Guild Wars 2 Balances Things With The Spirit Level

By Jim Rossignol on February 18th, 2013 at 11:00 am.


It perhaps goes without saying – although after typing this I realise we said it anyway – that Guild Wars 2 will be busy this year. The updates have begun to materialise with customer-luring intent, and the closest of these is a big old PvP update, with a new map called Spirit Watch, which I assume is the afterlife version of something presented by Chris Packham. There’s a video of that below, and small stash of details over on the ArenaNet site. They explain: “In this map, we combine our established conquest gameplay with intense capture-the-flag gameplay—except instead of a flag, players will battle over the glowing Orb of Ascension!” Woo! No one likes flags, anyway. This is the 21st century, for goodness sakes!

The update appears on the 26th. Video below, of course.

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92 Comments »

  1. derella says:

    I’ve been taking an extended break from GW2 since Christmas. I went back for the story stuff they added in January, but that took less than an hour to get through. The laurel system they added wasn’t enough to haul me back either — I did my dailies 4-5 times, and then lost interest again.

    • Dorothy_Wildman says:

      my classmate’s step-mother makes $83/hour on the computer. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $15731 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://www.ace60.com

    • Nesetalis says:

      How many raw hours have you put in to the game though?
      I got bored, haven’t played since around christmas either. But I have around 700 hours racked up in the game since august. I’ve done a little bit of everything in it, except finishing the main story. XD

      The game is great in my opinion, few other games have held my attention for more than 10 hours, let alone 700. But yes, I’m bored with it… I’m waiting for more content. I’ll probably come back periodically over the next few years, each time they add something new and interesting, play for a week or two, then drop it again. But since there is no monthly fee, I’m not obligated to waste my time there… I play it when I feel like playing, and much of the content is easy enough to drop in and out of at a whim.

  2. President Weasel says:

    We’ve still got RPSers playing this, I believe. I got bored with it pretty quickly though; it’s not doing anything that other MMOs haven’t already done.
    However if you’re reading this and wondering if you might want to play it, why not give it a go with the nice folks on the forum? The link is just up there on the right, they don’t bite.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Yes! We’ve got a whole guild roster full (still some room for new poeple) of excellent people to play with. Even more than that! Rock, Paper, Signet is part of the Gunnar’s Hold Community, a server-wide WvW oriented bunch of people that give their best to get good fights out of every week’s matchup against other servers.

      Concerning the upcoming updates, the guild is looking forward to the new guild challenges and other additions, so if you are curious about that or just want to give the game another try, check out the GW2 subforum here at RPS.

      Edit: @PW: Not going to argue (too much), obviously everyone has his or her own tastes. But concerning innovations: Dynamic “grouping”, i.e. people cooperating with each other just by being in the same place – which game has done this before?

      • servercat says:

        Warhammer, I believe was the first.

      • animlboogy says:

        As mentioned, Warhammer explicity did public quests first. But you could also make the argument that the less explict open co-op stuff like world bosses that used to be more common in MMOs was the old school version of the same thing.

        GW2 warms my heart when I’m on a map and people are calling out waypoints for people to jump to and help with some boss or event.

    • Foosnark says:

      it’s not doing anything that other MMOs haven’t already done.

      It makes me not want to be a recluse while I’m playing. Other MMOs: “get out of my hunting area, you random bastard! You’re stealing my XP and loot and making this quest harder to finish!” GW2: “oh good, I’ve got some help, maybe we can take down that Champion over there.”

      Skills based on equipped weapons.

      Bundles/kits as a major element of gameplay.

      Significant XP and rewards for exploration and resource gathering.

      Lets you level pretty well from crafting; maybe there are other games that do this but I find crafting too dull to bother with in most.

      Role and build versatility, even without visiting a trainer to redo traits (which is pretty cheap).

      Combat is actually fun and dynamic.

