Another weekend has passed and again I spent as much of it as could be managed in Guild Wars 2. Which wasn’t that long, actually.
I’m still working on Lornar’s Pass, which contains a staggering 43 points of interest; I’m nowhere near done with it, although I’m closing in on the hearts, skill challenges and waypoints. Meanwhile I’m pushing through the personal storyline; I elected to join the Vigil in the 20-30 arc and have not gotten much past that.
One thing I’m noticing is that the overall difficulty of the game ramps up a bit around the high 30s. There are a number of possible explanations for this, the obvious one being that my gear is mostly crappy. But also while Lornar’s Pass is a 25-40 zone, at the southern end there are a fair number of mobs in the neighborhood of level 42, and I was hitting them at 39. I did do some gear upgrading via the Trading Post, which did seem to have helped. But just as likely I need to get better at playing my class, too.
Another thing that helped was that I had a large pile of trait points sitting around doing nothing, waiting for me to get the second-tier mastery tome. I’d thought this was supposed to happen at level 20 (maybe it was so in beta, I dunno,) but was just nearing the necessary amount of money around level 40. Turns out you’re not eligible for it until level 40 anyway, so if you scrimp your coppers until then, you should have enough. And these extra points and the talents that came with them also seem to have helped.
Another gear upgrade occurred when I ran Caudecus’s Manor. This is the second of GW2′s eight dungeons that are currently in the game; I haven’t run the first (Ascalonian Catacombs,) yet and it’s said to be longer and more difficult. I’ll buy this, as even the allegedly easier Manor was a lot harder than the typical WoW 10-minute faceroll. I got a new piece of head armor and two new weapons out of it — both aquatic, alas, but they were significant upgrades — and a barge load of XP. Probably 80% of a level, in fact.
Some bloggers have expressed doubts that GW2′s scaling will work as advertised, but so far it seems to me to be utterly airtight. However, gear scales as part of the system, and characters who are at level 80 for any length of time are likely to have a full set of “perfect” gear (remember, there’s just the one level of endgame gear in GW2,) while leveling characters may well be undergeared, especially as fast as you can progress if you’re working all of GW2′s many XP-granting levers. So I do expect this to loosen up for 80s, at least to the point of being noticeable.
Our guild already boasts no less than thirteen level 80s, by the way; I dont feel like too much of a sluggard, given that I seem to be moving along more or less along with the pack of bloggers, most of whom (with one unsurprising exception) are also in the middle of the pack, so I don’t feel too badly about being level 42 and moving along rather nicely. For a game out only a couple of weeks, this is for me a thunderous pace. I imagine I have been moving so quickly due to not becoming bored or frustrated enough with the game enough to fritter away time trying to find an alt that’s fun. Not that I’m not tempted — I do have my four alts as well, but the highest of them is level 10. I’ve decided against buying another character slot (all the classes in GW2 are very tasty,) until I hit 80 with my main. Hell, that may happen by the time the first expansion comes out.