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Returning player (stopped end of 2013)


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Hi guys!

I played Guild Wars 2 from the start (last das of open beta) until end of 2013 with an old Intel Core 2 Duo 8400, 4 GB RAM and a Radeon HD 4850. I stopped end of 2013 and now I want to return. I still only have a weak computer. (Hope it is okay though. It is a HP Compaq 8200 Elite CMT with a Core i5 2500 and a cheap graphics card added and I'm okay with love graphics settings and fps.)

Now some questions:

  1. What big changes from start of 2014 until now should I pay attention to? I played mainly PvW with focus on quests, story and completion of the maps. (No fractals, dungeons, ...) Every now and then WvW and PvP. As far as I saw there have been made 2 addons with 1 new class (no no race) and some changes with the trait system. And Living World seasons.

  2. Would it make sense to play without the addons first? I'd like to push all my 8 chars (have one for each class) to level 80 and complete the main maps and story (I read Zhaitan is finally beatable without having to to the dungeon with a group and solo is possible?) Or should I buy the addons already (they might add stuff to the old maps that would require me to go back there later if I bought them later)? So ... Lion's Arch got changed in living world story season 1 (which can't be replayed)? And I can play main story + up to Living World season 2?

  3. Is it even possible to catch up and to all the old stuff? If I do the main map completion first I should have enough points to buy all the skills from the addons and the new maps should not take tong I guess?

  4. How fast is new stuff getting added? Is there only living story updates? Or are there other events? (I might ignore those for now until I caught up a bit unless there are really interesting rewards.

  5. How active is the game/playerbase? Are there still players and new players in the beginner zones and in the racial cities? Or only a small experienced playerbase camping in Lion's Arch between their dungeon visits and doing WvW? And how's the WvW and PvP? Any notable changes or new maps there? I played on Underworld which was ranked pretty low back then. Glad to see it higher up in the rankinds. (Really curious about the WvW history of that server since I consider it my home server and won't change and the community back then was nice. :) )

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There are too many huge changes since 2013 perhaps to list. Virtually everything has changed since that time.

The game is heavily populated with content dropping in average every 3 months. Mostly skewed to pve and open world

It is entirely possible to catch up and play through. All contents are well populated as well to aid in this

Order of play

Personal storySeason 1 (gone for good)Season 2Heart of thorns expacSeason 3Path of FireSeason 4

Expacs bring the biggest changes to progression - heart of thorns brought gliding, guild halls and legendary crafting. Path of fire brought mounts and mount skills.

Expacs also bring new versions of each class. That means each class now has two extra “elite” versions if you own both expacs and alter the playing style of a profession and generally improve it over the core version

Seasons bring maps and story and many smaller things.

I could list hundreds of other changes but I’m sure others will chime in. Ultimately the game is much changed with arrival of expansions, raids, mounts and has a very healthy population

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2.If you find leveling fun. But you really dont have to level them all first before experiencing expansion.In fact, Id suggest getting your glider from the forst HoT story and raptor from the pof story, (if you don't mind being somewhat spoiled) both these are really helpful.

Yes Zaithan is now soloable.

  1. You can't unlock things in the expansion with core, except for hero points for the elite. but you'll still likely need points from expansion content.

When you get expansions, you also unlock masteries specific to each part of the game mode.I would suggest getting one expansion at least, so that if you are playing core with a level 80, you can start working on core masteries.

PvP has a small population but WvW is active enough.

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Thanks for the advice. It is reassuring to hear that there are still a lot of active players.Might finish the main story on my chars first. Since Zaithan is soloable now and playing with all the different chars gives the option to experience the different dialogues from the different story choices you can make. (Need to check up first which stuff I have chosen previously on the story I already did.)

Map completion only as far as the story takes you through the maps. Then going to the addons and every now and then completing some ofthe old maps on my other chars. So I have motivation with new stuff to do but still old stuff to complete on the other chars.

As for the gliding and mounts: I'll decide after playing a few weeks without the expansions (to see whether I really want to keep up playing GW2 for the future so buying expansions wouldn't be a waste should I decide to stop playing soon again).

Doing the Living World up to the first expansion and then getting gliding and skipping to the 2nd expansion for mount seams best for me I think. (I might already do the stuff before 1st expansion while playing the next weeks when I still have to decicde whether to stay with playing GW2 or not.)

Wiki also seems helpful - as always. And the community (ast least when asking for help) is nice. With soo much new stuff I thought I might ask first in the forums - but I know how to use the wiki and used it frequently back then. Refering to the wiki for further information now. But feel free to add stuff to this thread if you think you have other useful advice.

