[GW2] Re-Finding the Forest

I feel like I have played enough of Guild Wars 2 to review it, and yet I don’t even feel close to seeing everything. I have not done any PvP since launch yet for no good reason except the forthcoming. I am only level 55 with only the most western portion of maps at 100%. I have not done any explorable dungeon modes since launch. There is still so much to see and do.

Wooden Potatoes says that he feels that about 250 hours is when end game starts. I know I won’t even come close to that /age by the year’s end (unless I AFK me some festivals). I still have so much to see, and the training wheels have definitely come off. I feel like I am being pulled in a plethora of directions, and I am having trouble choosing which way to go. I’ve come close to 100% chasing burnout…

I don’t know why I was at Lornar’s Pass. It just seemed the next zone on my checklist, and I kind of needed seasoned wood, which I ironically have not found in the northern half. What was I doing there? Events and hearts were starting to blur. I was chasing the carrots too fast. I was crushing daisies.

Then it happened. There was a point of interest at the bottom of a huge ice cliff. There were ice elementals guarding the cliff. I was going to get heart either way. Screw it I thought, silently mocking the asura elementalist, pondering the same thing I was pondering. I’m jumping. 90% of my health gone in a mis-jump, and an ice elemental was already pounding me with snow. Switch to Death Shroud, and… the asura elementalist started helping me. A few more ice elementals out of the chasm, we parted.

Yet this small happening was what I needed. It reminded me that the fun of Guild Wars 2 was not found in an achievement. It was in playing. If events, enemies, or players are interesting. Stick with it. My brain switched at the correct moment to notice “hey, you teamed up with that asura”. I could feel that for an instant our paths shifted in response to each other.

I think one big issue that I am finding is start to dissipate is the freneticism of the herd. There is a drive to get to the end. I knew all along that there was no end game to get to. Yet, I still fell prey to “end game” discussions and talk about Zhaitain and final armors and weapons. It felt like I had to get there too. I really don’t… at least right away.

The other problem with Guild Wars 2 content is that it is incredibly high speed. Without having to turn in quests there is much less time to digest experiences. I didn’t realize how important this was for my “fun” until I actually sat there watching the backside of the asura elementalist as he ran away. I wasn’t following my own advice. I need to slow down; reflect for that one moment. ‘I just did this, and it was great.’ Moments like that are not another belly-bombing slider going down the hatch.

The game is so good. I can’t stop playing it, but I need to play it for the right reasons instead of checking things off my list. I need to slow down. It might take me 500 hours to get where Wooden Potatoes got in half that time, but I do expect to be playing Guild Wars 2 that long. I don’t need to get to Orr or become a god of crafting. I just need to have fun, and I’ll get where I want eventually.



16 thoughts on “[GW2] Re-Finding the Forest”

  1. “Yet this small happening was what I needed. It reminded me that the fun of Guild Wars 2 was not found in an achievement.”

    Good point, that I’d like to echo.

    I think there will be an outflux of people leaving that never find what you found. They will want, or need that gear/reward/achievement ideal to sustain them.

    My hope is that the industry shifts a little. I’m pleased with GW2, now let’s get it to affect the industry.

  2. I dinged 72 tonight. The one and only map I have completed is Black Citadel. I haven’t attempted to complete any others and don’t intend to. I don’t do Hearts unless I’m in the area anyway doing something else (usually farming crafting mats). At 72, my Personal Story just hit 40 today after I spent all afternoon doing it – I’d dropped it at about 28.

    I join most events because most events are fun and whenever I see a bunch of other players running somewhere I follow them in case they’re going to do something interesting, which usually they are. Even so I probably spend more time climbing mountains and diving in lakes to see what’s there than I do doing events.

    Not having a completionist bone in my body, if I have a problem with GW2 it’s lack of direction. I’m extremely easily distracted and any goal I set myself, even really simple ones like “go to Timberline Falls” get derailed almost before I begin.

    This is on my first character, who is supposed to be the focused one. My gameplay is usually FAR more random than that. I have nine more character slots to fill and they’ll all be used. I’d say I have thousands of hours to go.

