It’s no secret to anyone that knows me well that I’m a huge fan of ArenaNets MMORPG Guild Wars 2, the game has been out for about six months now and today I will be reviewing my thoughts on the game now.
August 28, 2012 Guild Wars 2 was released and in all honesty this game would have went right under my radar had it not been for one of my best friends, he had been convincing me to check the game out and when I finally did I was impressed. See before the 28th of August I was close to being done with most MMO’s( except for CCP’s DUST 514 ). I had played a few but my experiences were either bad or really great but justifying a subscription fee on top of my real life responsibilities was just not feasible. But this game that ArenaNet had developed had no sub fee and I already had a friend playing so I didn’t feel alone while going into the world of Tyria. So going into it the combat felt fresh, the graphics are great, and the community is awesome. So from the get go there was already more than enough to pull me into this fantasy world and keep me entertained, with all the content that was ready and available at release we’ve had Three events in Shadow of the Mad King( October ), The Lost Shores( November ), and Wintersday( December ), with a fourth one in motion now called Flame and Frost. Now it was in these events that we saw Anet shine and stumble, Mad King introduced some fun additions like the mini dungeon Vexa’s Lab, some fun PvP in form of the costume brawl, and some pretty cool armor skins( of course there was more content but that just names a few things ). But where the Mad King event won The Lost Shores event failed while it did introduce a new enemy type, new event items and even a new zone, it was littered with disconnects for many( not myself personally ), lag spikes, and the worst kind of ending for the disconnect after the ancient Karka battle where many people did not get their rewards at the end. But ArenaNet did make good on getting rewards out to those who we’re disconnected and they made the next event play out through a couple of weeks so that not everyone was in the same place( Lions Arch )at the same time stressing out the servers, but even where they made good Southsun Cove the new zone from the event is all but dead now, so there is still room for them to improve on not only how they implement new content but how it evolves after a big event like The Lost Shores. Lost Shores did add the new Fractals of the Mists dungeon which is a dungeon composed of smaller mini dungeons an addition to the game that I enjoy. But it also brought on Ascended gear which I have no issue with, it is NOT necessary gear to have so I don’t feel forced to go after it. That is one area that I truly appreciate about the game you don’t feel forced to go after the best of the best full set of gear( exotic )but if you wish to you certainly can! The Wintersday event went of very smooth and the current event is doing the same, ANet seems to have taken a different approach of spreading these events out so as to not stress out the servers too much and also to give as many players as possible the chance to experience it. So the first several months had its missteps but all in all it seems to be headed in a positive direction. The current Flame and Frost event has introduced a new daily system with a new currency which we can purchase new rewards. It’s giving more incentive for people to visit the open world more often, which I have noticed gave a boost to the people I see in the worlds zones now on my server. But even with more people there is still one issue that I still am noticing which we’ll get into next.
Group Events, GW2 is rife with them having played since launch I still come across new events and there are still more that I have yet to even complete. But there are only really four that I know for a fact I can log in and get a group for, Kralkatorrik, Tequatl, Claw of Jormag, and Frozen Maw. Here lies a problem, there is an entire world map full of amazing and often challenging events and people are drawn to the same one over and over. My guild and I the other night tried to run an event chain in Orr, where we faced champion after champion while trying to keep an NPC alive. It was fun at first until we faced a Champion Abomination and I thought o crap we’re going to need a bigger group. There were five of us and we just couldn’t handle him, a few more came and still the same results, then at that moment I thought only one thing I wish we had at least ten man raids. There is content in this game that cannot be done solo yet you can complete your entire story alone( save for Arah ). See they created a world where you don’t have to group which is fine but I believe that does not promote a healthy community. For most events everyone shows up fights and disperses, there is very little to no player interaction in a MMO( Massively MULTIPLAYER Online )game. This is an area that baffles me, the max amount of players for a group is Five, I run a guild we’re small( 18 members )but I hate that we have to split groups when there are more than five of us present which happens alot. In WvWvW max group of five where there are at least ten or more working together for an objective, group events it’s the same issue. I feel like this discourages groups for the more challenging content in the game, I know devs have said that they don’t want the UI cluttered and that I understand but make UI customization so we can set it up as we please.If we had a raid type set up for events it may encourage more people to do even more events. Give better drops for players that are actually grouping up, why? Because it’s promoting community something an MMO thrives off of, the other day I asked for help on a group event and only one other player showed up to help, we got the job done but just one that’s a bit sad. They got the content right but the system to get it done is flawed, I enjoy this game but it would be even better if we had a better way to group this includes a better Lfg tool as well as lager groups for content such as WvW, Orr Temples, and other Group Events. ArenaNet prides itself on making a game with the End-Game actually In the game, it’s a system I love that at any time I can do group events that’s awesome. I feel like most MMO’s should learn a lesson from that instead of the oh wait you have to hit max level for that raid, that’s not something that I ever liked. I like ArenaNets way of handling this but what would make it even better if these group events were REALLY a challenge in every Zone, going back to Wayfarer Foothills to run Frozen Maw and there’s 20 people there you feel excited, then the boss is dead way too fast and you feel like you wasted your time. Up the difficulty on some of these events a bit it will encourage us to work together much more!
