Back At It Again in Guild Wars 2

Back At It Again in Guild Wars 2

Of all the MMOs I could be exploring right now, I didn’t expect my current focus to be on Guild Wars 2. In fact, I honestly didn’t expect to touch it ever again.

During last year’s Blaugust, I wrote an entire post about my struggles just attempting to play this MMO. There were things about it I genuinely liked, but more about it that I wasn’t a huge fan of. All of that together made me want to give up on the game entirely.

However, End of Dragons, the most recent Guild Wars 2 expansion, was released fairly recently, and it’s always hard to deny the hype that comes with every single expansion release for any game whether you play that game or not. Knowing that I had friends who still absolutely enjoyed GW2 combined with the current hype for this most recent expansion, I elected to give it another try a few weeks ago.

With a bit of a twist this time.

I had attempted to play and stream GW2 about a year ago, and at that time, I had created an entirely brand new character: a sylvari Guardian. Guardian is one of the small handful of professions in GW2 that I kept going back to, so I felt it would be a safe class to attempt to figure out how to play and “main,” so to speak.

(I also might have wanted to eventually explore the Dragonhunter skill line that was introduced with the Heart of Thorns expansion. Their skill effects look cool as hell.)

 

However, when the game felt like too much of a slog at the time, I set the character (and the game) aside for about a year.

When I made the decision to revisit the game (again), I knew I had to tackle it a bit differently this time. I knew there had to be some way to find something I enjoyed with this class and I was determined to find it.

 

Instead of just rushing into things blindly, I put out a question on Twitter, asking what some of my followers who played thought I might enjoy as someone who tends to main healers or support roles in other MMOs but also wanted to be able to solo things effectively while staying at range if I happened upon large group events.

(The range thing is key, at least for myself. I have a slightly older computer and it doesn’t often handle being in close proximity to multiple spell effects going off at once.)

The answers I got were fairly consistent and tended to be one of two professions: Ranger (with specific mention of their Druid elite specialization), and Guardian in general. When it came to the Guardian, however, a friend suggested I try them with a scepter and a staff.

In my first stream back with GW2, I mostly messed around with the build and weapons that I had at the time, attempting to get a feel for the class again. I let myself just explore zones and do whatever I liked. Since swapping weapons of choice around and finding a build for this guardian that’s more focused around Condition Damage utilizing a scepter/torch and a second weapon of my choice, I’m finding I’m having a lot more fun.

A sylvari guardian standing in a snowy landscape from Guild Wars 2

In fact, I’m finding I’m having a lot more fun with the game in general, which is genuinely surprising to me after how much of a struggle it was for me to even get anything done any time I tried to play this previously.

In previous attempts to play Guild Wars 2, I feel like I mostly tried to treat it like I would any other MMO, and I’ve since learned you really can’t do that.
Guild Wars 2 is its own beast and a lot more casual, besides. It’s less quest-driven and more “wander and see what you can find.” It’s a game built on exploration and essentially letting you get to whatever destination you really want to be the destination.

Once I let myself start to accept that, I honestly found the entire experience to be a lot more fun than it had been for me previously, and I’m probably going to continue to play this in the future.

I do still wish personal story quests weren’t given to us in batches every ten levels, though.

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