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59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Fun & Addictive' doesn't begin to describe GW2
I've played MMOs going all the way back to Ultima Online. EQ, EQ2, Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies (left before the big expansion), Anarchy Online, Eve, Horizons-Istaria, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Trek, Star Wars: The Old Republic... You get the idea.

Admittedly, GW2 has the problems and bugs endemic to first launches, and to see them...
Published on August 27, 2012 by BeccaM

versus
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Extra Content Only
UPDATED 6-28-2014

If you're planning to buy the game and are wondering if the extra $20 for the Digital Deluxe version is worth the money, I would recommend against it for the reasons listed below.

The first thing you should know is that you can add the "Digital Deluxe" upgrade to your account later, through the in-game gem store. You're not forever...
Published 15 months ago by Alec


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Extra Content Only, July 6, 2013
By 
Alec (Sierra Vista AZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
UPDATED 6-28-2014

If you're planning to buy the game and are wondering if the extra $20 for the Digital Deluxe version is worth the money, I would recommend against it for the reasons listed below.

The first thing you should know is that you can add the "Digital Deluxe" upgrade to your account later, through the in-game gem store. You're not forever giving up the extras by purchasing the regular version of the game, so it is safe to wait and then decide if the goodies are worth it.

Summary of the extras:

Banker Golem: sure, it's nice to have 14 days (it's no longer just 5 days) of "anywhere bank access" on every new character. However, because the game allows inexpensive, instant travel, and because you can access your bank at any crafting station (with stations in nearly every zone), being able to access the bank "out in the wild" is nearly pointless: you can just teleport back to a spot close to a bank access point, then teleport back to a spot a few seconds' run from where you were. It took me a year after making my first characters to find a situation where I wanted to use my banker golems, and even then it just made things slightly more convenient.

Mistfire Wolf: this summon spell is an "Elite" spell, which does not unlock until you're level 30. The wolf is useful for some extra firepower when you are going to take on a tougher foe, or as an "oh, crap" button. However, you can only have one Elite spell in your toolbar at any one time, which means you must forego having any other elite skill in that slot if the wolf is active. You will be purchasing elite skills because you have to spend a certain number of points to get to the next tier of skills, and every class I've played so far has at least one "summon creature" elite skill to be purchased. Effectively, this means you'll either be using a different skill (which means the wolf was somewhat pointless), or using the wolf (which means you're having to spend points on skills you won't use). I only used the wolf on my first character.

Influence Boost: this adds 1000 influence points to the guild you're currently "representing" (you can join multiple guilds, but your accomplishments only add points to the guild you're currently representing. The guild can spend points on upgrades and boosts for its members). 1000 isn't a lot, and can be purchased in-game for 2 gold. 2 gold at current gems - gold exchange rates in the game is worth about 20 American cents as of June 2014. Also, unless you're making a personal / vanity guild (which is the least cost-effective way of getting more storage space), your guild isn't going to care that you spent the 1000 points on it; a guild of any size is going to get more than that every night from people logging in and doing normal adventuring activities.

Rank Point Boost: this adds 500 structured PvP points to your character (structured PvP in Guild Wars 2 is arena fighting). Structured PvP is played by a relatively small subset of the Guild Wars 2 population; most people who participate in PvP play the World (server) vs World matches instead, which are tactical / strategic battles with objectives to be captured. The rank points enable you to move up in rank, which opens rewards such as different "finisher" animations you can use on the other team member's when they've been downed. Although the finishers are nice for bragging rights, and can be used in World vs. World, the in-game gem store sells some really funny finishers that completely humiliate your downed opponent, and I tend to use those instead. Also, even if you do intend to engage in structured PvP, 500 points is a very small amount.

Miniature Rytock: a miniature is a pet that follows you around. Pets can be purchased as random collections in the gem store or earned in the frequent special events. They have no stats or other play value, so unless you really want this specific pet (they don't do anything) and are sure you're going to have it running around the landscape with you, or intend to have a complete collection, it doesn't add anything to your character. Rytock is a major story NPC in the game.

SUMMARY: if you want to spend an extra $20, I would buy $20 worth of gems in the in-game gem store. That will get you over 150 gold as of June 2014, which is enough to make money a complete non-issue for gearing several level 80 characters.
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59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Fun & Addictive' doesn't begin to describe GW2, August 27, 2012
By 
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I've played MMOs going all the way back to Ultima Online. EQ, EQ2, Asheron's Call, World of Warcraft, Star Wars Galaxies (left before the big expansion), Anarchy Online, Eve, Horizons-Istaria, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Trek, Star Wars: The Old Republic... You get the idea.

Admittedly, GW2 has the problems and bugs endemic to first launches, and to see them during the Early Access phase comes as no surprise. Players are reporting some bugged Dynamic Events (DEs). Guilds are pretty messed up at present, mostly with people being unable either to join or to assign their characters to represent a given guild. The auction market is down at the moment, as is the Wiki help system (8/27). Also appear to be some issues with the online registration system.

