Tuesday, September 25, 2012

[GW2] The Culminating Point of Defeat

I've realized one very important thing in my never-dying challenge. My subconscious gamer is better at staying alive than I am.

In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that after setting myself a goal of hitting level 80 without dying (or crafting), it'd only be sensible to play defensively and cautiously.

I promptly ignore this voice.

Instead, I'm running around with a greatsword, offensive traits, mostly offensive utilities. No survivability on my gear. And a big helping of stupid.

This has led to some rather predictable results.

Clawswitz Sr. At level 10 I encountered a 5-pack of level 14 mobs (two ogres and their pets). Charging in, I remember thinking that "this is probably a bad idea". It was. They were being leashed, and so their health was increasing. I fled... straight into a destroyer. One poison bolt later, I was back to character creation. And I take forever at the character creation screen.

Clawswitz II died in Hoelbrak. At a vista. Just after getting there, I thought "maybe I should go down the safe way". And then, I jumped... to his death. Not the brightest idea.

Clawswitz III died doing the dolak capture quest in Wayfarer Foothills. Yes, the one where all you do is shoot nets. I hadn't seen skelk there before. When 6 popped up on a calf, I charged into attack. They roflstomped me.

After Clawswitz III, I finally decided to to be sensible about things.

Clawswitz IV is a defensive powerhouse. Traits, utilities, even gear. All defensive. Its amazing. Veterans can't even dent the health bar. Regen keeps him topped.

It is amazing to me that just changing traits and gear - while keeping the same weapon - makes for a completely different playstyle. My level 20 signet-build warrior has 95% crit. Touch a mob, it explodes. Pull several... I explode. Swap to defensive. The greatsword is now a glorified whittling knife.  But it doesn't matter. I'm virtually invincible.

And I love that about GW2.

I'm finally making real choices about survival vs offense. I can go defensive... but that makes any fight so much longer. Trait and utility choices can cover some weaknesses, but my character always has vulnerabilities. And nearly everyone makes different decisions about these tradeoffs... so there are a much wider range of gameplay choices / specs than I've experienced in any MMO.

But don't worry, I'll find something hilarious to die to any minute now...

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