Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Away since time of launch. What's GW2 like now?


Recommended Posts

I saw a video recently about GW2 in 2018 and it was enticing me to come back and give the game a try again (very slim pickings for good MMOs these days!). I played at launch for a while. I really loved most of the game but it had a couple fatal flaws IMO. The fact that all classes could do everything themselves to varying degrees was not a selling point to me. I wanted to like it and I did try to like it but in the end couldn't really see it as a good alternative to the classic trinity type of MMO system. I know it set out to solve a classic MMO problem of not being able to find a healer or tank but it also made the combat really boring and one dimensional IMO (especially dungeons).

When I finally did the first dungeon a few times I quit the game not long after because I was so lamed out with the "grouping" mechanics (I found the PvP to be similar but on a larger scale). Was mostly just everyone playing solo against the dungeon but with little perks from others in the group. People dying and running back to the fight. So zergy and boring. Even back then people were desperately attempting to form groups that had some sense of classic roles. I seem to remember Paladins being highly sought after for groups? I forget now. Classes with more defined roles are needed in MMOs IMO. In my view they got an A for effort on solving that particular problem but it just felt..lacking. I know some don't agree and that's fine. Just my opinion.

I also didn't like the lack of item progression. I know some hate the gear treadmill but I feel like there needs to be something meaningful to work towards even if they are small upgrades to keep people engaged and interested. Is there any actual item progression now or is it still mostly cosmetics? I think they added slight item progression with fractals but that was around when I left so I don't know if that is gone/insignificant now or they have built on that.

From the video I saw it sounds like some of the changes that have happened may have added actual roles or is it not what it sounds like? Does GW2 now have more defined tanks/healers/DPS/CC or is it just a tweak on the old system of people all doing dmg and healing themselves and providing small perks to the group while constantly dodging red circles?

BTW, I don't expect anyone to say GW2 has become EQ1 or anything like that but I'm just trying to get a better idea of how defined these roles are and how much class interdependence there might be (if any)? It does sound like GW2 has added a lot of cool stuff and I always thought they were one of the few non-sub games that did a admirable job with their cash shop (I generally hate B2P/F2P) so I'm intrigued to know if the added roles will be enough to make the combat a bit more to my taste or if it's mostly cosmetic or insignificant changes to the grouping mechanics.

TLDR version: is there any actual class interdependence with the added roles that make grouping play a bit more like traditional trinity systems (tanks/healers/dps/cc) and is there any actual item progression in the game now or is it still mostly cosmetic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They added soft healing/buffing for some elite specs with some non traditional tanking, but that only applies to raids. T4s semi require a druid(healer), but most everything else is the same as you left it which a lot of us enjoy. It's still mostly non trinity for most of the game which is a good thing.

It is still a horizontal gear tread mill which will never change because gear treadmills are awful. Once you get ascended gear, it is the top stats for all the game, and it will stay that way. They have legendary armor and weapons, but it still has the same stats as ascended. The only difference is swappable stats on the fly and particle effects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I wouldn’t want to discourage a returning player the things you didn’t like are either still here or are only changed in some aspects of the game. It’s still no gear progression, it’s still cosmetic, and classes are still self reliant in most of the game. They do have roles in raids and maybe high level fractals but not really anywhere else, however raids (and iirc high level fractals) require you to buy the first expansion, Heart of Thorns. You can always log in to the game and look around but I suspect you’ll not find what you want in a game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awww that's too bad. I sort of suspected the actual gameplay had not changed much. I don't mind the lack of item progression that much but I do wish the grouping was a bit more engaging. I guess they have stuck to their guns with the whole self-sufficient jack of all trades/master of none approach to grouping.

It does seem like they added a lot of side stuff to do including collecting mounts. Maybe there is enough exploration and side stuff to be entertaining for a while and I'll just avoid group activities like dungeons. There aren't many MMOs that are too appealing these days (my current MMO fix is being filled with a heavily modded Skyrim so I'm used to playing a solo MMO anyway :p ).

