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Returning Player Overwhelmed by Changes HELP!!


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I left the game after Living World Season 1, having accumulated 7 80's (one of which with the Dungeon Master achievement). I had started running fractals but just got burned out (I was playing alot, between PvE and WvW ) but the game was starting to get grinding and I was getting frustrated with some of the systems (i.e., never got a precursor on a single damn character) and the game ending ticked me off; made me feel more of a sidekick to the heroes than the hero of the story. "Gee thanks for your hard work Commander of the Army; now the real heroes will come in and defeat the big bad"

Now that I have returned so many systems have changed; my bank vault is overflowing with crap I have no idea if it's worth saving (random equipment for skins, crafting tools, overflow crafting materials, birthday boosts, etc); I don't know where to begin to build my characters or what to focus on some of them have the main story to finish others are completely done.

I have heard HoT expansion is detestable and just a big pain in the rump (as far as enjoy-ability) compared to PoF and getting a mount should be done prior to revisiting that expansion to make HoT easier to maneuver through. Are the stories too intertwined? Will it break the story?

How would you "rebuild" your gameplay?? I am assuming I need to make character changes; and then just pick up questing again and it will come to me. However, what should be my focus on my 80s??

Are precursors still a complete gamble?

When I left the community was becoming a bit toxic regards to running dungeons ( I can only imagine it's gotten worse vice better) with little tolerance for even level equivalent characters trying to gear. Where do we stand today?

What are the best sites now for

  1. Character builds (and how do I "respec")
  2. Crafting
  3. Gearing
  4. Dungeon Guides/Questing

Sorry for being such a noob and the barrage of questions; but I'm a bit OCD and the thought of tossing stuff out of my bank (which makes me a horrible packrat), that I may need later, or building my character wrong just drives me up the wall.

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I'll bullet point for ease;

  • Dungeons are still done, but are very much bottom after fractals (which are like shorter dungeons) and raids for population. Fractals are tiered so you can join w/o worry about elitism at lower levels. Raids can be very elitist, but there are plenty of training guilds to counter this. You will need decent gear and builds for top end instanced content.

  • HoT is not detestable. It's design is not to everyone's taste, but I loved it and it has far more replayability than PoF does. I don't really agree you need mounts to make it more desirable to play. The stories are intertwined as they run from Season 2 into HoT, which sets up Season 3 which sets up PoF running into Season 4. Seasons will need purchasing if you were not logged in at the time

  • Keep your old toons and start a new one o phase back in my advice. Doesn't take long to re-acquaint.

  • Precursors are craftable now. They require considerable mats and are expensive to buy outright, but they allow for the option of a gradual and guaranteed method of obtaining.

  • From Season 2 onwards you become the lead and not a side character as you describe. I personally think we worked better as a hero to one side of the main story, but I'm a minority I expect

  • Grinding still existed as most things like ascended gear and legendaries still require massive amounts of materials, however everything that you grind for is still optional outside of higher tier content like tier 4 Fractals.

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  1. Character builds: Qtfy.eu (metabattle.com is also okay)
  2. Crafting: Gw2crafts.net
  3. Gearing: covered by qtfy.eu as well
  4. Dungeon guides: sorry, I don’t know. I just struggle through.

Yes, dungeons seem toxic. Not as bad as other MMOs, but a hundred times worse than most Guild Wars stuff.Fractals are much more friendly at low levels. If you join any group running a fractal under 20, you should find a polite group willing to help. Above 20, you need agony resistance and people get less understanding if you don’t understand agony even though it is not explained well at all in the game.

I know it’s popular to hate on HoT content, but I enjoy it a lot. It definitely is easier with at least a raptor mount (gotten during first story step of PoF). I would start by doing PoF and HoT first story steps to unlock early zones. Then I’d look for a hero point train (find in LFG tool under Crystal Oasis for PoF or Verdant Brink for HoT) while just roaming around the maps to get waypoints and such. Hopefully you get in a hero point train, and then you’ll get the hero points needed to set your character build up properly. From there, just try everything and do what you enjoy most. Maybe story, maybe unlocking mastery points, maybe fractals, maybe metas. Any of it works, and then you can craft gear if you don’t get it from what you’re doing.

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For now I'd recommend leaving your bank and existing characters alone and (if you have a spare characters slot) starting a new one to level up naturally. Not because you need to start over but because it's a good way to re-familiarise yourself with the game and learn about what's changed.

