Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hello everybody Let's try and answer the question Should I play Guild Wars 2 in 2019? My honest opinion is that you should play it But let me try and explain my perspective on what I think influences this First off, Guild Wars 2 has a free to play option which will allow you to play the core version of the game This only has a handful of limitations You will only have access to eight of the classes and wont be able to play Revenant You will also only have access to one map region And that consists of Central Tyria There are also some chat restrictions if you want to see all of them I will leave a link down below in the description You should bear in mind that this is basically an infinite trial Free to play allows you to play the game to level 80 and access the core classes You can play through the full original story and access the content that was made available to players who first bought the game when it was originally released If you buy the expansions, Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire, you will unlock two whole new regions. The Heart of Maguuma and the Crystal Desert and this will come with a plethora of content to tackle Here on the left we have the Heart of Maguuma maps which have a good amount of events in them And then here in the bottom right hand side of the map we have the Path of Fire Crystal Desert maps There are also events here but arguably not as fun One big selling point about these maps is that they appear to be the largest in the game Or they feel like it The expansions come with two whole new story lines, access to six raid wings, you gain gliding from Heart of Thorns and Mounts from Path of Fire The Mounts in Guild Wars 2 are definitely one of their best features they are not pointless they have their own skills You can also upgrade these skills via the mastery points system This is something that you will continue to unlock throughout the expansions. The expansions also unlock the class Revenant, this is something you would not have access to in the Free to Play version And finally, we have the Living World episodes, I will build on this later on, but the Living World is an ongoing series that gets updated periodically The way that I look at it, the game stops at level 80 until you buy the expansions There is so much content in Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire you very easily run out of things to do in the core game That said, ArenaNet do release regular content for free And sometimes there is a decent wait in-between However, Guild Wars 2 does not charge a subscription service and therefore I think it's viable for there to be a little bit of a wait in-between each release. That said, there are some semi-regular balance updates as well as a new raid wing approximately once a year and of course, their Living World Seasons. Included in this, Is some Quality of Life items and Fashion item releases as well These consist of mount skins, weapon skins, Infinite salvage kits, extra bag slots and then different types of particle effect infinite tools Those will make more sense once you've actually bought a good few amount of mining tools and so forth And the best part is that with the gold to gem conversion you don't have to spend another penny on this game after you buy it You can if you wish but arguably you can get everything you want just by playing the game ArenaNet's prime target market is the gamer who does not want to be left behind and feel that they need to grind for weeks just to achieve their goals You are able to reach level 80 by playing any game mode you wish with the exception to some free to play limitations If you wish to do the standard method and just grind out heart completion, go for it However, if you're a player vs player fanatic, you are able to go in at level 2 and just start playing through your reward tracks These tracks take your PvP experience and reward you with items periodically You will occasionally be granted a Tome of Knowledge which is equal to one level gained Upon usage of this item you will gain one character level PvP in Guild Wars 2 is played in one... I mean two game modes. These consist of Conquest and Stronghold Not including World vs World In Conquest, you fight for node ownership and play 5 vs 5 Essentially Capture-Point Deathmatch And then there Stronghold, where you use supply to request NPCs who break down walls and eventually kill the main NPC Lord. Stronghold is due a rework and is not really the main PvP game of choice. If you do choose this method to level up your character, you will be scaled up as an equal. You will be at no deficit if you choose to be level 2, level 30 or level 79 Your amulet choices and rune choices, and skill choices are what determine your power output and sustainability Everything is auto-unlocked in instanced PvP You could of course also unlock everything in World vs World. However your gear, skills and attachments will not scale as well as it would if you were full Ascended. You must still unlock your abilities via the Hero Panel in order to use them in World vs World. So this isn't quite the same as Structured PvP. World vs World is essentially a massive Player vs Player vs Environment engagement. Multiple servers group up against one another and fight for objectives on the map Each server is allocated its own Borderlands to defend And then those servers that are fighting against one another contest each other in the Eternal Battlegrounds. You can use siege equipment to both be offensive and defensive. And there are player commanders who will try to organise these defensive and offensive manoeuvres. This is very large scale PvP. Now lets move onto gear. The gear ranges from basic to Legendary Ascended and Legendary have the same stats and they are what you will be using for pretty much your entire lifetime of Guild Wars 2. Due to the lack of gear treadmill, your gear is almost always relevant. The only reason that you might go for Legendary gear is so that you have a special particle effect or because you would like the Quality of Life that is associated with them. Legendary gear allows you to change the stat weights whenever you like just by double clicking on the item and selecting what you'd like to change it to. This means that you do not have to carry around multiple sets of gear. The Legendary gear in Guild Wars 2 does require a little bit of a grind, however these are completely optional and they are things that you choose to undertake yourself. They're never forced upon you. There is no reason to mindlessly grind anything you don't wish to. You can actually log off for a few weeks, come back and you're still as relevant as you were before. The stat ceiling is fixed, but your skill ceiling is up to you. Now this is what I think is the main selling point of Guild Wars 2. It was my favourite feature and it remains to be. The combat is fluid, dynamic, responsive and allows for skilful play. There are a number of combos in this game both field and finisher, and