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Game For Explorers (Those considering purchasing read)

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  • The_KorriganThe_Korrigan EastPosts: 2,630Member

    Very good OP - my feelings too. Just running around, I found hidden passages, caves, often with an event (cave troll...), and I got one and half level just from exploring during the beta week end.

    What I hope is that ArenaNET won't cater to the self entitlement crowd and will not dumb this down to another "hand me everything on a silver platter" MMO. But considering how the very vast majority is praising this design, and only a few err... "WoW rejects?"... seem to have misunderstood it or are too lazy to explore and too used to be on rails, I'm pretty confident the dumbing down won't happen anytime soon.

    If you wonder why I don't answer your posts, it's most likely because you are on my block list - so don't waste your time.

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  • NaeviusNaevius Houston, TXPosts: 334Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by grimfall  .... unfortunately GW2 doesn't lend itself much to that type of team oriented game play, but hopefully it will have some treasures in store.

    We found two cases where teams are important - dungeons in explorable mode, of course, but also exploring higher level areas. You can push the difficulty quite a bit with a careful team.

  • ValkaernValkaern OxfordPosts: 512Member

    There's no question for me that the way content is made available to the player is one of the biggest draws of GW2. The fact that beyond running around and bumping into occurances and events in the world there's additional worthwhile content off the beaten path to discover is a massive bonus.

    I'm sure the importance of this varies depending on the player, some people have probably grown used to waddling down a set path and proceeding through quest hubs in a set order before being sent on to the next. Looking out at the rest of the game world as a background painting that might as well not even exist the whole time. That's not for me. I absolutely hate it. The more freedom I have to interact with content on my terms the more I tend to enjoy games.

    GW2 is the least guided experience I've seen in the past decade of MMOs, I hope future games can also successfully support exploration as a valid approach to interacting with the game. It just blows linear task hub grinding away as far as I'm concerned.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,905Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Meowhead

    Honestly, I think to an extent, you're going to get out of it what you put into it.

    My advice is that you only take the heart quests as a mild suggestion, and keep them in the back of your mind without obsessively carrying them out.

    I've found the game is (For me at least) a LOT more fun if you run around and do things like 'I wonder what's over THERE'.  I actually didn't do a good half of the heart quests when I was playing the first time around through the content, and then later as I'd wander by them (Running to and from the main city because teleporting everywhere is a waste of good scenery), I'd finish them off in passing here and there.

    I think people who look at heart tasks as the replacement for quest hubs are just asking for trouble because 1.  It'll get more boring that way  2.  You're going to miss out on dynamic events if you don't poke around a little and 3.  They're only a small portion of the possible content, and therefore you'll burn through them quickly.

    Just my personal suggestion.  Try playing with the spirit of exploring at heart, and a sort of 'Oh, those people are in trouble, I'll help them!' attitude.  I pretty much made a beeline for every interesting looking geographical location I spotted on the off chance it'd be hiding something awesome. :D  Sometimes I even found ridiculously teeny little caves, like 'Congrautlations, you found a secret room... that extends for about two rooms and a corridor.  Go you!'

     

    Yeah I don't like the sound of hearts really, I may run a few but when it comes to PVE, I'm the type who likes to just run off in a direction just to see where it takes me and what I find. From the sound of it my playing tendancies will be right at home in GW2.

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member

    I don't avoid Heart Tasks just to avoid them. Fairly often a DE or two will also occur from time to time in the same area, so they are doubly worth checking out. However, I don't deliberately go from Heart to Heart. I skip the Scout NPCs that reveal hearts on the map and just explore.

    For those that don't know, the Heart Tasks aren't Dynamic Events. There are Heart Task NPCs scattered around each map that offer a static, individual task, (or often set of tasks that can each provide progress towards completion). For example, there is a Heart Task in the Norn lands that has you transformed into a Snow Leopard. You then have to go around investigating "suspicious bushes" that are rustling about by roring at the bush. You often flush out some sort of prey and need to hunt and kill that prey, as a snow leopard with skills specific to that form. You kill some number of these to fill up a progress bar. When you comlete the task, you get an XP and coin reward, but you also unlock the favor of the Heart Task npc, which gives you access to items you can purchase via Karma, (this is one of the alternative currencies in game, mostly awarded for completeing Dynamic Events and other objectives).

    So, the tasks may be fairly basic, don't take a lot of time, but they aren't just "filler". Unlocking the karma vendors can be very useful.

