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595 of 621 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real "next generation" MMORPG?
Disclaimer: review is based on beta experience from 3 "beta weekend events" and a couple of "stress tests".

Things I hate in MMORPGs and how GW2 addresses it:

*** Problem 1: Too much "single player" experience. The "MM" is for "massively multiplayer" and in many other games, I might as well be playing by myself offline.

Solution:...
Published 23 months ago by Pecos Bill

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Know What You are Getting Into - Betrayal and Lies
Prior to the game update included with the one-time "Lost Shores" event (Nov 16 - 18th, 2012), I would have given Guild Wars 2 a 4/5 rating... until then, the time I spent playing Guild Wars 2 I would have described as fun, challenging, cooperative, and what I had been looking for from an MMO/MMORPG for years. It was great... was.

But, the game update that was...
Published 19 months ago by Daz Arix


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595 of 621 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real "next generation" MMORPG?, August 1, 2012
By 
Pecos Bill (Gaithersburg, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
Disclaimer: review is based on beta experience from 3 "beta weekend events" and a couple of "stress tests".

Things I hate in MMORPGs and how GW2 addresses it:

*** Problem 1: Too much "single player" experience. The "MM" is for "massively multiplayer" and in many other games, I might as well be playing by myself offline.

Solution: Virtually everything you do in this game is an "event". You run into a small village and it's under attack by bandits. Some players are already there fighting the bandits and you'll see a progress meter for how the fight is going (the bandits may have their own goal, and they may be winning). You don't have to find a "quest giver" or join anyone's group or anything like that -- just start fighting bandits. The goal is shared by everyone in the area. Everywhere you go, you'll find this sort of thing going on so you're constantly around other people who are sharing a progress meter with you. (Rewards are contribution based, similar to 'rift events' in Rift or 'public quests' in Warhammer, so you aren't directly competing with anyone. It doesn't matter who hit the bandit first or who got the finishing blow, so long as you did something...hit the bandits, heal other players, throw buffs around, whatever.)

There are still true soloable (instanced) storyline quests specific for your race/class and there are single-group (instanced) dungeons but the bulk of the PvE game is built around these open world, open participation events.

*** Problem 2: I can't play with my friends because we aren't the same level.

Solution: If I'm level 60 and you're level 15, I can go back into your area and play with you. I will get temporarily de-leveled so that the area is still a challenge for me.

*** Problem 3: "The Quest Sync Game" / I still can't play with my friends. I have quests F,G,H and I. You have quests A,H and J. I can't share quest F with you because you have to complete A-E first, which I already did and can't do again. We can do H together but I can't do J with you until I finish quest I. We get in sync and now you need to log off for a while and my other friend logs on and "The Quest Sync Game" starts all over again. It's ridiculous.

Solution: The game being built around "events" rather than quest lines solved this problem too. You actually don't have a quest log. You sort of get something like that but it's really just telling you where to GO. You don't need to complete A in order to do B. You can always do B. You can complete B and go back later and do it again if you really want to. You can skip B and go straight to H if you want. You can't skip forward beyond your level (as far as I know) but you don't need to follow some linear quest system, either. Therefore there is no "quest sync game". I log in, I ask where you are, I go there, I join in, no problem.

*** Problem 4: "LFM, need tank". No tank? Well you can't play the game then. You're a healer? Sorry, we're full up on healers and can't use you and in fact you'd ruin the group. (I *still* can't play with my friends! Oh wait and now the group is full.)

Solution: Some games address this by letting you switch roles to one degree or another. GW2 solves it by simply destroying the entire concept of the "holy trinity" -- tank/healer/dps. The first big thing they did to destroy it was they removed "taunting". You CAN spec your character to be tank-like, able to take a beating, but there is no taunt mechanic so you can't simply stand there and get beat on. The other big thing they did was to remove the concept of the "dedicated healer". You can spec your character to be more heal-like, but you'll never come close to what the dedicated single-target healers of other games can do.

The result is a far more dynamic combat system. No more eating chips and watching TV while mashing "3" over and over during a dungeon fight. You need to be focused on the battle because nobody can hold agro, you are responsible for your own survival and while every class has options for defense and self-healing, you need to pay attention to do it. Some people may actually not like this (many bad gamers will feel disenfranchised) but to me this makes it more of a "fun action game" and less of a "mild distraction while watching TV".

