Guild Wars 2 Getting Stale, It's Not You It's Me

I'm starting to get bored. I'm starting to notice a lot of similarities in Renown Heart tasks and solo combat is becoming repetitive and less action-y while group events like bosses are just a blurry mess of spell effects on screen but not much more gameplay-wise than standing around for 10-15 minutes attacking.

Thankfully, I'm only level 50 and events have become far more exciting than Renown Hearts, so I'm thinking of abandoning my earlier method of 1. find new area 2. complete everything, instead just going into a new area and seeing what's up event-wise. It's also my understanding that there will be less and less Renown Hearts as I reach higher level areas. Like Orr, which is just events and no Renown Hearts, making it easier to just focus on the big things.

Also thankfully, I'm pretty sure my combat woes are because I've been using the same 2 weapon types since level 5. So, I can just switch it up and freshen things up.

Unfortunately, group event bosses that aren't giant will still probably be messes of spell effects, but boss battles like that undead ship and the undead dragon whose name I won't even try to spell have aspects (all involving minions) to them that should alleviate the problem of me standing just around letting auto-attack do its thing.

Oh and crafting reached a point where I don't want to deal with it anymore, or at least for a while. Having cleverly chosen two crafting professions that, while completely useful for me (weaponsmith/leatherworker), both require the same mats, I found myself needing to either a) grind for lower level mats or b) hit up the Trading Post for them. So I went the TP route and spent almost all of my 2 gold I'd amassed to that point only to find myself without enough second tier mats to do progress in either trade.

Thinking I've got plenty of mats for something like Jewelcrafting, I decided to take a stab at that, and ran into the same problem. I did realize I could just create things there and use a kit to get the jewels back for re-crafting, but I was running out of other mats anyways. So there I was stuck and without enough money to buy more mats and vehemently not wanting to grind... ever.

So I said "fuck this noize" and decided to put crafting on hold.

However I've now noticed that a lot of my current problems stem from bad playing habits. Crafting excluded. If I was smart about that from the beginning instead of making as much of one thing as I could to level up I wouldn't have fucked myself out of all my mats. The completionist in me though was starting to make exploration a chore, and occasionally I'd just ignore events in order to get another checkmark on that world map. Not to imply that you should always change yourself to enjoy a game, but in this case (and many before it) being a completionist contributes to the ruining of my experience.

I made a conscious choice in Alan Wake to just experience the story and any collectibles I'd pick up. But I wouldn't go hiking all over those fucking woods for a thermos. Whenever I found myself falling into tedium searching every nook and cranny for useless glowing pick-ups, I told myself to stop mucking about, and focused back on the story. And while that isn't solely responsible for making Alan Wake one of my most enjoyable gaming experiences, it helped immensely.

This was only meant to be a reflection of where I'm at in the game, but I think I've touched on something farther-reaching. I guess I'd better roll with it.

Games are supposed to fun. Well, OK, that's arguable. Wait, no it isn't. Even games like Spec Ops: The Line that have the capability to make me feel like shit are still fun. Not fun like "haha I'm enjoying myself" but fun like "wow, this is an experience". So clearly I'm wrong and fun is not the right word, because equating having an experience to having fun is wrong. Not in a moral sense. It's actually incorrect.

So I'll forget trying to be horribly reductive about the nature of each and every video game to make an point, and instead just get to the point. At what point do our own hang-ups rob us of 'enjoyably' experiencing a game? It's eye-roll inducing to read someone say "you're not playing it right" but is it the sentiment that makes that statement dismissible or the context which tends to be condescending? Because when you consider it, there absolutely are games that can be played wrong, just not necessarily objectively so.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. If someone enjoys playing Spec Ops: The Line for the shooting, and just skips all the cutscenes, they're totally missing the point, but if they're enjoying themselves, has that game still failed?

OK, I'm muddling up what I thought would be the eventual focus of this blog (tainting our gaming experiences with our own unwillingness to let go of preconceptions of how to enjoy the game) with something else (when/if not playing a game according to the intended experience is a failure on the games end), so I'll just stop now and maybe come back to both topics with more attention. Or someone else can! That's the beauty of the internet. Well strictly speaking that's the beauty of communicating ideas, but yaknowhatamean.

