back to article Guild Wars 2 game review

I’ve just been reigning supreme on Tekken Tag Tournament 2 playing Panda and knocking out the advanced bear fighting moves while I wait to play a Panadrian Monk in the mother of all MMOs World of Warcraft. I wasn’t planning on playing Guild Wars 2, as I was worried it might become a distraction in couple of weeks when I need to …


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  1. Scott 2
    Thumb Up


    There most definitely is trading - the Black Lion Trading Company is the Auction House of the game, click on the lion head on your topmost toolbar to sell anywhere in game, or at a Trading Post NPC to buy and sell. And you can mail people items and gold anywhere in the world.

    It's a great game, apparently let down by its severe lack of endgame content - but I would imagine that will be addressed later on.

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      Re: Trading?

      I believe Lucy is referring to the game's lack of a method to directly trade items between characters. You have to use the TP or mail system.

  2. EddieD


    I've been looking for something to occupy the long, dark winter nights; I may have to check this out.

  3. Thomas 4


    While the grind is lessened, certainly, it is still there. There's something like 80 or 90 levels to chew through and while the group quests make it easier, it does still boil down to the usual "kill & collect". That said, the tasks do feel more meaningful - gathering crops in a field, putting out fires after a town has been attacked & picking up items that you use yourself. Other nice touches like exploring for skill shrines and vistas are very welcome and unlike SW:TOR's datacrons, they are actually achievable for someone without twitch reflexes.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Grind isn't grind unless you're repeating the SAME content because you have to. If you're playing, and enjoying the tasks you're doing, that is by definition, not a grind.

      Good example of a grind is doing WoW heroics over and over to get the correct number of badges so you can ride into raids. Not many different pieces of content, but the same pieces of content over and over.

      1. Select * From Handle
        Thumb Down

        Re: Hmmm

        You obviously haven't played this game... the main content of the game isn't a grind its fun(trying to complete each map) and so is the storyline stuff. But as soon as you get to end game, it IS A GRIND. Want Globs for exotic items? u farm orr... Want the cool looking fire armor you farm COF... They have now made the GRIND worse by putting diminishing returns on grinding events/instances and the magic find skill, to stop people from doing it. Making the grind now last weeks...

        The end game is almost as much of a grind as vanilla wow. the only thing that makes the game worth playing is WvWvW...

        1. TonyHoyle

          That's a pity, because that's what killed SWTOR for me too - the levelling is nice with a good story then.. nothing to do but daily grind.

          I'll see how it pans out, but it seems that every time a new game is released it's claimed to be the MMO that 'gets it right' and a month later everyone says it sucks. WoW gets a pass out of sheer inertia at this point.

          1. David Webb

            It's a game where, once you have an 80 and a fair bit of gold, you can level up another char using just crafting (from what I heard the 1st level 80 got there just by crafting). My one char (Devona's Rest - worst WvW server in the world.....) has 400 armoursmith so I can craft my own level 80 exotic gear, once I get my weaponsmith up to 400 I can craft the items needed for Mystic weapons (or buy them off the TP for 2 gold).

            Getting legendary weapons though, that *is* a grind. You need 500 WvW tokens, 500 skill points (you get 1 skill point per level after level 10 and can pick lots up across the world for a total of around 400, meaning you need 25m XP at 80 to get the other 100, oh but you need to spend a couple of hundred skill points on skills..) BUT you get a shit load of XP from WvW anyhow.

            It's an interesting game, I really want to participate in WvW and enjoy that side but Devona's Rest is an underpopulated server so we're *always* up against a server that can dominate us and Kaening at the same time and guilds can't switch servers without losing their research which perpetuates the unbalanced warfare that is WvW for low pop servers (on the bright side, I've only ever seen a queue for WvW once)

            It's worth getting, it's worth playing, and if you have a nice large guild on one of the EU servers that is looking for a challenge, come over to Devona's Rest and turn the worst server in the world into.... not the worst!!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "After playing Guild Wars 2 it will be very hard for me to justify a subscription to WoW or anything like it ever again."

