Recently, ArenaNet announced it sold its 3 millionth copy of Guild Wars 2. By any measure it’s a successful MMO and even appears likely to stake out a position as one of the most enduring MMOs of all time. It has a lot of content, whether it’s regular dungeons or fractals or PvP or leveling new characters or jumping puzzles or chasing achievements, there’s a staggering amount of content.
And, yet… A good portion of your guild barely shows up, anymore, do they? And what happened to all the people who were on your in-game friends list? Where are they?
And let’s face it, it’s not just them. You know it’s you, too. Come on, admit it. You know you’d rather be trapped in the men’s room at an all-you-can eat burrito contest than grind out another fractal level.
Why are you so bored? Why are you and so many others bored with Guild Wars 2 when there’s so much to do.
1. You’re bored with the story
If you get bored with the endgame of an MMO, you can always entertain yourself by leveling another character. Leveling in GW2 is a lot of fun. There are so many ways to level – daily events, crafting, dungeons and your story. Unfortunately, no one wants to do their story more than once.
In the beginning your story is all about you. You learn about your background, your character grows in the context of the story and you join one of the three orders of Tyrian. What you do, the choices you make, give you the feeling you’re steering the course of your character’s development. You’re making decisions that affect your character’s growth.
Then Mr. Salad Head butts into your story.
Also known as Trahearne, once he enters the story, your story is over. You start playing Robin to his Batman. The focus of the story shifts to Trahearne, and you’re just along for the ride.
Not only is the guy a buzzkill, he’s also a moron. Oh, sure, you’ll be told how freakin brilliant he is, but he’s a moron. Why? Because he leads you into one ambush after another. The fish head admiral from Star Wars has nothing on this guy when it comes to obvious traps. Um, Trahearne, do you think being surrounded by undead might be a bad idea?
Evidently, ArenaNet fired the writers after you get inducted into your chosen order and Trahearne sprouts up in your story. After that, the main plot element consists almost entirely of walking into one mob ambush after another, and Trahearne blithely leading the way, every time.
And, just in case you think you might be able to stomach the tiresome Trahearne, again, there’s zero chance you’ll want to do the final quest, again. When you get to it, you’re all excited – finally, you get to kill the dragon. Sadly, it’s one endless mob after another endless mob. And just when you think there can’t be any more endless mobs – Surprise! – here come another bazillion mobs.
As the final insult to this sad finale, you never get the feeling you actually kill the dragon. Yeah, he dies, but it feels incredibly anti-climatic.
Going off and leveling an alt is what a lot of people do when they get bored with the endgame in an MMO, but who wants to do their storyline in GW2, again? No one.
Is it any wonder you’re bored?
2. You’re bored with SPvP
Guild Wars 2 has some of the best PvP (player versus player) – or SPvP (structured PvP), to use ArenaNet’s terminology – in all of MMOs. The maps are fun. The classes are better balanced than probably any other MMO. And no one can out-grind you for armor: Everyone has access to the same armor, weapons and skill sets. So you only get face stomped by players and teams who are better than you, not those who can spend more time in the game.
So why are you bored with it?
Plain and simple – SPvP doesn’t mean a thing. PvPing doesn’t benefit your character in the slightest. There’s no gold, no XP (experience), no loot, no laurels, and no ultra-special armor you can wear around Lion’s Arch. Unless you’re a hardcore PvPer, you grew bored with PvP so fast, you probably gave up on it months ago.
And that’s another problem. SPvP could keep people playing, once the PvE gets old. Nothing spices things up like a little combat against real humans. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t mean anything to the development of your character, if you can’t even get some awesome armor for doing it, chances are good you’re not going to bother.
3. You’re bored with the grind.“Guild Wars 2 didn’t fall into the grind trap of the traditional MMORPG, it reinvented the trap.”
Remember when ArenaNet promised there wouldn’t be grind in Guild Wars 2?
Colin Johanson, Guild Wars 2 lead content developer, says in the video above, “We just don’t want players to grind.” Mike O’Brien, the executive producer of GW2 and also the president of ArenaNet, in the April 27th, 2010, Guild Wars 2 Design Manifesto, said, “GW2 doesn’t fall into the traps of traditional MMORPGs… and force you onto a grinding treadmill…”
Well, they kinda fibbed, didn’t they? There’s a grind for mats for legendary weapons, a grind for gold (Hey, that cultural armor is expensive.), a grind for laurels (Now, you have to do your dailies and monthlies.), and a grind for ascended gear (Hope you like the Fractals of the Mists and don’t forget those new guild quests.).
Each month ArenaNet seems to add another grind element to the game. Guild Wars 2 didn’t fall into the grind trap of the traditional MMORPG, it reinvented the trap. Most MMOs only have a couple of grind elements; GW2 just keeps piling them on.
When you think about it, you’re spending so much time grinding, you’re not really playing the game your way, anymore, are you? You’re playing it ArenaNet’s way. If you want that great gear – and who doesn’t? – you gotta grind for it.
No wonder you’re bored. It’s all such a grind.
4. You’re bored with looking for a group
Why does any MMO launch without an instance finder? Is there really any excuse for not having one, now? Worse, yet, is there any excuse for not having a looking-for-group chat channel, if the game doesn’t have an instance finder?
Guild Wars 2 allows you to guest on other servers, i.e. play with other people on other servers, a major MMO innovation, but for some reason they can’t manage to implement an instance finder for dungeon runs. And to make matters extra aggravating, there’s no looking-for-group chat channel. Without a chat channel, you can’t go off and play the game, while watching or occasionally spamming the LFG channel. You have to go to Lion’s Arch and spam and watch map chat. The sad result, then, is that if you want to run a dungeon or Fractals of the Mists, you end up spending time in the game doing nothing but hanging out in Lion’s Arch.
There is a site you can use, gw2lfg.com, but if you use it you’ll discover fast enough it’s a poor substitute for a real instance finder. It can work, so definitely use it, but if you want to run a dungeon, you’re still going to have to hang out in LA, basically doing nothing.
And you might be spamming chat and waiting a long, long time. As the game gets older, it’s getting harder to get dungeon runs for anything other than the shorter dungeons. People are saying they can’t get groups, at all, for dungeons like Crucible of Eternity. (It has great gear, very steam punk, so some people want to run it. But it can be a long dungeon to run, so most people don’t want to do it.)
Without an instance finder or a LFG chat channel, ArenaNet has made sure you’ll get bored with their game if you like to run dungeons.
And the fifth reason you’re bored with Guild Wars 2 is…
5. You’ve done it all.
Guild Wars 2 probably released with more content than any other MMO ever. Yep, that’s true, believe it or not. There are dungeons and world versus world and PvP and world exploration and events and the endless Fractals of the Mists (Okay, that wasn’t part of the release. Don’t get nit-picky.), and you’ve managed to burn through it all. You’ve done all the dungeons. You’ve gotten your ascended backpack. You’ve done the jumping puzzles. You have world completion. You’ve leveled 2, maybe 3 or more characters. And you might even have a legendary weapon.
In short, you’ve done it all, seen it all. You have nothing left to do. You’re standing around Lion’s Arch trying to think of something you want to do. No wonder you’re bored.
Take a break. Go play one of the free-to-play games – Tera, SWTOR, whatever. Then come back in a month when there will probably be new content. Hmm. You’ll probably burn through that in a week. Better wait two months.