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Newbie-Friendly Leveling Tips


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So, you've heard that one of the best MMORPGs came out recently on Steam, and now you want to experience it but have no idea where to even begin? You tried searching forums, YouTube, and even Reddit, but are met with comments saying to get weird builds or to grab equipment that you have no idea where to even find them. "What even is a Healbrand or Strengthsworn anyway?," you ask yourself. This is where this handy-dandy little leveling guide will show you how to proceed with leveling your first character. 

Side note on the guide

This guide will assume the following to establish a guideline:

1. You are on a free-to-play account, so various things may be temporarily restricted to you until you reach certain levels.

2. You are a mostly solo player. You are fairly new and may or may not have a friendly guild to join just yet.

3. You are very willing to explore and learn your profession so you can be knowledgeable with your skills, traits, mechanics, etc. This is a must especially for those who are looking to specialize like becoming a support-healer or DPS in the future for certain content like Raids, become an unexpected yet highly formidable profession in structured PvP, or a well-rounded powerhouse in World vs World.

4. You can use the crafting system to help you level up, but not Tomes of Knowledge or Mentorship. No level 80 boosters either so keep your eye on the prize and start from absolute scratch.

 

Leveling tips

After creating your character, you are sent to the prologue story mission. Depending on which race you started with, you may be sent to one of the 5 starter areas once you are finished with the mission, namely: Metrica Province (Asura), Plains of Ashford (Charr), Queensdale (Human), Wayfarer Foothills (Norn), or Caledon Forest (Sylvari). You will be level 2 at this point and may not have access to your home cities just yet (if you bought the game and its expansions, that restriction won't be present so feel free to enter and exit). From this point onward, you will have to reach level 10 in the starting area in order to enter the city and to proceed with the story quest.

 

There are many ways you can level up as a new player, but nothing beats good, old-fashioned adventuring. You can go out into the world and kill every enemy that moves if you please, but that may only yield you very little experience. In that case, here are some tips for your leveling needs:

  1. Get to know your profession. This cannot be stated enough. As a new player, you need to explore your profession thoroughly. Learn to use your weapons, what they do, the range of each skill, etc. Unlock Hero Points across Tyria and use them to unlock traits and utility skills. For example: Elementalists can be squishy at first, and using the staff can be tricky for first-time players. It is often encouraged for them to swap the staff for a main-hand scepter and either an off-hand focus or dagger. When they get used to it, they can use other weapons and experiment on their own to see which ones they like using for the time being. When you unlock the ability to use your utility and elite skills, read what they do and experiment for awhile. PvE is the best place to do so, and if there is a will, there is a way. Have trouble surviving? Use skills and traits that increases your chances of survival. Want more power? Load up on skills that provide buffs and CCs.
  2. Level up quickly by doing various events (heart quests, random map events, meta events) since they will be your main source of experience.
  3. Use food and utility items you can craft or purchase from the trading post to increase the experience gained from killing foes. You can even gain some through the level up rewards as well as experience, karma, and magic find boosters that increases the three for a certain duration.
  4. When it comes to equipment, while you are levelling, it is best to grab whatever is currently available to you for now. It is not your top priority to splurge on expensive gear prior to being level 80, and it is still entirely possible to reach nearly the end of your story quest (until Zhaitan at least) with green, blue, or even white rarity equipment.
  5. Level your characters in level-appropriate maps. You gain less experience staying in a low-level map, but avoid high-level ones. You can be easily one-shotted by the enemies as they automatically aggro towards you. More information will be placed below.
  6. Don't be afraid to explore the map. It is a great source of experience for you. As a beginner, you should search every nook and cranny for vistas and points of interest. Map completion rewards players with additional experience and valuable loot.
  7. Feel free to fight alongside other players. You each get your own loot and experience as long as you both participate in the fight. Guild Wars 2 is one of the first  MMORPGs that solved the problem of kill-steal ages ago and promotes cooperation with its players.
  8. When you have the gold, karma, and materials, you can use the many crafting disciplines to help you level up quickly, although it is only recommended if you have played through the game at least once so you can enjoy the game first before attempting to power level. 
  9. Do the story quests. Yes, it may get repetitive if done on multiple characters, but do them at least 3-5 times. 5 times to play and learn about the various races or 3 times to for the various orders mid-way through the story. You have a choice to be a part of 3 orders: The Durmand Priory, Order of Whispers, or the Vigil. Doing so will allow the character that joins a certain order to unlock unique weapon and armor skins. The story quests are also a good source for experience and karma.
  10. As much as possible, never rush to reach level 80. Take the time to play the game and learn the various mechanics of your profession. The game was meant to be a fun experience, not a chore.

 

The need to level in appropriate areas

Here is a bit more information regarding leveling in certain maps. Let's say for example that you are currently level 28 and are struggling to raise your Necromancer. You have the proper gear that you either crafted for yourself or ought from the trading post and are doing fine for the most part, but you are still leveling them in Kessex Hills, a level 15-25 map. Sure, you can still grind for experience in that map, but you will be gaining very little experience because you are over leveled. You need to go to a different map that is equal to your current level to properly raise your character, but not too high and be in danger of getting instantly killed.