Anyway, if you want a less buggy game to play, wait a few weeks or so. Personally, I don't care because this has been the most fun I've had playing a MMO in more years than I care to admit. It's as if the designers tried to come up with nearly every detail that annoyed players in the past and deal with them differently.

For example, there's no competition for resource nodes. If it's there for you, it's there for everybody -- but only you see that it's been exhausted if you went ahead and mined for copper or chopped down a tree.

There's no kill-stealing. Everybody who helps kill something gets credit, and everybody can get loot off the same body, depending on random chance. There's incentive to jump in and help someone in trouble, or to resurrect them if they've fallen.

The dynamic events don't require people to create a pre-made group. Anybody can just join in, and the event will automatically change to become harder or easier depending on how many folks are present. I've had a huge amount of fun running with the traveling zergs, escorting traders or NPC adventurers, or fighting off invasions.

High level people can't dominate or farm in low-level areas because their levels and damage are rescaled downward on the fly to fit the area. I saw a Level 20 Elementalist get swarmed by Level 4 fireflies in the Silvari starter area because he was careless with an AoE spell -- and he went down.

There are no mailboxes you have to go find. Your mail finds you wherever you are. And speaking of travel, moving around in the world is aided with Asura travel gates and the ability to spend a few coppers to instantly shift to a previously found waypoint location. (Waypoint travel inside cities is free, however.)

There are no restrictions on which races can play certain professions. You can be an Asura (gnome) warrior or a Char (big hulking cat-bull things) illusionist. And each profession can be played in a variety of ways. By the way, no healing-only class; everybody has some healing abilities, and it's almost always enough for even challenging solo play.

Combat: Moving around matters, and as far as I can tell there are no restrictions even when casting channeled abilities for you to have to stay in one spot. It is entirely possible to evade incoming attacks, although the amount of stamina you have is limited. And for once in a game there aren't a ridiculous number of spell and ability bars and icons to keep track of. 1-5 = attacks, 6 = healing, 7-9 = utility abilities, 0 = long-cooldown 'elite' ability, and F1-F4 activate other abilities or switch between sets. (As you level, these gradually unlock, with just 1 and 6 at the very beginning of character creation.) Equipping different weapons and off-hand items results in different attacks and abilities being available.

Open world: Unlike in SWTOR, quest lines and missions don't feel 'linear'. You can do stuff in any order you want, except for your personal story line -- of which I believe there are 27 different variants for each of the five races, and each of these usually offer you a few choices in key situations. There was one I just completed where I was given a choice to sneak in to an enemy camp or to do a frontal assault. Since this was my Elementalist (kinda squishy), I opted for sneaking in while disguised.

There is no subscription. Buy the game, play it all you want. Sure, there are items you can buy via gems purchased with real world cashy-money, but you don't have to. And in fact, you can also acquire those gems in-game by exchanging in-game gold for them.

The crafting system is nicely complex, and if you put some time into it, you can be crafting your own bags, armor, weapons and accessories pretty early on. I like the fact that with the shared bank, all of your characters can gather everything and put it all into one location for everyone on your account to use. (Hint: Make sure at least one of your characters takes on armor crafting, tailoring, or leather-working. You will want those early 8-slot bags. Great thing though is you can change professions later and your progress is saved, so if you switch back (for a fee) you come back where you were in it. Another hint: Every crafting station essentially gives you access to your bank and resource collection vaults.)

Complaints? Just a few, not counting the bugs I'm sure the developers are working on. One is that map navigation can be tricky, especially in multi-level locations. It's also sometimes not clear on the map where the next personal mission waypoints are supposed to be -- I mean, sometimes it's marked clearly with a star, but other times I can't find it at all until I move to a different zone or area.

The servers crowded enough at present that zoning anywhere almost invariably puts you into an 'overflow' instance, which happens to be a fully playable instance...but the constant "You have been put into the overflow queue" pop-ups are annoying, as is the invitation to re-zone to the main instance. I'm hoping they come up with a more graceful way of handling it, or letting you turn off notifications or something. I don't need to click OK to acknowledge I'm in overflow.

The one that affected me the most was the guild representation bug. It took days and multiple tries to get all of the characters on my account to be flagged as representing the little guild my spouse and I created for ourselves. She had similar troubles, and other players reported it, too.

Again, I expect this is all being worked on, but I'll revisit this review only if the problems aren't dealt with in a timely fashion. In summary, I'll just say that with Guild Wars 2, I'm expecting it'll be a long time before I go back to SWTOR (a game that feels like it is in the process of dying, sadly)...and I think I just decided I'm going to forgo the 'Mists of Pandaria' expansion and shut down my WoW subscription. I'm having too much fun with GW2.

Remains to be seen how it fares in the long-term. If the original Guild Wars is any indication, I think this one may be here to stay.

