Guild Wars 2 Review: Redefining the MMO Genre
Ever since I jumped on that $48 deal on Gamefly with 3 day early access, I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 nonstop! If you guys haven’t started or even purchased the game, I highly recommend checking this out. You have so little to lose and much more fun to gain. This MMO is free. By free I mean there’s no contracted monthly fee you have to shell out like World of Warcraft.
Any MMO fan would certainly enjoy Guild Wars 2. But newcomers be wary. This game is not friendly to players that aren’t familiar to MMO genres. They do not hold your hand and walk you through everything such as other popular MMO’s like WoW.
Reasons why you should play Guild Wars 2 (also what makes this game unique and stands out from other existing MMOs):
- There’s ACTUALLY a story in this MMO! Yes guys, each faction has their own unique story. You also have the option of influencing how the story will unravel based on your choices. The choice system is similar to games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect. The cinematics are entertaining and impressive. You don’t just sit there and read a quest giver text that scrolls. Instead, Arenanet wants you to get immersed in the storyline and a great job they did on achieving this.
- Breaking the rules and taking risks – GW2 has eliminated the conventional role of your dedicated Healer and Tank. To avoid having players dependent upon a specific class, Arenanet has weeded out this urgency entirely by granting healing abilities and defensive traits across all classes. Any class can heal, buff, remove conditions, resurrect, and possess an AOE capability. In reality, nobody can really tank in this game ;). Just like in Diablo 3. With this implementation, no class gets left out and all is welcome to join the same party to run instances! Hooray! Everyone is welcome :D. This was a huge risk factor as majority of MMO’s have class specific roles. However, they have proven to execute this fairly well in a fluid experience for instances and PVP. I applaud them for making a bold and necessary move. Even though it is awkward adjusting without a traditional healer and tank, this certainly brings balance between classes on levels that World of Warcraft could never correct.
- Highly fast paced combat system requires absolutely NO cast time! GW2 highly encourages players to constantly remain mobile as there’s no cast bar you need to stand still and wait for. This creates a responsive and fast paced combat system which requires you to constantly pay attention to evade incoming attacks that are devastating in both situations for PVE or PVP.
- So much room for activities! Guild Wars 2 certainly knows how to bring players together to work along side for any group events that are usually marked on your map. The location is ALWAYS revealed on any player’s map. There’s a constant force of synergizing players together to help one another out whether it is to kill a mob, or a world boss. These events get so hectic that there would literally be waves upon waves of mobs invading a camp. This makes things become chaotic which is what FUN is all about! I have killed only 1 world boss so far and that was level 15. I’m level 65 now and I haven’t encountered anymore. Simply because I do not know the locations of one but they would be marked as red on your map. Unlike other MMOs such as World of Warcraft that persuades people to be individualistic and not help others, you’ll never be alone in Guild Wars 2 and the community is 10x much friendlier than any other MMO. People will definitely help you in many ways you didn’t believe. Trust me, players are all friendly for once. This is not a hostile environment in anyway as every player has their own loot and own gathering resources.
- Implementation of overflow system reduces lag and ensures the servers will never run over capacity. This is an interesting new method of handling the massive queues and players logging into a highly populated server. What overflow does is set you in a different server in the same region. This is also how you can join up for cross realm instances with people on a different home server. Might I add that Guild Wars 2 had an over-the-top launch with no shameful lag on day one? Need I say more to provide a bad example to compare this to such as Diablo 3 when it first released? Once again, Arenanet did an amazing job stress testing the servers for a smooth sailing on launch date. Kudos team for all your hardwork and proactive attitude!
- World vs World PVP is chaotic and fun at the same time. Arenanet had developed PVP to be a huge massive world versus world event. You simply zone into the PVP realm and have an alternate outfit. Even if you are low level, when you port in for PVP you will be 80.
- Instances are extremely challenging. Did I also mention that you can group up cross realm? It’s pretty sweet! If you’re looking for a MMO that will impose a challenging experience for instances, you’ve come to the right MMO game. GW2 is brutal and unforgiving in this territory. The first dungeon you may enter is AC ‘Ascalon Catacombs’ which is at level 30. By far this is the MOST difficult dungeon I have ever ventured in. You have two modes you can set the instance to run as: story and explorer. Story mode is pretty self explanatory. It is like a traditional dungeon you would come across any MMO such as WoW or EverQuest. Explorer is a mode where it changes the dungeon’s environment and eliminates mobs. Instead, it will fill the dungeon with back to back bosses and has a longer run time. This also increases the difficulty of the dungeon.
- Environments are vast, beautiful, extremely detailed, and will make anyone want to be apart of the Explorer’s league expedition. When going through different zones of races, I can’t help but gaze at the environment with such fascination. Each realm is well designed and made to create an atmosphere that more than makes you feel like you getting an amazing experience. Unlike WoW where some territories seem bland, you’ll be overly impressed with how much detailing was put in for every single zone. You do not get the half assed environments that seems be reused over and over again to come off as copy and paste.
- Leveling is easy; mainly because anything you do in terms of gathering materials/resources, killing mobs, doing events, world bosses, instances, and even working on professions yield XP. This system reminds me of the one in Skyrim. However, you do not gain XP from selling and buying from vendors.
- Community is highly valued. Last but not least, Arenanet has been proactive and doing all the right things by constantly releasing a build every night to fix bugs, exploits, and glitches. It is difficult for any MMO to not contain any glitches. After all, open world does open the doors for bugs. Have no fear, Arenanet cares and will do something to resolve any issues within the same day. This makes me feel proud of my purchase and reassures me that Guild Wars 2 has superseded my expectations.
If you were a fan of EverQuest or World of Warcraft you will feel a sense of familiarity in this game. You get the difficulty you once experienced in EverQuest when running instances and you get amazing professions to choose from along with PVP content such as World of Warcraft. What more can you ask for? Also, please do not mistaken me as a hardcore Guild Wars fan since the first one. I never enjoyed the first Guild Wars so the fact that I am so in love with #2 is saying a lot. Arenanet and NCsoft has taken GW2 to a whole new different route and direction in comparison to the previous. This time I really believe they made the right choices in making this game unique and unlike the other MMOs on the market.
In conclusion, this game by far has yielded so much ROI for me. I couldn’t be happier as a gamer. It’s GREAT to have a MMO worth playing again. After all, it’s been way too long since there was a MMO that was groundbreaking. This goes as far back to World of Warcraft vanilla days back in 2004. Fortunately, GW2 is here to eliminate the dry spell of fail MMO’s. This is truly setting a new trend for the genre. Feel free to immerse yourself in Guild Wars 2. Needless to say good Ser, I am very impressed and that is usually difficult to come by as I’m extremely picky with my games.
If any case, I’m on Blackgate server. Join up if you would like to be on the same realm! :) Message if you want to add me on GW2.
Good hunting everyone! Onward to 80!