an in-game cash shop for cosmetic items. It’s a very addictive 2D platformer style game which I’m guilty of putting many hours into. Despite its appearance, it is surprisingly fun for all ages and has a good welcoming community for you to join.

Gameplay

Like many in this genre, MapleStory involves the RPG elements such as defeating monsters and completing quests for experience points which level your character up. However I think what separates this from the many others is how simple it was to get the hang of, with a very gentle learning curve and helpful interface. This was important to me when I started playing as a young gamer around 2008 as it meant I easily got attached and have since returned many times.

Interface: Simple and easy to get to grips with

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