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When it launched in 2012, there were plenty of reasons to be excited for Guild Wars 2 5 Reasons Why Guild Wars 2 Will Be A Revolutionary MMORPG [MUO Gaming] 5 Reasons Why Guild Wars 2 Will Be A Revolutionary MMORPG [MUO Gaming] Ever since World of Warcraft’s debut in 2004, pretty much every succeeding MMORPG has been compared to it. WoW has become the gold standard in the world of MMORPGs, and those MMORPGs that are supposed... Read More . The game’s press and mainstream media joined together in showering it with accolades, and the game eventually boasted its position as the fastest selling western MMORPG launch ever, based on its first nine months available.

But as competitors announced new projects and top dog World of Warcraft released its Mists of Pandaria expansion 4 Reasons Why Mists Of Pandaria Makes WOW Worth Going Back To [MUO Gaming] 4 Reasons Why Mists Of Pandaria Makes WOW Worth Going Back To [MUO Gaming] The latest World of Warcraft expansion has been on the market for a couple weeks, and I have been able to spend far too many hours playing it. I started playing WOW again a few... Read More , Guild Wars 2 slipped out of the public consciousness. It’s fighting an uphill battle, including small Living Story content releases every month at no extra charge instead of publishing high profile boxed expansions that see extensive press coverage.

Here’s why Guild Wars 2’s latest updates should put it back among your must-play MMORPGs.

Between Living Stories

Guild Wars 2 has been making small releases at a breakneck pace for a full year now. Since April 2013, developer ArenaNet has released 24 content updates for the game to keep up with its Living Story philosophy. The vast majority of these have included new quests that change the state of the world, and leave play once they’re no longer current in the timeline. The result is a game world that feels like it’s constantly advancing in time, rather than leaping forward once every several months.

But why join the game now? Living Story season 1 has just come to a close with the great city of Lion’s Arch lying in ruin and the villainous Scarlet finally defeated. With season 2 anticipated this summer, you’ll have plenty of time to join the game and get your bearings before the tale starts moving forward. Start soon, and you’ll avoid that feeling of confusion you get by starting a TV show or comic book right in the middle of a story arc. Play the story as it happens, and join the discussion with your fellow Guild Wars 2 fans.

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The April 2014 Feature Pack

In the absence of Living Story content between seasons, ArenaNet has just released a massive quality of life update that changes numerous game mechanics to make life more convenient. The Megaserver system is slowly coming online to make sure all zones feel populated no matter what hour of the day you play or which server you call home. Changes to the dye and armor systems give you greater control over your appearance. Money sinks for armor repair and character respecs are gone, removing some of the punishment from experimentation and exploration.

It should be some time before another one of these sweeping mechanics patches comes along. By joining now, you’ll be able to learn the game and depend on your understanding of how things work for months to come.

Competitive Play For All

Guild Wars 2 has PvP conflict as a cornerstone of its design philosophy, but manages to implement it in a way that offers options to both the hardcore set, and the casual player. All players fight in competitive play on even statistical footing, so a player who has played since launch can’t just steamroll a newbie on the basis of bigger numbers and epic gear. From World vs. World vs. World play where a casual player can get direction from the many veterans who volunteer to offer direction as commanders in the three-way free-for-all, to instanced PvP matches with capture the flag and territory control elements, there’s a level of play for anyone, and plenty of rewards for those who dive in.

Some of the exciting improvements in PvP haven’t even come from the game itself. The rise of Twitch has cultivated a weekly Mistpedia and ESL tournament scene that may not rival the tens of thousands that watch League of Legends 3 Competitive League Of Legends Matches To Turn You Into A Fan 3 Competitive League Of Legends Matches To Turn You Into A Fan Just in the past two weeks, we've learned of huge developments in the League of Legends eSports community. Professional League of Legends players are now being given visas, just like players from the NFL, NBA,... Read More or DOTA 2 matches, but still pulls in a lively audience to enjoy shoutcasted matches with cash shop gem rewards that fill the gap between less frequent official competitions by ArenaNet. Check out Blu on Youtube and on Twitch for great live and recorded play. Polish your skills, and one day, he might be shouting about you!

Still Buy Once, Play Forever

With the constant flow of content and support for Guild Wars 2, it’s pretty stunning that the game has been able to maintain its buy-to-play model. The base game is rarely discounted, so you’ll likely pay $50 to get in the door, but once you own it, you can come back anytime without paying another dime. The game’s continuing updates are supported by a cash shop model. Better still, you can purchase anything in that cash shop by gradually exchanging in-game gold for gems. It’s a choice that requires patience, as the exchange rate fluctuates based on how many players are spending real money for gems, but it can be done.

