Guild Wars 2: The Return?

Guild Wars 2 recently announced their first expansion pack, nearly two and a half years after the game’s release. The trailer, which I’ve included below, looks pretty awesome, and it got me and my husband interested in getting back into the game. (Hubby had never actually played the game much, even after I bought the game for him a while back.)

At one stage I was playing the game every day (and writing about it a bit), but after a while, with over 600 hours on the clock, I decided that I was done. Since then, I’ve played other MMOs, including Rift and Tera Rising, as well as some other, less awesome ones. I particularly enjoyed Tera‘s fun combat and the beautiful environments, character models and armour sets that you could get. Eventually, though, life got in the way, and it’s been quite a while since I played any MMO.

Recently, though, we set up hubby’s Guild Wars 2 account, made him a character, and dived back into the world of Tyria. I decided to create a new character as well, and try a new profession; given the huge number of hours I’ve put into my max level characters, I wanted to do something a bit different. I’m not sure I needed to worry about that, however, as there have been a lot of changes since I played back in 2012/2013.

Besides the new ‘Living World’ content (I’m a little bit sad I missed most of that, but hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on that before the expansion arrives), there have been tons of improvements to how the game works. Yes, the core mechanics are the same, but things that would have been so awesome when I was playing every day have been added. Though it’s a little annoying that those features didn’t exist back at launch, it’s also good to see the game has grown and improved over time.

There’s now a daily login bonus with decent rewards, currencies are account-wide and the special dungeon currencies aren’t taking up space in your bank any more, dye colours are account-wide too (probably my favourite improvement!), and there is an account wardrobe where you unlock skins of weapons and armour that you pick up. This does mean I now have to collect many armour sets again, but it also means I can free up space in my account bank where I was previously storing ‘pretty’ weapons and armour. There are a lot of other things too, like an improved trading post and achievement system, not to mention the wealth of gem items available for sale (and yes, I’ve already purchased yet another makeover kit to reinvent my sylvari elementalist. Again.).

Perhaps the biggest improvement that I’ve come across while leveling a brand new character is the way the leveling system is now handled. It’s much more beginner-friendly, which a compass pointing you towards your next objective at all times, and staggered unlocks of new abilities when you level up. This means you’re not overwhelmed with dozens of options and can take on this huge game one level at a time. I think this will ultimately make the game much more accessible to the host of new players the expansion will probably attract.

So, will I be spending another 600 hours in Tyria? Possibly not, as I don’t really have that much free time in my life anymore, but I can see myself sinking a fair number of hours into the game, especially now that I’ve finally convinced hubby to join the game. Plus my little Asura warrior ‘Joxxa the Mighty’ is really fun to play!

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