If you want to know what to do with stuff in your bank though you can either look it up on the Wiki or ask here. Some items might be useless now, but others could be more useful or valuable than when you left. If you left before the wardrobe system was introduced you've probably got a lot of items you were saving for the skins which can be moved over to the wardrobe rather than keeping them in the bank.

That reminds me - even if you don't want them any more make sure you log into every character at least once to check what they've got equipped and in their inventory. Also take them to speak to a Black Lion Trader (Armorsmith) to convert any town clothes they have into outfits or tonics. The tonics can be sold (the gem store ones are actually worth a lot) or converted into outfits.

Also here's some answers to your questions:

HoT seems to be one of those 'you love it or you hate it' things. The problem is that it was designed to be noticeably harder than the base game - enemies do more damage, have better AI and many mobs have to be handled in specific ways. On top of that the maps are a lot more complicated - they're all on multiple levels and you can't just go straight to your destination - you often have to go up and back down (or down and back up) or around it, or a mix of both. Some people love that and some absolutely hate it. Oh, there's also a meta-event chain for each map and it's progress makes areas easier or harder to get into so if you want to access the whole map you often have to join in with it.

By comparison PoF is incredibly simple. The enemies are still harder than in the base game, but only because they have more armour and do more damage. The maps are pretty flat and easy to navigate - especially with mounts that let you go over cliffs and other obstacles, and any events and things are completely optional. It's simpler, easier and you get more choice in what you do and how you do it, but some people seem to be finding they get bored with it much sooner (even some of those who hated HoT).

But if you care about the story then yes, you absolutely need to do HoT first or you won't understand a lot of what's going on. The full order goes Personal Story > Season 1 > Season 2 > HoT > Season 3 > PoF > Season 4. Season 1, as you might remember, was designed to be temporary and that's never been fixed - the best we've got is a video that recaps a few key points. Season 2, 3 and 4 are repeatable. If you missed the release window you'll have to buy them from the gem store for 200 gems per episode (or there's a bundle with all of them at a discount), but once it's unlocked it's yours to play whenever you want - even on characters you create later on.

I suppose you could do the first part of the PoF story to unlock the maps and the raptor mount, then get instructions on unlocking the springer and maybe skimmer and jackal (those two are useful but not essential for navigating in HoT), then do HoT and repeat the first part of PoF when you're ready to do that storyline.

Precursors are not just a gamble any more. There's collection achievements for each one which allow you to get it without relying on RNG or paying someone who got lucky. Be warned it is not cheap or quick. It will cost the same as buying the precursor from the TP (although prices on many will have gone down since you left - for example Dawn is about 450g-550g) and it may involve doing things you might not like doing, like jumping puzzles or Fractals. But it is a guaranteed option - you can find out in advance exactly what's required and once you've completed the collections you're absolutely guaranteed to get the precursor.

Dungeons aren't nearly as active as they once were - simply because they're no longer the most efficient way to get gold. That has it's pros and cons. It means there's fewer groups being advertised and fewer people doing it over all, but the groups that are doing it are much more likely to be flexible about their requirements instead of demanding exact builds and for people to know the approved speed run path by heart before entering. (And the ridiculous, arbitrary requirement to have a certain number of achievement points before you're allowed to join seems to have gone completely.) For me they're about the same as they always were - if I ask my guilds I can almost always find 4 people to do it with me (or I'm joining someone else's group), and if not I put up an LFG message saying everyone is welcome and it fills in about 10 minutes. But it depends on what you want to get out of it - if you want endless perfect speed runs you're probably out of luck. But then that's because there's probably a faster way for you to get gold and equipment.

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Start with a fresh new character to get the feel back. As soon as you are confident to play your 80's again you can pick them back up. For builds i have a few links for open world pve builds. Some of them require Hot or PoF specializations, but there is also good advice for core builds.

Here are the build links:https://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/780lzi/open_world_pve_builds/https://www.reddit.com/r/GuildWars2Builds/comments/7ct114/pve_open_world_builds_november_2017/https://www.reddit.com/r/GuildWars2Builds/comments/5w9utm/pve_open_world_builds_updated_for_early_2017/

I recently started with a few characters on a new account. I still play my main account, but i thought it would be fun to pick everything back up as a new character without the advantages my main account has available. (All mastery lines filled etc.)But soon i did notice that i missed a mount to run around with and then i noticed that no gliding was hampering me a lot as well. So i went for those 2 things first. Just basic gliding from HoT and the basic raptor from PoF. It will make your life a lot easier, without taking the fun of the coregame out.

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