This part is extra important if you’re one of the more than 3.5 million players who picked up the game since it launched. The only things you have to lose by coming back and checking the game out are download time and hard drive space. There’s no subscription fee standing between you and your curiosity.

Do you have another favorite MMORPG that’s been quietly innovating and holding your loyalty? Share your favorite online world in the comments, and make your pitch for why our community needs to give it a try.

  1. Ivychenyingying18
    July 24, 2014 at 5:18 am

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    July 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

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    July 22, 2014 at 6:50 am

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  4. Kimmo R
    May 12, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Been away for quite some time now, never really got over the fact that "My story" requires a group to complete. Would be nice to see a game in which group play was not mandatory, not all of us enjoy the company of others...

  5. Robert W
    May 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Hey, good to see some fellow Guild Wars 2 boosters coming out of the woodwork here.

    And as many of you are pointing out, it isn't a perfect game. I absolutely recognize that. I still feel a little strange pang when I finish a renown quest and have no idea why I did what I did. The PvE questing is fun and varied, but I often have little context for my actions beyond "I'm helping civilized society." It's a stark contrast to, say, The Secret World, in which I understand the context for everything I do because it's delivered in witty, well voice acted cinematics before most missions.

    As far as the cash shop goes, it's pricey, but I like the philosophy behind it. I like that supply and demand drive the gem to gold exchange rate, and that even if someone does gem-to-gold their way to awesome gear, some player still had to craft that gear, and that player enjoys a great gold windfall (to use as gold, or to swap for gems if he can't afford them).

    I'm digging into the Wildstar open beta this week. Hope to bring you all some reactions to that one soon. I feel like I'm becoming "that MMORPG guy" on staff just by virtue of my play habits. If the shoe fits, I guess...

    Thank you all for the variety of replies! No one game is the best fit for all players, and I think the mixed responses illustrate that point nicely.

  6. Yenki
    May 11, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Im playing GW2 since a year ago, and i have more tan 1000 hours in it, and after all that time I'm still enjoying the title.
    In my vision is a deep game with interesting modes, the relaxed personal history and discovery of the world, the entertaining World vs World in which players from 3 servers fight in 4 maps during a week in massive virtual battles, the more intense Player vs players in teams of 5 persons.
    Dungeon, fractals, craftmanship, are other posibilities to enjoy.
    In my server (Sorrow's Furnace), I think the average age is near 25-28, the community is polite as an opposite of other games as League of Legend. I guess teens could not enjoy it.
    Professions are unique and some take months to master.
    The art work is great in the world of Tyria. The details of the designs are marvelous.

    In my opinion GW 2 is not perfect, (I hate jumping puzzles for example, hardware requirements in massive battles are high to have a fluid experience, small inventory space.. ), but in general I considerer this MMO a great game. A nice guild makes it funnier also.
    For what i can see, microtransactions are not oriented to give an advantage in the competition, are just to change aesthetics mostly, and anyone can get items in exchange for dollars, or gems obtained in the game.
    The last update changed many aspects of the game, and i 'd suggest people who left the game months ago to take a new look.
    The bussines model, pay once and play all that you want, is a plus por players like me in Latin America, where 15 dollars a months cannot be payed easily.
    I think it deserves a grade of 8,5 from 10.
    Thanks for the article.

  7. Matthew
    May 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Pay to begin and pay to win - I'd call that the worst of both worlds, buying a game that also uses in-game micropayment

  8. anon
    May 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Regarding "quietly innovating" and the Holy Trinity, Guild Wars 1 was actually far more innovative and went beyond the "Holy Trinity" when it launched in 2006! Minion masters don't fit in the trinity. Neither do shutdown mesmers or rangers. Protection monks don't really fit in the Trinity either. Protection is not healing - for example Protective Spirit can protect you from nine infinite damage hits (you only lose 10% of your health each hit), Shielding Hands can protect you from an infinite number of low damage hits. In contrast a healer can't outheal infinite damage. With Guild Wars 1 you CAN still play tank, healer, dps, but you won't do well if your team only stuck to those roles. There are many other roles- GvG rangers, GvG split eles, shutdown mesmers, shadowform sins, ritualist flag runners, minion masters, imbagons, etc. (Google for details). So if you're bored of the Holy Trinity but don't like GW2's way of getting rid of it, try GW1. Warning though there are fewer players now since the GW2 launch (but the same could be said of GW2 too ;) ).

