Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

GW2: Trying to Give it Another Chance

After writing my previous post about PoF last week, I did a lot of thinking, reading and actually playing GW2. That’s right, for the first time in three years, I actually sat down and put some time into GW2. My overall feelings are mixed, but swaying more towards the positive side. This is gonna be long, so warning!

I’m going to admit, I put my money where my mouth is. I did not buy HoT all this time, saying that it needed to come down in price significantly before I would. Well, I approved of the price point of PoF and I approve of what I’m hearing they want to do with this expansion (take it back to what made GW2 something fun and engaging when it first released, while wrapping it up in GW1 lore).

Since it looks like they’re re-routing most sales to PoF, and HoT was a fairly cheap add-on while purchasing PoF, this was the point where I finally decided to buy HoT. I’ll offer my thoughts on that in a little while.

Keep in mind, a lot has changed in 3 years and I’m having to learn about all the systems in HoT… way behind the curve of the rest of the population.

Choosing a Character

I have a roster full of level 80 characters, with the lowest characters being level 40 (thanks to birthday level boosters). Most of these 80s have been boosted and then leveled through the Tomes of Knowledge you get from daily log-ins. I think I have at least 3 level 80 characters that took that route.

Funny thing is that PoF/HoT came with automatic level 80 boosters, but I’m holding back on actually using them. I have two open character slots and I’m still trying to determine what to do with those.

I went through my roster one by one my first day of playing… and cleaned out inventory. Yeah, that needed to be done. I also took stock of who had what in terms of Hero Points (used to be Skill Points). I didn’t quite understand how the whole Mastery system worked at that point, but I did know that Hero Points were used to unlock the Elite Special whatever classes.

In the end, my Warrior, Tai, has the most accumulated time, Hero Points, experience, and map completion. However, I ended up choosing to play what used to be my RP-based character, Zznaf.

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I had several reasons for this:

  1. He’s not completed his Personal Story, and I wanted to see if there were any changes there
  2. He was only 38% through map completion, and it would be fun to re-explore the map and re-learn Tyria again
  3. Reaper is the Elite class I want to play most
  4. He hasn’t finished Season 2 (though I did finish it on Tai), so I can go back and refresh myself on that
  5. I have positive attachments to him, since he was an RP character who actually got quite a bit of a response when I played him on Tumblr years ago

That last one may seem silly, but when I dusted off his RP Tumblr, I was surprised at how many people actually remembered him still! ❤

While it’s so tempting to mess around with other characters, the nature of the Hero and Mastery Points has curbed that desire. I can see what they’re doing with progression beyond level 80. It’s pretty overwhelming when I think about it from the standpoint of 8 different characters…. so I’m just gonna focus on one.

Impressions of Open World Content

I’ve been alternating through different paths of progression for Zznaf, which is actually nice, because that means I’m never bogged down by one thing for too long. And I’m going to tell you, I have a LOT to do.

My rotation has been:

  • Clear a map for world completion
  • Do a few quests to progress Personal Story
  • Do dailies (which often leads to more map completion)
  • Make progress in HoT story

Perception Issues

My biggest fear with GW2 was that introducing raids would destroy the casual environment with an invasive leet raider mentality. I’m not happy GW2 buckled and went the way of raids… but mostly because that invites a section of players who often (not always) exclude and look down on other players.

That never existed in GW2 before… because the game was originally focused on equality of players and people helping people. I’m never going to touch a raid in GW2, that’s just the plain truth of it. But does including raids sour the open-world experience that I used to love?

After playing for several days across several maps, I’m going to answer that: No. It hasn’t.

I saw an interesting comment by poster Tom Turtle on Massively OP:

That the game has become raid or die is a perception problem. As someone who solos in GW2 and doesn’t even bother with raids at all, the game has absolutely not become raid or die. Unfortunately that stint during the content drought where a raid came out without much else has colored people’s perception of what the game is about.