    Whilst both games have their plus and minus points this is how I feel. There is also the fact that no subscription means no feeling obligated to logon and play as often as possible to get ones money's worth.

    Saying the game doesn't have a grind is only partly true, there can be times when you need to "grind" events. And if you want to try and keep crafting suitable to your level and don't want to spend a fortune on the trading post then you should be prepared for a bigger grind than WoW.

    Not sure what you mean by lack of trading, the Black Lion Trading post is there, though there were a few niggles at release. Not sure what else need be added. The lack of a specific "trade" function can be a bit annoying but with the ability to send mail from anywhere it's hardly missed.

  5. David Cantrell

    Sounds just as tedious as every other modern 3d video game. Unsurprising, given that it looks exactly the same as all the others.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Such an obvious snobbish attempt at trolling that I will dignify it only with a downvote.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I will dignify it only with a downvote."

        Except you didn't did you? You also commented - Doh!

        Besides he's not a troll, he's got a point. Unlike yourself...

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "I will dignify it only with a downvote."

          He has a point? Strange way to express it, on a thread full of devotees of the genre. It ain't my sort of game, but if he proposed what he would like to see in a modern 3D video game, his post might have been interesting. Instead he leaves it for us to infer what he is after... maybe he's a PacMan Space Invaders kind a guy, maybe he likes 3D games but feels that there isn't enough innovation- but we don't know cos he merely expressed negativity.

          "Grand Theft Auto meets WipEout and PlanetSide" would be my pitch... hoping this is what Bungie is currently working in.

  6. Quinch

    That's nice. Too bad they had to kill City of Heroes to push it.

    1. cmgangrel

      Conjecture on this one... yes the timing is very *close*, but it isn't fact that they killed CoX for Guild Wars 2.

      If they did, then why did the closure announcement for CoX come *after* the launch of Guild Wars 2 and not before hand?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    For me, WoW has become boring. Yes they have introduced a new expansion with another whole 5 levels!! Yeah - that'll take about a week to reach the new level cap and then what? More end-game grinding, which is something that's never appealed to me.

    I have several lvl85 toons some with maxed out trade skills (as well as a bunch "parked" at lvl80), so what is left for me? Not very much, so I won't be buying MoP and have cancelled my subscription. Particularly as Blizz seem incapable of fixing or responding to bugs reports introduced in the 5.0.x Patch and there is no point paying for a game that is, at times, virtually unplayable.

    Heard good things about GW2 and this review may just be what the doctor ordered. Definitely take a closer look at this game now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      max professions @ 85?

      To get the recipes to get to max (at least for the ones i've been leveling) you need to be lvl 87 and to complete a quest before you can access the vendors, not to mention getting a BOP item (requires grinding mobs) to purchase them....

      Back to farming mats for leatherworking...

    2. Kevin 6

      well as someone that has both... IMO GW2 is way superior.

      I hit 90 last night in the MoP, and the rep grind is insane... Seriously to get anj VP gear you need different factions as only the new faction vendors sell it at revered. Also guess what no more tabards to gain rep with. I found the leveling to 90 very tedious (which is amazing seeing I got every class to 85 on both factions in cata). The crafting mote farming...

      I've got 65 of the new crafting motes that are BoP(yup not even BoA) in the 5 levels I did, and I heard that is exceptionally high from people in my guild who only has 2-3 by the time they were 90... Doesn't help how engineering uses them en mass. Also the new ore in the game is virtually worthless as seems you cant walk 100 meters without hitting a rich node(I've had WELL over 200 stacks in 5 levels not going out of my way)... But the rare ore you need a ton of is so rare in comparison it almost might as well be an epic.

      BTW most fun part of the WHOLE EXP I am finding is what was dubbed by the player base the "Pokewow" pet battling system. Yes an aped pokemon ripoff is more fun than the content they force you to walk through...