      • Nesetalis says:

        experience for exploration is my biggest fave.
        I am an explorer…. I have only gotten really bored with the game because there is no new land for me to explore or many new events to do. But for the first few months of game play, I leveled up mostly from exploration and events.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    While I appreciate the effort and high ambition invested in this game. It turned out to be nothing more than casual , MMO lite – play and forget online game.

    I still play it just because one merit – Its very easy to pickup and play.

    From clicking icon on the desktop to grinding exp it takes less than 10 seconds – no strings attached.
    Perfect for coffe break , or short relaxation.
    But nothing more than that.

    For anyone remotely interested in some kind of innovation in MMO space – i strongly recommend checking out “Age of Wushu”

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Nice game, but definitely wouldn’t call it innovative.

      • Lobotomist says:

        Not ?
        Ok , tell me of one game like it ?

        • mollemannen says:

          what innovates this from the other martial arts mmos?

          • Chalky says:

            The whole passive levelling system and extremely sandboxed nature of AoW makes it pretty unique. The closest thing to it is probably EVE but obviously that’s very different as well.

            I’ve certainly not encountered anything quite like it before. I’m astonished it’s as compelling as it is considering the lack of things like quest lines and active progression.

          • mollemannen says:

            sounds a bit like mortal online? the only unique thing i gathered from the trailers were people running on walls and up on roofs.

          • Chalky says:

            Can’t say I’ve played that game. AoW is pretty poorly translated and documented at the moment, but you basically have a limited pool of exp that slowly filters into a form that you can use to upgrade your skills. The class system is very fluid with any character being able to pick up the skills of another class and level them up too and characters not having a raw level.

            The majority of what there is to do in game is all about the open pvp and interactions with other players. Items don’t drop so crafting is the only way to obtain them, and multiple crafters are required for each items. The main ways of getting what little exp you need are from pvp based spy missions or guild supply escorts.

            It’s not really got a whole lot of PvE content besides dungeons – as a new player you never have to kill any mobs and it’s not until you’ve been in game for a week or so that you even qualify to enter the dungeons.

            It’s an odd game, but very fun. I’d certainly say that you need to be part of a group in order to get the most out of it since it’s so guild/pvp focussed.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Mind=boggled. Grinding XP? I’ve played four characters to level 80 (and played them beyond that) and it never felt like a grind to me. Did you play on your own or with a guild? My experience is that playing together with other people increases the enjoyment you get out of this game tenfold.

      • Lobotomist says:

        You are right , used wrong analogy. Indeed there is no grinding XP. And what I meant is just grinding something (whatever you want) Karma, gold, laurels, daylies…etc.

        Which is fun and easy to do. But also brainless fun.

        Hence what I wrote above.

      • CletusVanDamme says:

        Oops, replied to this by accident, but since I’m editing I will add:

        The combat made this game feel like a grind to me. It was bad.

        • Foosnark says:

          The combat made this game feel like a grind to me. It was bad.

          I will never understand anyone who believes this about GW2. I mean… people can have different opinions from mine, but seriously. Maybe you should have tried a different class or build or something.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”The combat is horrible” one of three common complaints people use against MMOs without any real basis, the other two being ”the animations suck” and ”there is no end game”. I’m convinced the people who say those things simply didn’t get on with the game but can’t work out, or articulate, why that is. I’ve tried most MMOs since Asherons Call and these complaints are a universal constant regardless of the games actual quality.

          • Focksbot says:

            I’ll explain the ‘combat is horrible’ opinion.

            I haven’t played many other MMOs to compare it against, but weighed against other genres, it mixes action combat and strategy and ends up with the worst of both worlds. It doesn’t have anything like the visceral I-press-the-button-and-the-character-swings-the-blade satisfaction of action-based combat. You never really feel you’re in there, thwacking stuff. And yet the opportunity for strategy against predictable mobs is massively limited. The same basic lazy set of attacks will win you most battles, and no amount of fancy dancing will win you the really hard ones, where you’re just outspammed.

