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Old 22-05-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
Pex
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Default The Guild 2: Venice

During the course of the last few weeks I spent couple of weekends (now whole, of course, but significant parts of them) and several week nights after work playing this game. It is time completely wasted. I decided to waste an extra half an hour on it, by writing this post and warning you guys not to make the same mistake.

If you read the back of the game (which I did when buying it) it sounds really great. You can choose four different classes, with each of them being able to pursue four different careers (and even switch between them). You can build various production buildings, hire employees, produce items, by buying or harvesting raw materials then sell those items and make profit. Or you can be a rogue class and steal, mug, burgle, be a pirate or pursue career of a mercenary. Additionally, although you start with a single character, you can marry, have children, have them marry, etc technically you control a whole dynasty. And since other members of the dynasty can be different class than the one you started with, your empire can include variety of productions. Plus you can join politics, buying titles and applying for different city functions.

What the game doesn't say is the following yes they are variety of classes but they offer almost no different gaming experience and the only difference between careers of the same class is in names (whether you decide to be a blacksmith and produce tools and daggers or a carpenter and produce joinery, doesn't make much difference in the end). With rogue class you send your employees to pick pockets, or rob travellers, instead of producing items, so not much difference there either.

Yes, you can start the dynasty, but to seduce a partner it takes you better part a season, since you need first to declare your intentions, then to seduce them by hugging them, kissing them, complimenting them and no matter what sction you use, there is cooling time before you can use another, although you can invite them to dance or give them a gift. Speaking of seasons, there are four of them spring, summer, autumn and winter, but you age several years for one turn of seasons!!! Now after seduction, follows the wedding, which if you want to have it in the Chapel (and benefit from experience points) you have to spend more time and king's ransom in coins. After that, to get a child you need the rest of that season (it's a PG game, so all happens behind curtains after ridiculously worded invitation by your character) and then several seasons for the child to grow up to be able to become useful. On top of that, you can at one time have only three of your chosen dynasty members in the group that you can directly control. That means that there are three characters you can tell what to do and then switch between them and the first one will keep doing what you told them. But if you take them out of your control group to include another dynasty member, those taken out will just stand idle. For example, I told this guy to go to a different city, a trip that will take him considerable game time. I got him out of the group so I could include another and he simply stopped in his tracks and continued to stand there. Even more stupid, another character was following a local magistrate to bribe him (so they would vote for my other character for the position he applied for) and they ended up in a building that was for sale (and therefore accessible for everyone). Bribe was over so I took that character from the group so I could control another one closer to the city hall. In the meanwhile someone bought the building, and because my character was not supposed to be in the building that some other dynasty owned, he got stuck there I couldn't access the building to control him. I know that was a bug, but still very annoying.

Now, if you decide to pursue politic career, that means that you'd loose half of every season going around to bribe officials that can vote for you and then attending the voting session. When I tell you that your characters are most useful working in their shops (because unlike other employees they are faster and plus you don't have to pay them), that's not just waste of time but loss of significant profit, too.

Which brings us to another flaw that this game has. At the beginning of the game, the city you are in starts from zero, so there is a lack of raw materials, which makes them very expensive, so you can't really make serious profit producing anything for several seasons (and you can't harvest all raw materials yourself). All profit you make you'll need to spend on bribing (if you are having a go at politics), school for children (which they can decide to quit anyway and you don't get money back) or random events that require money (fixing building after enemy dynasty attacks it or hiring another worker after the firs one quits without any explanation, or something similar). By the time you make enough profit to upgrade your existing business or start another one, the game gets hectic with heaps of dynasty members (now your children grow up and you need to spend time finding them partners) and already described stupid controlling system.

Funny thing is that this game is the second expansion of the original Guild II and you'd think that if the development team didn't realise how stupid playing system is, they would've at least fix bugs. With simplifying some controls, for example, just select person you want to marry and allocate some budget for gifts and let your character do the rest, or letting dynasty members that are not part of control group doing whatever the last command was (or even simpler, allowing you to give orders to all dynasty members, not just three in the group) a huge potential that this game has wouldn't have been wasted.

Saying that all, the game has some level of addictiveness, that even while writing this I think that I should give it a second (well third chance) and try different approach, but it's probably just me I just can't accept that a game that sounded so good on the paper is such a disappointment. I should just get over it. It cost me only $5 AUD, after all.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:07 AM   #2
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Venice is the worst version of The Guild. The first expansion (Pirates of The European Seas) is better, but it only gets really good with the fan addon (Sovereign Edition) to the pirates expansion.This fan patch fixes most bugs and adds tons of game mechanics.
Then there is Renaissace, the third official addon which is from the guys who made that Sovereign Edition fanmod/patch. Renaissance started as just another fanmod but was the released by the company officially. It is apparently the best version, but I have not tried it yet.
But if you find the gameplay annoying, you can try The Guild 1 with addons, there you have more time and don't need to move your character around.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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That sounded like absolutely the best game ever. I wonder if I could afford guild 1 and then find the patches online Hope they sell it in my neck of the woods :drools:
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Could be me, but if other Guild 2 games have the same gameplay, I'm not going to bother.

As for Guild 1, I tried to find it in local stores when I first heard about it a few years ago, but by that time it was not available. I read about it and it sounded great. Then again, I thought the same when reading about Guild 2...

Just thought about another funny thing regarding Guild 2 Venice - if you download a patch from internet (which I did) you get option of playing in Vienna. And there, you have an option of being a pirate!!! Not a sea around for miles. And kudos to Danube (which is not on the map anyway), but I don't think it would make a pirate's life profitable.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Hey, if you get the chance to dress like Johnny Depp, who needs profits? *smiles with gold teeth*
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:40 AM   #6
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I've found the Renaissance expansion pack, but it only ships in South Africa.
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Old 09-06-2011, 05:58 PM   #7
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I've played The Guild 2 and all of its expansions, and I would agree with jamotide's opinion that The Guild 2: Renaissance is the best of the available expansions (all of which run standalone to my knowledge). It includes superior graphics, all the features provided in The Guild 2 and its expansions - providing a massive amount of content - and it also includes such useful game options such as how much time passes by default (1yr or 4yrs if I remember correctly).

Also, FYI, you can buy a digital copy of the game on Steam.
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Old 25-09-2011, 05:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pex View Post
As for Guild 1, I tried to find it in local stores when I first heard about it a few years ago, but by that time it was not available. I read about it and it sounded great. Then again, I thought the same when reading about Guild 2...
Guild 1 (aka Europa 1400) was a much, much better game than the sequel. The gameplay is more intuitive and the different parts of the game blend into each other seamlessly. The Gold version is available at Gog.com.

Guild 2 was a real let-down, and I'm surprised to hear that they bothered making several addons for it..
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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It's a sort of necroposting, but maybe it's ok since I started the thread

I found very cheaply in a local shop a copy of Guild Complete Collection and decided to buy it. I know it means having double copy of Guild 2 Venice, but I hope other games will compensate for it.
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Old 22-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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When you play The Guild 2, be sure to install the fan addon "Sovereign Edition" first, then you will have the real deal. Or if your complete edition includes "The Renaissance", thats pretty good too, but weaker AI players.
Guild 1 is good as is, even different enough for me to play it just as often. The addon is good,too.
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