This week has been severely under-productive in light of my lofty Guild Wars 2 goals, but that's not a bad thing. Pippy Peat, the sad yet determined I-think-I-can Mesmer has wielded his two-handed greatsword with gusto and has been fighting a valiant fight.
The jarring emptiness of Metrica Province has left me wondering whether some of GW2's events are scaling improperly, are set too high, or aren't scaling at all. Nevertheless, there were plenty of events for me to take part in, and they've been my main source of experience for this week's Choose My Adventure. I've also come across some bugs and glitches that Massively's resident GW2 expert, Elisabeth Cardy, has helped me with.
My greatsword is proving incredibly handy, mixed with clones of myself to distract the Inquest and random grumpy animals. I couldn't resist zapping some of the innocent critters littering the landscape. I'm sorry. Pippy is a sad, depressed, maybe narcissistic little Mesmer. Every once in a while, he takes his aggression out on the local fauna.
Setting up a reasonable amount of polls is proving to be difficult. There are so many options for traits, weapons, and skills. It's staggering. Instead of trying to be all-inclusive for every aspect of the game, I'm trying to take into consideration how readers feel from votes and comments and use that as a guide. So what has Pippy has gotten himself into this week?
Pippy's sad plight is that he must own events. Events are fun but a bit lonesome, which morphs the dynamic aspect of the game into a feeling of old-fashioned grinding. As I hopped from event to event in Metrica Province, I was alone for the majority of the time. This lessened the fun a smidge as time grew longer, and I relied heavily on events to level up. At times I was very plainly repeating events, using the same finger-katas every time, much as I would when doing dailies in Runes of Magic.
ArenaNet has hidden grind well in Tyria, especially when a couple of other players are around to cooperate in events. Add in personal story, crafting as progression, and the daily achievement with its bonus XP, and they break gameplay up. It feels like a well-formatted article, with nicely spaced paragraphs and pictures to break up the text.
I've chosen my healing and first tier of utility skills based on last week's poll. I purchased five skills in order of popularity. I like how that turned out and will do that again with the next tier. What should I do with my second tier?%Poll-78831%
I also get to have another choice in weapon(s) to swap out in combat. Obviously greatsword won't be on the poll, but there are still a lot of choices, so choose your favorite.%Poll-78808%
I actually didn't do a lot of map completion. I opted to ignore most skill points and vistas in favor of leveling up faster with events. I did stop to do a lot of harvesting, as that gets you about as much XP as killing does and it goes toward completing the daily achievement. And that reminded me that I need to pick two crafting disciplines. I'll assign the two that get the highest votes.%Poll-78822%
Pippy has also attained the illustrious level of 13, and I unlocked his first tier of traits. This will be interesting, as there are so many to choose from. There are five trait lines with several individual traits in each one to highly customize a character. Combining those with armor stats and personalized skills and weapons, I couldn't be happier. These are the kind of choices and options I've always wanted!%Poll-78842%
I've always described GW2's combat as a hybrid of a first-person shooter and an MMO, which is usually met with disagreement, but hear me out. Sure, you can see your character in a third-person perspective, but are the actions that you can perform that much different from gameplay in an FPS? When I think of third-person, I picture Tomb Raider with its mechanics that differ from an FPS, but GW2's controls make me feel much more as if I'm dodging, strafing, and aiming as I do in an FPS. Whether it's in an FPS or TPS, the mechanic provides freedom from needing to funnel the possible builds into a few min-maxed arrangements. Take what you want; play it however you want.
Pippy's adventures are far from over, and I can't wait to return to Tyria to see how far I can push him. You voted for me to move on to Brisban Wildlands after I finish with Metrica Province. I hope to be able to take him clear through that zone, but once again, I'm asking you to choose what style of gameplay I concentrate on for the next week. Do I stay with PvE, move on to try some WvWvW, or start ranking up in structured PvP? There's also a personal storyline that you could choose.%Poll-78817% GW2 is an MMO that was created for me. The developers, no doubt, sat around brainstorming with one question on their minds: How can we please Jeremy? They succeeded, but I also miss being able to ride around on a mount and getting to decorate a house, and there's something about the game that's more game-y than MMO-y.
Next week I want to get into more visceral gameplay to better express how it feels, to explore the nuggets of interesting content hidden in the corners, and to leave you with a solid impression of what makes it similar to and different from other MMOs. Showing you some video doesn't hurt either.
I leave you with a short video of mixed gameplay footage containing some of my incongruent thoughts, and I look forward to seeing the poll results.
Jeremy Stratton needs more MMOs to play. Seriously. The imaginary doctor who lives in his head gave him a prescription. The problem is, he's too flighty. He never knows just what MMO to try or how long to stick with it in order to get the most of it. That's why he needs you to tell him what game to play and how to play it every Wednesday in Choose My Adventure!