Thursday, 27 September 2012
Guild Wars 2 is finally my complaint free mmo
My adventures in GW2 are continuing, so I thought I would give you an update. My necromancer Charr is now level 40 and I have now seen good chunks of a dozen areas. To date all the areas have been uniformly gorgeous, however one really stands out, the city of Divinity's Reach. I wasn't even looking for it, I was passing and saw it far off the distance and thought "there are structures on a plateau over in the distance, lets check it out.". This is one of the reasons I love this game, a lot of the content is clearly laid out for you, but much of the joy is exploring. Anyway if you haven't been, please check it out, it is spectacular.
I also tried my first dungeon with a group from my guild, including a max level character. In other mmo's this is called boosting, a high level character blasting through the mobs so the others can get through the dungeon. However GW2 automatically drops your level to the mobs of whatever you are fighting, give or take a level. This means you can happily explore low level areas and still be challenged. We got the group into the dungeon and I found myself wondering if a dungeon with no fixed tank/healer/dps mechanic would be chaos, and from what I played I would be right. This is not to say it wasn't fun, as it was, and also refreshingly challenging with many a death.Though again ArenaNet show their efforts to reduce grind, with in dungeon way-points and a repair bloke at the entrance. It was also fun to be running around with the famous in game character in the dungeon, two of the five from Destiny's Edge. A disbanded 5 man team with one hero from each race, effectively GW2's Avengers.
I have also been messing bout with crafting, in particular jewel crafting. Turns out that crafting is actually pretty effective way to level, generating quite a lot of xp. As far as the actual process goes, it doesn't differ drastically from the normal, you collect mats in the wilds, refine them and mix them together to get a final product. In my case gems, rings and necklaces. Again the joy comes from how they have made it easy. If you see a mining node on your map, you don't need to dash to it, as it will still be there for you, regardless of if someone else finds it. You can dump all the crafting items directly into your bank from anywhere and breakdown most items to get the base constituents e.g. salvage a iron sword, get iron ingots. On a couple of times I have has to go to lower level areas to get ore, but even that can be interesting when random events and level lowering kick in. A clever way to stabilise the economy as in most mmo's high level players can grind low level mats for money unmolested, but not that easy when a random mob can kill you if you aren't paying attention.
So more a random collection of thoughts on GW2 than anything else, though there is one thing I have noticed about it more than anything. I love the game, but it is not an obsession like WoW once was. I think the joy of it is that you can log in, and there are very few hoops to jump through before you are having fun. That makes it a great experience, but not one that plays on your mind like so many mmo's attempt to, and that is why I love it.