            That – and it just feels so fake. Talk about breaking suspension of disbelief – I fire a brace of arrows into a bee, and it doesn’t even react? I swing a massive sword into a man’s face and the only way the game has of telling me I’ve connected is a floating number? I set a wolf on fire and it just keeps coming? I disappear into thin air, and the enemy immediately starts calmly walking away?

            As I say, maybe by the standards of the decrepit MMORPG genre, it’s amazing … but by any other standards, it’s shit.

          • dE says:

            I agree with Focksbot.
            With some added input, I have played other MMOs and the combat in GW2 is marginally better than let’s say Runes of Magic, Lineage and similar ilk. GW2 only dares state it has a great fighting engine, until a game with an actual fighting engine comes along. They’re not just worlds apart but split by entire dimensions.

            For example, an important factor in how combat feels, is weight, inertia and mass. You hit an enemy, kinetic force is applied, and the enemy reacts according to how and when you hit it. If done right, you can send an enemy flying onto the ground or even into a chasm. See Dark Messiah or Dark Souls for example.

            In GW2, you hit an enemy, floaty numbers appear and the enemy shivers for a second. Kinetic Energy has no place here. To dislodge an enemy, you need to use specific skills which will throw enemies a preset distance. If there is a chasm you aimed for, they will bounce off an invisible wall and survive. Weapons don’t look like they have any weight and combat is flailing around like a lunatic until an arbitrary number reaches zero.
            In good combat games, it’s all about how you chain together your attacks, your positioning is key and attacks will drag you along with them. An overhead smash in Dark Souls makes your character firmly plant their feet, smash the enemy and then take a couple of steps afterwards to balance off the weight and pull. In GW2, you may stand still while wobbling around the weapon. There’s no pull, no energy, no weight, no impact. You can also move around in circles, which twists the torso animations in reeaaaally odd ways, almost entirely detached from where and how your feet stand and move, so you can continue autohitting the enemy.

            The only way I can see people claim GW2 has great combat, is if they have never played a game with great combat. GW2 is better than most MMO ilks in that respect but the combat is shoddy.

    • animlboogy says:

      The concept of this game is awesome. It checks off a ton of things I’ve wanted a modern MMO to try out. The crafting concept especially sounds amazing. Is it fun to play, though?

  4. Njordsk says:

    played 350H of this, one char only. Not a big fan of PvP, I’ve never been. Nor bus vs bus. PvE was fun, discovering everything, doing dungeons and all.

    Though the lack of “high-level” content made me stop. Farming fractal wasn’t enough to keep me interested.

    Made 2/3 sets, did theorycraft & all, but it does lack the little carrot to keep me interested in the long term.

    Definitively enjoyed my sessions though, and will probably get back to it some days.

    • f1x says:

      Is the only real complain about GW2, the lack of end-game (and the annoying top-level zones)

      but then the game is supposed to be like that, you are playing “end-game” since the beginning, what is something “good” for MMOs (instead of the usual boring leveling that only shine when you get to end-game content) becomes a burden in the long run,
      it might just mean that you can reach a point where you have “finished” GW2, and yes I had same problem, loved it but there is just nothing else to do in the game now

      • animlboogy says:

        When I was playing reguarly and got bored I’d get a guild mate, pick a zone, and explore. That or we’d look up some jump puzzle or mini dungeon we hadn’t done and gave it a try. You can find a lot of cool stuff that way. We ended up stumbling on this event on a map that actually transported us to a separate instance with a puzzle to solve. The game is full of cool stuff like this, although the way grinding for legendaries works makes it feel like a waste of time if that’s what you’re after.

        By the way, don’t grind a legendary, you’ll turn into one of those jaded angry freaks that populate the GW2 Reddit and official forums.

        • f1x says:

          Yeah, I will probably go back to the game and do some more puzzles
          thought about leveling another char, but I’ve already leveled 3 of them, I think its enough :p

          Legendary items. … hell no, requeriment are just insane and require so much grind (1million karma?), pure grinding is something I prefer to avoid

    • Foosnark says:

      Why not start other characters? It plays very differently…

  5. sdancer says:

    Let’s flame this up a little ;-)

    After a lot of deliberation, GW2 gets a new PvP arena. Oh look, it’s Huttball!

