Global Chat: The MMO community’s Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire impressions

It is kind of impossible to stroll around the MMO blogging community as of late and not trip and fall into a pool of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire impressions and opinions. So why not dive in and see what lies under the surface of these experiences?

GamingSF suffered from technical issues that kept him from getting into the expansion initially, but when he did, he recognized that it had some “really nice features.” Why I Game concurs with this sentiment, noting that there are “a lot more nods to exploration this time around.”

“Story is okay, nothing amazing, some funny bits help, and I find it gets better as it progresses onward,” ECTmmo.com wrote. “The actual places you get to travel to and explore in this expansion are what makes it shine, well, that and the mounts.”

We’ve got even more Path of Fire impressions after the break, as well as a look at Star Trek Online, Elite Dangerous, and Ultima Online!

Vivid lore also allows for more nuanced silliness.

Occasional Hero: Path of Fire launch impressions

“It occurs to me that this expansion offers a lot of returns to the old, pre-Heart of Thorns Guild Wars 2 formula. The map is so much easier to navigate (again, open, flat desert vs. layered, convoluted jungle), and the mob density/difficulty is a lot more similar to that of Central Tyria than that of the Heart of Maguuma.”

Nerdy Bookahs: Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire first impressions

“The soundtrack is really good so far. My favourite song is the one based on the Nightfall Soundtrack. In general, I feel like I’m back in Nightfall when I listen to the music — or look around! Because that’s the next part that I really love, as always: the world design!”

Endgame Variable: Elite Dangerous Horizons

“But the thing about Elite: Dangerous is… it’s not really a game. It’s more of a simulator. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really cool simulator. Flying around feels very realistic and every solar system’s sights are pretty cool. And landing on planets is very cool, and driving around in the SRV buggy is very cool. But I don’t have any compelling reason to do any of this very cool stuff.”

GIVE ME MORE SHIPS

Me Vs Myself And I: Thoughts on Star Trek Online PS4 edition

“For some reason though, it feels at home on a console. This isn’t DC Universe where it was created with a console port in mind, but it still was a well done port. The controls are fluid and easy to manage, and it’s not a chore sorting through menus.”

Raph Koster: Ultima Online is twenty

“Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Ultima Online‘s launch day. Funny enough, I have no particular memories of that day. I’ve written a fair amount about UO in the past, so I am at a bit of a loss as to what to say, other than ‘thank you’ to the folks who hired me and let me work on it, and ‘thank you’ to the players who played and continue to play it. It has been an honor.”

Parallel Context: On the endangered species list — the story in MMOs

“What is bothersome to me — and to others who prefer the story to be the primary focus of a game — it seems that game companies in general are moving away from the story and more toward multiplayer competition […] While I get that for some people, the story in an MMO is best left to the players, I’m not like that. For me, a story provides a framework for everything else that happens in an MMO, and while you can get away with a generic fantasy or science fiction MMO as a pure sandbox, MMOs based on name properties would have a hard time pulling that off.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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11 Comments on "Global Chat: The MMO community’s Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire impressions"

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Paul Sherrard

Path of Fire brought me back to GW2, but I haven’t played anything past getting the first mount. Instead, I’ve gone back and finished what I left undone. I’d played pretty regularly through the “vanilla” GW2 getting 100% map completion, played all through the destruction and rebuilding of Lion’s Arch and fought giant robots at the end of Season 1. Since then I haven’t touched the game except to be frustrated and overwhelmed with the Heart of Thorns xpac. Now I’m ripping around on a raptor leveling alts and doing dailies and the game feels fresh and new and fun. How did a single mount make so much difference? I still can’t figure out the mechanics of the game, and have no idea if my flamethrower engineer is any good, but it’s FUN. Can’t wait to explore the desert!

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Knox Harrington

I’m still on the fence about Path of Fire. I’ve never even remotely cared about this game’s story. Apart from mounts and new elite specializations, that is all there seems to do. And the rest of the game hasn’t been touched. WvW continues to dwell in what might as well be maintenance mode. The original dungeons at the game’s release have yet to be revamped or even made relevant again. Don’t even get me started on fractals and raids.

So thirty dollars later, when I’m done with a story I’m not invested in, what is there to do? It’s right back to the rest of the game that remains untouched. I’m not sure mounts and elite specs are enough to justify the purchase when the rest of the expansion seems to exist in its own little bubble. And there isn’t any real reason to go back to that bubble once you’ve done it. Where’s the meta events? I hear all this praise about the aesthetic quality of the zones. Where’s the reasons to go back? Was HoT really that bad enough to make PoF look better than what it is? I wonder…

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

PoF has achievement/collection grind on par with HoT. Just that you won’t be grinding zerg metas. The mounts revolutionize the old open world if you spend any time there.

