Guild Wars 2 : Reloaded

Very artsy fartsy. In that good way.

I have decided to go against my serial gaming nature and play the field a bit. Mass Effect: Andromeda was all I could play/think about and consumed all of my gaming time and energy. Right now I have several, small interests in some older titles and instead of committing to just one have decided to go where my mood fits me at that gaming time. The Division is my third person shooting itch, and Guild Wars 2, freshly loaded this morning, is my MMO itch. I am going in lightly and starting fresh. I last played over three years ago and played a Guardian to level 37.  I really wanted to play a Mesmer back then (thematically) but wasn’t doing very will with it. Hopefully it is better balanced and I can do fine as a fresh character.

I do love the art style of Guild Wars 2. I didn’t play the original Guild Wars and even trying to recall my prior experience with which Guilds are at War. I don’t remember that being a central theme at all come to think of it. I am sure it isn’t that important. I remember my gripes being pretty minor and maybe even petty (to a degree, of course) of the way weapons and skills worked in the game. Either way, time for a fresh start. Logging into a new character gave me several rewards that I have no clue are exactly for or what I can use them with, but that is normal for returning to a game after many years. Even if I don’t remember what they are for I am certain they are valuable / useful. I did get a costume right off the bat which was a bit over the top to put on, but hey, I look like a city guard! The things were appreciated and I am sure I will sort out what to do with them all in time.

City guard costume reminded me of this

This is one of Bhagpuss’s favourite games and I love visiting his blog and reading about his adventures so going to give this the good old college try. What is nice about MMOs is that the base familarity of them all are vanilla enough that you pretty much can find and correct all of your issues based on prior knowledge. A simple example of this is that my mouse was inverted at the get-go (which I dislike) but of course that is a quick visit to settings and a checkbox. The options were not under the picture of the mouse (which was keybinds) but simple enough to find while looking around.

If you have seen one, you have seen them alle

I believe that familiarity is helpful for all MMOs when you start. It’s like driving a car – they all look and feel different, but in the end they basically work the same fundamentally. I was surprised with the number of people in the starting area – especially during a workday, before lunch (I swear I was just testing to see if the install worked, IT snooping guy!) There were probably a dozen or so new characters running around. I was impressed for such an old game.I do also like the cinematic chats in the quests which is a nice bridge from pure text reading.

I need to spend more time at character creation…

I am off to the races in GW2 again and am looking forward to better exploring this game. With no subscription fee, and no hard end goals to race to (besides level, learn class, have fun) I can dip in and out and try to find the magic this game has to offer. To the GW2 fans out there – any starter tips to enhance my enjoyment?

Another Missed Opportunity

I woke up with an email from Arenanet this morning.

I was legitimately intrigued. GW2 is a game I bought, and I played up until level 40 – and burnt out because the solo leveling grind just wasn’t fun for me. I loved the aesthetics, and most of the combat (the weapon swap LAS wasn’t my thing) but it just didn’t stick. When I started doing group content, the zerg like nature was chaotic, guaranteed to succeed, and it felt like my contributions didn’t really mean anything. Still, it’s nice to hear from them and nice that they are thinking of me. +1 GW2.

Anyway. Let’s see what’s new in GW2 to drag me back in!

The story journal seems interesting. With my newer playstyle from “hardcore” raider to lore hunter, that could gel. I did enjoy my personal story while levelling and I never understood how it tied into the bigger picture. OK. +2 there.

The Account Wardrobe isn’t normally my thing – I’m so used to gear updating so fast in WoW and the transmog being a pain in the ass there.. however, I did hear that GW2 makes it pretty seamless and easy. I may give that a try. +3 GW2! You are winning me back!

Being a blogger and “in the know” (cough cough) I have heard some big mixed reviews here and while MEGA sells a lot of combos, not sure if it works for me. However, I could see how that sounds nice to the uninitiated (Bane voice) but I’m not giving GW2 points for this one. Still a nice +3 total running. Whatever could be next?

Wait. Whaaat? How is WildStar: Out Now! a benefit and a draw for me to come back to GW2? (seriously, it was continual, just cut and paste all of my cuts back together. Not a bar, no separation, right below the Mega Server without an additional space or line. Right at the bottom of “reasons to come back to GW2” is an advertisement for WildStar (which I am already playing, under the SAME EMAIL ADDRESS.) -10 GW2.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – for companies that are built on data and account information, do some actual work. I know it is far easier to send out one mass email but this is a huge missed opportunity. Companies that tend to be successful in this day and age learn to talk with their customers, not at their customers.

