Is Guild Wars 2 the best social MMORPG for new players?
MMORPGs are a social platform. From chatting to monster slaying all the way up to end game raiding, almost all of it is something you will experience with other people.
That’s all fine and dandy when you’re starting a brand new game with a group of friends, but what if you’re hopping in to a game solo?
The Lone Wolf
I’ve tried my hand at many MMORPGs as a lone wolf, from titans of the industry like World of Warcraft, to niche anime titles such as Mabinogi, and pretty much all of them make integrating yourself with the existing community a very daunting task. These hurdles include, but aren’t limited to;
- Barren starting zones totally devoid of players
- Limited resources on maps which you need to compete for
- Lack of chat channels available to new players for socialising
- Hostile veteran communities
- A lack of general guidance without seeking information from third party sources like wikis or fansites
- A general lack of incentive for the existing community to interact with and help newer players
All of these factors and more combined can make being a novice player in an MMORPG quite a lonely experience, even with other new players around you.
Guild Wars 2, I have found, doesn’t suffer from these issues.
What Makes Guild Wars 2 Different?
Entering Guild Wars 2 as a brand new player sees you surrounded by fellow newbies all scurrying around completing the various tasks on the maps. You will often see end-game players too – who are still able to enjoy lower level content due to the game’s level scaling system (which de-levels players to the average level of a specific area, while still granting exp and other rewards relevant to the player’s actual level) – daily quests, and various dynamic events and world boss spawns which draw large crowds of people no matter the time of day.
Unlike many games, Guild Wars 2 also offers area based chat which many people use as a general social hub or to inform others of different events. Even in the game’s basic starting zones these chat channels are often full of people chatting, asking questions and advertising for their guilds.
That brings us quite neatly to one of the core aspects of GW2’s social experience – The game community.
The Community Within The Game
I don’t know what it is about Guild Wars 2 – perhaps that the core design of the whole game seems to revolve around cooperation – but GW2 has one of the most friendly, accepting and helpful communities I have ever been a part of.
Where some game communities would look down upon you and scold you for daring to ask stupid newbie questions, there is always someone in Guild Wars 2 chats – especially in the low level areas – that’s more than happy to help you out. The game even has a volunteer Mentor system that level 80+ players who have purchased the game can enrol in with the aim of assisting new players.
Rewarding and Encouraging Cooperation
The developers of Guild Wars 2 have managed to create an MMORPG that is a truly social experience – Practically every aspect of the game rewards you for working with other players.
See someone dead or about to be out in the field? Help them out and gain experience for doing so. All classes have the ability to revive other players and NPCs within the game.
Need to kill a monster, but someone else is already killing it? No problem! Just help the person already in combat, and you both get experience, and both get your own loot. No kill stealing or monster hoarding needed! This mechanic is in place even if you aren’t in a party together.
Want to gather materials on the map, like ore from mining nodes? No worries here either! All ore nodes are player-specific, so even if someone else has just come along and mind that node you wanted, you can too!
GW2’s “Dynamic Event” system is also geared towards cooperation between players, with a large variety of events, many of which earning more rewards the more players that participate, and all getting their own loot (no loot ninjas here!)
The game’s Mentor system allows veteran players who own a copy of the full game to don an in-chat title and map icon showing new players that they are here to help. There are currently no active rewards for participating in the mentor program but a ton of people do it anyway, showing off even more just how great the Guild Wars 2 community really is.
Having trouble picking a guild to join? In guild wars 2 you can join up to 5 at once! You pick one as your “active” guild that you represent, but are able to talk in the chat rooms of any guild you are in, whether you are representing them or not.
Should You Try Guild wars 2? Yes, yes you should!
Everything about Guild Wars 2 is welcoming, from the community of players to the mechanics of the game itself – I strongly believe this is one of the major factors that contributes to the game’s success, and how well it keeps hold of it’s playerbase.
Did I also mention that the base game is 100% Free with absolutely no Pay to Win cash shop shadiness?
That’s right, this amazing game can be a part of your life for free, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough, especially if you’re sick and tired of those terrible Pay2Win free to play games that want your entire month’s salary just to keep up with the competition.
With a welcoming community, gameplay that rewards and encourages working together and a combat system that’s easy to get to grips with without being boring as heck, there’s never not a good time to try out Guild Wars 2