[GW2] Quick Waves of Thought in a Sea of Joy

No longer a temporary fantasy, Guild Wars 2 is here. I am not sure even where to begin. I am almost level 20, and I am having a blast. There are so many topics to cover. I feel so much depth to Guild Wars 2, and I know I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Launch Woes

Ardwulf has been hitting on these with his posts. Bottom line: they suck. The game has had a great start, but it has not been the best. Right now guilds are working somewhat, but they seemed to not allow invites over 200 people. The Trading Post has also been down for a while, which really sucks for crafting. Once it goes up, expect an unstable economy as massive quantities of stocked up items go up for sale. I would expect for players looking to stock up, there will be a good buyer’s market right after the Trading Post comes back.

Community manager Rubi has stated that the engineers and developers working on the server issues have been working practically non-stop. Some stayed at work all weekend only taking naps at the office. They are working on it.

In Comparison To…

Rock Paper Shotgun discussed the “serious MMO flaw” in Guild Wars 2. Alec Meer said that due to the overflow shards he couldn’t play with his friends. First off, players can play with each other in overflow servers. Right click on their portrait (or lack thereof) in the party area, and choose the option to join that person in that area. This may or may not be in the manual, and apparently it’s a little bugged. I did this plenty last night and I was able to easily sync up overflow servers between party members. Second, what’s more important than playing with friends? How about just getting to play!

People are using Trion’s Rift as the gold bar for launches. Right now, ArenaNet appears to be having more “fixable” issues than Trion did. Yet, I can log on to Guild Wars 2 and play. In Rift, I was left staring at a queue for an hour or more. I personally would rather play in a slightly flawed setup than not at all.

Hindsight Genius

Guild Wars 2 is so easy to play. It’s just so smooth in gameplay, especially following content, that it’s not amazing. It’s just comfortable. I am not worrying about quest log. I am not worrying about other players running to a resource node. I am not worrying what my friends are doing. I just play.

Last night one of my friends was happily lagging behind in the leveling curve. My other buddy and I left the green sylvari lands, and headed over his way. It was fun. I received some decent loot. Checked off some daily achievements, and we had a blast. I did not feel like I was hurting myself in objective terms (XP, gold/hr, etc.) by having subjective fun (playing with friends).

Best Daily Quest Around

Each day I’ve made sure to finish the daily achievements. Press “H” and check them out in the achievements tab. The daily achievements are pretty simple, but it does require about an hour of constant PvE playing. Once each achievement tier is filled up, players get a huge prize. I’m talking a great daily prize. Do not pass this up.

Calm and Quiet Gem Store

The gem store is so unobtrusive. I realize that ArenaNet has already received their payment that many free-to-play games will never see. 100% of Guild Wars 2 players have paid money for the game. Yet, between transmutation stones (I have 6-9 in my bank), boosts, and what not, I am finding that those are received in game at a nice pace (especially if players do daily quests). I have already bought $20 worth of gems to get another character slot and sit on some gems.

I do wish it was a little different. First off, I don’t like the concept of town clothes. I don’t want to be in town. I am not sure how often if ever I would just mill about town. Guild Wars required it for trading. Guild Wars 2 does not (eventually). Perhaps a town community will eventually surface as people start beating the game, but I’d rather play than mill about.

Second, the Black Lion Chests are dismissible, for me. I am fine spending money to open things like that, as Valve knows full well with regard to Team Fortress 2. Yet, there is not much I like about the Black Lion Chests. I get a random buff, a random tool, and a random stack of tonics. What they need is something collectible in them. I don’t feel a draw for random consumables, especially since I am getting some in the daily quests and I can craft some with cooking. If they added something collectible to the Black Lion Chests, I bet sales would skyrocket. It’s like, I want to be interested in them, but don’t feel the need to peek inside.

Mindfulness

I am happy. That is the most important thing about Guild Wars 2. It might not be perfection, but it is gaming glee. I have so much to write about, and thankfully Zubon is writing a lot too. I know I am going to be with this game for the long haul.

