The Very Best of Themeparks

Ironically I may be blogging more now that the semester has started and I have less time to game. In any event I continue to play Guild Wars 2 more or less exclusively for the time being. I’m keeping my eyes on a couple of other games, including EQ2, but at the moment GW2 is a good fit for my limited playtime.

What I have managed to do, though, is to complete the exploration of Kryta — although the achievement still has an annoying 1% missing that I have to assume is some kind of minidungeon or off-map PoI. I’m at 63% world completion and working in Lornar’s Pass and Timberline Falls.

I also fooled a bit with “structured” PvP, which I found insanely frustrating, as I couldn’t seem to get on a team that didn’t instantly scatter in all directions while 100% of the opposing team was focus-firing on me. It’s the same kind of thing I hated about WoW battlegrounds. Thankfully, World vs. World, which I’ve also recently revisited, runs better for our server. Granted, that means zergs, but zergs are preferable to everyone running off own his own like a jackass. This too is ironic, because WvW actually supports wandering about the zones doing stuff by yourself while avoiding the zerg just fine. I’ve gotten a bunch of the exploration points that way, and it’s not like Tarnished Coast is hurting for my help.

The current Living World event is called Clockwork Chaos, and it’s certainly chaotic. I managed to get in on one run in Lornar’s Pass over the weekend and got more loot than I could easily carry. The event is less amenable to playing for 15 minutes, so I’m not sure how many of the achievements I’ll be able to get before it ends, especially since I’m not really going out of may way to get into the invasions.

Finally, I tried working my way out of three different crafting tiers on three different characters and failed each time due to lack of mats. I think I am maximizing discovery XP but I just don’t have enough of anything despite passing through (by which I mean completing and gathering everything I see) multiple zones in each level range. I won’t say it’s insanely frustrating, but it is weird that crafting seems so miscalibrated in a game that is otherwise very carefully designed. Again it comes down to maybe me doing it wrong, but if so, I don’t see it.

This, though, is a minor complaint. I’m having a fine time overall in this second serious trip into Guild Wars 2. At this point I’m considering that it may be the best themepark world in MMOs. There is very, very little sandbox there but it manages, a lot of the time, to feel like there is. Plus the world is wide open in comparison to more heavily level-gated games, and even aside from the regular content there is an ongoing story progression, some of which stays in the game and some of which rotates out. Too bad that it’s shit because it doesn’t charge $15 a month, eh?

2 responses to “The Very Best of Themeparks

  1. Interesting point about the crafting mats, I’ve found the same. You almost need several alts farming materials as you level and explore just to level one single crafting profession. Was it to force us to use the trading post to buy/sell materials and create a money sink?

  2. The Order of Whispers HQ – the Chantry of Secrets – is an often missed POI in Bloodtide Coast as you have to zone into the instance. Otherwise, it may be a sneaky area with no hearts or POIs, which one can methodically tick down by cross referencing with the wiki if so inclined.

    Hotjoin structured PvP is often criticized for its imbalance – 8 v 8 instead of 5 v 5 in tournament formats – and I often note higher ranked players tend to switch and stack teams over time, which leads to chaotic outnumbered trampling after a while.

    They’ve come up with a solo queue for the tournament format though, which may be something you might want to give a shot. I dabbled with tPvP once playing with my guild – most were more pvp-inclined than I but still mainly casual amateurs, I was the noob of the team – but between the voice chat coordination and the team roles, it was a completely different and more sophisticated experience.

    We happened to have one guardian bunker who sat at a point and controlled it, one roaming thief who assisted him and capped the other point as needed and gave individuals splitting from the other team hell, and two sturdy rangers and me as a dps guardian (I was just in that extremely squishy build for fun mostly) hogging the center point. Won a number of matches and even got a complaint about facing a prebuilt guild team from the opposition, though that arrangement was really pure serendipity, we didn’t prebuild anything.

    As for crafting, I don’t know if it’s specially designed that way, but certainly the demand is such that there’s a niche for levelers and even max level people revisiting certain level ranges to gather resources to sell on the TP.