 

Here is a list of areas players can go to depending on their current level as well as an interactive map you can use to see where each location is:

 

Player levels 2-15

Starter maps: Caledon Forest, Metrica Province, Queensdale, Plains of Ashford, Wayfarer Foothills

 

Player levels 15-25

Diessa Plateau, Kessex Hills, Brisban Wildlands, Snowden Drifts

 

Player Levels 25-35

Gendarran Fields, Lornar's Pass

 

Player Levels 35-45

Harathi Hinterlands, Lornar's Pass, Fields of Ruin, Blazeridge Steppes (40-50)

 

Player Levels 45-55

Bloodtide Coast, Dredgehaunt Cliffs (40-50), Blazeridge Steppes (40-50)

 

Player Levels 55-65

Sparkfly Fen, Timberline Falls (50-60), Iron Marches (50-60)

 

Player Levels 65-80

Fireheart Rise (60-70), Frostgorge Sound (70-80), Mount Maelstrom (60-70), Straits of Devastation (70-75), Malchor's Leap (75-80), Cursed Shore (80, but it is possible to kite enemies during events with other players as mid-high 70s if you feel a bit daring)

 

The casual nature of Guild Wars 2

 

As stated before, there is no need to rush. One of the best parts about Guild Wars 2 is how you can treat the game casually. Without a subscription fee, you are free to play the game anytime you wish and will always be here waiting for you to come back even if you choose to play other games first. The community is filled to the brim with tons of friendly players who will gladly help you around. Don't let a few bad eggs sour your perception of them.

 

Where to go from here

You've reached level 80 and now have the entire game open to you. Assuming you are still using a free-to-play account, you may be encouraged to purchase the game and when you do, try the Revenant profession once you purchase the expansion packs. You can also try the other two game modes, Structured PvP and World versus World, and pit your skills against other players. Although you can unlock WvW at level 60, it is recommended to do so at level 80 after acquiring all of your traits, skills, and have some appropriate gear (guide coming soon).

Aside from all of that, you can also farm to your heart's content, get together with your friends to form a guild, do guild missions together. The game is more fun with friends, after all, and you can have tons of shenanigans with buddies. Tyria is yours for the taking, young one. It is us to you to pick up the meat and scraps.

If there are other leveling tips the other veteran players can provide the newbies, do feel free to add your wisdom for them. Hope to meet you all in-game!

Edited by robintan.4068
Heading changed for clarity
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Some additional thoughts....

Take your time, enjoy the experience, get comfortable with your characters, and the mechanics.  Yes, the game really begins at 80 but getting there the first time is a unique and fun journey.  

Ask questions.  Ask your guilds (you can up to five), ask map chat, ask in the forums. In game you can type /wiki in the chat bar and access information about something.  It's something that isn't really mentioned yet you actually do need.  The community is probably one of the most helpful and friendly that I have encountered online.  People will help if you politely ask.  

There is no wrong way to play, it's quite open ended.  Don't think you HAVE to do a certain thing.  You don't ever have to set foot in a dungeon, fractal, or pvp if you so choose, and still have excellent gear and lovely skins.  But it's worth trying a little of everything in time...it can be surprisingly fun. 

This is a helpful guide that OP has assembled with frequently asked questions, and there are many guides on YouTube as well.  Best wishes for all our new Tyrian adventurers and happy leveling!

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I suggest editing your second heading. "Tips for the grind" is IMO inaccurate given what you're actually suggesting is just playing normally. If I knew enough about GW2 to know you don't have to grind to level up I'd assume this was a power-levelling guide, if I didn't even know that much I'd be reconsidering playing at all if you need advice on how to grind to level up. Either way that would be the point I'd stop reading this guide and look for other advice instead. (When in reality this is how I've always levelled characters, except I only ever used food if it wasn't worth selling.) 

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4 hours ago, Danikat.8537 said:

I suggest editing your second heading. "Tips for the grind" is IMO inaccurate given what you're actually suggesting is just playing normally. If I knew enough about GW2 to know you don't have to grind to level up I'd assume this was a power-levelling guide, if I didn't even know that much I'd be reconsidering playing at all if you need advice on how to grind to level up. Either way that would be the point I'd stop reading this guide and look for other advice instead. (When in reality this is how I've always levelled characters, except I only ever used food if it wasn't worth selling.) 

How on earth did that slip my mind lol. Thanks for that reminder. Editing~

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On 1/18/2023 at 1:19 PM, Linken.6345 said:

Also point them to the character adventure guide under h achievements it gives a nice exp boost aswell.

 

This is a big one. Adventure Guide completions give huge chunks of experience. For the crafting tasks, google to find a guide. Low level mats are super cheap. For the world boss tasks, use /wiki et (event timer) to see when world bosses for the appropriate zone are up.

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Is it true that you receive less experience for being over-leveled?  That doesn't seem right, as I always thought that experience was always given as a percentage of experience needed to gain the next level, meaning that killing a creature in any map gives the same experience.

Also, it's important to mention that there is bonus experience for killing a creature based on how long it's been alive.  Usually, finding a pack of yellow creatures (such as moas) tucked away in a long-forgotten corner yields a lot of experience.  Essentially, when leveling as a new player, kill everything.

 

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Seems contradictory to give a guide on how to get experience, then say don't rush.

The game throws experience at you for doing pretty much anything.

Might also be worth noting that the story options steadily collapse as you level, so you don't need to do the entire story multiple times to explore the races and orders.

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Another tip is that one you hit level 80 you can raid with Exotic gear only and finding training raid guilds. Also once you start raiding you will get magnetite shards which you can trade for ascended armor and weapons. I recommend doing the armor first and leaving the weapons for last or the other way around is fine too. 

 

There are guides on youtube search for Get to the Point guides by Muluk and start with Wing 1. 

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13 minutes ago, Realmjumper.8432 said:

Another tip is that one you hit level 80 you can raid with Exotic gear only and finding training raid guilds. Also once you start raiding you will get magnetite shards which you can trade for ascended armor and weapons. I recommend doing the armor first and leaving the weapons for last or the other way around is fine too. 

 

There are guides on youtube search for Get to the Point guides by Muluk and start with Wing 1. 

Better to do weapons then trinkets since they give more bang for the buck, armor last always.

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