    Often, dynamic events may occur in the same area as a Heart Task. Sometimes these may even be the first step of an event chain. If you just completely avoid Heart Task areas, you will miss some Dynamic Events as a result.

    Of course, many Dynamic Events occur away from Heart Tasks as well.

    They aren't meant to provide a full leveling path, but they do provide guide posts that can help to direct players who need direction towards some content. For those of us who prefer to explore, the Heart Tasks just provide another Point of Interest to discover in your travels and although they are usually rewarding to complete when you do find them, they aren't necassary.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
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  • bookworm438bookworm438 Detroit, MIPosts: 647Member
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by Meowhead

    Honestly, I think to an extent, you're going to get out of it what you put into it.

    My advice is that you only take the heart quests as a mild suggestion, and keep them in the back of your mind without obsessively carrying them out.

    I've found the game is (For me at least) a LOT more fun if you run around and do things like 'I wonder what's over THERE'.  I actually didn't do a good half of the heart quests when I was playing the first time around through the content, and then later as I'd wander by them (Running to and from the main city because teleporting everywhere is a waste of good scenery), I'd finish them off in passing here and there.

    I think people who look at heart tasks as the replacement for quest hubs are just asking for trouble because 1.  It'll get more boring that way  2.  You're going to miss out on dynamic events if you don't poke around a little and 3.  They're only a small portion of the possible content, and therefore you'll burn through them quickly.

    Just my personal suggestion.  Try playing with the spirit of exploring at heart, and a sort of 'Oh, those people are in trouble, I'll help them!' attitude.  I pretty much made a beeline for every interesting looking geographical location I spotted on the off chance it'd be hiding something awesome. :D  Sometimes I even found ridiculously teeny little caves, like 'Congrautlations, you found a secret room... that extends for about two rooms and a corridor.  Go you!'

     

    Yeah I don't like the sound of hearts really, I may run a few but when it comes to PVE, I'm the type who likes to just run off in a direction just to see where it takes me and what I find. From the sound of it my playing tendancies will be right at home in GW2.

    As fiontar said, the renown hearts are inherently bad. They can be good, and some of them even fun. They, along with the scout NPCs are more to help those who need some sort of path to follow. They aren't meant to be the path to follow, just meant to help guide you in the direction of the next zone while leveling. They are also there for those completionists to provide something to acheive in each zone. 

    ArenaNet added the scouts and renown hearts because of feedback during in-house play testing. I remember an article where Anet said they took a group people who were use to games such as WoW and told them to play it. Well those people were completely lost as to what to do. At the time, there was no guide or anything to help you out. So ArenaNet added these in to help guide new players along. They also seem to have the unfortunate side effect of being treated like quest hubs. 

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member

    Speaking of exploring, can you travel on foot from, say, the Charr starting zone all the way to where the Asura live? (I mean physically, not in terms of whether you'll get killed)

    Btw, scout NPC's are really annoying. On my 2nd playthrough I made sure to not click on one and now it's on my map like an eye sore... I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE HEARTS ARE!

  • bookworm438bookworm438 Detroit, MIPosts: 647Member
    Originally posted by Irus

    Speaking of exploring, can you travel on foot from, say, the Charr starting zone all the way to where the Asura live? (I mean physically, not in terms of whether you'll get killed)

    Btw, scout NPC's are really annoying. On my 2nd playthrough I made sure to not click on one and now it's on my map like an eye sore... I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE HEARTS ARE!

    As far as I know, yeah you can walk from the Charr zone to the Asura zone. You won't be able to do that in the BWE as not every zone is available.

  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member
    Originally posted by bookworm438
    Originally posted by Irus

    Speaking of exploring, can you travel on foot from, say, the Charr starting zone all the way to where the Asura live? (I mean physically, not in terms of whether you'll get killed)

    Btw, scout NPC's are really annoying. On my 2nd playthrough I made sure to not click on one and now it's on my map like an eye sore... I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE HEARTS ARE!

    As far as I know, yeah you can walk from the Charr zone to the Asura zone. You won't be able to do that in the BWE as not every zone is available.

    There are portals between some zones, so you can't make the trek with out any loading screens. However, yes, if you want to avoid the Asuran Portals in the cities and make the entire journey on foot, you can do so.

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
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  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member
    Originally posted by fiontar

    There are portals between some zones, so you can't make the trek with out any loading screens. However, yes, if you want to avoid the Asuran Portals in the cities and make the entire journey on foot, you can do so.