    A lot of presses were stopped that day.

    • mollemannen says:

      Why dont they make one team start with the orb and the other protect two orb holders. and when the team with the orb places the orb on a orb holder they must protect it for 30 seconds and then the orb explodes.

    • Phantoon says:

      There shall be no flame. Only space when I throw you out of the nearest airlock.

  6. lucem770 says:

    I never did get past the horrific character animations and the general feeling you were wearing ice skates and not shoes. If i’m going to look at the back of a character for hundreds of hours, they better at least look good.

    • f1x says:

      Yeah, what a horrible horrible game, terrible! I played for 12 minutes 39 seconds and 47 miliseconds but then I deciced I had to burn the game, the PC, the house and everything, purge!

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Yeah, people should give the game a chance for at least 200 hours.

        /same sort of argument

        • f1x says:

          No, but don’t tell me its rational to dismiss a gane just for a first quick impression or a banal graphic detail

    • Phantoon says:

      Wait. What are you comparing this to? And are you complaining about the animations, or the actual movement?

  7. Xanadu says:

    Playing GW2 a lot – mainly PvE, with a splash of WvW. No PvP though – just not my thing and a new map isn’t going to change that. WvW is about as close to meeting other players adversarially as I like to get, for I am old and burned out my reflexes on 2D platformers in the 80s

    • Foosnark says:

      Similar here, except I haven’t even tried WvW yet. I’m just leveling 7 characters instead. :D

  8. CletusVanDamme says:

    Another MMO that promised so much and delivered so little. It’s nice that they’re adding a WSG map and all but I don’t know anybody who played GW2 who said “What this game needs is more instanced arena combat!”

    MMOs… ew.

    • Phantoon says:

      So, what I got from that, is you didn’t want another MMO, and were disappointed when it was an MMO?

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Maybe you should read it again, then, as that’s not what he said.

      • Focksbot says:

        Look, the main objections to GW2 – and I’ve read a lot of them – come down to this: they’ve crafted a beautiful world full of hundreds of characters, steeped in lore, and yet most of your play experience is spent being knocked out of it and forced to think in terms of ‘I am a player playing another sodding MMORPG’.

        You have to repeat tasks and fight the same monsters to acquire materials, destroying any sense of having changed the world. The combat is all stats, conditions and numbers, with little that makes immediate, visual, visceral sense in a you-will-die-if-I-stab-you kind of way. The stories are mostly hackneyed and poorly written, and force your character to act like a clueless chump (heaven forbid the player actually have a say in what kind of character they’re playing beyond meaningless choices about what your favourite phase of the moon is or which charmless NPC you want to save first). No matter how many levels you gain of crafting, you’ll never be able to make a genuinely useful weapon or piece of armour until the endgame.

        I could go on. They disappointed a lot of people who were attracted to the idea of playing a hero in a fantasy realm – an angle of marketing they pushed quite heavily – by ending up making a game that’s only really suitable for people who like to think in terms of the genre and its rules.

      • sdancer says:

        It is not an MMO. Most of the time, it is a singleplayer experience with some off-the-shelf small scale multiplayer parts and an oversized deathmatch arena on the side. There is nothing social about it (and “social” does not mean “able to automatically spam your Facebook account”), it’s just another “go out and kill stuff” game, and not even a particularly good or imaginative one at that. It’s really more Diablo 3 than Ultima Online.

        If you’re into that kind of thing, and if the style is your thing, then it’s alright; but coming from games like UO and DAoC, calling those games MMOs makes me throw up a little.

