Still working. Always working.
If I was writing generic genre fantasy, I’d be long done by now, but this is something much more literary and should stand out from a lot of what’s there on the shelves right now. It’s god damned exhausting, though, and frustrating when I realize that the combined 330,000 words (not including edits and rewrites, so about double that) of the GW2 version and the original-work first draft were really just long exercises in figuring out how one writes a book in the first place.
That said, it’s pretty amazing to sit back after struggling with a chapter for an entire month (even though I have the outline there in the first version), finally put the finishing touches on it, read it over a couple days later and think it’s objectively as good as anything I’ve read. It’s hard to see where I started from where I am now on some days, and that’s an incredible feeling. I will, however, be very happy to be done with it, whenever that’ll be.
(‘Course, then it’s on to the sequel. And the sequel to that, and–well, you get the idea.)
So. GW2. I’ve been mostly quiet on the subject, and with good reason. The old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say–” holds very true. Still, when have I ever been one to hold my tongue?
I thought I’d ride out the Living Story assuming they had something big planned all along–something that would actually change the game and shake up the meta completely. Then as we limped along in our two-week cycle of achievement chases and horrid, horrid fucking writing, I slowly gave up.
Since beta I’d worked very hard to like this game. Or to want to like this game. I’ll admit, I had fun along the way, but that was mostly due to hooking up with some old friends again, and meeting some new ones.
What I’ve seen is a game that has no idea what it wants to be full of half-baked ideas and mechanics that someone somewhere decided were “good enough.” And they are “good enough” apparently to get people logging in to throw money at the cash shop every time ANet comes out with the next idiotic thing that’s Only Available for a Limited Time! But not good enough for me. With a very few exceptions what I’ve logged into every two weeks was disappointment.
I won’t go full-on tinfoil hat here, but it feels to me over the past however long I’ve been playing that they care far more about the bottom line and “good enough” instead of making a truly enjoyable game. Like things got lost along the way somewhere between the Manifesto and NCSoft/Nexon and replaced by oodles of PR-speak and empty promises.
I’m basically done with it at this point barring some massive content patch, so let me say this. Thanks, GW2, for getting me to write again, and forcing me away from the game’s lore as quickly as possible, and helping me connect with some friends, old and new. And, of course, all of you guys who found your way here because of it. Here’s to hoping we end up in some new adventures together elsewhere.