*** Problem 5: "The wolves! They are attacking! We shall all die if you do not slay 20 of them!" (Player looks around, there are 8 wolves standing around doing nothing, which is all they ever do. After slaying 20 of them, there are still 8 wolves, still standing around doing nothing. And every quest is a slight variation of this, until you get the idea that the game world's inhabitants are just paranoid crazy people because there's never any actual, apparent threat to any of them. Even the "vile orcs" just sit around in their camps and do nothing until you attack them, apparently for no reason.)

Solution: Events, which, again, is this game's version of questing, are dynamic -- if the guy says wolves are going to attack and kill everyone, they really are going to attack and kill everyone. You can fail events because the wolves might actually win. The wolves, may in fact, stick around afterwards, spawning a new event to "clear out the wolves that ate all those nice people". The game feels much more realistic and alive when you aren't just killing idle things standing in a field apparently minding their own business.

*** Problem 6: "...and enter ye into this land of war and strife where you will, um, play mostly by yourself and actually the war ended right before the year that this game is set in." (Two different MMORPGs with "Star Wars" in the name, neither of them actually included a "war". They might as well have been called "Star Big Game Hunter" because you kill more wildlife than enemies.)

Solution: "World vs World vs World", usually just called "WvW". This is similar to the "RvR" of Dark Age of Camelot fame. There's a big war going on. You don't have to participate in it but you really should give it a shot. There are castles to be attacked and defended. Siege engines to build, operate and destroy. Items of power to be stolen and defended. It's big, it's epic, it's basically everything we thought Warhammer was going to be. And WvW was 100% operational in beta so this isn't more smoke and mirrors. It's there. It works. It's pretty awesome. You should try it. (Be sure to figure out how to buy, build and use an arrow cart or ballista too. Protip.)

*** Problem 7: I want to PvP (possibly with my friends...you know, THAT old problem) but I can't because I'm not the right level / don't have the right gear.

Solution: WvW solves this problem by letting you in as soon as you finish the tutorial, if you want, and temporarily boosting your level to 80. You won't get free skills or gear or anything, you still need to level up (which you can do in WvW itself), but what skills you DO have will hit as if you were level 80 and you'll have level 80 hit points too. It works well and I spent most of my time in WvW, enjoying it even when I rolled a new character and went back in at level 2.

"Structured PvP" ("sPvP", aka "battlegrounds", instanced PvP, which is totally separate from WvW) goes a step further by temporarily boosting you to level 80, giving you all skills, talents AND gear. You can focus on your build and on your teamwork and combat technique rather than fussing over who-has-the-bigger-sword. There are tournaments and you can earn items that have the same stats as the regular stuff, but with unique appearances. It's all about the fun of combat rather than the grind of leveling. Some may not like this, but I think most PvP players are pleasantly surprised at how little they miss "the grind" portion of PvP.

-----

Sorry for the long review, I guess, but I really wanted to spell out why GW2 is not like other MMORPGs, "and this time we mean it". As for my post title, let me break down my opinion of MMORPG "generations".

* Generation 1: MUDs and Compuserv games. They were the first, nuff said.
* Generation 2: Ultima Online. MMORPG goes wider-appeal with a nice, modern graphics interface and a flat monthly fee.
* Generation 3: Everquest / Asheron's Call. MMORPG goes 3-D. Alright so maybe going 3-D shouldn't be a generational jump but it was a big deal at the time.
* Generation 4: WOW and everything that came after it. WOW didn't really re-invent the wheel so much as they greatly refined it. WOW set the new standard and every game after them, with only a few tweaks here and there, emulated WOW.
* Generation 5: GW2. The break from WOW-like gaming is pretty substantial. There's a whole new way of questing. There's a whole new way of fighting, particularly in groups. There's a war again. "The grind" is not a barrier to tournament level PvP anymore. There's no monthly fee anymore, either.

Guild Wars 2 is the first real, new MMORPG we've had since WOW came out. STO, SWTOR, WAR, Rift, AOC, LOTRO, etc, were all "generation 4", being basically copies of WOW in a new setting.

GW2 is the next generation, and from what I've seen so far, my conclusion is "it's about time".

