Returning to Tyria

I don’t even know how much time has passed between those days and these.

Guild Wars 2 was always a complicated topic of discussion for me. Those who have been around here for a while will know that Guild Wars provided many fond memories for me. It was the first MMO I played (before I even knew what an MMO was), I enjoyed the world, and I enjoyed the mechanics. However, when news came of the second installment, I was a little hesitant to pick it up as I never did buy nor play Eye of the North. So I always felt I’d be missing out. Which, ultimately, led to me not picking Guild Wars 2 up.

That said, with the recent news surrounding the core game, I put aside my indecision and finally took the plunge back into Tyria.

I chose a Mesmer and a Guardian for my free slots. The former was my favourite class from the previous title and the latter is something new (which reminds me of the Paragon/Monk). One of my biggest concerns (for lack of a better word) with Guild Wars 2 was the skill system, which, while still very tailored to adapting to any role, is now entirely based on your weapon(s). There are three additional skills along with a healing skill that you can assign but the bulk comes from the weapon(s). It’s… not as bad as I first thought it would be.

This is such a coordinated team effort.
This is such a coordinated team effort.

I’ve not had much experience with the underwater combat thus far but I’ve had fun switching between weapons and trying different builds. I’m settling on either the two-handed sword or a one-handed mace and shield for my Guardian, while the Mesmer feels great with a one-handed sword and pistol. That said, as I unlock more additional skills, this could be subject to change.

They’ve really hit the nail squarely on the head with the world and story, too.

For those who have played the first in the series there are a lot of references, locations to revisit, new story to learn, and general world evolutions to watch unfold. It’s rather haunting how perfect the return to Ascalon City was. After the Searing and then the events that led to the start of Guild Wars 2- it feels hollow, empty, and lifeless. Yet, at the same time, it still feels like the same city we all trained in Pre-Searing. Multiple starting locations are a feature, too. Thusly there are a number of solid, enjoyable, and well thought out improvements to be had.

Funnily enough- so is this.
Funnily enough- so is this.

There are far too many small details to talk about in a single post, though. For returning players who have enjoyed the first Guild Wars I would say that this has a similar level of charm with some really interesting additions/improvements. There are more account-wide unlocks now but the sense of individual progression remains for those who enjoy that (like me).

While there is also a great deal of freedom in how you choose to progress, where, and in which fashion. I don’t believe (as far as I’ve encountered) there’s anything like a Horde and Alliance system where certain races/factions can’t interact. When you open your map for the first time the starting areas for each race are all unlocked, and I’ve traveled between them without incident, so I do believe you’re free to mingle if you don’t enjoy the progression where you currently reside. Story missions seem to be region-locked, though. For how long I can’t say.

Still, I’ve been having a lot of fun with it so far. I hope that continues for some time to come!

Have a nice week, all!


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