If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, here’s a brief RL update:
- No, I haven’t been trapped under something large and heavy
- I’ve been leading two large online product initiatives for my client over the past 3.5 months as a contractor. Our group is understaffed at the moment and I’ve been carrying a heavy workload – each project is a near full-time job
- The great news is that hard work has paid off: I’ve received and accepted a full-time employment offer as a senior product manager. The group I’m joining has talented people who are enjoyable to work with. I’m transitioning over the next month, and I hope that my work hours will come down to more sustainable levels :)
Here’s where I am in GW2:
- My Warrior is level 33, and my Mesmer is level 11
- My Glory Rank is 20
- I’ve played 385 sPvP games and 98 tournament games
- I’ve been refining the 3 specs for Warrior and 1 spec for Mesmer for which I’ve written Guides
What has been awesome about GW2 is how flexible it has been in terms of accommodating my RL schedule. With most games, there’s pressure to level to endgame ASAP, because that’s where the meaningful content is. However, with GW2 horizontal scaling in Structured PVP, I can roll a new class and in 15 minutes be participating in level 80 PVP.
Back in Beta I was really excited about playing WvW and expected to be doing it a lot, but most of my playtime was spent hanging out in the Mists and doing Structured PVP, because those are the contexts that provide the best environment for testing specs and game mechanics and sPvP aligns with my recent limited free time. I’ve been running my Hammer Gun” Warrior build, and it’s been the most enjoyable Warrior spec for me, as it delivers sustained CC and solid DPS.
I realized that I was never going to meaningfully experience WvW until I committed to leveling a character, at least to 30+. So the question was, which class to level first? The two classes I’ve played the most are Warrior and Mesmer. Back in Beta, I wasn’t interested in playing Mesmer, but readers voted for it, so I tried it and found it highly entertaining to play. I love Warrior and Mesmer for different reasons. For leveling, I decided to go with Warrior, because the class offers a greater variety of specs and therefore seemed like a lower risk in terms of long-term enjoyment. And I dig the aesthetic of heavy armor.
You may wonder to what extent the Mesmer nerfs on October 7th played in my decision. The answer: zero. I chose to commit to Warrior a few days before the Mesmer nerfs were announced. I think the Mesmer nerfs were warranted for balance reasons. My “Legion” Mesmer spec was not impacted much, as I only use one of the three Phantasms whose cooldown was increased, and I had already switched from Staff to Greatsword last month. Power/Shatter specs were impacted significantly by the nerfs, especially players running the 20/20/0/0/30 glass cannon Sword / Sword (or Sword / Pistol) and Staff spec that had become FOTM in tournies. What do you think of the Mesmer nerfs?
To my pleasant surprise, PVE leveing has been enjoyable on my Warrior. Part of it is that there is no pressure to level – I can port back to the Mists or WvW whenever I want to PVP, and after my Warrior unlocked all 3 utility skills his effectiveness in WvW improved significantly. I was clueless about crafting and PVE a couple weeks ago, so it’s been great to invest time in that side of the game and see the decisions ArenaNet made from a design perspective. In terms of weapons, I use Sword / Warhorn and Rifle. Warhorn and Rifle have obvious value – Warhorn for mobility and Rifle for RDPS and kiting. Sword with condition damage stacked works quite effectively, as you can AOE-bleed mobs with the Sword burst ability and Deep Cuts trait (50% bleed duration).
How/where have you been spending your time in GW2? What have you enjoyed most and least? GW2 has been much more popular than I had expected (over 2MM copies sold in the first month, which surpassed SWTOR’s 1.8MM), so I’m curious to hear your story.
I look forward to catching up with y’all and having more free time to play :)
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