P.S.
There is no subscription fee. GW2's financial model is based on selling you expansions later, plus a cash store that sells various unnecessary frills (additional character slots, tophats, uniforms, additional bag slots, etc).
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A game that's actually FUN, and you get to keep your real life, August 17, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
I've played MMOs for a number of years, both betas and finished games. As mentioned by other reviewers, GW2 is seriously new and different. Evolution, next generation, whatever you want to call it, it's most definitely not a WoW clone! For me personally, the selling point for this game is simple: it's fun.

"Fun" is one of those concepts that often seems to get lost along the way in MMOs. You end up doing a lot of things not because they are pleasurable in themselves, but because they are the means to an end, e.g., grinding to get gear so that you can stay competitive. So I was impressed when ArenaNet (the makers of the game) actually detailed on their blog that "fun" was the driving concept behind the game's design. That basis radiates through all of the rules and structures in the game. The end result is that you *don't* have to put up with a lot of boring nonsense found in other games.

There is a ton of stuff to do in GW2, and with no barriers to entry: PVE, PVP, WvW, personal story, explore, craft, jumping puzzles, dungeons, etc. And you can actually enjoy the company of other people, even running around solo on your own, because the system fosters cooperation and enjoyment as core goals.

It's a richly endowed game, crafted with a loving attention to detail, and the game world is beautiful to boot. It's up to each player to decide how complex or simple they want the game to be. I don't doubt that everyone from the most casual player to the hard-core PVPer or dungeoneer will find something to enjoy, and more likely, many things.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GW2 does for MMOs in 2012 what WOW did for MMOs in 2004, August 17, 2012
By 
Hydra9268 (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
Disclaimer: review is based on beta experience from 2 beta weekend events and 1 stress test.

I posted this on GW2 reddit but it pretty much applies as a review.

My experience with MMOs goes back 15 years to Ultima Online.

For 7 years developers offered a variety of ideas and game play mechanics they thought an MMO should have. While a lot of what they offered was very fun, there was a sense that developers were fragmented and really didn't know what an MMO should be.

In 2004 Blizzard brought all the good things I loved about MMOs together into WOW. For example I no longer needed to worry about loot dropping on corpses when my character died or players looting my corpse. I no longer needed to worry about using reagents to cast spells. Finally a mapping system to tell me where I was in the world. The introduction of the Auction house system. The introduction of a banking system so I did not need to worry about players stealing loot I dropped to the ground because I could not transfer them to my mules fast enough. And a questing system that gave me a sense of focus by rewarding me with XP and loot, instead of aimlessly wondering around the environment grinding mobs for it.

Over time I wanted MMOs to evolve to the next level. But I kept playing WOW because I felt the industry never seemed to grow passed their desire to copy WOW's model. So WOW remained the gold standard and the genre became stagnate.

Then 8 years later ArenaNet releases Guild Wars 2. This game is EXACTLY what I've wanted MMOs to become. For example I never understood why any MMO developer would make PVP an integral part of their game then force me to grind through 70 levels of PVE content to actually enjoy it (GW2 doesn't do this to you). Or why an MMO forced me to visit an object in the world to get my mail, or an NPC to sell stuff on the auction house (mail and auction is only a menu option away). Or why the auction house couldn't be a global system across multiple servers to insure sufficient supplies (in GW2 the Auction House is regional, everyone in the United States shares one Auction House). Or why my Warrior couldn't equip and use a staff (GW2 lets classes equip weapons you wouldn't think they could). Or why it didn't matter how well I played, and that if someone had better gear they always seemed to do better (skill vs gear. GW2 is based entirely on skill). Or why the world NEVER changed, and ruins remained ruins and cities continued to thrive even when situated near enemy encampments (GW2 is a dynamic game. Outposts can be attacked, taken over, and then defended by the enemy).