(I'll completely skip the original dungeons since they seem to have only tokens for armor which is used for skins only. Mabe ... maybe I'll do the raids and fractals but WvW and PvP as well as doing other PvE stuff in the open world and new story/events will be my main endgame focus. A mix of those. I don't readlly need legendaries and as far as I saw there is a good amount of stuff available even without raids and dungeons - at least for ascended stuff from merchants with laurels or other things. And then there is the option to grind lots of money and buy from trading post. Skins are nice though ... and collecting the nodes for the home instance that you missed from events which are still buyable according to wiki.)

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I would strongly advise you start with a new character and play through the game taking in as much of the changes as you can as you level up.

There's been a lot of changes to the game world and the trait system, a few skills have changed a little, some a lot and others have changed entirely into new skills over the years.Underwater combat got a massive overhaul a short while back as well so exploring the lakes and oceans of Tyria is far more enjoyable these days.Expansion packs added a whole new level of gameplay with new maps, elite specs, masteries, mounts and other features.

There's realistically just too much to list to give you a proper, informed update on the game over the last 5+ years.So Starting a new character and leveling up is likely the best way for you to reintroduce yourself to the game :)

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I logged in yesterday. Had to first check and configure all the options. (Need to find the ones that are best for me and for targeting/attacking/looting in PvE and WvW.)

A lot of stuff to do was with all those mails. I have tons of birthday mails and dye refunds on my 8 chars. Town's clothing and boosters seem to have gotten a change (into wardrobe and boosters converted in to better boosters where you can select a boost from). Saves a lot of slots. Hopefully I haven't done anything wrong with deleting some other stuff which I kept only for the skins. (Made sure skin was mentioned as "unlocked" and deleted it to free space.)

Lots of new crafrting stuff and changed items .... I had a lot more money (this seems to be account bound now and nice wallet for all the other small currency) than I remembered - even counting all the chars together. Also some items I don't remember and crafting skill levels seem to be higher. (I have most on 400 and some between 400 and 500 even though I think 500 was not added back then and 400 was the cap and I leveled only a few to 400 and nothing above.) Must have been automatic conversion from some old stuff.

Well ... I'll get used to it. Saving crafting for later now and doing some "crafting days" every now and then where I only do crafting. (Mainly to level the skills to 500.)

Sure making a new char makes sense. But I have some very low level chars amongst the 8 chars and I think I'll just try to get used to the skills they already have unlocked in low level areas and try learning them while unlocking other stuff. Going for the main story and the map completion as far as the main story takes me through the maps. I actually have 1 main with 100 percent and chars 2-4 are about 50 percent and almost near last personal story step. There I'll have to play and test builds and read all the skill despritions. I'll figure it out somehow.

Beating Zhaitan in the now soloable story step mission was not that bad and got me interested in playing my engineer again - which was my main. The biggest trouble shoudl give me those other chars that I already advanced a lot that weren't really my main chars. (Harder to get back in there with all the skills to re-learn how to use them and make builds.)

Since for builds I prefer learn to play for myself. (And I like to learn all chars - helps when fighting against different classes in the WvW/PvP) I'll just slowly try to play a bit without the expansion until I got used to the base changes.

Not having a mount/gilder doesn't seem like a problem for now ... once you get used to those it probably would be a problem to not have them anymore. But since I'm used to walking and teleporting only ... I should be fine for now. Also I have tons of birthday boosters. Shouldn't be a problem to deal with the "lost experience" (experience that would go to mastery if I bought expansions now which gets a bit wasted now) stuff also.

I'm going for recap living story season 1 (missed the end there from 2014 stuff) then for map completion (reading the history on the new waypoints, POI, ... in wiki as going with that) on the main. While doing that checking WvW (some new maps and points to go for) and 1 or 2 PvP matches. Playing with builds. Should get me used to my main which I'll keep as main (doing WvW and dailies on there maybe).

Then main personal story for the others and doing map completion as far as the story takes me (completing most maps from starter zone through LA to orr). Should leave me with 8 level 80 chars with personal story finished and map completion about 50-60 percent where I can every now and then do a bit to push towards 100 but main focus shifting on Living Story season 2 and expansions. (Might go there earlier but a bit I want to spent time with the different chars/classes of the base game.)

I think switching between old and new stuff should work best and keep me motivated. With the exansions the new class (and another new char - I should have 5 male, 4 female - of 4 of the races 2 chars each) would be first in starter area through main story while with the first main char going to the expansion story ... and switching between them and every now and then the other chars for map completion or for core story. (I'll probably go for expansion earlier when core story is not finished on all the chars. That is just a base goal I set for now.)

Also: Is it good to play without groups - for going PvE open world/story stuff and the WvW? Considering going for exocix gear at max (and maybe some ascended if possible without grind or group stuff like fractalts ... should be possible a little bit but only limited.) Legandaries ... well maybe at some point I'll work towards them a bit every now and then. Not my main focus. Making a good build and getting skilled at playing and using your skills/traits (build) with exotic gear is hopefully fine for the most stuff.

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