Feedback Requested (Guild Wars 2)

Jeromai, in his infinite wisdom, saw that Guild Wars 2 is currently on sale for 50% off, meaning someone like me who has been wanting to try the game has an excellent point of entry. Being a game with no subscription, paying $25 for the box feels like a fantastic deal.

I never played the original Guild Wars. From what I remember, most of the people I played MMOs with that had tried it didn’t have many positive things to say. The general consensus of the newer iteration is mostly positive. I have seen features of the game that appeal to me, though I haven’t really watched the game played and haven’t tried it myself.

My recent MMO history has been as follows:

  • I went back to EQ2 in March. I did a bunch of dungeons and saw parts of the world I had missed, and finally hit the AA mark where I could progress beyond level 90 (to 95). At that point I felt the familiar feelings of “why am I doing this again?” and moved right along.
  • With a list of MMOs I had missed over the years, I aimed to at least try a few titles. I started with Rift and progressed through to the mid-game, where I took a break (that has continued to this day).
  • Wildstar had open beta and I participated, but I disliked the game as a whole.
  • I tried Neverwinter but it didn’t appeal to me like I thought it would.
  • SWTOR had some great story telling, but the rest of the game felt like more of the same, re-skinned. I loved the space battles.
  • TERA was similar to Wildstar in some ways, though it appealed to me a bit more. It still felt a little too eastern though, and I don’t know anyone playing it.
  • Firefall has enough elements to be called an MMO, but really it’s an MMO-lite. It’s fun to shoot stuff, but it feels like it lacks in some areas. J3w3l wrote a post that nails how I feel.
  • I was invited to the last ArcheAge closed beta event, and I liked what I saw. The 2nd closed beta event starts today, so I will be trying that some more. Perhaps this is a game I can set some roots in.

I still have a bit of a to-try list, as follows:

  • Guild Wars 2 (buy the box)
  • The Secret World (I believe this is buy the box too?)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (box + sub)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (free trial)
  • H1Z1 (in development)
  • Everquest Next (in development)

That list is a lot shorter than my /played list. Though my /played list has several titles that I probably didn’t give a fair chance to. So anyway, the real point of this post was to say that I have decided I’m going to buy Guild Wars 2 and give it a good go. With ArcheAge still in closed beta, the play periods are short, and eventually there will be open beta and I believe the game is going to be free to play, so I can dive into that at the appropriate times. In the interim, I want to jump into GW2. Many people have recommended the game to me over this course of time where I’ve complained about features (or lack thereof) in the other games I’ve been trying.

Since I didn’t really know much about the game I decided to start by reading about it on the wiki. Going through the races, the Charr interest me most. That was a rather easy choice. Looking at classes, there are multiple that appeal to me, and since I don’t really know how any of them will play (and I know it should come down to personal preference) I’m having trouble deciding which class to play. I know that outside of the classes that do really interest me, there’s others that still might suit my playstyle. As a result, I’m asking for feedback as to what class you think I would have a blast playing in this poll:

If you would, add in what class you play, and why you chose a particular class for me in the comments. I appreciate the help and your opinions!

#guildwars2 #gw2 #blaugust #poll

18 thoughts on “Feedback Requested (Guild Wars 2)

    • I typically lean towards the stealth dual-wielding classes (see yesterday’s post), though I’ve had my periods of time playing Tanks/Healers/Casters. I love the idea of support classes, but yes they are usually hard to solo.


  1. I voted Ele, but it might be that Necro is just as if not more fun. I have really only played Elementalist, but I mostly love it for the spell effects. I’m trying out a Mesmer atm and it is quite different but I’m still unsure of how much I like it (only level 8).

    I do have more generic advice, though. One is the observation that most likely, what you think about how a class will play is going to be different to how it actually plays, so try to discard any preconceived notions from the class name. I’ve played a Thief, Engineer, Guardian and Warrior now for a few levels each, trying the various weapon skills, and I’ve been forced to deal with a feeling of disconnect with how I thought they would play. IMO, Ele and Engi play closest to what you would think, and from what I read Necro would as well.

    Finally, if you choose a Thief because stealth, just keep in mind that it is temporary only (about 3-5 seconds, I think).

    And remember that I’m not a huge player of this so my opinions come with a pillar of salt.