  9. Dare_Wreck says:

    Contrary to just about all the above posts, I’m still playing it and absolutely love it, much to the detriment of all the other games I’ve been meaning to play. I should mention that this is the first MMO I’ve played, so it helps that I’m not burned out on the genre. I really only play PvE, too, and like Njordsk said above, I love the discovery aspect of the huge zones. I only just hit 50% completion this past weekend, so there’s still a ton of map left to explore.

    Now, all that being said, I probably will take an extended break from it once I complete the main story (I have about 3 or so parts left to go) and go through story mode of each dungeon. I really do want to get back to the other games I stopped playing partway through to play GW2.

    • Doghaus says:

      Agreed :) I still have games from the Steam Xmas sale gathering dust because GW2 won’t let me play them.

  10. Skhalt says:

    Enough with the useless stuff, we want guild halls!

  11. Dominic White says:

    I recently sank a chunk of time into TERA (now F2P), and it highlights exactly how different GW2 is from the norm.

    GW2 gives you interesting things to do from the start. It moves at a solid pace. It gives you the freedom to pick how and where you level up. It doesn’t keep the exciting stuff from you for 20 levels. It lets you play with friends and strangers easily. It’s really remarkably progressive design that you don’t appreciate until you’ve seen the alternative.

    TERA has a fun combat engine but it doesn’t even let you really use it until Lv20 or so (at least 10-15 hours into the game), when the bigger enemies start getting introduced. GW2 lets you get involved in raid-style boss battles with dozens of other players right from the newbie zones, and keeps up that energy right up until the final stretch.

    Anyone who says that GW2 is just the same as every other MMO needs to sit down with SW:TOR or TERA for a dozen hours. Then come back and say that again.

    • Coriolis says:

      Funny, I had exactly the opposite reaction going to TERA after GW2. Tera actually delivers interesting combat, something GW2 only promised. Sure, in GW2, you can fight raid bosses from the start – if by raid boss you mean some big thing where you sit somewhere and hit a sequence of buttons and move out of red circles.

      Tera’s boss monsters (and to some degree even the non-boss ones, if you’re melee) actually require you to look at them, anticipate their attacks, and attack and defend intelligently. The same cannot be said for GW2, where the only “interesting” thing about even end-game bosses/fights was doing speed runs since the actual combat was far too boring/easy.

      In all honesty, if it wasn’t an asian game, with all the graphical and other “wierdness” that entails, I think TERA would have done quite well. We’ll see if with f2p enough people will give it a try.

      • Dominic White says:

        TERA has a good combat engine (that you barely see until level 20) and some great environments (which you mostly stand around in doing Kill 10 Rats quests), but that’s really all it has going for it. The core design even discourages helping other players – it’s organized Holy Trinity parties or the highway, and you get no XP or loot or money for helping out a player that would have otherwise died.

        Anyway, the combat engine in TERA is lifted almost direct from Monster Hunter. Play that instead, because it’s 90% cool boss fights.

        • Coriolis says:

          I would if was on PC. Although MMO’s are their own thing, and tera seems to be doing an OK job of that side of things as well, for my tastes.

          If all I wanted was great boss battles, I’d play Dark souls, but I’ve already played that to death heh.

        • Phantoon says:

          Oh, TERA’s combat is just Monster Hunter? Well, suddenly I know everything I need to know about TERA.

    • Trithne says:

      I’d be inclined to agree with this, since I dipped my toes into the Tera F2P and decided I felt like playing some GW2 as a result.

      But my login-to-bored time in GW2 is crazy short now. I don’t know why, but one day I just didn’t want to play it anymore. And now I keep seeing things they did that just piss me off.

      The itemisation in PvP is fantastic, very much in line with GW1. So of course, itemisation in PvE is balls.
      The new dailies include the ‘dodge’ daily, which only registers a dodge if it is done at an exact moment to trigger an ‘evade’ message, and not if you dodge pre-emptively, which I kinda need to do because the server is half a planet away from me.
      WvWvW maps are boring and huge and take forever to traverse, to have to do all over again because you got jumped or zerged.
      Character building is shallow. Being able to change skills anywhere is a terrible change from having to make a build in-town, and traits range from boring to obligatory to useless.

