Going Back to GW2

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.

Ended up with this look, new top is purrty

Ended up with this look, and new top is purrty

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.

Fighting this once was enough for me

Fighting this once was enough for me

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.

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6 thoughts on “Going Back to GW2

  1. The overwhelm can be real.

    I’d suggest taking it slow and piecemeal, learning bit by bit as you go. Feel free to ask about the source of any purty costume pieces that have caught your eye, and if you’re looking for someone to play with ya, go ahead and give me a poke as well!

    • Will do! The silverware ones are very pretty so I think that will be it. Any other suggestions. Also probably going to work on a new power set

  2. I think you summed up Silverwastes very well and that nails my main apprehension for the expansion, which will be Silverwastes on steroids. If you aren’t interested in the rewards you can get from grinding that event cycle then it suffers crushingly from diminishing returns. The first few times are great – its all chaos and you don’t know what to do. Then you begin to learn and fall into the rhythm and that feels good. Then you start to notice how formulaic it all is and lose interest.

    It seems to be quite well judged for the two-week Living Story cycle. I enjoyed Dry Top for almost the whole first two weeks and Silverwastes for maybe a week. After that I literally never even think of gong back there. If you don’t want the currency or specific drops there is no reason ever to go there again. Contrast that with Wayfarers or Diessa or Timberline or really almost any of the pre-Orr original maps. They have such variety and contrast and the event chains are so idiosyncratic and discrete that they have almost infinite replayability.

    Three years after beta I still love just running around helping charr and asura get on with their daily lives. I would really hate not being able to log in each day and wander around those maps. Conversely, if I never saw Dry Top or Silverwastes again it wouldn’t affect me in the slightest. Indeed there’s a very real possibility I may never visit either of them again unless some new necessary activity or material is added.

    • I still enojy those toher maps too, they just have a nice flow to them with events and exploration style gameplay. I do like how they are making the meta zone events more noticeable and more important but it just can’t be the only thing. And lets see a little more long term development on the zones too.

  3. I dunno, I feel that often your GW2 posts are fairly uniformed. :/ I get having problems with the game and that colouring one’s view as a whole but:

    “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.”

    That’s not been true for months now because of the mass amounts of complaints about temporary content. All one had to do is log in during each of the story releases and they’d have each of the story chapters for free. All of living story season 2 is permanent and can be done whenever. But, if you didn’t log in, then you do have to pony up some money for the episodes.

    “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.”

    You missed being getting on top of indigo fortress as well as a back way around Blue Oasis which leads you up on a cliff, not to mention the incredibly vast underground bit with ways through that that lead you to even higher vantage points. The map design of the area is wonderful. It’s something Anet always gets right. Now the grindiness of the area.. that’s another story and one I’m not at all happy with. Event-only areas have always quickly bored me.

    “Overall my main feeling during all of this is “what the fuck am I doing”. items just for this map, as there seem to be in the oither new maps too. It just seems like they keep piling on mechanic after mechanic without think of the overall amount opf bloat they are creating.”

    You’re describing the experience one would have in ANY mmo they left for many, many months which during one’s absence had new content releases.

    I had a love/hate relationship with Dry Top/The Silverwastes and LS2. The maps were absolutely gorgeous, same for the music, we got new enemies that weren’t a faceroll and had interesting mechanics, and for the most part the storyline has been absolutely superb. They’ve done a great job in continuing the GW2 story whilst also incorporating lots of GW1 lore. But, my largest problem with all that’s been released is the lack of replayability. As I mentioned, event-only zones quickly bore me. But if one wanted all the rewards from the Silverwastes, one had to grind the absolute fuck out all those little 2-5 minute events and boss fights. It made me hate the place which was unfortunate considering it was all well designed. Also after having done the story missions and corresponding achievements, I’m not going to keep replaying them. The game sorely needs instanced group content imho as that’s what keeps me coming back to something. Here’s to hoping that happens in the expansion and that masteries are actually well done and fun horizontal progression.

    • I’m just saying it like I feel and yeh my bias at the moment runs more critical. You obviously have your own biases as well, tending on the positive and that’s just all personal really. It appeals to some more than others.

      Still is kind of true.. most of the people i know in the guild, 30+ , haven’t logged in once during season 2 so don’t have any. And i missed out on about a half of season 1 too. Sad to say as well that I don’t think I would actually drop money on the game for them either. The last one was ok, in depth and long but those couple earlier season 2 ones i tried were rather .. meh.

      I got on top of the vistas yeh but it wasn’t that much and no, I haven’t been to the underground space so I’ll try and check those out too.. never actually saw them at all, or a path to them. It’s just those main paths really, you can see on the map that it’s just two main, and rather constricted pathways through the zone. ZOne design is one of my favourite points about gw2, it’s something that arenanet has been brilliant with but this fails to compare to the many earlier maps.

      And not really about about too many mechanics. In most expansions it’s , do the same quests and here’s some new raids. Much of it has quests to point stuff out as well and there is usually only say 11 or two new currencies. Just in this map there are a number of mechanics and items just for the chest types. There’s the Mordred parts and mechanics around that. A few different items and mechanics for certain events. And this isn’t an expansion either, just a new map addition and it seems each new map is like this.

      I should say that i do enjoy gw2 and am overly critical here… once i get to writting like this I often just say what is going through my head and this is often just the more negative elements. I will try and counter that a little for other posts though and share in what i enjoyed too

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