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The Casual Life by Wintyre Fraust

An older, casual player's perspective on MMOG's in general and GW2 in particular.

Author: Meleagar

GW2 Launch Part 2: 170 Hours Played Impression

Posted by Meleagar Friday September 28 2012 at 7:42AM
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There's so much to write about, I hardly know where to start.  After 170 hours played, my highest character is level 35.  Actually, I have two characters that are level 35, one is level 22, and two more are in their high teens.  GW2 has destroyed my concept of having a "main" character and having "alts".  Why have a "main" when there is nothing to rush to, no reason to hurry through the leveling process?  In other MMOG's that had specific class roles, most players might find one or two professions they enjoyed playing, but the diversity of each profession in GW2 makes it so you can probably find enjoyment in playing any of the 8 professions.

Let's face it: in other MMORPGs, there's really not much reason to spend much time doing anything other than leveling as fast as possible to get to the "end game"; in GW2, the whole game is really the end game.  You're not going to be doing anything fundamentally different at 80 than you do at level 2, so you can take your time and explore the content in every nook and cranny of Tyria.

GW2's Tyria, though, is packed with so much content that you can spend a lifetime exploring it and still not find it all.  Beyond getting a character or two to level 80 as fast as you can (if you're still myopically following the treadmill style of other MMOGs), there are many, many diferent storylines and permutations of storylines to explore with your stable of characters. There are truly different weapon, skill and trait combinations to use that can provide radically different ways to play any particular profession.  The options are astoundingly deep and varied.

Beyond the "100% Completed" map checklist, there is a world of stuff to discover not even listed on the map.  The underwater regions is like an entire new game on its own.  There are nooks, crannies and treasures just waiting to be found by those that explore more than just what it takes to complete the map checklist.  There are breathaking views to find not pinpointed by "vista" icons and villages not officially marked as a "point of interest".

Besides the NPCs one would engage in their storyline and which are marked on the map, there are countless intersting NPC activities to watch, voice conversations and comments to listen to, and dialogue to explore.  There are books to be found and read, objects to pick up and use.  Every time I go into a zone, I find something different and interesting.  I've passed by NPCs having casual conversations and realized they were talking about something relevant to my storyline. 

The WvW areas are like entire other worlds to explore, and they are enormous.  Finding ways to contribute in WvW is yet another challlenge when it comes to arranging the weapon and skills you carry into a situation.

Claiming "there is no content' or that one has consumed all the content and are bored because they have a level 80 character or two is preposterous.  They are bored not because there is no different content to experience, but only because they cannot advance their level 80 characters in any way that makes them more powerful. For them, "content" is really just "whatever the shortest route is to maxing out a linear checklist of progression." So, if they got a couple of crafting professions up to 400, then "check", in their minds, they've consumed the crafting content.  If they've got 100% map completion, then "check", in their minds they've seen the whole world of Tyria. If they've progressed a character or two to 80 and finished the storyline, then "check", they've experienced all the character progression and story GW2 has to offer.

Then, they argue that all that is left is essentially repeating the content via "alts', or with their level 80 characters, and that repeating content is not fun (often claiming it isn't fun for anyone, or for most people), and that it is less fun each time you do something - which is patently false. Playing pool is not "less fun" each time you do it. Swimming is not "less fun" each time you do it.  Getting burned out on something because you force-feed it to yourself more than you enjoy it is not how everyone engages their favorite entertainment activities.

At 170 hours, I've only scratched the surface of the content available, and I'm loving GW2 every time I log in.  But then, I'm not playing the game to put marks in checkboxes and efficiently max out all official forms of character progression; I'm exploring the deeply diverse, interesting and beautifully rendered content of that the developers at ANET have so lovingly dispersed throughout every inch of Tyria.

Gorwe writes:

Very nice post! I agree wholeheartedly and 111%!!!

People should play games because they are fun, not to Check various boxes...