      It’s a great game. I don’t regret buying it, but I just can’t play it anymore :(

      • Nick says:

        I agree with a lot of that actually. There is a great game there but they really need to make the skill system a lot better and totally rework most of the traits so character building isn’t just be this way or this way or be useless. I thought the idea behind having less skills to choose from was that they could have them all being useful… but 50-90% of every class’ utility skills are either totally worthless or only worthwhile with heavy speccing a particular way. Not to mention most “elite” skills are worse than regular skills but with a 1+ minute cooldown. Its just a mess.

        • Squirrelfanatic says:

          Examples, please. Which skills are totally worthless? Which elite skills are supposedly worse than regular ones?

          • Nick says:

            Unless you’re in a position to change anything I don’t see why I should take the time to list them. But try every ranger spirit for starters.

          • Wraggles says:

            Since you asked here’s a list of bad skills from a PvP perspective, The number of skills themselves is not the big issue, the problem is that bad skills (due to them being tied to weapons) render entire weapons unusable, or rather, give you a severe penalty for using them. Even worse, when bad skills are attached to an offhand weapon, certain main-hand weapons never get used, good examples of this are the ranger one handed sword, and the mesmer scepter. This in turn leads to a large number of traits/play styles simply being unavailable with certain characters (if you wish to remain competitive).

            Anyhow the skills off the top of my head.

            Mesmer: iWarden, iMage, All Mantra’s (especially the fact that entering/exiting water forces a recast), Signet of Midnight, Mimic, Phantasmal Defender, Phantasmal Disenchanter
            Warrior: Rampage(Elite)
            Elementalist: Meteor Shower, Firewall, Fire Shield, All Conjures, Signet of Air
            Engineer: Flamethrower, Mortar(Elite), Elixer X(Elite)
            Thief: Flanking Strike
            Ranger: Serpents Strike, Whirling Defense, Stalker’s Strike, Search and Rescue, Signet of Stone, Signet of the Hunt, All Drake Pet skills

            As you can see from that break down the two classes that are suffering the least are the warrior and thief, and funnily enough the two most common classes in any hotjoin pvp are thief and warrior. Additionally engineer’s have only a single good elite skill, as such every single engineer in spvp runs supply crate.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            @Nick: A good reason for listing examples is, well, that it makes your argument a bit more valid when people see what you are referring to. Although it’s an Elite, Spirit of Nature is a good and often used skill. But I see your point with the rest of the spirits. It’s just that they don’t make up 50-90% of the utility skills. No idea what the examples for the other 7 classes would be though.

            @Wraggles: Thanks for the list, I’ll have to get a bit more into playing Mesmer in PvP (also to see for myself). I actually thought that Ranger 1H-Sword is getting a lot of use recently, given how strong 1H-Sword/Dagger//Shortbow is on condition bunker builds. I also agree with the list of Engineer skills, the class seems to have been neglected a bit concerning alternative viable builds.

            When the new skill system was announced back before launch I cringed a little; I always thought that the flexible skill bar was one of GW1′s major strengths, even if it resulted in a lot of crappy or weak builds. But it was a tremendously fun mechanic to play around with and allowed you to build very specific and highly specialised builds. I miss that a little.

          • Nick says:

            I’m not interested in making an argument, just expressing my displeasure, I don’t need to justify my assertations to you in order to validate my feelings, and spirit of nature is pretty bad without speccing. Not to mention that you requested examples, by no means did I state that ranger spirits were the only useless skills in the game, they were just that AN EXAMPLE. Just go look at the descriptions for any classes selection of skills and you can see for yourself. Hell spirits aren’t even the only useless ranger util skills.

            The problem with ranger 1 hand sword is it has a use in PvP because of its autoattack basically sticking to the target, the flipside is its terrible in PvE unless you disable auto attack, which is a royal pain in the arse just to use the only melee mainhand a ranger has access to. Its just badly designed in that you can’t dodge when two of the attacks are activating.

