It is hard to dislike Guild Wars 2. The game has wonderful graphics, strong characters, and probably the smoothest and most enjoyable leveling experience ever seen in an MMO. The crafting is fun and useful, the economy is working as intended, and even the item shop works well without unbalancing the game.
When I first started playing Guild Wars 2, after the initial hiccups caused by millions of impatient gamers all trying to log in at the same time, I was really stoked. Character creation was incredibly well executed and the different races were all carefully designed. Each of the different classes had something unique to offer, and every race and class had a highly original story driven quest. Only Star Wars: The Old Republic can hold a candle to Guild Wars 2 for great leveling, but it has been a major failure for BioWare in every other way.
From the moment I began to play Guild Wars 2, I enjoyed every minute. I found each zone I discovered on my leveling journey to be wonderfully designed with exotic landscapes and weather effects that added to the atmosphere of the game. The story for my character took me deep into the history and legend of my race and world.
Best of all, leveling was never grindy or boring, and it was smooth sailing from start to finish. I particularly enjoyed the mad zerg that became available for the last few levels. I had so much fun running around like a lunatic with 100 or more other crazy players that I hardly even noticed when I hit the level cap. I even got some great loot and made serious bank while I was at it.
The I hit level 80 and everything changed. Now it was time to raid, and I quickly discovered that raiding in Guild Wars 2 was an after thought. Don’t get me wrong. If you enjoy PvP and that’s all you want from a game, you will absolutely love Guild Wars 2.
But if you enjoy a mix of PvP and PvE or you just want to raid, you will find out rather quickly that the instances in Guild Wars 2 are rather limited and a bit dull, and, as much as I hate to say it, I really disliked the mechanics of some of the boss fights. Several bosses were next to impossible since the game has no real healing class and you had to do repeated corpse runs to get back into the fight.
Personally, I am not fond of death runs, and I intensely dislike any boss fight that allows you to use cheap tricks to beat a boss even if they are legal. I have always felt boss fights should depend on player skill and careful study of the fight’s mechanics.
All in all, Guild Wars 2 has amazing potential. It would be a shame to see the game become a favorite for those who like PvP, while it is passed over by those of us who enjoy PvE and raiding. It is always discouraging when 90% of my guild mates quit a game after telling me they are bored with the lack of challenging dungeons and raids.
I hope someone at ArenaNet is paying attention and we will see a real effort to bring PvE and raiding up to the quality of the PvP. If they do, Guild Wars 2 will be a major success on all levels. Players are tiring fast of mediocre games and MMOS that have been around forever. Guild Wars 2 is so close to being a great game and with some serious effort, it can still be a world beater.