Flameseeker Chronicles: What to do in Guild Wars 2 between season 3 episodes

    
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Many MMOs, Guild Wars 2 included, face a well-documented but oft-unaddressed problem: What can players do to fill the time in between content gaps? The topic at hand was actually suggested by Bree after so many of us cleared the first chapter of the Living World’s third season so quickly. I admit that I was ravenous for something new, and in my content-starved state, I vastly overconsumed the new content and burned through it quicker than I should have. I knew that a further wait of two or perhaps three months was to be expected before the next story chapter, but I found myself unable to make the new chapter stretch and am now back to finding fun ways to bide my time.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to share with you some of the things I do to busy myself and create my own fun in periods of story downtime in the hope that you’ll feel a little bit inspired yourself, should you find yourself in the same predicament as I am in.

gw1 (1)Pick up a legendary quest or three

If anything is going to fill your time spent in Tyria, it’s the immense amount of gathering and completing that it takes to finish a legendary item quest. If you’re not in the know, legendary items are unique, (mostly) beautifully designed, and rather difficult to obtain items that are meant to be a reward of sorts for particularly dedicated players that incentivise prolonged play. There’s a legendary weapon available to appeal to the vast majority of players, and the sense of achievement you gain from completing that item is incredible.

The real beauty of working on a legendary — or three, as I am currently — is that most of the needed materials are gained naturally as you complete other tasks around Tyria. The materials you gather in all types of gameplay add up, and if you’ve been playing for a while without clearing your materials out for cash, then I’ll wager that you’ve already got a good head start. I tie my legendary creation needs into the other content I run and veer into uncharted territory only when I must complete specific content to gain a particular legendary ingredient, such as the Gift of Battle. Add in the fact that a legendary journey will take most players a few months to complete, and you can see how forging a legendary could fill the gap in between chapters.

Scaling for a more time-pressed player

Getting some ascended gear is a more achievable goal for those who don’t have the time to complete the incredible amount of gathering required for a legendary. If your toons aren’t rocking full ascended gear, you can scale down this activity by either crafting or farming for the gear you need. Remember that you can reforge ascended gear that doesn’t have the stats you need in the process and your gear will come along in no time at all.

gw3 (1)Try a different side of the game

Whether you generally enjoy PvP, PvE, or both, there’s always an alternative type of content to be found that will extend your gameplay options significantly while you wait for chapter two. How you apply this to your playstyle will vary depending on the type of activities you usually engage in, but the general advice is to find something that forces you out of your comfort zone to see whether or not a certain type of content will unexpectedly click.

For me, this ties into my legendary paths because I have been forced to dip my toe into WvW and re-explore some dungeons in order to gain the components I need. I was absolutely dreading the WvW requirement, but having attached myself to some experienced and friendly people I found in map chat, I can now say that I’m having fun. You’ll all know by now that I am usually quite uncomfortable with PvP, so this has been quite a revelation for me.

I have also been driving myself crazy by recording my poor yet persistent attempts at various jumping puzzles. This sort of challenge has always been in the fun-but-unmemorable camp for me, but I have had a renewed interest ever since jumping puzzles were introduced to the daily rotation. I might well create a jumping puzzle guide for Flameseeker Chronicles if I can bring myself to edit all that footage and censor all the unnecessary expletives that pour out of my mouth on near misses.

Scaling for a more time-pressed player

Pick something that is timed appropriately for your lifestyle and try it during your next gaming session. If you have only 10 minutes, for example, why not smash your way through a minidungeon? Stick with content that is easy to abandon should you need to leave, avoiding longer group activities until you can sit down for a longer session.

gw0 (1)World boss train!

Fun fact: I smash through the vast majority of world bosses almost every morning at reset when I have nothing else to do. I know this won’t appeal to everyone, but if you can find a solid train (or even better, a guild that runs a train at a set time each day), the experience can be hilarious. There’s a significant amount of downtime in between bosses in which players simply mingle, and this is what I most enjoy about the run. I talk more to those I run world boss trains with than I do any other content, really, so I find it to be a productive use of my time for the social hit if nothing else.

For those trying to make gold, the boss train is by no means the quickest method, but the materials farmed in downtime plus the gains made from all those chests can make you a solid little amount of money. The luck of your drops aside, it’s not a bad passive earner while you have fun with friends. The world bosses generally won’t amaze you mechanically, but The Shatterer, Tequatl, and the Claw of Jormag have enough to them to make for some engaging encounters.

Scaling for a more time-pressed player

You don’t need to do a whole run to enjoy the experience, especially with solid groups such as the GW2Community running boss runs at several times throughout the day. Pick your favourite(s) — I recommend Tequatl or Triple Trouble for the chance at those elusive ascended chests — and schedule them in during your week whenever it suits you. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a daily thing either: Don’t let in-game refresh timers rule your schedule.

gw2 (3)Create-your-own achievement challenge

This started out as a silly challenge I started with my husband when he was new and was amazed at how convoluted some of the achievements seemed. He’d comment on how impossible a certain achievement or achievement track was, and then I’d work on it until I completed it. I still randomly open the achievement panel for inspiration today, choosing those that grant mastery points or covetable titles and tracking them until I complete them. Simple? Yes. Surprisingly engaging and competitive if you get someone else involved? Absolutely!

Scaling for a more time-pressed player

You don’t have to work on the most complicated achievements to feel as though you’ve achieved something meaningful. Gaining achievements can be as simple as spending ten minutes completing your dailies if you need it to be. I recommend replaying the previous story for achievement completion (or playing it for the first time if you skipped any!) since you’ll be naturally faster at each episode due to the repetition.

Over to you!

I’ve given you a snapshot of how I fill my time when I’m not running my usual endgame PvE content in the hopes that you’ll find something engaging to do while we wait for more story to throw ourselves at. Do you have any time filling, fun activities you do when you find yourself bored on your usual content? Share your to-do list in the comments!

Tina Lauro has been playing Guild Wars 2 since it launched and now pens the long-running Flameseeker Chronicles column, which runs every other Wednesday and covers everything from GW2 guides and news to opinion pieces and dev diary breakdowns. If there’s a GW2 topic you’d love to see covered, drop a comment Tina’s way or mail her at tina@massivelyop.com.