  9. David B
    May 10, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Guild Wars 2 is a good game. I played it from August 2012 to March 2013 and got more out of it than the money I paid to buy the game and have been pleased with the amount of fun I had with it. Truly it innovated with its 'living world' model AKA dynamic quests, and while it strayed from the holy trinity of classes (tank, healer, DPS), it allowed you to customize your own classes in a way that made them more oriented towards one side of the trinity or more balanced depending on your preferences. I think that the stopping point for me was the post-game content -- World vs World was at the time somewhat broken with balls of unstoppable zerg (AKA dozens of players) steamrolling single players and small teams and some balance issues that are specific to wvw. The dungeon design wasn't as good as WoW (which is one of the few aspects where I think WoW is better), and the progressive endgame dungeon, fractals of the mist, did get stale after awhile. So having said that, the game does run out of content to keep players engaged in the long term (unless they're PvPers) and the new content doesnt come out fast enough. The content that IS there is well worth the asking price and playing GW2 is still a worthwhile experience, and I would still recommend a buy, however -- but it doesnt have the long term lasting power of other MMOs (like GW1), I find (unless something has dramatically changed since then).

  10. Robert W
    May 10, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Interesting to see so much animosity for this game in the comments. I play a lot of PvP and WvW when I play, and I'm enjoying it the same way I enjoyed Call of Duty multiplayer. For me, the moment-to-moment effort to fend off an attack on a fort, or win an instanced PvP competition is inherently fun, with or without an end game progression to motivate it.

    As far as PvE content goes, I like that I'm not expected to climb a progressively longer gear treadmill to play particular pieces of content. There are the parties in the group finder who demand other hardcore players for dungeons speed runs, naturally, but those parties are easy to avoid by just advertising a relaxed run to find your own party.

    Maybe I'm more of a casual player than I thought... If those of you who commented want to chime in again, I'd love to hear whether you consider yourself a hardcore or casual player.

  11. Spud
    May 10, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Bob has no idea what he is talking about... One of the best mmo's ever made in my opinion, and the only things most people will feel that they need to spend more money on are extra character slots, and larger storage space for stuff. There is something called a black lion's chest that drops occasionally that you have to use cash shop funds on to open, but none of the items there will give you an unfair advantage. All of the real loot comes from drops and events. There is a personal story line that has a definite end-game, and the living story content gives new ongoing "endgame" content throughout the year And I actually like the dungeons. Many of them require a good amount of teamwork to complete, and I get a high degree of satisfaction from working through the challenges with my guild mates.

  12. bob
    May 10, 2014 at 5:42 am

    worst MMO ever,be prepared to use a credit card often,chest drops,cant be opened unless ya buy a key,no end game,,dungeons are pathetic,stay away from

    • Robert W
      May 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Thanks for the reply, Bob.

      The way I see it, the Black Lion chests you talk about are intended to tempt you toward the cash shop, but never contain anything necessary to gameplay. They're mostly experience boosters, instant resurrects, or other convenience items. Often, if they drop for me, I just destroy them to clear up inventory space. If you ever do feel like opening some, they're up for auction at a price of a few coppers each, so you can change your mind cheaply.

      As far as the dungeons are concerned, what do you mean by pathetic? I've been finding them fun, so I'm curious as to what your complaints are.

  13. terry
    May 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    The single most defining word to describe this game is Shallow

  14. John C
    May 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    I kind of agree with the above, but I may come back to at least check it out. I was diehard the first 6 months or so, then just slowly started losing interest after they came out with that new dungeon tier crap and found myself only coming on for the dailies, which was actually a waste for me.

  15. Joel L
    May 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I was a big fan of GW2 when it came out. Unfortunately, I burned out on content pretty quickly and ended up quitting because SPvP was in a terrible state back then and WvW's mechanics didn't appeal to me. Since then, I've fallen out of the "twitch" style of gameplay and can't really see myself ever going back to GW2.

    That being said, I can see why people still love it. Even if ArenaNet doesn't always make the right decisions, they're definitely trying hard and that's something I can respect. I heard Living Story's Scarlet arc was a joke (i.e. poorly written) but I'm interested to see if they can improve on that.

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