Thanks for the info all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you feel the GW2 itch I recommend you get HoT and come try its events/metas. If you like open-world, casual but still challenging group play IMO there's nothing better out there to play. And in casual content like this you can absolutely make a difference as a healer - even if you have to add some DPS/support to be most effective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Just a flesh wound.3589 said:While I wouldn’t want to discourage a returning player the things you didn’t like are either still here or are only changed in some aspects of the game. It’s still no gear progression, it’s still cosmetic, and classes are still self reliant in most of the game. They do have roles in raids and maybe high level fractals but not really anywhere else, however raids (and iirc high level fractals) require you to buy the first expansion, Heart of Thorns. You can always log in to the game and look around but I suspect you’ll not find what you want in a game.

This isn't quite true. When the game launched you could rez rush dungeons. Die and run back. Now you can't do that because you can't use a waypoint if anyone in your party is still in combat.

You can't rez rush fractals at all, and never really could.

The content is harder, and more demanding in many ways than it was at launch, particularly the instanced content. Nope, I'm not thinking it's completely the same.

Edit: Hell if you go into raiding, there are tanks and healers, so the roles are more defined. Tier for Fractals too, particularly if you play with a static group rather than pug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@"dolcolax.1268" said:"grouping was more engaging"-prefers to go solo...logic

most of the core stuff you dont like are still there. obviously they wouldnt change a lot of stuff that was a selling point to most of the playerbase.

Yes that is completely logical. I liked the exploration and solo parts of the game when I played. I found the grouping mechanics to not be of my liking because of the lacking class interdependence. Having a group where there is no tank and each participant is largely responsible for their own survival by self healing and dodging circles while everyone is a DPS role is not that engaging to me and seems repetitive. I get that others like it and that's fine. I just haven't paid attention to GW2 in a long time so wasn't sure if it had changed at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The same things you hate are still the core selling point in the game OP ... keep walking. People choose GW2 for the very reasons you hate it; why would it ever change? If you like traditional and tired MMO ideas, there are lots of tired and traditional MMO's for you to choose to play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most stuff you've said are the core features of this game. Absence of item-power progression is a feature that some people seek. I tried many other MMOs but the item gap between paying and f2p players were huge. I like the balanced item power aspect of Gw2. Classes/Elite specs always need balancing tho.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

@Obtena.7952 said:The same things you hate are still the core selling point in the game OP ... keep walking. People choose GW2 for the very reasons you hate it; why would it ever change? If you like traditional and tired MMO ideas, there are lots of tired and traditional MMO's for you to choose to play.

@"Umut.5471" said:Most stuff you've said are the core features of this game. Absence of item-power progression is a feature that some people seek. I tried many other MMOs but the item gap between paying and f2p players were huge. I like the balanced item power aspect of Gw2. Classes/Elite specs always need balancing tho.

Why would it change? I wouldn't expect a wholesale change but the addition of the fractal gear could be argued to be a departure from the original concept of a flat/equal gear structure. It's not completely unreasonable for someone to think that over time they might have added more things in that direction or even just other progression systems that are different (mounts, crafting or something else?). I don't know why some seem so defensive about it. I'm not slamming the game about it but was just curious how much more (if any) the game had departed from the original concept of "cosmetic only" upgrades/progression.

As for the other aspect of no trinity system..the same argument could be made here. If the classes were so great without more defined roles why did they add elite specs for raids? Or said another way..why have them in raids but not the rest of the game? The fact that there was a departure at all is why I thought the game may have shifted in some way closer to more traditional MMO classes/roles. Again, I wouldn't expect it to be just like other "tired MMO ideas" but would rather have an Arena Net twist of it's own. Also, this isn't a F2P game..it's B2P. Not always a huge distinction (depending on game) but there is a distinction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Sidartha.9512 said:

@Obtena.7952 said:The same things you hate are still the core selling point in the game OP ... keep walking. People choose GW2 for the very reasons you hate it; why would it ever change? If you like traditional and tired MMO ideas, there are lots of tired and traditional MMO's for you to choose to play.

@"Umut.5471" said:Most stuff you've said are the core features of this game. Absence of item-power progression is a feature that some people seek. I tried many other MMOs but the item gap between paying and f2p players were huge. I like the balanced item power aspect of Gw2. Classes/Elite specs always need balancing tho.

Why would it change? I wouldn't expect a wholesale change but the addition of the fractal gear could be argued to be a departure from the original concept of a flat/equal gear structure. It's not completely unreasonable for someone to think that over time they might have added more things in that direction or even just other progression systems that are different (mounts, crafting or something else?). I don't know why some seem so defensive about it. I'm not slamming the game about it but was just curious how much more (if any) the game had departed from the original concept of "cosmetic only" upgrades/progression.