New raids going forward are likely to require PoF, although nothing official announced yet.

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Knox Harrington

I’m not an “achiever” to use Bartle’s taxonomy. I’m more of a Killer and I’m still waiting on everything they promised for WvW with HoT that never came. Mounts in the old world aren’t going to revolutionize that content any more than gliders did. It makes it more fun to traverse but the novelty will eventually wear off.

And I can’t get into this game’s raiding either because it’s simply not very accessible. You pretty much have to be a crafter whether you like it or not because you can’t buy the gear you need from people who enjoy crafting. You also can’t play whatever build you want. You have to use some cookie cutter “meta” build in very specific gear sets you have to craft yourself, or you won’t be getting invited to a raid group capable of clearing the content. The community is one of the most elitist I’ve seen in years.

I was expecting more from an expansion. I wanted big changes across the board. What Path of Fire is, is more akin to a DLC in Elder Scrolls Online. You get a handful of hours of story content with some achievements sprinkled in and that’s about it. The rest of the game remains unchanged apart from minor quality of life improvements. At least ANet was smart this time around and didn’t advertise things they know they couldn’t deliver, like they did with HoT and WvW. And to their credit, they priced PoF accordingly.

But I’m feeling no urge to buy it anytime soon. Obviously some of that has to do with the kind of player that I am but my sentiment is already starting to be echoed by folks who have finished the story and are now looking for something to do. The lack of meta events, for all their imperfections, is seriously going to limit the shelf-life of this content. Meta events were only a problem in HoT because the terrain is obnoxious. They fixed that issue with PoF thankfully, but where’s the events? Bounties have not done a well enough job in their place. I hope ANet has something up its sleeve and it’s coming soon because they’re going to need it.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

That Occasional Heroes blog tho…damnit, I need to stop reading about PoF for a while so I stop finding more reasons to buy it -_-

In short, it feels like an expansion to the Guild Wars 2 from 2012, not the one from 2015. And I’m quite happy about that.

This alone…pretty much sold.

In typical ArenaNet fashion, characters are repeatedly introduced as if we should already know who they are. I really don’t get how this keeps being a problem.

Having just finished the last bit of episode 5 and all of episode 6 of LSS3…I can concur with this. I was completely lost, which is likely due in part to me forgetting quite a bit since I last played, but hot damn if much of the HoT story, and especially most of the LSS3 left me asking, “…should I know this person/this faction? Did I miss or forget something?” Anets job as storytellers is really inconsistent, and often times leaves me more frustrated than engaged/entertained. Been meaning to gripe about that and I guess this is as good an excuse as any. Should we have known who the hell the lady that revealed herself at the end of E6 was? Because the story sure makes it seems like we should know all about her, but I was completely lost : /

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McGuffn

You would know her if you played GW1. And I think she was mentioned in GW2, otherwise no.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Yeah…I’ve heard that a lot when I’ve griped about not knowing folks in GW2. Really wish Anet wouldn’t assume that all their GW2 players were steeped in GW1 lore, some sort of quick primer for those of us that never got into the game would do a helluva lot to make the story much more enjoyable : /

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Terren Bruce

There was lore you could read in the Shining Blade HQ that does tell you who she is. Sure they could have done more but that would have telegraphed the reveal ahead of time if they pointed it out more specifically. Her fate was something GW’s fans have speculated about for years now.

For those who follow the story closely it was a fun reveal. For those who aren’t that deep into the lore it wasn’t really that important. Who she is doesn’t change what was happening at the moment.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

That’s true, but it’s a constant source of frustration for me. All throughout S3 it felt like we were supposed to know who major players were, who these factions were, what some of the items etc. all were. It may largely be chalked up to me forgetting much between episodes (which is another problem altogether), but I regularly felt lost and as if things that the game was telling me should be meaningful/impactful were simply falling flat.

It’s like being that guy at the party that doesn’t get all the jokes everyone is laughing about. Yeah, you laugh along so as not to stand out (usually), but you haven’t the faintest clue why.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

It’s a really special expansion. It’s the quality I grew to expect from ArenaNet with all of GW1 and core GW2. I couldn’t be happier at their return to form and with a lot of people in charge that were’t in charge for core GW2 or GW1. It’s impressive.

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SeedEve

Couldn’t agree more.Path of fire feels like the legitimate expansion of Vanilla GW2…
“Praise Joko” :p

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