    1. ” if I have a problem with GW2 it’s lack of direction. I’m extremely easily distracted and any goal I set myself, even really simple ones like “go to Timberline Falls” get derailed almost before I begin. ”

      i have this same ‘problem’ too and it’s incredible. for example:

      i’ve been working up jewelcrafting on an alt and last night wanted to max it. i needed to use my main to buy a vendor recipe with karma in order to max the alt (lvl 1, no karma) and my main was left in cursed shore last. so the whole day i was planning out my course of action and looking forward to it: log in on main, port to LA, buy the recipe, bank it, relog to alt, finish the craft, finish daily on lowlvl alt, sleep.

      unfortunately, upon logging into cursed shore i saw an orichalcum node. i went to mine it and then saw an omnomberry node. then i ended up partying with a pug and knocking out several more nodes, events, veterans, champions, and skillpoints whenever we ran across them. ~1hr later i have no more inventory space and i’m out of salvage kits.

      instead of running to the nearest merchant i somehow convinced myself to just port to LA to vendor and get the recipe so i can finally start crafting. note i had to convince myself to pursue what i’d originally planned to do.

      and therein lies the beauty of the game: the game successfully keeps me from ‘playing’ the game via me playing the game. and i think this ties into another point:

      “Yet this small happening was what I needed. It reminded me that the fun of Guild Wars 2 was not found in an achievement.”

      there is so much to do in this world it’s overwhelming. at the same time it’s not intrusively forcefed. but for some it may be too subtle.

      i think alot of people that complain about ‘lack of endgame’ don’t see this. true, there is nothing in the game that tells you ‘gz bro you’re the best now you go here for leet challenge’. rather the game leaves it up to you. level a new profession? max a craft? acquire dungeon armors? get r10 glory? win spvp tournies? 100% map completion? get 1000+ kills in wVw? powertrade the tp? collect all dyes/minis? help collectively figure out mystic forge recipes, including legendary weaps?

      i’m not saying the game is perfect. it’s not. there are a lot of things i personally disagree with and/or dislike. however, i still port to queensdale to get in on the shadow behemoth when a guildie says it’s up & im not in wvw…even if it costs >3s to port…cause it’s fun, it’s enjoyable ‘assisting’ lower leveled players, and i like chests. but that ore node is really close, i think i’ll port after hittin that…oh look there’s another close one too, let me grab that real quick as well..

  3. Great post, I’ve been doing the “not leave an area until 100% completion” sort of thing. Sure, I could probably be a much higher level if I stopped doing circles around mountain cliffs to find that one particular rock I need to jump on, but I am really enjoying circling that mountain side. As long as I am having fun doing what I am doing, why race to do something different?

  4. I have played off and on since the pre-start and my highest toon is lvl 11. One day I just looked for vistas. Another day I did jumping puzzles. One day, I just looked at the beautiful waterfalls in Shaemoor. I love playing and I am going to take my sweet time to arrive at 80. For me this game is all about the journey; let it take however long it may…

    See you in Tyria!

  5. I’m only level 52, so you’re ahead of me at least!

    I’m also making an effort to relax and enjoy the journey. I’ve had enough of the ‘race to cap’ style of play to last me a lifetime. I’m really enjoying the exploration and lack of direction GW2 offers — it means you never know what you’ll stumble upon next.

  6. I’m very sporadic; and OCD type with ADHD.

    I’ve hit 43, by recently doing a 3-level leveling zerg, to get a heart.

    The last 3-days, I’ve gone after hearts; partly for the karma gear stats, but mainly for the fashion. There’s some really cool Seraph gear that looks awesome, I’m collecting, banking and transmogrifying later(I’m already in the Runes of Magic mode, with this, and saving up multiple outfits).

    I usually always get distracted into a nearby event.

    A few times, while doing events, I just suddenly felt like getting a vista and/or skill point.

    Then, most recently, I’ve been gathering a lot. I have an idea to gather like a madman and start playing digital merchant.

    I might make another 3 levels, in the next day or two, or I might make 1 level over the next month. I don’t much care, if I do or not, and I don’t care to keep track.

