Rediscovering Guild Wars 2

For the past 10 years or so I have been a WoW player and blogger – it’s all been on and and off for the past few years (and more off than on if I’m honest). I’ve dipped my toes in a couple of other MMOs along the way – LOTRO, Elder Scrolls, Secret World, Rift, Eve Online and the subject of this post, Guild Wars 2, but never stayed anywhere other than Azeroth for long. But this has definitely changed over the past fortnight – I’ve rediscovered GW2 and I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere else anytime soon (although that said I do have an urge to try out Star Trek Online and FFXIV but I’m restraining it as I want to continue to focus on and immerse myself in GW2).

And immerse is a good word for what I’m finding in GW2. I’m only level 32 so this is still early days levelling. I have a boost to level 80 but I don’t want to use it yet as I want to level at least one character from 1-80 and get to know the world.

And I definitely need to do a lot more research on the various professions (and as an aside that’s something I’m having to get used to, calling classes professions. It’s one of many things that are different in GW2 – I’ve gone into the game with a WoW mindset but I’m now having to shift that mindset.)

I decided to start with an Elementalist but I’m not sure if I’ve made the right decision. I have a level 13 ranger from one of my earlier attempts to get into GW2 but wanted to start from scratch. I thought the Elementalist would be pretty much akin to a WoW mage and that the Fire, Water and Air attunements would roughly correspond to Fire, Frost and Arcane. I now realise I have this wrong. I’ve only used the Fire Attunement up until now but tonight, after doing a little reading around the subject, I realise I should be using the other attunements as well, although until I log back in to see what that looks like all I can imagine is a raft of buttons that I’m going to find totally confusing to navigate during combat. I’ve already used glyphs but now realise that in not using the lesser Elemental glyph I’m missing out on a pet taking the aggro off me, which is why, occasionally, I’m a tad squishy.

So there’s still a lot to learn. But that’s to be expected. There was a lot to learn in WoW too I’m sure, it’s just that I started doing it so long ago I’ve forgotten most of what that was like. And all that learning will come. But right now what I’m focused on and enjoying is exploring the world and opening up different areas on the map. There is something about the way GW2 does this that really works for me. As soon as I discover a waypoint I’m off looking for the next one. Along the way I help out whatever local I come across and take part in whatever events spring up in a way that feels very organic. No running to exclamation points or question marks, just naturally discovering things to do as I explore the world.

I’m also really enjoying trying to see all the vistas. Some are extremely tricky without a flying mount but I’m assuming all can be viewed on foot so I’m enjoying the challenge of figuring these out. And I’m loving the personal story. I’ve just completed chapter 3. I enjoy the dialogue, my character’s growing involvement, the fact it’s explored some of her back story, the element of choice and the visual background in the dialogue scenes – it’s simply beautiful.

So in short I’m back playing an MMO but it is GW2 not WoW. It’s early days, I have a lot to learn but so far it’s drawing me in and making me excited to play in a way I’ve not felt since I started WoW. I guess this is because it’s all new, it’s all there to be discovered and it’s a beautiful world to discover in a way that feels very natural and spontaneous. I’m really enjoying my time in Tyria.

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