MMOs and me have a long and sordid past. I am one of those many thousands who lost an entire summer (or more) to WoW, and I openly claim defeat at the hands of Runescape ruining my SATs in year 9…
I’ve played Runescape, WoW, LotRO, Guild Wars, and even the small yet very interesting Pirates of the Burning Sea. I loved them all, and yet… They never really fulfilled me. There were always problems with them, there were always issues that made it unfun. In WoW, I didn’t like the changes through the expansion (and, truthfully, I didn’t like the amount of time it was stealing from me), in Runescape, it stopped simply being fun and transitioned into a meticulous grind that was mind-numbing. LotRO and PotBS suffered the same fate of being too underpopulated and not having quite enough stuff to do for me, PotBS even more so as it was wholly reliant on have large groups of people clambering for a place in a port battle and participation in the World PvP. Shame really… PotBS had some really novel concepts. Guild Wars suffered simply because of the time I decided to pick it up, and apparently my teenage stupidity. I was unable to get past a certain section, wherein the main force of the human survivors are moving through the northern parts of Kryta; I simply couldn’t do this plot-centric mission about killing a bunch of dwarves. They just murdered me, again and again. Had enough, quit the game for a year, came back with a new character, and there wasn’t anyone to play or group with!
Considering all my past history with MMOs being rather unfulfilling, it’d be understandable that I wouldn’t necessarily wish to pick up a new one.
I was not going to get Guild Wars 2. It was on my radar, I just didn’t pay too much attention to it. However, a friend pestered me, again and again, to get it and play with him. Maybe I was still high on the Steam sales a little bit prior (as said friend encouraged my purchases to match games he was buying) but I listened to him.
I got two copies, one for me and one for my girlfriend.
I played on release, and it was amazing. Everything was beautiful, it was all confusing and new, and the awesome world boss encounters? Don’t even get me started. I was on Teamspeak with my friend whilst he was showing me the fight and doing it with me, and I was non-stop talking about how amazing it was, how I’d never experienced anything like it, how I never would experience anything like it.
And yet, here I am playing League of Legends. I’m still level 31 in GW2, and I haven’t been on it in a good few weeks.
I wish I could say why that is… I so much enjoyed the game, and thought it was fascinating. I know my friends will be pushing me to play it again soon at some point, and I did promise another friend that I would play through the original Guild Wars with him once we get the chance. Maybe it was the irritating urge I had to complete every single area I went into? Everyone I knew was doing that, and I desperately wanted the crappy rewards at the end of the map clear, as well as that bright and shiny “100% map completion” tag every time I went there. I guess it got boring? Maybe I have a terrible attention span? Probably that one…
I really want to like GW2. It does a lot of things differently, but at the same time it’s kind of all the same. That fantastic “random” quest system, where you get “heart quests” if you’re near; it’s not really random, is it? It’s the same predetermined questing system that WoW and Runescape and every other MMO has, but instead of asking some dude what’s wrong, you simply automatically know what’s the matter, and start killing things.
The heart giver speech text implies that you spoke to him first about what to do, then you went and did it, even if that’s certainly not the case. It can make some odd conversations, wherein I murder 20 things, go to the dude who needed them murdered, and he’s thanking me and praising me for coming and helping them out of the goodness of my own heart etc. But what if that’s not the case? What if I’m a gorram mass-murderer?! I know that the story for GW2 is that you’re a local hero, but that doesn’t change the fact that I just walked in, murdered everything with a red name and then asked for my letter of thanks and monetary compensation. Maybe the heart givers have some secret communication system, wherein they convey my location at all times? What about the peons? The people who witness it? The little rat-like guys (not kobolds at all…) who live in their great city, who see me killing their grubs. How do they know that the leader suddenly needs this? To them, I’m just some horrible murderer, surely? I’ve just destroyed their entire heard (flock? Murder? What do you call a group of grubs?) of delicious, meaty grubs at the behest of the leader, but the farmers just see someone of a different race killing their food!
Anyway; I want to like the game, I did like the game until it got boring, and I might get back into the game at a later stage.
However, the eternal question remains; I could play GWs… Or I could play Mass Effect 3 and experience a fulfilling story, or even play League of Legends with my friends and have a great time (or a ragey time, it all depends; I’ll make a post about LoL shortly). GW2 needs that special something that makes me want to play it – and not out of a sense of completion-ism either!
Poor GW2… Looks like it’s becoming just like the original GW!