25 Comments
26 Comments
Posted by TheHT

I'm starting to get bored. I'm starting to notice a lot of similarities in Renown Heart tasks and solo combat is becoming repetitive and less action-y while group events like bosses are just a blurry mess of spell effects on screen but not much more gameplay-wise than standing around for 10-15 minutes attacking.

Thankfully, I'm only level 50 and events have become far more exciting than Renown Hearts, so I'm thinking of abandoning my earlier method of 1. find new area 2. complete everything, instead just going into a new area and seeing what's up event-wise. It's also my understanding that there will be less and less Renown Hearts as I reach higher level areas. Like Orr, which is just events and no Renown Hearts, making it easier to just focus on the big things.

Also thankfully, I'm pretty sure my combat woes are because I've been using the same 2 weapon types since level 5. So, I can just switch it up and freshen things up.

Unfortunately, group event bosses that aren't giant will still probably be messes of spell effects, but boss battles like that undead ship and the undead dragon whose name I won't even try to spell have aspects (all involving minions) to them that should alleviate the problem of me standing just around letting auto-attack do its thing.

Oh and crafting reached a point where I don't want to deal with it anymore, or at least for a while. Having cleverly chosen two crafting professions that, while completely useful for me (weaponsmith/leatherworker), both require the same mats, I found myself needing to either a) grind for lower level mats or b) hit up the Trading Post for them. So I went the TP route and spent almost all of my 2 gold I'd amassed to that point only to find myself without enough second tier mats to do progress in either trade.

Thinking I've got plenty of mats for something like Jewelcrafting, I decided to take a stab at that, and ran into the same problem. I did realize I could just create things there and use a kit to get the jewels back for re-crafting, but I was running out of other mats anyways. So there I was stuck and without enough money to buy more mats and vehemently not wanting to grind... ever.

So I said "fuck this noize" and decided to put crafting on hold.

However I've now noticed that a lot of my current problems stem from bad playing habits. Crafting excluded. If I was smart about that from the beginning instead of making as much of one thing as I could to level up I wouldn't have fucked myself out of all my mats. The completionist in me though was starting to make exploration a chore, and occasionally I'd just ignore events in order to get another checkmark on that world map. Not to imply that you should always change yourself to enjoy a game, but in this case (and many before it) being a completionist contributes to the ruining of my experience.

I made a conscious choice in Alan Wake to just experience the story and any collectibles I'd pick up. But I wouldn't go hiking all over those fucking woods for a thermos. Whenever I found myself falling into tedium searching every nook and cranny for useless glowing pick-ups, I told myself to stop mucking about, and focused back on the story. And while that isn't solely responsible for making Alan Wake one of my most enjoyable gaming experiences, it helped immensely.

This was only meant to be a reflection of where I'm at in the game, but I think I've touched on something farther-reaching. I guess I'd better roll with it.

Games are supposed to fun. Well, OK, that's arguable. Wait, no it isn't. Even games like Spec Ops: The Line that have the capability to make me feel like shit are still fun. Not fun like "haha I'm enjoying myself" but fun like "wow, this is an experience". So clearly I'm wrong and fun is not the right word, because equating having an experience to having fun is wrong. Not in a moral sense. It's actually incorrect.

So I'll forget trying to be horribly reductive about the nature of each and every video game to make an point, and instead just get to the point. At what point do our own hang-ups rob us of 'enjoyably' experiencing a game? It's eye-roll inducing to read someone say "you're not playing it right" but is it the sentiment that makes that statement dismissible or the context which tends to be condescending? Because when you consider it, there absolutely are games that can be played wrong, just not necessarily objectively so.

Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. If someone enjoys playing Spec Ops: The Line for the shooting, and just skips all the cutscenes, they're totally missing the point, but if they're enjoying themselves, has that game still failed?

