How I learned the hard way that Guild Wars 2 is still addictive, but in new ways.

This was suppose to be a grand weekend of work for FULLNOVAZERO. One where I played all sorts of indie games sitting on my pile, reviewed others, finished Darksiders II, even spent some time on the site overhaul, but not a lot of that happened. Instead Guild Wars 2 happened. All. Weekend.

Saturday was first spent watching some anime (this is pretty typical), but after awhile I finally decided it was time to play something. It seemed best to stick to Guild Wars 2 since at this point its been so underplayed. The rest of the weekend pretty much whizzed by after the first boot.

There’s certainly a “duh” factor when you talk about an MMO. Like, of course its addictive, I should have seen that coming. But I generally don’t have an addictive personality. I believe this is why I never usually get into MMOs in the first place. MMOs require one to see the proverbial carrot and chase it forever. Maybe I just never see that carrot, or I see it and I think “meh”.

Either way, the point is that while I usually enjoy MMO games in terms of leveling and combat, but usually those things that pad out the experience begin to weigh down on me very fast. In most MMOs the progression bar slows way down half-way through the game. Also the areas to explore not only become bigger, but the points to explore between them become wider. People usually complain about the grind-fest that MMOs are and its true. I don’t like half of the game to be spent running from point A to point B and I don’t like killing the same stupid rat a million times.

Guild Wars 2 is different though. It takes off all the extra padding to just get out on the field and play rough. The game can be a little rough at times, sure, but everything within the game is designed to be fun and I think that really speaks to me. Where previous MMOs may have preyed on people’s innate sense to keep leveling, keep improving, GW2 preys only on the sense to just keep having fun.

There is always something to do. Anything that has been added to the GW2 experience to give it more content has been done with quite a bit of foresight as its all pretty damn fun to experience. I love World vs. World because its silly and offers sort of a Planetside experience for RPG games. I love the few PvP matches I’ve been in because it lets me be more competitive. I’m strangely in love with the single player story line because its interesting and I’m not sure how it will turn out. But most of all I’m in love with exploration, as I always am.

Banjo-Kazooie still ranks amongst my top games for this reason alone, I just like collecting things until I’ve reached 100%. GW2 does this beautifully with its vista spots and “Points of Interest”. Even when I’m in lower level areas I can still have fun because the game adjusts my level accordingly (I still smash on these level 5 monsters pretty handily though). I get to see all the cool stuff the designers made and I get to see my progress bar both in experience and “World Completed-ness” tick up each time I find something.

This is the MMO with me in mind. I love collecting and I love leveling and I love competitive play, but I love all those things in a different way than most MMOs have presented it to me in the past. This could get ugly if I leave my better judgement checked-out at the door or if Arenanet adds another set of things to collect on the map.

I need to apologize to everyone as I intended to review a lot of different things, but instead all that time was spent in a single game. Normally I’d say that’s not a bad thing, except it started to cut into the time I usually set aside to writing. In any case go play Guild Wars 2, its awesome.


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About Ryan Saul

Hailing from Portland, OR I work by day and blog by night. I like to consider myself a video game connoisseur, playing as many new things as I can get my hands on. Its hard to hold me down to one game for very long before I move on to the next big thing. Luckily, that works pretty well in terms of video game blogging.

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