When does this game open up?

#1 Posted by MikkaQ (10336 posts) -

So I feel like I encounter this problem with every MMO I try to play. I put in some hours to get to level 10-15 (10 in this case) and I just start to burn out because I feel like I've been in some kind of "starting area" for my race or class and I feel like I'm making no real progress. I just find myself burning out on the combat somewhat, and I feel like I'm just playing a single player RPG, with people only occasionally appearing here and there to participate in events and quests.

I guess my question is when does this game really open up to exploring anywhere? When am I going to see other races beside my own? I'm kinda getting bored up in snowtown with the rest of the not-quite-nords. I just beat some major boss, this giant-king dude, but I felt just... really burnt out after that. Especially because the recommended level for the next part of the story is level 11, and there's just not much in terms of quests and stuff left to do that I can grind out a level. Maybe I'm just in some weird bottleneck and the game gets really fun really soon, I dunno.

#2 Posted by shinboy630 (1174 posts) -

You can go into your racial city (from the sounds of it you are Norn so it would be Hoelbrak) and then take the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch. This is the closest thing GW2 has to a "main city". From there you can take another gate to any other race's capitol and from there you can go out into their first area. You are not confined to your own race's area, and doing things in just one other area will net you enough xp for that level in no time.

So I guess to answer your question in the thread title, the game opens up as soon as you get out of the tutorial, because you really don't even have to spend any significant amount of time in your own starter area, and can explore those of other races. It really is a cool system, but one that I think would benefit from a bit more explanation.

#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10336 posts) -

@shinboy630 said:

You can go into your racial city (from the sounds of it you are Norn so it would be Hoelbrak) and then take the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch. This is the closest thing GW2 has to a "main city". From there you can take another gate to any other race's capitol and from there you can go out into their first area. You are not confined to your own race's area, and doing things in just one other area will net you enough xp for that level in no time.

So I guess to answer your question in the thread title, the game opens up as soon as you get out of the tutorial, because you really don't even have to spend any significant amount of time in your own starter area, and can explore those of other races. It really is a cool system, but one that I think would benefit from a bit more explanation.

That. Is. Awesome. That's kind of a game changer if I can just visit other race's starting areas. It helps alleviate a lot of the boredom I associate with the start of most MMOs. Plus I really enjoy the exploration and how quests work by just happening on them, so this is a really cool discovery, thanks!

I wish the game kinda went out of the way to explain that, though, I agree.

#4 Posted by shinboy630 (1174 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@shinboy630 said:

You can go into your racial city (from the sounds of it you are Norn so it would be Hoelbrak) and then take the Asura Gate to Lion's Arch. This is the closest thing GW2 has to a "main city". From there you can take another gate to any other race's capitol and from there you can go out into their first area. You are not confined to your own race's area, and doing things in just one other area will net you enough xp for that level in no time.

So I guess to answer your question in the thread title, the game opens up as soon as you get out of the tutorial, because you really don't even have to spend any significant amount of time in your own starter area, and can explore those of other races. It really is a cool system, but one that I think would benefit from a bit more explanation.

That. Is. Awesome. That's kind of a game changer if I can just visit other race's starting areas. It helps alleviate a lot of the boredom I associate with the start of most MMOs. Plus I really enjoy the exploration and how quests work by just happening on them, so this is a really cool discovery, thanks!

I wish the game kinda went out of the way to explain that, though, I agree.

Yeah it is a pretty cool system. Nothing is really level-gated either, so if you can manage to survive you could totally run all the way to a level 80 area. It really helps to encourage exploration as a viable way to play and actually level up.

#5 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

You should try a different race (or their zone at least) because I've found all races have some pretty unique starting points.

#6 Posted by jesterroyal (366 posts) -

If you are having trouble leveling my best advice is also. Buy a pick, axe, and harvesting tool. If you aren't gathering every node you see you are just missing out on experience (And it takes up no space in your inventory because you can click on the gear in the top right of the inventory screen and send all to collection. It'll disappear to a special bank tab). Try your hand at crafting. I've found cooking to be really rewarding (expensive). And all the other crafting professions are pretty samey. Just pick the 2 that help you the most. That's also experience just left on the table(and hence, more leveling to get to where you want to go faster).