Fri Sep 28 2012 9:18PM Report
daltanious writes: Ah, gw2 is great game, but for sure not the only one. So essentially do not agree with any comparision. Have been into gw2 only for week, but have been into wow with 10 alts for years, have been playing swtor for 7 to 8 months strait, ... and there have been also others. So forget about gw2 being about only worth game in the planet (nothing wrong with your love toward it). But for sure it is very good and fun. Sat Sep 29 2012 4:15AM Report
outfctrl writes:

I am a very casual gamer and after reading this article, I feel I will definitely get my moneys worth.

Great article.  Now I will have to explore a little more and find those hidden goodies.

 

Thank you

Wed Oct 03 2012 3:09PM Report
Tyrranosaur writes:

GW2 came out...37 days ago? That's about 4.5 hours per day every day. I am impressed!

I've logged maybe 15 hours so far but I can tell GW2 is a game I'm going to be playing for a long, long time (will probably take me 10 months to get to 170 hours, though).

Thu Oct 04 2012 11:36AM Report
itsneo writes:

Well said.

I have to agree, I too have put in approximatly 150+ hours, have a level 45 Ranger, level 27 Theif, level 27 Necromancer, level 12 Warrior, and a level 13 Elementalist.  And I have created and deleted countless "alts" just to find I really enjoy the ranger, also, I may scrap the Ele, as I am not enjoying it as much as I have the other classes, or thought I would, we shall see.  

But yes, your absolutely right, there is so much to see and do and unlike mmo's of my very long past of playing mmo's, or games in general, I made the decision before I began my GW2 journey that this time, I was not paying a subscription, and as such I was not going to consume the entire content in under a week as I have done recently in mmo's like tsw, swtor, rift, and many other subscription based games.     While I enjoyed playing them all for their own uniqueness, I bored of them in short order at end game as, well end game really did become end of the game for me.. 

GW2, is different in that there is no end game (see note at end of post), there is only game.   Game that has so many different options, if I tire of one weapon set I move to the next, if I tire of the one map I move to another, each map has TONES of tiny discoveries, be they chest of wonderous treasure or tropheys I need bring back to an NPC somewhere on the map.    I can climb the highest mountains and look down on the world in amazement at it's detail, beauty, and all of its glory mesmerizes me.  

I can, if I choose, decide I might want to earn every achievemnt the game has to offer, that might take a while as killing 10,000 of one mob, and 10,000 of another is time consuming.   Perhaps today I will spend some time in WvW, or just explore the depths of oceans, maybe strap on some snowshoes and a winter parka and take a hike in the high mountains or snowy plains.   I might like to hop into a swim suit and go for a swim and take my trusty shark out for some exercise and take a bite out a brooding witch.   I never know what I am going to do, untill I do it.   And that is what keeps me logging in every day.

I am not going to say GW2 is the best thing that has happened to the MMO world since the timely introduction of WoW that made a stirr at the right time in order to capture the interest of the younger generations ( umm at 43, most other gamers are younger generations to me) entering the mmo world with its colorful content then considered to be pretty darn good, you know, at the time, for a cartoony styled mmo, that kids could play. ( lol sorry can never resist a WoW stab, sorry fanboiz ). I will however say it is certainly a refreshing change from the 0 to level Cap in 3 to 5 days, run "nightmare", "Expert", "Hero", "WHAT EVER" mode instances and raids for the rest of the game till you have all the best gear then wait for a patch or some new content that might start that best gear grind all over again.  Because that sh..t gets old fast.

I cant say at this point how long it will take me to reach 80, or level cap, what ever it will be when I get there, nor can I say if the day will come that I reach "end game" in GW2, and I know I said GW2 has no end game... but you have to see through my eyes to understand the only true end game of any game, is when I no longer play the game.  End Game is just that, the end of MY game.

 

GAME OVER

Fri Oct 05 2012 4:14PM Report

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