ArenaNet bungled on that, among other things since HoT, and that’s something they need to recover from. I don’t know how they could manage that though I am hoping that the expansion restores the game’s credibility after what HoT did to many players’ enjoyment of the game.

This I find to be very true.

During the time I’ve spent out in the open world, mapping, doing dailies and other things, I’ve run across nothing but helpful people. There’s a Mentor status now, and unlike in FFXIV, the people who use it are actually helpful in leading events and walking people through events. People wearing Dorito tags have also been very helpful.

I had instances where I launched a Champion battle for a Hero Point, and people came to my aid, even though they didn’t need it at all. I’m seeing people rezzing other people in the field again — by the time I left this game three years ago, people mostly left you for dead if you were downed.

Overall, running on the open world maps has been a positive and helpful experience. I even got to clear the Claw of Jormag on Zznaf for the first time, and was pleased to see that people can still fight this one without needing to join an alliance.

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The open world content that I enjoyed and craved from launch is still going pretty strong in the vanilla areas. HoT… sometimes not as much.

Impressions of HoT

Where I enjoy the open world of the original game a lot, the HoT zones… well… no. Some areas are very pretty, and I like some of the music. However, they are so convoluted and densely populated with mobs that can rip you apart in the blink of an eye.

Oh, these Mordrem plant frustrations… they’re exactly what I hated about Season 2. The knock downs, the unending poison rings, the overpowered nature of their attacks. I’m like… really? The first thing you do is knock me down for three seconds before I can do anything to you? Ugh.

And don’t get me started on the difficulty of some of the boss battles in the storyline. I died so many times… it became a game of rez-in-rush. But I finally did get it done.

The only reason I have half a chance at any survival out there is because of the power of the Reaper class. I’m in love with the Reaper. It uses the Greatsword. It has scythes. It has powerful AOE. It has shouts!

“YOU ARE ALL WEAKLINGS!” Yeah!

Ahem.

I love Reaper. And when things are going well, I feel strong, even though my build isn’t complete yet (only 45% done unlocking all the skills). I spent a good block of time and some money crafting/buying a set of Beserker/Valkyrie gear and getting my accessories squared away. I still haven’t finished the whole Power build, but I’m getting there. A bit squishy when I’m not in Death Shroud, but, I love how long I can actually stay in DS.

Anyhow… back to HoT.

Gliding. It’s not a flying mount, but in terms of GW2, it’s super, super useful and I really enjoy it. It’s made clearing maps a whole lot easier.

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A long time ago, I bought the black wings from the gem store, as a cosmetic for Tai and Kip. I found out, when looking through the glider skin section, that talking to a Scout in the jungle would allow me to use those wings as a glider skin as well. Made me a happy camper. Woo!

I was happy to see that once you unlock gliding for one character it seems to unlock for the rest of your account. Actually, looking up the Mastery system, it seems to indicate that everything you unlock is available to the whole account. That’s pretty nice.

So, yeah. Mastery System.

This is GW2’s answer to progression without lifting the level cap. Learning that it’s account wide makes me like it a lot more. There’s a bunch of different ways to earn Mastery Points, and these allow you to unlock special skills, such as things on the gliding track, mushroom bouncing, etc.

However, you can’t just unlock it with a point, you actually have to fill up the experience bar first. So, for example, to unlock further gliding skills, you have to gain enough experience while in HoT zones to level your 80 character again (fill the XP bar), and then you have the option to spend Mastery Points.

Stuff you do in (what they now call) Central Tyria doesn’t count towards HoT, but Central Tyria also has its own Mastery tracks. So, while I’m rotating between the different maps, I’m always earning something for something.

Storyline. And here’s the dragon in the room. So far, I’ve cleared the first HoT zone in terms of story. My impression? It’s soooo cringy… mostly because the game acts like the players are too dumb to get all the cool plot points that the writers are trying to impress over and over and over upon us.

