Saturday, July 11, 2015


Over the weekend (last weekend, this post has been in the edit bin awhile), I cashed out my latest round of SOE loyalty points and put a total of 10 Stratios in the cooker.  It was the single largest LP buyout I'd done at 1.2M points.

Somehow, I managed to get all 10 bpcs across the cluster to my factory station, only then to get my Badger II ganked at a 0.5 gate carrying some trit and other base materials.  I wasn't mad, but it caused me to sigh ... a 25M isk loss a few minutes after I'd moved ~2.5B isk of bpcs was somewhat ironic.

That, combined with a few other negative things caused me to write the very tired sounding post a few days ago.  This week has been busy at home, but in my off-hours I've been pulled into non-eve things.

About once a quarter, I find myself wanting to do some hack and slash.  In the past that meant firing up Diablo3 for some zombie killing.  This time around I'm poking around in GW2.

GW2 is a great looking game, but I've always found it tedious in long stretches of effort (coming from an EVE player, that says a lot, heh).  Where it excels is really the low level stuff, say lvl 1 to 30.
The lower zones are more populated and have a higher degree of polish.  The game's downranking will let you take a high lvl character into the lower zones and compete on a near-equal footing, but it's not the same as rolling a new character and getting the "true" experience.

I had some ingame currency, so I bought another character slot and rolled an Asura Warrior.  This is the game's gnome/dwarf/goblin/halfling equivalent.  I already had a couple of other Warriors, but no Asura, and they look absurdly funny in heavy plate.

I was pleasantly surprised that GW2's new player experience has been revamped.  I think I'd read that awhile back, but dismissed it -- the NPE in GW2 wasn't all that bad, and patch notes tend to over-hype little things sometimes.

But this NPE overhaul was a complete re-think of the lvl1-10 experience, with more truly helpful insights into the game without being annoyingly intrusive.  For example, there is almost always a little arrow at the top of the screen guiding you to the next bit of content, but you can completely ignore it (GW2 does a good job of not being "on rails questing" like WoW became) and it updates for the next-nearest point of interest.

This is one example of perhaps a half dozen little tweaks to the leveling, questing, and rollout of the combat system.  So the overall feeling is that there's a lot to do, and a couple of the more tedious aspects of lowbie life are simply gone.  The world feels huge, and vibrant, and thanks to some clever sever code -- full of players.

This is not intended to be a Fanboy post.  I'm simply having a great time in GW2 in a part of the game that I have always felt was very strong.  The complaints that I have about GW2 are still there -- endgame, in particular, has some significant issues.

But the payment model of the game -- box sales and gem sales but no monthly sub -- lets me pop in and out after months of being away without putting in a credit card.  Which is kinda nice.

I'll be back to blasting burners in short order, I'm sure.  We have family in town this weekend, so it's been all hands on deck for cleaning and chores.  The first van load arrived last night, and as I type I hear some rustling upstairs indicating the natives might want breakfast.

In the mean time, fly safe, and please don't be offended if I post more about GW2 distractions.

What's Playing:  Nothing, it's too damn early and people are trying to sleep.

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