Yearly Attempt: Guild Wars 2

I have been playing Guild Wars 2 off and on for the past week or so. And that might just continue.*

My posts about GW2 have certainly been the most contentious ones I’ve ever written. Amusingly though, nothing has really changed over the years. Combat still feels floaty, the art direction is still heavily on the watercolor side (which isn’t bad), the sense of environment scale and 3D space is still among the best in the genre, a coherent narrative is still largely nonexistent, and so on.

The specific issues that hinder any sort of long-term engagement from me are two-fold.

First, I have already seen this before. I hit the level cap of 80 back on an Elementalist ages ago, but I still remember pretty much every zone’s story and “Heart” quest. Combined with the floaty combat and the general malaise that comes from getting 100% of all the skills you will be using practically from the very beginning, killing mobs just doesn’t really satisfy. My Necromancer and Engineer aren’t as bad – I very much enjoy dropping turrets/AoE deathtraps all over the place – but once you have an optimal build… that’s it. It’s tough explaining how that is any different from any other MMO, but it just is. Emotionally, at least.

Second, I don’t have the expansion. I did a bit of research on Reddit and various other forums, and my conclusion is perhaps the most obvious one: the expansion-exclusive Trait lines are the best ones. I can deal with not having a glider or access to the new expansion zones, as the two toons I play are around level 40 anyway. What I can not particularly deal with is that my character would be gimped in PvP (which otherwise gives everyone access to every talent/etc) or WvW. That missing Trait line also changes the entire way the class is played by opening up new weapons to use, so that would go a long way in solving the combat situation for at least a little while.

It doesn’t help that the LFG tool is dead, per the forums, and I don’t have much interest in grinding out Fractals or trying Raids.

I mean, we’ll see. I have been logging on every day to at least get the Daily rewards. I participated in a few of the Events that have cropped up, and those have been mildly amusing. I am having a lot more fun than I did in both attempts at ESO. And, hey, the expansion is technically on sale.

This is one that will need a bit more time in the oven though.

Posted on December 28, 2016, in Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Fractals are fast and entertaining. Especially tiers 1 and 2.

    The original story requires a bit of effort and probably play every race to fill all the puzzles and it is probably not that great of a story.
    It gets a bit better imo with Living World and the expansions.

    Later maps drop hearts and evolve into map/are wide events, although Living Story 3 returned hearts to high level areas.

    About builds.
    Trait lines and stats combos/runes can make or break builds and every class has a couple of builds that are somewhat different to play.
    But it is about personal preference.
    I’ve never understood the complaint about you get all the skills early because regardless of how long it takes to acquire them 99% of the time long term players play is endgame with the exact same skills. But to each their own.


    • I’ve never understood the complaint about you get all the skills early because regardless of how long it takes to acquire them 99% of the time long term players play is endgame with the exact same skills.

      That’s kinda the thing, though. There’s nothing to look forward to while leveling. My Necro is level 34 at the moment, and as far as I can tell, the remaining 46 levels until endgame will be exactly what I’m doing now. Forever. That I would be doing the same thing at endgame is irrelevant if I never make it there to begin with. Something has to hook you and drive you onwards. That lack of anything is/has been the biggest obstacle in GW2 for me since 2012.

      Maybe that lack is the whole point of horizontal progression and is working as intended, I dunno.


      • At level 34 you have 1 trait line to play with.
        Until you have 3 trait lines available you really don’t have a build.
        They do change the way you play your character.

        For example if you are interested in wells with your necromancer you will go blood magic for Vampiric rituals (well recharge reduction, siphon health and protection are really good).

        That means your death shroud is pretty much useless. Going Death Shroud makes your Death Shroud extremely tanking. All of a sudden you will be using Death Shroud aggressively and not just only as a “oh crap” button to give you an extra few seconds.

        Get the third trait slot and slot spite in. Your death shroud is a massive damage/tanking machine.

        You steal health with your attacks, cast wells to steal more health per hit and get protection, have a huge life force life pool and so you use the Death shroud to gain tons of might and deal tons of damage.

        Once you get access to stuff like berserker stats, which require level 52 for weapons and 60 for armor/trinkets, your damage will increase greatly.

        Plus you have more and more powerful sigils and runes to choose from.

        Then you have Reaper with the expansion and are now one of the toughest front liners.


  2. I would highly recommend grabbing the expansion when it goes on sale. The content is fantastic and really makes use of verticality as well as presenting a bit more of a combat challenge. They also seem to be adding a new zone every few months so there’s something to look forward to logging in and checking out.


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