Show, don’t tell. And show once, maybe twice — I think we’re smart enough to catch on.

WARNING HoT SPOILERS

Sylvari might be EVIL DRAGON MINIONS! Ok, I get it, stop having characters repeat this constantly.

Some of them can’t be trusted. Some of them are weak-willed and will be consumed by Mordremoth. I already got that spoiled before I played this, so this is no surprise, but it must have been a bummer to some Sylvari players. But does the game have to remind you of this “plot twist” constantly?

At least Canach is still cool.

I get that Rytlock came back (appearing just in the nick of time!!!) with all these cool new powers. Characters can stop marveling and asking him about it. If I have to hear, “Wow, Rytlock, how did you DOOOOO that?! Where’d you get these POWAS?” one more time… Even Rytlock is telling you to shut up about it. XD

Braham. Where do I start with him? Yeah, he’s worried about his mom, but dude. Chill out! He’s so whiny and pushy and always trampling the orders he’s given (it doesn’t help that Rytlock is an enabler). I used to like him (one of the few of Destiny’s Edge 2.0 I did like). Now I just want throw him off a cliff.

Eir. I knew she was going to die because I heard spoilers. But the whole scene with her and Faolain was just cringy. Yes, Faolain is a bad guy, but it seemed illogical that she’d stab Eir through while Eir was actually increasing her chance of survival. The whole death scene was just… meh.

I liked Eir, but I couldn’t get any emotion from it because it, again, felt like something used for shock value. GW2 writers like to destroy and slaughter things just to make you mad at their bad guy, and I’ve long since stopped being effected by it.

Commander.

My character… I really don’t like how my own character acts now. Slinging orders around, acting like a military commander… it just doesn’t fit Zznaf at all. I guess that’s the risk you take when you write dialogue for a player character. It’s become so consuming that I hear other players refer to the player character as “The Commander” now… because that’s all there is to their identity.

I really miss the days of things like this…

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In terms of HoT story, I’ve been unimpressed thus far. It’s been the same old comic-booky scenarios that I saw in previous Seasons. I hope that it improves in PoF — I’ve been told not to expect much from Season 3.

So, anyhow. There are things I like about the game, things I don’t, and the story needs a lot of help. But I’m having fun working on map completion (I started with 38% and I’m now 48%… so, I’m getting there…), and I like the open world gameplay. Giving it another shot.

Author:

I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects! https://aywren.com/fantasy-fiction-webcomics/

12 thoughts on “GW2: Trying to Give it Another Chance

  1. I want to give GW2 the chance it deserves. After playing GW1 to death, I got GW2 and was pretty disappointed with how the gsem, and as you put it, the comic Booksy stories flowed. But sounds like that hasn’t changed much.

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  2. I’ll reply here why not.
    GW2 is an open world game. You’ve hit that nail squarely on the head. If you enjoy the sPvP or WvW scenes, those are fairly consistent at least, but PvE running around silly stuff is the bread and butter. You’ll always find someone near you, and always have groups for big world boss battles. They even have enough hp that you’ll see the mechanics.

    I want to actually bring that up more here too. Take the Great Jungle Wurm. Yes, it’s really easy. No, you don’t actually have to dodge. But! there’s still all this room to be clever. To dodge or block or stability or stun break. I love being able to just get hit and use Judge’s Intervention to ignore knock back… with fire! That’s something GW2 is good at – giving you tools, and reasons to use them or not, while also learning the mobs.

    Which brings me to your experiences in HoT. I’ll agree that the difficulty curve is steep, and going in alone, even on the tankiest mofo in game, the Reaper, can be a challenge. I’m reading two things right now: first, you don’t know the mobs yet. They get much easier when you know what each one is doing and can parse the fight. You’re getting shorter, and different length skills to deal with, and better variety of enemies. It’s overwhelming. That’s what makes my next point so important.

