While I haven’t fully given up on the idea of getting 100% world completion, I will admit that the necessity of going into PvP lands for it has robbed me of much of my enthusiasm for the project. So I made a deal with myself: Finish my engineer’s personal story and then I can go ahead with alts.
That might have been easier said than done. I’d stopped doing my personal story around level 22, so I had a lot of catch-up to do. I thought that if I could do it all in one go, then I’d appreciate the continuity and get more into it. That still may be the case, but it’s also a little frustrating when all you want to do is move on to a new character. I kind of wish I had just enjoyed the story while leveling instead of trying to rush through it in a week or so.
One bonus for doing world completion is that I have all of the waypoints unlocked. That’s a big boon to the story missions, since I’m just a click away from wherever I need to go.
On the whole, the story’s been entertaining. I think I liked it more when it was smaller and more personal at the beginning — there I saw a glimpse of what the game might have been like if the rest of the game had quests just like this. I’m also not a fan of the cutscenes where the screen changes to show you and another character talking. It’s more engaging for me to see the dialogue happen right in the game world, plus everything seems to grind to a halt when this happens.
In less than a week I’ve gone from level 22 to level 64, so I’m making good headway. Some of the missions have been really engaging, such as one where I had to infiltrate a home under Asura technological lockdown (although the constant klaxon was annoying). Some of the missions go on and on and on, such as the battle ones, although it’s pretty cool that the game can throw you into a large conflict like that and make it work.
I’ll give one point of high praise: I feel like the characters are well-done and some are downright entertaining. I’ve heard people blast the voiceovers, but I actually approve of most of them. And I’ll go one more: The story does a good job keeping you appraised of the important points and dropping lore tidbits for those of us who don’t have a master’s degree in Tyria.
While there is some element of choice in that you pick one branching path of the story before it snaps back to the main story, there aren’t enough choices and what ones you do have don’t really matter anyway. I’m not that thrilled that I do a couple missions and suddenly everyone is falling over themselves proclaiming that I’m a wonderful hero and here, would you like this promotion. I keep getting promoted and it makes me feel uneasy. Maybe some people like the type of story where they are the centerpiece of the world’s salvation, but I’d rather be a hero on the fringe.
I’ve also wondered what, if anything, the conversational choices (you know, where you pick a tone of a response) has to do with the game. Does it benefit my character? Open up options? Change anything?
So while the missions are fun, I don’t feel like it’s as “personal” as ArenaNet may have wanted it to be. When my choices don’t really matter and I get swept up in grand events whether I want to be or not, then it’s just a story. I guess that puts it on par with most every other MMO which shouldn’t be disappointing, but somehow is.