This thought occurred to me one night while I was running around in a FATE group in FFXIV: Why am I enjoying this zerg but when I play in a GW2 zerg in Escape from Lion’s Arch I want to gouge my own eyes out?
When I’m in a FFXIV zerg (or Rift, or most any other), I have a feeling of control. I’m filling a specific role, and when I execute my part of the plan, the whole group experience is better. I feel like I’m part of the team, one of the people working together, following some unspoken telepathic plan to reach the collective goal of loot and experience. When the enemy is killed, I have a sense of a job well done.
GW2 zergs are completely different. When I’m in a GW2 zerg, I feel like I’m all alone. I’m not a part of any whole, or on a team. I’m in the midst of a stampede or a swarm, buffeted back and forth on chaotic storm winds, swiping at anything that runs in front of me. I can’t see anything, I don’t have any control over anything, and my only goal is the stay alive in the hope that my swing might be the one that happens to kill the enemy. When it’s over I feel like a victim of a natural disaster.
I suppose it’s a matter of taste which experience is “better.” The GW2 experience is probably more “realistic” in terms of how actual combat would be: Fast, chaotic, and confusing. And it’s fun to a certain point. But GW2 zergs take a lot out of me. Whereas FFXIV zergs are sort of relaxing.