Last night I discovered that GW2 has a command called /age. It tells you how many hours you have logged, both for the character currently logged in and for the account. My Charr ranger has racked up 268 hours so far. The account he's on is at 345 hours. Map completion stands at 47%, which is exactly where it was last time I mentioned it more than a week ago.
To my way of thinking this points up one of the biggest difficulties in assessing the success of an MMO. GW2 is self-evidently working for me as a player: I'm logging in every day even though I have a wealth of other MMOs vying for my attention. My interest isn't waning and indeed the more comfortable I become with the systems and the world, the deeper and more abiding my interest becomes.
|Have snorkel, will travel|
Just over a month after launch a typical day's play has already settled into the following pattern:
|Me! Pick me!|
- Log in Charr Ranger, Level 80, almost certainly in Frostgorge Sound. If not, run there (not wasting two whole silver on a waypoint!).
- If Jormag's up, kill him. Anything from a few minutes to almost an hour, depending what stage the event's at. Grab loot from chest, grumble "No Yellows" in guild chat, sell loot at nearby vendor for six silver.
- If Jormag's not up, go to Orichalcum and Ancient Sapling nodes and harvest, unless there's been a server re-set, in which case run all over Frostgorge looking for where they hid the nodes this time.
- Kill one each of anything that might count for Kill Variety. Including rabbits.
- Report a dozen or so bots, some not for the first time.
- Log Charr Ranger out, log Asuran Engineer, Level 35 in. Probably in Ebonhawke these days. Find some events, harvest some nodes.
- Get distracted and end up spending half an hour trying to climb a rock or something equally productive.
- Realize time is getting on, Kill Variety is still at 11/15 and Daily Events at 1/5.
- Swap to Asuran Necromancer, Level 11, usually found at Cooking Station in Black Citadel. Go to Plains of Ashford, do four "dynamic" events in five minutes to finish Daily Achievement.
- Swap accounts. Do it all again, only minus Jormag and plus Wayfarer Foothills.
|One ram good, two rams better|
On a weekday that takes up much of the evening after work. At the weekend I get a lot more pottering done, write something like this about it and generally let my characters drift upwards as they wander around the maps I like.
Even by the highly inaccurate measuring-stick of Map Completion, as a player I have consumed less than half of the content available at launch and I'm well aware that the flagged content is only a taster of what's there to be found. Not that I'm making any significant attempt to find it. I've settled into a groove (you can call it a rut - I call it a groove) that suits me just fine.
|Comfortable? Why, yes I am, thanks for asking|
Isn't GW2 freakin' huge for an MMO at launch, anyway? The level cap could have clamped down at 50, we could have lost a race or two and a couple of starting cities and Blazeridge Steppes and Sparkfly could have been the end zones and it would still have launched as the biggest MMO for years. For me Tyria has already established itself next to Norrath, Telon and Telaria as places where I'm happy to spend unlimited hours for no better reason than I like being there. It doesn't need to grow, yet.
|I think we are in bots' alley...|
And that's why these things are so hard to assess. Some people are going to be finished in a few weeks, some will never finish. Some are already done, some are never going to catch up.
Enough, no more, 'tis not so sweet now as it was before. Oh, alright, yes it is! Go on then!