This is a strange first impressions post for a couple of reasons. First, Guild Wars 2 will be three years old this year. I purchased the game when it launched in 2012, but only recently started playing it in earnest. So, it may be the absolute last “first impressions” post about GW2 on the Internet. Secondly, my highest level character is currently in his low 60’s, and though leveling in GW2 is a pretty fast process, that still represents a few months worth of playtime for me. My impressions have been developed over that period of time instead of the relatively shorter period spent on past reviews such as Wildstar, ESO, and Archeage. Truth be told, I prefer to spend more time in a game in order to provide a more well-formed opinion, but interest level and business model sometimes conspire against me.
I’m in an interesting position right now in my MMO gaming in that I’m playing two at the moment, one as an old, grizzled veteran and one as a bright, naive newbie. Essentially, I’m in two different stages in these games, which got me thinking about how different our viewpoints are depending on which stage we currently happen to live in. At first, I thought that perhaps these “stages of MMO gameplay” might equate to the stages of grief, but after further reflection decided that that was a rather poor comparison, as those stages are all leading up to the acceptance of the reality of an event while these stages represent your particular feelings toward an MMO depending on a variety of factors, which may in fact never be completely represantative of reality. Experiencing these stages is a personal thing, and while we all experience them to some extent, the intensity of, and length of time in each stage can vary greatly.