Sunday, December 4, 2016

Iona Valerius

It's been a while since I've played any character aside from my Engineer. It's fairly rare for me to create new characters, and even more so to stick with them. I don't enjoy playing other classes that much. But my new guardian, Iona, is an exception to the rule.
For a short biography, Iona Valerius is a noble of Divinity's Reach whose parents were assassinated by the White Mantle. She strongly believes in humanity's right to live in Tyria and sets out to fight those who threaten to destroy their kingdom.

Making a new character has allowed me to revisit starting areas thoroughly and see how well the game was doing with getting new players. It's obviously not flourishing like in 2012, but it still has an impressive amount of activity. Although there are certainly more smurfs running around than there are newbies, it's still enough to keep the game high up there with WoW as the most played MMO.

An interesting trio
Blocking party
There are still plenty of people doing the good old Queensdale hearts and vistas, there are still people being amazed at how big Shadow Behemoth looks, and people who die to that veteran boar near the hunting lodge. These are good signs that the game is in good health.

It's also an opportunity to revisit these areas I haven't seen in a long time. Queensdale never gets old, it's truly a mapping masterpiece.

Stars over Queensdale
A walk in the forest
I even discovered things I didn't know before. You can, for example, get drunk at the monastery. There's a cave to the south with signs saying "only truly threatening people may enter". There's a hill that has boar heads scattered all over it.

It's been a great surprise, really. A lot of people complain about levelling, but this is what makes me enjoy the game. New discoveries, the learning process, seeing my character evolve, and so on. I have never played a guardian before, so the magic of having something new to discover is still there.

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