WvW Season In GW2

I saw an announcement recently about the start of the Guild Wars 2 World versus World "season." I personally have never gotten into the WvW thing in GW2, so I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about a new season. Conceptually I like the idea of jumping in there, zerging around for a while, and leaving, but it never seems to work out that way.

First of all, I’ve never been a fan of PvP in any MMO, because it’s inherently random. Two opponents of equal skill level should theoretically play to a 50/50 win/loss ratio over time. However, thanks to the random factor, you might go higher or lower than that ratio due to forces beyond your control. I just find it irritating to get killed by a random crit. Therefore I never go anywhere alone in PvP settings.

That leaves running with the zerg, which is fun for a short time, but once you realize that the zerg is not executing some devious master plan, and is in fact just running around randomly, you start to wonder why you’re wasting your time. Especially when you see that if everyone would just go over there and take that objective, your team could make a lot of points, but the zerg is more concerned with facerolling one lone guy running away over a hill.

Beyond that, the biggest problem I have with WvW is finding the zerg. Those battleground maps in GW2 are frickin’ enormous. I used to find myself zoning in and running and running and running and never finding anyone or anything. Everyone is always bunched up in one tiny little area, while the rest of the map is a wasteland.

Also, I don’t feel any compelling urgency to win WvW games. I mean, you don’t get anything, do you? You certainly don’t lose anything if you lose. And people get so worked up about it. Someone is always yelling at you in chat for not putting your entire soul into winning battles. Who cares? You get the same loot and XP whether you win objectives or not.

At least it was like that last time I played WvW, which admittedly was many, many months ago.

Tequatl’s On The Juice

I usually stick to one MMORPG at a time, play it until I get bored, then move to the next one. This week though I’ve been firing up a different one every night. The latest one was Guild Wars 2.

I got sucked into this session right away. I had last logged out in Sparkfly Fen on the beach where Tequatl attacks. I went there to see the new-and-improved Tequatl event I keep hearing so much about, but it wasn’t running when I got there, so I just logged out. Well it was running this time, and damn.

Previously, it only took a few minutes to blast him down to nothing. All you had to do was run in and stand next to him and whack away, then collect your loot. Nobody ever got hurt unless they were extremely unlucky. It was so easy I used to stand around and take screenshots of it:

Say cheese, Tequatl!
Say cheese, Tequatl!

It’s definitely not like that anymore. :) I don’t know the lore behind this, but Tequatl sure did buff himself up. Now there are players running around everywhere, Risen everywhere, from Normal ones to Veteran ones to Champion ones, and Fingers everywhere, and damage circles everywhere, and corpses everywhere, and a vast roar of noise from every angle. The difficulty has been multiplied by about one thousand, and that’s without even getting anywhere near the actual dragon.

Tequatl

Though we had what seemed like thousands of players in the area taking on the Risen hordes and the dragon, when the time limit ran out and we failed the event, I would say that Tequatl still had about 90% of his health left. Holy crap.

Hey, don't tread on me.
Okay, you won already, you don’t have to stand on my corpse.

Great fun, though. Massive dynamic world events are the greatest addition to MMOs since the dancing emote.

Greens and Blues

Am I crazy or did GW2 make green items better than blue items, which is 100% the opposite of every other MMO in history? Did they just arbitrarily pick the colors or is there some logic to it? Somebody “on the Internet” said blue < green < yellow makes more sense because it follows the color wheel. But, like, green < blue < purple follows the color spectrum (ROYGBIV).

Pointers in Games

Guild Wars 2 is an awesome game. But there is one thing about it that drives me insane. In fact, I have the same problem with almost every game that has a pointer.

You can’t see the pointer!

This is a major problem in GW2 because many of your abilities are ground-targeted spells, so you need to be able to point to the spot where you want to cast it. (I use the option that automatically casts wherever you are pointing.) If you’re out soloing it’s not a problem, but many times you’re in an epic battle with fifty people pounding on a boss and there’s flashing and fireworks and dazzling spell effects going on all over the place. Picking out the pointer in those situations is near impossible for me. Even when I wave the mouse around like I do on the desktop, it can still take a long time to find the damn thing.

Now I’ll admit I’m an aging gamer, so I’m sure my eyes are part of the problem, but surely there must be some way to solve this problem. Like, for example, making the freakin’ pointer bigger when you’re in combat. Like, a LOT bigger. Like 10 times bigger. And put a shadow around it. And make it blink.

Necromancer Daggers

Whoa.. I knew that Necromancer had melee-ish capability when you equip
daggers, but I didn’t realize until last night just how much raw
damage it puts out. I’ve been using a Staff or Axe/Dagger combo, but
last night I decided to try out Dagger/Dagger again, and holy crap I
was suddenly killing stuff super fast.
I’m still not really happy with the Necro’s AoE capabilities. I
haven’t found any decent AoE damage spells (compared to the
Elementalist at least); it’s mainly AoE debuffs, which are not
terribly useful in PvE events. I mean they are useful, but everyone
just blasts AoE damage so debuffs aren’t necessary. By the time the
debuff spell finishes, all the mobs are dead anyway.
I got into WvW for the second time last night (after an hour in a
queue). I am not really sure why people think it’s fun. It’s full all
the time, but the map appears to be approximately 1000 times too big
for the number of people that are in it.

Guild Wars 2 Head Start Weekend

The hype is finally over and Guild Wars 2 is out (if you pre-purchased
it, that is). After being down Saturday morning, GW2 worked flawlessly
for the rest of the weekend. Usually the hype far overshadows the
actual game. But in this one rare case, it’s possible that the hype
was justified.

Let’s talk about Guild Wars 1 for a second. I never got into it.
Certain things just bugged me. Mainly the lack of a jump. I’m not one
of those people that bunny hops everywhere, but I never realized how
often I jumped until it was missing. The other thing I couldn’t get
past was left-clicking everything instead of right-clicking.

So when I first logged into GW2, I was dreading having to live without
jumping and right-clicking. Imagine my delight when I was configuring
my controls (for ESDF, as I have to do for every single PC game huge
sigh
) and found a jump key! And I was even more delighted when I got
to the first NPC and was able to right-click to activate him!

I won’t go into the actual gameplay, because you can find ten thousand
writeups and videos on that elsewhere. I’ll just go straight into my
commentary.

GW2 is awesome. Really. You should get it. That’s it, nothing else to
say about it. Run, don’t walk, to your browser; buy it and download
it.

I say that having only reached level 15 or so (out of 80). I have no
idea what the “endgame” is like, or if there even is an endgame. (In a
game that has no subscription fee, one has to wonder why they would
bother with endgame content.) All I know is that between the story
quests and the public quests and the dynamic events, it is hella fun
for the first 15 levels, and each race has a different first 15
levels, so there is a lot to do for an altoholic like me.

I have not really decided on my “main” yet. I started with a
Necromancer but it doesn’t seem to have a lot of impact in a group
situation. I really like the versatility of the Elementalist, though,
so maybe I’ll stick with that one. Then again, the Engineer has a
bunch of cool turrets and stuff. (I still don’t understand why people
keep putting high-tech engineer classes in these allegedly medieval
MMOs.) And the Hunter has nifty pets. And … and … and …

Guild Wars 2 Head Stop

Well I thought it would be a nice Saturday. I’d get up, log into the Guild Wars 2 Head Start along with the rest of the entire Internet, and have a nice morning of adventure. But nooooooo. It’s been down for two hours now. Not just intermittent connectivity issues; we’re talking 100% dead. And the information coming out of ArenaNet is somewhat lacking. About once an hour we get something like, “We’re looking into connectivity issues. Thanks for your patience.”