    Yeah, that's what I meant. I have a habit of making long voyages places for no reason. :P

  • illeriller Aspen''s 4th hole, COPosts: 510Member

    Yep.

    Standard MMO Achievers are not going to be happy with this game.  Their flood of discontent will engulf hundreds of forums when they run out of things to do because there is no Gear Treadmill for them to enjoy.  They won't say that's the main reason, but any excuse will do I guess.   It's expected, it's literally impossible to engineer a game in such a way that it would keep a real Achiever constantly occupied without some kind of grind that Explorers wouldn't find boring & punishing.

     

    A choice had to be made.  And Anet chose the Exploreres.

    Let's not dwell on it, let's call a spade a spade from now on and leave it at that.

  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    I also actually test an other very exploratory oriented type of mmo that is a leveless sandbox like game and based on  a "gigantic map" and so many items to find all over the place (Salem), but i must admit that the exploration in GW2 was really a nice aspect of the game in a totally different manner we are used to have, and it really have a different touch than you usually find in mmo. Honestly that is the first time since UO i found both a good sandbox and a good themepark to play test at the same time. So if you guys like exploring you should probably check those 2 games because they are quiet unique in this aspect, and both are totally different, like at the other end of the spectrum in their approach.


    So yes, in GW2, you are locked into "zones" because of levels constrains, but that is rather flexible and definitely big enough for you to have the feeling of exploring (a lot bigger zone than what you are used to in most themepark), and there is plenty to do (once more more than usual) in that "confined" space which probably make it seam a lot bigger than it is. Honestly i used the word confined but you really don't feel as is much. Because contrary to more traditional mmo even huge map don't seam that big, because well its really repetitive in fact, in GW2 the repetitiveness is really broken up with that event system. Each time you enter an important part of a map like a village or whatever there is something "happening" there in a form of event or heart, and those events also kind of give a setting and a ambiance to each zone you go in, like a story background or something like that. In some zone you'll fight against that kind of mob and the other that other type, and there is a kind of story you are aware because of the hearts/DE, and that is definitely quiet unique in any rpg i played. All this is like "in the background" right, probably a lot of people missed that entirely, but i personally didn't, i found this part very well done. That definitely is something special for the exploration feeling the game have.


    Also the map is not on rail at all, that was really a nice touch, i personally can't stand mmo on rail, i can play them but they are boring so fast.  And contrary to other mmos you can follow a groups or be in a duo with someone and still go quiet higher level than you and that will not be a problem at all since the loot isn't shared but both have the same loot. So the level limit is a bit washed out on the borders because of this, just be careful once you are alone in those zones because that can be quiet a surprise :p . The only slight critic i could make is that they should put slightly more hearts in some zones to help smooth the game, but this is not a big deal honestly it is already quiet good as it is now.

    Also i hope the whole event system will get even more interesting and engaging once you level a bit, because after all we only saw the very beginning.

  • jayartejayarte LancasterPosts: 450Member

    Enjoyed the OP, thanks.

    Personally just for beta I was doing a mixture of sort of following the hearts but also exploring a  bit.  Don't want to do too much of the exploring before release however; want the game to feel "fresh" and exciting for me then.

     

    Similarly, I tried to skip over people's descriptions of what they found in their explorations as they would be spoilers for me; I really love that feeling of stumbling across something unexpected in an mmo (and irl, too, actually).  Always stray from the beaten path, you never know what you might find.

  • TwoThreeFourTwoThreeFour Virginia, VAPosts: 2,131Member
    Originally posted by Siphaed

    To sum it up:  Guild Wars 2 isn't for people who want handholding.

     

    That's basically what's being said.  I mean, you're damn right too.  Guild Wars 2 doesn't have quests that say "Go here, do this, come back, give me the items, then go to Step #2..repeat".  Even so, it doesn't have quest hubs or locations that are only for quests that a player bounces from point to point to point.

    Except, they do want handholding to a certain extent. This is specially evident when you ask them to test games where there is no ingame tutorial, the controls are new and there is open world PvP. What I suspect you want to say that it isn't for people who want a linear path which everyone is forced to go. 

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    I agree, BUT just to a certain degree.

     

    True it is quite a bit to explore and in this regard GW2 is better than many other mmorpg's *coughswtorcough* - there are quite a bit of things that is not so nice on explore.

    There is certain degree of structuring in this game but mostly important this is game with a world made of 'zones' ripped from a world.

