Ding 80! Again. For the fifth time, in fact. Yay me!
Elementalist this time round. Last time it was Warrior and before that, in reverse order of dingage, Necromancer, Engineer and Ranger.
I have never had this many max-level characters in an MMO that hasn't even released its first expansion, let alone one that isn't yet six months old. When they talked about a flat leveling curve they weren't kidding.
When I first mentioned my plan to have a max-level character of all eight classes, however, I was. Kidding myself if I thought it would ever happen. Well, the joke is on me now, but am I laughing?
I did fancifully imagine that one day, one distant day, several years in the future perhaps, I might possibly level most of the classes to eighty. The ones that interested me, anyway. It could be a little project to whittle away at if I had nothing much else on. Now here I am with five of them done in less than five months.
Leveling in GW2 is both easy and fun. Anything works. As a Ranger I explored the world from end to end. I also crafted and followed about half of my Personal Story. Everything was new. I didn't know any better.
As a member in good standing of the Order of Whispers, a Master Leatherworker and with 50% Map completion, you could say my Ranger is my most complete character. The Engineer followed a similar route but hit 80 with just 36% of the map boxes ticked, no crafts completed and no orders joined. No-one else even comes close,(well, my necro's a Master Chef, but that hardly counts. Who'd eat a pie cooked by a necromancer?).
The Warrior, Necro and Elementalist did the majority of their leveling in WvW, which is supposedly the slowest option that isn't outright crazy, like leveling entirely by harvesting or doing 1-80 in a single map, both of which I am sure someone is working on right this moment. Even so, it only takes about three weeks.
The question I'm asking myself isn't "Why am I doing this?". That's easy - it's fun. The question I'm asking that's harder to answer is "What am I doing this for?"
Let me clarify: when I've got eight level 80 characters, one of each class, just what exactly am I going to do with them? I have never played an MMO where I felt so "done" with a class once I'd maxed it. I always feel somewhat like that, but here it's turned up to eleven.
I can't even summon up the enthusiasm to get level 80 gear for them. The ranger got a lovely Exotic bow, crafted by Mrs Bhagpuss's ranger, when he dinged and he made himself a Rare coat and trousers, but even back then I ran out of enthusiasm before I'd barely begun. The rest of his gear is just random yellows, greens and even a few blues scavenged out of dragon chests and so forth. I did look at getting him various Exotics but to be honest I just couldn't be bothered.
Still, he's by far the best -dressed of all my 80s. The rest of them, by and large, carry on in whatever they were wearing when they dinged, augmented by whatever they happen across on the increasingly rare occasions they find themselves logged in. Anything I need them to do they seem to be able to do just fine, so what's the point of gearing them up?
And if you don't want to gear your characters up, you don't need to do dungeons or fractals - maybe take a run through now and again to see them and take some screenshots, but that's it. You don't even really need Karma or coin or Badges of Honor. It all just accumulates and sits in my banks.
So the train rolls on. Next up is Thief, I think, because I didn't enjoy Guardian and I've just leveled two Light casters in a row so I don't want to move straight to a third with the Mesmer. I've never got on with thief classes in any MMO before so it could be an interesting month.
The future for Tyria looks "interesting" in general, though. I'm less than impressed with the way GW2 appears to be heading, something I mean to expand on here soon. I just hope that by the time my project is completed, probably around Easter at this pace, and I have a choice of all classes at eighty, I can find something to do with them.
If not, I still have a couple of spare character slots. Maybe it's worth seeing if Asura make better rangers than Charr. And after that, I can always buy more character slots. Or another account...