GW – Path of Fire preview

I entered the weekend special event, hoping it would help me decide one way or the other whether I’ll buy the GW2 expansion next month. It did help me decide… not to.

First, I was having a frustrating time with the intro. Part of that was my fault – since I don’t have a max level engineer, necromancer, thief, etc. I decided this would be a good time to check those professions out. It did not go well; I kept dying and quitting to Amnoon city, but as I later found out, you have to complete the intro storyline to get the raptor mount to enable taking part in other events like the races. If you quit to Amnoon, the storyline quest takes you right back to the intro to do over again.

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I came across another blogger, Endgame Viable, that pretty much summed it up for me too. Like them, I re-entered and eventually made it through. It helped I went back to playing a ranger, the class I have the most time on (I’ve played mesmer and elementalist a reasonable amount as well).

Once I got back into the groove of playing at range, kiting, strategically letting my pet soak up the enemy’s attention, I advanced to the checkpoint where you had to douse fires and then do some raptor jumping to reach higher area.

This too was frustrating as I couldn’t make the jumps that looked doable… I ran around and found another spot with a higher vantage point and finally was able to complete that section and advance to the cave run and spider fight.

Eventually all I had left to complete the quest was reach the city. Except in the way was something that gave me concern for the expansion, a simple missing bridge:

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The first time I missed it and fell down. I tried to skip the jump by taking a straighter path to the city but got a “return to the zone or you will be kicked from the instance” message, so I ran back around to try the jump again. I made it on my second attempt.

But the thing is, I bet these kinds of stupid jumps are going to be littered all over the expansion. Why else would they have the intro quest tell you that you can jump with your mount, force you to jump with your mount to advance, and then insert another unavoidable jump  on the final approach to Amnoon?

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I was so annoyed when I reached Amnoon, I logged out.

Action Combat

Basically, I could make it through by staying in motion all the time, running, dodging, attacking when I can and running in circles as much as possible. I don’t find that gameplay fun. It’s why I stopped playing Wildstar, the active combat mechanism is interesting but not when it is dialed to 11 all the time.

And that’s what the GW2 design feels like to me. Secret World Legends and LoTRO have telegraphs, times you need to move out of the upcoming fire, but I’m OK with it in those games because it is a mechanic for tougher fights, not a mechanic employed all the time for every group of enemies.

I think this is why I never could get into GW2 as much as GW1. The original game was more strategic, enemies didn’t respawn unless you zoned, there were henchmen and eventually heroes to direct, you could pause and plot the next fight… and a lot less rolling  left/right and running in circles. And GW1 didn’t have jumping… I fear it will crop up in PoF often enough to irritate me (jump to get to the next area of a quest, make a critical jump or fail a storyline quest, etc) so I’ll sit out Path of Fire. I would like to finish a storyline in GW2 so that’ll be a side project, one I don’t need the upcoming expansion for.

I know some players like the action combat of GW2, Jeromai and Bhagpuss for example, so I might be an outlier. Certainly most of the current playerbase has to be OK with it, or at least tolerate it better than me. One thing nice about having so many MMOs these days 😉 is these kinds of design issues can vary to offer a different experience to the wider audience. People that like this style combat have a place to go.

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[LoTRO] Mordor on a Budget

Mordor is almost here! I remember starting LoTRO in 2007, 10 years ago, wondering if the game would expand all the way there. Well, it is going to do so apparently at the end of July… but I decided I’m going to be frugal and wait to buy the expansion in the store.

The Mordor FAQ says:

Can I purchase the expansion with Store Points?

Mordor expansion will be available for Store Points after Update 22 this winter. Point prices will be:
Base Edition (includes Mordor Region & Instances only): 2495 Points
High Elf: 1000 Points

As it happens I have 2495 points on both accounts, actually I have more than enough to also buy High Elf as well, on both accounts.

The expansion packages seem quite pricey to me, for what you get. If the Collector’s Edition were $20 less I would purchase it on both accounts to have it available, even though I really only have one character in striking range of Mordor (Naerys my guardian, level 100, currently 2 or 3 books behind in the epic quest line. I could make a push and adventure into Mordor sometime in August).

Instead, I’ll wait, get back into playing, advance Naerys in the storyline right up to the Mordor entry point, and save a chunk of money by purchasing the expansion with store points. The only downside is waiting until Update 22, sometime in the winter, but since I’m not ready to go there right now, I might as well wait.

 

[AoC] Dabbling in Hyboria

Age of Conan celebrated its 9th birthday in May, and had a special: log in and get a free level 80 char. I’m a sucker for these kinds of things – even if I didn’t play an MMO all that much, it’s always handy to have a max level char. I did the same thing in WildStar – grabbed a level 50 char just in case I wind up back in the game for an extended period.

Anyway, I logged in a claimed my free level 80 and extra char slot. I went with a bear shaman and realized that I didn’t know what I was doing so I might as well start a level 1 char and play through Tortage, the starter area. My previous character was a guardian but over the years my play style has shifted towards healers, or at least characters that have the option of healing, so that’s why I picked bear shaman.

However, to dabble around for a bit I tried something else altogether: assassin. Pure melee DPS, why not.

Female characters begin in a bikini but I managed to grab more clothes along the way to Tortage.

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I followed the main quest and soon found myself sneaking around to overhear a conversations, acting on that info to get rid of another enemy, etc. I’m pursuing my destiny in the main quest, which takes place in a solo night instance, while the typical leveling quests take place in public daytime. This probably is more important for PvP servers but I’m on the PvE server.

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The graphics are decent and I’m having fun so far, but have yet to finish up Tortage.

Part of it is realizing this is a diversion and I don’t really intend to play much. Part of it is the assassin isn’t the class for me and I might like another one better. The combat isn’t bad – AoC has a directional attack/block system that opens up a more powerful attack – but long term motivation isn’t there due to my available time.

I guess sometimes I like to log in to another game for an hour or two, just to fiddle around as a lowbie.

I’m trying to narrow down to 3 games, which is still 1 too many, but the problem is I have 4 I want to play: LoTRO, SWL, ESO, GW2. #FirstWorldMMOProblems, I know.