Talking about features that may or may not be important to me isn’t likely to incent me back. If I am not playing, you have 0% chance for me to buy into your cash shop. So why not try this?

Dear %insertname%

It’s been a while since you played GW2! We have been constantly improving our game and we want to know there have been some changes, but also want to know why you left. If you fill out the following, really short survey (we promise!) we’ll put %x number of cash shop currency% that will be waiting for you when you log in!

1. Why did you quit GW2?

  • The grind was too much
  • The story was hard to follow
  • I didn’t like my character and didn’t want to start fresh

2. What would make you come back to GW2?

  • Extra XP to catch up
  • Some cash shop goodies
  • A Costume item!

Thanks for your input – we’ll be back to you soon!

Those are just examples but you get the picture. I know that looks complex but hey, now all you have to do is plug in the responses, and send back a follow up email addressing some of their concerns (if they have any) and or some items to help them. This could all be automated as well. 10 XP potions costs you nothing to send to a person not playing. If those 10 XP potions gets them enjoying the game again, and maybe investing in the community (and/or cash shop) isn’t that a win?

The best part is, you now have hard data on why people left your game, and/or at least people that aren’t worth chasing anymore.


Dry Spells and Random Stuffs

This happens to me often with gaming – I hit dry spells.

This occurs when life gets too busy and/or games get a bit dry for me. Thankfully, right now I am in the former – just busy. This, in turn, makes blogging more challenging because if you aren’t playing then there’s not much to talk about. And if you do have time you would rather be playing instead of writing about it.

We call these, “first world problems”.

I’m 25 rubicite away from the final crafting upgrade in EQN:L and its probably a solid 3 hour burn/zengrind. Excitedly, there is a patch on Thursday that promises new biomes – SNOW! I love the outdoors and my favorite backdrop is a lake, but also love winter sports/shenanigans so hey, I’ll take a frozen lake and snow. This raises a couple quick conundrums.

One is that I like my claim, and where I am. There is a ton to do with it and we are only a couple patches away from claim expansions which makes it a whole new world for building. My good friend Mehlan has joined the game and claimed beside me so logging in now I find him there, waddling away, so I can say hi and hang out. So for those two reasons alone, not moving.

The second is hopefully they have meaningful seasons – has any game? I don’t recall. Why can’t I have my lakeside cottage.. and winter wonderland for half the time? Something tells me to add that to the “captain obvious yet awesome” list of what would make the same-old MMO the new-awesome MMO. (See: combat mechanics, leveling mechanics, endgame content, equipment issues . etc.)

Oh, EQN:L tip if you are feeling lonesome, /join general (chat) – people are connecting there and always a stream of chatter. Makes the nights fly by.

I’m starting to wonder if I really am done entirely with World of Warcraft – usually I play out the expansion to the end but the daily grind of the uh, daily grind quests of MoP had me leaving early in the expansion. Now I feel less connected to WoW than ever and I wonder if that slide means the end and no Warlords of Draenor for me. My friends still play and I miss their chatter (and envy their dedication).

I didn’t get far in Diablo III – level 20 I think? Before I realized this game wasn’t as fun as the first two. The potion chugging loot-fest just got boring fast. I heard there have been some nice changes so I may check it out again. I did pay for it, after all. Something tells me I may like the Crusader class but there better be a trial or something – not shelling out more for a game that didn’t capture me in the first place.

Speaking of games I didn’t finish/start, GW2. Level 37 was my breaking point. I read a lot of bloggers who love it but I now feel I am so far behind the story that I missed out on the game. Is that the danger of too many updates?

I was >< that close to becoming a LOTRO blog for a while and even queued up the Warden (after much bitching about it) but alas, right now its EQN:L or bust. And bust it is.

Again, the worries and problems of a modern day adult gamer. Too much to do, not as much time to do it. Somehow manage to blog about it though.

Guild Wars 2 Offer

40% off offer for me to give to a friend.

I stopped playing GW2 months ago.

Use data! Incent me to come back! For data driven companies (or at bare minimum, data-capable companies) I am not sure how MMOs use their data effectively on subscribers (if at all)). MMOs do a crappy advertising job. I know how companies use consumer data to connect with their customers. It’s really simple, and can be effective.

It’s a waste of an email to give a guy who isn’t guilded and hasn’t logged in in months a 40% off the game offer for someone else. Give me some coins to spend in the store (or something) and I might check it out. I am not going to give a coupon to a friend for a game I don’t even play.