    It is still great, and nice to explore, but it is not a best thing explorer could wish for - imho.

  • johaocarljohaocarl BrasPosts: 111Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by iller

    Standard MMO Achievers are not going to be happy with this game. 

    I disagree. Achievers will open the map and see "1% hearts completed". They will want complete all hearts, all skill points, complete all places, get all titles, complete all dailies.

    IMHO, Achievers will try complete hearts while they look for DE.

    BTW, I am Archiever Social, with a few Explorer and very few Killer, and loved GW2. 

     

  • IrusIrus Wichita, KSPosts: 774Member
    Originally posted by fenistil

    There is certain degree of structuring in this game but mostly important this is game with a world made of 'zones' ripped from a world.

    I suppose that depends on how the zone edges are integrated. Didn't seem to bother me in the BWE, and you can't fly. I definitely do not like the spiral portals they borrowed from GW1, tho. I guess it's not significantly worse than WoW's "here's a green forest area. And here's a really snowy area right next to it" management of things.

  • chryseschryses LondonPosts: 1,453Member Uncommon

    Thanks for your post OP.  This actually gives me some heart.  I am almost 40 years old and have been playing way too many MMO's and I am about to give up on the whole industry as I am getting way too disheartened with the cookie cutters being mass produced.

    I realise Guild Wars 2 isn't going to be the second coming of MMO's but there a lot of perceived changes that shows they are serious about mixing it up a bit. 

    I am a massive explorer/crafter type player and although I love PvP and PvE equally. I do get bored if I don't have a side activity which I can fall into for a good few hours. 

    Having no or highly linear exploration in a game is just BULLSH1T programming, its lazy and insulting to a player base which on the whole is mature and experienced with various gaming models.

    I just finished up with SWTOR and within the first 2 days I realised there was no point in wandering off because, well, there was no point.  I felt like minced pork being pushed through a sausage skin with no where to hide or venture off to. 

    I know they can't compete against games like Elder Scrolls but having some content that may need a player to venture off the track or even use some skills to dig up or discover something, is rewarding a player who wants to experience your world. 

    It also means a gamer will spend more time in the game and with each rewarding discovery, will keep them playing on, meaning more money for subs or expansions. 

    Some games like Vanguard, EVE, Fallen Earth etc. Do have rewards for venturing off and its a buzz when you can show off your new merchant access or item which you picked up by really searching the world. 

    I am really looking forward to GW2 now

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Irus
    Originally posted by fenistil

    There is certain degree of structuring in this game but mostly important this is game with a world made of 'zones' ripped from a world.

    I suppose that depends on how the zone edges are integrated. Didn't seem to bother me in the BWE, and you can't fly. I definitely do not like the spiral portals they borrowed from GW1, tho. I guess it's not significantly worse than WoW's "here's a green forest area. And here's a really snowy area right next to it" management of things.

    True - that's why for zoned game it is done very well (also played BWE).

    Still it is missing this 'feel' of seamlessness. WoW and few other games (like UO) did.

    There are whole continents and sea there.

    Of course most mmorpg's with WoW being best example did not utilize this feature to even half of it's potential, but that's another thing :/

     

    So from my point of view GW2 is good for exploring, but it is missing few things.

  • skydiver12skydiver12 burgundPosts: 432Member


    Originally posted by bookworm438
    ....To sum up this post:

    If you don't have the explorer mindset, this game may not be for you. If such is the case, I wish you the best of luck in whichever game you choose to play.



    I don't know why you put your emphasis on a slight nod to the combat level scaling but it isn't.

    You get out of the starting tutorial and are forced to do the hearts nearby OR hope there is a dynamic event in the 200 meter range. Because lvl6 mobs 500 meter away will two shot you with default hits at lvl2. Unless there is a zergfest where you can "contribute" by spamming your first AOE for 10 damage.

    The only thing you can do besides grinding this tiny area is "exploring". Which means to wander of for sightseeing in the more open zone rails.
    Of course it helps to have the different race starting areas to mask the limited amount you can do, but people way to overhype what there is at this point.

    Being lvl10 isn't to bad then, suddently the lvl 5 - 10 content on all race areas opens up. Being lvl20 starts to get interesting, lvl5 - 20 is all yours to "explore".

    This is how GW2 works, this is when GW2 starts to be interesting. I personally will rush to max level and then enjoy the whole world as my playground, instead of getting tossed between "questhubs". (It's not practical to teleport between silvari and Human lvl15 zone's for "doing" stuff every half hour).

