My PC is about five years old and is trying its best to keep up with the games I play. Just about every game I download now politely sets itself to the lowest possible setting to accommodate it. It still plays them well enough, but it’s not as pretty as it could be, load times are slow and, especially in some MMOs, lag becomes a huge issue.
Rescuer: Homer are you still holding onto the can?
Homer: Your point being?
One of the games I didn’t delete though in my quest for gigabytes is Guild Wars 2. In fact, despite not playing it much, I’ve kept it more or less updated and occasionally hop on to check out the content which they continue to keep updating regularly with fun little adventures. This month, Queen Jennah has been celebrating the game's first anniversary and everyone in Tyria is invited. I hopped on, thinking I’d spend a few minutes seeing the sights. I ended up spending the entire evening raking in the goodies and having a grand old time in the massive full map events spawning all over Tyria (and admiring all the pretty outfits).
In a world now saturated by free-to-play MMOs, I continue to be amazed by ArenaNet for continuing to provide all this content, well, for free. While other games will nickel and dime to the point where I’ll stupidly subscribe just to make them shut up or, more wisely, quit completely, GW2 still seems to get it right. I paid my $60 for the initial game (the price has gone down since), so I don’t feel guilty for not adding any further cash it a year later. But I’m both surprised and impressed that, with all this content they maintain, ANet hasn’t asked for anything more. Sure you can spend money on the goodies they offer, but none of them are essential to game play and success. If you want truly game enhancing equipment, then you still have to work for it. And with the limited time of the events, I can see it still being a pretty strong draw for the elite crowd, while not alienating the lower level people (new content/areas often scale up player levels, for a limited time).
I’m still waiting for the expansion packs, for which I will happily give them my money. I know you are out there, Elona and Cantha! But for now, I’m content to continue to enjoy an MMO that truly seems to understands my casual MMO needs.