Cognitive Account of Guild Wars

Guild Wars is a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game). It’s not quite as popular as World of Warcraft, the game everyone seems to know about, but does rank among the most popular and successful.

Attention: After starting up the game and creating your character, your game’s interface will load with your inventory window open,

showing that you have nothing to start out with. You also notice your skillbar, resembling a skillbar in practically any other game, as well as the standard minimap and party box. You’ll then focus on your surroundings, and see an NPC with a green exclamation mark, urging you to talk to him. Once you find your way around, you’ll note that there are very few people around you, which keeps the game simple in the beginning for you.

Perception: Like any game, perceiving what everything is relies on graphics, icons, sounds, and text. As shown in the screen shot, icons make up a majority of what you’ll be using to play the game. In the skillbar, there are 8 icons, each for a different skill. The inventory has specific icons, depending on what the item is. Every icon in the game is different to avoid confusion between skills or items. Abbreviations for what class each character is are displayed above their heads.

Memory: Guild Wars keeps the required memory load of the user at a minimum at almost all times. Instead of overwhelming the user with every skill possible on their screen at once, they enforced a limit of 8 skills at a time on your skillbar. Everything is also grouped into relevance (skills are in one area, chat box in another, party in another) to keep everything easy to remember its location. Everything in the game is recognition instead of recalling, so even if you don’t have every little thing memorized, you can recognize what you need by remembering icons and buttons.

Learning: Learning to play this game was made as easy as possible. Looking at the two screenshots, the interface is identical. The designers decided to keep it consistent as you progress through the game, ensuring that players will posses everything they need to know early on. The only real differences are increased population of people, skills, and items. While progressing through the game, you will acquire skills and learn what they do. When you receive a new skill, a box will pop-up, explaining what the skill does so you’ll know how to use it. You’ll learn how to interact with people by quests that require you to party up with others. You will, however, need to learn what each icon is, but that comes with experimenting and exploring.

Reading | Speaking | Listening: Any reading required is kept short and to the point. In the options, you can increase the text size, in case users have a hard time reading smaller font. Listening required is kept to a low, as the only main things to listen to are skills’ sounds, and when an enemy is attacking you. Instructions are not read by speech voices, so users don’t need to pay close attention to find out what to do.

Problem Solving | Decision Making | Planning: The game guides you through the storyline, telling you where to go and what to do in the quests. This is very helpful for users whom aren’t experienced with RPG-like games. Instead of letting them loose, allowing the possibility of getting lost and frustrated, quests are designed to guide you in the right direction. When the player does run into a problem, however, there is limited information available within the game itself, and usually the player will need to seek what their looking for on another website.


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