Friday, September 01, 2017

GW2: Five Years Later

As of Monday Guild Wars 2 officially launched five years ago or for those of us who pre-purchased (mine was gifted to me by a friend) it launched last Friday.  Personally I can't believe it's been five years already and besides a seven month break from early January 2013 to July 2014, I've played fairly regularly.  It's not the longest I've played an MMO for Dungeons and Dragons online holds that place for a couple more years but I think it's the one I've enjoyed the most.

I went back and forth on how I wanted to approach the main part of this post and finally decided to share five six things that I enjoy about the game.  These are not in any particular order.

Many players working to take down a legendary mob.

Don't Fight for Resources


In many of the older MMO's loot and gathering nodes were shared with everyone.  It was a first come, first serve basis.  Thankfully Guild Wars 2 is not like that.  The loot that you get from killing mobs is your own, you don't share it with anyone.  So even when grouping you get just as many drops as if you were soloing.

The gathering nodes are also better done.  Instead of only one person being able to use the node, everyone can.  This means that, that rich platinum node is there for everyone to gather not just the first one there.  I really like this because it makes gathering wood, metal, and food items much easier for crafting.

The devs also made it so that as long as you tag a mob and do enough damage you get loot and experience off it.  There is no locking the mob into just one person or group, the kills are shared.  I like this a lot because it means you can help others out if they are in trouble and in the early days of the game this was quite prevalent since we were all learning yet.

Karashai sporting her Sunrise shortly after I crafted it.

No Gear Treadmill


Guild Wars 2 is the first MMO I've played that doesn't have you on a constant gear treadmill.  I like this very much because it saves on burnout for me.  When we played DDO it got to the point that every release you needed to regear your character if you wanted to keep up.  This got very old very quickly for me and helped me in the decision to finally quit playing.

My main character has been in the same ascended set of armor and used the same jewelry since shortly after the end of Living World Season 1.  I feel like I've definitely gotten my use out of them and I'm glad that I can continue to do so.  I've not had to change her staff either (especially since it's a legendary) and once Reaper was released with Heart of Thorns, I've not had to change her greatsword either (which is also a legendary).  I'm quite please with this since it means I can then put resources towards gearing up my handful of other characters.

Poofy, my mesmer, standing at the top of a jumping puzzle.

Account Based Achievements


I also very much like how account based many things are in the game.  Especially achievements because it means I can then take whatever character I want and not be stuck to just one.  To get access to some of the story achievements the character does have to have run through the story but now that you can earn achievements your first time through, I don't find this to be an issue.

Cimabue, my guardian, modeling a few different looks over the years.

Wardrobe System


Once they implemented the wardrobe system, I've been quite happy with it.  I enjoy unlocking armor and weapons skins to be able to use later on my characters.  I don't have to save the pieces themselves which is great for leaving all of my precious bank space for other things.

I will also log in at times to just sit and play in the wardrobe to figure out new looks for my characters.  I am looking forward to hopefully some nice skins to unlock once Path of Fire releases.  A lot of the ones released with Heart of Thorns left me rather uninspired.

My charr (from left to right): Arboth Pooftail (a.k.a. Poofy), Farpaw, Karashai, and Rae Yin



The master race of Tyria! Haha.  Yes, I am biased by this point.  I have fallen in love with my charr and now four out of my five characters are charr! It all started with Karashai.  I wanted to make a necromancer after trying an Asura one but I didn't like the camera angle with the short little character.  My husband had just started playing Guild Wars 2 and suggested I try a charr, I balked a bit because of how their society is, it doesn't fit my personality.  Well, the rest is history... 

I've totally fallen for how the character models are animated and made.  I've never been able to play a true beast like character before.  Any cat people in other games are literally  humans with colored/patterened skin, cat ears, and a tail. So being able to run on four paws and getting hypnotized by the tail when standing around in Lion's Arch have definitely been worth listening to my husband.



The best thing to happen to GW2 with the release of Heart of Thorns is gliding (ok besides auto loot).  I love jumping off things to go gliding through the maps.  When I jump off things that are really high up I tend to wait until the last possible second to open the glider so I don't splat.  This has lead to some unfortunate glider malfunctions and asking my husband to come and revive my poor spattered character.

Even still, it's great fun and I'll never stop playing the last-second-hit-the-glider-button-game.  My character that likes it the most is Karashai...she's the one I really take the chance on when it comes to gliding.  I swear she'd be into extreme sports because she loves the danger and excitement.  I do find it amusing that I tend to have different gliding styles depending on the character that I'm playing too.

Thank you Anet for a good five years and here's to another five and hopefully many more.


  1. Cool stuff! On most of these I wholeheartedly agree. Only gliding I still need to experience myself. Perhaps one day...

    Just, no gear grind... that I cannot agree with. Do you ever play fractals? Unless something major has changed last year, the gear required for those and the methods of getting them is almost literally a treadmill. (Remember, even if you chose not to participate in one aspect of a game, that part still exists!)

    1. Gliding is definitely worth it. =D

      I never said there wasn't gear grind. I said there was no gear treadmill. Once you have put the time into making your ascended gear, you're good to go. Same goes for getting agony resistance. They have made AR easier to obtain now as well. Really you only need ascended if you plan to run high level fractals or raid. Otherwise you're fine in exotic. =)

  2. GW2 is one of my favourite games, I've played for maybe 4 years now. :) The things you listed here are exactly the reasons I got hooked on it: the shared mobs/resources, the account bound (rather than character bound) gold, achievements, and wardrobe skins, and the unique races. Sylvari are my favourites, mostly because they can be any colour of the rainbow, but Charr are second best. ;)
    Also, another huge advantage of this game is not having to pay a subscription fee!

    1. I totally agree! Except for charr being second best. ;) I have seen some really neat looking sylvari though. The one I do have is all white because I seem to be color challenged. lol