Customer Reviews: Guild Wars 2 Signature Series Guide
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on August 28, 2012
I'm enjoying this guide and would recommend it to anyone that plans to spend a little time away from GW2 but would still like to be in the game so to speak.

As other's have mentioned, wiki and player guides will take the place of this on the desktop.

If you don't plan on being away from the game for any length of time over the next month, then its probably best to skip this.

I would value the content (if a player wrote it I would donate to them after reading) $10.
I would value having the above content on paper in the softback at ~ $5.
I can't comment on how much value the hard copy version adds as this is really more about the feel of the bindings/pages and how well the artwork printed on them.

I purchased the digital version direct from the vendor. I kinda regret this as this guide shines AWAY from the computer and I feel would offer a better value in a physical form. The artwork is very pretty.


Worth Paying for (146 Pages)
- Lore and Back Story (21 Pages)
- Game Basics (125 Pages)

Nice to Have but would not pay for (141 Pages)
- Detailed Profession Info (141 pages)

Worthless, would prefer it not take up space (203 Pages)
- Starting area Walkthrough (13 pages)
- Monster Information (17 pages)
- Map Overview (169 pages)
- Interviews (4 pages)


Lore and Back Story (21 Pages)
- This section was a great great read. I enjoyed how they hit the highlights of the full history leading up to today.
- I've seen all the potato movies, I played GW1 Nightfall/Factions (very little of the original though) and EotN, and I've read the 2 released book. Thus, there was very little these pages brought me that was new, but they did give a different spin/look on a few familiar events.

Basics of the Game (125 Pages)
- This section I mostly glanced through at first, and later when I had free time away from the comp I read through it.
- I have to say, well done. It covers EVERY aspect of game play and explains EVERY mechanic / feature of the game.
- This also covers a bunch of MMO basics for those who are new.
- To be honest, if a Player wrote these 87 pages and threw it on the forum, it would be hands down the most thorough detailed guide (more detailed than the currently linked one).
- If they asked for a donation after reading, I would be inclined to give them $5-$10 for this section alone.

Walkthrough of starting instance (13 pages)
- Useless section, I agree with most that this is part of exploring and really is not needed as the game already guides you through this well enough.

Detailed Profession Info (141 pages)
- A very detailed section on each profession.
- Covers things like race skills as well.
- A nice chart for ranger pets.
- Tells you about all the weapons/skills and gives examples of good use for them.
- Overall, well written, but this is the part of the book everyone says go to the Wiki for and they would be right. Right now its accurate and its great having them all in one spot. I actually have my 9 year old read the specific sections on class / weapon before she can use those in game so that she can have a better understanding.
- I'm torn, it was a great read, but again, this is the wiki section.

Crafting (N/A)
- This section was kinda out of order, I moved its pages into the 'Basics of the Game' above as that is where it fits better.

Monsters (17 pages)
- To be honest, a wasted section. It gives a short tip how to fight most common monsters, but this is a wiki section and it doesn't give you enough that I don't even have my daughter read it when she has problems.

PvP (N/A)
- I moved these pages into the 'basics' section again. Was a great read, and I do understand them moving this to its own area as for a casual gamer PvP can be scary.
- All the comments given in the basics apply here.
The World (169 pages)
- This is another Wiki section that I won't use much and if I did need info I would find it faster searching a wiki than flipping through the pages.
You'll notice once you hit level 24-25 that it goes from detailed info on each point on the map to a basic overview of the map. They mention this in the advertisement, but it was most evident here.

Dungeons (N/A)
- This would be another, moved to basics section.
Interviews (4 pages)
- Not worth a mention
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on September 4, 2012
Remember when game guides used to tell you all the in depth bits of the game you couldn't figure out on your own? Like dungeon maps, where to find certain items, all that jazz. Well, if you want a guide like that.. forget this one.

If you don't know how to play, don't know any back story, then this "instruction manual" as someone else called it. Is for you. But otherwise this book is useless to me. No crafting recipes, no vista points or hearts in the stand up map, no suggestions on where to find crafting items, the ranger "where to get this pet" list doesn't have enough info (Like some pets are just listed under "starter" pets for a certain race, when you can still find them and tame them without choosing them as a starter), and the book is riddled with typos and misprinted information. One page even had the same paragraph printed right under it! How can you miss that in editing? Though if you did want a crafting recipe list they have it for free to download from their site in PDF form. So there's that. But its kinda eyebrow raising since there are page numbers on the guide in the 700s, and my book ends in the 500s. Makes me think they originally planned for it to be in the book and then took it out for some reason.

Also, there is no information in either the guide book nor the map stand book that tells you how to download the digital copy of this guide. Then when you go to the Brady Games site there is no info on how to get it either. Even entering the code in the back of the book on the site doesn't get anything. Not that I need a digital copy of a book that I don't need anyways, but just throwing that in there for those excited about having two copies.

