Traveller Thursday #11

Excited to share another #TravellerThursday with all of you! Here are some beautiful snaps of Tyria that I’ve managed to find.

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There’s something about the Shiverpeaks that makes me feel quite at peace.

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Fish heads, fish heads. Roly poly fish heads.

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Just a small sight I thought was pretty.

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It had been a while since I had a WvW shot, so here you go!

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Every time I’m in the Grove, I’m blown away by the beauty of the place.

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I honestly don’t remember seeing this before, so I figured I’d post it last minute! It’s found in the Brisban Wildlands.

Do you have any great first-person screenshots to share with the world? Be sure to tweet them to @gw2traveller with the hashtag, #TravellerTyria to possibly get a retweet and show it off with your fellow Tyrians in the Twitterverse!

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Getting More Out of My Game

Last week I posted concerning the topic of “More,” and ended with the question: “Is it possible for me to simply be happy with what I have in Guild Wars 2?”

It’s interesting how we always want more and more content, but how often do we find ourselves being satisfied with what’s been given to us? Satisfaction in our gaming is a choice. I mean, we don’t always “click” with every single game or every single playstyle, but after a certain point we’re forced to either enjoy what’s offered to us, or not. I’ve hit this wall since having an 80 of every single profession where I felt like the game wasn’t worth playing anymore and I asked: “Why is this?”

One thing I mentioned last week was the whole concept of having the carrot dangled in front of us–as if we need this. I’d go so far to say that we should feel our intelligence is being insulted if we have to be told to have a specific goal in a game. Sure, it’s a beautiful thing to have a story crafted to guide us and engage us, but shouldn’t we find value in the journey itself? Once upon a time I played MMOs such as World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online where your goal for your character was maxing your stats, getting the best gear (that would always be updated and render your last gear obsolete), and running the same dungeons over and over. I remember in LOTRO’s Riders of Rohan expansion, finally getting all the top gear and feeling proud that I finally accomplished it. Actually, I got TWO sets for my Captain (one for healing and one for DPS), and then stepped away to play Guild Wars 2 for a bit. When I came back, it was all useless.

[…]shouldn’t we find value in the journey itself?

Yet this was the premise of every game I’ve played my whole life. Console RPGs, I’d get the best gear and hit max level and kick the living daylights out of the final boss. In WoW, I just wanted to get my character to max level (I played pre-Burning Crusade, which was pretty awesome back then). Guild Wars 1, I felt myself confused after I hit Lv.20 because it made no sense to me. It was all aesthetics. There was no carrot to chase, other than completing objectives that were set. Wasn’t this a good thing? Isn’t the intended direction of Guild Wars 2 exactly what I needed?

Yet I’ve been so conditioned.

Perhaps I’m being too idealistic, because as I noted in my last post, I tend to need that carrot. I love the idea of freedom and exploration, but when it all comes down to it I just get bored. Too much freedom and I feel like I’ve completed everything and move on.

Take the acclaimed Minecraft, for instance. It’s a purely sandbox game that’s based on discovery and exploration, learning more and more about what you’re capable of through different materials you gather and combine. It’s tremendously fun to play, but I get quite tired of it after a while. Why? The lack of the carrot.

In terms of Guild Wars 2, it became extremely clear that when I got all 80’s I felt like I had achieved everything. My completion of the game was tied to reaching “the end.” It’s where people fall flat on their faces and ask: “Now what? Where’s the end-game content?” To be honest, this is really hard reprogramming that ArenaNet has been trying to do. Instead, they’re moving into the concept of meaningful, horizontal progression that goes beyond fashion through their mastery system in Heart of Thorns.

Will this be enough of a carrot? Will progression in the mastery system be gained through multiple areas of the game? Will exploration and pure enjoyment of Tyria feed into this? I’m honestly not sure how this could be done well. Either you constantly dangle carrots, or you open up the sandbox. Is it possible to work somewhere in-between?

I know ArenaNet is trying to find a beautiful medium there, and I hope they achieve it. I think they’re on the right track, but it’s definitely taking some reconditioning of… well, me.


Maybe this blog post is ending without an answer. It’s more of a scattershot of thoughts based upon last week’s post. I guess I want to get more out of my game and I’m finding some ways. Do you have any suggestions on how to get more out of Guild Wars 2? Be sure to post your comments below. I’d love to read, and respond to, as many as possible!

Traveller Thursday #10

Wow. I can’t believe I’ve already hit 10 Traveller Thursdays already! It’s been quite the fun little side-thing since they implemented the first-person view.

Here’s a few more beautiful shots that I’ve managed to take. I hope you enjoy!

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Such a pretty view, and I can’t even remember where I took this!

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LA has so many beautiful little sights in the distance.

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Look up. Look wayyyy way up and I’ll call Rusty. (I just dated myself)

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Funny how we never stop to look at sights like this very often. I love torches!

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Then there’s my obsession with arches and architecture like this.

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Shamelessly showing off my wife’s main and her new gear.

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Finally, Lion’s Arch is beginning to be rebuilt!!!! I’m INSANELY excited!!!

Well, that’s it for my beautiful shots of Tyria. I hope you enjoyed it!

Do you have first-person screenshots of beautiful places in Tyria? Be sure to tweet them to @gw2traveller with the hashtag, #TravellerThursday to share it with the Twitterverse!

More

As a disclaimer, I hope that you all take this with a grain of salt, realizing that I’m speaking more to myself about this than anybody else, so here goes…

I find that we, as people, are always dissatisfied. Lately I’ve been thinking about my posts on wondering what’s even happening with Heart of Thorns. I’m very thankful that a lot has been revealed so far about elite specializations and the specialization system as a whole, but I can’t help but still feeling dissatisfied. I try to log in and although I’ve had a bit of renewed excitement over my Guard by trying different weapon sets and builds in WvW (yet I keep going back to a Hammer + something Medi Guard for roaming), I still feel like things are lacking.