GW2 takes everything I love about MMOs -- all the foundations established by WOW, Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, Star Wars Galaxies, and so forth -- and greatly improves upon them. You probably paid $50 - $60 for games like Fallout 3, Oblivion and Skyrim and likely got a good 100+ hours out of them. What was that fun worth to you? Consider GW2 has no subscription fee and all of the content is available to you. If you only wanted to put 100 - 200 hours into GW2, is that worth $60?
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guild Wars 2 IMHO, August 14, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
First word of advise "Leave your old MMO at the door" I wish I could stress this more. I played all the early access events with the exception of 1 stress test. What I learned was to not compare this game to others. I found out the reasons why thing were designed the way they were from the "why doesn't act like my old MMO?" comments of others. It is not your old MMO. Second word of advise learn the 5 d's: dip, drop, dodge, dive and dodge. And if that is not working it is okay to run away! Strafing is your friend trust me.
If you are looking for a MMORPG that does NOT: have linear questing, kill stealing, required grouping, competition for crafting items, dungeon item stealing, raid parties, assigned roles, gear over skill, grinding to level, faction fighting, PVP aspects in the PVE areas and subscription costs then I recommend this game. Also higher level players can not disrupt a lower level area.They are downsized to the area. So no more worries of somebody wiping an area that you wanted to explore. All of the races in this game cooperate in an truce scenario. The only exception is the PVP events. Oh yea the combatants are anonymous,the nameplates read like "red team player" or "Yak's bend invader."
Personally I love the features of this game It was worth every penny I paid so far, and look forward to playing for a long time in the future.
If you have more questions I encourage you to check out the official webpage or post questions to the facebook pages. The community is extremely helpful in answering from our limited experience. As the game has not yet been released some of what you see in other posting may have changed so I hesitate to refer to them for answers.
Hope you found this information helpful.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best value: Pricse vs Content, August 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
No sub fees, huge world to explore, awesome PVP and WVW. Guild Wars 2 have all i was looking for in a MMORPG.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Likely the best thing in a while., August 22, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
This is likely one of the better MMOs to come out in the last 5 years or more. It has a very fresh approach to PvE, a time tested and built upon approach to PvP, and an interesting take on combat that works.

The PvE
The core of the PvE are dynamic events, they are similar to Rifts in rift but are each hand crafted instead of randomly generated. This gives each event a more unique and fresh feel compared to the redundancy of rift. They breath life into the world like I have never seen before in an MMO. Their approach to quest collection is also extremely organic compared to the quest giver approach to WoW. The fact the quests scale down make exploring a lot more fun. Also if you take the time and follow the NPCs almost every dynamic event has a deep story attached to it that in many cases leads into other events. This is a good fresh take on questing that i hope gets copied in the future.
The dynamic events also scale which is a very nice feature. Sadly they only seem to scale so far before it just collapses under the zerg. The launch date rush is likely going to be one of the worse way to experience Dynamic events.The other aspects of the PvE is the personal stories. These are not as well voice acted as swtor but seem to have more arches and events. They are decent and provide a nice alternatives to the Dynamic events.

The PvP
The WvW pvp is some of the best PvP in a game I have experience in a while. The zones are huge and the battles are epic. They provide a wide array of activities which include, ave NPCs attack the enemy, changing weather, killing buff monsters, supplie trains, jumping puzzles, and a lot more. This approach is very well done. The keep battles and open ground battles are epic. Sadly these happen less frequently than one would want, but enough to keep you entertained. There can be many lulls in this type of combat but that is to be expect.

Overall GW2 is a great game and you should give it a try,
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far a great game, August 12, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
I played EQ for five years, WoW from BC thur the beganing of Cata, and am now playing Rift currently. I've also play the first Guild Wars on the side(while playing WoW), and I've tried other MMOs like AoC, LotRON, and SWTOR. But Guild Wars 2 is so far the best I've played. Please keep in mind this is based on 2 betas and some stress tests. The game looks great, and feels great while playing. The normal group systme with healer, tank, dps, and support has been removed with a system that has everyone do a little of all those roles. Guild Wars 2 also removes the traditional questing system and makes questing in MMOs feel more fuild and naturual.
One big thing that I love about Guild Wars 2 is it completely removes the normal raiding that I've done in almost all other MMO and gives you a big open world events. I havn't done any PvP in the beta and stress tests so I can't tell you anything about it aside from what I've been told is good.
Guild Wars 2 is nothing like any other MMO out there (which I love), and seems to me that Arena Net tried making this game fun instead of doing what everyone else has done or is doing.
Everquest really made MMOs big in gaming, WoW made MMOs huge, and changed what MMOs are. Guild Wars 2 will do that all over again.
Oh and there is no subscription for the games unlike WoW, Rift, or some other games.
If you like MMOs or even RPGs you'll like Guild Wars 2.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, The MMO I've Always Wanted, August 23, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
After seeing how other recently-released MMOs have been hyped before launch, only to fizzle out later, I think a great deal of skepticism about Guild Wars 2 is fully warranted. And indeed, for all anyone knows, it may follow the same trajectory by generating a lot of interest and fanfare at first, then fizzle out within six months. I can't say one way or the other.

