In the last ten days, I've been entranced with the likes of what I as a gamer would have thought I'd never mix myself with. Immaturely, I used to claim that I would not jump ship due to lack of quality, lousy game mechanics, and annoying money sinks such as subscription fees. They seemed like viable claims at the time, if not a little misguided and blind.


That was many years ago, however, and I've since then widely broadened my vocabulary when it comes to the video game industry and its genres. I've set foot in the concentrated worlds of military shooters, walked the lives of great heroes in action games, solved the greatest challenges in puzzle games, beaten the fastest car in racing games. During all this, I had done my best to ward myself away from the MMORPG. World of Warcraft or not, I was not going to attempt a game so complicated, messy and boring.


Perhaps I've stayed true to that promise, as I have yet to even consider downloading Blizzard's client and trying out their game. No matter, it was essentially inevitable that my time would cross paths, but through different form.


Cue: Guild Wars 2.



The shining new release of talented developers, ArenaNet, had caught my attention for some time, going back maybe a year or so. I had seen the footage, heard the hype, even read the first impressions of GI's very own MMO-Specialist, Adam Biessener. With so much exposure, it's hard not to stay away. In many ways, Guild Wars 2 was shaping itself to be the next huge release in the PC space, and I wanted in on it.


As if my wishes had been heard by some unseen angel*, I had been granted access to my very own copy of the game. It was even pre-ordered, so I could jump into it early before I got lost inside what was surely to be a huge community of players. Three day head-start in mind, I took the leap into brand new territory, with my first ever Massively-Multiplayer-Online game.



I chose to awake in the Pale Tree, and dwell amongst an unfamiliar race known as the Sylvari. I awoke by day, seeing within my dream hints of a pale-green knight. Somehow knowing that I was related to the event, I was chosen to be sent upon an enormous quest to slay the dragons that were destroying Tyria, and the green knight was the first step.


Upon my journey, I've met numerous faces, traded with them, communicated, even joining forces to defeat the irritable creatures that dotted the environment. Since then, I have roamed the likes of the Tarnished Coast, hunted across the Brisban Wildlands, and have aided those in need across the flowing hillside of Queensdale.



With each new discovery, the experience has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring, and beautiful. From the colorful, quaint greens and purple's of the Slyvari's Grove, to the wondrous Asuran technology within Divinity's Reach, I feel like I've seen it all. The dumbfounding feeling comes from the fact of knowing; I've only scratched the surface.


Foreign wildlife, incredible architecture, and striking warriors of immense skill have been mere sights in a world as large, persistent and detailed as our very own. I still need to explore the nooks and crannies of Lion's Reach, I need to learn and discover new blueprints for crafting bows, and I still haven't exposed myself to the world's most infamous banes: dungeons.



I'm not playing the game right now, but all I can think of was how awesome that last World Encounter was. I keep reminding myself that I should go back north into Kessex Hills so I can tame my very own eagle in the wild. I'm planning out what traits to invest in, so that I can effectively build the class that's most effective for both myself and my comrades in arms. The level of depth is stunning when you begin to think deeper into it. The amount of detail ArenaNet has put into the game is truly evident; be it through architecture, events, or the newest cheeseburger recipe that you discover.


I haven't been this excited, addicted, and amazed by a game since playing Oblivion, and before that Halo 3. Those games were the ones that showed me, "Holy cow, this is what gaming has evolved to today". Halo 3 showed me what next-gen really meant four years ago, Oblivion teased at what amazing things could be done two years ago, and with Guild Wars 2 I have seen to the extent what gaming can be.


Hundreds of thousands of players, an overwhelming number of interesting tasks, sprawling and unique environments and, complex combat systems are only some of the things that I have come to know. What's even better is I know there's more to explore: Dungeons, World vs. World battle, Player vs. Player battle in The Mists, and so much more. The wealth and breadth of content is absolutely massive.



I just can't wait to explore it all.



*I would like to thank mojomonkey12, Jeremy Brown, for being the unseen angel kind enough to give me such an incredible gift. Your money and time has not been wasted, I can assure you, and I truly appreciate such an unexpected, but kind, gesture.



~ GoldvsSilver