One of the surefire ways I know that I’m loving a game is when I swing my wallet like a shillelagh at it – hence the plush round bird friend you see pictured up there. Another way I know I’m loving a game is when I don’t mind playing catch-up to the wider community. Those are both true things in my continuing trip through Guild Wars 2, particularly since the voting focus told me to circle back and open up the game world.
This probably comes as little surprise to those who have been following along, as I’ve written before about how this Elementalist character has reinvigorated my interest in the MMORPG and I’ve been squealing with glee in my few streams of the game. Still, I was actually kind of dreading going back to base Tyria because I was worried that it wouldn’t feel quite as refined as the Path of Fire adventures I’d been having. As it turns out, I was pretty much wrong.
I should admit that I was dragging my feet. Initially I rationalized the poll results as mapping my way through the desert areas, which in turn meant that my goal of getting towards the skimmer mount was supported. It didn’t take me long to have my new stingray friend, but then it also didn’t take me long to pause and realize that perhaps I was reading the results incorrectly. A bit more research into what would be necessary to get to the skyscale mount kind of confirmed that mapping the original game was probably something I would have to do – even if I’m presumably nowhere near skyscale acquisition status.
Returning to Tyria by way of the Iron Marches kind of made me freeze. Up to this point, I was moving through the game world with the express purpose of hitting level 80, and I simply was able to follow my whims towards that goal. Now that I’ve hit that cap, I wasn’t really sure what sort of major goal I should go for, and the number of zones to move through and things to do in each zone kind of gave me analysis paralysis.
Finally, I elected to start off by chasing the same thing I had been in POF: mastery points. Admittedly, there don’t appear to be that many of them in base Tyria, but it did give me the guidance I needed to stop (over)thinking and start moving. Additionally, I elected to start chasing the legendary weapons mastery tracks since I was already at cap for the next phase of fractals mastery.
The trick worked. Once I had places to go and things to work towards, I started to further include moving through zones, opening up waypoints and filling hearts along the way. I was earning XP to get to legendary weapon creation, I was filling in the brush strokes of the world map, and I was incidentally getting what few mastery points I could. All of my ducks were lined up in a row. Soon, I was getting comfortable with the idea of simply moving from rectangle to rectangle and getting things done as I went.
It’s here that I started to continue to fall in love with the Weaver spec. I can’t claim to have mastered the class; in fact I’m reasonably sure my current build and rotations are sub-optimal as hell, which seem to be confirmed by the fact that other players joining me in events tend to molly wop enemies faster than I do. Still, even if the edges of my combat are still jagged, I at least know what buttons do what, and I’m slowly beginning to understand how shifting attunements from main hand to off-hand can be worked in my favor. I’ve even been comfortable enough to take on group events and even win.
Granted, the group event I solo’d was in the Charr starter zone, but I still think it’s something to be proud of, particularly since I was gun shy about doing that sort of thing before now.
In short, Guild Wars 2 continues to surprise and delight me. I was pretty sure this was going to be boring and a little humdrum, and I do have to say that killing enemies fast enough that switching my attunements isn’t necessary is a tiny bit dull, but this quest to do what literally everyone else has done has been awesome. I think what helps is the fact that I’m not really trying to get 100% completion on every zone. I’ve boiled down my goal, focused in on what I like and want, and have been summarily rewarded in doing so.
While going back to basics has been a welcome respite from my earlier adventuring, I still haven’t had my mind changed about what makes GW2 fun for me. In spite of Heart of Thorns absolutely spanking me and Path of Fire seeming to also be a bit tough, I’ve started to learn, persevere, and grow through the continued crucible of getting slapped. My feelings for the Elementalist and how its difficulty have enriched my GW2 experience still hold firm. Sure, the old zones feel a bit too easy, but I choose to paint that feeling with a pretty broad brush of self-congratulations; I’m comfortable in my Weaver skin and am confident in my abilities, meager as they may be in the wider world of the game’s playerbase.
So basically, I’m looking to continue on with this quest, but I also have to consider that maybe I did misinterpret the last poll’s request. So that leads me to this week’s first question, which is more of a clarification than anything else: Should I keep moving through the basic landmass, or am I meant to go back to POF’s desert?
What form of mapping should I focus on?
- Base Tyria. Unlock the waypoints and fill the hearts. (53%, 28 Votes)
- The Crystal Desert. Get the hero points and the mastery points. (47%, 25 Votes)
Total Voters: 53
The second poll question is circling back to that legendary weapons thing I referenced before. I’ve already unlocked the first mastery track that simply opens legendary weapons crafting to me here and now, and I appreciate that this is probably a long-tail goal, but I’m still curious what regular players think of the decision to at the very least explore the system. Also, I have to admit that some of the legendary swords are pretty damned sexy-looking.
Should I dip a toe into legendary weapons crafting?
- Yes. Take a preliminary dip into the Mystic Toilet. (42%, 21 Votes)
- No. It's not really that important to you right now. (58%, 29 Votes)
Total Voters: 50
Polling will wrap at the usual 1:00 p.m. EST time this coming Friday, December 9th. I’m pretty sure I’m going to continue mapping the base world before the results close out, but don’t think I’ll ignore them; I’ll change direction if I’m asked to. I mean it this time.