In honour of the fifth anniversary of the game, and with the new Path of Fire expansion being released later this month, and given how it is the only MMO I still play, I decided to make a five part series about Guild Wars 2. This is not sponsored content (nothing on this site is sponsored), it’s just something I made for the sake of doing so.
I’ve played Guild Wars 2 off and on since Christmas 2012, in probably the most “casual” manner imaginable, because really, that’s all I personally want from the game. It’s not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly has its merits. Here is a list of the top five things I do in the game, all of which add up to at least 85% of the time I spend in the game.
1. Complete the PvE related daily quests.
I made an angry post a while back about how the Heart of Thorns expansion screwed with my ability to do the stuff in the game that I actually like doing. I sent this feedback to ArenaNet as well and I think they took it to heart, because new story content has its own set of dailies that are in addition to the normal dailies. As such, I deleted the post and I am generally happy again with dailies.
Anyhow, this is primarily what I do in the game. I don’t log in every day. I don’t even play every week. So, when I do happen to feel like playing it’s nice to have a handful of goals to remind me about the various things I can do. Often by the time I have earned the daily reward, that’s it for me and I log out to do something else. Other times, I stick around and do some of this other stuff.
2. Explore the world, doing dynamic events and heart quests.
Finally, after nearly 5 years, I have earned the “Been there, done that” title! This is actually part of what inspired me to make this series of posts. So yeah, the world in GW2 is actually pretty big and even though I have earned a title indicating that I have explored all of it, I have not in fact even set foot in several of the new Living World season 3 zones, nor have I have explored all of the areas that were added with the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s so much to see and so many little tidbits of lore and humour (especially quirky NPC dialog!) throughout the maps. I honestly enjoy just farting around the world discovering and taking part in this stuff.
My primary motivation for pre-ordering the Path of Fire expansion was so that I would have even more places to explore. The fact that it was reasonably priced right out of the gate (unlike the stupidly over priced Heart of Thorns expansion) also helped.
3. Collect and sell junk on to other players on the trading post.
As you will find out in more detail later when I complain about the boring crafting system, GW2 has a glut of… stuff that fills the players bags, bank, storage, guild bank, and every imaginable crevice, orifice, and cranny that one can nook stuff into! Thankfully, GW2 also has the Black Lion Trading Company, which is the most awesome auction house system in any game.
I don’t know exactly how much gold I have earned in the game, but what I can say is that I take great pleasure in the fact that I can collect and sell so much useful stuff to other players, through my normal “casual” game play. Over the years I have been able to buy several useful things from the gem store with my earnings! Most crafting materials are usually worth a fair amount of coins and given that they stack up to 250 units and can be deposited into your storage or sold from anywhere, they’re an amazing source of “free money” basically. Especially if you’re like me and you’re not going to use them yourself. That said, there’s just a ton of items, gear, etc. that you will find in your travels that other people genuinely need. Given that the trading post is shared across all servers, the likelihood that someone will buy your items in a timely manner is very high and that’s really rewarding. Of course, the downside to having the shared trading post is that there is essentially no scarcity whatsoever for anything, meaning nothing you can find or craft is special, because chances are there are already 25+ of them available. That said, it’s still fun and profitable to collect and sell stuff.
4. Convert all my gold to gems to buy some inane thing from the gem store.
As I have mentioned to ArenaNet a number of times, their gem store and its ability to convert in game gold into store currency (gems) is far too kind. Like, so much so that even this here “casual player” has only bought 800 gems with real money once (to pickup the Living World Season 2 episodes I was missing when they were on sale). Some folks out there have maxed their character slots by converting gold to gems, and that’s something like 30 x 600 gems! I think it’s safe to say that majority of gem store items you see people using in the game were purchased using in gold rather than real world money.
So, what have I purchased? Let’s see what I can remember… 2 character slots, a glider (not the one I actually wanted…), a flaming quiver for my fire-themed Sylvari Guardian, a total make over kit (the Norn male voice, not my cup of tea), a bank tab, some living story episodes that I missed, the original deluxe edition, and probably a few other things I can’t remember.
Sure, there are loads of other things I would like from the gem store, but at the same time I can happily live without them. More bank tabs would be great, but I can get by with the one extra one that I purchased. Unlimited harvesting tools would be handy, but I can buy pretty much an endless supply of tools with Karma and I kinda like doing that anyway. And so on. But with that said, buying items off the gem store with the gold that I earn in the game has often been and continues to be my “end game content”, my “big goal” if you will. And it’s great, for me.
5. Defeat world bosses.
The pinnacle of “Dynamic Events” in GW2 would be the world boss fights, where a raids worth of random players come together and complete a series of events in the open world. These events happen on a regular schedule, with at least one always being available. When I feel like doing one of these events, I open up this super handy Android app made by Blought, which shows when events are happening and provides some information about each event.
For a person who likes to hop into the game and “do something” for a little while, then hop out again, the world boss fights can be a rewarding use of time. They give decent rewards and most of them have various achievements one can try to earn. Sometimes they fail, other times there are so many people that the events get face rolled in no time flat, but on the whole the world boss events are enjoyable, low commitment content.
Honourable Mention: Personal and Living World Story
I have completed the personal story on one character and partaken in the Living World story up to the final boss fight of Season 2. Yes, that’s all I have done in 4.5 years of playing the game. I generally enjoy the story aspects, but I find that ArenaNet too often forces the player to drudge through lengthy, boring combat sequences that are full of gimmicky game play mechanics that are tedious, boring, annoying, and really only there be an artificial “time sink” rather than an actually enjoyable game play experience. That said, on the whole it’s not a bad way to spend 20 or 30 minutes here or there and that’s what I have done over the years.