GW2: Looking Back, Looking Forward & Plans

It’s fun to read about what different bloggers are focusing on in Guild Wars 2 – what they have and haven’t done speaks volumes about the amount of content for different playstyles that ArenaNet has crammed into this game.

Over at Kill Ten Rats, Ravious (and Bhagpuss in the comments) exchange notes about their game experience so far.

I’ve decided to chime in with my own and add one more data point, so to speak.

/age reports I’ve played a total of 537 hours and 39 minutes over the last 2 months, and 454 of those hours were clocked in on my present main, the level 80 charr guardian.

He’s got a total of 754 deaths… I hope those just reflect how much WvW I do, rather than how much I suck. Falling off cliffs shouldn’t count, I don’t think. (Maybe they do.)

The up and coming alt is a thief who is lvl 57 and climbing. That’s my present interest at the moment, I’d really like to get him to 80 before the rumored backstab nerfs or whatever hit and at least try it out. (Or perhaps I will just pop into the Heart of the Mists one day soon and experiment on some dummies. Something to consider, yes.)

The other alts are babies: lvl 22 necromancer, lvl 12 elementalist, level 4 ranger and to be honest, the necro gained 10 levels via maxing Jeweler and he’s effectively parked at the Grove’s crafting tables for now, inching up his Weaponsmithing whenever I feel like it. The elementalist is my Cook/Tailor but is only about 100-150 in either for now.

The guardian has maxed armorsmith and sub-150 artificer, and thief barely past the 50s in huntsman and nearing 200 or so leatherworker. Yeah, I realize that this means I might have to spend extra karma down the road buying those rare and exotic insignia recipes per character for both weapons and armor, but I don’t really have an issue with karma gain as yet.

I’m sitting on 200k karma on the guardian, after spending 42k x 4 for Orr armor, and I fed the thief the new liquid jugs of karma which gave him 80k, plenty of spending money on the hearts vendors he encounters on his way through Tyria.

I’m in no hurry to get a legendary, so 500k karma is a goal that can be achieved over a year if need be, if I finally tick off all the smaller sized goals I want to get done first.

In an interesting contrast from Ravious, 100% world completion is not one of those must-do now goals for me. I fancy myself an Explorer too with a healthy subset of Achiever, so, eh, what gives? Mostly there is an underlying terror that I might get bored if I do ‘finish’ the entire world on one character. I have alts that want to see new things, dammit.

I took it real easy on the guardian and just wandered where I felt like after giving up zone completion midway through Gendarran Fields. I didn’t even bother doing all hearts and stuff. I just went through the zones that seemed thematic aka Charr war-like and did lots of DEs and lots of fighting because he’s Blood Legion, and Charr love to fight, rarrr! (And I enjoy solo farming so I’d just sit and kill minotaurs or bats or whatever for a while.) Plus some WvW, all story dungeons except CoE (never found a group for it while leveling up) and completed his personal story because I wanted to get to Orr and kill Zhaitan (we will not talk about the minor letdown that was the cannon ‘fight’ any further here.)

On the norn thief, I find the character has more reason to be a open-minded traveler. On a meta level, I’ve explored nearly entirely new zones with him, going through the snowy Norn ones, before following the zones the personal story led to. Now that I’m not in a hurry to get to Orr, and more minded to check out every heart vendor to see what they sell (and buy cooking ingredients,) I’m doing zone completions of the major maps he’s spending time in. I’ve also stumbled into a few jumping puzzles and smaller secret things that way, which is nice.

Again, it’s an interesting contrast to another guildie I know, who has methodically cleared out all his jumping puzzles (presumably for the 10 ArenaNet points and the completed achievement feeling or he just likes jumping challenges, who knows?) No doubt he’s consulted some guide to show him where the entrances are, if not watched a video of them in their entirety.

For me, that would be spoiling the fun, so I refrain. I only check the video if I’m at my wits’ end clinging on to some beam or ledge or falling in circles lost with no idea where the next ‘proper’ jump should be. And I usually stop playing it once I see that one jump, so that I can figure out the rest of it on my own. (Clock tower excepted, I played that in three parts to learn each section, time limit pressure being what it is.)

Both characters are still hovering around ~50% world completion and until I get more alts to 80 and finally want a legendary, that is fine with me. The guardian was a Vigil man (or Charr.) The thief just recently completed the whole story from initiation into the Order of Whispers, all the way to Claw Island, so I finally get to understand what all the Tybalt discussion was about.

