As I type this, Guild Wars 2 is downloading to my laptop. I picked up GW2 last year, and for several months it was pretty great. I put a lot of time into checking off areas for map completion, and I took particular pride in finding and climbing vistas. Navigating with finesse continues to be an awkward area for me in MMOs, and vistas went a long way towards making me better. There’s a really nice sense of achievement that comes with solving that spatial puzzle. And well, if you have to kill a bunch of marauding Skritt to get to it, that’s fun too.
Somewhere along the way, though, I lost interest and stopped playing. I can’t remember why; I must just have needed something simpler. I do remember getting heavily addicted to Terraria over Christmas, and a lot of other games fell by the wayside for a while there. When I got home from work tonight, though, I found myself looking around for something pretty to explore. I came up empty-handed. I’m really enjoying Torchlight 2 right now, and I’m pretty heavily invested in the characters I’m working on for that. But it’s not a big enough world for aimless combat-free wandering, and it’s nowhere near as pretty as GW2. I don’t want to fight anything tonight. I just want to take a nice walk, you know? I feel like running through the woods and over the mountains and posing in nice locations for pretty screenshots. I don’t want to cast any fireballs or lightning whips, and I’m not in the mood to save the world from undead things. I don’t even care about gathering materials. (There’s no fishing in GW2, or I’d do that; I love a game with good fishing.)
So Guild Wars 2 it is, because it’s a really beautiful game. I have only the most average of laptops, and I keep my graphics settings turned down pretty low, Even so, the painterly effects, beautiful light, and landscape details of GW2 look really good. I have no idea where I left Tristis when I last logged out – what level she is, where she is, or what she’s wearing (except for her aviator goggles – she’s always in aviator goggles). But I’ll meet up with her again in about an hour, and we’ll go for a run. If anything especially pretty happens, I’ll let you know.
(This is day 11 of Blaugust!)