Blaugust Day 31: What Next?

And so we reach the end of August, after attempting 31 posts in 31 days.

We sort of cheated a little at the end, but well, producing walls of text has never really been a problem of mine.

(Producing wall of texts someone else might want to read, now, that’s a little trickier.)

Finding the time to sit down and devote an hour or two to  production of said wall of text, plus a picture or two, that’s harder.

I’d call the Blaugust challenge a success, as it managed to kickstart my blogging habit after a lazy July, and produced a number of blogs that I’ll be keeping track of, even after the month ends.

It’s been a pleasure jumping onto the madness train with a whole bunch of the blogging community.

To-do list wise, we got through about half of the items, and most of the important ones, which I’m quite happy about.

Trove has found itself a handy niche for the moment. I’m quite content to log on daily, fill the star bar for cubits, catch a challenge if I happen to be online for it.

The Tomb Raiser is level 32 or thereabouts. He can juuust about solo U5 dungeons if I’m willing to fight a little harder (ie. wait for energy to recharge and keep holding down the spam AoE button, rinse and repeat 4-5 times.) If I’m feeling lazy, then I’ll stroll through something a little easier in difficulty.

The remaining Trove goals are rather medium-term in nature. I’m working on a Sky Portal, solo, which means accumulating a fairly insane amount of resources that would be much easier to get if I had.. say, 5 or 10 members contributing a portion of the resources each. It mostly means I collect a little each day, stuff it in the bank and try to do more on the bonus days, and basically wait until the magic number is reached.

There’s always fishing for more ancient scales. Which usually means it’s TV show watching time in the other screen first, and fishing second.

Leveling up the Tomb Raiser’s gear any further would mean requiring a lot more flux currency than I can easily get my hands on, which usually means just wait for the hourly challenges and do those for some flux. Very.. time-limited. Working on it, but not in any hurry.

And there’s faffing about on other alts trying to level them up to 20, if I get bored of the above.

I still haven’t quite resolved where I stand on Guild Wars 2 at the moment.

Readers may have noticed that I haven’t bothered to make any mention of the front-page news announcement that GW2 is now… erm, what’s the correct phrase… “play for free” or whatever.

To me, it’s a total non-issue.

It’s too late complaining about the quality of the community. GW2 was going for 10 bucks for a long period, and I’ve noticed mapchat take a turn for the less-polite or patient, in comparison with the quality of the launch day chats.

Basically, politeness is a victim of popular success. The more popular GW2 becomes, the more people jump into the game, the higher proportion of people you will find that have been accustomed to certain speech patterns in WoW or LoL or other similar games and will act in a similar fashion in GW2, having never been fully immersed into the culture yet.

Add on a good dose of veteran impatience and the tendency of people to ape common frames of thought and a certain meta/elitist segregation that seems to have been occurring dungeon-wise (I watched with some bemusement today as someone gave a ranger a lame excuse for a fractals 10 and kicked him from the party – ranger had 3k AP, not exactly a noob – I did not join the vote kick, but I said nothing either, because I just wanted the damn daily done and didn’t want to get kicked before or during the event), and you will find some deterioration of friendliness, free or no free.

I see a great deal of players being all welcoming and social on Reddit, and I presume, in the game as well. Which is great for both them and the newbies – they get “new content” in the sense of having new people to play with / teach / help, and the newbies get that helping hand as well, and may both purchase the game and stick with it.

Which works for me, I’m not really “mentor” material most of the time, being all grouchy hermit and stuff, but hey, increasing game population means increase in all types of players and hopefully, increased participation in all the game modes I enjoy.

On a more personal level, I spent most of the day trying to work out what I was feeling and thinking about the whole “raids” bruhaha.

One thing I do know is that I’m getting increasingly tired of essentially being a martyr on someone else’s behalf, especially when they don’t seem to appreciate it anyway. Of being told I’m making much ado about nothing.

