[GW2] Breaking Through my Wall

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?



8 thoughts on “[GW2] Breaking Through my Wall

  1. I’ve been playing the story line through. There are three basic story lines (one each for teh Vigil, Whispers, and Priory) that have largely different blocks, although there is overlap, especially at the high levels.

    I would concur that the first 25ish levels are fun, and then there is a LONG set of ladder levels to the end.

    So, how did I get past this?

    3 of my characters are playing the 3 different story lines. Generally, I’ve been fully exploring each zone – all the hearts, vistas, skill points, waypoints, and points of interest – to get the bonus xp.

    Once I hit the mid-20’s lull, I do crafting (xp you make while crafting counts as regular XP, so you can level at the crafting table). There are about 7-10 levels of XP in working a skill from 0-400.

    And then there’s WvW. I found a guild that does a lot of WvW, and you can make a few levels quickly in an evening if you’re in an efficient group/zerg.

    So basically:

    1-25 story + explore
    25-40 WvW + story + explore
    40-60 craft + WvW
    60-80 WvW + story + craft

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  3. Great post.

    I find my interest tapers off somewhere in the 20s to 30s too. You are right that the gear looks aren’t exciting or something you’d strive for and honestly the story is pretty tame to put it mildly, so there’s little drive there to keep going. I find that eventually the only thing that interests me is the environment. Not something that will drive you to grind out levels. Ofc. I don’t pvp, so maybe that’s where the 20s – 30s hooks are located. /shrug.

  4. In my opinion you are approaching this with the wrong mindset. There is no desperate need to reach maximum level.

    Once you are lvl80, the play options are just the same as at lvl20, except the list of suitable zones/instances expands and you can complete the whole personal story.

    The sole exception is WvW, where a lvl80 is much stronger than a scaled-up lvl20, but even there a lvl20 can help capture points, lay down combo fields, carry supply, coordinate tactics, etc.

    Best idea is to forget what level you are, ignore the XP bar, just play the game and have fun for its own sake and if you happen to reach certain numerical milestones that’s a bonus.

    Also, continue to experiment with different classes/weapons. You may find a combination which better suits your playstyle.

  5. Part of the fun I had once I’d learned all the weapon abilities was trying out different combinations, and more importantly just practicing with them, figuring out the best circumstances in which to use them. While this may not be terribly difficult when you’re running about in the open world, it can still be fun if you deliberately challenge yourself (pull multiple enemies, go to zones a few levels higher than you, etc.)

    Events, I just tend to go along with when they’re there, and if I miss them, no big deal. You’re really not missing out on much if you don’t happen to catch every single one, and they do repeat quite frequently so you can always just go back later if you want.

    I think part of the appeal of events is when a decent number of players show up to do them, as I find it makes me feel like I’m part of something, rather than just wandering about on my own.

    Dungeons. Ignore people who say there’s no challenge in them. There’s plenty of challenge even in the easier ones, especially if you’re new at them. The first dungeon, Ascalon Catacombs (in Plains of Ashford, the Charr starting zone) is available once you reach level 30. You get a mail about it, and subsequently for every other dungeon once you reach the required level (next one’s Caudecus’ Manor, level 40), and although the mail will show you where the dungeon entrance is, you still have to make your way there yourself.

    If you want to do a dungeon, just ask in map chat ( /m ), or in guild if you’re in one, and wait around for a bit. Depending on your server population, it can take a while to get 5 people assembled, though.

    I can’t speak to Elementalists (haven’t played one yet), but certainly I’m finding my Engineer to be the most fun so far, with all the weapon kits to play with. Mesmer is probably second, with a build based on spamming clones and shattering them, and then probably Guardian, with a sword|focus + greatsword setup for leaping about and blinding and burning 🙂

  6. I feel this exactly. I’m not sure if it’s the bland armor or the lack of new skills, but I hit 30 and then start thinking about a new alt. I guess trait points aren’t enough to keep me interested and WvW doesn’t currently have any progression rewards (this is supposed to change next month I hear). I guess I should put my head down and power through, but if the end game isn’t as awesome as everyone was hoping for, then I wonder why?

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  8. Thanks for the feedback folks – sorry about the delays in approving comments. Once approved you should be able to comment without further approval. Of course, me finding time to post any more topics… that’s another issue. Heh.

    In response; it could be a lot of the above – except the ‘mindset’ bit, I can only approach with the game with the mindset I bring with me. I like certain things in a game, a big part of that is having something to accomplish and strive for. So when I feel like I have everything I want for a class and all that is left is grinding out levels and hoping for cooler looking gear it just doesn’t seem so appealing.

    Admittedly, I feel less drawn to fantasy settings lately so it could be that more so than other things.

    Maybe it’s the push button type games? I was fine playing Skyrim, really enjoying it but it adds a lot more of what I like. An upgrade path, things to look forward to and some better AI (mostly). Oddly enough, you mostly just press one or two ‘action’ buttons in Skyrim but the results are fairly different and unique.

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