The Gem store is another area of the game that I feel like oh hey I’m not paying a sub fee so why not spend some cash to support the game! I have bought some things like Minis and an armor skin, but I can’t do anything with Minis at all even though there is a battle arena in LA for minis but the players can’t use it, so I no longer spend my money on them. Armor skins again something awesome but there is not a large selection of them, it’d be awesome to see them do something like Armor skins of the Six Human Gods or the Elder Dragons even if there was one new skin a month this would get people buying more from the gem store. I do see them headed in the right direction with the Quaggan backpack and riding broom these are great items and people are buying them, but add some more things weapon skins would be welcomed as well. If the gem store has to exist put things in it that will get us buying, poll the players ask us what we would like to see to get an idea of how to get us to support the amazing game we have. I think the gem store is a good idea it’s just the execution is wrong in some areas, why sell XP boosters when Guilds can just use their perks for that. Black Lion Chests and keys yeah those make sense and I have spent some cash on those which I don’t mind but the boosters need to go and our selection of cool armor skins and weapon skins could be improved on. Other than that the only other issue with the store is the price spikes in precursors and the fact that legendaries can be sold on the TP. This is a trend that needs to go and fast especially with the legendary Weapons, there are players that work hard to acquire their weapon and then there are those that buy them and sell just to turn an in-game profit. These should be Soulbound on acquire so that the TP can’t be used to abuse the system on how to gain a legendary weapon. As for precursors, it’d be nice if the scavenger hunt could be added some time this year, because the Mystic forge often yields poor results and honestly the RNG system is just far TOO MUCH of a crapshoot. A better way needs to be implemented adn I know that the scavenger hunt has been talked about and I hope that is the direction it goes, as long as the hunt is challenging and epic the heck yes go for it ANet. I have no doubt that it can be done and done well as this is a team that offers some of the best content in any MMO launch to date. This is a highly creative and skilled team I hope they continue on that route concerning improving in this area of the game.
Currently the Dev team is working on their Living story which adds to the Dynamic feel of the world. The end result will even change some of the world in a permanent way, which is really amazing because it not only entertains the players but it shows the teams devotion to try to make the world of Tyria alive as much as possible. Currently the event is kind of shrouded in mystery with weather in some areas going haywire, causing NPC’s to be displaced from their homes, some even losing their lives. It’s a very real and serious toned event and it’s exciting, hopefully they can continue this trend with further events continuing to build on the lore of the world of Tyria. There are still some areas that are not open on the map that the team is hopefully looking into for future developments and there are still some that are open that are yet to be fully explained such as the great collapse in Divinity’s Reach. There are unresolved issues in the game between certain groups like the bandits, centaur, Sons of Svanir, and Flame legion( even though I have a feeling the last two are up to something in Flame and frost ). There is this whole rich world full of lore and adventure and at times I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface as I uncover new things all the time. There is the exciting mode of WvWvW which will see an update in March, that’s something that really has me excited as Wv3 is probably one of my favorite things in the game. In my opinion it deserves just as much attention as they give to their sPvP( which I don’t care for in the slightest ), it’s large scale battles, capture and defend, and spur of the moment battles really test out how skilled you are and also adds to the camaraderie of the server. There are the Jumping Puzzles which are starting to grow on me, the personal story, dungeons, getting your first set of exotic gear and just so much more in this game. ArenaNet still has some improvements to make, but six months later Guild Wars 2 is still my main game and I hope it has many more years of life in it.