(Update 27 Jan 2013: I'm still playing. I have several Level 80 characters now and find them all fun. Lately I've been enjoying the World-versus-World combat. I still think GW2 diverges from most of the other MMOs I've played over the years in that when I log in, it's not "What do I need to do today?" but rather "What do I feel like doing?" I've also been really surprised to learn which classes I enjoy playing, some of which are quite a departure from my usual style.)
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56 of 74 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bait and Switch, August 29, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
Edit:

At first, this game was amazing. It was the ideal choice for anyone looking to get away from the standard grindy MMO. It was a breath of fresh air that was well worth the one time price.

Fast forward to today.

Guild Wars 2 has done nothing short of a "bait and switch" for it's casual/target market.

Here are the reasons I purchased the game:
[...]
and
"Here's what we believe: If someone wants to play for a thousand hours to get an item that is so rare that other players can't realistically acquire it, that rare item should be differentiated by its visual appearance and rarity alone, not by being more powerful than everything else in the game. Otherwise, your MMO becomes all about grinding to get the best gear. We don't make grindy games -- we leave the grind to other MMOs."

-Mike Obrien, President of Arenanet

I purchased this game because I am a college student, employed, and have a life outside of my computer. From their advertisements and statements, this game was suppose to be the MMO built for casual players. Where one could walk away from for a period of time, then once they get back on, still be able to experience all the content. Stats weren't an issue, legendary weapons were the EXACT same stats as exotics. As seen in the statement above, if someone wants to sink hours and hours into something, they get an awesome looking item, but it's not more powerful. Regardless if you feel this is how it should be, this is how they marketed it.

So what did they do Nov 15th? Implement a new tier of gear with more powerful stats, that are required in order to participate in deeper levels of thier new dungeon.

To provide a little insight. ArenaNet has developed a new debuff called Agony which is in their new dungeon. This can't be avoided by any other means but to have Agony resistance. To have Agony resistance, you must have the new tier of gear plus a new "infusion slot". Calculated out, as it sits today, it would take someone ~70 hours for one piece of gear. On top of this, there are two levels of the new gear, one more powerful than the other.

So what is the outcome? ArenaNet has created a gear grind / horrific powercreep when they advertised this game wouldn't have it. They also introduced a mechanic to gate people out of content until they are forced to have this new gear.

The hard core players (locusts) who love this kind of content are also segregating the player base and not running the new dungeon with players unless those players have the best gear available.

This plus other shady practices ArenaNet and their NcSoft overlords has done with this game make me sick. If you purchased through ArenaNet directly, and it's been within 6 months, you are eligible of a refund. This however, locks out those who prepurchased the game back in April.

So what does it boil down to?

If you like WoW or WoW clones, you will love the direction this game is taking. If you feel like you need to be superior to other players through stats and amount of time in the game, this game if for you. If you feel like you need a constant grind for a few more stats, this game is for you.

If you are like me, a casual/dedicated player, this game was for you, but no longer. If you can't keep up with the hard core players, you will be left behind.

If you are happy with this game as it sits and the direction it is going in, good for you, but the reason I'm now giving the game such a poor review is because it turned into something that it was never suppose to be based on thier advertisements.

TLDR: Loved the game initially. After Nov 15th's new content, it appears to be taking a 180 on it's manifesto and initial advertising, which is the reason I purchased this game. I don't want to spend hours after hours of grinding to be able to do all of the content. I don't want others to have a statistical advantage over me just because they spend 10 hours a day on the game (aka remain competitive). This wasn't how the game was advertised, it was marketed to the casuals and now it's just another failed WoW clone with a terrible gear grind.

For those who want to read more:
[...]

After 3-4 days that thread had over 10k replies of disappointed players.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guild Wars 2: My Favorite PC Game Ever, August 27, 2012
By 
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I finally broke down on impulse and bought Guild Wars 2 to try and it and, boy, was that a good decision. I don't know if I will convince any of you to partake, but I really hope you do. This is my favorite game of all time, displacing Skyrim, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy VII, and it's now all I do during my gaming time. In my review, I will also hit on some WoW comparisons, because if you're like me, there will be some audience overlap. Here goes nothing:

Class Selection and Definition
The game calls classes "professions" and, from the beginning, each one is differentiated and engaging. I won't write about each one, but I have mostly played an engineer for now. He gets a blend of bombs, grenades, turrets to help him and allies in combat, toting a rifle or a shotgun for his own protection. The magic classes have vast arrays of spells. Every class has some type of heal, even if it's minimal, but for each class your gameplay gets you into the character you are. Warriors are rewarded for staying in combat. Engineers and ranged classes WILL get killed if they don't move. There are eight focused classes, I've tried three, and I've heard they are all great. People have not complained of an "OP class", which I'll help explain by hitting on combat.

Combat Dynamics
Battles are much longer than in Warcraft and you can't really one-hit kill people. It takes a while to beat a person into submission. When a player runs out of health, they fall onto the ground and get a last chance to fight back, or call for help from allies. If you see a wounded ally down, you can pull them up. Also, if a wounded enemy is making their last call for help, you can do a finishing move to kill them for good. If you die, you restart at a waypoint that you have discovered and take a small equipment hit.

