Let me get this clear from the start: Id rather be playing Guild Wars
2. Instead, Im here writing about it. Im a gamer on a mission.
I was talking to a gamer friend yesterday and asked him if he planned
to play Guild Wars 2. He shrugged and told me that he hadnt really
paid much attention to it, then asked me whether he should. I gave him
an unqualified Uh, YES. Then he asked me why he should spend his
hard-earned cash on a game based on the IP from an older game that he
never really clicked with. I offered up a few reasons. Okay, lots of
reasons. And now, if youre anything like my friend and havent given
Guild Wars 2 a look because you figured it wasnt really your thing,
Im going to share those reasons with you.
Please note that I selflessly do this even though Id rather be playing
Guild Wars 2, because I want you to experience the MMO gaming epicosity
(shut up, its a word) that I have experienced over several beta
weekend events and stress tests.
Never mind that as I write this, there is no stress test and the
headstart weekend is still days away. Thats incidental.
Now, lets make with the reasons:
Its so far beyond the
original Guild Wars that its not even on the same planet. It doesnt really matter whether you think Guild Wars was a great game
or a bad one--Guild Wars 2 is not Guild Wars. It shares a lot of the lore, races and professions (the Guild Wars term for classes), but
thats about it. Where Guild Wars was built around quest hubs and instanced areas, Guild Wars 2 serves up a vast open world built for
massively multi-player encounters. And it has so many cool design elements itll make your head spin. More on those coming right up.
The world of Tyria is
stunning. I cant count how many times Ive stopped what I
was doing, looked around and said, Wow.... And not only is it
incredibly cool, its big. If youve explored one starting area, for
instance, youve really only seen the tip of the iceberg, because each
race has its own impressive area for you to explore.
Your level adjusts
dynamically for the area youre in. You can go explore
other racial areas without worrying that their content will be beneath
your level. Also, youll never leave your friends in the dust again. If
youre level 30 and youve got a friend just joining the game you can
go back and play wherever hes at and still gain experience because
your level will dynamically scale down to the areas level plus one.
Read all about Dynamic Level Adjustment.
The game rewards
exploration. Go out and explore in Guild Wars 2! You wont
be wasting time; youll be gaining experience. For each new area you
visit, or each scenic vista you climb to, youll get XP.
Say goodbye to quest hubs.
Yes, I know theyre the status quo for MMORPGs, but ask yourself
whether you truly enjoy hitting a town or outpost, collecting a bunch
of quests from various NPCs with exclamation points over their heads,
and then heading out into the world to knock them out before proceeding
to the next quest hub and doing the same thing all over again. In Guild
Wars 2, you dont have to. Because...
Say hello to the dynamic
events system. Imagine adventures that you just happen to come across as you explore
the worlds of Tyria. You might have to work with other players to help escort an NPC to safety, or to destroy dangerous objects, or to thwart
an invasion force or take down a Champion monster. Dynamic events scale to fit how many adventurers are in the event area, so you should rarely find yourself seriously over- or underpowered.
But if you like more traditional quests... you can still do something similar.
system allows you to find NPCs who require your assistance
and help them for experience and Karma. Experience, of course, helps
you level up. Karma earns you points to spend on cool stuff (including
nice gear) at special vendors.
Questing isnt the only
path to experience. There are so many roads to gaining
experience that our Guild Wars 2 fansite, Guild Wars 2 Hub, was able to
put together a href="http://guildwars2hub.com/guides/basics/character-advancement-a-to-z">list
from A-Z and still not cover them all.
No more kill stealing,
loot whoring, and random rolling. If you fight it, youre
getting experience for it--its as simple as that. And if you kill it,
and it has stuff in its pockets, youre getting loot. It doesnt matter
whether you adventure solo or in a group, it works the same way--kill
stuff, get experience, get loot, end story. Your experience gain will
never suffer because youre hanging out with other players. Nor will
your loot stash suffer because youre rolling solo.
Combat is hella fun.
The first time you see a centaur come charging up to you, spin wildly
to a stop, and aim an arrow at your head youll know it...this is not
your mammas MMO. Youll only engage in whack-a-mole combat if you like
dying a lot. Otherwise, youre going to have to href="http://guildwars2hub.com/guides/basics/intro-guide-dodging-and-vigor">learn
to dodge. Its not difficult and doesnt require
finger-twisting keyboard gyrations--just double-tap a direction and go.
It does present a fun challenge, though, because youll need to learn
when to dodge, and how not to overextend yourself by dodging too often.
