These are my tales and thoughts from the weekend of playing Guild Wars 2. Everything from the achiever drive to possibly new content to momentum in the end game is on the butcher’s block.
My immediate goal is to get 100% world completion on a single character. I am a zone or so over halfway. Not only do I eventually (years) want to get a legendary, but since my main character has the most momentum, this is a great time to get that achievement completed.
Last night on my level 80, I completed the charr starter zone Plains of Ashford. Never did it feel like a waste of time to check off some achievement that the achiever portion of my brain told me I had to, or it would itch. I was getting materials for future crafting, which would help alts rocket up to higher levels. I was completing my daily, which netted me a mystic coin and a repair canister. Every dozen kills would net me an item around my level. Each event was giving me a silver and some change. Sure, this was not going to net me as much gold as running Orr for the same amount of time, but I was not making some copper per hour pittance either.
Most of this was hitting the achiever itch. Yet, I have slowed down incredibly since I hit level 80. For my part, I no longer have the feeling of throwaway gear that accompanies leveling. My character was given a greater sense of permanence at level cap. Now I am taking more time to smell the flowers. I am talking to more NPCs, and finding great humor and great lore throughout this starting zone.
Was I also seeing new events? I had played the starter zones many times over during all the betas. I never remembered the bandits taking the windmill in Queensdale or the Flame Legion creating a lava spire fort right in the middle of the earliest levels of Plains of Ashford. I ran to the these “new” events with childish glee.
If these were post-launch additions, I would think ArenaNet would want some small amount of fanfare if it is simply even “adding events ^ ^” in the patch notes. Still they are new and fresh to me, and much welcome if I had just missed them between all the beta weekend events. It is getting me more excited to alt either way. Since my main will have been everywhere, man, I was a tad concerned that running through it on another character would have been much less shiny. With about 300 hearts in the game, that is some serious effort to even give each heart one new event. I hope ArenaNet shares what the Live Team’s plans are soon. Small additions add a lot of shine to previously known places.
If things do get boring on an alt, I know that I will have plenty of materials to craft through a dozen levels. It still is such a treat how much leveling experience I gain through crafting. Who knows how many extra skill points I have earned through leveling my main character’s first two crafting professions to 400.
My artificing is at 400, and I made my character’s first exotic item, a scepter. It was a great moment because crafting exotics requires a lot of “end game” moving parts. My cooking, on the other hand, made a final run to 392 before slamming in to a wall. I had done so much crafting and exploring that I had basically skipped most of the level 60-80 zones. This meant that I was missing out on a ton of karma food items, like eggplant and something near Mount Maelstrom, in addition to all the herbs. Oh, the herbs… I would slaughter an entire centaur village for a few leaves of sage.
I have a nice larder of Orrian produce, but I can’t use those until I hit 400. I think I will have to hit Fireheart Rise and Frostgorge Sound or throw money at the trading post to get to that point.
With a friend of mine crafting an amulet, I now have 2 slots of exotics. Between superior rune and sigil slots, each character has over 25 slots to fill to get “fully” geared. I will say that I hit Orr mostly undergeared with some 40 level rings and a few pieces of level 65 armor, and once I upped things closer to level 80, there was a huge difference. I imagine there is also a significant difference with a fully exotic geared character.
A legendary item though is much further off. I think it is doable except for the dungeon part. My goal “The Bifrost” requires 500 Arah dungeon tokens. I am honestly not sure how I am going to hit that without focusing all my playtime on that dungeon. Everything else is doable by adding sands of grain to the mold. Snag a glob of ectoplasm here, another skill point there, farm a few more rare items, an hour or so in WvW, and it all adds up.
Now that tokens are only received on the successful completion of an explorable dungeon (specific to the legendary), there are no sands of grain for the dungeon part of a legendary. There are only handfuls right now. ArenaNet has said that they want dungeon tokens to be a rare drop in dungeon so that there is some partial progress, but it’s still so different from every other reward system in Guild Wars 2.
I do admit that if I become pro at Arah’s explorable, 500 dungeon tokens is only about 10 runs (if players get 60 per run). That doesn’t seem too bad. Still the Giganticus Lupicus stands in the way of each explorable path. It is the one part of the legendary item I am not looking forward to.
With legendaries and the trading post with the gem exchange, I feel that every action I take in Guild Wars 2 is rewarding. Even in the lowest of the zones yesterday, I felt that I was making good steps forward on the progress bar with my max level character. In no small part this is why Guild Wars 2 is a game made for its sales model. I own the game now for as long as servers are open, and whenever I come back to it there is progress to be made. I don’t feel a rush to get anywhere. I honestly feel a little bad for people that rushed to level 80 then rushed to a legendary weapon. That doesn’t seem as fun. I like my constant drip of fun rather than some binge. Now if I could stop myself from buying gems to get mini packs, I might actually make some headway.