So there’s that beta thing going on this weekend. I know what I need to do to get into the game, but I’ve done pretty much zero research on what to do once I’m there.
Yes, I’ve got a rough idea of what I plan to check out, and I’ve watched a fair amount of videos, read articles, scanned wikis, and so on over the past few weeks and months. But I’m not so much going in with the attitude of “I must devote X time to this and must figure out how Y works.” I want the game to make me want to experience it.
For over a year now, I’ve pinned Guild Wars 2 as the game I want to play and have spent exactly zero seconds actually playing it. I like to think that my expectations aren’t terribly unrealistic or that I’m going to be hugely disappointed, and a part of the reason for that is because I’m going in with high overall expectations but low individual expectations, if that makes sense.
For example, I plan to play an elementalist. I know the elementalist shifts between four elemental attunements and… and… well, that’s about it. I don’t have spell lists memorized, don’t have a build ready to go… in general, I don’t really know how I’ll play the character. I might go back and glance at the elementalist pages on the GW2 site, but if the game is all it’s cracked up to be, I shouldn’t have to. I should just be able to jump in, figure it out as I go, and have fun — and, theoretically, become pretty good at it, if the character is built properly.
I’ve never been one for adhering strictly to trait builds or playing a character exactly how he should be played. I take advice (sometimes) and think I’m still a very good player when I set my mind to it, but I’d rather not be pigeonholed into a strict role. I’d rather go with the flow, so to speak, and play what feels right. Most of the time, my instincts are right and what I play is pretty good. If I need help, I’ll go look it up, but I want to try and do it on my own first.
This post was really inspired by this coming across my Twitter feed. Skimming through it, it lays out a good deal of basic information, much of which anyone following the game already knows about, at least in a broad sense, but it also includes some things I probably don’t know or at least have only heard about and don’t fully understand. I don’t begrudge the writers for producing it — hey, it got a page view from me, after all — but I really hope I don’t need three paragraphs of instruction just to get through character creation.
I’ve voraciously devoured everything that’s been posted on the GW2 site, sometimes even going back to look at articles a year after they’ve been posted. But I’ve only really let them soak into the top level of my brain, without “sticking” in the dark recesses; I haven’t committed it all to memory or researched every minute aspect of the game. This way, I can still appreciate the game at a very high level and eagerly anticipate it while not weighing myself down with details that may negatively shape my opinion before I even get a chance to play the game. And sometimes I discover some “new” data that was actually posted some time ago, and it’s all the sweeter for having discovered a hidden nugget of information.
I like my approach, and it works for me. This is my story.