After an immensely enjoyable week spent touring the Pyrenees, much of which involved driving down single-track roads beneath chasms of rock hundreds of meters high or up single-track roads along sheer drops hundreds of meters deep, it feels more than a tad ironic to log into GW2 and find myself immediately overwhelmed by the depth and complexity of a faux-3D image on a screen. Nevertheless, that's what just happened and it's what happens every time I return to MMOs from a complete break of more than a few days.
It's not just that the forced perspective gives me mild vertigo and a flurry of motion sickness. It's the incredible wealth of detail that seems almost like a sensual assault. The spell effects! The explosions! All the strange creatures scurrying and gesticulating. Even the motes in the air and the beams of sunlight through the trees.
It takes a brief while for my protective mental limiters to power up, before my brain begins to filter out the "noise", before things return to everyday normal. Just for an hour or so it's like it was way back in the day, when MMOs were new and everything was wild, fresh and magical.
I guess if I only played a couple of hours a week things might always seem that way. But then how would I ever get my dailies done?