Guild Wars 2 is the most popular free to play MMORPG on the entire market right now and offers some of the most unique, most perfected systems in an MMORPG to date. Guild Wars 2 continues to set the bar for free to play MMORPGs with how high quality the game is and the regular updates to content that players receive.
Is Guild Wars 2 Worth Playing in 2017?
Guild Wars 2 is one of the most popular MMORPGs currently still running. In this video I plan on going over exactly why that is, and whether or not it's good enough to invest time into in 2017.
Guild Wars 2 is set in the fantasy world of Tyria - a world that progresses through instanced environments with an emphasis on storytelling and crafting a world based around the choices made throughout said story.
What this means is that your story will play out differently if you play again and make different choices, take different paths.
This helps remove mononity - albeit not completely - from replaying the same race as you are able to craft your own personal story around your character and experiences.
Let's kick things off with one of the most important parts of any MMORPG: The character creator. Character creation in video games is important in my opinion because it helps establish yourself and your unique avatar in the game world.
I mean, do you enjoy being given 5 hairstyles, 3 faces, and a few eye colors to choose from? I'm sure the majority of people watching or even playing can admit that a good character creator is always a plus to have in an MMORPG.
So how does Guild Wars 2's character creator hold up? It's not as extensive as Blade and Soul or Black Desert Online's character creator, for sure, but then that doesn't make it bad in comparison. Quite the opposite.
You're given the selection of choosing your characters base height, body type, are given multiple face types to choose from that you can further adjust with sliders, and finally possess the ability to edit the base colorings of your gear.
While the sliders don't offer a significant change in overall appearance, and from what I've seen there are quite a few dopplegangers found around the game, the sliders provide enough customization to happily make a character you can enjoy.
To add on to the character creation is the fact that when finished with the appearance of your character, you are required to choose a backstory.
This will affect who you are in the game, what you've been through, who you know, and assist in the shaping of the game world for you.
For a lot of people, combat makes or breaks a game. I can't really argue with that because it holds true to me as well. I can't really enjoy a game that has poor combat as that is what you'll be doing a lot of the time! Fighting.
With that being said, Guild Wars 2.. its combat is actually some of the best in the market. Definitely not the flashiest or most fluid, but definitely impressive in its own rights.
Guild Wars 2 lacks the traditional holy trinity that are present in the majority of MMORPGs: The holy trinity being Tank, Healer, DPS.
Instead, Guild Wars 2 offers a different more diverse skill system that allows for a multitude of vastly different character builds. Making for not only some fun ways of customizing your character, but also allowing for each Profession to fill each role.
Every Profession is capable of fitting into a damage, support or control role, several actually combining one or more together to make a powerful hybrid build.
Now, another unique feature to note is the fact that in Guild Wars 2, weapon swapping is quite necessary if you want to be an effective player, as it is a key mechanic in combat.
Most Professions in Guild Wars 2 possess the ability to actually equip a secondary weapon set. This allows players the ease to switch back and forth between said weapon sets, replacing skills associated with the weapon you had equipped.
Outside of this, Guild Wars offers the ability to chain your skills together with others, which upon successfully activating said chain skill, you are presented with the next in the series.
Finally, Guild Wars 2 offers a unique combo feature called Combo Fields that utilize something referred to as Combo Finishers.
In essence, you are able to combo your skills together with your profession's personal skills, or by utilizing other professions' skills to create new, unique benefits that alter how your skill works.
I know. It's a lot harder to explain than I would like and I'm sure you can find some guides for it on Youtube if you like, but these systems really are a unique selling point for the combat in this game.
The core game revolves around PvE in Guild Wars 2. That being said, if you're searching for challenging PvE - you may not find it readily available. Yes parts of the game can be challenging, but the core of the game isn't.
Which isn't bad. Hear me out. This isn't a negative - not at all. See, unlike traditional MMORPGs where every so often, you're thrusted into new engaging raids with a plethora of challenging boss fights, Guild Wars 2 handles things differently.
A lot of people I know either don't log in every day, or log in simply to enjoy the game. Whereas most MMORPGs have you on a constant grind for new gear as new content drops so often you need to remain ahead of the game, Guild Wars 2 does not.