      Not to say I got 2 80s on GW2, but honestly it looks way more impressive, and uses less CPU/GPU resources while looking stunning at max settings than WOW. One major plus is no longer are you forced into a faction to play a class(something I NEVER understood on wow) every race, can be every profession(class).

      As for the end game grind IMO its not as bad as wows sure you need to trash rares to make better gear, but you don't need to farm the same things over and over. There are 3 dragon world boss's you can kil, and a pile of other world bosses that grant good gear. Also the gear you loot from the big boss event chests scale to your level like if I go join the group to kill the boss in the starter human zone I will get level 80 gear instead of level 14(which is about the min level to survive him) even though I was retro leveled to 16 while near him.

      As for the anti-farm thing yes that is annoying as hell. Won't argue that at all it IMO just hurts players, as well as most people finding Magic Find being a useless stat due to diminishing returns seeing it just makes the anti farm code go into effect faster..

      Only wish arena net would fix some of the glitches that make the game impossible(like skill points being bugged for weeks, and unable to be done)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't like the character design

    I think they look stupid.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: I don't like the character design

      Ah yes, because of course there's only one race in this game. Oh dear.

  9. Mephesto
    Thumb Down

    Not loving it

    Recently played Guild Wars 2 and there are lots of thing I like about the game, but there are also lots of things I dont..

    My main gripe has to be the healing, as someone who has traditionally played a healing base toon in other mmo's, in GW2 its just feels god awful.

    I understand what they where trying too do in moving the focus away from the holy trinity but for me it didn't work.(The monk is guild war was great) Healing in this game feels pointless and you have to question if they where going to so heavy handicap it why they didn't just remove it.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Not loving it

      Healing is supposed to be incidental, and nobody should ever be doing a "healing" role. People should be avoiding as much damage as possible through personal responsibility.

      1. Mephesto

        Re: Not loving it

        That was my point, if you going to make some thing incidental then what's the point in making it an option in the first place

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not loving it

          You may not need dedicated healers in groups whilst levelling but I very much doubt guilds are going to do away with them for the end game.

  10. Valhrafn
    Thumb Up

    There's the usual complaint about 'lack of endgame content'; but what most people miss is that the level counter, in this game, is just a arbitrary number fixed at a cap of 80. even after that, you keep getting XP and skill points as you level further. In a sense, the entire game is the same as the 'levelling' part - which just about everyone agrees is fun as it is.

    Most certainly not a game where rushing to level 80 is mandatory. Just sit back, slow down, and have fun. I know WoW trained us all to rush, but this isn't WoW, and it shows. Play it for fun, not as a job.

  11. Neil B

    Haven't played this yet but it looks like a cracking addition to the genre.

    From what I've seen of it though (plentiful videos and streams), while it brings a few fresh ideas, you're kidding yourselves if you think that it changes the genre in any meaningful way. In fact GW2 is much, much more the traditional MMO than the original ever was.

    The endgame will be *exactly* the same kind of time-filling grind as every other MMO, including WoW, and in fact, probably more so, because without subscription revenue I fail to see how ArenaNet can commit to the kind of content infusions that Blizzard usually delivers (the protracted cold spell just before expansions notwithstanding). Most likely is that with frequent paid expansions and DLC, you'll essentially be paying a subscription anyway.

    Competition for Blizzard and more options for the gamer will always be good, but re-review the game when you've been stuck at max level for a few months and we'll see where we stand.

    1. tybalt

      For the more casual player, end game content just isn't an issue. Life is too short to grind away at end game content, and making a continuous chunk of my time available for a raid is not something I'm prepared to do. I want to be able to stop for a cuppa/go to bed when I need to.

      For me, the vast majority of my time would be spent on the main game content (before the end game content). It took me at least three months of playing WoW to level a single character to around 60, at which point I stopped playing because it's just too expensive to justify a monthly subscription if you are a casual gamer. Not to mention the fact that everyone else I played with seemed to have levelled way faster, because they put more time in.

