This is a topic I have mulled over for several days, and am just finally getting around to posting. I have had a fairly rocky relationship with Guild Wars 2 that started with me bowing out of their alpha program and ended with me finally finding my groove a few months back and getting my first character to 80. The game is enjoyable but honestly it is not the kind of enjoyable I had hoped it would be. Which was all the more surprising when I found myself oddly riveted to the presentation at Pax South in January. I thought maybe it was the energy of the crowd, but whatever it was I found myself actually looking forward to the Heart of Thorns expansion. I have always liked Dark Knight type characters, and the Revenant looked very much like a character in my wheel house. So as we moved into E3 I was looking forward to seeing more information about the game, namely about the release date, pricing information, and what the guild hall system would end up being like. In all cases I pretty much got what I was hoping for, but upon seeing the pricing something struck in my craw.
As I looked through the options available on the website… the Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate versions all included the previous game. I kept looking for the versions of the game for players who bought the game at launch and had no need for the base game. Problem is there wasn’t one, and there was not planned on being one. Ultimately what I was looking for was a $10 or so price break on purchasing the game, to acknowledge the fact that I have owned their game forever now. The funny thing is… had they not mentioned anything about the core version… it probably would not have annoyed me at all. I guess I am not alone in my frustration because yesterday Arena Net announced that they would be giving Veteran Players an extra character slot to make up for the fact that they have owned the game so long. This is a nice gesture, but for me… who already has two empty slots because I don’t care enough to roll more characters… it still rings a little hollow. For the time being I won’t be pre-ordering, and honestly not even sure if I will be playing… just depends on what else I happen to be doing at the time this game launches. If nothing else I am sure it will go on sale at some point and I will be able to pick it up then.
I guess this morning is going to be a mixed bag of commentary from me, because another thing that mildly frustrated me yesterday was the announcement that World of Warcraft would be releasing all character names that had not logged in since December 7th 2010. While 2010 is a very long time ago… I also happen to have a bunch of characters. In fact I have a grand total of four different World of Warcraft accounts, and my primary and active account has managed to hit the maximum number of fifty characters. I have characters spread out on dozens of servers that I have no clue when the last time I played on them. So last night when I saw this news I had resigned myself to spending two hours logging every character on and off to make sure I reset the timer. Apparently the plan going forward is to do this release of character names each time Blizzard releases a World of Warcraft expansion. Personally I think that simply having an active subscription should be enough of a toll to pay to keep your names from getting the axe… but it seems that is not the case.
So while I was extremely frustrated when I first read that… my frustration faded as I came to the sad realization that there are very few characters in World of Warcraft that I really care about anymore. I have only had one foot in that game for the bulk of this expansion, and last night I realized I would far rather spend my hour making progress in Heavensward than logging characters in and out to make sure they did not get squashed. Today should be a big day for World of Warcraft with the 6.2 patch content being released… but I am finding myself not excited about it at all. I have too much new and shiny going on in another game, and while at some point I will log in and get my Naval missions going, for the foreseeable future I am not planning on raiding. That was really the last thing keeping me connected to that world was my raiding, and when it started to feel stale and forced… I felt it was time to start quietly fading into the background. So I guess at this point I am come around full circle, if someone really wants to be one of my old character names… then awesome go be it, because I won’t be using the name.
In Other News
Last night was a pretty great night… once I was able to get through the login boss mind you. I have some serious fears as to what tonight is going to hold in that department, unless Square Enix has something up their sleeves to make that problem magically go away today. For most of the night I was held up in the main storyline trying to get to level 55, so immediately upon logging in I started trying to arrange some dungeons. However other people in the guild needed stuff, so we arranged a very quick Shiva Hard trial for one of the guildies. It is amazing how “easy” this fight is, but then again my scale is greatly skewed from having just finished the Shiva Extreme battle last week. From there we ran another round of Sohm Al, which again dropped some nifty stuff for our alts. I think I managed to add one more piece of the cosmetic set to my inventory, which is awesome… because I absolutely want to complete the full set. Ashgar mentioned earlier in the evening that he needed the first primal encounter, and we also had several others nearing that point… so we hung out for a bit letting them get caught up before taking on the primal and defeating it rather brutally. That fight with a full guild group is a very different experience than with random players.
From there… we were bad people in that we decided to try and plant the seeds of raid addiction in a friend of ours. Lately Shiana has been leveling in game, and he was our raid leader back during Vanilla WoW and has raided off and on since then. I am not sure if it was Tam or myself that suggested it last night, but in either case we were both in collusion to get him into raiding. As a result we started last night on Binding Coil of Bahamut Turn 5, and while we had two new players to the fight… we managed to get through it without much issue. It was helped massively by the fact that both of the players that we grabbed were seasoned raiders in other games. From there we moved into Second Coil of Bahamut aka Turn 9 and we struggled a bit. Firstly with Ashgar gone by this point, I had to take over and learn the main tank role on the fight. In my experience each time you change roles on a fight, it is like starting back from square one and relearning everything. Then we had Shiana for whom this was just his second FF raid experience… but all in all we managed to make what felt like a bit of progress. At the very least I think I could fill in for Ash if I needed to, once I got over the whole Ravensbeak straight up murdering me bit. It was a great night of gaming… and tonight I am hoping to get a run of the third dungeon in… that I just unlocked.