I have really been enjoying the hell out of Guild Wars 2 lately. The thing I’m enjoying the most is exploring the different zones as I quest. Well, let me backtrack. GW2 doesn’t have questing in the sense of talking to someone in a quest hub, going out, killing 10 rats, then returning and getting loot. GW2 has a very dynamic way of getting your character experience as you move through a questing zone.
The hearts are called Renown Hearts, the light blue diamonds are called Asuran Waypoints (used to quick travel around the map for a small in-game fee), the orange squares are Points of Interest, the gold arrows are skill points, usually you fight someone or have to solve a small puzzle, and the red triangles are my personal favorites, Vistas. Vistas usually involve a lot of jumping and climbing and a little strategy. They are usually located on the top of small mountains, or along the face of a cliff. For each little map icon you fill in, you earn experience, as well as for exploring new zones.
The Renown Hearts are usually along the lines of “help such and such person with A Thing”, for example clearing out a mine of hostiles, or helping different NPC’s out. There are tons of group events that can pop up when you trigger them (talking to an NPC that runs up to you and asks for help), or can happen on their own. These are really fun, and really make the world feel alive. Helping someone out at the mine? Oh no, you’ve made the boss of all the hostiles mad, time to fight him!
Other than gaining experience in the zones you have a main story quest. This quest is tailored to your character, and reflects upon decisions you make in character creation. For example, for one of my faults when creating my Norn, I chose the option that she got blackout drunk one night and couldn’t remember anything, but it couldn’t be too bad, right? Wrong-o. Apparently she went for a joyride with a Charr warband member in some fancy army vehicle, and they lost it. So I had a quest chain where I was working my way through a zone, embarrassingly talking to NPC’s who told me that I was shouting at trees to fight me, and riding all over the market place in this mechanical vehicle. Hehe, oops.
TL:DR summary: The ‘questing’ in Guild Wars 2 is very dynamic and smooth, and I am finding I am rarely bored. Sometimes lost, but never bored.
Interested in joining Blaugust? Can even look forward and start planning for next year!