Sunday, February 4, 2018

Gold! : GW2

Only took me five and a half years!

My first dedicated WvW character was a Norn Elementalist and I played WvW only on my second account for some reason I can no longer remember. I didn't really start getting into world vs world properly for a few months and it took a lot longer than that before I began to gain a faint glimmer of understanding as to how it all worked.

At the start almost no-one took the ranks and titles seriously. ArenaNet stated that they'd designed the whole thing to fit the expected ten-year lifecycle of the game but for casual players ten years would be nothing like enough. Even for dedicated WvW specialists who played every day it was a lot to ask. 

Nevertheless, eventually the titles started to appear on players in the game. I have most of them now on my primary account, which became my main WvW account around the time rewards were added to the ranks in 2014. I play an Elementalist still but she's an Asura now, which somehow feels a lot faster and more exciting - probably because of the three feet and rising perspective.

Mrs Bhagpuss, who is both a much more skilled and a much more committed WvW player than I am, is already Gold rank on her secondary account. Her main is deep into Platinum. Most of the regular names I see, the characters who've been around for years, are probably Platinum or Mithril, although it's hard to be sure. An odd quirk of GW2 is that you can see your enemy's rank but not your friend's.

Some of the top Commanders and the really insane devoted are Diamond rank. I think I would be part of the actual carboniferous strata of the planet before I got there.

I would be a bit further on than I am if I did what just about everyone seems to do and ran boosters every time I played. I don't really like consumables in any MMO, mostly because I always forget to keep them in my bags. Not much use in the bank, which is where mine always are when I realize I want them.

These last few months, though, I've made an effort to keep some kind of bonus xp boost running when I follow the zerg and it does make a substantial difference.

I also find the steady progression of the ranks in WvW quite motivating. They are functionally meaningless other than for making you an increasingly attractive target for enemy players and the chests you get for "ranking up" almost never contain anything of interest. Even so, it's a form of leveling and in a game that makes a huge deal out of having no vertical progression that's very much not nothing.

One annoying thing about gaining a tier in rank is the way the rank titles cycle back to the beginning. It's somewhat disheartening to go from being a Legend back to being a mere Invader. Still, it's the color that counts and I'm very happy indeed to be gold at long last.

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