I wrote yesterday about WildStar and how so few players playing the game has resulted in many individuals being unable to participate in much that the game has to offer. Looking for something to do, I actually decided to reinstall Guild Wars 2 to take a look at the new feature pack and to see if any of my friends were still playing. I know I wrote recently about Why I Stopped Playing Guild Wars 2 but I was willing to give it another go just for the need to play something. At worst, I’d have wasted half an hours worth of download time but at best, I’d get back into a game that sapped thousands of hours of my time.
I must admit, when I logged into Guild Wars 2 I was genuinely shocked at how many players were actually in the Heart of the Mists. Perhaps I’ve grown used to WildStar but at 7am, being surrounded by over fifty people is a weird sight. MegaServers have clearly worked for Guild Wars 2 and in many ways, I’m really pleased. What I needed after leaving WildStar until Drop 3 was a game that was not only busy, but one that also offered me content that didn’t necessarily sap a great deal of my time.
I’m going to sound contradictory now, especially in the face of what I’ve written previously, but at the moment Guild Wars 2 probably suits me better than WildStar. It suits me because my wife and I are exhausted from far too many sleepless nights looking after a two month old, while rising early to care for our daughter that has a brilliant habit of waking up at 5am and refusing to go back to sleep. When I’ve previously been investing at least 4 hours every evening, 3 times a week, to Raid in WildStar, it just doesn’t seem possible at the moment. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could log into WildStar and play some PvP for an hour but sadly, that just isn’t possible at the moment due the queue times.
So how have I found returning back to Guild Wars 2? Surprisingly, pretty good. Moving from WildStar to Guild Wars 2 does feel odd because WildStar’s engine is so much newer: it’s smooth and character movement is incredibly slick. There’s also the obstacle of the differences in combat which I’ve often harked on about. Despite now loathing tab targetting thanks to WildStar’s free aim, there’s something oddly comforting about returning to the playstyle. I think part of the fact why I can still stomach Guild Wars 2’s combat over Archage is because it thankfully has cleaving and some freeform attacks because of it.
The hardest thing I found getting used to, though it didn’t last long, was the pace of combat. I always thought Guild Wars 2 felt incredibly fast and yet returning to it now, it seems quite pedestrian due to the inability to sprint. For the most part though, I honestly don’t mind because the combat is still a lot of fun. What I realised most about my (healthy) break from WildStar is the little things that I’ve missed, which I took for granted.
The way your character exclaims when they receive a certain debuff so you don’t have to look at your user interface constantly. Its PvP system of allowing you to choose which server you play on is so much better than waiting in a matchmaking queue hoping for a pop up. There’s the brilliance of its questing system (because Lord am I sick of speaking to quest givers) and the fact I can Waypoint around the map. I might miss my mounts and being unable to sprint does leave me feeling sluggish, but it’s a fair compromise. The other thing that I’ve surprisingly missed is the removal of the holy trinity. I love WildStar’s Limited Action set and the ability to quick change from a DPS specialisation to healing (if you’re one of three healing classes) but it’s incredibly frustrating to have to rely on healers for everything.
Its been really great to just login to Guild Wars 2, grab some PvP matches (that now have great progression rewards) before doing a bit of World versus World. I’ve also gone back on my Ranger to take part in the Living World season 2 which despite some terrible voice acting, still remains much more engaging than the Drusera instances of WildStar.
Am I eating my words when it comes to Guild Wars 2? A little. I’m enjoying it again much more than I ever thought I would and its nice to be snowed under again with content that I can complete. I still sometimes feel a little cheated when an opposing player auto-locks onto me complete with automated movement in PvP (here’s looking at you, Thieves) but I’m trying to look past these quibbles and get knee deep into the Meta again. And for once, the Meta seems to be in my favour: Longbow/Greatsword Ranger now actually serve a purpose. I’ll keep you all posted as to how Guild Wars 2 and I get on over the next few days.