Confession time: It's been a while since I've played Guild Wars 2, NCSoft and Arena Net's hugely popular MMORPG. I've been a fan of the game since its release in 2012, especially since it didn't have a required monthly subscription to play. I leveled my Ranger up off and on for a couple of years, but eventually wandered away. I really wish I hadn't now.
Confession #2: I really, really suck at digital gaming. My guild in that other fantasy MMORPG stopped inviting me to participate in raids, because my warrior had a lingering case of laying about uselessly dead on stairs. My thief in Skyrim holds the elevation records in four countries for Giant Golf. Entire teams have rage quit on the log in screen when I join games of League of Legends. So, I tend to be a solo player in games like Guild Wars 2, since then the probability of me pulling a Jenkins is minimized greatly.
So, imagine my terror when I was invited to join the press run for All or Nothing, the fifth chapter for Guild Wars 2's Living World expansion. I was going to need to join a group of my peers, all of whom are probably pretty good at digital games, and try not to die on every set of stairs. I loaded up Guild Wars 2, signed in, and selected a spiffy looking Ranger to play. And then things got really cool.
All or Nothing focuses on the final confrontation with the Elder Crystal Dragon, Kralkatorrik. Our group went through a series of trials to prove our worth, and then we got to forge the Dragonsblood Spear, the only weapon powerful enough to pierce Kralkatorrik's thick armor. This whole segment was intense and dramatic, with massive Area of Effect attacks, and very few stairs, so I was able to see it through with only a couple of saves from my peers.
Our party returned to Thunderhead Keep, where I was distracted by all of the sparklies and lost my party. I do this a lot for the next hour, but that probably let me see a ton of content that my peers missed out on! Thunderhead Keep is massive, and there are plenty of opportunities for adventure, both within the keep and outside. This is all part of the new Thunderhead Peeks map, and I can't wait to go back.
Outside of the keep I got separated again (it's a gift), and found my way here:
Oh, man. I love a cool landscape in a fantasy game, and Guild Wars 2 has a wealth of them. A little farther down, I found my party, but thought I glimpsed some stairs and panicked, promptly flying my mount right off of a cliff. We landed majestically (no one was there, it was majestic) and found ourselves right about here:
Yeah, that's pretty cool. I would have stuck around longer, but there were a bunch of monsters lurking about, so I went back to looking for my party, who were sitting at the base of a tower looking really cool. I tired showing off with a cool dance, but hit the wrong command and sat down like a dork. I really suck at these games, folks.
I've had the opportunity to log in and explore a little more since that experience, and if anything else, I really want to get back into Guild Wars 2. The Living World expansions have a real, lasting impact on the game, and have been a great solution to the dreaded "End Game Blues" that afflict so many MMORPGs.
And today I just found out that there is a whole new fractal map, Siren's Reef. There's one thing I love more than just about anything else, and that's fighting undead pirates. Siren's Reef lets you do just that:
There's a lot of coolness packed into All or Nothing, and it goes live in Guild Wars 2 on January 8th. It's all free to play, and plenty of fun. Curious for more? Check out the official trailer!