Orr. How is it that I make my way through a game with a decently well written story, through a variety of environments (not a huge variety, but enough to be pleasing to the eye) with pretty reasonable design, openness, and wanderability (that’s a word I promise) that make the game a real joy to explore, and suddenly I run up against this wall of frustrating level design and boring, dragging mob fights known as Orr? I’m not even going for map completion, in fact the three zones that make up Orr are a major reason why I’m not interested in 100% map completion, I just want to kill the blasted zombie dragon. I got only a little farther in the Traherne story (let’s face it, it’s not a personal story anymore at this point) on my Necromancer than I did on my Engineer, that is to say, about half way through.
(Please forgive the programming pun)
This is my first time playing a new character since the new “improved” low-level experience. I guess it might be better for players who’ve never touched an MMO before, but personally I find it pretty frustrating. Just about everything is locked at the start, including the ability to join guilds or PvP matches (remember, Guild Wars 2 PvP uplevels you to 80 and unlocks all of your slots skills and traits, so it’s not like you’d be worthless as a lowbie), several gear slots including the offhand weapon slot, rallying from a downed state (apparently it’s a better experience to just die than to be downed and not know what happened?), and all but one of your weapon skills, and you slowly unlock these abilities as you level. (EDIT: My mistake, some of these things were not locked, it simply tells you about them on the level up screen at a certain level) Traits have also been moved up to start at level 30, so basically there are little to no class customization choices until late in the game. I guess all of this is supposed to slowly ease new players into the game without overwhelming them with too much at once, but it feels like I’m playing the tutorial for at least 15 levels. Fortunately I have a mountain of otherwise useless insta-20 scrolls in my bank from character anniversaries, so I got to skip most of the nonsense.
So far I’ve had a lot of fun trying out all of the weapons I can use. Most classes quickly fall into one or two weapons that work best for me, but I’m not sure this time. Sword/axe is my favorite so far, but I haven’t nailed down a second weapon yet; they’re all good and fun to use. Another thing that I’m doing differently this time is that, on both of my “main” characters, I’ve ended up with DoT-heavy builds. This time around I’m going for high damage and crit. I plan on working in some defensive stats in the later levels as well. So far I’ve had a blast one- and two-shotting common enemies, and blowing my Adrenaline attacks to finish off anything bigger and badder. And I haven’t died thus far, even when I thought for sure I had too much on me. I don’t expect that to last forever, though, and I’ve had characters seem fun at first and then get boring after a while (my thief is a prime example), so I’ll just enjoy it while I can and see if it continues.