Tag Archives: guild wars 2

blaugust #19: soldier on, salad.

GW2 - Tristis - Kessex Hills 8-17-15b

I couldn’t sleep last night, and I’ve been out all day today. I had a longer post planned, but I’m staggering tired. It will keep. So just a short post tonight.

I revived Tristis and have spent a couple of evenings in Guild Wars 2 this week. She’s got better gear on now and is looking like a steampunk schoolgirl run amok. If that needs translation, I mean she looks good. Following advice,  I’ve abandoned all pretense of crafting and am selling everything I farm and any drops that aren’t useful. I’ve got a couple good salvage kits, but when those are kaput I probably won’t buy more. There is a surprising amount of money to be made in butter and pristine toxic spore samples! I upgraded her weapon and sigils and am sitting on a tidy pile of gold now. I could buy better armor, and probably should, but earning it feels nice.

I spent my first few forays in Kessex Hills, where I died a lot. I mean, A LOT. More than I should have, even for reacclimating and being under-geared. This is because I am crap at playing an elementalist. I can see how it should work. I know she can be a whirlwind of fiery death. But my dodging and spec-switching skills just aren’t there. It’ll take a lot of work. I stuck with it long enough to get decent gear for my level, but then departed for easier fare last night. It’s too hot to die 20 times in an evening. Map completion is a good motivator for me, and I still haven’t done all the starting areas. Last night I did Hoelbrak, and wow! I fell in love. The giant scale of it, and all the Viking-esque snow and ice were really appealing (it is so hot here, so hot). And I totally did not fall off a giant ice sculpture of a bear and plummet to my death in the powdery snow below. Neeeever happened. It was a fun night. So my salad soldiers on in frozen climes (salad crisper?), although I’m now dreaming of a Norn alt in a melee class. Bashing is so simple, y’know?

blaugust #16: Tyria, try again.

GW2 - Tristis - Lion's Arch 8-16-15f

I’ve finally gotten Guild Wars 2 reinstalled and had that run around I was craving earlier in the week. Tristis is a bit shambolic at the moment. They’ve changed the character builds since I last played, and I’m still finding my way around the skills ring. She’s got half of one outfit on, and half of another outfit. We are badly in need of transmutation, but I don’t have any charges and don’t want to buy any. She looks a bit naff, but I’m just going to live with it for now.

GW2 - Tristis - Lion's Arch 8-16-15b

My first impression, once I’d had my pretty run around over hills and through forests, was that I was bored and would rather be playing something else. I logged out and came back a couple of times over the course of this week. But two posts I read this week have convinced me to stick with it for a little while and see what develops. The first was this tempting collection of screenshots of the new Lion’s Arch, which I hadn’t explored yet. The second was MMO Gypsy’s Blaugust post for yesterday: “What makes me happy in MMOs.” Some of the things on that list are things I can relate to: windmills creaking, my cloak fluttering in the wind, getting that mob down against all odds. But a lot of them are things I’ve not played long enough to experience: getting to a place where I feel competent and my gear looks crazy good.

I seem to start MMOs, and be super invested for a while, and then my interest kind of peters out. I keep starting over again because I’m interested in reaching that point of competence and ownership. But then drying up in the middle all over again. There are specific and identifiable reasons for this dry spell I always experience. For one, I don’t like crafting. I have yet to find a game where the crafting interests me, but it’s important for leveling up and optimizing your gear. For another, while I love the physical environments of most of the games I’ve tried, I’ve not been able to get invested in any of the lore or storylines. I enjoy the mechanics, the scenery, the dressing up. I love getting a better weapon and seeing my stats go up. I like the little moments of understated interaction: getting to res another player, or having a total stranger take a moment to demonstrate how to climb a vista just because they can see I’m having trouble. Those moments are really fun. But I struggle with activities that require greater interaction or communication between players, because I’m shy and because I’m not particularly confident in my skills. The first dungeons I ever did as a healer in WoW were the most terrifying thing I’ve done in years. Actual sweating palms and shaking hands and social anxiety. I am shy in person, and an introvert, but I don’t experience social anxiety. In game, though, I am a bundle of social anxiety. This makes it hard for me to team up with other people in a way that’s meaningful and progresses my character. So I just sort of dwindle away and wander off.

These two posts have convinced me to try sticking with Guild Wars 2 for a while, though. Yesterday I explored a new section of map, did a couple of events, and was rewarded with my first exotic gear drop ever. I want to earn the right to wear that at Level 80. Today, I spent a couple of hours in newly rebuilt Lion’s Arch, taking screenshots and rediscovering vistas. The bank is a giant stone octopus, with a fish tank for a head. Who would want to miss that? It was fun to reclaim that territory, figuring out what was different and what remained the same. Standing under the windmill that’s one of my favorite things in the entire Tyrian world, I felt that urge to keep going.

(This is day 16 of the Blaugust initiative.)

blaugust #11: I’m a sucker for a pretty place.


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.
gw081 gw043 gw017 gw067
(This is day 11 of Blaugust!)