It’s safe to say that I’m an MMO noob, I’ve dabbled in World of Warcraft, but not for too long, I tried Elder Scrolls Online but didn’t get very far, I even played EVE Online for a while, but was a bit overwhelmed by it all. I also played Guild Wars 2 when it first released way back in the 2012 – I think I got to around level 10, I don’t actually know, I can’t remember my account details and to find out I need the games serial code from the box… the box, who even has those for PC games anymore?
Anyway, Guild Wars 2 has a new expansion in the form of Path of Fire and when watching the announcement video for it, one line in particular stood out to me, that “even if you’re new, the game will cater for that.” or something to that effect. So here I am, putting that to the test.
Balthazar, the human god of war and fire, threatens the Crystal Desert and adjoining kingdom of Elona with his Forged legions. Players saw through the course of Living World Season 3 that Balthazar is determined to hunt Elder Dragons – and now he and his armies have invaded the desert to do just that.
Now, Tyria’s fate hangs by a thread as players race to the desert to hunt down the rogue god before he can do any more damage to the delicate balance of magic.
This will be a documentary of my time as a new player and also a review in progress from a new player’s point of view.
After spending a while deliberating on who to pick, checking out the different races, classes and abilities of each to see what kind of play style I’d go for, I settled on a Human Female Thief. I don’t know much about the classes in all honesty but even before starting a sneaky thief like character appealed to me.
As I’m starting again I was first plonked back in Queensdale, South of Divinity’s Reach – the starter area for Humans and I spent a little time getting to grips with the basics again, you know, looking after some cows, getting rid of spiders, the basic stuff! But it wasn’t long before I wanted to boost to level 80 and get stuck in to Path of Fire – that is the entire point of this after all.
A whole new world was about to open up to me and I feel woefully unprepared for what’s ahead…. oh well, the first task at hand is my boost and the prologue.
When consuming my boost I was given the chance to ‘try it out’ and test out builds if I wanted to, before fully committing to it because once you do that’s it, no turning back. I played around in Camp Resolve where you can test things against dummies and eventually decided that I was happy with what I’d picked and set out on my adventure!
Now, I have basically no loot, no gear and hardly any money. Yes, I was given some weapons and armour to help me cope with the boost to 80, but I’m not entirely sure that it’s very good equipment, but it will do for now. With the Ultimate Edition you also get a few extra gifts to get you started like some materials, bags for extra loot space etc… You also get 4000 gems, of which I’ve spent 800 on the Copper fed Salvage O Matic as I’ve heard that’s pretty useful.
First hour or so…
I set off in to the wilderness with a jovial jaunt of new found optimism, I was level 80, and I was ready to fight anything that came at me, right? Wrong. I quickly found out that I was out of my depth as I didn’t have an inkling of what was going on, who was who, or what I should be focusing on. Do I need new weapons? Probably, but where do I find some good ones?
Upon trying to help out in the first area I visited – in my mind this was the new starting area, so I should be fine… I got on with my task of clearing mines and reviving downed allies but I was soon outnumbered and beaten to a pulp by a rather rough looking group of bandits. A bit uncalled for if you ask me, I was merely sabotaging their entire operation, hardly grounds for attacking me, is it?
Ok, time to try again, but this maybe take things a little slowly and carefully as I clearly wasn’t the invincible mega thief I initially thought.
Eventually I felt my time around Vandals Claim was over and it was time to actually get on with my mission, which was linking up with Captain Ellen Kiel and heading to the Crystal Desert somewhere to my East. My journey me across Tyria was enjoyable one taking in the new sights including the impressive looking Rata Sum. But I can’t shake the feeling that I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing and that the whole “accessible to new players” doesn’t feel all the prevalent at this point, to me it feels very much like everyone should already know what they’re doing, where they’re going and what everything does. I guess that’s kind of to be expected seeing as I’m not really in the new areas of Path of Fire.
Eventually I reach Lions Arch, speak with the Captain and I’m told to board an airship bound for Amnoon.
It would be boring if we’d made it there safely wouldn’t it! As I expected I ran in to a little trouble along the way and met with the Herald of Balthazar and her forces, they kicked my ass a couple of times but my persistence paid off and I eventually overcame them and managed to save a village from certain doom. At this point I was given a mount! Not just any mount it’s a freaking Raptor! Mounts are new to Guild Wars 2 with Path of Fire and have their very own ‘Mastery’ track – something I’ve just found out about, although not entirely sure how they work at this point so I’ll come back to them later…
I’m very grateful to now have my mount as I was finding running everywhere a little slow and tedious at times.
It is here my adventure pauses, at the gates to the Free City of Amnoon.
So how have I found it so far? Well, I feel out of my depth and like I need to go away and have a good read up online of many, many things – something that I did a little of before starting. I feel like my lack of currency, materials and general equipment is going to become a hindrance to my progression but I will have to wait and see on that front.
However, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first foray back in to the game, there is just so much for me to get up to speed with at this point, from my characters build – which I’m sure is probably terrible, to the story – people are calling me Commander? I will go away and do some reading in the hopes that I will feel a little more informed about what’s going on around me.
Does it feel accessible? Somewhat, there is a lot I don’t know, but at the same time there is a flow to Guild Wars 2 that just nicely unfolds in front of you, you can stumble in to an area and ‘things’ will just pop up for you to do, no long conversations, just a little quest tip in the corner of your screen and I like that.
My next steps will consist of mainly continuing the story and seeing if I can get my hands on some better weapons and armour because I’m convinced I’m not dealing out enough damage…
Any tips people might have, throw them my way and I’ll see you in the next one!