      When you look at the cost of GW2, and the amount of content it has, it seems like a great proposition for the more casual gamer. It solves a number of problems with the WoW model for me. I just want to have a chat with my brother while mucking about smashing monsters once in a while.

      Very tempted (all I have to do now is tear him away from his new panda - he's more dedicated).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I stumbled upon this game by accident last week when i was contemplating going back to WOW.

        I'm exactly the same as you - I like to go to bed before midnight, and dont want to book out entire evening to play. Im not that bothered if i can create a level 100 technocolour dream coat.

        Last night i played for 30 mins, then logged out - then a bit later played for another hour. I didnt feel i had to stay in case i missed out, and thourougly enjoyed myself

        Its a great game, and with the lack of subscription for £35 its a steal

        1. Piro Silver badge

          Re: Casual

          That's one of the best parts of the game.

          Because you're not paying a fee, you don't feel bound to it. When I played WoW, I barely really played other games, and had 3 nights a week taken up by raiding, from dinner time to bed time. Never again, thanks.

      2. Neil B

        @tybalt - Agreed, the casual player cares little for the end-game and getting a high quality MMO experience for zero subscription is a great deal.

        But, with due deference to the aforementioned fact that I haven't actually played GW2, only watched videos of other people playing, I can't say the questing and levelling experience in GW2 looks any better or more interesting that the levelling experience in today's WoW. I just can't take seriously claims that people are cashing in their WoW chips because the levelling experience is so much better. Sure people, it's good, but be honest and consider the possibility that you love it because it's new and shiny, not because it beats WoW into the ground.

  12. Lee Colclough

    Hopeful, but we've heard it before.....

    I'm an avid WoW player - yes it's got a bit bogged down and stuck in the holy trinity / grind for gear concept. However, when it get's it right it's still pretty epic in places, and MoP has (as far) been a real step in the right direction.

    However, I think the genre could well do with an injection of new blood and innovation, and it sounds like GW2 might actually just manage that. The kicker will be whether the development team can keep players interested in another 6, 12, 18 months - it's no good just being great in the short term for a persistent MMO.

    Fingers crossed - WoW could well do with some competition to drive innovation, but this is the 4th 'WoW Killer' I can remember off the top of my head, and you no longer hear much of the other 3...

  13. noboard
    Thumb Up

    Loving it at the moment

    I'm a casual 'casual mmo'er' and I'm loving GW2. While the main game is fun and they've cracked the whole 'other people being in the area is a good thing', it's the little things that have hooked me. Being able to gather all materials is a great start, automatically storing crafting goods in the bank from anywhere is a great point and crafting materials don't use up bank slots is the icing on the cake. They've sat down, looked at the hoops people jump through by creating 'bank alts' and removed them. Very little gets in the way of enjoying the game.

    As I get bored of mmo's very easily, the little distractions they've added are great. My aimless wandering now earns XP woot. There may even be a chance I'll have completed the story by the time the first expansion comes out, it's that good. I was only 55 when the burning crusade came out for WoW and I had been playing since day one.

  14. Peladon

    The death of WOW...

    ... has often been reported. And, perhaps, somewhat exagerated :-). But then things like 'WOW killer' and 'the next WOW' have, to me at least, become more marketing buzz-phrases than anything intended to map to reality. A bit like the gaming version of 'whiter than white' (which was technically true, from memory due to the addition of a small amout of phosphorescent material, but semantically meaningless :-P).

    Er - did I have a point? Oh - right. There it is. Over there in my other pants :-).