In other words, here I am, trying to be concerned about the really casual GW2 players who almost never see things like organized WvW or organized Teq or organized Triple Trouble or even organized guild missions, and keep obsessing about keeping barriers of entry low and for them to be on a relatively equal playing field so that they -can- join in, when they want to, and I generally find that most of the bloggers who profess this way of playing just seem to have “accepted” that they’ll never do it, period, so the whole activity just doesn’t exist for them, full stop.

It makes me just a little bit mad, this attitude of what-seems-to-me to be “learned helplessness.” The “I could never do it, so therefore I won’t even try” sort of acceptance.

On the other hand, I find the dismissive attitude of the self-proclaimed elitists annoying as well.

It’s really tempting and easy to segregate yourself into groups of people who think like you and play like you. It seems that -both- extremes are quite happy to indulge in this separation, as shown in a little Reddit flowchart that has been making the rounds lately – “In zerk? Go hang with zerk groups. Non-zerk? Go hang with non-zerk groups. Conclusion: everybody happy.”

Supposedly. Except that I note that the non-zerk groups have a tendency to not form, or take hours to complete, be comprised of more unsure players, etc.

To quote another Redditor, I feel like I’m basically undergoing a certain amount of “cognitive dissonance” here, because… let me fess up:

I’m generally lazy. I like my groups smooth and efficient and optimal. I like getting what I’m aiming for, when I group up, fast and painless. Unless it’s the weekend and I’m in a really good benevolent mood, I don’t have time to spend 3 hours teaching a bunch of people I’ll probably never see again how not to suck, in order for me to get what I want.

Given very little push, I am quite happy to fall back into old obsessive hardcore patterns and think elitist thoughts. With the right motivation, I’ll do whatever is needed to fall within the 10% who can do whatever it is I want to do, and who gives a fuck about the 90% who can’t, right? It’s not like most of them even -want- to. If they’re not even willing to help themselves, why should -I- care?

(You will note, all the “them” speech. Segregation. Division. Not community.)

Then I stop and I wonder if I should really let myself go down that road of thought. I’m not sure if I’d like the person that comes out the other end.

I suppose there is a certain amount of real world correlation and history at work. Singapore’s education system has always been “meritocracy”-based – which, during the time I grew up – mostly meant doing well at academic grades at an early age. If you scored top marks, you got shoved into the through-trains, labeled with really positive labels, and woe betide those that didn’t. They got the opposite treatment, pretty much.

It hasn’t been till the last decade or two that the very slow oil tanker has been steering in other directions, realizing that “merit” could be defined very differently (including musical, artistic and athletic merit, besides academic) and doing their best to recognize those with different strengths, as well as giving those who didn’t do well academically other possible and potential pathways to progress their education and careers (giving them the opportunity to possibly even overtake the supposed ‘elite’ once in the working world.)

The other thing the education system has been slowly attempting to do, through thick layers of bureaucracy, is to tweak policy for those who have somehow “fallen through the cracks” and don’t quite fit into neatly labeled categories.

The latest governmental propaganda is basically an exhortation to keep social consciousness in view, to have a heart, and contribute to the community, “No Singaporean left behind,” and so on.

I’m basically caught between being a pragmatic bastard and an ideal of someone better than that.

And I honestly don’t know which way I’ll go.

Is it at all possible to be an egalitarian hardcore raider?

Or do elitist thoughts and segregation away from the hoi polloi come as part of the territory?

(I’ll be frank, I won’t do a PUG Teq, when a TTS Teq is so much more enjoyable and efficient and equally available.

And there was a time when I just couldn’t be bothered rezzing anyone in the Silverwastes because they jolly well ought to waypoint back instead of just laying there dead and expecting someone to risk dying to peel them off the floor… especially when they die again in the next ten seconds that follow.

I’m feeling a bit more bleeding heart after a month away from GW2 and go for a rez, though it’s mostly to test myself and build quick reactions for future “challenging group content” than harboring any actual concern for the person or any expectation that the person will stay upright. Elitist? Probably.)

