Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Finding the Real Tyria

It's been over a week now since launch, almost two since the head start. And, like ... many ... others, I am loving Guild Wars 2. I've dabbled in pretty much everything but the dungeon content (because I don't have a single character high enough level) and it's all really great. ArenaNet has certainly turned me into a fan.
"Ugh, I hate Thunder Bluff. You can't find a good burger anywhere."

The cities are huge, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that Divinity's Reach makes WoW's Stormwind seem like a frontier outpost. Even Hoelbrak, which is less densely populated, is bustling with activity. And Lion's Arch, the "neutral" pirate city, sprawls across a protected bay, with a ton of underwater exploration, a high diving board, and more than one challenging jumping puzzle, including one in a pitch black cavern that I spent a couple hours completing on two different toons with guildmates from Knights of Mercy.

"Why does everyone automatically assume I know Tailoring and Cooking?"

Crafting is similar to other games of this sort. I was gratified to have the ability to make fairly large bags right off the bat, as well as some gear that was actually at—or a little above—my level—which was also quickly remedied. Last night was the first time I had issues with too much stuff in my bags. Basically it was all loot that I'd accumulated, but hadn't figured out what to do with. I have the ability to break everything down using salvage kits regardless of my character's craft skills. With the common bank for all characters, along with the ability to deposit collectibles (crafting mats) in the bank, from anywhere in the world, I can store mats for all my toons, even though I am concentrating on a single character when I play with Sctrz. When I am crafting on a different character, I just withdraw the mats I need. Another interesting element is the experimentation tab, where you can take materials and components and learn how to make new items, rather than buying all your recipes. Did I mention that leveling crafting also gives XP? The first person to reach max-level (80) in GW2 did so almost exclusively through crafting, with help from guildmates.
"I apologize profusely for any inconvenience my murderous rampage may have caused."

I normally dislike PvP, but while exploring Hoelbrak, I came across a Norn offering to get me into a game of Keg Brawl, a game sort of like rugby or basketball with a special of abilities like "punch" and "kick." I had a blast playing, giggling like a maniac the whole time, and getting funny looks from Sctrz. After a couple rounds of Keg Brawl, I discovered that I actually had a (low) PvP ranking. I also dabbled in WvW on my engineer. That was a lot of fun, as well. In structured PvP skirmishes, you are upleveled with all your skills and abilities, giving you a chance to see how your toons will play in "endgame." In WvW, you are upleveled in HP and that's about it, as far as I could tell.

"Someday I hope to find the nuggets on a chicken."

So I have my Norn Elementalist, Donar Stormsage,up to about level 18, and three of my alts up to 7 or 8, with the fourth about 4. As mentioned, there are folks at max-level already, and many of my guildmates are in their upper 30s. I'm in no hurry to reach 80, not that I've ever been a fan of power leveling.
"Ooo! Igot it! What if we tried to organize crime? Yeah."

I, for one, am absolutely loving the wander-around, no-real-plan style of playing in GW2. Sure there's a story, but I don't have a laundry list of quests to fulfill when I log in so I can level up. No matter what I am doing—map completion, DEs, PvP, WvW, crafting, . . . healing defeated characters—I'm never "wasting time." ArenaNet has created a big beautiful word to explore. I am happy to explore it.

8 comments:

  1. You explained it perfectly in the last paragraph. It's absolutely refreshing to just do as you please and never waste time as you are always rewarded everywhere you go!

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  2. I'm not getting the same sense of difference in gameplay as others because this is pretty much how I've played every MMO for as long as I can remember. It is nice to play with the grain instead of against it for once though.

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    1. I generally take my time leveling, as I indicated through my links to my max-level announcements in Rift and SWTOR, posted long after most launchers had done so. However, GW2 seems to be the first game I've played that actively encourages that meandering style of gameplay.

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  3. Your Norn Elementalist looks absolutely fabulous...

    Maybe it's the beefy-male-in-a-robe effect :)

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    1. Interestingly, though it's not apparent from the pic, he's in a jacket and pants; not that robes aren't really comfortable. :)I'll have to get another screencap of him.

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  4. Some points:
    1- I completed two dungeons at story mode, so I can say that dungeons are fun, but hard: you will die sometimes and it is possible to have one or two wipes;
    2- first dungeon (AC) is harder than second one (CM), mostly because bosses at first dungeon players need know to use tatics (as, sorry the spoiler, throw boulders);
    3- I have 4 toons, my higher toon is level 57, so I can say that higher the zone level, less hearts the zone have and more complex are the DE: at higher zones you advancement will come mostly from DE and there are DE from all sides.

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