Ten more days… can we get any more excited??
Between the final server lists coming out, an utterly beautiful clip of a voiced musical piece from the soundtrack, and the stress tests that have been going on for a couple of weeks now, I’m totally stoked for he Guild Wars 2 launch. Is the hype machine out of control? Yes, it is. Undoubtedly. It’s not going to be a game for everyone, especially if you enjoy the traditional raiding end-game and/or gear progression. I doubt that it’ll be the MMO-Saviour that some folks seem to think, and it’s unfair to place it on a pedestal that no game will ever be able to live up to.
But for me, I already know that it’s going to be my go-to MMO for a long, long while. I feel it in my bones.
Guild Wars 2, even from the first time I played it in BWE3, immediately brought back those feelings that I had in classic WoW back in 2004, in a way that no other MMO since has been able to do. The feeling of wonder, of a huge world with all kinds of nooks and crannies and secrets and things to do and places to discover and ledges to jump off of and oceans to swim under – it’s all there, and it feels magical. The game has a ton of established lore and a great story to follow along with. The combat is surprisingly fun, fluid, and responsive, and the dynamic events are a blast. World bosses that show up periodically in the zones are a win, as are the instances with both story and explorable modes. The crafting – I love the crafting, with it’s discovery system and the ways that they’ve made inventory management easier. WvWvW isn’t my thing personally, but I have a ton of friends that are totally into it, and I’m sure I’ll put in some time there occasionally. The game is polished, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and everything about it just screams quality and depth.
And the lack of raiding/gear-progression? To be honest, it’s icing on the cake for me. I haven’t done the gear grind in any game since The Burning Crusade/Wrath of the Lich King. I’m so over that mode of gameplay – I much prefer the philosophy of being able to scale your level up or down as needed to play with your friends & do the content you want to do at the correct level. No longer do I *have* to run multiple instances every night to keep up with the pack, or else worry about getting behind. I don’t *have* to play the same game every night, running the same content night after night. I absolutely love this – I can take breaks to spend time with my family or play other games without feeling guilty.
So yeah, I’m a bit hyped. Forgive me, and just know that I’m not proclaiming it to be the end-all be-all MMO for everyone. It’s just an incredibly remarkable game for me personally, and it gives me those warm fuzzy MMO feelings that I’ve missed for so, so long.
But I haven’t been staying idle during the wait. I’ve been playing Rift in the meantime, though my subscription *just* ran out, and I’ll likely wait until 2-3 weeks after the GW2 launch to re-sub. They just announced that with a year’s sub you get a free copy of Storm Legion along with a mount, so I’ll almost certainly be taking them up on that deal – my WoW annual pass will end in September, and since I’m not planning on playing Mists of Pandaria, I’m more than happy to give Trion that subscription money. Trion is also experimenting with PvP normalization and breaking down the barriers to playing with the opposite faction, which is fantastic in so many ways I don’t know where to begin. It’s great news for my guild, which up to this point has had a guild on both factions – now we can just bring everyone together under one roof.
Also, I’ve really jumped back into Wurm with gusto over the past few weeks. We’ve been working on a few projects in our region – a new & improved clay resource, lighting up more of the area, helping a couple of new neighbors get their deeds set up & going, and improving our road infrastructure. I’ve been breeding (and selling!) horses like crazy in the meantime, and it’s getting to the point where I can pay for my deed just from horse and item sales in-game, so I’m very happy with this.
So right now my MMO line-up for fall is primarily GW2 and Wurm, along with a good dose of Rift when Storm Legion comes out. It works out nicely… one free sub game, one low sub game, and one sub game, all with very different styles of gameplay so that I don’t get bored. This fall/winter is going to be an amazing gaming season.