I’ve got an odd wall blocking me in GW2 and I can’t determine what exactly is causing it so I’m going to do what I normal do and just blather about it… and make all my readers suffer through it.
Where do I stall?
Mid-20s though my highest is mid-30s.
I admit, I floundered a lot trying to find a class I would like. I managed to get three to The Wall (my creation, not something specific to the game).
The first was a Norn Guardian, my highest, who I managed to get to level 35. I completed her personal story which was amusing and I appear to be getting into the next portion of the actual game story. By this point, I’ve unlocked all the weapon abilities (most people will have done this long ago), I’ve grabbed a bunch of talent abilities (including a 10 point one), I’ve explored (100%) several of the lower zones for Norns and I’m into the Human/Scar areas. I’ve done numerous events and heart quest areas, done vistas, skill changes, gathering and crafting to a comparable level of my toon and now I have little interest in continuing.
Problems that I can see?
I look a lot like I did when I first started playing. My armor has a scale look instead of a chain look. It’s rather boring and it hasn’t changed much in 30 odd levels. The evolution from chain to scale is minor, slow and sorta blah. Dyes only do so much. My weapons haven’t changed in appearance much either, though they are growing in power and strength, they’re nothing to get attached to.
Skills are also not changing. Once you unlock the weapon skills (which can be done really early) you’re pretty much continuing to use them through all the 80 levels. Yes, you can swap weapon sets giving you different abilities in the fight, they really aren’t all that different. They don’t change over the levels. I think I find this somewhat boring and doesn’t encourage me to continue.
With regard to the talent points you spend on abilities (Skills); certain ones seem to be of more value than others and I find myself using them over others. Obviously, some favor PVP and others PVE but once you’ve unlocked them, they are available for choice. I do like that there is a limitation, you can only have a certain number available at a time, it encourages choice… I like that. I don’t like that there really isn’t a lot to choose from. These abilities typically have lengthy cooldowns depending on what they do and how powerful they are. Again, I find a limited number interesting enough to pick and the others are just filler to gain access to the next tier of abilities. I think this is the core of my issue with continuing – I feel I have all the progression I need and won’t gain any more short of unsexy numeric gains (more health).
The other points you get are for traits which give you unsexy gains (numeric gains) with waypoints at (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30) that grant you extra effectiveness in line with the stat you are increasing. At the 10, 20, and 30 point you get to pick from a set which typically augments one of the Skills you pick up. It’s a nice system with a lot of choice available, a reasonable amount of complexity (lacking in other games) and synergies built in to encourage certain builds. The sort of thing I miss from other games (like WoW)… still, it doesn’t have any draw to me.
Dungeons – at level 30 I have yet to do a dungeon. I think I’ve stumbled on to only one so far. I hear it is probably a good thing I haven’t done a dungeon yet. Apparently they are a little lacking in reward and challenge – but that is hearsay. The fact that I don’t have an easy means of trying one out and that I’ve only seen one in 30 levels of play, leads me to believe that dungeons aren’t an important aspect of Guild Wars 2… which could be reasonable given it’s PVP focus. I think this is another pain point for me, I generally enjoy dungeons.
Lack of quests is an intentional design. They wanted things to be more dynamic, but what that really means is if you miss the event, you miss the quest. If you know where the event goes, you could try to find it and help out but if you don’t, then you can either move on or wait for it to start up again. That is assuming you even know one occurs there, if you don’t, you may wander by without even encountering it. They do have NPCs that will randomly run up to do you and tell you there are events happening near by and you might see an indicator on the map. I’m not really sure this is a better system than having quest hubs… it does feel more natural if you encounter it, but if you don’t, you miss out.
I come from a background of EverQuest where you had to run around and hail people, use keywords to get quest information and you didn’t have a quest log to track progress, you had to do that yourself. I say this so people reading this know I’m not a WoWbie where everything is handed to you.
I don’t like this dynamic event system. I can’t put my finger on why – the chance of missing something? The animatronic nature of it? If ever there was a ‘theme park’ mechanic, having rides that you hop onto and they run every few minutes seems to describe it better.
Lack of resources is another thing I don’t like. Character classes don’t exactly have resources limiting them – this is untrue for all cases, I realize this – instead they have cooldowns limiting the use of abilities. I don’t think I like this system as much as managing my resources. It comes down to managing cooldowns instead. Now I mention that it is untrue for all classes, examples of this are the Warrior who can build up Adrenalin then burn it in a powerful attack or Thieves who do have a limited resource they build up and consume, but ultimately, there is no limiting resource on something like an Elementalist short of cooldowns. Ultimately, this feels more like whack-a-mole than any real set pattern (again, some classes may be exceptions, like the Thief). There is a way around some of this, such as swapping weapon sets (which is encouraged by many classes gaining temporary boosts by swapping weapons) or changing elements (in the case of an Elementalist). Some pattern play can arise from this, but I find it less different.
I’ll take my Elementalist as an example. Regardless of what weapons I’m using (Elementalists don’t have the ability to swap weapon sets like other classes, instead they swap elements; Fire, Air, Water and Earth), each of the elements perform similar actions or results with the exception of Water which typically has a healing ability tied to it. So if I’m wielding a staff, my 1-5 abilities typically follow the same pattern between the elements. Button 1 is an AOE on the target, 2 is a cast timed DD (sometimes AOE), 3 is usually some sort of AOE sometimes with a slowing effect, 4 is almost always a movement ability while 5 is a targeted, channeled AOE. It doesn’t matter which element I’m in, the pattern remains (exception being Water, which typically has a heal effect added). The elements differ in the special effects (bleed, burn, heal, etc.) added, combinations opened (a lot of the placed AOE abilities can be used by other classes for additional effect) and appearance. The Elementalist can get around some of the cooldowns by switching elements, so if you’re not switching, you’re doing it wrong.
There are a lot of really neat ideas and systems in Guild Wars 2 which should appeal to me greatly (I love systems) but for some reason it doesn’t. I have no motivation to advance to the cap or continue playing once I’ve gotten far enough to see how a class plays and gain most of the abilities that interest me.
I have played the Guardian to 34, Elementalist and Warrior to mid-20s. I’ve played the Thief, Hunter and Necromancer into the teens. Nothing really sticks.
What motivates you to keep playing?
Anything I say stand out?
Is it the sum of all the little things that makes the game not last for me?