Updated Thu, Jul 01, 2010 by Sardu
Welcome to the 1,367th edition of Loading...
Mini-games have long been a part of the MMOG scene to varying degrees. While most tend to remain in the realm of interesting diversions from the core focus of combat, plenty of others offer wholly separate forms of character advancement. Some titles, such as SOE's wildly popular Free Realms have taken the mini-game concept and applied it to nearly all aspects of gameplay to great success. As it turns out, mini-games (or Activities as ArenaNet has chosen to call them) are also one of the latest features revealed for upcoming Guild Wars 2. We'll take a closer look at the awesome power of the pint-sized gameplay package today in Loading... Massively Mini.
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Long ago in a Norrath far, far away, there was a little game called Gems that I used to play once my necro finished up his task of summoning corpses and rezzing clerics after a raid wipe. You see, back then getting a full raid of people rezzed, rebuffed and regrouped to take a second crack at our target was a long and arduous process. Once my role of getting all the corpses gathered in a massive pile was complete all I really had to do until the raid was up and running again was act as a mana battery for one of the clerics which amounted to sitting on my butt and casting a spell every minute or two. I remember being thankful that there was this silly little mini-game I could muck around with in the meantime, and I've been a fan of mini-games in massively multiplayer worlds ever since.
Over the years, we've seen any number of oddball activities pop up in popular titles which, much like typing /gems in EverQuest, have no real consequence on anything relating to character advancement. More than a few of them are pretty stumpy while others such as the playable instruments in Lord of the Rings Online can help provide a much more immersive overall experience for players. Some developers have even attempted to bring the mini-game into the realm of core gameplay features such as Vanguard's crafting and diplomacy systems. And let's not forget Free Realms which is essentially just a massive mini-game buffet that lets you pick and choose which gameplay flavor you enjoy best.
It's no secret which MMO mini-game is my absolute favorite of all time though. I'm speaking of course about the awesome high-speed insect action known as Rollerbeetle Racing in the original Guild Wars. While many Americans will be having cookouts and shooting off illegal fireworks this weekend to celebrate Independence Day, I will be whiling away the hours zipping around the track during the latest Dragon Festival which runs from today until this coming Sunday. I'll mostly likely be dusting off one of my older characters, the mighty Sardu X for the event so if you see me racing around the rollerbeetle track this weekend be sure to say hello!
Speaking of the developers of my favorite mini-game of all time, in a recent interview ArenaNet discussed some of it's plans for Activities in Guild Wars 2 which are various mini-games you'll be able to play in each of the game's major cities. I'm actually pretty hyped that, rather than being linked to the holiday events like they are in the original, activities in Guild Wars 2 sound as though they'll be available to players all year round. I've always loved taking part in things like the above mentioned rollerbeetle races or the PvP snowball fights during the Wintersday event in GW, so you can bet that I'll be first in line to get in on the action once the GW2 mothership has landed.
Do you have any favorite MMO mini-games that you can't get enough of? Are you as excited as I am to see that they'll be a staple in the cities of Guild Wars 2? Race your favorite rollerbeetle over to the Loading... forum and let us know!
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