If I keep playing GW2, I will mostly likely do my best to get into and stay in a successful, regular, organized raid team.

(Unless it so happens that timezones and schedules are really restrictive and there’s no way I can wrangle something that fits.)

There’s no way I can ignore a mountain that is plonked down in front of me.

Not sure it’s worth it, really. But beyond the temptation of Legendary armor, there will be the basic fact that it is content I haven’t seen or played, and therefore must attempt until it is conquered (or I fall screaming off the mountain.)

I have no idea what’s going to come out at the other end. Burnout, drama, frustration, or just a bad case of elitist prick-ism?

Well. *deep breath* I guess we’ll find out.

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24 thoughts on “Blaugust Day 31: What Next?

  1. bhagpuss says:

    As far as Teq is concerned (leaving aside the 7-10 days when he was all over the place as they sorted out the new crit mechanics) he seems to be completely at the mercy of any and all PUG maps now. Everyone knows what to do and is able to do it without much in the way of instruction. I’ve been doing him a lot recently because he’s fun now he’s on farm. I tend not to arrive until 10-15 minutes before the start and I expect it all to go smoothly. (Of course it’s often much more amusing when it doesn’t, but that’s another story altogether). I don’t see him as any harder for PUG maps now than Karka Queen. He just takes longer.

    Triple Wurm is a different matter – he’s still not a casual, PUG map option as far as I can tell. Hard to say since I only pop in to check once in a blue moon.

    On the subject of opting out of content, I don’t personally see it as having anything to do with giving up or feeling helpless. That’s very sad if it’s how some people are feeling about changes in the direction of their favorite games. (I did feel mildly irritated by the raid announcement but that’s mostly because of the annoying insistence by ANet that they meant to do this all along and they never said otherwise, which is crass if they are as aware as we are that it’s not true and deeply unsettling if they actually believe it).

    To me, deciding not to bother with raids or TriWurm or Fractals or anything else is much more like deciding you want to go to the movies, getting the listings up on your phone and choosing something you fancy seeing.

    There’s always more to choose from than you have any chance of going to see. You have to narrow it down somehow. There’s what’s on a convenient time of course, and what you can easily get to, but the main factor is always going to be what you like and what you don’t like.

    If you don’t like horror movies you’re automatically going to cross them off the list. Ditto Westerns or Musicals or whatever else isn’t to your taste. I’d say it’s a good idea to see a few at some point so you can be sure you really don’t like them, but once you’ve made your mind up there’s not much point re-testing the premise over and over again.

    The activities on offer in MMOs are much the same – items of entertainment on a list. A rational adult will select those that are both convenient and that he or she expects to enjoy, using his or her judgment and experience. And, since MMOs are a social activity, yes we’ll all end up doing things we wouldn’t have chosen to do sometimes because our friends want to do them. But not any more often than we have to to service the friendship.

    To change the analogy, it always puzzles me when players treat MMOs as though they were set meals where you have to consume each course as it’s placed in front of you rather than a buffet, where you can wander around taking a bit of whatever you fancy. There do seem to be plenty of people who feel that just because the developers developed something and put it in the game they have to use it. Then they get upset if they don’t like it or find it difficult or inconvenient or whatever.

    It all seems to be treating the whole thing as something a lot more serious and important than it actually is. But then, we all do that all the time with our interests and obsessions, often to the bemusement of those around us looking on.

    • Jeromai says:

      Oh, you mean people don’t actually try a little of -everything- at a buffet and I’m just a greedy overweight foodie? 😉

      (Hence why I rarely go to buffets, due to the temptation to overindulge, to get one’s money’s worth and more.)

      Game-wise, I’d say a big thing for me is the new content per se – new art assets, new level design, new -story- (even if not primary), is going to end up tied to this thing. Thus, one feels obliged to experience it.

      Contrast that with fractals, where you can pretty much see and repeat all the content at low difficulties if you so choose, and only go up to high difficulties if you like shiny rewards and the process of vertical grind. I chose to stop at the 25s or thereabouts for a long time, because I didn’t have much motivation to go any higher.

