I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 since release and I will say that it’s a pretty good game. I haven’t participated in any instance/dungeons, or any form of player vs player yet, so I cannot comment on those parts of the game.
-Your character scales down to the level of the area you are in. You can experience all the different starting zones at the appropriate level without being able to go in and one-shot everything. It’s great to be able to play with friends who are just starting to play at their level, and yes, you still get xp.
-NPC’s aren’t tagged when you hit them, so anyone can jump in and help kill them and get xp/drops.
-Everyone has the ability to resurrect other players and some npcs, in fact, there is incentive to do so – you get xp for it.
-No rolling for loot. When loot drops, it drops for the individual player.
-Everyone can harvest all materials, herbs, trees, mines, either to craft with or sell. And best of all, nobody can steal your node from you. The nodes are there for each player and remain until that player harvests them.
-Group events scale according to how many players are contributing to the fight. Anyone can jump in – no need to be in a group to get credit.
-You don’t have to accept quests from questgivers. When you enter an area with a quest you automatically have the quest. So, even if you haven’t laid eyes on the questgiver you can start working on it.
No “your quest log is full” messages.
-You can access the Trading Post (auction house) from anywhere – you only have to visit it to pick up items you buy or money for items you have sold.
– Crafting items you have collected can be sent to your crafting material storage from anywhere with a button click, freeing up bag space.
-It’s nice to be able to dye your armor so you don’t look like everyone else. A cosmetic thing, true, but still a nice touch. You can also transmorg one item to look like another.
-Crafting isn’t just a matter of having the mats and clicking a button. Take tailoring and shoes, for example. You have to craft the upper, the sole, then combine those with something else to make the end product. You can also ‘discover’ new recipes by putting different part and mats together.
-You can toss 4 similar items into the forge in Lion’s Arch to try to create something better. The Forge can also be used to create new crafting items. Any level character can get to the forge by using the free portal in their main starting area.
-Portals are great for getting around but the higher your level, the more it costs to use them. When you die, unless a kind soul resurrects you, you have to use a portal to resurrect. (Last night I died on top of a portal but still had to pay to use it to resurrect.) Portal use for resurrection isn’t, in my opinion, a good thing for several reasons. 1. You pay to resurrect plus you still have durability loss that will eventually have to be repaired…at a cost. 2. The portal you want to use may be under contest, which means you will be sent to the nearest available. (Honestly, you need the ability to say no to that – maybe you’d rather just go to another area entirely.)
-Most of the time you come out ahead vendoring or salvaging items. If a vendor will pay you 30 cents for an item, it’s stupid to list it in the auction house for 31 cent, considering it cost at least 1 cent to list and then you have to pay a sellers fee as well.
-Some of the respawn rates are ridiculous. Last night I killed a veteran npc and before I could even heal the thing respawned on top of me and poof, I was dead.
-Other players can easily get you killed by kiting baddies to you, and no, you do not have to hit them to get involved in the fight. Simply being close is enough. Not always a bad thing, but it does keep you more alert to what’s going on around you.
-Be prepared to spend extra real life money if you want to have enough bank storage space to count. Your characters all share one bank – convenient, but space is used up quickly, especially if your characters craft.
-You will get quite a few locked Black Lion Chests – but the keys to open them with don’t drop very often. You can, however, buy them with gems, which are purchased with real life money. (see below)
NEITHER OF THE ABOVE – YOU DECIDE
-Players are able to buy gems with real life money, which can be traded for various things – including gold. If you want more bank storage, the only way to get it is by spending real life money, and yes, you probably will need more storage space.
To be fair, the game has no monthly fee and it does cost a lot of money to run the servers.You can easily live without and play the game just fine without most of the items available via the gems for real money part of the game. Storage space, however, is almost a necessity. A lot of the items you make to craft with won’t store in the material storage space – they have to sit in your bank.
You may want to think about where you log out. The safe little town you left your toon in might not be the same when you log back in. It’s common to log in to find yourself unexpectedly in the middle of a big battle, a town under siege.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS – FOR NOW
There is no perfect game – never has been, never will be. Different players want and expect different things from any game. Overall Guild Wars 2 is a good game and I would definitely buy it again. My biggest issue right now is the inability to get my hands on materials I need to level my crafting and in my opinion it’s due to the bots and ArenaNet’s attempts to address them. If I’m willing to spend my time killing things to get the materials I need, I ought not be penalized by going from paltry drops to none at all in an area. If legitimate players are willing to spend their time farming materials to sell in the auction house to earn game money to buy what they need, they should be able to do that, too. Game money isn’t that easy to make. I’m level 80 and only have slightly over 5 gold – and some of the better gear in auction house sells for many times that.
Still, in spite of the downs, I’d recommend the game. You make a one time investment, no monthly fees and only spend real life money for bells and whistles if you choose. Unlike some other games if you take a break for a few weeks, you aren’t paying so you don’t lose paid for time.