As for the other aspect of no trinity system..the same argument could be made here. If the classes were so great without more defined roles why did they add elite specs for raids? Or said another way..why have them in raids but not the rest of the game? The fact that there was a departure at all is why I thought the game may have shifted in some way closer to more traditional MMO classes/roles. Again, I wouldn't expect it to be just like other "tired MMO ideas" but would rather have an Arena Net twist of it's own. Also, this isn't a F2P game..it's B2P. Not always a huge distinction (depending on game) but there is a distinction.

Except you are wrong on those points?

  1. Departure of a flat/equal gear structure - what does that mean? there was NEVER a flat/equal gear structure. Prefixes (the different stat families) and quality (the progression of those stats from 'white' to legendary gear) has existed since day 1. I'm not even sure how that relates to your original question ... you doesn't like the lack of gear progression? I guess you didn't do your research ... it's not like Anet just hands out Legendary armor and weapons to people now is it? There is a pile of stuff to do to even attempt high level fractals. No, there is progression there, you just don't seem to like how it's done.

  2. Elite specs were added to give flavour to classes, not because of raids; Anet even told people this is the point of elite specs. I have no idea where you get this "elite specs = raids" stuff. Case in point ... there are elite specs that aren't good for raiding and you don't need elite specs to 'win' raids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took two years off from the time just before Heart of Thornes dropped to a few months after Path of Fire launched. I would recommend buying the expansions and giving 2018 gw2 a try.

The content cadence feels cohesive and manageable. Play as you like is a genuine thing. Farming, pvp, wvw, raids, gvg, open world, collections, role playing, fashion wars, and for the most part one of the IMO friendliest communities.

The trinity in principle is still not a thing but 2018 gw2 is reasonably trinity adjacent. There are builds that feel and play tanky, healy, glassy dpsy, and all the gray areas in between.

At ascended level there is for the most part no stat gear treadmill. There is a build treadmill of sorts. Not all builds are min/max viable for all game modes and that paradigm changes with balance patches. Personally I feel like I’m always advancing my characters or trying new things that make my characters play different.

Gw2 is an alts game. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t play a few different characters at least. The replayability is immense. Rewards for time played are greatly improved.

Again I would hands down without reservation recommend 2018 gw2 to new and especially returning players. My metric for playing a game is the fun I have playing it. 2018 gw2 is a very fun game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They haven't added "Roles" as you'd expect from a Trinity game. Essentially they've just added some "Specializations" (sub classes sorta) that can do healing better than any of the old classes could do. And the Raids actually require "some" role setup to complete. But it is nowhere near what you've seen in other MMO's etc. And it is still mostly a damage race. The game still doesn't have any kind of "Aggro" mechanic etc, so tanking isn't very viable, but a few places (Raids especially) they often attack the highest toughness, which is what they use for this. Also, none of this is really added or applied to the rest of the game.

After they added Ascended gear about half a year after launch there has been no more "gear upgrades", and they promised not to add more. If you want a gear treadmill here, then start focus on Fractals. Once you go past the Tier1 fractals you're going to need Agony Resistance to survive, this increase the higher fractals you go into so you constantly need to upgrade your AR. And you can only put AR on Ascended items (generally).

Other than that, the game has added something called "Masteries", which is a way to continue progression after hitting level 80, by earning XP and collecting Mastery Points to pick new upgrades to your character (account). Like autoloot, fractal bonuses, gliding, mounts etc (requires expansion packs, different masteries available in each expansion).


Summary: If those two things are that important to you, you're not likely going to like it any better now than back then. Those two (Non-Trinity, and Non-Gear-Treadmill) are two of the pillars the game was designed around. They've slightly gone back on the no roles part with Raids, but not to anywhere near a traditional Trinity/MMO.

Notes: I can only recommend to think of this as a "different" game, and not think of it as an MMO, that way you might find something else you like in it. Personally I take a little offense at you calling the combat "boring", because the action combat and the fact that I'm responsible for my own survival is what keeps me addicted to this game.

