When Guildwars 2 got released in august 2012, I was immediately hooked. I first heard about it through Felicia Day’s facebook page, which I still follow (If you, by any chance, haven’t seen her youtube series ‘the Guild’, go watch it right now, it’s awesome). Somehow I got myself a beta key and couldn’t wait to start playing. It was amazing. Great art, great story, lots of fun. I vividly remember killing a giant dragon as part of my introduction to the game and I still get warm and fuzzy feelings when I play that part of the game. Maybe because I’ve played it as beta first, it feels extra special to me.
When it got released, I started playing kinda hardcore. Back then, I was still in college and only had a few part-time jobs, so time was plenty. I started doing dailies in the morning, coming back online in the afternoon for dungeons, leveling, and of course, random guild chat and quests with newly made friends who where as crazy about the game as I was. Within a few months I was promoted to being an officer in the guild and helped organize missions and recruiting new guild members and stuff. Great fun.
Then, life got in the way. I realized I was playing way to much, I switched jobs, started another studies, and in the end stopped playing. I got back to it when the Heart of Thorns expansion got released, played actively for about a month or so and quit playing again, because it quickly turned into a really big time-sink again.
But it kept itching. Every time I saw another RPG on steam, I tried it out. RPG, MMORPG, survival games… anything. And sure, it would keep me busy. I spend a lot of hours in Avorion, trying to create a really nice looking spaceship for myself and killing pirates and aliens in the meantime. I’ve captured a lot of really awesome looking dinosaurs in ARK. I’ve created a massive castle with multiple stables for all the different animals in Minecraft. Played LOTR online (and of course spend too much time in making my house look fancy), Elder Scrolls online (fun, but somehow I still prefer Skyrim), The Raft, Rust, Mist Survival, The long dark … All really fun games and enjoyable, to a point. And I realized something. For me, all these games are kinda similar. It’s all about creating your own adventure, your own history, your own alternate reality. When playing any of these games, I really like to create my own story. It’s all about storytelling. A way to escape reality.
(Some battleships in the game Avorion)
For instance Avorion. I imagine myself being a space pirate who is chaotically good, killing pirates and aliens, but if one of the other factions pisses me off for trying to be a trader without a trade license (no, other random faction, that is NOT the same as smuggling!), I just as easily kill them (and of course take all their loot). Or Mist Survival, where I try to create a really well set-up base with all necessities for survival, and I imagine myself being the lone survivor in a world full of zombies, trying to live a happy and comfortable life till I die. Even Fallout 67, where you can not only build a great looking base but also play guitar and have a coke along the way.
(One of the cabins in the woods of Mist Survival. Don’t you want to go camping now?)
But I always get bored of these games. I start playing them really vigorously, and then get bored after a while (might be hours, might be weeks). I love the genre, I love the gameplay, it’s missing something.
Well, this week, I’ve finally figured out what was missing. They were not Guildwars 2. I’ve started playing again this week, and god, I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed this game. ArenaNet did a great job creating a immersive world where there’s always something new and fun to do and to explore. It’s a game that will appeal to a lot of different players. Do you like hard-core PVP? You can do that. Do you enjoy puzzle games? Try to solve the jumping puzzles (I can guarantee you will get frustrated, but it’s very rewarding in the end) or give Fractals a try. Do you want to roam the world on your own and explore the vast regions of Tyria? Go ahead! There will be plenty of other players almost every map you go, because not only are there different elements of the game to complete on each map, they’ve also found a way to make lower-level maps still interesting for higher level characters. Oh, and it’s really easy to get max-level.
(Divinity’s Reach, one of the major cities in Guildwars 2)
The fun is in exploring and doing quests. Or fashion wars (yes, that’s a thing ;-). Whether you want to look totally badass with flames coming out of your ass, of really cute fairy-like with butterfly wings and a pink unicorn-bow, it’s all possible.
(Yes, it shoots unicorns. And rainbows. No, I don’t want this bow)
(Ofcourse, your boobs are on fire, makes perfect sense)
Also, the player base in general is really friendly and helpful and social events happen all the time. Try killing a massive dragon with over 80 people, and see people lighting fireworks, playing songs, sitting in 8-bit-style chairs and dancing while waiting for the boss to spawn. It’s fun. Great fun.
(An Asura sitting on a Super Adventure Box chair in Guildwars 2)
Anyway. I’m glad I’ve found my way back to Guildwars 2 again, and I’d love to write some more about survival/rpg/scifi games in the future as well. Great to be a part of the Girl Gamer Community 😉