    Builds. No, not some big list of specifics you have to follow. Just what your gear is and what your skills are. Greatsword it’s good against packs, mediocre against bosses. That’s only part of it though. You have CC issue in your comments, and hell, necro deals with CC by eating it and living through it. Do you have any stun breaks though? Protection? Do you have gear with toughness or vitality or healing? Are you using death magic and minions, or the blood traits? There’s a lot to surviving and enjoying HoT maps that takes actual care in building that isn’t otherwise present. That said…

    Anything works if you are good with it and support it. Taking power gear with scepter would be TERRIBLE for instance. Greatsword can go power or conditions, tanky or not. What are you running with?

    As to story… eeehhhh. It gets better? Sort of? I think HoT, this whole season really, has been getting through outstanding story things, and trying not to dwell on how long it took. The story threads here were hinted at literally years prior. The story now, even if a tad confusing on execution, is picking up and shaping up considerably better. PoF could actually be a really solid addition to the game. Like you said, it could be what we actually wanted 😀

    None of this to suggest you’re bad or not playing right, etc! It’s just all the things we all went through back in the day haha

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    1. Thanks for your long reply on this!

      The short version of my answer is: I just quickly grabbed a build from a forum thread because I wanted to jump into the game quickly and didn’t have time to get in depth with my build yet. I also know there’s some balancing patches coming up, so I threw together some things quickly, heeding the warning that things will be in flux anyhow.

      The long version of my answer: My build is flawed and not even complete — I only have 45% of Reaper unlocked so far, so I don’t have all the tools in my kit. I also haven’t even put sigils on my weapon or considered my secondary weapon set. It’s mostly a power build, heavy on Zerker and a few pieces of Valkyrie in there because I felt really squishy.

      Again, it’s been 3 years since I’ve played, I don’t even remember stats much less builds. Have never been one to delve too deep into those sort of things. If someone suggests something that supposed to work solo, I roll with it. Solo PvE (open world and events) is really all I care about in GW2.

      I’m an uber casual who just wants to explore the new areas and doesn’t have much time on hand. I don’t know much about the mobs, you’re right. But because I’m uber casual, I mostly just want to get where I need to go for the next story quest, or hop into an event along with other people without all the frustration of being knocked down and dragged around getting there. I’m often shouting, “Leave me alone!” at the monitor.

      I’m generally just fine once I get in with a group doing events. Solo, I can stay alive as long as I don’t challenge stupid stuff, it’s just not fun (to me) fighting Mordrem. I knew it wouldn’t be because I hated them in Season 2. I didn’t come in here with expectations that they’d be any better in HoT.

      I’ve heard good and bad about the Season 3 story, so I’ll see when I get there. It’s probably going to be a while. I see myself probably skipping to PoF to get my mount unlocks before I finish any of this other stuff, to be honest. I like the fact that I CAN do that, even if that means the story is all out of order (I’ve spoiled myself for most of the plot anyhow).

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      1. Okay! All totally understandable! You’re running glass, so if you feel squishy, that’s why haha. You can probably stay that way and not change much, but I’d try taking some minions, death magic traits and soul reaping or whatever traits – those have ways to deal with CC, confine, and other things passively, and give you a stun break going into reaper shroud, which has a stability skill to prevent CC bs. That should help you deal with all that crap, and survive more garbage.

        If you still feel squishy and want to just barrel through everything, grab Soldier, Knight, or Cavalier gear or something similar. If you have the resources to pick up ascended trinkets, it might be worth getting celestial. They’re universal basically, and I tend to enjoy them for sustain build styles. They keep me alive in WvW ^^

        Those should make your experience a lot better! If you’re rolling power, I would recommend axe and warhorn for your off set. Speed, CC, and a little range, plus you look like a badass general leading your minion army!

