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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: Slowing It Down & Savoring the World

Posted by Meleagar Monday June 11 2012 at 10:40AM
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I'm about as casual a player as you can get.  Even this Beta Weekend, I probably only played about 5-6 hours total. In that time I played one character, and leveled from 11 to 12. Most of the time I spent walking (yes, walking, not running) around in my city clothes in Hoelbrak, Lion's Arch and Divinity's Reach. I felt no sense of urgency or "hurry up" to my gameplay.  In fact, I didn't even feel like I was playing a game. I felt like I was walking around in a new world, getting used to it, enjoying it. Listening to conversations, watching people (NPC's) do their thing, etc.

The world that Anet has created is truly a marvel.  Every other MMOG I've played always felt "dead" when I was off by myself wandering around.  This world doesn't feel that way - NPCs are always talking, bartering, playing, going somewhere, doing something; in cites, on roads, on the beaches, by the rivers.  And the detail is just astounding - so much to see and hear!  Everywhere, in every nook and cranny.  I found myself following or hanging around NPCs just to check out their clothes and gear.  They've got such cool, detailed stuff!

When the guild I'm in got together for a family picture, I don't know how long we just goofed off together in Divinity's Reach.  That was probably the most fun I've had in a game in a long time - no pressure, no "hurry up", no min-max rules, no gear grind.  Just goofing off and having fun. How refreshing.

As I sauntered through the various towns and nearby areas in my slick sunglasses, I must have heard a dozen NPC conversations that were obviously openings to events or exp gaining activities. I would walk over and start up a conversation and get the general instructions/info, but I didn't follow up on any of it this time. I just wanted to see what walking around would feel like and what it had to offer.

GW2's Tyria is a world that has a lot to offer for those that will take the time to savor it. As for me, when the game goes live I'm taking my time - I'm not even going to think about leveling. I'm just going to enter the world and do stuff that I find interesting and enjoyable, and stop and smell the roses along the way.