Guild Wars 2 – A Journey?

Guild Wars 2 - Level 80s

Guild Wars 2 is a game I’ve put a lot of hours into over the past 7 months or so (over 500 hours to be precise). I’ve even written a bit about it. I’ve got characters of every race and profession. I’ll admit only three of those have made it to 80 (shown above): Persephone Valshen, human mesmer, Sigarda the Stoic, Norn guardian, and Anara Silverbranch, Sylvari elementalist. Of those three, Sigarda is the only one who currently has a full set of dungeon ready exotic armour and weapons.

So are MMOs about the journey to the level cap, or about running around as an impressive level 80 in fancy dungeon gear and intimidating new players? For me, every time I get a character to 80, I’m immediately tempted to switch and play one of my lower level characters. Perhaps I’m just not used to the idea that the ‘real’ gameplay only begins once your character reaches the level cap.

Guild Wars 2 is quite different from the only other MMO I’ve played, World of Warcraft, which forces you to go out into the world and explore new areas. The level scaling in Guild Wars lets you spend your entire career in the various starting areas and get the same amount of experience as if you were running around the high level areas. So I found levelling characters in Guild Wars 2 to be a pretty speedy and not too laborious process. (To compare, my highest level WoW character only made it to the 60s.)

So I was rather surprised when I recently stumbled across a website that was selling Guild Wars 2 accounts – in some cases for rather impressive sums. Most of them had exotic gear, and a few even had a legendary weapon. This astonished me: not only had the fun/effort of levelling to 80 been taken away, but the characters for sale already had just about everything that is worth working towards as a level 80 character. So what would the purchaser actually do with that character?

Perhaps I’m missing the point of the whole MMO thing, but I always imagined the purpose of any role playing game was to spend time creating and moulding a character, spending time with them and growing as they grow… If somebody else has already done all of that for you… I had heard of this sort of thing happening back when I played WoW, but I must admit, I still don’t understand it. Still, each to their own brand of fun, I suppose?

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6 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 – A Journey?

  1. I quite agree with you, the whole point of playing an MMO is to not only play the game for yourself, levelling your own character, etc. but also to experience the STORY. If you pick up a level 80 character, all that experience will never be yours.

    When I was still playing WoW, I levelled a Night Elf Druid up to 80, and the controls, shortcuts, etc. was set up exactly to how I had evolved with the character. When one of my guild mates left the game, he gave me his level 80 Human Palladin, and I simply couldnt play with the character because, I didn’t understand the abilities, I didn’t understand his shortcuts/controls and all of that time he played through the story was lost.

    I guess all I’m trying to say is, I agree with you on everything, MMOs are meant to be experienced right from the beginning up until the level cap to truly get its true value.

    Lastly, I still can’t get over how awesome the Guild Wars 2 characters are done. The lines and curves are…breathtakingly beautiful. Love it.

    Nice blog Abigail, keep going.

    • Thanks! Glad you liked the post 🙂

      I had the same experience when I played WoW. I preferred to level my own little characters than play with Garth’s level 80s… It’s so hard to jump in with all abilities and such unlocked – it’s overwhelming really!

  2. Ugh, people will always look for shortcuts. But to pay real, hefty sums for those shortcuts? Ridiculous. Give it to charity damnit, or spend it on something worthwhile. I get that it’s your money, but still, at least do something useful with it.

    Nice post! I’ve been very interested in GW2 for awhile, but not sure of the time investment required.

    • Thanks! I think the time for GW2 depends on what you want to do. You can play on your own or with a few friends pretty casually. If you want a legendary weapon, on the other hand, you’ve got a lot of work (and hours) ahead! My level 80 mesmer is ‘only’ 50-something hours old, so you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours if you don’t want to 🙂

  3. MMO’s have always had a special place in my gaming life. Yes, the leveling process can get overbearing and quite honestly I’m just a little bit over it after a couple of years, BUT, some of my characters I capped are very significant to me. It was definitely a journey and helped me grow as a gamer. In fact, the experiences were very personal and I still remember it fondly.

    I think buying an account with capped characters just defeats the point completely, part of why I love MMO’s is that feeling of achievement, after spending so much time leveling a character, you have something to be proud of.

  4. Pingback: Guild Wars 2: The Return? | The Triangular Room

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