Skipping the Journey in Heart of Thorns

lh_guildwars2_heart_of_thorns_review_delayedYa’ll know that I fancy myself some great lore. A narrative that breadcrumbs you into a growing storyline easily captures me. Bottled story arcs for zones, creatures of the week if you will, are also of interest. If only for the simple gratification of ending their reign of terror. Even single-shot quests or completely discrete, world-spanning quest lines can entertain to the point of emotion. The story to a game is so important to me that I’ll abandon titles for missteps, as I have with Warlords of Draenor. On the other end, I’ll devise an editorial line to focus on those that catch my interest. It’s this very reason that I’m the worst power leveling partner ever. And why I’m skittish to use and less likely to purchase items that’ll break the narrative the game designers spent ostentatious amounts of time devising. The journey needs to be as interesting as the end game.

What happens when you’ve missed an expansion? Or failed to even complete the main story of an MMORPG and decide to return? Do you power level to the level cap, skipping the original material only to pick up the new line? Or do you slog through, falling behind your friends, guildies and the server? That’s exactly where I stand in Guild Wars 2. Trying to decide to consume level-up items to finish off my healer to enter the wilds of Heart of Thorns.

I want to be at the forefront of Guild Wars 2’s first expansion healbotting my way through. But I’ve missed so much of the world ArenaNet has already crafted. Furthermore, how am I to truly appreciate the additions HoT offers if I haven’t experienced the original title in full? I can’t in good faith offer my opinion as a review having not consumed what came before it, right? Or do I qualify it, stating immediately my failings and rely on my years of experience in dozens of MMOGs to relate?

It’s eating at me. Gnawing at my subconscious and freezing my hand. No decision has been made. I simply haven’t played. And now that’s annoying me…