I’ve been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 lately. For those of you who haven’t played it, it’s an MMO. It’s actually the first MMO I’ve played. See, I’m a cheap one, and I have never been able to justify paying a monthly subscription fee to play a game. GW2 doesn’t have one of those though, so it’s A-O-K by me.
It isn’t really fair for me to compare it to other MMOs since, as I’ve said already, I haven’t played any others. I did play a lot of Guild Wars 1 though, and it was pretty jarringly different when I started playing this iteration of the franchise. They’ve simplified the roles that characters have a lot. In GW1, each profession had (generally) a role that they were better at doing. You would generally need people to fill these roles. One person would need to be someone who could take heavy damage and still stand up, others would be there for support, others for ranged damage, and others for healing. It took a lot of coordination to play with other humans, and there were so many skills available that getting into it was admittedly difficult. There’s been a huge amount of streamlining done to GW2 which… is well… different.
There’s tons of those out there, and we can just leave it at I enjoy the game, it’s incredibly massive, addicting, and if you have any interest in it I recommend it. What I did specifically want to mention is one aspect that the game has that I really love: Jump Puzzles. While GW2 tells an … adequate story … it’s main strength is it’s beautiful soundtrack and fantastic art work. Mind you, my computer’s a little pathetic when it comes to game settings and so I don’t get to experience it on high settings… it’s still a world that has an amazing amount of work put into it. Rich vistas that all feel like they’ve been painstakingly crafted. Sure there’s some recycled stuff here and there, but far less than what I experienced in The Elder Scrolls franchise. And I really like exploring those vistas.
Jump puzzles are a mechanic in the game which typically takes you out of the meat grinding world that the rest of the game exists in. You may have an occasional puzzle with enemies to fight, but largely they’re quiet, beautiful places that provoke you to master the jump button to climb complicated environments. Caves, towers, magical floating platforms…. it has a nostalgic feel to it that reminds me of Shadow of the Collosus, Ico, Fez, or Super Metroid. In some cases I’ve ended up in parts of the map that I suspect the developers didn’t expect. It can get a little disjointed and broken in those areas 🙂 but sometimes, you get a nice view. The featured image up top was taken from a part of the map that I suspect youo’re not supposed to get to… though that shot in particular I wanted to get something that looked nice and so composed the broken stuff out of frame.
Here’s a puzzle that I did this week. It’s a timed one that you need to do in under 3 minutes if you want the chest at the end. But I spent close to two hours trying to do it before I was finally successful.