Has it really only been 3 weeks!?! Good lord, I've already hit level 50 and I missed playing for a full 7 days. In a game where the max level is 80, GW2 feels like it’s flashing by too quickly. Leveling through the zones is the part of MMOs that I enjoy the most.
I’m not grinding or racing my way through content. However, I do find that it all flows so seamlessly, completing objectives just happens. I don’t have to run here-n-there completing quests. Practically every section of the map has “stuff” happening that will provide XP if you participate. Combined with harvesting XP, crafting XP and staying up on my Personal Story, the XP is swooshing by.
I admit to being a tiny bit concerned. I’m not prone to alts and don’t have an urge to re-run the zones again this soon after doing all the BWEs and now release. I am looking forward to running explorer mode dungeons and collecting a full set of PVP gear as my personal end game. Regardless, I am seeing the encroachment of level 80 sooner than I anticipated.
Reason 1: No groups need apply
I’m still of the soloing ilk. Yes, I know, my play style offends many MMO players. I’m very happy to work my way through content with "real" friends. However, joining groups of strangers on a regular basis isn’t in the cards. I’m heavy explorer and VERY LOW on the social gamer meter. I prefer games where my progress isn’t cock-blocked because I’m not in a group. Games that make grouping easier or intrinsic, do find me in groups more often but certainly not because I explicitly join them.
Rift took WAR’s excellent public group system to the next level of evolution, auto joining you to groups based on proximity or when doing dynamic content. Guild Wars 2 has evolved it even further by eliminating the need all together. *EVIL GRIN*
Molly, clutch your pearls, in GW2 you never need to be in a formal group for non-instanced PVE content. Hell, you don’t even have to speak to each other. That’s good news for someone with my play-style but not so good for others. If the lack of grouping is a problem for you, feel free to join a big guild. You can also join multiple guilds for different types of content. Better yet, if you have a hard on for grouping, you can form a static questing team. All I ask, is that you don’t rain on my parade and I won’t piss on yours.
Reason 2: It’s rather obvious
In GW2, players seem to understand what’s going on around them and how to participate. We simply pitch in or help out because we’re in the area. Don’t equate obvious with easy, they are not the same. I’ve rolled up on events that were laying waste to players, regardless of the numbers. There are several Skill Points that routinely leave bodies on the floors until help arrives or people figure out how to manage it. I’m not talking about zone wide events either. These are veterans or mini bosses spawning in the zones that require decent coordination and the application of some skill to overcome.
The map also does a great job of alerting you to events taking place near you. All of which, contribute to completing content faster and doing more of it. Events are also repeatable. There is no event start/complete NPC. If you’re there and you participate, you will receive XP each and every time. I have my personal favorites and I've done them as many times as they were running when I was leveling nearby.
Shaemoor Garrison in Queensdale is golden
I think the Garrison is pure win! I lived at the Garrison in Shaemoor from level 3 to 7, and then back tracked to do the appropriate level content.
I enjoy the Garrision for many reasons:
- There are 2 skill points out back where the fighting takes place
- Contains an easy vista upstairs inside the garrison
- You can purchase every weapon from a vendor inside by the door – has to have recently completed the event where you escort him through the Centaurs to bring back weapons (cute!)
- Plenty of combat available to unlock all of your weapon skills
- The Karma vendor has two blue gear rewards for purchase
- Easy to harvest food components and mine ore
- Easy to re-run the local events as much as you desire
Reason 3: Good variety of quest objectives
GW2 is now the third game in a row to make a liar out of me. In addition to soloing, I tended to grind mobs way more than doing quests. I don’t find the old school step-n-fetch quest style entertaining. I’m supposed a hero but you need me to get you chicken feet or go kill more of the mob I just murderlized to get to your ass in the first place.
I detest quests so “crafty”, insert poorly written and obtuse, you don’t understand what the hell the NPC wants or where to go find it. UGH! I had way more fun finding zones I liked and running rampage on mobs that dropped items I needed to farm or tested my ability to pawn-face.
I completed way more quests than usual in WAR and even more in Rift. However, GW2 takes the cake. OMG, I’ve actually become a little completist, bent on obtaining zone completion for each of the leveling zones I do. That is so not me! I find that the content is enjoyable, I don’t have to race back and forth, it’s obvious where to go looking for new encounters and I like obtaining the achievements.
Most games reward quest completion with better XP than grinding mobs but in the past, I felt completing quests took more time – some of it wasted time. That’s not the case in GW2 and I like the content, hence I’m doing all of the content in each zone which is yielding optimum XP.
Reason 4: No crafting restrictions & nice XP
We can all harvest everything and take up all of the available crafting professions. Harvesting provides XP and so does crafting. I’ve always been a crafter but now my options are wide open. I’m approaching 225 for cooking. I’ve dabbled in weaponsmithing and jeweler but am still undecided on how far to take either. Regardless, all of those efforts are rewarded with XP. There are no artificial blocks such as your character level. If I have spare components that are used in another crafting profession, I can experiment with those materials, gain some XP and create a few items to sell, trade, give away or salvage. BTW, I’m a salvage fiend.
Reason 5: IT'S FUN
Shouldn't need to state the obvious but it's a lot of fun! The content is very dense and there are multiple questing zones for each level range. Don't like one, make your way to a different one! Cherry-picking more skill points I found a whole zone that is pirate themed. Oh my, so much fun. It was a more beautiful and detailed version of Booty Bay. If you enjoy getting your YAAR on, head to the islands south of Lion's Arch. Has quest objectives and events from level 35 to 55.
5 reasons form the Perfect Storm
The net effect is that almost every single minute I’m in GW2, I’m engaged in an activity that provides XP. There’s almost zero down time unless you’re standing around. Activities that would be a break from leveling in other games, some of it unwanted down time, aren’t down time in the traditional sense, in GW2. So yeah, the levels are unintentionally racing by. I’m surprised, having a great time, happy, excited and concerned, all at once!