So I’ve been a slacker about updates lately… my original goal of 2 posts per week fell by the wayside. It’s that allocation of time thing to blame – time spent blogging could be spent playing.
Anyway, I spent the last week dabbling in alts, and exploring zones. I’m finding exploration and completing zones fun. My character Aurora Tian is Asuran, so I’ve been working from west to east mostly. So far I’ve completed: Metrica Province, Caledon Forest, Brisban Wildlands, Queensdale, Kessex Hills, Gendarran Fields, Harathi Hinterlands, Snowden Drifts, Lornar’s Pass, and various cities: Rata Sum, The Grove, Divinity’s Reach, Lion’s Arch, and Hoelbrak. I have not stepped into any Charr/Ascalon area on Aurora, so far.
I enjoy the variety of playing another character (or two…), seeing different skills and so on, so I invariably roll up some alts. I have a level 14 Guardian who isn’t quite clicking for some reason. You’d think a spellcasting melee char would provide a lot of differences over an elementalist, and that is correct, but it isn’t exciting so far. That might be simply that it gets better at higher levels, with a few more skills unlocked.
My favorite char from GW was my ranger, but I just can’t get into playing them here. I figured it out – surprisingly the reason why is the pet. Yes, in GW I almost never used a pet; instead I was a Marksmanship, Expertise, or occasionally a Wilderness Survival trapper. But only once in a very great while was I a beast master. In GW, it was very viable to be a non-pet ranger, but not so much here. I’m lousy at controlling a pet, double checking they are attacking the right target. Heck, while tab selecting the next enemy I sometimes target an unaggroed foe – this problem is worse when I also have to make sure my pet isn’t wandering away to bring back more enemies.
I settled on another Asuran – an engineer. I must prefer ranged attackers, and am looking forward to getting some of those turret skills. I tried a Charr engineer, but it seemed wrong to me to not play an Asuran engineer. I think this was mentioned on KTR, about how the Asuran culture in-game made them natural engineers.
I hit another frustration point with the storyline, The Battle of Claw Island. I made it through, after dying once or twice. Others have noted the difficulty for storyline missions is off, they are tuned to sometimes be ridiculously hard. That is true here, but also the pacing is poorly done.
This mission features a fair amount of running back and forth to talk to people, in between typical mission fights (large numbers). In the middle of the mission, the action stops while you have to fire a trebuchet at a ship, so there were a few minutes of clicking, aiming, and releasing a correct strength shot that hits the ship. Honestly, I’d cut that part out. After this, courtyard fighting, running to light a beacon and then running past all the mobs on the way there (get back to some friendly NPCs where you’d have a chance of help), and then an interminable fight in the courtyard where I wasn’t sure how to end it. Number of mobs killed? A certain amount of time had to pass? Kill all of a certain (but as far as I could tell non-identified) group? Some other event timer invisibly ticking down? I didn’t see a big boss monster… anyway it eventually ended and then there was a final fight to the ship portion.
I just think this could be tightened up significantly: no trebuchet time waster in the middle, less back-and-forth, no beacon lighting, an easily identifiable timer showing how much is left “to do” in the courtyard fight, etc.
Maybe I have a bad memory of it because my video driver crashed midway through, just after the beach rescue and initial courtyard fight, so I had to restart and do it again.