MMORPG have been a part of the gaming world for over a decade. I can’t even start saying how much they brought upon the gaming culture in general. Today, I will speak about a newer generation MMORPG: Guild Wars 2 (abbr. GW2).
Guild Wars 2 was at some point the fastest-selling MMORPG in the west, and for good reason. The review will be split into 4 subsections; storyline, gameplay, visuals and personal thoughts. Let us begin:
Table of Contents
Set about 150 years from the original Guild Wars, GW2 begins at the local year of 1325 AE, and it begins with the personal story of the character you created.
Through the story (that is unlocked as you level up), you try to build up your own legend, based partly on your race’s culture and join one of Tyria’s (the continent that the game takes place on) major orders: The Vigil (based on warfare), the Order of Whispers (based on subterfuge) and the Durmand Priory (based on science).
At the same time, your hero tries to reunite a legendary guild called Destiny’s Edge by solving the problems that broke them apart the first time.
Their ultimate purpose is to create an army strong enough to challenge the most dangerous threats to the world; the Elder Dragons. I don’t want to spoil the story further, but in general, the storyline about the Elder Dragons is the game’s focal point.
In general, Guild Wars 2 is very focused on its story, with frequent releases to their system, the Living World. The Living World is, as the name suggests, a continually updating story. The story and the world evolve through those Living World episodes, and more maps are created for the sole purpose of housing the newest plotline.
If you’re looking for an MMORPG that is focused on delivering an exciting story, then Guild Wars 2 is a must pick for you. And the positives don’t end here.
Generally, GW2 has your typical MMORPG gameplay. You create your character, choose his race, class, appearance, and some minor backstory details, and the gameplay is dependent on the class.
A difference from the classical MMORPG trend is that weapons don’t change your DPS, instead, they give you 5 different profession skills (classes in the game are called professions).
You also have 4 utility skills that you can choose from a broad range (exclusive to each profession) and an elite skill. These utility skills are unlocked from each profession’s specializations, and each profession has its own.
GW2 has so far released 2 expansions that you can buy. Each comes with an expanded story, more maps, and buying one gives you access to several other features. This does not mean that GW2 is pay-to-play or pay-to-win, as these features aren’t all that important, with the exception of maybe one.
Each expansion also gives each profession each own elite specialization, with new mechanics and playstyles, and one or two new weapons, with all new weapon skills.
The above seems like pretty handbook stuff for MMORPGs, right? Well, GW2 has one main selling point from the other ones. GW2 generally has a horizontal progression system, instead of the classic vertical one.
This means that instead of being based on you grinding your way to the maximum level in order to grind for the best possible gear, only to start that grind again with every new expansion, GW2 instead focuses on the endgame.
Once you reach level 80, that’s where the game begins. The newer expansions and updates are relying on this concept, they just give you more stuff to do, without needing to grind anything.
There are both PvP and PvE modes. PvP, and GW2, in general, make sure that a player without an expansion doesn’t have any disadvantage. That means that playing the Core game doesn’t leave you handicapped and overpowered by players who paid for more content.
PvE has two endgame modes, fractals, and raids. Fractals are easier and designed for up to 5 players, they are practically harder, bigger dungeons. They are available for all players. Raids are harder, 10 man content that require very good timing and communication.
They have many micromechanics to learn and are done usually by experienced and hardcore players. You can only play raids if you have one or both expansions.
Many players complain about the balancing of the game, but there are always these kinds of players in every game. They do have a fair point in that the balancing changes take too much time, as they only come on a rate of about once a month.
Of course, some professions are weaker or less optimal than others, but that is always the case for anything multiplayer.
At least GW2 is not based on the holy trinity. In case you don’t know, the holy trinity is the rationale that every group in every MMORPG should definitely have the three classes: tank, DPS and healer.
Another selling point is the freedom this game provides. GW2 lets you do practically anything you want, however you want it, and it never forces you to do what you don’t want. And another huge bonus is customizability.
Guild Wars 2 lets you design your character how you want to; besides the plethora of options in the character creation, there are many different armor pieces that you can use on your character, and you can mix some of them up to have your own personal style.
The game also allows you to dye those armor pieces, further adding personality to your character. There is also a small part of the players interested in roleplaying. And once more, the positives don’t end here.
The SFX in-game is nothing too special. But the voice lines are amazing and the voice actors very convincing. You’ll find yourselves all giddy on some of your character’s lines, no matter the race.
GW2 has absolutely stunning graphics. ArenaNet (the company that is responsible for GW2) has nailed every environment that was put as a challenge; from icy mountains to vast jungles.
From regular plains to dry deserts. ArenaNet never fails to impress and the graphics are certainly top quality. While that may sound scary to low budget players, GW2’s lowest settings can actually be run on some very bad PCs, and the minimum system requirements are not high at all.
Sometimes though, when many players gather at one point, there is a cluster of effects, and all you can see is just some glowing, but other than that, the graphics are top-notch.
Guild Wars 2 certainly gets a lot of praise and for a good reason. It has a company that cares about it and tries to perfect every little detail. Its balancing might be subpar but they are trying. The graphics are amazing for the PCs that can handle them.
The versatility is huge. The fact that you can fully customize your character is awesome. There are so many different dyes to choose from, I personally spent hundreds of hours just trying to decide!
I suggest you try this game since it’s free, and if you like it, you can proceed to buy the expansions, that is the most reasonable move anyway.
General Rating: 8.5
This was my review for Guild Wars 2. I hope you enjoyed it. Did you find it helpful? Have you played GW2? If so just leave a comment.
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