Game Director Colin Johanson recently stated that this year they are going to make their core game as strong as possible. He was specifically talking about bosses and creatures, but it made me wonder. Here was the game director saying that he wanted to refine the base. Colin could have just plugged all the wonderful new features and content. The big brass only have so many dev hours a day, and to send even a lone dev (the one that didn’t refill the coffee) at creatures that could be “working as intended” gives me pause. Perhaps I am too jaded from Guild Wars 1 as I expect what we got at launch to be it.
I love doing my daily achievement, but the one I always hate is sadly events. Hang on here, these are the hallmark of Guild Wars 2 PvE. I only need to do five events. Compared to 15 unique kills which is sometimes a puzzling pain or the grind of 60 kills this seems easy. Yet it seems like unless I am in a high event density area (Orr, dragon timers, or starting areas) it takes substantially longer to fill that bar than any other.
My go to for daily events are the starting zones. Those little areas meant to corral levels 1-5 players are packed with repeating events. In my opinion, the human starting area between the western dam and the Bandithaunt Caverns is nearly perfect. Each little area, like Farmer Diah’s wurm and bandit plagued farm or Foreman Flannum’s dam has multiple stories to tell. It could be harpies or an ancient elemental. It could be moas stolen to bandits or an unhappy bull. This same care and attention feels rarely found outside in the big open world. I feel the core game could really be strengthened in this respect.
Core PvE is likely going to be critical for new blood. A player getting Guild Wars 2 for the holidays or an upcoming birthday is going to find a very different game from the one last year. I still see a handful of players here and there on Sanctum of Rall for the mid-level zones. So there is health, but even I am succumbing to relying on renown activities for much of my alt-leveling fun. Don’t even get me started on finding an event only to see that a champion alt-grinder is just waiting on the other side of that orange circle.
There are three major types of content in Guild wars 2 PvE: (1) events, (2) renown activities, and (3) other players. Unlike a conventional MMO built around quests first, the only certain PvE content in Guild Wars 2 involves one-time renown activities. Other players are never going to be a certainty. This places all the reliance of repeatable content on hoping an event pops.
I hate avoiding areas because there is a dearth of events. I love roaming around to fill out my daily on alts or my main, but I hate feeling like I am in a desert of events. Perhaps, looking at Southsun Cove, my understanding of Guild Wars 2 PvE has been always fatally flawed. Perhaps events are meant to be too special. My gut feeling is that the starting areas were supposed to be the norm.
I do want to buy in to ArenaNet’s vision that if I make an alt 6 months from now the journey might be wholly different. With my two alt’s journeys to get the other two order banners, I am more surprised at how much I recognize. How many events have I memorized? I’ll keep killing that Alpha Drake just south of Lion’s Arch though. That fisherman will always want some water for his pack bull. That’s pretty much certain.