Leveling is one of the core parts of game play in every MMO. You level up to get stronger, gain new abilities and skills, and use your level status to brag to “lesser” players. The race to reach a max level in an MMO is usually a long journey, with each level requiring more time and more kills. It’s been a pretty basic formula that you see in MMOs, but ArenaNet has taken a different approach to leveling in Guild Wars 2.
I’ve reached max level, and the thing I really noticed is that the time it took to level from 79 to 80, didn’t take much more time then leveling from 10 to 11. No wait, that’s not right, it just seems that way. It actually does take more time, but that’s because the events are tougher, and take some more time to complete. I mean really you went from facing off giants to dragons which require way more effort. Also, when facing off against dragons, bring friends! Anyways, it seems like it doesn’t take longer because you don’t have to do 40 different quests to reach the next level. Since it takes about the same amount of events to reach a higher level as it does for a lower level, it gives that feeling that it actually doesn’t take more time. The progression feels more fluid this way.
I know that some people think this makes leveling too easy. It really makes things dependent on your skill level. As you enter the higher level zones and do higher level story missions, the difficulty level increases. This makes each level a new challenge, without you having to go through 50 quests that are all exactly the same and mindless, which is exactly what you do in other games. This makes leveling more exciting. It also keeps me from cursing the terrible experience rewards from quests. I hate spending 10 minutes on a quest to only fill up 5 percent of my experience bar. Those days are finally over.
Other MMOs give experience for doing just about anything, and Guild Wars 2 continues that tradition. From finding points of interest, waypoints, and areas of the map, you get experience. This allows the players that love to explore to gain some experience while they take a break from events and missions. Let’s face it; we all need a break from killing once in a while. Now you can’t reach level 80 just by exploring, but when you combine it with questing it gives you a nice boost to your experience gain.
Some players love to craft and make items to sell to other players. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a few extra coins here and there. Some players even like to take risks and discover new recipes. You gain experience even by creating new items and foods. The crazy part is the amount of experience you gain isn’t something to laugh about. I didn’t gain as much experience crafting as I did going out into the world doing heroic deeds, but the experience still gained me a few levels. If I had crafted in more than 2 disciplines, I’m sure I could have gotten a lot more experience. Just look at what other players have done leveling by crafting. It’s pretty impressive!
Some players like to switch things up and fight other players. Other players only fight other players. While entering PvP may make you a level 80, it’s still better to actually be level 80. But no need to worry warriors, you get experience for going out and proving your strength! The best part is that it’s actually a good way to gain experience. For example, ArenaNet placed events in WvW that gives you experience rewards that are sometimes even better than what I get in PvE. I had to try it out myself and it works. So if you’re PvP type of player, don’t worry. Jump right in and start having fun.
No matter what you do in Guild Wars 2, you’re leveling up. Everything is set up to really allow a player of any type to make steady, fluid progress with their character. You really shouldn’t be forced to play an MMO a certain way, and it’s not like all players play the same way either. ArenaNet actually made the game to reward you for trying new things. That’s no small feat given current trends.