Originally posted by Meleagar
There are a lot of players who will not see GW2 as anything special because of their powergaming playstyle. Being a powergamer is fine, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with it. However, if you're used to basically powerleveling to to max level and then grinding end-game content like elite dungeons and raids, or PvP, for exclusive, superior rewards (elite stat gear, increased attributes, crafting materials, etc.) that make a significant difference in the power of your character, then you're probably not going to understand the appeal of GW2. In fact, you're probably going to be baffled as to why anyone would want to play it, considering it offers no such exclusive, superior rewards (in terms of character power) for powergamers, regardless of how much time they invest in the game.
What you may not be aware of is that there are a lot of players who play MMOGs for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with min-maxing gear and skill trees, gaining a professional understanding of the game and their class role, and getting to the end game. Many of them don't have more than 5-20 hours a week to invest in any MMOGs, and certainly cannot sit for hours at a time multiple times a week to accomplish elite content and get elite rewards. Many of them are true RPGers, immersing themselves in the game's story and lore. Others just enjoy escaping real life for an hour or two at a time and want to kick back and relax in an online virtual fantasy world. Some just like playing around with different characters and rarely get any character up to max level. For a lot of us, it maight take a year or more to get a character to max level - because we're really not even trying to do that.
For these and other reasons, GW2 is the most amazing MMOG ever (outside of, perhaps, GW1, which I never played), because the core design philosophy is one of celebrating and empowering those kinds of players - the ones that virtually never got to go on raids or visit elite areas or loot the big chest at the end of the fight. It allows casual players to be part of raid and elite-quality content via dynamic events. Anet has put incredible, loving detail and depth into areas of the game that, in most other games, are just scrub areas you rush through on the way to elite content at max level. They reward explorers and those who investigate story and lore. They've designed core mechanics to foster a friendlier social contract between players, as you cannot kill steal, bogart resource nodes, or grief other players. Casuals cannot be excluded from "grouping" because formal grouping is not required for them to be part of group events, even in PvP (WvWvW). Casuals have access to the best gear (stat-wise) in the game; powergamers might get prettier gear, or have a neat title, but they do not have access to materially superior rewards, so casuals are equally empowered by the game structure of GW2.
So,while GW2 may be a big pile of "so what?" for many players, and understandably so, for many others it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I believe this is my first ever post after years of reading these forums and I just HAD TO quote you Meleagar, because this is EXACTLY how I feel about GW2. I am that type of player you describe in your second paragraph and GW2 makes me feel EPIC. Everytime i log on, even if it's just for an hour, while my kid is napping, I feel epic and I accomplish something epic. Such as closing multiple portals being conjured by 4 evil shamans protected by huge ice elementals... and i'm not even level 20! Imagine at 80!