Race Selection and Definition
There are five races, and each is beautiful and differentiated. I have looked at three. Character design is really fun, and when you run around zones, players look really different as a result. I am playing as Charr, a cruel animal species. Each class/race combo gets its own story that is instanced. There are 40 in all (8x5). Mine involves trying to create secret plans for a weapon. The first part was an instanced fight where enemies invaded my house. It was amazing.

NPC Conversations and Cutscenes
The game is loaded with conversations and cutscenes, all of which go to beautifully animated character interactions that are all spoken. They are really breathtaking.

Gear Dying
You start with a small number of dyes that you can use to change the color of your gear at any time, for free. As the game progresses, you can discover new dyes that you can learn permanently. It is really fun and allows you to give your character a really differentiated look that can change over time.

Questing Structure
Guild Wars really did a great job in overhauling the traditional "gather 10 sandwiches for me" quests in wow. When you talk to NPCs, you get objectives, which, yes, track in the upper-right hand corner like in WoW. However, the number of things you need to gather and the "annoyance" - grindiness of it really is gone. You have to try it to see what I mean. Additionally, if someone else is working on the same quest and picks up things to help the objective, you get credit too. It's a really great system.

World Events
In addition to traditional questing, when you walk around, circles will appear on the map alerting you to a group quest. These involve much harder/larger objectives that are really fun. When the objective is achieved, you are graded from nothing/bronze/silver/gold on your contributions and get gear. These are great so far and have included killing a huge warm and stopping waves of intruders from penetrating a base.

Zone Exploration and Leveling
Each zone has multiple quests and objectives. You discover them organically by walking around although, it's not a "npc-find-fest" in that you can really feel free to roam and get alerts when you're near neat objectives. You don't need to hit all of them, although you get large bonuses for completing all tasks in a zone. You never have to go back to NPCs to turn things in - your quest just triggers complete when finished.

Swimming/Underwater Exploration
Usually this would be a sidenote, but it merits special talking points in Guild Wars. Underwater animation is gorgeous and, for each profession, you have a special underwater weapon. I spent 40 minutes yesterday just swimming underwater and firing my classes weapon: a torpedo launcher. The graphics work and realistic swimming interactions are great. Also, when you exit the water, you get a "splash" across your screen that fades out, a neat small touch of how you need a moment to regain vision after being deep in the water.

Vistas
In each zone, there are points called vistas which you get xp for finding. These are amazing vantage points that give you a view of a particularly beautiful part of a zone. These can be hard to get to often - they will be on top of a mountain that requires delicate jumping, or they are up a path on the top of a mountain or castle. When you hit the vista, you get a cutscene showing the beautiful view of that little area plus an xp bonus. These are really fun to go after and encourage zone exploration.

XP Generation
While I'm at it, I should mention how much I love the xp system. You get XP for everything. You get XP for gathering wood or berries. You get XP for crafting. You get XP for pulling up fallen comrades. You get XP for kills. You get XP for completing certain number of achievements each day. It's really nice because you feel like doing ANYTHING is rewarded and it makes you choice of what to do always feel rewarding. Also, and I'll hit this in achievements, you can often build up to goals for a day or month without knowing it and it feels so awesome when a reward kicks in.

Environmental Interaction
Every environmental object means something in guild wars. If you find rocks and trees around the landscape, hiding behind them makes bullets miss you. If you have a height advantage, you hit for me. There is no clipping. The idea that literally everything you see is important and plays a role in combat decisions is wonderful. Also, the environments are each very well thought out and look gorgeous.

Character Dolls
Guild Wars uses a pretty standard MMO doll, but with compressed item slots. There are about 15, if I had to guess off the top of my head. Most of the usual things like head, shoulders, etc, rings, trinkets are there. A neat feature is items you can upgrade with automatically pull to a window on the left that lets you upgrade. Also, after level 7, you can have two weapons that you can toggle between using a hotkey equipped at once. It allows a really cool range of battle choices.

Talents/Abilities
Talents are neatly broken down into three areas: abilities gained by using a weapon, class abilities, and traditional talents (player bonuses) in the Warcraft/MMO sense. For each weapon, you get abilities from 1-5 on your hotbar. You start with ability 1, the first time you pick up that weapon. As you use that ability, you unlock ability 2, then 3, etc. It is a nice delay because you get them pretty quickly, but it's just enough time that you can get used to each of the five abilities. For abilities 6-10, you unlock a choice for each slot as you level. To choose abilities for those slots, you need skill points, which you get as you level. You can unlock about 5-10 choices for each of the slots and can change between them, but you only have 10 abilities at once. I actually like this a lot better than the 20-30 ability madfest in wow, although you can alter to try different gameplay styles. For traditional talents, you get these at level 11, and you get to improve a specific area of your character. For my engineer, for example, these included bomb strength or grenade strength, as an example. The abilities you get are really neat. Right now on my engineer, I am playing with a bullet turret, medic turret and flame turret, along with the five abilities on my shotgun.

