In honour of the fifth anniversary of the game, and with the new Path of Fire expansion being released later this month, and given how it is the only MMO I still play, I decided to make a five part series about Guild Wars 2. This is not sponsored content (nothing on this site is sponsored), it’s just something I made for the sake of doing so.
That’s right, 25! There’s just so much to love about this game!
Here is a semi-ordered list of many aspects of the game that truly impress me. I have divided the list into three categories to make it easier to see the bigger picture.
It’s a beautiful game! The attention to detail and quality of the graphics, sound, and music in this game is exceptional and it stands as the wonderful demonstration of what a company can achieve when they truly care about their product. And for me, this absolutely includes the underwater areas, which I feel are some of the most beautiful places in the game to explore (I even like the underwater combat). There are just so many nooks and crannies, so many details, so much to see, and so much to take part in…
It runs well on my computer. AMD FX-8320, AMD R9 270, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1600×900 resolution, running from a solid state drive, using our… lovely WiMax internet connection.
No monthly subscription fee.
I can convert gold to gems to buy things from the cash shop, which is nice because the cash shop has a lot of useful items, services, and tools to buy.
There’s practically no down time at all; Very reliable service and I have not encountered any serious bugs that prevented me from having fun.
The wiki is well maintained and there is a plethora of other documentation and tools on the web that cover all aspects of game play.
“Action combat” with dodging and optional tabbed targeting is the most fun combat system in any MMO that I have played. It’s not perfect, but it is genuinely fun.
Large open world to explore that has dynamic events, which make it feel alive.
The game “down-levels” players so that their level/power matches the zone that they’re in. This means the whole world is always useful!
Most game mechanics in the open world are set up such that the existence of other players almost always a benefit to me, rather than a hindrance or an annoyance.
The “mega server” tech, combined with the down-levelling, means that there are always other people around to help out, no matter where I happen to be.
The UI style and layout is functional without being intrusive and its style is consistent. It’s not like, say Aion, where the UI works well, but its look and feel don’t really match that of the game world.
The skill bar is functionally identical on all classes, while also being simple and uncluttered. I truly appreciate not having to muck about with tool bars and moving around skills, potions, items, etc.
Seasonal special events, especially Wintersday, are well done and definitely something I look forward to taking part in each year.
The glider is fun and helpful. At first I didn’t think it would be, but I was wrong, because it lift my spirits and is a real blast!
The map and the waypoint travel system is well done – the map looks beautiful and has useful information (such as tracking world completion), while the waypoints allow the player to travel quickly from anywhere, to almost anywhere.
The dailies are varied, sufficiently plentiful, and significantly rewarding, yet still completely optional.
I don’t like the “sandbox vs. theme park” jargon that is commonly used to describe MMOs, because all games have aspects of both. I find that Guild Wars 2 excels at allowing the player to log and do whatever the heck they happen to feel like doing at the time. It’s an open world that has more than its fair of game play systems to entertain the player. Call it what you will, it’s awesome no matter what it’s labelled as.
Quality of Life
Almost everything I do grants XP, so I very rarely feel like I am wasting my time.
I can change my character build whenever I feel like it. This includes equiping different weapons, because each weapon has unique abilities (on a per class basis).
The bank is shared account wide, so all of my characters can easily share items with each other.
There is a special storage area for crafting materials, as well as another storage area for discovered wearables. Conveniently, both of these areas include a list of all possible items that can go into them, which saves having to look that information up online.
Being able to put crafting materials into storage from anywhere is amazing!
Being able to sell items on the Trading Post from anywhere is also pretty darned cool.
Most currencies are account wide and automatically stored in a special tab of the inventory, thus it is not possible to forget to bring them with you. Fellow Star Wars Galaxies players, rejoice! 🙂
And this concludes my five part series of posts in celebration of Guild Wars 2’s fifth anniversary. I hope the posts have been informative and that they help demonstrate that one can have a lot of fun in the game even without getting involved in “end game content” such as raiding, PvP, or crafting legendary gear. It’s a fun and high quality game that is perfect for people who are looking for a casual gaming experience that has room to grow along with them.