It’s coming up on the first anniversary of Guild Wars 2. I honestly can’t believe it. So much has happened, but in many ways it feels like it was just yesterday that the game was releasing. A lot has happened in the GW2 scene, both in game and in the community surrounding it. In many ways, it feels like this was ANet’s freshman year in college. There were so many ways they could go, so much they could do, and they needed to do some experimentation and soul searching to figure out where they wanted to end up. As we close the year, I think ANet is ready to declare its major, metaphorically speaking.
There’s a new blog post today. I’m going to assume that anyone reading this blog has read it already, but in case you haven’t, check it out. The major theme of this post was quality of life. There have been a lot of things that have been frustrating much of the dedicated player base with regard to end-game elements and time:reward ratios. It was a huge info-dump, which as coincidence would have it is my favorite type of info-dump.
Colin talked about everything ranging from Living Story, new character progression, new crafting, crafting precursors and ascended gear, WvW, magic find, dungeons, champion rewards, and some casual mentions of PvP and expanding into new markets. While I have thoughts on all of these things, I’m going to limit this post to discussing crafting and magic find. While I am fairly excited for new skills and traits, there isn’t a lot of meat to get into there.
Things have been pretty interesting lately in the GW2 development sphere. When I last wrote about the state of things, we were just coming into the last phases of the return to Southsun. I mentioned previously that I thought the Living Story (LS) had a lot of promise. It gives ways to revitalize oft-ignored areas of the world, it gives ways to have targeted market manipulation via zone-specific buffs and/or drops, and it gives a way to extend the storytelling aspect on a frequent basis. I still believe all of these things. Apparently, so does ANet. According to Eurogamer, ANet plans to dive head first into crazy-land and has no plans for expansions for at least the next two years, planning to focus entirely on LS and core gameplay updates like LFG tools. In other words:
As we’re moving into the final phase of the final phase of our second installment of the Living Story, I thought I would take a few minutes to take a step back and review what we’ve seen from this experiment, and what we have learned. It seems that ANet is really trying to make this content work, and since it is new territory for both them and us, they are trying different things out. We started with a 3 month long series, Flame and Frost, and are about to finish the 3-ish week long Southsun arc.
I honestly don’t have much to say about the SAB. All I can say is that it’s amazing. Once again, ANet has given us some really, truly fantastic free content with some great skins to attain. As a child of the 90’s, this hits me in all the right places. The phenomenal music, the amazing commercial, and general aesthetics are just so spot on. It’s like playing all the games of my childhood all at once, all wrapped into a package that rewards me with kick-ass skins. Really, hat’s off ANet. I really hope you add the future levels, I think the community welcomes the distraction from their Legendary quests or whatever else they are occupied with.
Also, the addition of both infantile mode, and a plethora of much more difficult achievements have really ensured that players of all skill levels can find something to enjoy. Whether you just want to see the scenes and experience nostalgia frisson, or be awarded with the Distinction in Applied Jumping title for completing everything, the SAB has it all. Kudos.
It’s been almost 4 months since my last post. It feels crazy to write that out, but the time has surely flown. Real life has gotten in the way of a lot of things, and this blog was surely one of the first things to get neglected. However, I’m still playing the game, now more than ever (except launch of course), and I have been thinking a lot about the current state of the game. As always, I have a few criticisms of some of the design decisions and/or implementations. On the whole, the game is still quite solid and thriving. However, I feel that one of their central tenants, “Play the game your way”, has mostly fallen to the wayside. A more accurate slogan would be, “Play the game your way, unless you want to earn money or actually gear more than one character.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything here. Mostly, I’ve just been really busy, both with real life and with playing. With all the flurry of activity surrounding Halloween and the Lost Shores, I’ve found myself with quite a lot to cover, and quite a bit to say about it. There have been some highs, and some lows in the past few weeks, and I think that Guild Wars 2 is in for some turbulent waters as they chart their future course.