World Weapons
On the landscape, you can sometimes find random objects to interact with, like crowbars, bottles, crates, swords of other players, etc. Many of these are things you can pick up, and they will give you five new abilities for the left side of your ability bar. It's an amazingly fun feature.

Looting
Looting is similar to other MMORPGs: some, but not at all, enemies will get shiny after death and you just press f to loot them. However, for many larger world quests, you get a popup that you received gear. Also, after completing certain quests you will get mail from npcs thanking you. It's neat to get those. You can open your mail at any time on the overhead.

Gear Design / Presentation
Gear looks great although the level of item differentiation does not get great until higher levels, as is true in other MMORPGs. Much of the lowbie stuff looks the same, but I have seen screenpics of high level stuff and it's gorgeous.

Crafting and Professions
Guild Wars focuses you on just two professions. I chose cooking and leatherworking. You need to actively gather items in the landscape in order to boost most skills. The recipes and things you make are really fun. It's actually fun to craft. You can take new ingredients, experiment with combinations, and learn new recipes. You can also buy recipes in more traditional ways. Another neat thing is that when you want to craft, say, 10 of something, the first one takes a while, in the way a wow bar would take a second, but then each additional craft speeds up so it goes REALLY quickly. It sounds like a small detail but it's nice. I also like how you don't have to end your life to work on professions and it's focused. Others include jeweling and weaponry. You get XP for crafting, which is also neat.

Gems/Inserts
Like in other MMORPGs, you can find gems or other special inserts for weapons with slots to improve their stats. These can be found randomly or crafted.

Gathering
You need to purchase gathering tools, which are inexpensive but have limited uses (like say 100 axes), and you can click on things in the landscape. It is really neat when you find a tree or ore that is activated and you don't have to "compete" with other players for the node. Anybody can swing at it and it's phased as each player's individual node. You do need appropriate level axes/sickles etc to gather, though. The types of things you gather are in three categories: sickled foods, herbs/trees and minerals.

Achievements
The achievement structure is one of my favorite parts of the game. You can get achievements for SO many things. You can get achievements for killing varieties of enemies. You can get achievements for PvP. You can get achievements for picking up fallen comrades. Best of all though, in eliminating dailies, they instead have daily and monthly achievements which are broad and rewarding for more gameplay but eliminate the daily grind that so many players hate. For example, if you hit 19 daily achievements, you get a large reward. For me, this broke down to a few enemy kills, some crafting and gathering, some zone exploration, and some vistas. You also get reward for hitting your monthly achievements. And the points from your achievements give you tokens that you can use to buy gear. It's a BEAUTIFULLY executed achievement system.

Structured PvP
PvP is broken down into structured PvP and World versus World PvP. Structured PvP is like most MMORPGs. You queue for an island that has battlegrounds, you queue for a match, you play one of several games, you score honor. The battlegrounds are very well made and really fun to play. The note earlier about landscape interaction makes them particularly great. In the structured mode, everybody is automatically put at the level cap (80) and given medium level gear. As you play in this mode, two things happen. First, you get an honor-like equivalent to buy better gear above your base stats. Second, you gain ranking. For me, I started as a "pup", but for each amount of honor you increase your rank. However, you do not level your base character playing structured PvP. It is its own system and the systems stay in structured PvP. This is a great mode but, personally, I get the most excited about...

World versus World PvP and a Note on Factions and Server Choice
World versus World PvP!!!!! Of the many things I love about the game, this is my favorite. So, when you start the game, you choose a server. Guild Wars made a good number, so almost all are full or heavy population. Your entire "faction", re: alliance vs horde, good vs bad, is your server versus two other servers. For example, my server is called sea of sorrows. All servers are in multiples of three and each server is paired with two others that it fights in PvP. World PvP has a running, constant score between the three factions. World PvP is fought in a system of four large maps. You queue for one of the four. When you get in, you are on a HUGE map with open landscapes, castles, cottages and forts. You fight to control as many points of control as possible, but there are many objectives. You project supply caravans. You batter down castles, you defend points of control. Every 5-10 minutes, your color (there is red, green and blue to represent the three servers) scores points depending on its control, with the most points for a castle and less for a fort or small cottage area. These points go towards a larger balance that boosts some stat, like XP generation or stamina or gathering bonuses, for your entire server permanently.

The World PvP is the first game I've ever played in my life that finally meets the dreams and idea of what I had my whole life of PvP in a game. Let me give the castles as an example. When you are attacking the castle, you are literally attacking a tall, three-dimensional castle. You can attack the walls, but they are nearly impossible to take down. You can attack the gate, but you really need siege weapons to do it. To get/build siege weapons, you need supplies, from across the map, and the blueprints, which you can buy over time. Once the siege is built, you can start ramming, the wall. The range of things you can build/use to attack are amazing. On the other end, defenders can run into the castles, which look AMAZING. In the castles, you can also build fortifications with your quartermaster, including boiling oil that you can control, archers, commissioning new troops, etc. It is just so, so amazing. For each three servers, four world PvP zones are contested and, at any time, you can press B to see what the balance of the three server's fight is. The best past, though, is that it's three servers fighting and not two. It makes for a real mad fight. Also, keep in mind that each of the four zones are HUGE and that there are no mounts. I fought in a world PvP battle last night for four hours, and did not get bored for a second. I would almost buy the game just to world PvP, just to see what it's like.