 

-Ravious

15 thoughts on “[GW2] Quick Waves of Thought in a Sea of Joy”

    1. I’m somewhat annoyed to find that my urge to write about what I’m doing remains stronger than my urge to do it. I am also doing things so as to write about them.

      This is why I tried to give up writing over a decade ago and with the help of Everquest thought for a while I had succeeded. Sadly, writing addiction is considerably stronger than MMO addiction, at least in my case.

  1. I agree the Black Lion Chests are a little lackluster, but hold onto them. You can, occasionally, also get a key as a reward for doing things in-game. And the chests can have keys inside as well. I was able, on several occasions over the weekend, to open 2-4 chests in a row, starting with only 1 key. At one point I had 2 keys sitting in my inventory with no chests to stick them inside of.

  2. The level scaling is key to my experience so far. This is how we group: we go to whichever newbie zone the lowest level character is in and run around together. That is the full plan. It hearkens back to my glory days in City of Heroes, when we just grouped with whoever wherever. This is what we need in MMOs.

    1. Oh yes this 100 times over. What a wonderful experience GW2 has been. No more missing the levelling curve with my guild and missing out on content simply because I can’t play as much as others and am then forced onto the solo-train.

  3. You said it. I personally see this as the second coming of WoW, and so far everything I’ve seen hasn’t swayed me from this train of thought. Playing last night felt so… free.

    I didn’t have to worry whether intruding on someone else’s kill would piss them off.
    I didn’t have to worry about crafting nodes getting stolen from underneath me.
    I didn’t worry about whether if I left a casual group right in the middle of something, would I hinder everyone else.
    I just… didn’t worry.

    I didn’t get mad when other people joined in with me, like I would have to forcefully split my rewards now, or worry about loot stealing or anything else. I started an event by myself, and by the end, I looked and there 4 others along with me. It was an awesome feeling.

    Yes, it’s been a rough launch, and people will have a hard time getting use to new systems (I didn’t see a single comparison to WoW in area chat last night, though… that shocked me), but ANet will clean things up, systems will run as they want them to, and they will be fixed.

    I had pretty high expectations, and so far they’re all being met and exceeded.

    1. That whole gathering thing is so, well, nice. I went to a node, there were three people harvesting it. All I had to do was click on it. I didn’t need to rush, jump in front of people, click madly to “win” the node. Almost elegant, I’d say. And definitely a keeper.

  4. I’ve got to say, my favorite moment so far was the /map chat channels response to a player who decided to use this chat channel his own personal inner monologue: Someone mentioned that they love how spamming was a bannable offense and you could report a player by right-clicking on his name. 2-3 others chimed in in agreement. The spammer suddenly switched to serious questions about crafting then shut up = )

  5. Regarding the ‘join in’ function, we has some issues with it for the first day or so, but it seems to be working reasonably consistently now, at least in my experience. Having it makes the overflow servers MUCH nicer, and I still like overflows better than queues! It also avoids that “MMO baby fat” issues that was discussed here recently – we won’t end up with more servers than we need just to accommodate the initial influx of players.

    Of course, it’s possible that GW2 will just go up and up and not lose many people, but it’s never a good idea to assume that’ll be the case!

  6. What great, huge prizes have you gotten from the daily achievement completion? The reward seems to be random, but I haven’t gotten anything to write home about from the three days so far?

    1. Couple blue items i couldnt use lol – the BIG reward comes from zone completion. Seems like reward scales to effort required, as it should.

  7. “The gem store is so unobtrusive.”

    By “unobtrusive” you obviously mean “in your face every time you open the UI so that you can go to the Trading Post” (the only way to go directly to the Trading Post UI being to visit the TP NPCs; at the moment, though, it’s more like “so that you can see the sleeping Quaggan while the Trading Post is down for maintenance” :P).

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