skill succession combos. You might be used to skill limitations in games like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14, where each button press requires a global cooldown. In Guild Wars 2, that's not the case. Some skills have instant usage and some skills have cast times or action times. After the animation is finished you are able to use your next ability, or use multiple instant cast spells or actions simultaneously. This is an example of a combo. It's a relatively famous one known as the Backstab Steal combo. Essentially what it shows is you going into stealth, activating an ability to travel and then backstabbing. Combos like this exist across all of the classes. And I think that this is a prime example of how fluid the combat is. Guild Wars 2 has a relatively easy to understand combat system. All you need to do is get your head around the combo fields. That said, in PvP and even in PvE, there are some benefits to using things like terrain. In PvP for example, skill telegraphs and visuals, action-cancelling and kiting are keys to success. So the limitations of the combat system aren't just the skills. Your ability to interpret situations and react are paramount. And outplaying your opponent isn't just via use of skills. Action cancelling is a good way of making people use defensive cool downs. Guild Wars 2 also has an evasion mechanic. This relies on an endurance bar and a slow regeneration of that resource. This evade mechanic makes you essentially immune to damage at the time of use, which you are able to freely use in all areas of the game. It's not as broken as it sounds but it can definitely lead to a very fast death if you waste them. This is true in PvP and PvE. Guild Wars 2 has two different sets of damage. There's flat power damage and there's condition damage that can stack in intensity. Examples include, bleeding, burning, poison, confusion and torment. And if you'd like to look at these they are available on the wiki. So, look at it this way. Your choice of gear, or amulet, will influence this damage. This is also applicable to things like healing power. You can create hybrid builds, or just a generic condition or power based build. Your class trait lines will further enable you to customise your class. Some of them prefer conditions and some prefer the power play. Traits are essentially methods of creating synergy. You can determine your class behaviour with a certain set of traits. For example, swapping an elite spec might open up a different weapon set. The thief can't usually use staff, but when it uses Daredevil, it gains access to this weapon. And in turn, it gains access to new abilities. As a reminder, the elite specialisations are found in the expansions. If you're thinking about this from a PvE level, all you do is change your gear instead of your amulet. It's exactly the same. Now let's move onto boons. Boons are the buffs of Guild Wars 2. Each one does something slightly different to benefit your combat. This may consist of increased damage output, damage reduction, condition resistance, and so on. Some of these boons can stack in intensity. And the same as before, here is a brief listing. Again, I will provide the link in the description. Your class may not always play the same style. The elite specialisations in the game can completely change up your class' meta play. Core guardian which is usually very offensive, gains options to become a very sustainable support class when switching to the Firebrand elite spec. You as the player determine the output of your class. There is more customisation than people think. Now moving on from some of the tangents, there are options for killing time in Guild Wars 2. You can chase down achievements, do some collections, and grind out irrelevancies for the sake of it. You could play the trading post, you could farm your favourite skins, or you can just grief people in PvP. And of course there's always raids and fractal dungeons. How is it so far for you? If you are an ex-World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy 14, or whatever player, you may be used to the item level grind, and constant desire to be relevant by farming drops which may never come. If this is something you love and need in your MMO of choice, Guild Wars 2 will not offer you that. Guild Wars 2 will always be played at your own pace. If you wanna leave and come back when the Living World episodes release, go for it. Some people play every single day, others don't. They make their own content. They form communities, and play the game the way they want to. The limitations of the raids in this game is that there is only a single tier of difficulty. That said, there are objects called Challenge Motes which increase the difficulty of some encounters, not all of them. These add additional health and additional mechanics. Raid bosses drop exclusive skins and achievements that can provide you with exclusive items. That said, due to the lack of gear treadmill, all of the previous raid wings are still as relevant as the most recent. This means that none of the bosses actually become outdated. They remain equally as difficult as they were the first time that you did them, and the only thing that improves that is your experience with the bosses. As previous mentioned, there are currently 6 raid wings with another one in development hopefully coming in 2019. So that means currently there are 22 encounters with 16 bosses. The encounters count as actual raid engagements but they are not bosses in themselves. This includes things like escorting an NPC from one side to another whilst defending it. Each boss can drop ascended weapons and gear, and it's a pretty good method gold as well. Now let's quickly recap on the Living World. The Living World story is a regular release schedule of ArenaNet where they provide the player base with a story which is separate to the story-lines contained in the core game as well as Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire. You will however need the expansions to play the story. These episodes are released one at a time and typically arrive with a new map, new skins and new achievements. In a recent case, they included a new mount, with one of the episodes. You can find ascended gear in these episodes whilst also enjoying an ongoing lore saga that may or may not hold your attention. And lastly, there are re-playable dungeons in Guild Wars 2 known as Fractals. They range from level 1 to 100 and require a special resistance in order to progress. Each level increases in difficulty. This special resistance is known as Agony. Agony can be socketed into your ascended gear And the best bit is you can even do some of these in challenge mode. And these really are hard. There are also things called Mistlock Instabilities. These are essentially affixes that will attempt to make the fractal dungeons harder. These are on a rotation and more of them apply to your dungeons as you progress through the higher tiers. At the highest level, there can only be three at once.