But yeah, to sum it up, if you want a little lore and a "how to" then this book is for you. If you're a serious gamer and just want to find out the stuff you can't readily figure out yourself. I'd pass this one by.
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on August 29, 2012
The one star review is for the book, which is useless -- not the game, which is great.

Despite being called a "strategy guide", the book is really an "instruction manual". It discusses the basics of gameplay. While some might prefer to get those instructions in a manual, the game does a great job of explaining the basics of gameplay, so the book is not really necessary.

There is no strategy contained in the book. Want to know where the lettuce farm is in Queensdale? Too bad. The strategy guide won't tell you. The maps contained in the book are actually less detailed than the ones you can get on the map screen during the game. They do not contain any additional information, like the location of farms. In fact, they do not even contain all of the information that automatically shows up on the in-game map, like undiscovered vistas and points of interest. Unless you plan to sit down with a magic marker and annotate them, the maps are useless.

Forget about learning anything from this book that you would not immediately pick up from an hour or two of gameplay. Want to know where the jumping puzzles are or how to complete them? Sorry, there's no section for that. So if you open the achievement tab in-game and wonder about what the puzzles are, don't expect to find any information about them in the book.

The discussion of crafting is useless. The book will tell you what is immediately apparent from opening up a crafting station in the game -- you can discover recipes by combining items in your inventory. Want a list of recipes? You're out of luck. The book doesn't tell you any, so you're left to discover them as blindly as if you had never wasted your money on this book.

I can only speculate that the positive reviews for this book were written by the authors' mothers. To say some people prefer wikis to books misses the point. I would prefer a book, which is why I bought this. But the wikis actually contain useful information, while this book does not. So I guess I'm stuck with the wikis.

To sum up, this book is an encyclopedia of useless information. It collects a bunch of on-screen tips and hints that you would immediately see anyway, and then packages it all in a less accessible format than just playing the game. It is really amazing how they managed to fill more than 500 pages with zero useful information.
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on September 6, 2012
I'm going to keep this review short and sweet, for those of you (like me) that would rather be spending your time playing the game instead of reading a review. Furthermore, this review is strictly in relation to the BradyGames guide and not the actual game by ArenaNet.

The game itself, frankly may be the most intuitive and enjoyable MMO I have played to date. So far, it is a breath of fresh air in the MMO genre as there are several things done differently and those things that do feel familiar are polished in such a way as to make you truly appreciate the effort behind this game. If only the guide were up to par.

First thing's first: this is NOT a strategy guide!

Providing tidbits here and there that qualify as obvious information to anyone playing this game with half-an-ounce of common sense, does not count. As several others have already stated, this book is extremely light on actual strategy. In addition, there are far too many pages of the book devoted to players that have never set foot in an MMO.

I'd be remiss if I also didn't mention that this book has me seriously questioning the direction of BradyGames as a company. First, the editing in this manual leaves a lot to be desired. Also, I'm not certain as to why BradyGames feels the need to waste valuable real estate discussing the basics of MMO gaming. That is what in-game tutorials are for!

And, on that note this leads me to my overall interpretation of what this guide really is: this strategy guide is simply a glorified user manual!

However, with all of that said, I've purchased enough strategy guides at this point to realize that there is a 99.9% chance that the so-called strategy guide I'm purchasing will tell me nothing that I can't already figure out in a limited amount of play-sessions. So, I went in buying this book knowing that I'd get a nice hardcover collectible with great artwork, a smidgeon of info devoted to the history of Guild Wars, and something that I could read while I'm away from my computer.

The real disappointment for me with this guide is simply the lack of attention given to crafting, particularly in a game where crafting is so powerful in terms of leveling (the first player to level 80 since launch, apparently reached 80 entirely by crafting).

In summary, if you're looking for a decent hardcover collectible with great artwork, would like to catch up on the history of Guild Wars 2, or are just looking for something to keep you occupied with some basic to general information on the game of Guild Wars 2 (while away from your computer), then this book is for you.

If instead, you are looking for something long on strategy, look elsewhere, like perhaps to free online profession guides submitted by players (youtube is a great place). More importantly, spend your time playing the game and learning that way via trial and error.

