GW2: Re-Reloaded

Oh man, Guild Wars 2. If ever I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with an MMO, this would be it. My first reloaded post was in January of 2016, and the time before that was back in 2012. It’s now January of 2018, so about as good a time as any to get started again.

Once I purchased Heart of Thorns for $15, I was immediately faced with a dilemma. My dilemma was thus: I had an Elementalist at level 80 and an Necromancer at level ~45. The Elementalist had been my “main” back in 2012, but I became increasingly annoyed with its mechanics and penchant for immediately dying at every available opportunity. At the same time, all my alts were dozens of levels behind, and I had little desire to grind my way through the same zones, so I stuck with a class I didn’t like. Eventually, I said Screw This and leveled the Elementalist the rest of the way to 80 via crafting professions and called it a day.

Now that I was back, it made much more sense to actually play a class I enjoy (for now), e.g. the Necromancer. However, that presents its own challenges. I technically had enough Tomes of Knowledge (+1 free level) to instantly get the Necro close to the cap, and enough gold to get the rest of the way via crafting. But was that what I really wanted to do? Immediately get to the zero-progression endgame? It would seem to make more sense to just level the Necro normally and derive what enjoyment I could from the everyday GW2 experience.

Which is what I did, for a while. I gained about 2-3 three levels from Events and Story quests.

The problem is three-fold. First, at some point ArenaNet changed Daily Quests to all but force you to complete expansion content to complete them. Before, you could slum around starter zones, blow through a few Events, gather some nodes, and then you were done. That may or may not have been before they started giving you straight-up 2 gold for finishing the Daily, I don’t know. But if I wanted to get a free 2g, I needed to have access to the endgame stuff ASAP. Or rely on WvW/PvP stuff, which I wasn’t going to do. So I needed my level 80 available.

The second problem was Gliders. I had the expansion, and unlocking it on one character unlocks it for everyone. Again, you need to be level 80 for that. So… why not just unlock that and be done? Seems reasonable.

The third problem was the kicker though: mounts. Every time I saw someone running around on a mount, it reminded me of how slow my character moves and how many crappy talents/abilities I have to equip in order to slum around at a bonus 33% speed. It got to the point where I no longer wanted to play the Necro at all because, in my mind, the worst case scenario was the expansion not going on sale by the time I hit the endgame, thus ensuring I had a lame experience for months and still bought the “full” price expansion later.

So… I went ahead and bought Path of Fire, and immediately unlocked the Raptor mount.

I say “immediately” but that certainly did not feel the case. I died about half a dozen times on “normal” mobs in the initial story quest, and at least half a dozen more on the “bosses” at the conclusion. If the Veteran Flame Dogs’ health actually reset after each death, it’s entirely possible I would have never completed the scenario. I know that I was a bit rusty on the Elementalist, and I did not have full Exotics in every slot, but I was at level 80 and had level 80 gear everywhere, and knew how to avoid the red circles, and goddamn who were these mobs designed for?

As it turns out, this was just the beginning.

…I mean, yeah. Figuratively too. More later.

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Posted on January 3, 2018, in Guild Wars 2 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The rule of thumb in GW2 is anything open-world is laughably easy, anything in the “Living Story”, including main expansion storyline instances, is either incredibly longwinded and repetitive or attritionally “difficult” – often both at once. By difficult I mean “so many AEs there is literally nowhere to dodge”, which is about the only mechanic ANet can think of these days.

    The Ele has phenomenal healing capacity and the class has a large bag of escape tricks. Even as a full zerker I never die in regular open world content and not that much in WvW. Eles do take more active “playing” than most GW2 classes, though. Most of them could be played in open world content with perfect safety while you juggled and sang the national anthem.

    They have changed how dailies work several times. Currently they give you dailies related directly to which expansions your account owns and what the highest level of your character is. If you want to do them as fast as possible, don’t dismiss the WvW and PvP dailies. Most of the WvW ones (almost all in fact) have no PvP element whatsoever and several can usually be done in less than a minute. I’ve been meaning to write a guide on that for ages… Even the PvP ones can often be much faster than the PvE ones. Some of the PvE dailies are a total pain, especially the HoT ones. The PoF ones aren’t great either.