  2. I just entered GW2 thanks to F2P, and even at this early, solo stage, I’m feeling the much-vaunted differences from other MMOs. Not a fan of the combat system, but I suppose introducing raids would certainly call into question the whole point of having no dedicated roles in the first place.

    More pertinent, however, is gating the Living Story. I’m sure that is THE draw for a subset of GW2 players, and while said players more than likely will pony up for HoT, it’s a worrying sign none the less. I’m thinking how different is it from what Turbine did with LoTRO’s Epic Story.

    • Jeromai says:

      I suspect the Living Story will follow a similar pattern as before, free to people actively playing the game, and a small fee about a month’s subscription worth for those that were not present for the live updates but still want to see part of the story and own the rewards. (Also, said fee is grind-able in-game for those with more time than money.)

      I suppose the difference is that a) a new player just has to buy the current expansion to have access to the whole game, plus previous expansions for free, as opposed to having to buy expansion A for a discounted $5, expansion B for $5, expansion C for $15 (cos penultimate expansion) and upcoming expansion for $35 or whatever.

      and b) if said player without a Living Story episode finds/makes a friend with access to the episodes, said friend can party with them and open the episodes for them to experience, they just don’t get the unique rewards from it.

  3. wolfyseyes says:

    Well, there have been a few answers to some questions, which you may have already seen and may or may not take umbrage to.

    http://massivelyop.com/2015/08/31/pax-prime-2015-guild-wars-2-is-never-getting-a-raid-finder/

  4. Sylow says:

    It makes me just a little bit mad, this attitude of what-seems-to-me to be “learned helplessness.” The “I could never do it, so therefore I won’t even try” sort of acceptance.

    Now this makes me wonder what you refer to. I mean, i might be one of those who contributed to your impression here, as i clearly say that i am not into the higher end GW2 content and probably will never see it. At the same time, i find the term “learned helplessness” to be somewhat insulting. (I mean, in the vast world of MMOs, everybody is a scrub in most of them… )

    To make clear where i am coming from, TSW (The Secret World) recently in the Issue 12 update included a new dungeon. My cabal group entered the dungeon on the very evening it was released and struggled till 3:00 AM (don’t ask how i looked like at work the next day), but we managed to finish the dungeon within less than 24 hours after it was released, and without any (useful) guide or anything like that. (Useful because we been given some pointers for the second boss, but they turned out to be wrong and we only were able to finish that fight after disregarding the pointers and making our own strategy. )

    Based on that i dare to claim that i am far from “helpless” in MMOs. I rather dare to say that not all MMOs are crated equal and my time is limited, so i have to make my choices. In my eyes GW2 is easy-going relaxation when played casually but would turn into a huge grinder when playing it for “success”, which i just don’t see myself doing any time.

    I have experienced some of this “game”, i have been along for the triple-trouble a few times, once we even managed to win, i spent an evening following the crowd rushing from one timed boss to another, i also have experienced an evening of trying to unlock a trait (old system) by doing one eventline, but some “leader” there always repeated the first part of the eventline and then failed it intentionally, as the first part of the eventline is the quicker way of farming rewards.

    That’s just not how and what i want to play, so i don’t do that. I also don’t have the time to engage in Guilds in several games. Thus i only do so in one game of my choice, and don’t have a guild in the game which has the guild in the name, which blocks me from all activities which require me to have one.

    So as you can see, none of the reasons why i am not participating in GW2s “top tier” content is because of “learned helplessness”, but rather a matter of time and priorities. And while you did not direct this at me, the context here and some of my recent comments on other postings here indicate some possible connection, which i hope i now have corrected. 🙂

    • Jeromai says:

      It’s definitely not directed at you, but thank you for explaining your point of view. 🙂

    • Sylow says:

      And a small addendum, as i missed that: i also approve of your fight for low barriers of entry. In case that GW2 ever becomes my primary MMO, i would be interested in the higher tiers of content and would appreciate if the content is accessible. And while i don’t see myself fully migrating to GW2 any time soon, there’s always people switching MMOs and it’s quite likely that GW2 will get new players with the F2P conversion and the expansion and all the hype it creates. To be successful, a MMO does not only need to attract, but also to keep players of different kinds, and to be able to do that, ease or entry is a very important factor.

