While fighting the never-ending back and forth battle that is WvWvW in GuildWars 2, at least ten times a night I laugh out the words, “This is the stupidest game ever.” It is the strangest combination of ‘crazy fun’ and ‘completely pointless’ I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve been playing these games since before the internet existed.
The creators of GuildWars 2 tried to create a world that was perfectly accommodating to ever type of gamer, and save for large scale dungeon raiders, they truly succeeded. Solo, grouped, explorer, farmer, hard core pvper…they all have their purpose here. And you can make things as easy or difficult as you like… trotting out into the world alone or waiting on dynamic events that will take you there with a party. For pvpers there is a choice of tournament style or structured, but by far the most fun to be had in this game is in the enormous World v World battlegrounds. These aren’t like WoW’s BGs where you queue and go in for a set point match with a group of forty people…these are persistent realms with ongoing battles between hundreds (if not thousands) of people that do not end for weeks. Then, they fast calculate how each server performed and base the next match up on each one’s strengths, so you are always in the closest / fairest fight they can give you.
Literally at any moment of the day or night you can jump into a massive battle between your server and two others. No matter when you enter these realms, you are immediately caught up in the heat of that map, whatever the current drama. Because something is always going on. But outside of the nice little server buffs to be had and tokens to be won, the truth is, sometimes I have no idea why I do it outside of it’s really fun to defend your keeps or chase down and kill people. Pointless, yes, and yet my husband and I laugh like fools all night, running around with the zerglings or doing little ninja runs on our own, often until the wee hours of the morning.
In GuildWars 2, there are no real consequences to your death outside of repair fees, so you never really care when you die, and since the opposing side can’t speak to you or see your name, there is never any ego deflation involved. It’s freeing, in a way, because there’s no excuse not to go for things that might seem dangerous. Pick off that pack Dolyak in the middle of twenty enemies? Yeah, what the heck, let’s do it! And we have, many times! And we’ve gotten away!
Played side by side with my husband allows us to get two perspectives if we need them. It’s not unusual for one of us to be shouting “RUN!” when the other is trotting into an ambush. There isn’t an upgraded supply camp on the map we can’t take out if needed and we can set up an arrow cart damn near anywhere at a seconds notice. Sometimes we’ll push the enemy over a bridge and then they’ll push back…they’ll get to our keep and get wiped out and we’ll push to theirs and wipe out and suddenly we’re back to fighting them on the bridge…having gained precisely nothing in the past few hours of battle, and yet…each time it happens…it’s exciting! You’re fiercely attacking or fiercely defending something at all times and the tide can turn very quickly.
There’s no carrot we can obtain anymore, each having two sets of top gear and all top weapons, and yet…we’re still playing every night and still loving every second of it, which is easily the biggest compliment I could give to any mmo these days!