Combat animations, for
both players and NPCs, are top flight. If you havent
already, head over to the official site and look at the href="https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/">professions
page, then click on a profession to view its skill videos. I
bet youll come away impressed.
Underwater combat rocks. Guild Wars 2 takes
areas to places theyve never been before. Swimming is fun
and intuitive and youll have specialized weapons and skills for
underwater combat. Plus, it adds all new spaces to explore. In GW2, if
youre not swimming youre missing out on some incredibly cool stuff.
Theres no holy trinity.
While there are some professions that can play tank-like, and some that
can play healer-like, theres no holy trinity in Guild Wars 2. Youll
never have to stand around looking for a healer or a tank to manage a
Everybody heals, and
everybody can revive. Each profession has at least a
self-heal, and some have area healing abilities. And everyone can
revive--you just run up to a fallen ally and hit the F key to interact
and begin reviving them. Youll even get experience for doing it.
Strangers revive strangers in Guild Wars 2.
Theres solid World vs.
World and structured PvP. If you like to go up against
other players, GW2 will not disappoint. World vs. World pits team
members from three opposing servers against one another.
Character creation is cool.
Character models are attractive and detailed, and theres a bounty of
potential combinations plus sliders to help you fine tune your look.
You can dye your armor
easily. Right from character creation youll be able to
design a custom look for your armor with a nice selection of colors.
You can also find (or purchase from other players) dropped rare dyes to
add to your collection. Once youve acquired a dye, you can use it
(plus your existing palette) at any time to change the color of your
Youre going to look and
feel badass. Youll have decent looking armor right from
the start--no running around in filthy rags. And theres no endless
leveling to get the cool abilities--youll have some awesome ones in
your arsenal early on, and some elite ones to look forward to later.
You really can play your
character your way. The skill bar itself is simple--there
are no multiple bars to manage or tons of skills to juggle, yet there
are still plenty of skills. It all depends on what weapon youre
holding (as well as your attunement, in the case of elementalists, and
your tool belt if youre an engineer.) A ranger mowing down foes from a
distance with a bow can switch up to a sword and melee up close and
personal, and his skill bar will change depending on whats equipped.
You can have two weapon sets ready to swap out with a single keystroke.
Your character has a
Personal Story. Youll answer a few biography questions at
character creation, and the choices you make will determine your
characters personal story. This is a quest line for you alone. Are you
charming, dignified or fierce? Do you want to find out who your real
parents are? Recover your sisters body? Reclaim a treasured family
heirloom? What inspires you? From myriad combinations you forge a
destiny for your character, and its an intriguing one that plays out
in mostly instanced areas. You can bring friends along on some of your
personal story missions, but the story is yours alone, and there are
thousands of combinations.
fun, easy to learn, and rewarding. Youll start producing
worthwhile items right from the beginning. My beta characters have
crafted full sets of armor after only investing a little gameplay time
collecting materials. Plus, crafting is another way youll gain
experience. Even gathering materials nets you XP, and it all
contributes to the same experience pool.
The leveling curve is flat.
Remember games where the higher levels took longer and longer to
complete? Well, no more. In GW2 youll level a little quicker in the
beginning, but then the curve flattens out and each level takes about
the same amount of time to complete. There are 80 levels and so many
things to do that you can actually enjoy the ride as youre progressing
rather than slogging through a grind fest.
The game is as complex as
you want it to be. Seriously. You can play Guild Wars 2
casually and enjoy it just as much as if you are a hardcore min-maxer
who knows every intricacy of his build. This isnt a difficult game to
pick up, but it does have a lot of depth. How deeply you plumb those
depths is up to you.
Its a completionists
paradise. If youre one of those people who likes to make
sure youve filled in every blank youll love Guild Wars 2. You can
gain rewards for all sorts of things from completely exploring a map to
collecting mini pets. Theres even a daily reward youll get for
completing a series of tasks including killing a variety of different
bad guys, harvesting, etc.
Its free to play.
No, really--it is. Youll buy the client at the average price, but
theres no monthly fee associated with playing this fantastic game.
There is an item mall, but the items available there are for vanity or
convenience only. Youll never need it unless you want something like a
server transfer or youd like to massively expand your bag space.
If theres one drawback to playing Guild Wars 2 its this--itll make
you a junkie. Its difficult to stay away from a game this
entertaining, and its difficult to run out of things to do in this
game, which creates an endless feedback loop of fun, fun and more fun
(while invoking less and less sleep.) Almost everyone Ive encountered
who has played Guild Wars 2 in the beta events and stress tests has
sung some version of the same praise: Its been a long time since Ive
been this much in love with a game.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.