      Thus your effort to keep the barriers of entry for content low indeed is a fight for better success and survivability of GW2. Perhaps this is the way you should look at it. Don’t ponder the individuals who play the game casually and only once a while actually use the options provided for the. Rather enjoy that you help keeping your game accessible for new players, allowing it to refresh its playerbase and staying surviveable.

  5. Abbygale says:

    First of all – wanted to say I have enjoyed your Blaugust posts- congrats on making it all the way through.

    Today’s post gave me a lot of food for thought, and I wanted to chime in with what is probably a “causal player” point of view.
    There is a lot of content in this game I have not gotten around to yet. Some of it because it involved a learning curve I just havent felt the need to master yet, and some of it because I am having fun doing the things I am doing now, and dont have time to do everything I already have on my “to do ” list, and this is with me playing 3-4 hours a day when I have time to fit it in.

    I think you are being a bit too hard on yourself, not wanting to be in “helper mode” every time you play. If you feel like doing it , great. If not., I dont think most people are going to notice or care.
    We are all doing our thing and having fun. If I need help I would rather wait until someone else is ready to take on the same task, rather than someone grudgingly come help because they feel like they “should”.

    I also dont feel any of the content is shut out for me- there is just so much I want to do , I may not get around to it right away,possibly I never will. I played COH for almost 8 years, and there were Trials I never got around to doing. And Im ok with that.
    Now that .Raiding is coming to GW2 – shrugs . One day , maybe I will check it out., after all the “raiders ” have figured out the mechanics and if the rewards are something I want. I like a challenge but being the first is not a priority for me. What my priority is going to be is figuring out how to get a guild hall in my 2 person guild. And it will happen.. If you enjoy raiding , do it with a clear conscience that if others want to do it bad enough, they will figure out a way. Once you master it, if you want to help others ,great. And if you dont, this casual thinks that ok too.

  6. […] discussed their thoughts on GW2 news in this post, and it made them realise that they were kind of elitist…maybe? In a way? I started this as a […]

  7. Dahakha says:

    Congrats on finishing Blaugust!

    I started a comment but it got out of hand and so I expanded it into a blog post. 🙂

  8. tyrannodorkus says:

    Grats on getting through Blaugust.
    Hmm, I see your point about the barrier to entry. I like having that pulled down, but you may be right about some barriers can be ground level and I’ll never cross them anyways. Like raids, I’ll probably never do them because I just don’t like to do group content that relies on me doing it perfect else everyone suffers. I want to enjoy their stories though or experience them somehow, but if that can’t be done, then I’m fine with them staying hardcore as they are now.

  9. Aywren says:

    I just wanted to make a few notes on your thoughts of “learned helplessness” in games. For me, I don’t have enough hours in the day to spend time in a game playing something that isn’t fun for me. A lot of this content (including Fractals and GW2 dungeons) really just aren’t fun for me.

    I tried Teq in the beginning, right after it first changed, and most people actually kinda got a shot at trying it. I understand why they changed the encounter, but after failing over and over again, it really wasn’t much fun. Then, people decided that only the instances where big, organized guilds were involved in the fight would ever be successful. It got to be that I’d show up for Teq and the zone was almost empty because whatever big guild was doing it had ferried all their folks to another server or whatever.

    That got discouraging and I just stopped showing up. I didn’t even try the Wurm encounter because Teq wasn’t fun, and I doubt Wurm would be much better.

    It was one of the first signs that GW2 was moving away from providing content that everyone could participate in. And while I acknowledge that people of different skill levels play the game and have a right to enjoy the game, I don’t like the way the game is developing one bit.