I can say, however, that as an MMO player of almost ten years (AC2, SWG, LOTRO, EVE), this is the first new MMO that I am REALLY looking forward to, and that's entirely because I've been able to play it during Beta Weekend Events and stress tests. In total, I've already played GW2 for just under 120 hours, so I have a good idea of what the game is actually like, and I just can't get enough.

In a nutshell, ArenaNet took everything I hated about MMOs and did the opposite. A solo player running around in the world isn't in competition with any other player. There is no kill-stealing, ninja looting, node-jacking or any of the other things that plague traditional MMOs. The quest system is also radically different, ranging from the standard "checklist" quests from stationary NPCs (the minority) to a personal story chain to my personal favorite, Dynamic Events (the majority of "quests" the game offers).

The shortest analogy for Dynamic Events is: "In Soviet Tyria, quests run YOU." Dynamic Events can be triggered by talking to NPCs, but they can also just happen. When they do, everyone in the area is alerted to them and can help out without needing to formally group. Everyone who participates gets credit, depending on how much they do, and there is every reason to cooperate and help other players succeed.

And that's what I love most about GW2. In traditional MMOs, it's dog-eat-dog, other players are competitors and nice guys finish last. In GW2, it's the exact opposite. The more you help and work with other players (and you DON'T have to spam chat looking for groups to do so), the better your rewards. You even get XP for rezzing downed players, which is something every player can do.

The combat system is also very dynamic and plays like a First-Person Shooter. Instead of standing around, trading blows with monsters, you can dodge attacks by rolling out of the way, duck behind them for bonus damage, leap in and out, and so on. This is not a game where you can sit back and drink coffee while fighting. It takes genuine effort to win, and you can easily get wiped if you don't bring your "A" game.

Anyway, I could go on for days about GW2 (I didn't even mention how beautiful the world is, or the exploration rewards, or the crafting system, etc.). It's not without its flaws or bugs, but it's absolutely perfect for me. If the idea of a game where helping other players pays off is appealing to you, this is your game. If you hate monthly subscription fees, this is your game. If you're tired of the same old MMO grind, this is your game.

I try not to be too liberal with five-star ratings, because that cheapens them, but Guild Wars 2 fully deserves five stars, and I can recommend it to any gamer who is ready for something different, and better, from the MMO genre.

The bottom line: Guild Wars 2 is fun. Highly recommended for any player.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even in beta, worth far more for my money than any recent MMORPG, August 18, 2012
By 
Yvette (Kirkland, WA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
The game isn't even out yet, but after playing 3 weekends of beta I feel like I've already gotten far more out of my money than just about any other game, let alone MMORPG, I've paid for for a long time.

Others have covered it far better than I can hope so, so I'll just add to the noise: I love it. Go in with an open mind and be willing to just explore and get caught up in the world. This game makes a great case for the virtue of handcrafted quality in video game design, there's a lot of love evident in every nook and cranny of the world.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a Guild Wars 1 VET, August 17, 2012
This review is from: Guild Wars 2 [Download] (Software Download)
ANET continues it's success of Guild Wars which was released in 2007 by following it up with it's next version
Guild Wars 2.

I will start with gameplay and content since that's the strength of the Guild Wars games.

Guild Wars 2 has excellent game play that let's the player gain levels by playing your way.
Whether it's adventuring PVE, PVP, or crafting/harvesting a player will gain XP in many ways.
The game features and extensive world that is waiting for exploration above and below land with
the introduction of underwater combat it's real impressive.

The content in Guild Wars is so vast and dynamic thanks to the introduction of multiple cities
that are tied in with your race which let's the player experience different story lines depending
on which race you chose to start out with.

I've played 2 of the BWE's along with every stress test and so far this MMO is shaping up to be a winner.

Gameplay 5 stars
Graphics 5 stars
replay value 5 stars
game support 5 stars

One other factor that makes this game amazing is the large amount of Guild Wars 1 players(like myself) that will be
rolling over from the first game that will bring with them a vast amount of knowledge of how to play Guild Wars 2 which
will really benefit new players to Guild Wars.
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