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Guild Wars 2 - Reinvention of MMORPG's

This blog is about Guild Wars 2. Mostly about praising it in various ways. While I am huge fan of the game I do understand it's not for everyone. This blog is da truth. About author: Author keeps avoiding the banhammer

Author: vee41

Guild Wars 2 PvE: End of the Endgame

Posted by vee41 Monday May 7 2012 at 7:56AM
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Recent Guild Wars 2 beta weekend allowed masses of people to enter ArenaNet's much anticipated MMO for the first time and I was of course there in the front row. I played and saw quite a lot during the weekend and I try to squeeze my experiences into few blog posts.

Biggest change in the whole game is the PvE experience. Whether it is evolution of existing concepts or something revolutionary, I do not really care. It is just plain fun and fresh approach to MMO gaming and actually makes the usually rather dull leveling process enjoyable!

Leveling process is kind of a bad word to use with GW2, as it makes it sound like you are going through bunch of levels to get to the end which is arguably the case with most traditional MMO's. Take WoW for example: you go through the game to get to the levelcap so you can do all the fun stuff. Everything you did before reaching that levelcap is pretty much an effort to reach that cap and get to the endgame things. People usually treat these as two different phases: Leveling and endgame. While casual players tend to enjoy the leveling phase there is definatively emphasis towards all the fun and interesting stuff happening in the endgame phase. Endgame is also where the most meaningfull progress in the game happens.

In my opinion Guild Wars 2 kills the whole concept of endgame. The main content of the game is available throughout the whole leveling process and while you do gain access to more content through more levels there is nothing gigantic waiting you at the level 80 which is the level cap of Guild Wars 2. No massive gear treadmill, no level 80 only PvP, nothing. 

The lack of endgame changes the whole concept of playing the game: no longer is your aim to hit that magical level cap and get to the fun stuff, all the fun stuff is already available to you when you press the login button and create your first character!

This causes few things:  

1) Playing the game requires change of mindset from players who are used to the leveling/endgame divide. If you approach this game with mindset of getting to the endgame quickly you'll be disappointed to find out that there really is not any.

2) It focuses you to the game world instead of focusing you on to your character. Instead of putting all your effort on getting that Big Sword Of Endgame, your focus is keeping zones unconquered, villages safe and all the nasty things that happen around the world in check. When did gaining new gear and items even become the main focus of RPG's, when sole purpose of gaining that gear seems to be enabler for gaining even more gear?

In GW2 gear enables you to do things in the world rather than gain new gear. So the focus becomes "What can I hit this sword with to become famous hero" instead of "What can I hit this sword with so my I can replace it with bigger sword"

To me this whole concept is so refreshing; a whole new approach in main stream MMO's and it's execution makes it just a joy to experience in action.

Meleagar writes:

Good post & good points!

Mon May 07 2012 10:29AM Report
rx8993 writes:

Finaly a mmo where u do fun stuff from lvl 1 not from last lvl!

Mon May 07 2012 12:14PM Report
Studebaker writes:


I think this was a great critique.. I appreciate strait forward opinions and am not very interested in Balance. GW 2 has been bragging that they are different, and there game is going to be the benchmark for all other MMO’s. Let their game stand and be judged on that. In my opinion this game is not going to disappoint.   I struggled in GW 2 beta for a couple of hours then I realized what I was doing wrong.. Not being a part of a team!!  
Sat May 12 2012 3:06PM Report
vee41 writes:

Thanks for the comments everyone :)

Sun May 13 2012 2:25AM Report
Indol writes:

You summed it up perfectly sir.

Sun May 13 2012 9:03AM Report
vee41 writes:

Thank you Indol! I will try to keep on concentrating my thoughts in to posts like this in the future aswell, hopefully someone finds them worth reading :)

Sun May 13 2012 9:26AM Report
Zylaxx writes:

Great post and I agree 100%.

Sun May 13 2012 2:57PM Report
Ovum writes:

I'm fine with all this but what mind boggles me - what happens next when u hitcap?

Sun May 13 2012 6:15PM Report
Ovum writes:

I mean there must be something to do at cap lvl, otherwise what's the point of levels?

Sun May 13 2012 6:16PM Report
evolver1972 writes:

@ Ovum - There is plenty to do at level cap.  You could switch your focus to PvP or WvWvW (although you can join those from about level 2 onward) can keep playing the PvE areas you didn't get to.  One of the great things about GW2 is that you are "virtual leveled" down to whatever area you're in.  For example, you are level 80 with all the coolest gear you can get your hands on (strictly cosmetic - all level 80 gear is good statistically for all level 80 characters), and you walk into an area that is for level 40.  No sweat, the AI just knocked you down to about a level 40 in terms of power.  So, that level 40 boss you're about to fight is just as hard at level 80 as it was at level 40.  The main difference is that you know your character better and have some better skills unlocked.


Anet's point with this game is to have fun.  So, the levels are only there to let you know how far you've come in the game.  I personally think if they could have gotten away with it that Anet wouldn't have even put levels in the game.  But since we're all so used to "leveling" they decided to leave them in there.  But there's not that much point to them.


To sum up:  What you do at end cap is the same thing you've been doing all along...whatever is fun for you.

Sun May 13 2012 8:35PM Report
evolver1972 writes:

I forgot to add....great post vee!

Sun May 13 2012 8:36PM Report
vee41 writes:

@ovum That is one quite fundemental change and evolver summed it up nicely

My newest blog post focuses on the progression that you seem to be seeking for. Heres the linkage:

Mon May 28 2012 6:38AM Report writes:
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