    I'm an old mmo gamer, used to gaming worlds where social interaction made the content. This is the ugly part about GW2, this "make your own contet" just does not work out till later levels.
    Blaming people they play it the "wrong" way isn't going to change that.

    GW2 is really just a questhub (heart & DE) grind till you reach lvl30~ and get some meaningfull choices on what to do (especially when downscaling keeps lower areas viable).

    It probably wouldn't have been that much of an ugly start if there wasn't this ridiculous level scaling of combat stats on top of your real stats.


  • fiontarfiontar Dana, MAPosts: 3,719Member
    Originally posted by skydiver12

    [quote]Originally posted by bookworm438
    ....To sum up this post:

    If you don't have the explorer mindset, this game may not be for you. If such is the case, I wish you the best of luck in whichever game you choose to play.[/b][/quote]


    I don't know why you put your emphasis on a slight nod to the combat level scaling but it isn't.

    You get out of the starting tutorial and are forced to do the hearts nearby OR hope there is a dynamic event in the 200 meter range. Because lvl6 mobs 500 meter away will two shot you with default hits at lvl2. Unless there is a zergfest where you can "contribute" by spamming your first AOE for 10 damage.

    The only thing you can do besides grinding this tiny area is "exploring". Which means to wander of for sightseeing in the more open zone rails.
    Of course it helps to have the different race starting areas to mask the limited amount you can do, but people way to overhype what there is at this point.

    Being lvl10 isn't to bad then, suddently the lvl 5 - 10 content on all race areas opens up. Being lvl20 starts to get interesting, lvl5 - 20 is all yours to "explore".

    This is how GW2 works, this is when GW2 starts to be interesting. I personally will rush to max level and then enjoy the whole world as my playground, instead of getting tossed between "questhubs". (It's not practical to teleport between silvari and Human lvl15 zone's for "doing" stuff every half hour).

    I'm an old mmo gamer, used to gaming worlds where social interaction made the content. This is the ugly part about GW2, this "make your own contet" just does not work out till later levels.
    Blaming people they play it the "wrong" way isn't going to change that.

    GW2 is really just a questhub (heart & DE) grind till you reach lvl30~ and get some meaningfull choices on what to do (especially when downscaling keeps lower areas viable).

    It probably wouldn't have been that much of an ugly start if there wasn't this ridiculous level scaling of combat stats on top of your real stats.

     

     

    Level 1 to 6 is where you start to learn the game on the first time through, or start to learn a new profession on a replay. The level 2-6 areas of the level 2-15 zones can seem a little restrictive. So, you are basically correct that the game starts out pretty narrow, (although you can easily travel to any of the other four race's starting areas for more variety), but it opens up further and further as you reach higher levels. Because of level scaling and the massive amounts of content, by the time you reach level 15, things will be very expansive with lots of choices of what to do and where to go.

    What I would recommend to people, even those who believe they may not have much interest in the Personal Story, is to do all your personal story events when you are high enough level to do them, at least to level 10. They give good XP and loot and really supplement your leveling during those early levels. Also, many of the Heart Task areas in those level 2-6 sub zones have Dynamic Events that occasionally go off in the same area. Keeping an eye out for DEs can also cut down on any feeling that you don't have as much content as you might like at the start of the game.

    Of course, another easy solution is to just take a short cut to the Asuran Portals that connect to all the racial cities and hop back and forth between two racial areas for the level 2-6 journey. Having friends can open up content a bit above your level as well. During the Stress Test, I started a new Warrior and I did a fair amount of tagging along with others so I could survive content a couple levels above me.

    (Another tip for anyone, especially explorers, is to head right into your city as soon as you finish the level 1 tutorial and explore. You get XP for finding points of interest and waypoints with in the city and you can gain a level fairly easily and likely two levels if you are thorough).

    Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated
    image

  • wildclawwildclaw GothenburgPosts: 46Member
    Originally posted by skydiver12

    You get out of the starting tutorial and are forced to do the hearts nearby OR hope there is a dynamic event in the 200 meter range. Because lvl6 mobs 500 meter away will two shot you with default hits at lvl2. Unless there is a zergfest where you can "contribute" by spamming your first AOE for 10 damage.

    The level 6-7 content is actually doable at level 2. You are a bit fragile of course (so a long or middle range focus is recommended unless you have others nearby), but the damage is not that horrible.

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