Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Guild Wars 2 going no where (and some pics)

Guild Wars 2 is not perfect (actually quite far from it), but it does enough things right to keep me entertained. I am level 26 on my Norn thief, Heartless Foe.  The average level of players according to most polls of MMO veterans is in the 50 to 60 range.  I'm behind; way behind.  And I don't care.  Guild Wars 2 leveling is fast and I've found that I have no reason to rush it because Guild Wars 2 is not going anywhere nor is its content.

As an MMO vet, I should be embarrassed at what happened last night and this morning.  I played for almost three hours between the two and only gained a couple levels.  The entire time I was out and about doing things and having fun.  Before I knew it I had moved onto a new zone, Plains of Ashford, and started in on the "hearts" and various points of interest.  I was cruising along having participated in a few events when it struck me.  This zone was a level 1-15 zone meant for new players.  I was level 25 at the time.

Guild Wars 2 doesn't punish players for being in lower level zones and it levels-down your avatar seamlessly to make the zone still a challenge.  Experience gains from killing monsters is not a large portion in any leveling and the experience gained from the events is generous.  The leveling curve is flat, so whether I level in a lower level zone or a higher one doesn't really matter.  In fact, as the newbie zones start to wind down in activity, there is a fat and happy bonus for killing some of the monsters that haven't been knocked off in a while (I was seeing 40 bonus experience in some cases, 2x what an equal level kill would net in a zone my level).

Even with the game design in mind, I am still a bit shocked how long it took me to even register the fact that the creatures I was slaying were in the single digits for levels.  The loot as well was working out; scaling to somewhat meet my level (albeit about 5 levels low, but still that was 15 levels higher than what I was killing).

Funnier yet is that I came into the zone through a gate from Diessa Plateau and immediately walked into a dynamic event that had spawned veteran (aka hard mode) units that quickly did me in.  A quick re-spawn and I was able to join the fray and see the event to conclusion.  In past MMOs entering a lower level zone meant enabling EZ mode.  Not so in Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2 is refreshing and with no subscription to pay there is no impetus for me to put metal to the grind stone.  I can do what I want, when I want and most of the time feel rewarded for it.  There is more to it than the meager little bit I passed along here.  Tons of tiny little things is really what makes Guild Wars 2 and without these nuances, the game could easily fall flat.  Again, I highly recommend Guild Wars 2 to any MMO veteran.

And picture time:

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