OK, I'm muddling up what I thought would be the eventual focus of this blog (tainting our gaming experiences with our own unwillingness to let go of preconceptions of how to enjoy the game) with something else (when/if not playing a game according to the intended experience is a failure on the games end), so I'll just stop now and maybe come back to both topics with more attention. Or someone else can! That's the beauty of the internet. Well strictly speaking that's the beauty of communicating ideas, but yaknowhatamean.

Posted by shinboy630

I actually had a similar experience around this level. It was at that point where I just decided to wander and see what I came across instead of 100%ing areas. Next thing you know I was level 80 not getting over 50% completion in any of the new areas I wandered into, but still having a great time.

This was a well written piece, and hopefully we can get a follow up if your opinions change.

Posted by Seppli

Things get stale for sure. I just switch 'modes' and all is well. Between PvE and sPvP and WvW and all the various things you can do within each of these disciplines, I'd say endless replayability is given - albeit soon I'll be playing other games again, and not be dedicated to GW2 anymore.

More sPvP maps (and modes maybe?), that'd be swell.

Edited by Funkydupe

If you do something for 100s of hours then it'll feel repetitive. This is a natural response. There is no law telling us that we have to like a game forever. We can like it, play it, and get enough of it. Fair play.

Posted by Humanity

I'm hitting this now at level 31. Mostly due to the fact that I decided to venture back into my Charr homeland and boy are those areas dull. At first I thought the Black Citadel was really awesome while the other starter zones looked kind of lame, but almost every other area I've been to has put my hometown to shame. The entire 15-35 range is just wide open fields, and not majestic deserts but drab grey grass with few tree's sprinkled about.

Another reason is that during a boss even at level 24 when the giant Wurm fell dead I once again received all weapons that had nothing to do with my class (guardian) and so asked in public chat if anyone got a greatsword they didn't need and wanted to trade? I ended up giving a ton of good thief gear I'd been lugging about to this guy who had earlier helped me kill a tough Orc and in return he gave me a level 31 greatsword with some nice stats. Since then my single focus was to get to the coveted level 31 as quick as possible in order to try out that sword! I finally hit the goal last night, in quite a spectacular fashion having 1 experience bar left and feeling severly burned out I harvested a plant which completed the achievement of the day. Both the rewards for the achievement and the prize itself filled up my last bar, and I was able to equip my shiny sword that I'd been lugging around for days. At that point I was like a deflated balloon. I killed a few mobs, the sword looked cool, glanced over my map to see what I'm missing in the area and just felt this overwhelming exhaustion.

One of my main issues is that I'd say everything about Guild Wars is very tame. Along with my sword I had unlocked the ability to use my "Epic" skills which turned out to not be that epic after all. Granted I didn't have to do much apart from dumping 10 skill points to get them but I did expect at least some sort of 400-500 dmg based AoE or healing spell or SOMETHING. One of my main Epic attacks does a little under 200 dmg. So after unlocking the Epic skill tree I've effectively unlocked everything there is to see in the game. I've tried out all weapon types both above and underwater and have access to all my skills none of which are real MUST HAVES. I suppose I'll just traverse the world some more, but at a certain point in the night I was very tempted to just get Sleeping Dogs on Steam and play something that involved no grinding, leveling, just mindless action.

Edited by The_Big_Rough

Yeah same on this end of the pond....got to lvl 32 and it got old fast. Hearts got boring events are meh, the zone bosses are kind of cool but i still smash 1 alot and stuff dies.

MMOs are MMOs i guess.

Then it could be just me I need something to aim for or put me in a direction, most ppl say the game is most fun when you just run out and explore i tried that and found i just dont fucking care whats behind that rock

Posted by StrikeALight

I'm going to cap a character or two, but I'm unsure about the longetivity of GW2. (At least PVE wise)

Posted by SamStrife

I'm taking my time with the game and honestly, it feels fresh as ever. I'm only mid 30's but I'm learning from the past and maybe only playing an hour or two a night at most. Just about to get into some dungeons when I next go on and I couldn't be more excited to play it still.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

I've got 5 characters now and only 1 is level 40, the rest is all between 10 and 20 and I'm loving it just exploring the areas, doing some pvp/WvW and filling hearts. 
The game offers a lot but like you said you have to learn to enjoy it and not go completionist mode for all the skill points and such.
 
