shivver13 (shivver13) wrote,

MMO squee

Guild Wars 2 has really been taking up too much of my time, and I'm not sure if I'm happy about it. They released the long-anticipated expansion near the end of October, and there's plenty to do and accomplish, but sometimes, after a long session of play, I wonder to myself if I've really had fun.

One of the problems is that they've introduced gliding to the game: when you jump off a cliff and press space bar, a glider pops from your character's back and you glide, rather than fall to your death, and it is bloody gorgeous. I've spent a lot of time simply gliding around, because it's just so beautiful. They've added things to make the gliding more fun and challenging, such as add updrafts that you can catch to regain height and make it to places you couldn't otherwise reach.

Of course, the glider that I use is feathered wings. Imagine that: the Tenth Doctor flying around with angel wings. (Yes, yes, the ones I use for him are black - he's a fallen angel, after all. Fivey and Nine have the white angel wings.)

Wait, I said gliding was a problem, didn't I? Well, it is. You see, gliding can only be done in the areas of the map that were introduced by the expansion, which is perfectly fine: the existing world areas weren't designed for gliding, and they would have to modify the entire world, inch-by-inch, to make sure gliding didn't expose exploits and problems. The thing is, the old areas only had to deal with running and jumping, and they could use terrain to keep you out of areas where they didn't want you to go (or areas that had a hidden entrance they wanted you to search for). The new areas had to be challenging for players that could fly, so they made them complicated. In those areas, there are places to explore on the surface, underground, in the air, and in the stratosphere. The in-game map has four levels, and you might look at it and say, "I want to go here, that looks easy," then try to get there and find out that you need to go underground, jump on the booster that pops you up back to the surface, run up around over there and through a cave, finish the event that lands a copter nearby that takes you up to the stratosphere land, and jump across a bunch of little islands to get close enough to glide down to the one ledge of high cliff that was your target. It's that bad. Nothing is easy to get to. It's fun the first time, when you're exploring and trying to get everywhere and find all the secrets, but the tenth time you're just trying to get to that spot in the hopes you'll get there before the timed event expires, and it's frustrating.

Before this expansion, the developers had a huge success with a new area they released which, rather than just be a map to explored and do single events in, had a chain of events that led to a boss event that was both fun and lucrative. It was very well-designed for random players to pop into and immediately start working toward the boss event: the events leading up to the boss were well-marked, so you could immediately tell where to go, and when an event contributed toward the boss event, a message appeared to everyone in the area, so everyone knew how well they were succeeding. Then the boss event had three paths, and they required some organization, but they were simple enough for the casual player to understand and contribute to.

Because of the success of this area, they decided to do the same thing with the new areas in the expansion. However, this time, their events are not well-marked, and they take a very long time to do, and the monsters often don't drop loot or experience - so people either don't participate or wander off after a while. If you're waiting for the boss event to start, you might be waiting a very long time. In some of the cases, how well you do on the lead-in events affects how easy the associated boss path is, so sometimes a boss event will fail because one or more of the paths were too difficult. Unless a guild takes control of the map and starts directing how everything happens, you can spend two hours working on the event, only to have it fail miserably.

So, it's frustrating. And yet, there's so much to accomplish, especially in powering up my characters, that I feel compelled to play. Sigh. No idea what to do. :)

On the bright side, I had a wonderful encounter in game yesterday. I was playing Doctor Noble and wandering through one of the new areas and found an event chain and decided to follow it. During one of the big fights, one of other players sent a message to me, "Me and my friends are seriously fanning out over your cosplay!" That was just awesome! We started talking, and she asked what pieces of armor I used to put it together, and said that the character (face and clothes) was really designed well. I told her that I have characters for Eight, Nine, and Five, and she and her friends (four of them in total) wanted to see them. So I brought in all the characters and got the chance to show them all off. I've had a few people comment on my characters before (mostly about Ten), but never squee to that extent. I was grinning for the rest of the night.

Tags: real life

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