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A Rambling Post About Why I Like Guild Wars 2

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I realized a short while ago that on these forums, I've spent most of my time complaining. That is a drain, not just on the other players who may read what I post and become demoralized, but also on the creative teams who have provided (some of) us a decade of fun and adventure. I have a habit of writing extensively, mainly because I have much I wish to say. Perhaps while skimming through it all, you might find something that you also find enjoyable... or think I am totally bonkers for liking.

I adore the game's UI. The windows are movable, I can have multiple windows up simultaneously, there is an unbelievable amount of customization with what I can have on my screen both in and out of combat, and everything feels like it's right where it should be. Perhaps that's just me thinking that way because I've been playing for so long, but I don't feel stressed with the UI. That kind of freedom is something I rarely see, and it goes to show a tremendous amount of foresight in giving tools to players that they are free to use to their own liking. Nothing is cookie-cutter when it comes to it. By extension, I also greatly value all of the other tools that are available in the menus, from something as simple as auto-detecting my graphics card settings, to toggling how ground targeting works, to whether or not I want to be able to pass through enemies. It's just absurd, in a good way.

I love how the mounts work. After so many years of mounts in games just being speed increases, the unique weight and momentum mechanics on the different mounts available made it feel like I actually needed to "learn" how to ride them. The animations are wonderful and organic, it feels right moving around on a mount, and it's just a pleasurable experience all around. Perhaps someone can articulate these feelings better than I can, but I can't stress enough just how good it feels to turn on a raptor, or drift on a beetle. Perhaps the Mad King mini-games this season will help give the new Steam players the same feeling I get, too.

Exploring the open world feels like an adventure. GW2 is one of the few games that managed to capture that feeling of wonder I had as a kid when I first entered Azeroth almost two decades ago. Giving players the ability to explore it again and again with a very tangible reward for the effort is remarkable. Adding on to that, I got nauseous going into Heart of Thorns, and I say that in a good way. The overwhelming verticality of Verdant Brink and the spaghetti mess that is Tangled Depths managed to evoke a very real feeling out of me, and that was before I accidentally stepped onto a pocket raptor. It felt good, in a bad way, if that makes sense. Echovald is another good example. At first, I didn't "get it", while doing the story. Like going into Verdant Brink for the first time, it felt like a chore to navigate. After doing meta events to get the XP needed to upgrade Arborstone, I finally "got it", and appreciate its design so much more.

Speaking of meta events, the event system is phenomenal. Sure, some of the events are a bit hokey after ten years ("C'mon, we gotta escort the dolyak again..."), but each map has a heart to it... Beyond, of course, those heart quests. The meta events give each map, even the lowest-leveled ones, a real sense of purpose and identity. The game does more to explain its story by showing instead of telling, and while that can lead to quite a bit of frustration for players who aren't on the up-and-up with open world content, for those who are willing to get into the game, it more than makes itself known. Up until GW2, my only knowledge of "open world" content is grinding and farming. Here, there are meta trains, boss trains, and hero trains. The community actively works with each other to help each other out, because there's no selfishness involved with tagging mobs or grouping up. The community is a community, in part, because of this wonderful system.

I also like the reward track systems, for both PvP and WvW. I don't ever feel pigeonholed or locked out of specific content because of it. Maybe there was a faster, more-efficient way of doing it, but I unlocked all of the dungeon armor and weapons from playing PvP and WvW, and at the same time got better in those game modes. I didn't have to pick "this or that", I was able to get "this and that". Yet, that doesn't prevent each of the end-game modes from having something unique about it, nor that "legendary" players can get that status by only choosing one game mode. The game rewards players who do everything, and at the same time doesn't penalize players who only want to do one thing. That is care in its finest form, a true sign of respect.

I like you all. Oh, sure, there are some real jack-knives among you, but what group doesn't have those bad apples? If it wasn't for your shenanigans, be it gathering up a bunch of identical charr and making a haka dance-line, creating your own secret maid cafes, or those very special commanders who have their script ready to instruct new players on how to navigate Dragonfall, what kind of a game would we have? It would be sterile, boring, unfun, and almost none of us would have the desire to try something new. I don't keep coming back to WvW to keep knocking down Anzalias Pass or capture Danelon Passage when no one is looking, I keep coming back because I'm hoping to "/serve @" taunt someone who thinks they can gank me, or because I get to follow Monkey Masters around while he's getting mad at people for not playing WvW nearly as well as he does. The player base gives me the fun I'm looking for, not necessarily the game's mechanics.

Finally, I like you, dev team. I know you're putting in a lot of work. I know it's not easy trying to make one game that is able to touch 17 million active players. I know you've had your ups and downs behind the scenes. I also know that I don't say it enough, but I appreciate each and every one of you, even the ones I disagree with, because we're making a cooperative achievement here. You might be third-place in terms of player count, but you are number one in my heart. We're going to keep going forward together... hopefully, for another ten years, even if some of that time happens in a mythical Guild Wars 3.

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This was a really positive and fun post to read!   Excellent point and reminders as to why we love the game.  

I love the open world.  It's beautiful as well as fun to explore and adventure in.  No squabbling over nodes, metas and champs and bosses are plentiful, always something to go do.  Things to solo, things to call out and a group appears lol.  

I really like that it's not a constant gear grind or leveling every time there's an expansion or new living world season.  Get your exotics and ascended and you're good to go.  Fashion wars is fun.  

The community is really, really great.  There's always some uhhh local color, but what's it like with out some spice.  People overall are very helpful, happy to share knowledge or offer assistance, and join together to work on things.  

The multiple avenues of how to achieve goals is wonderful.  Don't want to do the achievements in personal story, fine go do the reward tracks in PvP or WvW.   There's plenty for a solo player or for those who prefer structured groups.

Also I like that I can play two hours a day and not feel like I'm missing out on everything.  For anyone new who feels behind, you're not.  Just enjoy the game.  

Look forward to the years to come!


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