I was wondering, now with Guild Wars 2 live, whether I might return finally to playing just the one MMO – I played WoW exclusively for just over two years before I started dabbling in other online games.
I’m enjoying the relaxed and somewhat roaming playstyle the game has encouraged in us so far. I logged on my sylvari elementalist to continue his personal story and do some hearts. But it seems I was either playing him wrong or taking on challenges above his ability. I was killed in short order (i.e. downed and then defeated) by a skill challenge, by my current on-level personal story and then in a village invasion that started while I was semi-afk. There was a marked contrast in the play-session when more players arrived in the area. It wasn’t necessarily that it became suddenly so much easier, indeed we failed to repel the village invasion at first and had to rally and retry with several players going down more than once. I also did a boss fight on a beach twice and that saw plenty of difficult moments. The difference for me was in my enjoyment, once I had entered more populous areas I started enjoying the game a lot more than when I’d spent 30 or so minutes soloing at the start.
I decided to patch and log onto Rift for a look at what event is currently happening. After a few quests on my low level mage I arrived at the Kelari Refuge base and ended up being distracted by fishing and crafting – although I’ve seen the fishing system during a welcome back week I’ve never played with it properly. Having a wider variety of activities in the game is a great addition as one of my criticisms for Rift was that it was so very focused on fighting the bad planar nasties, there wasn’t much else to do besides that.
Spending some time in the Kelari village I noticed the sharp contrast with my time in Guild Wars 2, there wasn’t anyone else about. The loneliness of the scene compounded by the lack of other players there. I also rode across finally on this character to bind at Meridian.
There were certainly other players charging about there, but somehow the game seemed quiet. I’m a little concerned with two whole new continents that the playerbase may be severely diluted. Of course the teleport-into-the-action-tastic instant adventure will work, but I’m old-fashioned. I prefer to go looking for adventure rather than be mindlessly teleported back and forth like a magical yoyo. I was always happy enough to see rifts open on the horizon and go charging towards them, it kind of added to the atmosphere.
So really my impressions from GW2 and my memories of Rift coincide here, I love dynamic event based content, but it only works for me if there are players around. Being teleported to the action in either game (GW2 doesn’t have this yet, I hope they don’t feel the need to add it) is a bit too like WoWs horrible dungeon finder for my tastes…