Instances
Instances are really fun and dynamic and serve the large storylines. Dungeons are well instanced and they are NOT easy. You really have to pay attention and play with a good group to get through them. Highly, highly recommend. Boss fights are a thrill.

Raids
I have not seen these but I understand they are some. But, admittedly, raiding is not as big of a focus as it is in Warcraft. The big focus is on PvP.

Overflows
They have managed to control the latency issues most games have with huge numbers of players by having this great idea called zone overflows. First, for world versus world pvp, you have to queue to get in. Mind you, even in BETA, yesterday, I waited, each time, only about 60 seconds. There is a cap so it can be completely smooth, even when you have a 50 versus 50 player battle, plus NPCs on a castle, like did yesterday. For zones, if you queue into one that is highly populated, you get put in an overflow. What this means is you can do EVERYTHING in a mirror copy of the zone that you would normally do, but other players aren't in there with you. Once the overflows clears and you are told you can enter, you immediately queue into the exact same place in the zone but the "real" one with other players. You earn all rewards and things as you would normally while in overflow. Overflow only happened to me once last night and it lasted only 15 seconds. This helps also control latency and keep everything very smooth.

Mounts/Pets
There are no mounts, but I understand there are pets, which are hard to get.

Cross-Zone Travel
You find waypoints while exploring which you can then travel back to / spawn at for a very small fee.

General Graphical Presentation
Everything is amazing and it's heads-and-tails better than any MMORPG I've ever seen, both in terms of raw graphics, but also the game engines quality in controlling latency.

Sound
Sound effects and music are off the hook.

Combat Responsiveness / Structure
You have the ten abilities, five core to your weapon and five selected, plus you have a power bar that lets you do a quick roll or dodge in any direction. You have enough power at any time for two dodges in a row, back to back, and then it has to recharge. Health regenerates VERY quickly when you are out of combat.

Guilds
Guilds are amazing. I joined one yesterday and the rewards and efforts you have are really cool. You save up guild achievements points and then queue improvements you want to build for your guild, but they take a long time. We just queued up an improvement that will take 4 days to finish. It's hard to explain but there's a scale and scope of things you can build and do with the guild that is really cool. As your guild gets better and better, it can commission weapons and armor for your whole guild which people can buy, as well as other items. It is AMAZING. You can make a guild weapon or armor that everybody in your guild can buy as standard equipment.

Paid Economy
The game has no monthly subscription and has certain things, all completely non-necessary, that you can get for sapphires, or bought game credits. You can get cosmetic items. You can get boosts to experience or honor earned. You can buy extra bank slots. You can buy pets or other funny effects in PvP. I saw a few things I might shell out a few bucks out on for fun, but there's nothing there you have to have to do well and move on in the game.

Inventory/Bank Management and Display
The game automatically compresses bags and you can instantly move items used for crafting to your bank from anywhere at any time, which is awesome for saving space. You can also fast-sell junk with vendors. It also sorts all your bank items by what they are used for, in a way that's very useful and time-saving.

Cost
The game is $60 with no subscription fee.

Replayability
I can't see myself ever getting tired of this.

Conclusion
I like this game BETTER than Skyrim and, while the focus on PvE is maybe not as much as in WoW, I think the PvP is much, much, much much better. I would say, hold your breath, I honestly like this as much as WoW and it's the best PvP game I've ever played in my life. I highly recommend you get it if you have any interest and you seriously won't regret it. I know I sometimes say that and you guys roll your eyes but, seriously, if you are even thinking of WoW PvP, this BLOWS It out of the water. Buy it dudes. See you on the Sea of Sorrows server.

Top three game I've ever played, easy. Probably tied for one with WoW, and ahead of Skyrim. If you did nothing but World PvP, you would find it worth the money three times over.
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36 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guild Wars 2: Worth the Wait??, July 23, 2012
By 
jedigirl77 "jedigirl77" (Sandy, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I have been playing the original Guild Wars since 2007. I have played all of the expansion packs. The game was awesome for a first time MMO gamer such as myself. Of course after a while it got boring. (4 years of gameplay is pretty good, though!) So I have been anxiously awaiting the release of GW2, which has been "coming soon" for at least 3 years.

**I am basing this review off of the limited content of the beta weekend events, and after more gameplay after the release I will come back and edit my review.**

Based only on playing 2 different beta weekend events I have to say...my first impression is WOW! Not to be confused with WoW. But, "Oh my this is amazing!"

Having only played GW1, and having no other MMO experience, I can't really compare it to EverQuest, WoW or The Old Republic. So if you're looking for that kind of comparison, I can't help you.

