Herbie inspired gasp of approval up because it occurred to me that a lot of what I write about GW2, both here and in comments on other blogs, not to mention much of what I say out loud at home, may come across as overly negative. If so, that doesn't accurately reflect the experience I'm having in game. I'm having a whale of a time.
I woke up this morning intending to carry on in much the same vein. That was until I read this excellent piece at Healing The Masses. It helped quite a few things fall into place and made sense of some confusion I've been having lately over why it is that I find myself disapproving of so much about the way GW2 seems to be going yet at the same time having so much fun playing it.
GW2 is turning out to be an entirely different experience than I anticipated, and indeed than the experience I was having in beta and for the first few months after launch. It's no longer the game we were "promised" or the game we were sold and far from breaking any molds or creating any new paradigms it increasingly appears to be looking back to long-established MMO tropes for inspiration.
|...and over the next hill? Another hill...|
Then came the Karka and with them Fractals and Ascended gear and we all know where that went. What hadn't really sunk in with me until today was how much my own expectations have changed as a result of what happened back in November. Effectively, GW2 turned into roughly the same kind of MMO as EQ2 or Rift and my approach to playing it adapted accordingly without my really noticing.
|Might have been better if we'd let them win|
That they seem to have been accepted as a rite of passage by a substantial segment of the playerbase shouldn't surprise me, given that I was there when Epics were introduced to Everquest. Epics, however, were extremely powerful weapons that made your EQ character substantially more capable in combat. Legendaries just look pretty. So, yes I am surprised. Apparently Barbie went Hardcore while I wasn't looking.
|Life begins at 40|
Bleak, that is, if they are the kind of players who value efficiency, who want to be the best they can be, who are, for want of a more elegant term, Min-Maxers. I'm not. Never have been, never will be. And that's part of why I'm still having a roaring old time in Tyria.
J3w3l comments on leveling alts "The different classes are a lot of fun to play even if leveling them isn’t..." but of course for me it is. I love leveling and GW2 offers enormous variety and potential. My seventh run through, Mesmer, is half-way there. She dinged 40 yesterday. I'm already impatient to get her to 80 so I can start my second ranger, an Asura this time, and play him or her up through a lot of the Southern areas I don't really know very well. And since I have no intention of getting Ascended gear for any of my characters, there's no sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach at the prospect of adding another to the roster.
|Why would you want to?|
Like many MMOs before, where I had ample opportunities and offers to go raiding, for example, I find I have more than enough things I want to be getting on with already. As Calvin and Hobbes would say, the days are just packed. I still don't like or approve of the direction GW2 has taken, something I may examine in more detail another time, but I absolutely can live with it so long as I keep finding this much content that I'm both eager and able to do.
|Don't need to tell me twice!|
I have a lot of max level characters to dress. Most of them were in Masterwork greens with a smattering of Rare yellows before this change. Steadily those greens are being replaced by yellows and the yellows I can't use are being converted into ectos to become exotics. Mrs Bhagpuss has looted Final Rest twice, along with a couple of other named weapons. I haven't been so lucky but I open every chest in the knowledge that this could be the time.
It's exciting, it's satisfying, it's entertaining and it's easy. I think it's time I admitted to myself that after a decade and a half that may not be all I want from an MMO but it's enough to be going on with, at least until something better comes along. And if nothing better does come along, well I'm having fun and that's the important part.
|Everyone loves fireworks|
Same place as every other MMO, then.