Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair: GW2

Yesterday MassivelyOP  dropped the bombshell that we'd all been dreading. The next chapter of GW2's Living Story might be slightly delayed! Oh, Noes! How will we cope? Is there counselling available?

I was unable to stop myself from commenting on the thread (which has mushroomed in just a little less than twenty-four hours to an astonishing six comments) that I'd personally be happy to see ANet drop the Living Story altogether. I would, too.

I've been playing GW2 for six years, give or take. I have three accounts and I play each of them, every day. I long ago stopped caring whether we get any new content. I'm quite happy with the content we've got. I do my dailies, I run around in WvW and if I'm in the mood I pick away at odds and ends I haven't done yet - which is pretty much everything.

Can I help you? Spit it out, man, time is money!

I have thousands and thousands of hours played. I have nearly twenty characters. I've never done Map Completion or finished the Personal Story on any of them. I've never crafted (or bought) a Legendary Weapon. There are dozens - maybe hundreds - of Achievements I don't have and Collections I haven't finished. Or, for that matter, started.

As I've mentioned before, I strongly prefer the uncelebrated efforts of the team that produces the Side Stories and Current Events to the heavily-publicized, usually disappointing, Living Story chapters. Their work is on a scale I can understand and appreciate and the results seem much better integrated, much less disruptive, more "of the world".

I'm not sure who was responsible for Sitting In Chairs. It might have been the Current Events people or maybe it was just part of the regular housekeeping all MMOs undergo. The ability to park your posterior reached Tyria a month or two back. I did register it at the time. I knew there was a collection or an achievement or something. It wasn't until yesterday that I finally got around to looking at it properly.

Whoever hung that painting needs to find another line of work.

That was when I found out the reward was a title - Armchair Commander. Titles are one of the few things that can motivate me to do something I otherwise wouldn't in an MMO. I really wanted that title. Otherwise I don't imagine I'd have had the patience to traipse around forty-two locations, looking at upholstery.

I only had to mention the title to Mrs Bhagpuss, who also hadn't paid it any attention until then, and she was off looking for chairs too. It was going to be a race but somehow she managed to get motion-sickness from all the sudden sitting down and standing up and had to retire to bed, so I finished mine first. (She did later recover to get all forty-two safely by taking it slow and steady. Who knew sitting could be so dangerous?).

As I criss-crossed Tyria in search of seats as yet unsat in, following Dulfy's detailed but not entitrely necessary guide (most of the seats are actually in clusters next to each other), I marvelled once more at how perfectly suited GW2 is to offer full-function player housing and how peculiar it is that instead the developers choose to give us nothing but extremely impersonal Personal Instances. I'm still betting on Housing as a major feature for XPack #3. Possibly underwater.

Locked room mystery solved: they got in through the skylight.

Finding all forty-two chairs took a couple of hours and very enjoyable hours they were. It would have been a lot less if it hadn't been for that one chair in Rata Sum that needs either a glider or a mount to reach. I had to get a Mesmer out for that one to port in one of Mrs Bhagpuss's characters. It did make me wonder why they picked such an obscure location but maybe it's a unique design. Or someone just thought it would be funny.

Like the Othmir holiday I praised yesterday, this is exactly the kind of content I want. Some things to find and a nice present for finding them. GW2 has a fair bit of that kind thing but it's often well-hidden.

Whenever I make the effort and do one of the little scavenger hunts, collections or round-robin visits, I feel surprisingly satisfied - pleased with myself, even. I can't say I ever feel like that at the end of a Living Story episode - more like exhausted, enervated or annoyed.

My Krewe doeshn't unnershtan' me, Joe...

I can say with confidence that I've had more pleasure doing the Krait daily that came with the underwater revamp than I got from any of the recent LS material. I kill ten Krait on each account every day, take my Rusted Key and go looking for a Sunken Chest that works (there's some weird timer on the spawn now). It's fun.

I've fallen out of the habit of doing the Joko Invasions, now reduced to Remnants, but I really enjoyed those for a good while, just like I enjoyed the Bandits before them, and the Ley Energy and all that stuff before that. And it's all still there, too. I hear people every day, calling out Bandit Champions and Legendaries in map chat or trying to co-ordinate a response when The Awakened portal in.

This is what an MMORPG needs, at least it does to my way of thinking. This and more of this and more of this again. This is the true "living story". The quarterly content drop is just a distraction.

No need to fret about those "quality standards", Mike. You go ahead and take all the time you need. We're fine as we are.

I think I'll go for a bit of a sit down.

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