Guild Wars 2: Hearts of Darkness

I broke my own rule yesterday: I started thinking about Guild Wars 2.  Fantasizing about it.  Desiring it.  Itching for it.  And quickly, over the space of an hour, I descended into a madness that is unspeakable.  Let’s just say that I was found by friends while gnawing on a head of cabbage pretending that I was in a PvP fight with a Sylvari.

Seriously, how did you hardcore GW fans last five years?  Is this why the community is so nuts?

It got bad, my friends.  It got bad.  I can only console myself that it would’ve been a lot worse if I didn’t have so many other excellent titles to keep myself occupied as of late.  But it’s hard to deny the Jupiter-like gravitational pull of Guild Wars 2, especially after having dabbled in the beta.  I can’t wait to start, to roll my main, to get back with my guild, to savor the headstart/launch festivities and chat and inevitable comparison-to-WoW debates, to take my time and explore, and to spend some time introducing the game to my wife.

To stave off the madness — back! back foul beast of the active imagination! — I decided to channel this excited energy into practical preparations.  I logged onto my guild’s forums and read up on all of our sinister plans.  I downloaded the client on my laptop.  I dug out my unfinished Edge of Destiny novel and vowed to give it another shot.  I combed through websites looking for practical guides.  I spent 45 minutes reading up on crafting, of all things.  I listened to that new GW2 single and cursed the slowness of DirectSong in getting the soundtrack to me.  I logged into the last half-hour of the stress test and said good-bye to my ugly Sylvari mushroom head, which I left underwater, next to a sunken ship and surrounded by undead pirates.

It was a productive day.

It certainly felt weird to log on during the stress test because it felt like everything was in limbo.  Nothing mattered in terms of what you did with a character, although I was pleased to see that my digital deluxe goodies arrived in my character’s mail, the Hall of Monuments achievements accurately reflected my work in GW1, and the GW2 hat is free in the in-game store.  I was even more pleased that the launcher finally let me accomplish something that months of wrangling with NCsoft could not — it gave me the option to change my log-in email address.

So I just spent a half-hour puttering around, taking in the scenery, investigating the UI, talking with a couple guildies on, and generally feeling that calm sense of pre-launch excitement.  Guild Wars 2 may not be all things to all people, but I know it’s going to be great for me.  Is it only Wednesday?  Sigh.  Three more days.

Here’s a few helpful links for those wanting to prep up for the big day:

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12 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2: Hearts of Darkness

  1. Arbitrary August 22, 2012 / 10:47 am

    Can’t wait either, even with only 1 day headstart and some time away from home shortly afterwards.

  2. Targeter August 22, 2012 / 11:14 am

    Heh, after my experience in TOR, I’m tempering my expectations with this game. In fact, even though I think I’ll play it, I probably won’t get it until the 6month mark or so. It looks great, sounds like it’ll be fun … but I just have a small voice in the back of my head saying, “Ignore the hype. Be patient. Learn more.”

    So, I avoid the hype, am being patient, and learning everything about the game that I can before making the plunge.

  3. Entombed August 22, 2012 / 11:36 am

    Targeter,

    Trust the hype on this one. This game has the promise, and from most people’s perspective has fully fulfilled that promise. I spent close to 130 hours playing so far (through the stress tests and weekend evetns). 95% of that time was spent playing the thief using almost exclusively a single weapon. Let’s just say, no matter what I did, I was not bored. The PvP experience is excellent, whether you like instanced small scale fights, competitive tournaments in an e-sport fashion, or large massive scale fights with siege equipment, this game has it all on the PvP side of things. Right now the PvE world is fantastic and is extremely fun to explore and do the dynamic events. I have personally fallen in love with the jumping puzzles. I’ve only done one successful storyline dungeon, and I’m inconlusive to the quality of it. It’s fun, and it can definitely be difficult, but I’m not sure if I personally will enjoy it over the long haul. (This is coming from a person who has hated PvE since his inception into MMOs.) The personal story is average to really good, depending on your storyline and your choices. Whereas SWTOR solely relied on a limited story in a lifeless world, with very limited PvP options, and the typical end-game grind. GW2 offers something very different that has the potential for a long lasting MMO. Plus, if you decide to only play a few days a month, you won’t feel guilty because there’s no subscription fee. I highly recommend buying it, like now. Over my experience, the game will run fantastically even on launch day.

