Mrs. Ravious has been smitten with the idea of getting the legendary weapon, Kudzu. She’s only been playing her first MMO ever for a few months, and already she’s a huge fan of Dulfy, has notes all over her desk on resource nodes and “best places to…”, and she has a hand drawn spreadsheet for her legendary. I married the right woman. Still, it’s going to be a hard, long road for us casual hardcore players.
The best chunk of getting a legendary is the Gift of Mastery. This is where players just play the game as intended. Gain levels, explore the word, play events, and kill lesser players in World vs. World (WvW). The other three chunks are basically just grinding, money, and luck. So Mrs. Ravious and I have decided to largely focus on WvW for summer.
In a sense we are grinding out Badges of Honor (500 in all) to get the necessary sub-chunk for the Gift of Mastery. In another sense we’re just playing an incredibly fun portion of Guild Wars 2, and at the same time making progress towards another goal.
Last night after working on our daily, we headed to WvW to sign the night off by doing our Borderland’s jumping puzzle, which gives 4-5 of Badges of Honor mostly on demand. On the way we found a lone guardian ripe for the killing, but with neither of us spec’d for roaming, he was hard to take down as he tried to run away. Unfortunately, during the killing blow an asura thief roamer appeared behind Mrs. Ravious and dropped her fairly quickly. I was able to get away since necros are also pretty hard to kill.
Mrs. Ravious was happy, lying there with her character’s face in the snow and dirt. “That was way more fun than the jumping puzzle!” I did say I found a keeper, right? Our night extended to taking guard posts and supply depots, helping capture a few keeps, preying on and falling prey to some zergs, and by the end of the night we had almost forgotten why we had come to the Borderlands in the first place.
There is other progression in WvW that came a few months ago. The World Experience system (WXP) is a progression track that advances on almost every action in WvW. I haven’t really talked about it since most of my WvW experience since then had been just getting my monthly WvW kills. Now I feel like I have a much better handle on the WXP system.
Roughly, players gain levels and at each level get a chest and a World Ability trait point. World Abilities are traits that can be used to specialize a character in WvW. For example, players can take reduced damage by guard NPCs, become better at specific types of siege weaponry, or carry more supply, the WvW resource.
The pace feels a little on the slow side. We need 5000 WXP for each level now, and the average action nets about 150 WXP or less. The big problem is WvW is not a place of constant action. In a few minutes 10% of the WXP needed for the next level can fall from the Mist-y sky, and then the next half-hour gives a fraction of that. It can be hard to judge pacing that way.
But, I guess I mostly ignore it. WXP is a neat add-on system, but I feel it is a push reward instead of a chase reward. It’s more of an “atta’boy” than a carrot. I feel like it is thought of progression being present rather than the need for progression. For that reason I would call the WXP system design a great success. The nightly queues seem to echo this.
This year I feel ArenaNet is getting a much better handle on fixing their rewards systems. I like their style. Colin post earlier this week about still having a larger reward revamp across the entire game. I know I’ve seen complaints about the drudgery of gaining the nice skins in sPvP. The WXP might need a little more massaging, but it is a really nice addition to this revamp.