Review by Bahamut_MXII
"A great step forward for mmorpg's"
I have been playing Guild Wars 2 for quite some time now. I have a level 80 character (current level limit), gotten a second character to level 50, and a third to level 30. I have also played a number of mmorpg's some of them 'free-to-play' and others with a 'monthly fee'.
I will start this review by explaining why a lot of people are not satisfied with the game and then go into why they are probably not thinking through it.
Why the majority of people in the game and on the forum are complaining:
From my experience with MMORPG's the majority of people complain for the same reasons: the endgame is not what they desired, it is too difficult to obtain certain items, and classes are unbalanced. Also from my experience, the people who go out and constantly complain continue to play the game despite their complaints.
The endgame complaint for this game comes from the fact that a lot of people rushed through the game trying to level as quickly as possible to find that once they hit 80 they were left with less options then they wanted. The current choices at level 80 include: obtaining the best available gear through crafting and farming, dungeon crawling, world vs world, making a new character of course, and if you really cheated the system and did not complete the personal story being level 80 should make the story pretty easy.
The item complaint for this game comes from the fact that people want to easily obtain the best items and not have to work for them. Yes the 'legendary' items are extremely difficult to obtain, and I mean EXTREMELY difficult. The developers did this on purpose to give the fanatics something to work on and hold over the remainder of the gamers that they spent 200+ hours and have equipment no one else has. It also gives those complainers about the endgame with nothing to do...something to do.
Unbalanced class complaints can actually have a good grounding in a number of MMORPG's I have played. In this game it is the same complaints as other games that one class is completely dominate and trumps all other classes in PvP, WvW, and PvE.
Why I believe these complaints are poorly founded in this particular case:
I think people continue to mix Guild Wars 2 up with a 'monthly fee' type of MMORPG. Remember that this game should be treated just like any one time cost game. You buy it, you beat it, and then you hope it has some replay value to get all you can out of your purchase. This isn't a game that the developers can continue to spend exuberant amounts of time and investment developing new expansions and updates just because you got to level 80 in 3 days because you didn't eat or sleep and did whatever it took to level the fastest you could. Development takes time and money. If the company isn't getting a constant income it makes it difficult to justify the expense. That is business.
I think I have already talked about why the item complaint is unfounded. They are called 'legendary' for a reason, and all and all they really are not necessary for ANY portion of the game. All portions can be completed without the most exotic and legendary items with the right amount of skill and experience playing the game, not to mention a good team. I have seen poorly equipped players massacre highly equipped players in world vs world. The best items simply give bad players a better chance and make good players a little better. Like I said many of the best items are just tools the development team used to keep the most dedicated players busy after they hit level 80.
Unbalanced class complaints in this game seem ungrounded to me. Arena net stepped out of the typical mold of dedicated classes (tank, dps, healer) and tried to make every class similar. Some people complain about this of course, but if you play the game enough and really dive into the classes you will find that those dedications are still there and that some classes are better than others. The difference is just not as clearly defined as other MMORPG's. It is true that some classes can give you an edge with a certain type of mode such as PvP, but if you are good at playing and using your skills you can specialize yourself for that mode regardless of the class and still do well.
So all in all what are the pros and cons I think this game provides?
Pros: doesn't cost per month (I guess if you want constant development this would be a con), great visuals, great personal stories (a lot of them given your race which provides a great deal of replay value), all the elements that make MMORPG's fun while still allowing the non-experts to play, you can level up in this game without taking years or exuberant amounts of money to get to the top level, fantastic art design, dynamic events are a blast especially when a lot of people participate, pvp is not just one on one battles.
Cons: music is not memorable, quests are still a bit repetitive, dynamic events and skill challenges still bug out quite a bit, dungeons bug out quite a bit, world vs world is fun but becomes quite repetitive with not a whole lot of reward offered for doing well other then the satisfaction that you stomped one of the other servers in battle.
All in all I believe this is a great step forward for MMORPG's. It of course suffers from the pitfalls of all MMORPG's but I feel like this game does a great job at keeping those pitfalls under control. If you are looking to give this game a chance I would suggest looking at it more like an RPG with multiplayer elements and not so much an MMORPG like world of warcraft. It is difficult for me given my experience in gaming to give any MMORPG a 9 or 10 when I have RPG's like Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, and Chrono Trigger to compare it to, but in regards to other MMORPG's I have played I find this one to be the most enjoyable and cost efficient. I went with the 9 because I would give it an 8.7 and that number rounds up to 9. Enjoy!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/13/12
Game Release: Guild Wars 2 (US, 08/28/12)
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