    Call me a fanboy, but you can’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  4. sente August 22, 2012 / 12:09 pm

    Heh, quite different from my situation right now. In my mind, GW2 will likely replace the game time I have in Champions Online right now (I play Champions and TSW), so I am more thinking of what things I should do in Champions before it is time to have a look at GW2.

    I have pre-purchased, but not sure if and how much I will play in the early access. And guild-wise, TOG will likely have a guild in the game, but I have not checked the details in the forums yet.

    The post reminded me that it would happen this weekend, which I had forgotten to be honest.

  5. Jason Burich (@_Quadzi) August 22, 2012 / 12:25 pm

    I’ve listened to a couple podcasts over the past week which got me even more excited, but I was tempering it as best I could. Then I saw your post and followed your links… and started searching for myself… now I’m sitting at work with 13 browser tabs open with various GW2 links and I’m hoping I can get through them all before lunch is over!

    Is it Friday night yet?

  6. João Carlos August 22, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    Sincerelly, GW2 don’t had too much hardcore fans 5 years ago. They had only the Manifesto trailer, with some devs making promises about the game. I never played GW1, and started to look for GW2 at the end of last year, when the first demo playing showed at youtube.

    Take note GW2 had 300 k pre-purchases at the first BW. BW3 it had 1.1 million pre-purchases. Last 17th agugust it had 1.4 million pre-purchases. [there is a way for know how many pre-purchases GW2 have, but take note that method can be not exact and problably have fails, only Anet know the right numbers]

    The big hype started at the last months. And it is coming from beta testers, not from a well made marketing campaign.

  7. Aly August 22, 2012 / 12:48 pm

    I was on pins and needles waiting for the mesmer reveal. Then I chilled for a bit. I got angsty again around March, but the first open beta took a lot of the edge off. I’ve been at ease ever since but the next few days will drag, in part because I’m so nervous about trying to snag names. And yeah, stress tests have been a mixed bag. Fun, sure, but I just want to get started for real. The nice thing about all the beta events is I can actually take in the game at a normal pace once it’s released, and I probably won’t experience the usual start/stop on my alts since I’ve had time to think about my decisions and try them out.

  8. Rakuno August 22, 2012 / 1:01 pm

    I haven’t waited for Guild Wars 2 for nearly as long as some people did but even the short amount of time I have been looking for it has been enough to make me anxious to start playing it. Right now it kinda feels weird to know that it will go live for real in a few days. The sensation I have is a bit of mixture of excitement, anxiety and calmness of something that I’ve been looking forward for some time and that I will finally be able to enjoy to the fullest.

  9. Moxie August 22, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    I purposely avoided as much hype as possible for as long as possible – I didn’t play much of GW1 (never cared for the way they structured it), and I never followed GW2 blogs or podcasts – it just seemed a bit pointless that far out, so I haven’t really been waiting for GW2 like most of the long-time die-hard fans were. Even up until two or so months ago, I wasn’t sure that GW2 would really be a game that I’d be interested in.

    But once I actually got into the game during BWE3… it drew me in hook, line, and sinker. I went into it with no preconceptions, but GW2 delivered a great experience in spades. Is it the MMO Saviour? No. But it’s a darn solid, fun, beautiful, polished MMO that will likely be pulling the majority of my MMO time for a good long while.

  10. Msenge August 22, 2012 / 8:36 pm

    I found joining the Peace Corps a fantastic way to avoid the yearnings and desires created by GW2. On the other hand, being that joining the Peace Corps provides a significant amount of evidence of general craziness probably shows that I was a lost cause anyway.

  11. Professer August 24, 2012 / 1:22 pm

    as I read the article

    *Arch Enemy’s “Heart of Darkness” song plays in my head*

    I don’t really care for that band anymore though.

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