It’s been a while since I went all-in with a new MMORPG, and this new dive into Guild Wars 2 sure makes me realize how much of a learning curve new players go through. Now I fully appreciate how overwhelmed STO newbies feel!
Right now I am leveling three toons at once, alongside Fungi, which of course makes the journey longer but at the same time we get to see more of the game world, as well as learn more about the different races and classes. All three are at mid-levels (i.e. 40’s thru 60’s respectively; endgame is level 80), and no one is close to getting to the endgame Barbie-ing yet. Be that as it may, here’s a quick look at who they are.
Issalene, the human Elementalist girl who’s also my main. Yup, she’s essentially an incarnation of STO Heidy, currently moving from outfit to outfit as she upgrades with random loot drops. So far I’ve found that between her four Attunements, she is fairly versatile to play, but works best with a tanky partner; Elementalists are magicians and not very durable, so she is best as either fire support or healer support. She is most frequently paired with Fungi’s Song Yi, who happens to be a Mesmer, which is also a magician class but seems more durable with her ability to create doppelgangers of herself.
Nyari Iceshadow, my Norn Ranger, meant to look Native American even though the Norn are supposed to be primarily Nordic/Viking. Because pets are so notoriously unreliable in STO, I had a lot of initial misgivings about the Ranger class since they rely so heavily on pets… but no, Guild Wars 2 pets are infinitely more effective. In fact, I have so far found Nyari to be the most survivable of my toons because the pet can tank successfully. She is most often paired with Fungi’s Sigrid Whitebear, a towering Norn Warrior who I think complements Nyari perfectly in battle.
Voram Razorclaw is a Charr Warrior (whom I fondly nickname “Cow-Cat”). He’s just moving into the 60’s in level now and alternates between two not-very-efficient combos to use in battle. His primary combo is twin axes, which he can use to dish out impressive damage — but doesn’t offer anything in defense. His secondary weapon is a giant rifle, which he can joyfully blast away at an enemy while they try to close in – and when they do, he gives them a vicious kick that sends them hurtling backwards to eat a few more gunshots… I just love the way the action looks. For the most part he’s been leveling solo, which makes things a lot harder than having a partner; now he’s starting to partner with Fungi’s Leafboy Skeleskulkin, a Sylvari thief who was originally partnered with my Sylvari Engineer. S’right, I was originally leveled a fourth toon but found it to be way too much, so I parked the last one for now.
After playing consistently for three weeks to learn the basics of gameplay, I think I need to seriously look at finding a proper Guild to join (the game is called GUILD WARS, after all). The maps may be huge and beautiful, but running from point to point and slaying random monsters along the way can get a bit repetitive and boring — by no means is this a problem unique to GW2, but common to most fantasy-based MMORPGs. The main draw of GW2 is allegedly the PvP and WvW environments, so I think I should start dipping my toes in that particular pond soon.
One feature I want to comment on is the “Daily”, specifically daily tasks that give additional rewards. The game (semi-)randomly generates a list of fifteen or so tasks each day, each gives a reward, while completing three gives additional bonus rewards. Some tasks take time and effort, while others are trivial (view a vista in a specific zone), but usually it mandates traveling. The Daily reward is also account-wide, which means any and every toon can contribute.
The concept is pretty clever, because it keeps things interesting each day. A few days ago I was sick at home and thought I’d log into STO to refine dilithium after a month-long absence, as well as get some Admiraly/Doffing going for the two newest toons — and I suddenly notice the amount of mouse-clicking involved in “Dailies” on STO is frustratingly tedious. This is the reason I started playing GW2 in the first place, and I think STO can benefit from an idea like GW2’s dailies. Imagine if STO dailies includes random things like “Respond to Emergency Hail from Hromi Cluster colony”, “Flush out Undine Infiltration (STF) on Bajor” or “Engage in one round of PvP combat”, not only will it freshen things up, but potentially also bring life back to dead queues as well as PvP.
Cryptic, are you reading this?