GW2: What It’s Come Down To


Those who know my extensive history with the Guild Wars series also know that I have a love-hate relationship with GW2. I was (and still am) a strong supporter of GW1. I was a huge supporter of GW2 when the game first launched, and really loved the game for the first 6 months. I played a TON of GW2 during that time, ran several fan Tumblrs, drew fan art, drew GW2 character commissions for other people, and even wrote fanfiction/RP journals. I think that’s the most invested I’ve been in a game other than FFIV.

So, when development of GW2 started going in a direction I couldn’t get behind (about the time when the Living Story started), I really struggled with it for a long time. As a matter of fact, Braxwolf perfectly described my anguish in The Stages of MMO Gameplay post. I found that I simply had very little positive to say about the direction of GW2, so I eventually just stopped blogging about it all together.

I tried to push through it, and picked up my character RP blogs several times hoping to rekindle a fire. A few episodes into the Living Story Season 2, I gave that up for good as well. I like (sorta) the direction that the new LS is going, in that it’s more permanent. But the story itself, even when weaving with lore from GW1, just keeps failing to pull me in. I don’t really care a whole lot about the new crop of NPC friends the story is trying to feature, which is why I think GW2 is trying to go back to pulling in their tried and true characters, like Caithe and Rytlock.

Daily Rewards!
Daily Rewards!

This is good. Only problem is, though I’ve logged in to unlock all the LS episodes (forget me ever paying gems for it, ugh!), I haven’t played any of them since I finished Echoes of the Past. Maybe the story gets more interesting and I’m missing out on something cool? I don’t know.

What I do know is if GW2 doesn’t drum up some major excitement and good feelings in me with whatever this Heart of Thorns thing is supposed to be, I’m just going to keep doing what I have been doing lately. Which is?

Logging in to snag the daily reward.

I don’t have much to say about the way daily achievements have changed, though I know other people either like or dislike them. I stopped doing dailies on a consistent basis a few months after they were released. I liked the idea at the time, but I still think their lack of flexibility and execution leaves much to be desired.

GW2 has been able to lure me in to log in daily to get the new daily reward chests, however. This is mostly because a have a full stable of characters, most of which are still hovering a bit above level 20 (due to the lvl 20 birthday boosters). I don’t have much motivation to level yet another character through content (even though I used to enjoy the leveling and exploration), and still, I’m not sure what the point in having another level 80 really is…. other than dressing up another pretty character.

Despite that, I find myself trying to advance my poor mesmer, SoYa, who has been sitting in the late 40s ever since I logged off in disgust at the changes in the Crown Pavilion. I used to love to run these events because I could take my low level characters in, get upleveled to 80, romp around with the zerg and have a good time leveling them at a decent rate. Since GW2 is moving away from this kind of (fun) content, I haven’t leveled characters at all.

Aw yeah! I worked hard for this! (Not)
Aw yeah! I worked hard for this! (Not)

Until now! The one thing that’s most important to me in the login dailies are the Tomes of Knowledge. If you choose the Chest of Grand Experience at the end of the 28 days, you get a total of 16 free levels, which sent my mesmer quickly to level 60 over the course of those 28 days. Considering I did nothing but log in, I guess I really can’t complain about that! I’m the type of gamer that Anet hates, huh?

I like seeing the new level rewards you get each time a character levels up. However, I feel the new leveling system is way too limiting compared to the old one. It’s really hard to go back to play characters who once had gobs of attribute points and could do neat things even at a low level… who are now limited to using only a fraction of that due to level restrictions.

I remain in a wait-and-see stance for GW2, though my interest has dwindled and I wouldn’t even be logging in if it wasn’t for easy level rewards. I have too many other games that interest me right now for me to continue to be frustrated on the direction a single game is going, no matter how much I used to love it.


  1. I think we have to accept that the MMO ANet promoted for several years before launch and attempted to run for the first three months (I wouldn’t go as far as six) is long dead and buried. For whatever reason it didn’t work from their perspective and they have gutted it and used the framework to build a completely different MMO.

    Like you, I’d far rather they’d stuck to the original plan but I’m not going to cry over that spilled milk (not too often anyway) when what we have instead is still head and shoulders above just about any other MMO I’ve played that’s been launched in the last ten years. I do wonder whether Heart of Thorns will see yet another complete change of direction and make the MMO that operates under the name “Guild Wars 2” in the second half of the year unrecognizeable as the same game we are playing now. Half of me hopes it will. Only half though.

    As for the GW1 influence, it seems incredibly strong now. The lore fans are loving it. I have no particular love (or knowledge) for any GW1 lore other than the original Prophecies campaign (and I can barely remember most of that) so most of it goes right over my head. I have a lot more affection for the new characters than the older GW1-derived ones although reading the Destiny’s Edge novel did make me quite fond of Zojja and Snaff.

    I definitely feel ANet have decided to prioritize the fanbase they inherited from GW1 over the new audience they picked up with GW2.I imagine it’s because they know most of the non-GW1 players left long ago. What audience they’ll pitch HoT at will be interesting to watch.

  2. I think you might need to give the rest of Living Story 2 and the accompanying zone of Silverwastes a try. If the story fails to catch you in its entirety, or the structure of the zone itself fails to appeal, then give up GW2 as a lost cause.

    I suspect they’ll keep pushing in a similar direction, unless the announcement at PAX South indicates they’re doing a complete 180 in some other direction.

    1. I do plan on playing through the rest of the story. It’s just not been at the top of my to-do list. I don’t think I’ll ever totally give up on GW2, though. For all my grouching about it, it still has a lot of elements I really love.

  3. The latest episode of the Living Story is worth a couple hours of your time. I don’t know how picky you are when it comes to personal continuity; if it’s not an issue for you to not have played through the previous episodes it might not be a bad idea to play through Point of No Return and then percolate for nine days or so until PAX South when we find out what the man behind the curtain has been up to all this time.

    There’s also a new Marionette-style fight that becomes available after successful completion of the Silverwastes objectives that might be good for a bit of fun.

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