        If you don’t want minions, shouts do cool things, but they don’t add survival, so I would honestly do some looking at your core traits to find life steal, stability, stun break, and all that stuff to keep you going. Once you can roll through more things without worrying, it gets a lot more relaxing. And there aren’t that many trait options ^^

        Cheers!

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    2. Oh, and as a follow up… here’s the build that I grabbed: http://en.gw2skills.net/editor/?vRAQNBhOD7kZTodTsbTw4GgeTs8LYUPhvwwK+IGFviQJtAwHA-TxRBAB4pbwMlgA8AAoZ/hrU+5xFAgS1fAA-e

      Obviously, I’ve changed some of the gear since I’m using Valkyrie as well, but I do have full Superior Strength on it. I also only have Exotics, except for rings and amulet, which I went Zerker stats for.

      I don’t know if I actually have Axe/Warhorn as I used to be a Condition build with Scepter. Again, I didn’t pay attention to secondary weapons much. But at least this gives you an idea of the specs I followed. Suggestions welcome!

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  3. I never really understood why you’d become so down on GW2 – almost all the things you list above as being surprised about finding not like you thought they’d be…never were. There a couple of weeks when HoT was brand new when it was a tad overtuned, as most expansions for most MMOs I’ve played have been, but it got nerfed into the ground in double-quick time and then nerfed some more for luck. By the time it had been out for a month or two it was, if not exactly a cakewalk, a relaxing stroll in the park.

    I posted something along these lines when I went back to HoT a few months back when I added it to my second account and Jeromai took me task over the disparity of the experience between a returning GW2 regular and a brand-new starter, which is a fair point. For anyone who already had one or more level 80s when HoT appeared, however, I never understood what the problem was supposed to be. Then again, I was one of the people who stayed in EQ through Gates of Discord…

    I just started doing HoT again on a new character and I think it’s even more fun when you don’t have the Masteries. As an alternative to vertical progression (Levels) they work very well. They are very similar to EQ2 AAs which I’ve always liked. I’m glad they’re sticking with them for PoF.

    Raiding is exactly the same as it is in every other MMO I’ve played that has it – 10% do it and everyone else ignores them. For a while people did talk about it a lot but for months and months I barely hear anyone mention raiding at all. I wish they hadn’t added it because I’d prefer they used the resources on something more interesting but it’s been largely harmless other than that.

    The storyline is…well it’s what it is. It has its moments. Canach is amusing, Taimi, while overused, can be fun. Marjory and Kas are some bizarre soap opera. Braham is an idiot. Rox may as well not be there. Rytlock is my favorite, mostly because of the voice acting I think. I expect nothing from MMO (or video game) storytelling so anything I do get is a bonus. I’ve seen worse and I expect to see worse again, often. I think it would be a very, very bad idea to play any MMO mainly for the story, though.

    The community is okay. Again, I think the friendliness of GW2’s community can be overstated, but mostly because I tend to find the communities in most MMOs I play to be pretty friendly and helpful and GW2 seems about par for the course. Not counting WoW, obviously! I definitely don’t believe GW2’s community has deteriorated though – in fact I think it may have improved somewhat.

    One note on rezzing/reviving. There is a well-established etiquette in big events, particularly those that do sometimes fail, like Tequatl, that “Downed” players get revived whenever possible but “Fully dead” players don’t. It’s deemed selfish to just lie there dead because a) your corpse’s physical proximity may keep the event scaled up higher than it should be and b) other players who do try to rez you will, at best, not be contributing to the event for the lengthy time it takes to get a fully dead person back up or, at worst and most likely, will die trying to rez you, leaving the event two people short rather than one. Other than that there’s a great culture of helping the fallen – if it ever went out of fashion I must have missed it.

    Anyway, welcome back and I hope you enjoy it more than when you left. The rule at ANet right now seems to be “if they don’t complain about it, keep giving it to them ” so I’m expecting a lot more of the same in Path of Flames. HoT, like it or loathe it, was at least a shake-up to the established order. I’d like more of that but I think I’ll be disappointed.