Another word of advice. Talk to everyone so that you have at least a little context for the boring ass heart quests they want you to do. And think of the heart quests as incentive to cover more ground. But if an event starts happening, drop what you are doing and follow it. Even after that, see if you can find the talking NPC's at the end of the quest because they often lead to another related quest. This is where the exploration starts to feel good is when you focus less on the map and more on stalking NPCs from events. A good short term goal early in the game (if you haven't already done it) is to unlock all your weapon skills. It'll force you to try different things and one might just stick.

But this game is very much as you described it. A single player RPG with other players. It's entirely optional to roll with other players but it makes the experience more fun(for sure). If you are bored with your starting area then you can by all means leave and come back to do story later. You can level pretty much at pace wherever you go (I leveled to 80 almost exclusively in levels that were 10-30 levels below mine). The thing that i worry about is that if you feel that these areas have a "starter area" feel then you might be feeling that through the rest of the game. There's great content in low level areas and hard bosses (I almost got rolled fighting a level 20ish champion and her 2 vets the other day). I'd encourage you to just look for things wherever you are. Try to find things. You get rewarded for moving around far more than you do attempting to grind mobs. So if you are stuck, grab on to the dynamic events and complete a few. You'll be level 11 in half an hour or less if you just find a good event chain.

#7 Edited by MikkaQ (10336 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

You should try a different race (or their zone at least) because I've found all races have some pretty unique starting points.

Which one do you think your favorite is so far? I might have made a mistake going Norn since it's really Skyrim-esque and I've seen a lot of snowy landscapes in that game already.

@jesterroyal: Yeah all I've been doing is combat, I haven't really taken the time to learn or understand the crafting system or the purpose of gathering materials. I should look into that, if that's a good source of loot and XP. Also yeah events have been the most fun I've had since it encourages the multiplayer aspect a lot, and they feel dynamic.

#8 Posted by pay928 (26 posts) -

You can also go to the mists (H for hero panel -> Cross swords icon -> Go to the Mists) and go to Lion's Arch from there. Bit faster and lets you reach Lion's Arch from anywhere without the waypoint fee.

#9 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -
@MikkaQ: Terrible question, they're all kinda awesome and it depends on your own style I guess.
 
I like Norn for their nordic influence, and I love snow in general so that's all me.
I like Humans for their desperate struggle with the Centaurs and their agreement of peace with the Charr.
I like Asura because they're freaking insane and kind of taken by their own devices and intelligence.
I like Charr for their military quotes/style and their backstory/personal story structure.
I like Sylvari for their youthfull and cheeriness, they seem to be tree elves but I find the more time I spend playing through their areas/story I get new appreciation for them.
 
So yeah, just try a race/class combo again or just do some heart quests (and talk with npc's, a lot of stuff to be read!) to get a feel for the different areas.
#10 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3434 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

You should try a different race (or their zone at least) because I've found all races have some pretty unique starting points.

Which one do you think your favorite is so far? I might have made a mistake going Norn since it's really Skyrim-esque and I've seen a lot of snowy landscapes in that game already.

@jesterroyal: Yeah all I've been doing is combat, I haven't really taken the time to learn or understand the crafting system or the purpose of gathering materials. I should look into that, if that's a good source of loot and XP. Also yeah events have been the most fun I've had since it encourages the multiplayer aspect a lot, and they feel dynamic.

It's surprised me how divergent the opinions I've heard on the races/personal stories/starting zones have been, but in general:

