I could talk endlessly about the combat system and the crafting system, but these are certainly a matter of taste and best experienced on your own. Suffice to say, combat is smooth and the animations satisfying, and the crafting system is simple yet elegant. There is a level of polish here that has been sorely lacking in other games of late, and though I’ve only made it to level 20 so far it is obvious that there is enough to keep me occupied for months on end. Each class is distinct and rewarding in its own right, and if you find you don’t care for the play style be sure to swap your weapons and try the other skill mixes before giving up on the class completely. Warrior felt distinctly ‘meh’ to me with the first set of weapons I started with, and then suddenly became ripping fun when I was able to switch to something with skills more fast-pasted. Even classes I didn’t much care for in the original game, such as the Necromancer, shine in their new incarnation. Your character feels solidly connected to the world, without the sense of floating or gliding that ruins the immersion. This has been a huge pet peeve for me, and it’s nice to finally see another game get this right. And to those who think ten skills is too little, I will pose this question: How many of those fifty+ buttons did you use in your rotation in World of Warcraft? In most cases, only a small handful that varied depending on your build, and then a few utility skills. This is no different, except for the lack of UI clutter and the fact that ‘switching spec’ is simply switching your weapon.
This is a gorgeous, fun, and well thought-out game. If you are on the fence I encourage you to go to their web site and read the developer blogs and other material, watch some videos, and if your curiosity is piqued dive in. Without a monthly fee you have ample time to explore every avenue the game has, and even if you find it is not to your taste I suspect you would find you’ve spent much more time with the game than many FPS titles of the same price. This is well worth the cost, if only to experience what I feel is a solid step forward in the gaming world, and that is encouraging people to play *together* instead of against each other.
Lets just say right now that for the money this is a game that will not shortchange you on content. Unlike the previous guild wars this is a true MMO (but with some nice twists). Guild Wars 1 felt more like a single player game with multiplayer “hubs” as only the towns had players in it. the rest of the world (other then the pvp zones) were instanced and with being able to have npc party members a lot of people like myself simply avoided other players all together and just ran out into the world using npc buddies sure the game felt “alive” in towns but once you got into the main world areas it was just you and your team which did not feel like a true MMO.
Guild Wars 2 changes all that, and at first thoughth the idea of losing the option of having a NPC party might seem a bit sad for some, but honestly with the extreame ease of grouping up in GW2 you really wont miss it much. In most other MMOs in order to obtain rewards or do much you have to find a group for a “quest” all members had to have that quest in the group in order to gain stuff from it you couldnt just run up to a group of players fighting something and join in and hope you get the rewards because you may not have the quest they have and then you would also have to fight over loot drops etc. This to me always made grouping up frustrating, as often you would have to either find someone in chat, or stand around towns hoping to find some people to group up with. Also if you were doing a quest and having trouble with it a lot of people near you might be able to help but would have no reason to do so if they did not have the same quest. In Guild Wars 2 they change all of this by the dynamic event system if you or anyone near you are near an area when an event is trigged all players in that area will be alerted to that event and in joining each person who helps out will gain rewards from it.