I've seen people climb up those hard puzzles to Vista's on the first day, only to click away the video and continue on their way.
Stop, goddamnit, and enjoy the game!

Posted by Karkarov

There is no such thing as "you are playing it wrong". Sometimes a game just isn't for you and there is nothing wrong with being bored of Guild Wars 2. It is an MMO, getting bored is pretty much par for the course actually.

Posted by PHARAOH

People do the same thing every wow expansion and in OLD republic. They rush to top lvl and all you hear in chat is that im bored lol. Its your own stupid fault lol. I enjoy my lvl progression and not try to get server first like some people. You skip all the story you miss all the easter eggs and now your max lvl by yourself. I took 3 months to max lvl my bounty hunter in old republic and enjoyed it all. In every wow expansion i take my time to get max lvl i dont care to rush to the top and then have months left just standing in orgrimarr looking epic on my mount bored to tears lol.

Posted by bwheeeler

Has an MMO ever not been boring at some point in the leveling process? It's kind of inevitable with how these games are structured.

Edited by UssjTrunks

@Mystic_11 said:

Yeah same on this end of the pond....got to lvl 32 and it got old fast. Hearts got boring events are meh, the zone bosses are kind of cool but i still smash 1 alot and stuff dies.

MMOs are MMOs i guess.

Then it could be just me I need something to aim for or put me in a direction, most ppl say the game is most fun when you just run out and explore i tried that and found i just dont fucking care whats behind that rock

I gave up on PvE at level 13 (about 8 hours in). :(

I tried everything and nothing really appealed to me. My favourite part of PvE was the personal story and casual exploration (like 50% completion), and that simply wasn't enough to keep me levelled. I still needed to do hearts/DEs/crafting and I just wasn't feeling any of that stuff, it all felt very repetitive and took so long to complete.

This is my first ever MMO though, so I guess the genre just isn't for me (at least the PvE side of it; I love the PvP in this game).

Posted by Welding

@UssjTrunks: Try going into all the different starting areas. There's PLENTY of XP to go around if you stray away from just your racial starting zone! It's how I played it at the start.

Posted by CornBREDX

Well, it's an MMO so it still has a lot of the trappings of that. But it's F2P so even if you get bored now you can come back anytime. Only thing you'll be paying for (if you even care to) is expansions (assuming they do like GW1). 
 
I mainly play it more as a time sink. One thing I've always liked about MMOs is they help me save money. That's what I'm using GW2 for atm. It's not terrible, and I PvP if it gets to boring, but it's still an MMO. The Giant Bomb guild helps though. Sometimes I just take a break and chat.

Posted by theguy

I recommend not trying to 100% areas. It seriously sucks all the fun out of the game. Also forming a strike team with like three buddies in W v W and taking supply camps is seriously fun.

Posted by Turambar

@UssjTrunks said:

@Mystic_11 said:

Yeah same on this end of the pond....got to lvl 32 and it got old fast. Hearts got boring events are meh, the zone bosses are kind of cool but i still smash 1 alot and stuff dies.

MMOs are MMOs i guess.

Then it could be just me I need something to aim for or put me in a direction, most ppl say the game is most fun when you just run out and explore i tried that and found i just dont fucking care whats behind that rock

I gave up on PvE at level 13 (about 8 hours in). :(

I tried everything and nothing really appealed to me. My favourite part of PvE was the personal story and casual exploration (like 50% completion), and that simply wasn't enough to keep me levelled. I still needed to do hearts/DEs/crafting and I just wasn't feeling any of that stuff, it all felt very repetitive and took so long to complete.

This is my first ever MMO though, so I guess the genre just isn't for me (at least the PvE side of it; I love the PvP in this game).

Your own personal story is going to leave about 2/3rds of the areas in the game unvisited. Take a casual walk through the other areas, mine/chop/harvest every resource node you see, do a bit of crafting, all of which nets you exp, and you'll be 10 levels above your story quest before you know it.

