Content Creators have a tough job. It involves long hours spent researching, gathering their thoughts, recording hours of game play, clipping and touching-up footage, scripting, editing, branding, and marketing … all in the hope that the product of their labor results in someone on YouTube taking the time to hit the thumbs-up button. It’s largely thankless until they gain a following and start becoming big names in their niches.
Not an easy challenge!
There are many talented content creators out there, covering the boundless spectrum of games available from every genre imaginable. They post walkthroughs, tips and tactics for PvP, lore guides, reactions, theorycraft, and breakdowns of everything from patch updates to the drama going on behind-the-scenes with developers. They are the info gurus that keep player bases on top of everything we need to know about … and plenty of what we just want to know about.
The Intrepid Content Creators of Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is home to a number of exceptionally dedicated content creators who bring their savvy know-how and colorful personalities to their work — AuroraPeachy, MMO INKS, Deroir, MightyTeapot, Bog Otter, and RPG Alex, to name a few (literally, that really is just a few of them).
One of the most well-known GW2 content czars is WoodenPotatoes (“WP”). With more than 131K followers on YouTube alone, this fast-talking Brit has carved out a name for himself within the community. He’s established himself as an expert on all things lore-related, becoming famous (for some, infamous) as the maker of deep, meaty videos that dig into the history and significance of the story, often resulting in hour-long segments.
He’s not for everyone, true. WP never shies away from saying what he really thinks even when he openly admits it won’t be popular. Apart from some occasional instances of crabbiness during hours-long recorded playthroughs, though, I’ve never thought of his remarks about the game’s content and direction as anything but honest. More importantly, his comments are considered.
Remember ‘Mountgate’? WP was no wallflower, wading into the debate with one of the most unpopular opinions around: “MountGate” The majority of the outspoken members of the community were furiously against his point of view. He still said it. And that is one of the most valuable features of what WP brings to the table.
In spite of his detractors, WP has earned a reputation for being very genuine. Good, bad, or ugly, he will give you his full and unfiltered take on the franchise, the developers behind it, the story they weave for us, and the future of the world of Tyria.
On March 17th, WP announced a new series that he will be undertaking:
“Let’s Play Guild Wars 2”
Watch the Announcement Here: The Return of An Old Project No One Was Asking For!
It’s a rather underwhelming (cheesy, really) title. What he plans to do in this series, though, makes up for it. WP is committing to a full playthrough of the Guild Wars 2 story … right from the beginning.
At first this may not seem particularly impressive. Getting to 80 is a snap, right? And he’s using Tomes to jump 10 levels at a time to link the story together, so it’s even faster. What’s the big deal?
Unless you have only ever done PvP you will be intimately familiar with the quest line that forms the heart of PvE content: the Personal Story. Now, I apologize if referencing the episodic odyssey that carries the leveling grind from 1-80. I know, I know! While I enjoyed it the first three times (Tybalt, Forgal, Sieran), even the fourth time (Tybalt, again), I kind of stopped pushing new characters through it all.
The stories told are very stilted, the dialogue is anemic, and those talking cutscenes that have you side-by-side with other characters got really old, really fast.
So, why would you want to sit there and watch someone else play through it???
Because it will get the full WoodenPotatoes treatment! Tips, tricks, and his unique perspectives on the history of both the game and the world it brings us into.
No slouch, WP has already posted the first video: “The Personal Story – Part 1, A New Beginning”
Something Good for the Game
Now, WoodenPotatoes certainly doesn’t need any help from me in getting his name out there — 24 hours after posting his announcement video it had garnered 13K views.
Yeah. He’s all set, there.
However, as he points out in this video, he doesn’t anticipate this series will do as well as his usual work. Which is a major shame, I think! Imagine this new project not just as WP’s latest thing, but a resource and source of entertainment for new and existing players, alike.
What could a series like this accomplish for the game?
It wouldn’t just support new players, trying to find their feet, perhaps struggling to learn the game’s mechanics, while simultaneously trying to soak up the various viewpoints, cultures, and vast history of a world that draws on a very deep, very rich well of content.
Veterans and returning players will also get the benefit of reliving a story that was significant to the development of their characters, whether they liked the Personal Story or not. Who doesn’t like re-watching a favorite movie or re-reading a good book?
The upside here is that we don’t need to live through the frustration of the grind, but sit back and watch as the story unfolds effortlessly for us.
We get to see parts of the world we, perhaps, haven’t visited since that first playthrough. It’s easy to forget how beautiful Core Tyria is in a post-Path of Fire era. From the Artesian Waters to the arched pathways of Divinity’s Reach and the majestic stone statues looking down from the heights of Holebrak, the world we first encountered in 2012 is filled with exceptional sights worth visiting again.
We’ll relive adventures that unlocked a story that’s vastly improved on its origins in the Personal Story. Events that might otherwise be written off as “story beats” are significant moments in the lives of the characters we immerse ourselves in — the fall of Zhaitan; the race to the golden city of Tarir to safeguard the future hope of a dragon long-dead; the birth of Aurene; unmasking an ancient foe to reveal the face of a god. While I hesitate to jump back in and trudge through the hours and hours of playtime to go back and relive one special moment, it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the urge to do it.
I mean, who didn’t LOVE watching that adorable baby dragon hatch and look up with those big, soul-melting eyes? Honestly.
Retracing our steps with the aid of a personality like WoodenPotatoes is quite possibly a source of rejuvenation for Guild Wars 2. It will generate conversations, bringing up ideas that might make their way into the forums. Maybe even to the attention of the developers at ArenaNet.
If nothing else, it will be a communal experience that nearly everyone in the community can share.
What do you think? Do you like WoodenPotatoes’ idea? Hate it? Wish the Personal Story would die a fiery death?
Let me know down in the Comments!
A note on screenshots included in this post:
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© 2018 Sarah Easley – All Rights Reserved.