    • Shooop says:

      By “getting involved in raid style fights” you mean “standing around watching the hotbar, looking out for red circles, and waiting to be revived when the boss one-shots you”? Because that’s all it is.

      • Phantoon says:

        As opposed to what MMO?

        • Focksbot says:

          As opposed to something that would be absorbing and fun.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            Nonsense. The game is nothing like that. Attacks can be dodged (and yes, you can dodge much more often than “two times per minute”), blocked and otherwise avoided – powerful attacks are usually signalled so you can avoid them with a little bit of knowledge of the enemy you’re facing.

    • aliksy says:

      I played Tera for about 2 hours, and holy balls that is a shitty beginning. Combat is autoattack and moving away from the slowly attacking monster. Dead levels. Kill X of Y quests. And every effort made to make seeing other players a bad thing.

      Dear gods, developers. Don’t make a pve MMO where seeing strangers is a bad thing!

      It may get better after 20 hours, but why the fuck would I put that much time into something I don’t enjoy to get at something that [i]may[/i] possibly be fun? And then do it all again with a new alt.

      • malkav11 says:

        Basically. The combat may get interesting later but I saw no evidence that the quest design or writing ever would.

        • Iceman346 says:

          It doesn’t. The Combat in Tera actually grabbed me at about level 20 when doing the second instance. Fighting the bosses really is a fun and engaging process of learning their moves and reacting the right way. And additionally it keeps the trinity system which is just infinitely superior to the “everyone is DPS!” approach GW2 has.

          But the quest design in Tera is absolutely run of the mill “kill X of Y” stuff throughout. I leveled one Lancer to max level and it just felt very grindy from about halfway. And as the difficulty level for normal quest monsters is laughably low not even the combat system is very interesting outside of instances or group quests.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            I guess it can be better as long as you get the “right” team composition. I never want to go back to a game where you need to have a healer in your party or else you’re busted.

          • dE says:

            After playing GW2, I’ll happily go back to GW1, that had the Holy Trinity System and STILL allowed you to roll without healers. Ah good times. Not the mess of unique snowflakes of GW2, that only ends up making a puddle of uninspired zergrush mud.

          • Squirrelfanatic says:

            I would disagree, at least concerning PvP. If you’ve ever played RA or GvG, there was simply no way a Monk-less team could win against a team which did.

            Edit: Add PvE to that if you’re interested in Hard Mode.

          • Nick says:

            Uh, I can’t recall ever playing GW1 PvE properly without monk or a /monk class to heal, its really not that viable outside of silly farming gimmicks (most of which were nerfed anyway).

            But it wasn’t a forced tank and spank holy trinity game either, it just had healers.

          • dE says:

            Well, that too was an issue of GW1: People didn’t try and had pretty clear conceptions about how a party was supposed to work. To the point where alternative party setups were often shunned as “impossible, can’t be done”.
            Rolling without Monks was very viable, but you had to adapt your team a bit. Monks in GW1 were the bandaid for bad builds and teamsetups. So many people went for all offense builds and relied on monks to patch them up, that it became the expected gameplay. But, you really could do entirely without them (with maybe the exception of GVG), and often times a team without them did much better, because people knew what they were doing and were willing to try new things. And yes, that includes Hardmode, DOA, Underworld and Fissure of Woe. Case in point, we often cleared the UW with Random-Seed Builds, before most folks from the guild lost interest in the game.

            Now Random Arena is a different beast, here you needed a monk. Because you were bound to get really bad teammates with utterly moronic all offence builds they snagged off some site. The monk patched the bad up and it became a match of having to fix the mess the team made.

  12. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Orbs > Flags.

    Fact.

    • Phantoon says:

      NO! You are- shazbot!

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Someone should make a Portal carry-the-companion-cube mod. You port around the maps and opponents kill you by putting an entrance where you walk and an exit above acid.

