I’ve had some time to play Guild Wars 2.
Over a month, in fact. I have a human thief at level 70, a human mesmer at level 30 and a charr engineer at level 25.
I do like how dynamic the game play feels, even when you’re exploring solo, you’re never really alone. There’s always the chance that if you find yourself in trouble, you can always feel as though someone will come and help you. Even with the open field of players in a zone, you never have to worry about kill stealing. It’s changed the way a player can look at a game. Instead of someone being accused of kill stealing, people are helping to take down a mob, and are given reward accordingly. People don’t ignore you if you’ve fallen, because you also get rewards for resuscitating people. A small amount of experience and perks toward a title (Shani, my thief, has brought back nearly 1,000 fallen allies from the brink).
It’s fantasy, with a little taste of steampunk in there. And maybe even a bit of science fiction. No other fantasy setting has swords and sorcery that combines with flintlocks and musket rifles, and then enter an area where inside the buildings are hovering computer screens and mechanical golems built with speech patterns that seem to come from computer if/then statements.
It’s also nice that you never really outlevel an area, as it automatically sets your level without removing skills to the level of that area. You happen to be level 70 in a level 15 area? No problem, you’re still going to find it a challenge and you’ll still get rewards accordingly.
My first play through (not complete) was with my thief. I like the speed of the thief, plus the ability to hide quickly and draw enemies away and confuse them. Plus, having the ability to switch from dual daggers to dual pistols (or a mix thereof) is really fun.
The mesmer was a bit of a challenge to get used to, and seeing how they have an odd array of weapon choices, but once I got past that it was kind of easy. Mesmers can wield a scepter, staff, pistol, longsword or a greatsword (have yet to try that as of this moment). Plus, many of the abilities can create copies of yourself so it’s like a small army of you. That happen to smash into butterflies once combat is done.
My third high level character is a charr engineer. The charr are feline like creatures that were at one time at war with the humans. Now, they’ve set aside differences and are working on a peace treaty with the humans. 250 years after the charr reclaimed their old home of Ascalon. My first charr is named Flintlock Burnfur, an engineer. The engineer profession took a little getting used to, but it definitely has some major versatility. Rifle turrets, healing turrets, grenade satchels, tool kit, and much more. No weapon swapping, unfortunately. This is mostly due in part to the fact engineers have so much versatility. Though you can choose rifle, dual pistols or pistol and shield. It was a bit difficult at first to play, as poor Flintlock kept face planting a lot. She still has some difficulty, but now she has the skill Flamethrower, and it chews through enemies quite nicely. There’s an Avatar the Last Airbender parallel in there: Everything changed the day Flintlock got a flamethrower.
One other thing I do like about the game is the visualization. And this points to how gender is represented in the game and how characters are created. There’s A LOT of female NPCs that your character will interact with. A LOT! Especially with the charr. Which is also something rather nice regarding races.
Often in a game, whenever a female character is created, it seems that they are made more for titillation and eye candy. In Guild Wars 2, charr females look nice, but they look like charr. They don’t look like feline heads on human bodies with huge breasts. Charr male and female characters have similar builds. The same can be said for the Asura, which appear like very small creatures, rather pudgy, large ears and large eyes. Norn are just large humans, but even the women are muscular.