    One thing I want to point out is: I found that I don’t play any differently than when I play any MMO. This makes me feel good. It reassures me that I’m in control of my own fun and always was, but that GW2 is that much better of a game to just have fun in.

  7. Played a Mesmer to 11. When fighting, found myself running round and round in circles with enemies in tow throwing bolts over my shoulder. A few interspersed alternative spells when not on cool-down (they all seem to have ‘long’ cool-downs), whittling away at the two to three enemies.
    Have to say, so far, I’ve not really enjoyed it.

    1. Have you tried any of the other weapons the mesmer can use? I started one and used a scepter in my main hand, which is the weapon they start with. It wasn’t really grabbing me, but then a 1-handed sword dropped. I equipped that, unlocked the skills, and suddenly the mesmer was like 10 times as fun.

      If you look in the hero tab you can see a list of all the weapons a mesmer can equip and the reulting skill bar you’ll get from them. Check that out, try out a few different weapon load-outs, and if it still doesn’t grab you then try one of the other 7 professions. Just remember that the weapons you equip can make a big difference in how that character plays/feels.

      And don’t forget at level 7 you unlock weapon swapping, so if all your cooldowns are recharging on the scepter, swap to your other weapons and fire off those skills. By the time you swap back to the scepter your skills will likely be ready again.

    2. l2p noob!!!!

      …no, seriously, it looks like you’re not using all the tools at your disposal. :) That would make the combat seem boring, no doubt.

      Did you notice that the “1” attack in your primary weapon is a chain? That means you get much better results if you let it complete the 3-hit combo instead of hitting only once then running. The third hit of the scepter, for instance, creates a clone (up to 3 at once) that will attack the enemy for you, and that you can then shatter by pressing F1 to cause considerable damage.

      Also, the phantasm that you can create with your off-hand weapon (skill 4 or 5, depending on the weapon) is a great source of damage and should be up whenever possible.

    3. I did not enjoy my Mesmer until I found a great sword, then I loved it! I switch between 2H staff and great sword during fights now. I really think the game is designed for you to be switching around during combat. Open up your thinking a little, try some other weapons – it just might suddenly connect for you.

      Also, you really want to be shattering those clones for extra damage in the fights. I really ignored them for a while until I started understanding what works better for me, now I always try to make sure I shatter them during the fight. You can always make more.

      Often it is the little things. It took me a while to notice that the #1 attack with the great sword does more damage the further away you are. Now I try to keep my distance and it makes a big difference.

  8. I found myself getting into a rut with the first character, a ranger. It was also not a case of the profession being off, but rather me getting to set in the checklist mentality. Finding f.inst. the individual vistas was enjoyable, but it quickly took a backseat to once again going down the checklist.

    I got over it by making a few alts, even though I promised myself I wouldn’t at first (I’m horrible about jumping back and forth between them, so I usually end up poor and burnt out on newbie zone content). Since I was going through newbie territory again, I could both get the 100% clear quickly, but I also started to feel like it wasn’t as important anymore. After all, I had done it already.

    I finally snapped out of the mindset recently, and in the most unlikely way I can imagine: By making the one profession the beta weekends had, beyond a shadow of a doubt, told I would not enjoy playing. The thinking was, by seeing how boring and stale the necromancer was, I would refind the joy in the ranger and want to go back to playing that, but now with a fresh perspective on the un-importantness of 100%-ing zones.

    My necro is now level 30, and I have yet to log in the ranger for anything other than siphoning money off her. Turns out… the beta weekend impressions lied to me, in the best possible way. This game! :)

  9. Yeah I ran into heart burn out and a total disconnect with the content until I realised that the shitty personal story actually ties the majority together.

    I’ve fought against the herd mentality like you too, rushing this gem that I told the family “I don’t exist during beta weekends” for is not my idea of fun. However the true power of your character is only unlocked at 80.

    Some of most joyeous moments have come from those random encounters with other players. Adhoc grouping for a common cause is such a fantastic mechanic (me being a helpful guy).

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