GW2 Is Not Fun and FFXIV Is Fun

GW2 is great fun, but I don’t like playing it.
FFXIV can be boring at times, but I love playing it.

Here’s a large group of folks in the Crystal Desert doing bounties and me crossing the 9000 mark in Achievement Points. Yeah for me. Great Fun. I love it. And I hate it.

Sound strange? Let me explain.

Early in my MMO experiences I played a lot of GW1 and was looking forward to GW2 when it came out. As an early player, I suffered through the early teething pains and grew to love it. I quickly made many alts of all professions and races and played through to the end of the core game, and cleared the map on most of my characters. Loved it.
But then came Living World Season 1. I played some of this. Most noteably I climbed the Tower of Nightmares in Kessex Hills. But alas I was doing other things and missed the war that Scarlet made on Lion’s Arch. But I did come back and see the devestation over the next couple of years until it was rebuilt.

The core game areas are all solo-able by a level 80 character with “Exotic Gear” which can easily be crafted by you and your alts for all the classes. Exotic gear is only 5% less powerful than the much more difficult to craft Legendary or Ascended gear. There are tons of attractive armor skins that can be earned through dungeon tokens or purchased with Karma or Gold. All my alts have attractive cultural or dungeon skins over crafted exotic armor.

I love rocking and rolling with large groups of folks, sometimes 50 or more, doing open world events. BUT

New Area’s Can’t Be Traveled Solo

But with the Living World Season 2 expansion which introduced the Silverwastes a big change occurred in the game. The game was no longer solo-able. I don’t mean you couldn’t play the hardest content in the game solo. I mean you could no longer move around the world on your own. Not in a group? Die very quickly. Moving through the open world required traveling in groups. The story quests didn’t always require a group, but often a story instance became so difficult that it was not possible to complete it alone. Wherever the Mordrem appear, you can count on dying if you are not in a group.

Since then I have played much of the Heart of Thorns expansion, some of the Stories and I have all the elite specifications, and a maxed out Revenant class with her Heart of the Mists armor skins. Glider Mastery is complete.

Bloodstone Fen, Ember Bay and Bitterfrost are complete, and recently all but the last story episode of Draconis Mons is complete. Tangled Depths was explored enough times to have some Chak weapon skins, and Dragon’s Stand was completed enough times to have seen all of the various paths and variations. I don’t list all these things to brag, but only to show that I’ve played a lot of the game so I’m just a whiner who hasn’t given it a chance.

I love playing GW2, but I hate playing GW2. It’s only fun in a large group. You can’t go out and explore any of the new areas alone. You can however, explore all of the old areas, the core areas required to get “Map Completion”, solo and have a great time. I don’t necessarily want to play alone, but I want to find groups by accident while exploring, not wait or go looking for them because that’s the only way to NOT DIE.

FFXIV is much more Fun

Now let’s talk about Final Fantasy XIV. I’m relatively new to FFXIV. I was playing WoW in November 2017 when the entire world became “Level Scaled”.  I was playing on the PTR [Public Test Realm] and had some advanced experience with what was going to happen. At this point I walked out of Wow and began looking for something else to play. I’ve talked in detail about this in a previous post.

Over the past 15 or so months I have leveled a bunch of different toons in FFXIV. As I mentioned, I started with the trial and made way too many Alts. Unlike Wow and GW2 and most other MMOs, where you need Alts to experience the whole game, in FFXIV you only need Alts for Cosmetic reasons. To play another race or look since all of your toons can play all the jobs of War, Magic, Hand and Land, as they say. Over this time I have played through ARR, Heavensward [ contemporary with Heart of Thorns in case you’re checking ]. I have purchased Stormblood, but have not yet taken a character into the new areas, although I have played both jobs introduced in that expansion – Dark Knight and Red Mage – Great Fun those. I’ve also pre-purchased Shadowbringers – mostly to get the XP boost jewelery that works to level 70.

Let’s Compare

The first two pictures are of mobs in a level 45-50 area. The level 50 version is part of a MSQ – Main Sequence Quest – the level 48 version is just a mob in the world. Both are easy to take out solo. The last three pictures are from a dungeon [HARD] meaning 8 man dungeon that’s part of the MSQ quest chain.

In FFXIV, esp if you are higher level than the mobs in the area you’re exploring, the mobs don’t bunch up on you. In fact, if you are a few levels higher, they ignore you unless you attack them. In GW2 there is no such thing as “you are higher level” since the level cap is 80 and you and they are both 80 – at least. So they are guaranteed to aggro on you, in large groups and the group almost always has a “Veteran” or two – at least this is what’s up in the Crystal Desert. So you will go down if you pull aggro from 5 or more mobs with two veterans.

I have had some trouble with Story Instances in FFXIV. I find the problems are that I’m under-geared or am missing some kill ordering or other issue in the mechanics. Some new gear or a little googling fixes those issues. Sometimes it makes sense to put a couple of levels on the character before I attempt the next MSQ – Main Sequence Quest.

It is never a problem to explore the world. You can get jumped by a high level “World Boss” – they call them “Bounty Bosses” I think. In the lower level areas they appear as level 50, but don’t be fooled, they cannot be soloed by a level 70. In most cases it takes a group. I have gotten too close and been one-shotted by these beasts when I was level 50 or lower. I would expect no less. But walking by does not aggro these bosses. At one point in my play, one of these was camped out on a quest marker where I needed to go and I called my whole guild in on it. I stood back while about a dozen of them showed up and fought it for five minutes. They got credit for the bounty and I was able to continue. This has happened only once or twice in 15 months of play.

I usually play this game all day most days solo, and it’s fun. Dull and repetitive – since I have so many Alts I’ve seen the MSQs way too many times, but that’s my choice. But fun, since I’m not continually looking for the next way point to respawn after dying. It’s not that I never die, but only that it’s not very often. When I bump into a FATE – open world quest – I often jump in and help esp if there are other players.

FFXIV only has world bounties for open world events up to level 70. I’ve heard stories of Eureka and further content and someday I’ll get there. But for now I’m having a blast. By myself or with a group in dungeons, fates and Duties.

I’m sorry that GW2 is not as much fun as a solo player. Some folks must like it that way. I certainly do like the group play, but it’s not fun exploring the new areas of the world as a solo player looking for those groups to play with. Yep. I’ve done WvW – PvP on steroids – and gotten some gear that way. But it’s not my choice of how to play.

PS – Just heard that ArenaNet is going to lay off folks. I wonder if it’s because GW2 is not supporting it’s own or whether NCSoft is having trouble and is cutting at ArenaNet to make up for their problems? Well I just did buy two PoF licenses – one for me and one for my daughter, so we can play twice a week when she has time. Does that constitute “Doing My Part”?