Posted by project343

@TheHT: Weird. I managed to keep jeweling +5-10 to my level while moving through the game without grinding or buying mats. Really couldn't say the same for LWing though--that needed a constant stream of trading post purchases to keep going.

Posted by Lukeweizer

I'm definitely getting a little sick of the standard Task (hearts). And I'm only level 25. I've just been wandering around the world, uncovering new areas. If I find the occasional heart that doesn't seem like a complete bore, I'll do it. But I'm enjoying just wandering around, partaking it random events I find... for now.

Posted by announakis

yep I am largely with you here. I have been changing toons back and forth a lot since lauch, hoping that one of them would actually feel right. But I guess I went through so many better combat systems to be able to oversee that combat is ultimately very dull in GW2. You can move, giggle jump around dodge swap, shift attunements as much as you want: there is but 2-3 melee moves that look cool, the rest is plain rubbish...*big sigh* And yes, the boss fights are just a fat joke. the real difficulty is the keep track of your own toon in the middle of the ridiculous mess unleashed on super dumb/slow/resilient bosses.

anyway, the only thing that keeps me in the loop is the enjoy the very beautiful world of Tyria. That, they did right...that will probably keep me in for a few more months...then Borderlands 2, Dark Souls DLC and so many much better games will hit the shelves...GW2 is but another MMO in the end.

Posted by Veektarius

I'm level 51 and have some similar experiences and some differing ones. One part I can definitely get with you on is that solo PvE combat gets pretty stale - and this was something I saw coming from a mile away when I realized how minor skill progression would be after level 30 (and let's be honestly, that level 30 skill isn't going to change your solo playstyle any). It may be the case that switching weapons will freshen the experience, but for the most part my current selection of weapons was a matter of preference. I *could* switch to greatsword/scepter&focus, but I already know I like that worse than sword/sword and staff, so why bother?

However, it's absolutely the case that this game has a lot of different things to do, and if you are just looking to pass the time in an enjoyable manner and aren't too worried about progression, you can head to a city or an unexplored zone and start finding things, or you can head to WvW and join the zerg, or you can just chase events around the map, or craft/gather, or chase daily quest rewards, or you can play some SPvP. I just wish sPvP had more progression elements, because even if I get some cosmetic items at the end of it, it's the one thing I can do and I come out saying, "Well, I wasted two hours and have no progress to show for it, not even tokens to count toward a big item upgrade."

Another thing I've found helps the game is to put off your story quests for 5-10 levels and just do them in a row. THey're generally pretty good and I enjoy them much more this way than in constantly stopping what I'm doing just to do one installment and then head back to the grind.

Posted by SynticV1

@theguy said:

I recommend not trying to 100% areas. It seriously sucks all the fun out of the game. Also forming a strike team with like three buddies in W v W and taking supply camps is seriously fun.

I can honestly see that, but it's actually what draws me even more into the game. I'm only level 30, but I've 100% everything that I can just because of the challenge it presents. But on the flip side I can see how it can burn a player out quickly.

Posted by Tennmuerti

Yea, i'm likewise done with the game. Uninstalled just now.

My issues with it are simply too numerous to list, and this is not some snide offhand remark a fraction of them already took several hours and an essay to try and explain in another thread.

Edited by yorro

Playing alone will eventual get you bored.

Having lots of real life friends in the game increases replayability. I am not talking about acquaintances-friends, I am talking about friend-friends.

Just stick to 2 to 4 hours a day and you'll be fine.

Posted by yyninja

I'm level 50 too, but not experiencing the same GW2 burnout.

Like you mentioned, it's probably about playing habits. I have a tendency to wander around even if there aren't any vistas, skill points or poi's to obtain. I also only play on weekends which makes the game feel fresh every time I start it up. I'm not sure what will happen once I explore the whole world, maybe it'll get stale for me then.

Posted by fleshribbon

TLDR but GW2 bored the hell out of me after about a week and I went back to SWTOR and a little Borderlands revisiting in prep for this week.