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7 Reason You Will Love (or hate) Guild Wars 2
Role playing games are all about leveling your character by earning experience. Typically, experience is only given when killing a mob or turning in a quest, but not in Guild Wars 2. Immediately after creating your character you are given the option to play how you want to play and level in a variety of ways. This isn't your typical mmo-rpg (which stands for massive multiplayer online role playing game for those who don't speak geek).
Reason Number 1
Experience for Doing Anything
Level the way you want to level. Guild Wars 2 offers a variety of ways to levels your character to the max level of 80. If you favor yourself the Christopher Columbus type know that you receive experience for discovering new areas, finding waypoints (which can teleport you for a small fee), visiting points of interest and scaling difficult to reach areas for vistas. Vista are points on the map that when interacting with will cause the camera to pan out over the nearby scenery. This helps the player take in the environmental art, showcase key points and grants a decent chunk of experience. As of the release of Guild Wars 2, there are currently 266 vista points and 717 points of interest.
Not favoring yourself a reincarnated Magellan? Another way to level is to make use of the gathering and trade skills. In Guild Wars 2 you have the ability to max out all trade skills on one character at the same time. While you can only have two trade skills out at a single time, you don't lose previously earned skill levels if you switch trade skills. Discovering new recipes, gathering materials and creating items grants experience. The first level 80 character in Guild Wars 2 had reportedly leveled his character up to level 65 and then leveled up his trade skills for the remaining levels to 80.
And finally if you just feel like raining fire down upon your enemy or driving a great sword through hordes of monster you can level by killing mobs and completing quests. But true to the rest of this game, Guild Wars 2 has broken the mold for this type of leveling.
Quests ingame pertain to your characters personal storyline and can be advanced at your leisure. These quests appear in green on the map.
Areas of the map have renown hearts which automatically gives the character tasks to complete. Complete enough tasks and the renown heart fills up giving the character a Karma Vender as well as a large chuck of experience. These quests appear in the yellow color on the map.
Events are where things get interesting. To truly explain game events think of Guild Wars 2 as a living world. NPC go about their lives regardless of the players. If no players are near an event bad things happen to the world's innocent NPC's. A pack of wild bears might tear apart a woman's beehives or a caravan will get robbed by bandits. But if players are near an event they can join in to save the woman's beehives. The players automatically joins an event when they get close enough, and they don't have to be at the beginning of the event to get credit; killing a only few bandits who are trying to take a merchant man's livelihood will still award partial credit. However the more you contribute to an event the more you are rewarded.
Player vs player combat also grants experience as well as loot. The loot is randomly generated and not from a downed enemy player.
Reason Number 2
Everyone Like's Circles
Guild Wars 2 introduces the ability to synergize certain abilities. A combo field is a circle that is created around certain spells or abilities that allow for a skill finisher or combo finisher to interact with it. What does this mean? This means the thief profession can use the ability Smoke Screen (Combo Field) and the Warrior can use Stomp (Combo Finisher) and the result is a cloak for everyone in the combo field. Or another example could be an Engineer dropping a Big Ol' Bomb (Combo Field) and the Guardian profession places a Symbol of Swiftness (combo finisher) over that bomb results in a bomb that also blinds enemies. Use combo's to get poison arrows, bullets that damage enemies but heal teammates, a flaming melee attacks; there are many different combinations.
Reason Number 3.
Server vs Server vs Server Combat
WvWvW is three servers all playing against each other on a four large maps. Immediately after creating your character you can join this server vs server combat. Upon entering the WvWvW world your character is granted level 80 status with upgrades to gear. Experience, karma, and loot (set to your characters “real” level) can still be earn for when you leave the WvWvW world and your higher level 80 status along with gear buff vanish. The world of WvWvW is just like the player vs environment world, you have events, combat, and quests. The advantages of completing an event can mean stripping the enemy of a supply caravan or clearing out harpies in an ogre camp and thus recruiting ogre npc's to aid your side.
Reason Number 4
Classes (Professions) paradigm shift.
Guild Wars 2 ignores the stereotypes of class restrictions. Warriors can be effective using rifles or longbows. Rangers can be effective using Great Swords. The skills or abilities a character has out is dependent upon what weapons that character is using. Switch to a sword and shield get a certain set of skills, similarly so switch to a rifle and new abilities become available. This limits the amount of buttons and gives a different feel for every weapon set/playstyle. Every class has the ability to restore hitpoints, taking away the need for traditional tank and healer party setup.
Reason Number 5
Crafting has never been easier. Your character automatically knows how to gather and just requires tools to gather. Tools have a limited number of uses but can be easily acquired for money or karma at certain vendors. Remember your character has the ability to max out all the trade skills. Crafting also grants experience.
Reason Number 6
Throughout your characters journey items will be acquired. Items that will fill up your inventory until that dreaded moment when the red letters “Inventory Full” flashes across the screen. In Guild Wars this doesn't mean abandoning your unclaimed loot or choosing what items to destroy. Most items can be stored in collectables bank and can be sent (not retrieved) from anywhere. Using a salvage kit allows for unwated items to be broken down into material for crafting. Salvage kits come with a limited number of uses and better salvage kits (more expensive) produce more and rarer materials. Characters should use a salvaging kit to salvage all unwanted items for crafting. The bank is account bound allowing for your characters to share items easily. The trading post acts as an auction house for items and is available to both buyers and sellers items from anywhere in game, however buyers need to visit a trading post to pick up items.
Reason Number 7
MMO RPG's are about community. It's about cooperating with a group of players and Guild Wars 2 nails it on that point. In player vs environment multiple players can take down the same mob and each receive credit for the kill along with loot specific to your character. What this means is that different players can attack the same mob and everyone gets expereince as well as their own loot. Combo's fields and combo finishers can be from your own set of abilities but the effect is greater if two professions contribute to the combo. Every class has the ability to heal, and roles are defined by either direct damage or a support character. Character level and gear scale down to the map you are in, allowing for high level characters to level with their friends without feeling overpowered by level distance. High level characters still retain any unlocked abilities.
In short Guild Wars 2 is an incredibly fun and unique gaming experience. It has a different feel then other mmorpg titles such as World of Warcraft, which makes comparing the two, similar to the futile arguement of which is better: Chocolate or Vanilla? It's a different game with a much different feel and good for the casual gamer as well as the hardcore ones.