If you find someone to play with regularly, you can actually "semi role" it. I do that with a couple of friends when we play together, as a Guardian main myself, I try to group them up and hold them engaged (most mobs just keep attacking the first target they see), while my two buddies in full Zerk nukes them. It works if you want it to, but most people just prefers playing DPS I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@"joneirikb.7506" said:They haven't added "Roles" as you'd expect from a Trinity game. Essentially they've just added some "Specializations" (sub classes sorta) that can do healing better than any of the old classes could do. And the Raids actually require "some" role setup to complete. But it is nowhere near what you've seen in other MMO's etc. And it is still mostly a damage race. The game still doesn't have any kind of "Aggro" mechanic etc, so tanking isn't very viable, but a few places (Raids especially) they often attack the highest toughness, which is what they use for this. Also, none of this is really added or applied to the rest of the game.

After they added Ascended gear about half a year after launch there has been no more "gear upgrades", and they promised not to add more. If you want a gear treadmill here, then start focus on Fractals. Once you go past the Tier1 fractals you're going to need Agony Resistance to survive, this increase the higher fractals you go into so you constantly need to upgrade your AR. And you can only put AR on Ascended items (generally).

Other than that, the game has added something called "Masteries", which is a way to continue progression after hitting level 80, by earning XP and collecting Mastery Points to pick new upgrades to your character (account). Like autoloot, fractal bonuses, gliding, mounts etc (requires expansion packs, different masteries available in each expansion).


Summary: If those two things are that important to you, you're not likely going to like it any better now than back then. Those two (Non-Trinity, and Non-Gear-Treadmill) are two of the pillars the game was designed around. They've slightly gone back on the no roles part with Raids, but not to anywhere near a traditional Trinity/MMO.

Notes: I can only recommend to think of this as a "different" game, and not think of it as an MMO, that way you might find something else you like in it. Personally I take a little offense at you calling the combat "boring", because the action combat and the fact that I'm responsible for my own survival is what keeps me addicted to this game.

If you find someone to play with regularly, you can actually "semi role" it. I do that with a couple of friends when we play together, as a Guardian main myself, I try to group them up and hold them engaged (most mobs just keep attacking the first target they see), while my two buddies in full Zerk nukes them. It works if you want it to, but most people just prefers playing DPS I guess.

Yeah, just because roles aren't required doesn't actually mean that roles are useless. You can still put yourself in to a traditional tank/support/heal/DPS role setup if you can find other people who also enjoy playing with those kind of roles. I can say that for certain aspects of the game actually following preset "groups" can make certain content WAY easier (My friends and I have taken our t4 fractal group setup and used it to nuke down nearly every legendary bounty released in PoF thus far... they are as far as I can tell all able to be done with a well organized 5 man team as opposed to the typical 15-30 man zerg squad that people think they need... all because we run a more traditional DPS/DPS/BannerSlave/Chrono/Tempest setup) It may not be "traditional" trinity but the boon/banner supports of Chrono/War and the dedicated heals of a Tempest/Druid definitely have "roles" that they follow. I've done dungeon and fractal runs with a boon support Guardian (even better now with Firebrand) with some toughness... a support tank, and while it may not be the most efficient speed clear in the universe, choosing a role over just ALL DPS ALL THE TIME can certainly make runs more comfortable and easier.

To be honest, the game is what you make of it. They have added more horizontal progression, things to work on like mastery tracks that improve movement capabilities (Gliding in HoT and Mounts in PoF). There is certainly stuff to do, and your mileage may vary on how the group content goes, but it's really on you for not finding like minded individuals to play with who would ALSO prefer having dedicated roles for their characters. There are plenty of people out there who feel similarly, and some have left, while others have filled their niche with other like minded players.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@"Sojourner.4621" said:

Some more, since Sojourner got me thinking a bit further on a couple of points.

While this game does indeed allow us to zerg over any content without putting much skill or effort into it, it is also possible to accomplish almost anything with very low numbers. (Extreme examples: solo dungeons, fractals, raids, zerg busting in WvW where 20 people took out 40-50 enemies etc). In general this is because of (A) Action combat and active defenses, and (B) Good builds and organized group play.