You are all but required to have a different mentality with Guild Wars 2 than most MMORPGs as if all you want out of the game is traditional PvE encounters such as raids, challenging dungeons, and a constant grind, you'll be left disappointed.
Content, unlike in most MMORPGs, is actually significantly more targeted at open world events and often provide the ability to engage with other players while participating. This definitely helps the world feel more full and alive, something a lot of MMORPGs lack.
Adding on to this is the fact that each and every region you traverse has level scaling. Meaning you cannot have max level characters running around low level zones.
Instead, max level characters are scaled down to much lower levels allowing for grouping with lower level characters for events or - hell - even just to have fun playing with.
This makes world bosses a lot of fun as so long as you're within the level range, you're able to participate with all these high level players and get credit for the kill, gaining you some sweet loot if you're lucky.
The leveling experience in Guild Wars 2 is strange as it doesn't offer you a traditional quest hub with traditional quests. Instead, you go to different areas and participate in zone wide open-group events for XP.
Yes - if you're a fan of traditional MMORPGs, Guild Wars 2 does not have a traditional questing system and this.. this can feel very weird. Very strange. Very awkward. Or very new.
It's definitely unique - and it's definitely a lot of fun to experience as it's something most MMORPGs don't often give you the ability to do.
Lastly, endgame in Guild Wars 2.. is often the main complaint the game gets. Unfortunately there really isn't too much locked behind the endgame gate, unlike a lot of other MMORPGs.
Which is fine. As new content is released often, and there is always so much to do in the game.
PvP in Guild Wars 2 takes multiple forms: You have Traditional Structured PvP that pits a party of players against each other, then you have World versus World.
World versus World is actually one of the more fun things for me to do in Guild Wars 2 because the PvP is so different to what you're used to.
Yes, you may be running around getting wrecked by large groups of enemies, yes you might get ganked repeatedly, but in the end, working together with your server and achieving dominance over the other server.. is a joy you can't explain.
While normal PvP takes you into small instanced areas, World versus World is different and throws you into a huge instanced environment with hundreds of players. And that is insane.
There is a PvP League dedicated to the PvP aspect of Guild Wars 2 where you work up the ranks and make progress towards getting the best ranking possible.
There really isn't too much to talk about with regards to PvP as it isn't the main focus of Guild Wars 2, but at the very least it is a focus and it is handled well enough.
With the exception of Profession balance. But what game handles balance well?
As I stated.. The endgame is often the main complaint regarding Guild Wars 2.
The endgame is.. I guess more of a "sandbox endgame", in so that you are left to decide what you want to do with regards to endgame.
If PvP is your endgame goal, you can participate in World versus World or Structured PvP.
If you want more challenging PvE content, you can attempt raids and fractals.
Want group content? Go and participate in world boss encounters.
Then you can simply farm dungeons, you have map completion, or what people often refer to as the real endgame: Fashion Wars.
Ping and Optimization
Guild Wars 2 is particularly well optimized. I have had no issues, graphically playing either on my desktop or my laptop.
There don't seem to be any latency or ping issues really to talk about and the general experience has been fairly pleasant.
So, in my opinion then: Is Guild Wars 2 Worth Playing in 2017? Is Guild Wars 2 A Good Game? Is Guild Wars 2 Worth Investing Time Into?
If you're looking for a long term MMORPG that looks great, plays great, has a lot of customization, has a lot of depth and a large friendly community - then yes.
If you're looking for an MMORPG with challenging endgame and a need to be constantly progressing to remain slightly ahead of the competition - then no.
Generally, however, I would recommend everyone play Guild Wars 2 at least once as it is an experience you've likely never had before in an MMORPG. Truly. Guild Wars 2 is just.. something else.
Guild Wars 2 Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP SP 2 or newer
CPU: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz, Core i3 OR Athlon 64 X2 or better
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 7800, ATI X1800, or Intel HD 3000
Hard Disk Space: 25 GB available space
Guild Wars 2 Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.7.X or later
CPU: Intel Core i5 or better
RAM: 4 GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 320M, ATI Radeon HD 6630M, Intel HD 3000 or better
Hard Disk Space: 25 GB available space