Like getting good at anything in this world: it takes practice, practice, practice :)
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on September 4, 2012
As others have stated, the book is beautiful, well made, and contains instructions on how to play the game. Over 500 pages of instructions, in fact! But what it is not full of is strategy, which seems odd for a strategy guide. There's no list of crafting recipes, no achievements or jumping puzzles are discussed. I was hoping it would help me reach a particularly difficult Vista, but no, the book only contains a cursory explanation of what a Vista is, and then says something to the effect of "Go get em, partner!"
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on August 30, 2014
So So So So many things WRONG with this book. I bought it because it said it listed detailed maps; so I thought great! I don't have to keep jumping to wiki when I can't find a poi. WRONG The maps are dark. So dark I have to take a office desk lamp and shine it directly onto the map. Because they are so dark you can't write on them with any color of pen (I tried) in order to fill in the missing parts and correct the MANY mistakes in this book. The maps are not detailed. They are squished together and condensed to the point they are unrecognizable in comparison to the map you are looking at on your screen. This boggles my mind. wiki can make a map look great, you can see everything, print it out for other character/family use and you can see it, write on it, make notes on how to get to poi or vista no problem. So wtfudge??
Maps DO NOT show poi
Maps DO NOT show vistas
Maps or guides to not give strategy or directs to any difficult locations forcing you to continue to wade through the endless supply of BAD youtube videos.
There are blurred ridiculous dark unidentifiable photos of every creature in an area as well as needless descriptions of the area itself.
NOWHERE in this book is ANY type of strategy. There is no direction on champs, group events, guild challenges, seasonal events, or how to use equipment for any character.
This is the VERY basic of what I would call a user manual and even with saying that, I would still give it one star because content doesn't accomplish criteria either.
I am an owner manual reader, cover to cover. I take notes. I write directions down and keep it in a file. My things last for years because I know what they can do and what they can't. I have read horribly bad user manuals and exceptionally well written user manuals. I can say with confidence, I know what to look for and I know how they should read.
This is Horrific. Anyone saying otherwise either works for the company, friends of the authors, people who got the book and said oh how nice without ever reading it or using it before posting or the authors themselves. Now way in any shape or form is this a useful text.
I base my need/want for an item or exchange. How much/long will I have to work to earn the money to buy this particular product. I paid 4.00 for this book and 3.99 for the shipping and handling.
I lost 4.00 in wages for the book and 3.99 in wages for the shipping and handling.
Shame on you for putting such a horrible product out on the market.
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on September 18, 2012
In my opinion, this book is very helpful. I have used it numerous times for things I did not know about Guild Wars 2. I do agree however that it is more of a manual than a traditional strategy guide. You can't really write a strategy guide for an MMO though. The only thing I see them adding that is more "strategic" is maybe a map of each zone with all the PoI's, Vistas, Waypoints and Renown Tasks (perhaps how to get the vistas as well). The reason why I give it 4/5 stars is for this reason. It does however, give suggestions for strategies on how to play a class such as weapon choices and ability choices for certain situations(which all seem to be pretty accurate). You don't have to be new to MMO's to have this, even just being new to Guild Wars is handy because the game is so different from most MMO's. Just having it to read when you can't play is entertaining enough! The artwork is nicely done and there are a minimal amount of typos, making it easy to read especially when you are on the go and need to look something up quickly. The hard cover is fantastic to have for the price. Other stores have the soft cover for $20 so this is a bargain. I would recommend this to everyone, even if you don't need it. It is great to have to look at and share with friends when they stop by.
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on September 16, 2012
Is the majority of this info on the internet for free - Yes

But you have it all right here at your fingertips and very easy to get to what you are searching for about the game.

There are hints all over the book about what you can do to make your gameplay enjoyable.

I really love it for the map booklet/standy it forms a triangle so you can set it on your desk and look at a map of the areas you are exploring.

Overall I would say this is a really nice book and if you can get at the right price I would pick it up.
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on September 4, 2012
So I got this Limited edition strategy guide for a couple reasons:
1. Been excited about Guild Wars 2 for some time now. The Beta weekends were great and it is a new approach to MMO's. Therefore I wanted some assistance with understanding the game so I wouldn't be totally lost.
2. I wanted to learn more Lore about the Guild Wars 2 world.
3. I wanted a hardcover version because it sits on the shelf next to my computer system.

So the good:
It does provide a good background and basic understanding for people new to MMO's, the lore associated with the game. Some basic concepts of how things work in game. Maps of places to go, monster lists and drops from monsters for materials. And its full color with excellent art from the game itself.

The bad:
It doesnt provide full recipe details for the crafting disciplines. It's geared more towards the MMO beginner and not the experienced MMO player.

Verdict: Am I happy with this purchase from Amazon? Yes, for the price of the paperback strat guide, I got the hardcover version. It's nice and the pictures are great. Will it ultimately give me a 1-up in game? Probably not, but I like to collect things from games that I enjoy, and this is a nice addition to my collection.
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on September 16, 2013
This worked perfectly for my purposes. All I wanted was a basic understanding of the game mechanics, character skills & capabilities, the crafting systems, etc. This book answered my questions.

As many other reviewers have pointed out, there are a number of game aspects this book does not address, and of course some information becomes dated over time and is now obsolete. But if you (like me) prefer a book to a wiki, this source gave me just what I needed to get started and comfortable with an unfamiliar game.
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