The trinity in its basic role forces us into a set minimum organization, soesn't guarantee that the players in question does their job well (or at all at times). But despite GW2 having removed that minimum organization level (and given us the super casual solution of ZERG IT DOWN!!!), it doesn't mean that the game can't benefit from party/group organization, because it does. Just don't PUG/LFG ;)

You might find some enjoyment in joining a dedicated Fractal/Raid guild, where they're serious about their organized groups.


Another note: One of the reasons we see so few people play in that way in general, is because:

  • OpenWorld Tyria is so laughably easy you don't need defenses at all.
  • Action Combat/Active Defenses is more important than defensive stats to stay alive.
  • So META is kill things fast, and use dodges to stay alive.

Had content been more difficult, some small changes so we take more damage, bit less active defenses etc; Then we would see a rise in defensive stats. But since people aren't really punished for going full glass in a huge part of the game (Guessing at least 50%) there isn't really anything that motivates anyone to bother. So people rather focus on speed clearing.

HoT was actually trying to alter this a bit, and when it released most people was panicking when they got slaughtered in full zerk. But so many people got angry at this, so they toned it down afterwards. Ah well.

So that is why there is so little incentive for most to try to play "roles".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks joneirikb and sojourner. That was some useful input and insight into the game. I never did expect that GW2 would change to a true trinity based system or gear treadmill so that was never what I was asking. You guys gave me a pretty good idea of what it's like now. Still no item progression at all. That's ok. I don't require that in an MMO I just generally prefer that there is a sense of progression and gear/spells/abilities is usually the best way to get that. Sounds like they have added some other types of progression that don't involved gear so that's cool. I also love the addition of mounts. I'm still not a huge fan of the no trinity system but it sounds like they added a bit more nuance to the classes so that is a plus.

In a related story does anyone have any tips on getting back into the game? lol. I logged in and was totally lost after not playing for a long time. I have an 80 Ranger and a 40 Warrior and some other characters but there is so much I don't remember and so many new things it's a bit overwhelming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard advice:

  • Find a guild that is friendly and helpful.
  • Make a new character and re-learn until you feel comfortable with things again (then return to old classes).
  • Go back to the starting areas and "pretend" to be new again, to re-learn.

From the sound of things, the last time you leveled a character was within 6 months of launch. They've changed the leveling since then somewhat, mostly just to give more info and stuff while leveling. So might be worth to start new and level just to go through and learn those.

That said, they completely changed build system in june/july 2015, so you probably going to have to re-learn that anyways.


Progression past level 80 with all Exotic gear:

  • Ascended Gear (Crafting, reward for some achives, Fractals) (I'll lump Legendary in here as well since it uses same stats)
  • Masteries (Req Expansion, includes a good bit of new abilities and options)
  • Hero Points (To get the Elite Specializations, req: Expansion)
  • Agony Resistance (For Fractals)
  • Infusions (Ascended gear get an infusion that gives a small stat boost + AR)
  • Gotta catch them all! (Ranger Pets... there are more of them in the Expansions)

Arguably also:

  • Achievements (If you're into that...)
  • Skins (Fashion wars is seemingly a thing... If you're into that)
  • Story (If you're into that... Echo... echo.... echo...)

Largely GW2 is a game where you have to set your own goals, and decide on how to accomplish them. And Gear Progression is focused more around getting different stats to try new and different builds.


Yes, I'm overly verbose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over time i think you will find trinity system games are the ones thats one dimensional and boring where they have fixed roles for each class. Very very dumbed down compared to what gw2 has got to offer. The progression in this game is your personal ability to control and play your characters and your knowledge in what each profession is capable of and how to handle each situation/fight.
It looked like everyone was playing solo to you because all of you had no idea what u were doing, what your characters were capable of and how to organise and support each other. As a new player you will be very very bad at the game and there are mountains between you and existing players, not in terms of gear, but in terms of knowledge and skills. However if you are willing to put in the effort to learn, practice and perfect your game play you too can become a very good player.Welcome back to a non p2w non-gear-treadmil focused game where your progression as a player is a direct result of your effort and willingness to learn.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Sidartha.9512 said:TLDR version: is there any actual class interdependence with the added roles that make grouping play a bit more like traditional trinity systems (tanks/healers/dps/cc) and is there any actual item progression in the game now or is it still mostly cosmetic?

Fortunately just slightly toward the trinity system, and thanks god no progression in terms of stats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...