    (That didn’t go through for some reason so here it is again – apologies if it doubles up!)

    Oh, and in reply to Curiouscatgamer above, I think the whole having to know what mobs are doing thing is completely overrated, not just in GW2 in general but in HoT in particular. I hardly ever change builds and apart from my Elementalist I barely know what most of the spells/attacks on most of the classes even do but I breezed through HoT on every class to get the class Ascended weapons. Mostly I just AE everything and if it doesn’t die I run away. Seems to work fine. I always thought the original Orr was waaaaay tougher than HoT and the Risen, even now, are far more annoying than the Mordrem!

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    1. I think your mileage may vary depending on how good your are at video games! GW2 is less MMO-ish and more Megaman in many design respects!

      One note is that very few enemies in Orr would actually condition you to death, and really did they group up on you. Or, even back in the day, was dense, but in singles enemies. You get a higher volume of events in HoT, with lots of enemies throwing things at you at once. I also don’t know what gear you used on your characters or how good you are! If you breezed through as a power mesmer using a staff, then you may just be really good at the game! There are definitely Hero Points I’m not good enough at to tackle alone still, like that frog in VB, and that’s using a solid guardian build!

      Then again, I don’t tend to run away from fights/objectives often, so that may be a bit of extra intelligence on your part ^^;

      As an aside, I find it amusing the job you know most is ele, when it both had the most to know in many respects, and has functionally changed the least in all this time. Viva la dd ele.

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    2. I think my relationship with GW2 was sorta a downward spiral of one thing after another that built upon itself. I responded so strongly because I loved it so dearly — it was a game that was a “home” to me at one time. I’m not sure at what point I really just started feeling straight up negative about GW2, mostly because development directions I felt betrayed the original vision.

      I started to sense that Anet was responding to people who cried that the game was too easy. Their efforts suddenly seemed to be to make the hardcore players happy, but moving further away from their previous creed: Players are equal (aside from skill). Gear is pretty much equal — let’s all help out and play together!

      I think it was probably near the end of Season 1, when people were just zerging events, especially champions for some of the Scarlet invasions, when I started seeing people just not rezzing or bothering to help downed people. Yeah, I totally get not rezzing someone fully dead (and I follow that myself, unless they’re lying there dead after the event has cleared up). But what I saw was people running trains, events in Orr, or invasion events…. just leaving downed people behind, pretty consistently. It was like everyone was in such a rush that this huge bout of jaded “me-ism” seemed to set in.

      I’m not seeing that right now. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m mostly running Central Tyria and there are still a new folks coming through, or if the more helpful people seem to prefer leading open world content or what. But I WAS surprised that people were helpful (again).

      I was also surprised that the raiding attitudes weren’t effecting the game the way I’d heard they were. I’d already stopped playing by the time raids were released, so all I knew was what I was hearing from the community. For a time, it was really negative, that the game was bleeding casuals, and it became about raid, raid, raid. I’m sure the attitude exists somewhere, though (I’d be laughed out of the game if I tried to raid, I’m sure).

      The moment you drop raids in a game, there becomes a divide in the community (raiders and non-raiders). Like it or not, you just can’t go back.

      I’m still not happy they have gated story behind a raid — that is a HUGE no-no in my mind. I don’t care about gear, just let people see the story. Make raids, make an original story for the raiders, but don’t gate story and lore related to the main story behind a raid wall. And the fact the devs responded with “Well, you can just enter a raid that’s already been completed by someone else to see the cutscene” was something I didn’t forget.

      I highly value story – good story – and the freedom for everyone to experience that story. The story by the end of Season two fell really flat to me. I know that MMOs have never been award winning platforms for story, but GW2 is a game that is trying to put story at the center of what they do (it’s a Living Story). And the story, sadly, was a mess. So I didn’t buy HoT (which I felt was overpriced at release), and heard lots of horror stories about how hard HoT was. Compared to previous zones, it is tough.