(Begin spoiler warning)

For the record, yeah, he’s pretty lovable. It’s also obvious he was intentionally made that way, with his face expressions and all. One of the things I most appreciate about Tybalt is that he has a history and little flaws that we learn about as the story progresses. It makes him feel a lot more believable as a character, some depth to his surface quirks. Forgal of the Vigil, on the other hand, mostly had a bit of oldbie-youngbie friendly banter going on. If there was any more depth to him, it couldn’t have been very memorable because I don’t remember any more of his story.

Putting aside the questionable necessity of the story enforced sacrifice at Claw Island, Tybalt’s courage was a lot more significant because of his backstory – crippled, desk job, but heart wanting more.  And boy, did he have a lot of heart.

My reaction to Forgal was mostly a soldier to soldier reaction, it’s more expected that such a thing might happen, the old veteran dies to give way for the new young ones, remembered with respect but he’s had his full life and this is just a grand cap to his legend – going out soloing the legion of Risen and that badass dragon and all that.  He’s Norn, he’s Vigil, why would he want to live forever, eh?

(End spoiler warning)

It’ll be fun to see the Priory storyline with another alt later, and compare that mentor later on.

As for my daily log-in routine, I’ll play either guardian or thief depending on my mood, and get the daily achievement done. The phrase is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s not as if I check off 20 gatherings and stop, then go on selective wildlife genocide, then find fast chained together events and rush through it. It’s more of a meander.

If I’m leveling the thief, then as he goes on his way to hearts and stuff, the gathering happens, I’ll make it a point to hit one or two of different types of mob, the kills are a no-brainer, and I’ll stumble into DEs as they show up.

The guardian may wander through Frostgorge Sound and do it, and I might luck into a Claw of Jormag fight happening. (I don’t watch dragon timers.) Or I may get most of it done in WvW without realizing it. Or I spend time in Plains of Ashford because I feel most comfortable/familiar with that zone – it being the charr starter zone and all – working on it while waiting for LFM calls for AC explorable.

I do a lot of AC ex runs. To the point where I, a little embarassingly, haven’t done or learned any other explorable dungeon yet besides a chance guild run through one of Twilight Arbor’s paths.

It’s decent money for me, since I don’t find the customary Orr farming terribly appealing or have the wherewithal to flip stuff on the trading post. It’s scored me most of my secondary exotic weapon collection cheaply and relatively painlessly over the last two weeks or so, aka scepter/shield combo and a staff. I like the look of the skins, so it works out well.

I’ve even bought a Gift of Ascalon, because I entertain this vague medium-term hope of crafting Foefire’s Essence as my secondary greatsword. (Sword/focus is still my primary weapon combination of choice and those were cheapo mystic forged and a crafted bought off the TP respectively for the stats I wanted.)

Today, I bought the Gift of Light recipe for 10 gold, exactly half of my stored savings. Ouch. (Oh well, more dungeon runs should have it recover in time. Any extra tears will likely go to the underwater weapons fund.)

It’s going to take me a lot longer to work on the insane quantities of orichalcum and charged lodestones and all that. Some targeted Orr farming will no doubt be in future plans.

Idly reading a reddit thread, I may have found a legendary that I actually like the look of. The torch Rodgort is pretty spiffy, and would match the fiery dragon sword very well. Even better, it won’t overlap with any other weapon I’ve been obtaining so far. This however will be an ultra long term goal. The only step I’d take towards it now is “learn CoF” so that I can start collecting the tokens for that dungeon and have it as part of my repertoire like AC.

To my surprise, I’ve accumulated 483 badges of honour from WvW, so it’s not that far away from the 500 needed. But I don’t even want to begin to look at the Gift of Fortune breakdown until I have a lot more earning power, so forget it for now.

Fortunately, I don’t collect minis or seriously collect dyes so that’s less completist collections to obsess over. The only thing I do hoard at this point is crafting materials. Haven’t sold a single one on the TP yet, which may be why I’m so broke. But I want to get all my crafting professions across the alts to 400 sooner than later, so I’m sure I’ll find uses for them.

Gem-wise, the only thing I really want at this point are character slots. I have this urge to make the Charr warrior I had in beta. But I’m still a little stingy at the current price of gold to gems, I may wait a little and see if they fall a bit once the Halloween stuff comes off the shop.

It all boils down to “I need gold” in the end. Which for me, looks to be best gotten by both working on the thief alt’s zone completions and learning more dungeons in my spare time. So that’s probably what I’ll be doing next.

Along with some WvW if I feel like it.

And it may also be time to do some experimenting and theorycrafting and reading up build guides to get new ideas and playstyles for both.

Lots and lots to do in GW2.