Guild Wars 2 - One Week In
Guild Wars 2 - One Week In
Before Guild Wars 2 came out, Joaby and I were having a discussion about it. After reading my first and second articles on my time in the beta he was looking forward to another MMO to sink his teeth into - and I was eager to get back to the world of Tyria. We were going to jump in as soon as the 3 day head start began, although Joaby wouldn't be able to play for long because he had a party to go to.
"Good." I told him. "Maybe this time I can get a billion levels in front of you, instead of the other way around." Previously, Joaby's expertise with MMOs and my own limited time with them had meant he'd streaked past me when we played - he could max level World of Warcraft in three days, while the four days I spent playing WoW got me to level fifteen. We played Star Wars: The Old Republic together and he would zip about on his landspeeder while I was struggling to make it off the beginning planet.
It wouldn't be a MMO without outrageously impractical armour!
"Come on now," he said to me "despite the fact you work from home, we both know this isn't true. I'll hit max level and you'll have spent your time mapping the playable areas." I laughed - mostly because it is true - and added "What's that Joaby, you beat all of the dungeons? Well check out this ridiculous NPC I've been talking to!"
Today is nearing on two weeks after the 3 day headstart however and I am level 51 - and Joaby hasn't yet topped 10. Unlike WoW, SWTOR or his current favourite Planetside 2, Guild Wars 2 hasn't grabbed his interest - whereas I've spent an incredible 82 hours and 17 minutes (learned by typing /age into the chat console) in game. And Joaby didn't tell me he wanted any articles on it until two days ago. So what happened? What did Guild Wars 2 do to drag me in, when so many other MMOs have failed to do so?
In part, it ties into the conversation Joaby and I had before the head start began. I love to spend time wandering around exploring, finding things the developers squirreled away in the dark corners of the map. And Guild Wars 2 rewards exploration like no other MMO has.
Other MMOs reward exploration, certainly. Joaby became "Joaby the Explorer" for his WoW map completion and both SWTOR and The Secret World give you bonuses for searching out every corner of the map, just to name a few. The very design of Guild Wars 2 however, enhances exploration beyond something to do to a worthwhile endeavour - thanks to dynamic events.
I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.
If youíve forgotten how quests work in Guild Wars 2 since my explanation during the beta, Iíll give you a quick recap: Littered across the map are hearts and when you near a heart you are told several things you can do to aid the people of the area. You might have to collect apples, or kill Grawl, feed puppies, or talk wounded soldiers into fighting.
At the same time there are events - quests which take place for a specific time, until they are completed or failed. Some of them can be triggered by talking to people, others are non-stop - like the continuous struggle between the humans and centaur over the Harathi Hinterlands, and others I have still yet to figure out.
Which means as you gambol across Tyria looking for landmarks and secret vistas, you are highly likely to wander close to an event in progress. And as you werenít doing anything particularly important, why not go and participate? And with that the benefit of aimless wandering just increased from a couple hundred experience points and maybe some crafting materials, to stacks of experience, karma, money and probably some sweet loot.
You merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, moulded by it.
With quests taking place inside an area instead of uniquely to each player, things could have gone bad pretty quickly - if you have a hundred people attempting to pick up one of the twenty pieces of cursed treasure about the area then eighty people would have to miss out. Fortunately ArenaNet have sidestepped this issue by making quest related items specific to each player - the torn pages you need to pick up are located in the same spot for everyone, but each person gets their own torn page in each spot.
That isnít to say there havenít been a couple of issues - one which has been brought up frequently since Guild Wars 2ís launch is the mass attack spamming which takes place when 100 people band together to help a merchant deliver his goods. This is a problem several MMOs have faced in the past - I remember when I played Realm of the Mad God, where anyone below level 15 would mass together into Ďthe trainí - and run along the main road encircling the map killing anything which came near it.
Iíve found the attack spam to actually be beneficial however - it dies off significantly once you leave the starting areas, with the number of people in your area decreasing the higher level it is. And while simply tapping the 1 key (or Mouse 5 as I have assigned it) wonít teach you anything about the game, it does make it easier for anyone wanting to learn at a slower pace, lowering the stress of encounters until you reach the higher levels and have decided on your characterís path.
Iíve had an excellent time in Guild Wars 2 so far - I have an outstanding set of armour and weaponry (if astonishingly unsuitable for combat) and Iíve completed more than 25% of the map. Next week weíll discuss combat, equipment and skills and with a little luck Iíll have reached the level 80 cap!
Comments on this Article
Thu 06 Sep 12, 12:48pmBonzol
Posted: Thu 06 Sep 12, 12:48pm
Thu 06 Sep 12, 12:55pmsquidassist
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Thu 06 Sep 12, 9:09pmSmokinxp
Posted: Thu 06 Sep 12, 9:09pm
Thu 06 Sep 12, 9:59pmJoaby
Posted: Thu 06 Sep 12, 9:59pm
Mon 10 Sep 12, 11:02amAdarti
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Tue 11 Sep 12, 8:33pmBanf
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Thu 17 Jan 13, 8:26pmalina013
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Sat 23 Feb 13, 5:26pmPuskas Andras
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