  13. theoriginaled says:

    I jumped right into the game running around, exploring, getting everything accomplished, and its awesome at first to be able to do anything and get rewarded for it no matter your level, you dont feel like you’re being railroaded. Its fun to just run around and feel like a badass drawing an entire pack of mobs in an event with your mesmer and teleport around AOEing Vetereans to death. You can take your own pace with things and still get something done, Then all of a sudden your level 40 in the starting zone with lvl 20 equipment and still flying forward through the levels going wait WAIT. levelling up yet again because you hit an umpteenth copper node in a futile attempt to level your crafting to keep up with your character level. Getting frustrated because that pack of mobs you drew and slaughtered 20 levels ago feeling like a badass is just as difficult to fight now even though your equipment has been upgraded multiple times… The game is still fun and great for drop in play, but there’s always the nagging little doubt in the back of your head “Why am I even doing this if it wont even make a difference in the end?”

    • Dominic White says:

      If you’re only playing the game to make numbers go up and monsters die quicker, then you’re probably coming at the game from a very bad place, philosophically speaking. Consider it an opportunity to break the conditioning that has led you to believe your ultimate goal in a game is to have all the numbers.

      • theoriginaled says:

        No, no. I understand that. And I certainly love most of the elements of what they did with the game (I wouldnt play it if I didnt actually enjoy it). But something about the psychology of numbers that Im too unstudied to fully grasp leaves a small bitter taste in my mouth. Like if they were even a complete abstraction: dmg numbers never even shown, health bars only represented by percentages, a zeroed out skill level that only represents how many unspent skill points you have and nothing else, armor and weapons that had a base defense/attack based on type and bonuses dictated by item level. I might find it easier to swallow. Just imagine the difference in the feel of sporting events where the timer counts down to 0 or the timer counts up to the time limit and you have… some idea of what Im getting at I guess.

    • aliksy says:

      I liked the level scaling. I like monsters threat levels being relatively constant, and not being able to simply faceroll over them by leveling up. (GW2 wasn’t nearly aggressive enough about downscaling).

      Personally I’d've been excited if there were no “levels” – Just traits to change things and add new widgets.

  14. goettel says:

    More than 500 hours in, three 80′s done and working on a fourth. None of the time I spent on it feels like a grind, just a game – that’s what makes GW2 remarkable to me: it’s an MMO that doesn’t feel like one, mostly because of the tactile combat.

  15. Shooop says:

    Still the same “Press hotkeys and move out of red circles periodically” gameplay though?

    Then it’s still just another bullshit MMO RPG. All the fancy orbs in the world can’t change that.

    • Foosnark says:

      Perhaps your problem is you don’t like games.

      “Moving the mouse and pushing WASD and clicking buttons? Same old bullshit shooter gameplay.”

    • Phantoon says:

      I’m concerned about your extreme reductionism.

  16. tumbleworld says:

    I enjoyed my time in GW2, but having them move from “There will never be a gear treadmill” to “Oh, yeah, there’s this gear treadmill we’re adding, so all that stuff you just put hours into getting is now behind the curve” was a deal-killer.

    At least WoW has Pokemon.

    • Phantoon says:

      Yeah, they need to stop trying to please all of the people all of the time.

      The people that want a gear treadmill still have active WoW subs anyways.

    • aliksy says:

      A million times this. I quit over ascended gear, since that’s some bullshit. Sometimes I think about going back, but I really don’t want to chase after new gear to be on an equal playing field.

  17. Max.I.Candy says:

    Just got back into the game after a long break (played about 3 weeks from release and stopped), and its still great fun and I reckon its gonna be the best mmo in its genre.
    The guild I’m in just started doin an Ironman comp/race to lvl80, with permadeath, only using whites, no traits and other restrictions, and its generated a lot of interest (not just with guildies).

  18. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    Preview in the trading post? Holy dang, I’ve been waiting for this since it came out. No longer do I have to blindly buy something, check it out in my intentory, and then most likely sell it again.