Being the introspective person I am, it’s got me wondering… what’s my issue with where things are at in Guild Wars 2 right now? Is it actually ArenaNet, or is it me? Am I entitled for wanting more content, even though they’ve released quite a bit over the years? (Yes, I stand by that) Am I wrong in feeling like I want more content now? It’s really hard to know. Everyone has an opinion on it, and I’m not sure if my expectations are a little too crazy.

Part of me really misses the Living Story updates because of the small “sandboxy” feel to it. Perhaps, I’m just impatient as a whole for Heart of Thorns to come out because of all that’s been promised?

As a whole, I feel restless with where we’re at, and part of that is the excitement for something fresh and new. It makes me wonder: “Are we ever really satisfied, as gamers?”

I mean, as soon as things are released these days, we begin asking about expansions or DLC before we even complete it. We push through to get as much as possible, consuming content like a swarm of locusts, and rarely stop to smell the roses and truly appreciate what the developers have done to create the game. Isn’t that what Guild Wars 2 was originally supposed to be about? The journey? Exploration? Discovery? Heck, even recently I discovered a beautiful location in the Grove I never knew existed:

gw364So why is it that I feel tired of Silverwastes, Dry Top, dungeons, making a legendary, etc? Probably because I have it in my mind that I need to chase the carrot. It’s been conditioned in my head by games my whole life. Better loot, more power, and more “stuff” for the sake of stuff.

Is this actually the way to enjoy things though? It’s like the rat race all over again. We push and push in real life to have more and more money so we can have more and more things so we can work harder to get the things we achieve to have more objects that’ll never make us feel happy because we’re constantly searching for something more and still feel like we’ve come up short because we haven’t savoured the journey. (That massive run-on sentence is very intentional…)

I’m really asking myself as to whether I’m going to enjoy what’s offered to me, or end up going crazy and getting sick of the game? If it’s a constant grind for gold and more “things,” then I’m going to lose interest. I think I need to step back and enjoy what has been created, whether it’s little things in Hoelbrak or hidden gems in Malchor’s Leap.

Ultimately, while I wait for Heart of Thorns to release, the biggest problem is me–I keep wanting more, but more always seems like too much work.

Is it possible for me to simply be happy with what I have in Guild Wars 2?

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There you have it, people. Some random, unedited, free-writing from the brain things inside my head. Does it resonate with you? Have you asked that question about chasing the carrot at the end of the stick? Where are you at? Post your questions or comments below, because I’d love to hear from you!

Traveller Thursday #9

Excited to share this week’s #TravellerThursday for you all to see!

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Such a beauty in DR!

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There’s a reason this is an RP-hub!

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Does anyone else find the Brand creepily beautiful?

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Approaching quietly, a hidden grove with a hidden purpose…

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The glimpse of Brand-free light sparkles through.

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At the center of the grove lies a solitary tree, brimming with magical energy…

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…and memories of a lost friend…

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As the wind blows quietly, you hear a single name echo through the breeze… “Killeen”

Oh the memories. I have to say that Ghosts of Ascalon is an astounding book worth reading!

Be sure to share your first-person screenshots to show off the beauty of Tyria by tweet @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday!

Huntin’ Them Dragons

So last week’s craze was the Dragonhunter (which I’m going to flat out say that I actually adore the name. Lettin’ my inner hipster out, you know?). I have to admit that I didn’t see the livestream. Things have been so busy lately that I just haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and watch it. What I am going to say though is that I’m extremely excited.

What I’m learning about all of the elite specializations so far is that they’re trying to bring something very unique to the mechanics of the profession. I never got the opportunity to blog about the Chronomancer and honestly, I’m not really qualified to speak there as I’m a horrible Mesmer. Now the Guardian, I see a lot of potential here. Long-ranged support sounds really intriguing to me (as the Staff is more close-ranged than long due to its auto-attack). It seems to me that there will be more opportunities for players to create and fill in more roles, especially with new utilities.

For instance, many have complained about how the DH is getting traps and a Longbow, which will detract from the value of a Ranger. I’m not quite convinced of this, but I think the Druid is going to be a game-changer for the Ranger… to create tremendous danger, even though it’ll be stranger to have this kind of re-arranger to use staff as a game-changer.

…I need more coffee. Anyway, the Guardian may or may not step on the toes of Rangers but as a Guardian main, I’m not quite worried. I see the worry for some though.

Honestly, I don’t have too much to say on the specializations other than “I like the idea,” so let’s see how it plays out. Until I can get my hands on playing with the DH, it’s all theory–and I’m the type of person that theory isn’t usually very meaningful or useful for me. Call me an existentialist, but that plays into my gaming as well.

I’ll leave the theorycrafting and potential impact to those who are more intelligent in that area. For me, I’m just excited about the idea of a long-ranged weapon (sorry, scepter in my mind is still close-range considering its uses) that will help me support better. My real hope is that this is going to change how we look at the game by making support valuable.

Perhaps I’m rambling and make no sense (pounding headache today). All I have to say is that I’m excited about where Dragonhunter’s going and how it looks. This week? This week we’re going to hear about the Necromancer elite specialization. Excitement!

Traveller Thursday #8

Traveller Thursday strikes again! Excited to share with you some more beautiful parts of Tyria!

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My wife had said if she could live anywhere, it would be here. I don’t blame her.

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DR seems so dark and beautiful at night.

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This is quite possibly the most wonderful thing I’ve seen. I mean, creepy, but wonderful. Sir Murellow, I do believe you need a bow tie.

Do you have some images to share? Be sure to tweet them to me at @gw2traveller with the hashtag #TravellerThursday. Excited to see what you have to share!