      So, there were a lot of things that led to my negativity towards GW2. Mostly, feeling that causal players (whom the game seemed originally built for) were getting edged out for what hardcore players wanted. That adding raids were a loss of originality and identity — just so many things GW2 went back on (there would never be expansions or mounts, either, right?).

      If PoF can turn that feeling around, or at least balance it, then GW2 may win some of my trust back. Right now, I’m on the fence still.

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  4. @Curiouscatgamer – I’m hopeless at video games in general, particularly by the standards of anyone who can play the ones that are meant to be difficult. I am a hardened explorer, though, and I’m good at getting from one place to another, especially when it’s somewhere I’m not supposed to be. That was the part of HoT I liked the best – I found it to be an explorer’s paradise, even if that did mean a lot of running away. I did HoT on a ranger (later druid) to begin with, specifically because of the survival prospects, so each class after that had the advantage of the Masteries he’d earned. Ele (zerker staff ele) was probably the hardest, as in I died the most, but even that wasn’t what I’d call difficult.

    @Aywren – You are absolutely right about the mood of the crowd towards the end of Season One. I’d totally forgotten that. There were all those huge, map-wide zerg events with Scarlet’s armies, and there were achievements and drops that people were very greedy to get. There was a lot of bad behavior for a while.

    Even with that, though, Season One turns out to have been my favorite era of GW2 so far. I loved those big events plus the Marionette and the Battle for Lion’s Arch and the Breachmaker. I’d go back to that style of gameplay and that kind of content in a heartbeat. The instanced story stuff and the very formalized map chains we have now are dry fodder in comparison. You never know what you’ve got til it’s gone, as Joni Mitchell says.

    And you are also 100% right about ANet pandering to the loud voices who said the game was too easy. That was a big mistake which they paid for financially. They’ve rowed back on that a good deal, mostly because for a long time after HoT the crowd was yelling for things to be made easier not harder but those “hardcore” voices are starting to be heard again and I can already sense some of the devs are beginning to listen. And round we will all go again.

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    1. I agree — other people got down on the “mindless zerg” of Season 1. But while the story was a bit wonky, I could forgive it because of the interactivity and just the overall epic feeling of the events (so fun to me). I just don’t get that feeling at all since they sanctioned the Living Story into little tiny solo events in a journal. I understand they had to do that in order to make them replayable (marketable) or whatnot, but we lost a lot.

      As much as I did love that time, yeah, I think constant every other week large events led to a jaded and ruder community. That was really the last point in time that I played with the larger community (since I only logged in after that for Living Story episodes, which were mostly instanced), so that’s the impression I left the game with. It was disappointing to see this “every man for himself” attitude that came with those larger events. I’m glad it’s swinging the other way, and that I was met with a much more patient and helpful crowd lately.

      The “too hard” and “too easy” cycle is a thing a lot of MMOs seem to go through. It’s true that you can’t please everyone, but Anet has seemed to be in this constant struggle to figure out what they want GW2 to be. And wobbling like they do just sends mixed signals to everyone.

      Anet used to be a team I had utmost confidence in. GW1 didn’t have a breathtaking story, but even divided up among many stand alone expansions, there was a solid foundation and common basis. GW1 knew what it was, played to its strengths (knew its weaknesses, too) and held on to its identity because of that.

      GW2 has experimented so much that at this point, and has been burned for it, it almost seems like the game is afraid of doing too much more. I hear a general feeling that PoF is playing it too safe and giving too much of the same. That adding mounts (which is a big deal to me because GW has never had mounts, ever) is not a big enough new feature to be content with. I guess we’ll see.

      I’ll just be happy with a big land to explore, solid tie-ins to lore and (hopefully) decent story. Take me back to the open world wanderings of release GW2, where people are helping people and are exploring together, and you’ve sold me on what I loved about the game originally.

      Like

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