    It makes me sad to hear things like “I don’t stop to rez anyone cuz they should just waypoint” because I know there was a time when that wasn’t true. I’m not pointing at you for it, though, because I believe it’s more about the content that GW2 is developing.

    You noted this was in the Silverwastes. Not just running around Ascalon or something.

    The way that whole zone is designed, to me, is a chaotic mess. I got in there, tried to run some events, and quickly disliked what I saw and felt. I don’t blame you for not rezzing people in the Silverwastes because the way they designed it, yes, you would just be downed for trying to help someone out. I feel that’s the content shaping player behavior, and not for the better.

    That is why I don’t like the idea of raids coming to GW2. Because I feel this kind of content will further shape behavior and further draw rifts between players who are casual and hardcore…

    When this game launched, we were all just Guild Wars 2 players. Now those folks kick Rangers for being Rangers. It’s a sad day. 😦

    • Jeromai says:

      I totally agree with you. What you say is a great part of why I’m struggling with this massive cognitive dissonance. I joined GW2 for the manifesto of being able to welcome -any- player that came within my sight range as being an extra pair of hands, I -want- to be able to rez them and feel good about helping them and them to feel good about being helped.

      Now I have content that to complete efficiently, successfully and optimally (and this is also a value of mine, in order to have “fun” according to a certain definition of it), I have to act against the first principle because I will be punished with death or failure or lots of time being wasted if I try for the former.

      The segregation/division is happening and there’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s driving me up the wall and tearing me apart in two different ways.

      • Aywren says:

        I understand your struggle. I guess I chose to walk away from it rather than take part in seeing a game I once love transform into something I can’t quite recognize.

        GW2 once connected with me deeply, and it was because of the cooperative play. They’re moving so far away from that. I’ve found other games that connect with me more now, but I guess I still feel a little bitter and struggle, too, against how the game is shaping up.

        I think the whole raids announcement has made me realize I’m not going to “win” this “battle,” so personally, I’m going to stop fighting against it. I stopped blogging about GW2 back when I felt I had nothing positive to say about it. When Season 2 was released, I kept hoping to find something about the game that would make me fall in love with it again, and when that didn’t happen, I was just disappointed.

        I guess, for me, it’s time to let it go. For you, I hope you choose the path that brings you as much enjoyment as you can. Though I don’t agree with the idea of what raids will change about GW2, I look forward to reading your impressions about them.

        BTW, I don’t think you’re leetist because you like to get things done efficiently. I’m like that too, and I’m a mid-core/casual who usually doesn’t raid. Some of us just want to get in, getter done, and spend our time in game well. It feels good when things run smoothly. 🙂

        • Jeromai says:

          The same thing happened to me with Incarnate raids in CoH. I just couldn’t deal with how they were structured and designed and chose to walk away from it. It was fairly easy because I was pretty distant already and not so invested into City of Heroes by that time, so letting go wasn’t too bad. (Plus, saving subscription money is always a bonus.)

          I guess I’m not yet ready to walk away from GW2 yet. Beyond the sunk costs, I still dearly love the lore and story of the game, plus the lovely art style.

          I just mostly fear how my player behavior and attitude is going to be shaped as a result of sticking with it.

          Really appreciate this convo, by the way, it’s helping to get my thoughts more cleared up about why I’m having such an emotional reaction / cognitive struggle about the whole state of affairs.

  10. Mercury says:

    ArenaNet’s stagnant instanced group content design is responsible for meta-elitism. It is not meritorious. Mentors are the best bridge between being completely new and being mechanically competent because the game’s teaching style is “knocked down seven times, get up eight.” It is appropriate for a teacher to exhort and employ self-teaching in the appropriate context; a teacher who does not teach novices explicitly is lazy, misguided, idealistic, or not a teacher. Only in movies are they skillful geniuses. ArenaNet is in love with its own movie.

