GW2HoT – That Was Fun

To follow up a bit on Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns, I played it a lot right up until the day that Fallout 4 came out, and I haven’t logged in a single time since. Which suggests that I was deluding myself for those few weeks I was playing it and having fun.

Okay, that’s not true. I got my money’s worth. It felt like the good old days after GW2 launched when it seemed like this game had re-invented MMORPGs and changed everything. I really enjoyed leveling a Revenent from 1 to 80 (well, 30 to 80). The Revenent is fun to play. I liked playing through the old zones again. I liked the smaller-scale dynamic events and hanging out at the huge 500-man circular-firing squads where it took seconds to down the world bosses.

A whole new generation of GW2 players are discovering these events.
A whole new generation of GW2 players are discovering these events.

But then I got to level 80. And, per ArenaNet’s no-progression-in-the-endgame design philosophy, the fun part of the game ended.

Knowing that my character is never going to get any better at anything really dampens my enthusiasm for continuing to play GW2. I suppose that means that I like vertical progression games. I guess I don’t understand this new-fangled “horizontal progression” thing all the kids are doing.

I didn’t get very far into the new zones. I think I finished five of the new story chapters, which only took me into the second new zone. The Heart of Thorns story is definitely better than the Living Story, but it’s not interesting enough to justify the effort it requires to get through the world. If you find and stick to a zerg, the event chains are kind of fun (in that chaotic, every-man-for-himself way that GW2 is famous for), but it gets repetitive and tiring pretty quickly.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll return to GW2 eventually, but there are a lot of other games to catch up on.


One thought on “GW2HoT – That Was Fun”

  1. The “horizontal progression” of GW2 is mostly smoke and mirrors. It has a kind of soft vertical progression now. The material difference to your character’s ability to progress in the game is directly tied to gaining certain new abilities. Hiving those off into separate progression lines rather than attaching them directly to your “level” doesn’t create horizontal progression. It simply splits vertical progression into a series of spiral steps that eventually curve around to meet at a higher platform.

    This is just the first expansion. ANet claim GW2 is the game they will be operating and earning a living from for the foreseeable future. If they follow this model then in a few years’ time the gap not so much in raw power but in the ability to complete most of the content in the game (including much of the content in the original maps and, especially, in WvW) between characters who have worked through the progression lines in the expansions and those who haven’t will be as wide as it is in any dedicated Vertical Progression game.

    It’s very clear they’ve worked out that it’s the more addictive personalities of the vertical levelers who bring in the dollars.

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