Where to start? The graphics are amazing. The skills look so very cool. They finally look like their descriptions. When your skill says "Send a Phoenix" the game has a very cool fiery Phoenix that flies out and attacks. Ground turning to lava? Yup, the ground turns to lava. A fountain of water? Yup, a big geyser pops out of the ground. It is very easy to get caught up in just trying out your skills to see what they look like. And you have the ability to jump, which means you also have the ability to jump from heights and die. You can then choose to respawn to a waypoint, or wait for someone to rez you. And, yeah, every character in GW2 can resurrect you, which is pretty cool. No more having your group almost wipe but for one person who didn't bring a rez.

With GW2 you no longer have to cash in quests. No more "talk to this person, do this, then go to that person or someone else for your reward." The world in GW2 is open. Events and quests are ongoing. As you run around you run into quests and events. You help with it, you get credit, you get a reward emailed to you. You don't help with it, you don't get a reward. You can't stand around or camp your character and get credit from what I can tell. You have to participate to get credit. Events can fail, and then you have to wait for the event to happen again. This open gameplay is something that I really enjoy. No more teaming up, begging for a group. You can just run around and help people if you want. Or run by if you don't want to help. Either way, it's pretty cool. So far people aren't very friendly, but I'm hoping that will change after the beta events end and the game goes live.

If you have played GW1 I don't think you will be disappointed. They have kept a lot of what made GW gameplay unique (including the NO SUBSCRIPTION FEE!). Their MMO land is a land where every "real" player is your ally. No killing other player characters. You will not level up just to get stomped by another player. If you get stomped, it will be by AI (unless you are in PvP land). This was exciting for me, after hearing my hubby complain about most MMO's.

The beta events have had kind of limited access to the other races, but I have finally played all 3. The Asura are by far my favorite. They are cute and tiny, and have the best laugh emote. I am completely disappointed with the Sylvari, which looked fantastic in the concept art, but are pretty ugly in game. The Norn and Charr are big and lumbering. You never feel like you're running because they are so big. The humans, as in the original GW, look fantastic. The ability to customize your character is nice. Not only do you have a lot of basic options for face, hair, etc, but you can also then customize them further, much like the Sims, by changing their features around.

I am disappointed in the armor thus far. Hopefully this is just part of the beta, but everyone looks the same. You have light, medium and heavy armor, but they all look the same. And then you start finding or buying armor but they are not class based, so every one still looks the same. Granted, I have not gotten any of my characters very high level because I really wanted to try out ALL of the races and classes (that and they deleted all of your characters from the first Beta, so I didn't want to get too attached or spend too much time on them).

What else? You don't have a multi-class option anymore. No switching your secondary class. Each class is the same, with the same skills unlocking. This is kind of disappointing, but in my opinion is made up by the different skills unlocked with each weapon or weapon set. It was fun to try out each set of weapons available for each class.

Oh yeah, can't forget the underwater! Swimming in this game is so fun! When you dive into the water you immediately sport a mask (your pet doesn't, so apparently they all have gills). You have different weapons and weapon sets, just like above water. Underwater is really pretty cool!

We didn't do a lot along the storyline, mainly because of what I said earlier. If the character is getting deleted, I don't want to invest too much time in it. Once the game goes live, I'll be able to review the many other features, including the Hall of Monuments and the unlocks that you get by playing GW1, and also the bonus items from buying the Deluxe version of the game. The deluxe edition includes:

Guild Wars 2 game

Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill* This unique elite skill allows the player to summon a temporary Mistfire Wolf pet for use in combat.

Miniature Rytlock* This rare mini is a perfect replica of Rytlock Brimstone and will accompany your character on all of their adventures throughout Tyria.

Golem Banker* Your very own golem banker, at your command for five days! This mechanical manservant will grant you access to your account storage from anywhere in the world.

Chalice of Glory* Earn some extra Glory with this one-time use chalice. Use Glory to unlock rewards in PvP as well as compare your progress against other players.

Tome of Influence* Give your guild a one-time boost of Influence. Useful for unlocking guild vaults, emblems, and other items for your guild.

All in all, I think that GW2 is going to be well worth the wait, and I am really excited to create some permanent characters and play through the storyline.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars extras only good for one character, December 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
The extras for the digital deluxe are only good for one character. This is not stated anywhere and once you use them they are gone. My son was very upset by this trickery. There is no way we can see to get them back. Very unhappy with this extra money spent and thrown away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't Meet Expectations, August 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
Very underwhelming game. I was a fan of the original, and this no longer has the same team play feel as the original both in PVE and PVP. Your options are solo in dead areas, or try and keep up with graphics crippling 'zergs' of people in the few popular areas.

If you're looking for what the original game brought you are out of luck. They stripped away most of what made the game fun for me and my friends to play.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worst customer support ever, June 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
I stopped playing GuildWars 2 after a few months because of "Real Life (tm)" (it was fun while i played)

I had a break from "Real Life (tm)" recently and tried to re-download and login to play again. Except I get a big fat error that says I'm locked out from my account because of suspected un-authorized access. 8 hours after trying to contact support and back and forth exchange of information. I get a message telling me that they're not convinced I'm the authorized user for the account and essentially a big "FU".

