The good news is dialing down the graphics options to low has helped stability quite a bit – I’ve only crashed 3 times in the last ~7.5 hours of play. It is still annoying, but about half as often as it used to occur. I’ll take what I can get, and keep an eye out for newer nVidia drivers.
The bad is the GW2 storyline – I did a few more missions, to “catch up” to my level, and the last one was visiting Orr in a dream, “A Light in the Dark”, and it was tedious and not all that fun.
I mentioned this before, but the pacing for the storyline missions is way off. Before “A Light in the Dark”, there were a few short missions: meet some people, adventure into a small cave, fight a handful of mobs, pick up the gizmo. Next up was: test the gizmo against mobs. Total time, probably 10 minutes each.
Then, “A Light in the Dark”. I’ll try not to spoil it too much, but this mission went on forever: follow your companion wandering around; 4 or 5 times fight a group of 2 or 3 tough mobs, pick up some more people, fight a giant battle against 2 veteran mobs plus dozens of lesser mobs (this took 5-10 minutes of fighting), follow companion around again and once more battle 1 or 2 mobs at a time for another 4 or 5 time, enter city, get jumped a group of 3 mobs (see above pic of one of many deaths) repeat about 3 times, fight a special boss thingy, cutscene with NPC you talk to, exit the city and fight more tough mobs another 4 or 5 times, then FINALLY take on the end boss.
I don’t know what it is like for heavy armor wearers, but for a lightly armored elementalist, who does decent damage but not that spectacular against equal leveled enemies, every fight turns into a kiting charade since I can’t take lots of direct hits. It feels extremely tedious when at least 50% of the storyline content is filler fights that serve minimal expository purpose. Plus, the fight balance is still terrible. The pic above when I suffered a defeat (one of several), occurred very quickly – 3 mobs, getting a single attack in each on me, hit for about 20% of my total health. I do not kill them back anywhere near as fast, so those group were whittled down (usually) attrition style: 2 of their deaths (on average) to 1 of mine (since your companion does fight a little bit).
The final boss has an interrupt stomp that hits for a solid 15% of my health, and left me knocked down so most of the time I suffered his followup hit for another 10% health. Once again, running in circles, backing up, healing on cooldown… getting stuck on the damn geometry of the staircase the fight is near (ARGH!). I can power through but it doesn’t feel fun at all, just an annoyance to suffer through to see more of the story.
I’m kinda at the point where I don’t look forward to the storyline anymore. The items rewards are just OK (I do better shopping at the auction hall; however the experience is pretty good) but the crazy unbalanced fights and every third mission or so just drags on forever in tedium kinda ruins the excitement. If you failed a mission on death (i.e. no restart from checkpoint), I’d have given up doing the storyline 30+ levels ago.