    That said, once you get the hang of them, you can usually do all 3 in less than 10 minutes. i often finish all three of my accounts before breakfast on a work day.

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    • The thing about the dogs in that first instance though, was the fact that there weren’t any red circles. They “barked” predictive fireballs that damaged you when they passed through your character, and then left a fire zone. Once I had actually downed one, I managed to figure out how to juke the last dog’s fireball, but I doubt I could replicate that feat with both still up.

      In any case, I would absolutely welcome any and all tips you have regarding the daily. I have went into WvW for pretty much every daily, and often have to spend at least 30 minutes trying to get anything accomplished. If there is a Commander, I follow them around for a while, but they never get around to killing one of the supply oxen, or whatever happens to be the “easiest” daily credit. When I try to do it solo, a red zerg inevitably manifests out of the Mists. Do you find better luck in the non-Eternal Battlegrounds?

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      • For WvW daily fast solo ones are “capture shrine”, “kill veteran”, “disrupt dolyaks”, “kill guards”, and sometimes “capture camp” (if there are no opposition). Probably in this order.

        Oh, and if you have excess badges, then “buying stuff with badges” daily is quickest one; though if you don’t play WvW a lot that is unlikely.

        The rest really shouldn’t be attempted for “fast” daily completion – not unless you happen to run past group that already started it as you approach.

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      • To expand on Shalcker’s reply:

        Capture Shrine means go to one of the five circles on either Alpine or Desert Borderland, marked in the center of the map (for example, Cohen’s Overlook). On the map they may all be one color but that just means one team owns 3 out of five. You need any one that is not already filled out to the color of your team – and by that I mean the actual marker on the ground NOT on the map. You need to go look but you can see two from the safety of your own Garrison, if you stand at what’s known as “Water Gate” – assuming you own your own Garrison that is. (If you don’t own your own Garrison it may be a good idea to wait until you do!).

        Once you can see a circle that’s not fully your team’s color, go stand on it. It will slowly turn to the color of your world and when it completes that’s your daily done. You will be very unlucky to see an enemy player doing this – I think I’ve had to fight maybe three times in as many years.

        Kill Veteran means kill either the Veteran Warg, Wurm or Harpy. It does *not* mean kill veteran guards. The Wurm is between North West Camp and the North West gate of Dreadfall Bay on Alpine Borderland or on a mesa close to the SW corner of the map on Desert Borderland. Harpy is just to the north of South East Camp in Alpine or on a high plateau south of Air Keep on Desert. The Warg is just below the spawn-in at SE on Alpine or close to SE camp on Desert. All three are 10 minute spawns if killed. They are easy kills for any level 80. They can occasionally be contested but usually not. If you are the world with that corner as your spawn then the Warg is probably the safest – there will often be several people on your team standing around waiting for it to spawn.

        Disrupt Dolyaks means find a Dolyak that’s not on your team, which is either in a camp or traveling form a camp to a tower or keep. You can easily see them marked on the map. You may need to map hop to find a convenient one but there are lots of them and they spawn very frequently. They don’t fight back and they are quick to kill but there is a significant risk you will draw the attention of enemy players. If you want the daily and someone ganks you just concentrate on killing the yak and with luck you’ll get the daily even if you get killed.

        Kill Guards is self-explanatory. Veteran NPCs guard every camp and tower. Some are easier to kill than others – the ones on Desert BL are a lot harder. Scouts on towers can often be AE’d with no retaliation. Doesn’t matter if you get ganked while doing this so long as you get some guards along the way – there’s absolutely no penalty for dying in WvW. Often no-one will notice you;re doing it though.

        Capture Camp does require you to have a vague idea what you are doing because it means killing several Veterans in a single fight. It is entirely possible to clear and take a camp using old-school EQ pulling tactics if you have the patience – I used to do it on my Level 30 ranger (bumped up to 80 by the game but very weak indeed) for amusement. The good thing about soloing camps is you can sometimes get all 3 dailies at once (Camp, Guards and Dolyaks) – the bad thing is you will very often run into enemy players.

