Guild Wars 2: Review-in-Progress

After spending more than thirty hours with Guild Wars 2 I felt it was time to share some expressions on the blog and explain my absence from the real world.

To get it out of the way and explain rather quickly: Guild Wars 2 does some stuff world class and some things complete shit tier that are incomprehensibly bad. So I’ll divide this first part of the review into good and bad. Pretty simple huh?

Good

  • Amazing scenery: this game has beautiful scenery and environment everywhere. It’s a joy to explore Tyria and look at its beautiful details and get immersed in the world. No other MMO has had this much depth of detail and entanglement. Star Wars looks extremely “gray and dull” to put it simply compared to GW2. I am, of course, playing at the resolution of 1920×1080 at all settings maxed out with maximum AA etc to achieve these effects.
  • Vistas: this kind of belongs in with the previous point, but I felt it deserved its own praise. Exploring this cleverly hidden vistas is a blast. It requires some fun jumping skills and thinking to complete them and it is well worth the tries. You also feel proud after completing most of them, and they offer a nice variation from the monotone killing you have to do.
  • Perfect music: when I say perfect, I mean perfect. The soundtrack in GW2 is unprecedented. I immediately lowered the master volume of the game and maxed out the music volume. It’s simply stunning and sweet joy to my ears – every single zone so far and I should know, I am level 30 currently and have yet to hear something that isn’t divine.
  • Fast combat: the combat is fast and fun. You can run and cast spells at the same time which is a blast as Elementalist and other previous casters that had to stand still to cast their attacks. Also the possibility of dodging attacks is a great depth adder. Although I would have liked to see it go even deeper.
  • Difficult and long dungeons: the dungeons in GW2 are tougher and last longer than some of WoW and SWTORs current raid. (Depending on difficulty settings, of course)

Bad

  • Worthless level scaling: I am always under the level I am supposed to be even though I follow the zones. One level too little in this games is too much for melee professions, especially in story quests. It’s really pathetic that in a zone that says 25-35 I can’t level at level 29 because I’ve done all I can and the next event is too difficult so I have to go and grind somewhere else, yes, grind. Something that ArenaNet said wouldn’t be in the game.
  • Downed state in PvP: downed state in PvP is annoying as fuck. You kill someone and go for the finish because they are down they interrupt it and someone else gets the final blow because of it. I know this happens to 99% of the players. “So what, you still get the points for it!” So fucking what? It’s the satisfaction of that killing blow that matters and it’s gone now. Very, very annoying in PvP to have this feature and it completely ruins the flow.
  • Overflow the game: always in overflow and not on the actual server. I prefer phasing instead as it’s easier to talk with your mates on which phase level you are and that’s it. Questing here has been very hard to do with friends because of this.
  • Tons of basic features missing: no duels, no inspection, no face-to-face trading, guild features broken not working, WvWvW queues for hours and broken stat displays, the list goes on and on.

So there you have my first hours with the game. Sylvari Warrior. There’s a lot of things that are good with GW2, I’ll give it that. But there are even more things that suck and are very damaged in my eyes. I hope they’ll fix them or I don’t foresee myself playing this game hardcore at all. Right now it’s only a stress relief for me to relax and disappear and just explore a beautiful world and the way things are going I don’t foresee that ever changing.

Should you pick up GW2 tomorrow when it launches? It’s tough to say. If you didn’t like the game during the stress test and weekend events, not much has changed and you won’t like it now. If you are expecting it to be a classical MMO, you are wrong and will be very disappointed. GW2 is completely different – maybe even too different for most. It will take time getting used to and you cannot expect standards that are in most MMO:s to be here such as dungeon finder. Some of these things are understandable, some are unacceptable. Overall, I’d say this game thus far is idling between a 6-7/10 for me. And in all honesty, I had more fun leveling up in Star Wars: The Old Republic than I am having in GW2. It just feels too slow and dull and the removing the “kill 10 rats” quest is just a lie. Now it’s kill an undetermined amount of Centaurs, spiders, and/or farm this and that and protect this transport or farm field.

There are definite ups and downs with Guild Wars 2.

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2 Responses to “Guild Wars 2: Review-in-Progress”

  1. Mitchell Turlington Says:

    Your first three complaints surprise me, honestly. I’ve never had trouble with the level scaling, and my friends and I have spent much time enthusing about the downed state in pvp. I suppose those are much more a matter of opinion, though.

    My brother and I couldn’t believe that overflow servers existed (we were joyous, because who wants to wait in a queue to log in? Better to play at a very minor inconvenience than not at all, we thought).

    I don’t see how the overflow could be an issue. Did you know you can right-click your party members and click “join in” to go to their overflow server? You should be able to play with them no matter what. The only inconvenience I know of is that you can’t view the stats on World vs World from an overflow server. But you can still Queue for Eternal Battlegrounds from it.

    The missing features are about the only thing I can understand as an issue. I’ve just spent so much time enjoying the game they haven’t gotten to me yet.

    Hopefully things smooth out for you, as I’m continually shocked by the quality of this game.

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