  • the asura come off as extremely snarky and conceptual, and their writing tends to be the most entertaining if you like that sort of thing / Metrica Province is a wetlands-style jungle with a shit ton of techno-magical shenanigans
  • the charr are very to-the-point, and their stories probably have the biggest emotional payoff, writing perhaps being second to the asura / Plains of Ashford is very desaturated, rustic-meets-industrial, and is the Ghostbusters' worst nightmare
  • humans are - as is to be expected - the most culturally varied, with stories consisting of minor twists to fantasy staples / Queensdale consists of rolling green hills, farmland, and quaint townships; largely a centaur warzone
  • norn are Skyrim NPCs (okay, it goes a little deeper than that); their stories are all classical heroism / Wayfarer Foothills (as you've seen) goes from thick pine forest to wide, frozen lakes and snow-covered valleys; enemies vary but many are typical or corrupted wildlife
  • the sylvari are curious and off-putting as all hell, and if you're a lore buff or love subtle hints and mysteries their stories are great / Caledon Forest is your jungle on drugs... also magic, and is basically a gigantic Plants vs. Zombies reference

Other than that, the best advice I can give you is to not rush your map completion. Seppli said it best when he likened the hundreds of icons on your map to what you see on your compass in an Elder Scrolls game. Use that stuff as a guideline, get caught up in whatever insane shit (or preposterously designed jumping puzzle) you happen across, and take your time. It can seem inflexible at first, but once you figure out how many different ways this game throws experience at you you'll have up to a dozen unexplored zones to roam at any given time. Does wonders for the leveling process. Also, at any time you can hop into World vs. World or structured PvP through the corresponding gates in Lion's Arch, or do Keg Brawl in Hoelbrak if that's too sane for you!

#11 Posted by MikkaQ (10336 posts) -

So I've put some time in getting lost in the asura area, and yeah the game's starting to come together. I shot up to level 13 really quickly, and have had fun just getting lost exploring around, doing whatever events I came across.

I also had some random event happen in the norn area where like 25 people or so were escorting a dude and I followed them, it lead to some fun events and culminated in an insane boss fight on a frozen lake. That was the first time it really felt like an MMO and that was awesome, I'm hoping I see a lot more of that.

@Dark_Lord_Spam: That Elder Scrolls comparison makes a lot of sense, I keep stumbling on small quests and events on my way to doing bigger ones. And end up seeing some really cool landscape. It's crazy how much of a difference leaving your starting area makes, you can really see some crazy shit off the bat and it keeps you hooked.

#12 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

So I've put some time in getting lost in the asura area, and yeah the game's starting to come together. I shot up to level 13 really quickly, and have had fun just getting lost exploring around, doing whatever events I came across.

I also had some random event happen in the norn area where like 25 people or so were escorting a dude and I followed them, it lead to some fun events and culminated in an insane boss fight on a frozen lake. That was the first time it really felt like an MMO and that was awesome, I'm hoping I see a lot more of that.

@Dark_Lord_Spam: That Elder Scrolls comparison makes a lot of sense, I keep stumbling on small quests and events on my way to doing bigger ones. And end up seeing some really cool landscape. It's crazy how much of a difference leaving your starting area makes, you can really see some crazy shit off the bat and it keeps you hooked.

Do you know about 'NPC Stalking'? If not, learn about it and become elated.

Guess the spread is 10% NPC Stalkers versus 90% Clueless Peasants in the live game - just be better than them. What is NPC Stalking you wonder? Trailing NPCs after events complete. The most menial events can turn into epic journeys, and pretty much all of them pay-off with some voice over sound-bites - at the very least.

Become a shining beacon of Guild Wars 2 illumination, and enjoy a game world like there have been none before. When it all comes together, it's the most amazing shit on the market. So become a stalker.

#13 Posted by fetchfox (1340 posts) -

If you want something completely opposite of Norn, try out the Sylvari race. Or just go their area, the jungle is a really cool place with lots of wonders to explore. Be adventurous, try that area your uncertain about, go into that dark cave. What server are you on by the way?

#14 Posted by Finstern (643 posts) -

@fetchfox: Been playing Charr but spent most of my time in Caledon forest. Really cool area but from what I've stuck my head into with Sylvari personal quests, I cant stand them... I don't like their design or their writing at all for whatever reason...

#15 Posted by project343 (2837 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

I wish the game kinda went out of the way to explain that, though, I agree.

Narratively speaking, they want all races to converge around level 25-30 in Lion's Arch (the race-neutral capital). They whole introductory 20-25 levels is all about helping you learn your race's place in the world. Makes sense as to why this wouldn't be an overt tutorial.

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