So. I paid $80 for a game that they don't believe I own and won't let me play. Wow.

*WORST* customer support *EVER*.

There's not a number you can call, everything is done via a poorly crafted website based messaging system with NO indication of WHEN or WHO is going to respond to you.

The game is great, the Company and its support staff are TERRIBLE.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GW2 First Impressions, August 25, 2012
By 
Lethia01 (FISHERVILLE, KENTUCKY, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
If you pre-ordered Guild Wars 2, then today is the day you've been waiting for! It's the first day of early access and all the fans are flooding the servers! My previous MMO history is World of Warcraft, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and Final Fantasy Online.

First Impressions:

I love the controls. Even if you were a beginner to MMOs you would find it's incredibly easy to navigate around and attack. There are small pop ups on the screen that give you playing tips. There are voice acting scenes in the game but the voices can be toggled on or off. The game isn't graphically taxing on a computer. I'm running the game on the lowest settings and my computer is still holding up like a champ. Before choosing your realm make sure you know which realm your friends are on. You can't switch between realms like World of Warcraft.

You are limited to 5 unique characters that you can create. I'm starting with an Asura Guardian. You can choose many aspects of your characters design like skin color, hair style/color, unique faces, armor coloring, personality aspects of your character and more. Asura are a new race in Guild Wars 2.

Playing Style
Like many other Guild Wars 2 posts that I've read, they've discussed about how the usual fighting triad, Tank/DPS/Heals, are gone in this game. It's difficult to wrap your mind around this concept at first. I am most comfortable in the Healing and occasional DPS role. The Guardian class in GW2 gives you the ability to do significant amounts of damage and also do self/ group healing. This has been a nice fit for me so far. Social playing is highly encouraged in this game. If a fellow player has died, you can revive them easily and get bonus points for yourself. "Events" that require you and other players in the area to kill a higher level boss pop up frequently as well. At the end of the "Event" you are graded on your participation with a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal.

So far, there is little to no lag in my realm (Maguuma). I haven't experienced any waiting to log into my realm and, to be honest, this is amazing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars let me explain!, September 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 Digital Deluxe [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
This game is a 4.5; the game's support is a 2. Honestly, if I averaged all my assessments, it would be a 3.80, but Amazon, unfortunately, doesn't have that capability. Here are the details:

Guild Wars 2 is a beautiful game, well-rendered and thoughtfully designed. It plays through quite well and leveling is not the chore it usually is in standard MMO's. The combat mechanics are centered around a set of 5 skills that are unalterable; they can be changed by switching to a different weapon which then brings up a different set of skills. Good things about combat = basic damage skill (skill #1) is also your auto fire, so you don't have to worry about constantly re-firing it and activating other skills does not turn that off unless you want to cancel it by de-targeting. Bad things about combat = inflexible system with little option for skill customization. (4.5 stars)

Dynamic events take the place of local quests. These events occur as tasks to help local NPCs in difficulty; your level is adjusted to match the level of the area; the rewards scale to match your true level. Results: you can go back to farm items when you are high level, but you'll be at the event level, so you will have to work for the drops, but you can always get a lot - no diminishing rewards for level discrepancy. It makes a great deal of sense. (5 stars)

Crafting and exploring are a large part of leveling up in the game, and the landscape (including the major cities) is peppered with vistas that you must jump and climb to gain experience from for claiming them. Leveling through questing comes in the form of your "personal story". These are quest adventures that develop based on choices you made when you created your character and continue to make as the story unfolds. (4.5 stars)

The gameplay (with the exception of lackluster dungeons that offer only boss mobs that have incredibly too large hit point pools and not much else to recommend them) is outstanding and quite honestly a lot of fun (3 stars)...BUT

This is where the number "2" comes into force: customer service and their notably unpleasant and lackluster forums. Certainly, part of the poor customer response time is due to the fact that the game is just barely 30 days into full release, and they are still in the process of hiring in enough people to deal with the high number of players on the servers right now. The technical people seem to be on the spot and willing to help as quickly and congenially as they can; the forum moderators where much information about the game is exchanged are imminently less helpful: they border on draconian. As a result, the forums are a poor place to search for game help, to find and forge friendships, to look for and receive courteous and appropriate guidance on all topics regarding the game. The forum moderators are actually disrupting the flow of information to an extreme degree. I expect that all of this will normalize as the game moves forward. (2 stars)

To sum everything up in a nutshell: this game is a keeper, but don't expect everything to be rosy here at the start. Play it (better with a group of friends that can support you), join legitimate fan sites that can guide you through the opening stages, don't worry too much yet about getting information coming from the forums; hopefully they will fix all that, and I will see you in Kryta.*

*There is a strong PvP component in the game that includes server vs server (WvWvW), but I have chosen to wait until I understand my class better to join that experience. I don't feel it would be fair for me to comment on that until I play it for a while.

:)
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