80 & Clueless

Hey, I have my first 80 in Guild Wars 2! I hit level cap on my Charr warrior while roaming in WvW sometime last week, and since then I’ve been bouncing between different activities so much my head’s whirling. I always knew there was a lot to do in this game, but before I had always had one clear path of progression: just keep leveling. If I wasn’t sure what to do in the game, I was always secure in the knowledge that I was gaining experience, and could worry about the finer details once I hit 80. Well, the time is now! Here are a few things I’m struggling with…

Build

I really wish GW2 had a build manager like The Secret World. Right now I’m running Sword & Warhorn / Longbow, but thinking of switching out the bow for a hammer, as I’ve heard that’s better. Mostly I’ve been sticking to Longbow just because it’s easy to tag a bunch of people and drop fire fields in WvW. For extra skills I’m running For the Victory, Stomp, Dolyak Signet, and Battle Standard for the Elite. I have to look up my skills when I get home…. but I think it’s something like 0/0/5/6/3. My goal for this build was to be useful in a WvW zerg, mostly, since I’m trying to focus on that until this season is done.

BUT I also want to be able to do decent damage, and I don’t know if that’s possible. So questions for warriors out there: are there any must-have traits you would recommend? Anything that works particularly well for the Sword&Horn/Hammer combo? Good ways to balance between group utility and damage-dealing? I’d like to set up a build that works pretty well in PvE too so I don’t have to switch back and forth. Any tips are much appreciated!

Gear

Right now I’m running all greens, with a rare or two in there, and I’m ready to upgrade! I just don’t know the best way to go about it. Between gold, karma, laurels, dungeon tokens, crafting, etc, there are so many different avenues to get gear I’m not really sure where to start. What are some of the most cost effective upgrades I can make?

 

 

Wildstar Blues: Sensory Overload

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After hovering somewhere around the 25% mark on my hype meter for the last few months, Wildstar’s dropped to neutral. I’ve spent some solid hours in the open beta, and while it’s improved since I tried one of the weekend betas a while ago it’s not enough to grab me. It still has potential, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it, but I definitely won’t be playing at launch. There are a few things I really like about the game, but those factors are up against stiff competition.

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The design aesthetic is right up my alley. It’s a good looking game. I’ve always been charmed by the cartoonish, stylized visuals in World of Warcraft, and Wildstar skews the same way with science fiction. Out of the four or five zones I’ve seen, Nexus is a beautiful world filled with unique geography and lots of little nooks and crannies to explore.  Weapons look awesome. I have a hard time getting excited about gear when it looks bland, like for most of the leveling weapons in FF14, and the swords & guns of Wildstar keep me entertained. I get the sense they have a strong vision for the world they’re trying to create, and it’s a visually exciting one.

On the other hand, they have some serious issues with clutter. I’ve got beef mostly with the UI for this, but the in-game world gets awful busy at times too. Between pops up for quests, lore, loot, and everything else you’ve got bubbles and windows all over the screen. To their credit, Carbine gives you some good options for UI customization right out of the box, but the designs still feel built out in too many different directions. Feels like a lack of unity.

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I could talk about more, but these factors left the biggest impression on me. Combat feels fine, like WoW with less targeting & more movement. Quest design is nothing revolutionary, and the use of % bars instead of the “8/10 rats” format means zilch. My engineer’s at level 8, and I’m still debating whether to push to 14 so I can try out housing. It looks cool, but the rest of the game leaves me so neutral I don’t really want to put more time into it right now. Still deliberating, I guess… Should I push a little further to see more?

Return to Tyria

Somehow, I’ve hooked myself on Guild Wars 2 again. Last time I played regularly I leveled a thief to mid-forties before the inevitable burnout. Now, I’ve just passed 60 with a hulking, be-spiked Charr warrior. It feels good, and fun, and for the first time with this game a level 80 feels within my reach.

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It doesn’t take very long to accomplish dailies, so I mostly just focus on doing that as often as I can. If I finish and still want to play more, I’ll play more, otherwise I just drop it for the day. I’ve spent some decent time in WvW (also for the first time ever) and I can’t decide if it’s fun for me or not. I don’t love the zerg — it just feels mindless. On the other hand, following a commander and rolling over objectives is satisfying in ways I didn’t expect it to be. Since it’s the Spring tournament or whatever right now I’ll probably keep dropping into the battlegrounds every few days, at least until I get sick of it.

I’ve also caught myself scoping pictures of legendary weapons and googling what it requires to build one. The materials seem kind of insane right now, but I want to hit 80 and start working on one, just pursue it casually for awhile without committing to any kind of farming or OCD trading post antics.

It’s the latest patch that pulled me back, the one with a ton of balancing, QoL updates, and a much improved wardrobe system. Everything just feels slicker and easier to work with. Plus, the living story is currently on pause, so there’s no frantic feeling of content slipping through my fingers. It’s kind of crazy that so much of the content they released over the last year is inaccessible, at least currently, like MMO holiday events taken to the extreme and used as the roadmap for a whole game. Blegh. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’d much rather see static, engaging content added at a slower pace, like every two months instead of every two weeks.