    There are two games right now that are taking all my gaming time (time I should probably be spending writing, but let's not talk about that :-P). GW2 is one. The Secret World is the other. And they have some similarities, while being, um, totally different. Because while I don't see how the cash flow makes it work, for now they both avoid the monthly subscription model. And they both, in different ways and with different degrees of success, try to break away from the 'Holy Trinity' model. And yes. I know. You still see the Holy Trinity in every chat exchange as groups are being formed, but gamers are stubborn buggers. And yes, the degrees of success each game achieves are both different from each other, and variable over time in game.

    But they're trying. The games, I mean :-).

    To the subject - I played GW1. There were a lot of things I didn't like, and one or two I did. I play GW 2 - and there are a lot of things I like, and a few I don't. I'll call that a win. And TSW? Well. While I'm sure there are many would say it's apparent differences are surface gloss over basic similarity - I'll still be in there tonight. And lots of other nights. I need 'Forged in Fire' for my Elementalist/ Blood DPS-sort-of-side-healer. There's a Grey Vampire in the Carpathian Fangs who's kicked my butt about twenty times too often, and he's going to be all mine. Well. Eventually... (blushes).

  15. SpaMster

    Lack of trading?!? What you on about?!?

    Complaining about trading? the mailing system is trading?!? it requires just as many mouse clicks as trading an item would. Putting the game down for that is ridiculous

  16. ken jay

    not yet polished enough

    not sure why people say this is a wow killer, its a nice addition but with no long term prospects.

    i was lvl 80 on first char in 2 weeks, i finished story line in 3 weeks well before all the bugs were resolved.

    its nothing new, no mounts, no clothes or decorations and only 1 way to fight. oh also same quests etc etc

    i will give them a +10 on refunds i can now spend the recycled game money on more beer.

    remember the distance selling rules guys and if the game is not your cup of tea get a refund while you can.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite good

    With the way it plays (group quests, discovery, exploration etc), it's quite a nice and fresh experience to level with some mates or total strangers alike. The PvP seems disappointing at the moment - although some nice new ideas they've implemented in there to balance it out are refreshing - there's a lot of running to get back to the battle when you die in World v Worlds v World, though the teamwork is great (with setting up the trebuchets etc) and there seems to be less WoW twats. I am sure it will mature over the coming months and be a bit less disjointed. It even managed to drag me away from Eve Online for almost two weeks...! Until I fell back to heart thumping PvP and exploration in my beloved spaceships!

    GW2 is a good game that I reckon I'll hop back on some time soon. But then again.... XCOM is 10 days away and I'll be giving that a good old crack... lets see if it can capture what the original managed :)

  18. Dropper


    I get the appeal, I've tried similar concepts with Rift and Warhammer.. but I always fell back to WoW because the only aspect of an MMO that really interests me is end-game raiding. I simply endure the rest of it. I couldn't care less how cleverly they've made killing X, finding Y and delivering to Z - in the end, it's all the same whether it's represented on a map as a heart or an exclamation point.

    Explaining why raiding is so much more fulfulling than other aspects of role playing games is somewhat pointless. If you've done it successfully with a good group of friends, you'll understand. If you haven't or simply don't like it because it's too difficult, then you won't. Fair enough, everyone gets what they want from games, what I like is end-game raiding. It has to be difficult but do-able and it has to make sense in some sort of way. I agree whole heartedly that Blizzard gets this wrong from time to time, sometimes glaringly so. They also frustrate with needless crap getting in the way of the real game - like having to grind rep just to buy something with those valor points you've been collecting or raids like Serpent Shrine Cavern. But on the whole they get raiding right, which is why I keep paying the fee.


    Guild Wars 2 game review

    i like the graphic. it's kool

  20. Tony 34

    Probably still not going to lure me away from Haven & Hearth by the sound of it. Good review though. I am looking for a good MMO to suck me in after I finally quit EVE after 7 years playing, not a bad run.

    Infiniy (Infinity Universe, not Infinity Online) looked like it might be good but development seems to have stalled.

    Where are all the good MMO's? I thought the internet would be swarming with them by now.

    *wanders off back to Geas Mud*

    ... Beer - Because I just like it ok?

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