My favorite thing about Guild Wars 2 so far is the diversity of gameplay. This last weekend I was running all over the place. I feel the tugs and pulls of various reward mechanisms, and sometimes I wish some were a little stronger. Still, I have not felt like any of my activities were a waste of time. I’ve been pretty happy taking small bites all over the place.
My major focus has been getting 100% world exploration, which entails completing each PvE zone and heading in to WvW to fill out those maps. For my part, I have been stabbing eastward with the only zone uncomplete west of Lion’s Arch being Orr’s Cursed Shore. I admit I am kind of saving that last bit while I press onwards towards charr territory. I am currently at 75% with only a handful of zones left.
I am excited and a bit anxious because this has been my bread and butter for Guild Wars 2 until now. Exploring 100% is a pretty big achievement taking over a hundred hours of my gameplay. It also means that many of the zones will simple become unimportant, which is something I plan on discussing later this week. Still of that 25% left, WvW is a large chunk, and shifting my focus from baseline PvE to the intense WvW is something I am wholeheartedly looking forward to.
As much as I love exploring all the zones, it isn’t anywhere near as profitable as running the high-level content, such as Orr. Seriously when I head into one of the three Orrian zones and get a rare drop, it’s almost like “oh yeah, that’s what having money feels like.” It’s a really funny thing for me because I don’t feel like exploring is unprofitable, especially in that subjective “fun” capacity. I do make some money, but top tier loot requires material or money, which are only found in Orr and Frostgorge Sound for open world PvE.
Still as I feel like I am slowing down from that breakneck “must get here/this/level/etc,” pace, I am also enjoying stocking my larder with all the mid-tier crafting materials. On my main’s run through the game, I used materials I had, and any that were too low level were sent to the trading post. This increased profitability of the starting areas quite a bit as jute scrape and copper ore were netting half a silver a hit. With other crafting professions and alternate characters in mind, I am building my materials base a bit to make it easier to build what I want when I need it.
One of my long term goals is to have each slot in the material’s section of the bank filled with something. This is a pretty attainable goal, with the exception of miniatures, which requires a little more gold to fill out. The materials that mock me every time are the cooking materials from heart vendors that I have simply not happened upon yet, or that I have missed entirely. I am coming for you, peaches!
And For Glory
Sadly the one area I have not really attempted is structured PvP (“sPvP”). I played a match or two to get a dinky rabbit face on my log-in screen, but I am just not feeling connected to that portion of Guild Wars 2. The main reason is that sPvP is so insular from the other bulk of the game. It is pretty much a separate game, at least as far as reward structures are concerned. I think the PvP locker is great, but I am also surprised at how separate PvP reward chests are from PvE.
In the original Guild Wars, Balthazar faction (similar to Guild Wars 2 glory) could be traded for a Zaishen Keys, which were pretty coveted by PvE players as the Zaishen Chest it unlocked contained rare weapons, consumables, a title, and other high-market “PvE” items. In other words, if I gained faction in PvP, I could turn those points directly in to PvE currency. Something like this also seems an obvious addition to legendary weapons, but the fact that legendary weapons requires only PvP in the form of WvW further demarcates the line between sPvP and the rest of the game.
I know that way further down the road I will likely start venturing in to sPvP because it is fun regardless of overlapping rewards. I do like all forms of PvP, but my modus operandi is definitely in increasing PvE wealth and knowledge at the moment.
But Not Yet
Once I hit 100% completion in PvE, and especially 100% world completion, I am really interested to see how my playstyle will shift. Without a decent LFG system, finding dungeon groups is difficult, and I haven’t even really figured out a dungeon build that I like. I would like to at least explore every branch in the dungeons, but that might be awhile. I am sure that activities in all but a few specific zones will cease on my main as I work for karma and gold.
There is a comfort in narrow purpose, but there is also the familiar boredom that could come with it. I am sure that I won’t be hitting it until well after Halloween, as I am fairly certain that the Mad King’s plans will shake things up.