    Dungeons do not teach mechanics tactfully and will not wrest inexperienced players from their ignorance or apathy by beating the stupid out of them. The dungeons will not be run. That non-meta groups do not form or form slowly reflects a lack of familiar reference points to serve as that bridge. Those most likely to self-bridge are self-driven, intrinsically motivated individuals who take joy in creating their own reference points from incomplete or noisy information.

    We’re not going to hold your hand. Flounder until you learn to swim. Innovation.

    Raids double up on this premise. They will add several layers of bricks to the “quit wall” for instanced group content. Let us not begrudge non-participating players their learned helpless- ahem, FUN, for the road to this state of mind and affairs is broad, well-paved, and readily accessible.

    More than I can say for dungeons and raids.

    (lf4m exp ele/war/guard tongue boss know fight ping full legis or kick)

    • Jeromai says:

      That is totes going to happen in a year’s time once legendary armors have been accessible for a while, if nothing changes between now and then. Absolutely.

      • Sylow says:

        Another good reason for me not to invest into that part of GW2, as long as i can spend time in a game with a much more begginer friendly community.

  11. Jonathan says:

    @Sylow:

    As someone that has no intention of bothering with purchasing the expansion, and doesn’t enjoy most of the current content, and might very well be who Jeromai is thinking of when talking about “learned helplessness” (as I can’t jump and can’t do much of the twitchy current content) let me try and pursuade you that GW2 is worth your time. No, really.

    The leveling experience is very, very good. Hearts are quite do-able. The world is beautiful and vibrant. You can play for a solid 18 months without hitting any of the ‘barriers’ that Jeromai is talking about (save one). The game is inexpensive and worth both the time and whatever cash you put forward.

    If you don’t want to have the “bad” part of the crowd / experience, try the following, in order of importance:

    1 — Don’t do the daily. No, really. It doesn’t give you anything worth having, and routes you into encounters trivialized by hordes of impatient people spamming abilities to get shiney boxes. Trying to do the daily will involve clock watching and working your schedule around Arena Net’s published schedule. Don’t let their schedule push you around. Just close out the daily and ignore it — forever.

    2 — Don’t do the dungeons. Most dungeons are now speed runs. The dungeons themselves aren’t that awesome, and entirely involve a group of NPCs that aren’t really worth worrying about. Most of the worst twitch-or-die, bring-the-right-build mess happens here, and you can skip it totally without missing any story that matters.

    3 — Don’t do fractals. Square point 2, and you have fractals.

    4 — Don’t do the “fun new content” that’s come out in the past year or so. Skip Tequatl and Triple-trouble. Don’t bother with Dry Top or Silverwastes. The “living story” lives quite nicely without being played.

    5 — Don’t do anything you don’t like to get a trait. Just sell your junk at the AH and buy the traits you want. If you like jumping puzzles, fine — if you don’t, skip them.

    This sounds like a lot to skip. It isn’t. The original game is massive, fun, well designed and has lots of things that lead to outstanding group play. The game is very worth trying.

    And the skip list is, of course, skippable. Try it, see if you like it, if you want more (and by more I mostly mean more fast-paced content) you can add what you like in. At the price point it is at, there is a huge amount of good to be had. Heck, at the full price it was (and is!) worth it.

    But don’t feel like you “need” to do anything.

    • Sylow says:

      You describe exactly what i do. I skip and ignore about anything you describe and find GW2 enjoyable as nice, small, easy-going second MMO where i don’t invest into anything but just waste some time occasionally.

      Although i currently don’t follow your advise #4, very slowly progress through the living story, but at least up to now it was manageable in a two person group and advise #5 luckily is outdated. The trait system was reworked, you now buy your traits with skillpoints (although they also have a new name now… mastery points or something like that) and everything is fine.

      The slightly disappointing point rather is that i not only play another MMO (TSW) as main MMO, but also dabble in others and find that the community in some of them is much more accepting than in GW2.

  12. […] I guess, six months later, I now have the answer to the question “What’s going to come out of the other end, once I fall down the raiding […]

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