I love Guild Wars. A fact that many that have known for a long time know all to well. I’ve been playing Guild Wars and its expansions for years. So when Guild Wars 2 was announced I was as giddy as school girl in Spring. It’s finally here and it’s good. No, wait… it’s f*cking great!
Guild Wars 2 is a very different creature from what is now known as Guild Wars Prophecies, but at the same time keeps a lot of what I really enjoyed about Prophecies.
Prepare for Adventure
While most MMOs I’ve played always felt like a huge open world full with random people running around trying to get things done, Guild Wars 2 manages to feel like a living world where your story matters, that happens to have other adventurers in it. It’s a world that is constantly dynamically doing something interesting. One moment your strolling down the beautiful streets of Divinity’s Reach, or walking through the pastures of Queensdale when a group of Centaurs are wrecking sh*t and must be dealt with. You’ll instantly team up with other people all working towards the same goal together. It’s a very different scenario than the often seen waiting line of quest givers in games like WoW. It’s a refreshing new take on quests that you don’t have to engage but you can at any time.
Guild Wars 2 is a place that wants to be explored; and you’ll get XP for doing it. Filled with beautiful vistas and rolling hills, Tyria is massive world ripe for seeing and lots of doing as well. It’s not all killing creatures. it’s helping farmers to feed their cows, puzzles, crafting, cooking and from what ArenaNet has planned even fishing in a future update. Guild Wars 2 is a game that lets you play the way you want.
It hasn’t been a completely smooth launch though. The trading post is offline 9 times out of 10, tons of server queues (which are handled in a rather brilliant way with an instanced world where folks can still play together) and some Guild management bugs that seem to be all server side. Considering an MMO of this size hasn’t been completely taken down in week one is an accomplishment.
Another complaint is that while I appreciate ArenaNet’s more hands-off approach on letting you discover the many systems in Guild Wars 2, I wish they would have eased you in a bit more. You’ll spend hours whacking away on monsters and slowly adding friends to your Guild before you’ve even discovered that there is a crafting and cooking system. I understand the wonder and fun of discovery that ArenaNet is going for but a little guidance wouldn’t have hurt.
The eventual question of is this a ‘WoW Killer’ always seems to come up, but why does something need to kill WoW? It’s still being enjoyed by millions of people and is soon getting panda bears. It’s a little absurd but absurdity in video games is fun! World of Warcraft does what it does very well, obviously, but Guild Wars 2 offers something different. From my time with it, it’s a much more story focused game that could be played casually or as hardcore as you like. It’s certainly an innovative new approach to MMOs, and one that won’t cost you any monthly fee to boot. So if you’re a fan of MMOs or not a fan of MMOs, Guild Wars 2 is worth a look. Even if you don’t end up loving it — you don’t have to worry about any monthly fees. WoW and Guild Wars 2 can live happily next to each other offering different experiences.
As for me though, I gotta say — Guild Wars 2 is quickly becoming my go to place to lounge in online. Until the eventual release of Phantasy Star Online 2 happens that is. If you find yourself in the strange and many lands of Tyria and are looking for a Ranger to spend some time feeding cows and killing foes with then hit me up - Elgin Starsmoore is the name.