So I’ve been exploring Guild wars 2 again and yep, it was news of the expansion that brought me back which makes me wonder even more about why they didn’t do it sooner. The living story just wasn’t for me and it was never something that was viewed in the same way as an expansion from the media either. No hype. No interest. Just an overwhelming feeling of MEHHH.
In the time I’ve been away there has been a decent amount added and a lot of changes to the game of which I’m still mostly unaware of. I guess there would be a round up on the wiki somewhere but I find, with most things in gw2 you just have a look at that massive achievement panel to see what you missed, and mostly won’t get to see/try.
The problem I had was having no idea where to begin. I kind of need a personal goal to work towards which will keep me in game otherwise interest fades pretty quickly. For gw2, no idea just yet. I was thinking some new costume pretties but not sure where to get those.
Last of the Living Story
I had the last Living Story mission unlocked so I thought that was a good start and it mostly took me to a few places, and introduced some new characters, lore and plot points that went WAAAAAaaaaaayyy over my head. I followed along as well as I could and completed the necessary tasks. Some of those fights were pretty challenging but then that came down to being completely out of touch with my characters skills and the rotation I used to have on my Terrormancer. Oh, and no traits picked out due to the wipes and such.
It did seem to be more in depth than I previously thought. A bit more content in terms of missions to complete and dialogue there. Cutscenes were still weird though, especially how they seemed to cut off mid conversation even though you still needed to talk to them to complete something. There are a lot of achievements there for, I don’t know why actually as a lot of them seem needlessly painful to complete and require multiple runs of the same, rather average content.
Exploration and Events
This led me to the new map, Silverwastes and I was rather impressed with it at first. I really enjoy the more rocky desert style zones, no idea why, probably just the warm colour tones. This map seems to continue on their interest in verticality too which many of the newer maps design has tended towards. I’m pretty sure there is a rather strict limitation with the engine in regards to map size, being as it is an updated version of the one from GW1 and building up is one way of creating more space and being able to further stretch the content.
Some of the other zones had a decent flow with how you are able to get around but this one seems… more claustrophobic. The walls are rather large and imposing and you are mostly only able to travel under their constant solemn guidance. You never break out from this imposing position and they don’t play around with this verticality so you’re mostly stuck on the same plane. Extremely linear paths to travel along too and for the most part it never gives you the ability to get on top of things and properly survey your surroundings.
They are learning a lot with their new events and bosses too and this zone seems to be the culmination of this although I’m not sure if I actually like it. The zone feels extremely active at all times with both larger and small events going on so you’re bound to find something around which is nice. The events are mostly interrelated too with a large overall zone goal to work towards ending in a world boss. The mechanics are rather tight leading up to it and it is a great communal goal to work towards but then it feels like there isn’t enough there otherwise.
*insert picture that bandicam decided not to screenshot here*
When the event has finished, or if their aren’t enough active players then it’s mostly a zone that involves replaying the same minimal quests. I just don’t think this map, and probably the other maps with similar designs as the just don’t have the same measure of replayability as the beginning maps due to this large chain event design. You can’t really go here to just chill out, to level, or have some aimless adventures.
It doesn’t have the same level of interesting stories that make up the zone, just one large plot point and I find that rather dull. I kind of liked the more lived stories of the previous zones, there was an internal story you experienced that let you know about the people, the zone, and its place within the world. I guess this makes sense with it being a warzone but, that’s how all the newer zones still feel. I want some stronger integration to happen so the maps feel more a part of Tyria rather than the newest instance that will soon be forgotten.
It’s mostly tuned for the larger crowds too so I’m guessing once a new map hotness is out, or when most players have accomplished their goals here then it will become rather barren. Where does that leave newer players, or just those wanting some variety?
Overloaded on Info
Overall my main feeling during all of this is “what the fuck am I doing”. There is always stuff happening: new bosses, defending and capturing camps. Chests I can’t open due to a number of new mechanics and items just for this map, as there seem to be in the oither new maps too. Ways to get around the map that are not very intuitive and leave you desperately roaming around and then consulting a wiki. It just seems like they keep piling on mechanic after mechanic without think of the overall amount opf bloat they are creating.
Then that boss, I’ve read about reports of it, and even strategies from people like Jeromai but that didn’t really prepare me. The whole fight is incredibly busy to the point my brain shuts off and goes into “kill all the things” mode, which generally does me pretty well. There are effects going off everywhere to the point your screen is just a mess of greens, blues and purples and weird shapes bobbing around in between all that. There’s lots of ground shit to avoid and of course a range of mechanics that will one shot you if you’re that poor sod who didn’t wiki everything before their first try. There are 3 different bosses (and sub bosses) with their own attacks and mechanics to know as well which does seem like a bit much. I’m probably just lucky my necro is rather resilient although a lot of these fights still seem to fuck over condition types.
I guess that’s the greater failing of guild wars in a way. I have a lot of fun with it. I enjoy the combat and how active it is. There is even a bit of depth to the combat scenarios and boss fights they create but all of that often gets lost within the moment of click and kill. They try for depth but it mostly just comes out as a complicated, and often frustrating affair.