        Shalcker didn’t mention Land Claimer, which is very easy indeed. It means killing a Veteran Sentry, of which there are many on all maps, then standing in the ring that pops for a very short time (much shorter than for the Shrine/Ruin daily) until you “claim” that sentry spot. Again, all the sentries are marked on the map and there are sentries you can see from safe places like Garrison or Bay, assuming your side own them. Sentries are often contested but killing them and taking the spot is so quick you would expect to have it done and be elsewhere before anyone notices.

        Also very easy indeed and extremely safe is Objective Defender. There are several ways you can get this but the very easy one is to find any structure (tower, keep, castle) that your teams owns and which has been damaged, either walls or gates. Grab some supply from the supply dump, go to the damaged area, move around it until the “Repair” option pops, hit F or click to repair, then wait until the timer on the structure ticks down to zero, which happens in two-minute intervals. When the timer reaches zero you get credit and your daily completes.

        Obviously there will be a learning curve to this as there is to anything but it’s not exactly a steep one. Once you have the hang of it you should be able to combine whatever is easiest on the day in PvE and WvW and most days get the three finished in under 10 minutes. There are occasionally bad combinations of dailies where all that comes up are the awkward ones and the ease of the WvW ones is affected by how well or badly your team is doing in general (and sometimes it’s faster if your team is losing) but most days it’s like shelling peas.

        I’ll cannibalize this comment for a post sometime soon and try to nail the detail down and use some illustrations but I hope it helps for now.

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  2. “goddamn who were these mobs designed for?”

    To provide a challenge to five year veterans of the game that were probably playing another class and used to the pace of orange circles going off everywhere, evidently. On the very first story instance of a new expansion.

    I do feel like the developers have lost touch with what it feels like to be a returning player. Every week on the Reddit, there’s a new or returning player post, struggling with the game, almost always on an elementalist. Eles are punishingly squishy for players who aren’t used to the pace or the skills at their disposal, imo, especially if haphazardly geared to have either insufficient damage to kill quick or insufficient toughness/healing to outlast a fight or both.

    I personally steer clear of operating one, but if you play one for long enough like Bhagpuss, you figure out the tricks to survive.

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  3. My husband had a similar experience in the PoF intro on his Ele – barely got through where I had few problems on my Mesmer. For two ‘clothies’ the difference in the skill/muscle memory required to keep survivability up is stark. That was before I’d unlocked the Mirage elite, I am now happily surviving even the AoE-fest Living Story chapters thanks to the spec’s ability to ignore attacks instead of dodging. It’s transformed my view of the content, not because I’m more skillful, but because the spec allows me to play the LS like I would sanely balanced content from another MMO dev. Now if I only I can persuade him to swap to a Mesmer as well we might have more fun playing this stuff… ;-)

    Note: as background, I hate raiding in WoW and other games as I find it overwhelming. He is a heroic mode raider in a major guild that pushes progression. He finds LS content in GW2 to be way harder than raiding in WoW…

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    • Well, at the risk of not sounding nice: that’s because WoW raiding is well designed, GW2 “difficulty” isn’t. I’ve dumped several living world chapters because of how annoying/random/long they are. I play a ranger, which is a pretty survuvable class, but sometimes I die of attrition, i.e. of the “why the fuck I’m wasting time with this” secondary process running on my limited brain CPU :)

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    • I do have to admit that I often forget just how many hours I’ve put into playing an Elementalist, most of it in the fast-moving, high-pressure environment of WvW. I have three accounts and to the extent that I “main” anything I main Eles on all of them. Even with that background, I found the Ele one of the least-easy to take through Heart of Thorns and I wouldn’t dream of trying to do LS instances with one. That’s what Druid is for!

      I have yet to try any of the new HoT elite specs. Maybe i should try the Mesmer – what with Telwyn’s comments above and Mrs Bhagpuss, who plays two Mesmers in WvW, grumbling they need nerfing, it looks like they may be having their time in the sun.

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