Guild Wars 2 New Player Experience

This is about the New Player Experience, or the new leveling system/additions/changes made in the most recent patch.

For starters, I would like to say that when I first heard about the changes coming in the feature patch, I was really unhappy. I did not agree with almost all the changes to leveling and particularly the gating in the feature patch. It really bothered me and I was one of the massive group of people saying “Guess I’m not making an alt ever again. GG Anet”. Well, I decided to make a guardian and just give it a shot.

What I found out, was the new system is actually really, really fantastic. You might look at it on paper and say things like “Wow, can’t use my 5th skill until level 10? Screw that”. The gating is pretty daunting to a veteran player who is used to having access to things from a much earlier point. However, the time it took me to get from 1-10 was ridiculously fast. I wish I had timed it, but it couldn’t have been more than an hour and a half. During that time, I got several messages notifying me with EXACTLY what had been unlocked, including some guild wars 2 gold and a breakdown of stat gains. This continued from 10-20, with me just completely floored with how quickly I was leveling compared to what I was used to. What I discovered was that at no point during my 1-20 leveling phase did I sit there thinking “Man, I really wish I had my 5th skill before level 10” or “Holy crap why don’t I have my utilities yet”. The levels just go by so quickly that you sort of forget that you’re missing something, and before you know it, you have it unlocked.

Something else I would like to throw in is the experience for someone who is truly new to this game. Me and my brother have both been playing this game since beta, as well as gw1 since beta. Our Dad wanted to have something that we could all do together, and since none of us live near each other, we suggested getting GW2 because it was fairly easy to get the hang of. To our surprise, we were having a really difficult time helping him figure everything out, because he has never played any MMO or computer game like this in his life. With this new system, however, he has been able to play without us and figure things out on his own much easier. He has been able to get a sense of direction with the handy arrow pointing to the next heart missions, and he understands the story better because it’s sorted into chapters, so there is no waiting between missions if you’re under leveled.

There are a few things I did not like. I don’t understand why we aren’t getting skill points every level anymore. Maybe this is a bug, but I just don’t get why its designed this way. For those who haven’t leveled a character with the new system, you get your skill points bundled in every 10 levels? or so (I don’t know what level I got all my skill points at, I just know I looked and they were all of a sudden all there). That really bothered me, because it really sets you back for the first two tiers of utility skills.

The only other thing that I do not enjoy about it, and this is not new, is the trait system. I still hate this. I don’t understand why we have to wait until 30, and how that is beneficial at all. I strongly feel like a better tutorial system could be implemented, and trait points could be rewarded much sooner. Say, starting at level 15. It is just very frustrating not having access to that customization until essentially 36, because lets be honest, your first trait point is pretty negligible until you can get your first actual trait.

TL;DR The new system is pretty great in my opinion. Even if you are absolutely sure that you hate it and everything it has brought, at least give it a try. You may find that you actually enjoy it a lot, and that it’s not nearly as bad as you expected!

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