    • I appreciate the feedback. Ele felt like a pure wizard type class from description. If that’s the case, it’s towards the bottom of my list as far as my personal playstyle goes. It’s usually something like rogue>pet>supportish>tank as far as what I enjoy, but my highest level classes in any game have usually been tank/rogue. I like to lead, but also like to backstab. Pet classes (I’m not sure if this necro qualifies) are always fun because of the added dynamic. Support classes usually have really fun group abilities and I assume the Engineer and Mesmer fall in here, but again, preconceived notions.

      I can’t pretend to know what I don’t know. This was the reason for creating the poll in the first place. I guess I should note that I will most definitely participate in PvP, if that makes a difference for choice.


      • well you can get a lot more stealth out of the thief by using combo fields.. leaping through one a couple times gives a decent amount but hard to pull off.

        Also the ele is hella fun. The staff is very much your typical wizard style of cast times and big effects but double dagger is awesome. Extremely mobile and deadly.. lots of fire fields and comboing with yourself although I think it’s one of the styles of play with the largest skill curve.

        That’s the thing to remember with a lot of the classes, usually there is one weapon that will play exactly like you think they should but there is still a lot of variation there.

        I have it patched up atm so give me a hollla when your jumping in and Ill level something with you

        oh and this is eri lol.. on work account


  2. I really enjoyed both the Ranger and Necro the best in that game. My first character was a thief, but they were all over the place from patch-to-patch in terms of power and fun-ness.

    The other two were great.


  3. Sorry Izlain, this is going to be a long one.

    Guild Wars 2 classes and player roles don’t really conform to the genre standards. Specifically most of the time your role isn’t determined by your class or party, but by your game mode, because almost every class can play any role effectively.

    In PvE you’ll be stacking DPS over everything, because tanking is impossible (no aggro) and support is far less effective. In WvW you’ll be playing tanky/support, because otherwise you can’t survive zerg fights. In sPvP… well you can usually do whatever you want (except: Guardian = Tank/Support. Thief = DPS).

    Those roles can of course be played in all sorts of different ways. With traits, gear, utility skills, and weapon selection you can make all sorts of major changes to the way you do that massive DPS or support your team.

    In short: in GW2 you don’t usually pick a class for the role you want to play. You pick them for their play style (active/passive, melee/ranged, etc).

    I voted Thief.

    If you like rogues in other games, such as WoW, this is essentially a more active and mobile version of that class. And it so happens to be one of the most enjoyable classes to play (imo). Teleporting all over the place, brief invisible moments (also for allies!), pistols/swords/daggers/shortbows. It’s very much a limited weapon set and DPS-only class, but because it’s so reliant on constant movement it’s always fun to play. And it’s hilarious to see a giant Norn/Charr teleporting around the place planting greatsword-sized daggers into Asura xD

    Engineer and Guardian are the easiest classes in the game. They’re also the most static and boring (imo), so I’d say avoid. Engineer only has 2 weapons and very static ranged combat. Guardian is only viable as tank/support (which makes PvE awful) and its weapons are singularly focused on auto-attacks with crowd control skills on the side. Guardian is kinda fun in WvW/sPvP though…

    Mesmer and Elementalist are great unique classes, but they’re very tricky to play. Not the best to start with in an already rather alternative MMORPG. Also, Mesmer is not really a support caster… it’s a weird alternative denial/illusion/displacement DPS caster. They’re also nothing like GW1 mesmers (which were support/dps casters).

    Ranger is exactly what you’d expect, albeit with a fair few melee weapons and a pet. Necromancer is pretty great all-round and surprisingly tanky (more-so than warrior). Warrior is #1 damage dealer in PvE, but requires more attention/skill from the player than any other class in the game, including Thief and Mesmer.

    One thing to note about the Charr: their size and shape can make jumping puzzles more difficult than with other races.

    Apart from a few (worthless) skills there aren’t really any gameplay differences between races, so just pick whatever you like. The Charr happen to have some of the most beautiful and iconic early areas, because they’re located in the old Human lands from GW1. Then again you can easily go to any starting zone at level 1 (or 80), so that doesn’t really matter :p

    Now for a little GW1 rant:

    Guild Wars 1 was a game that had an endless list of positive qualities, but wasn’t really like any MMORPG at the time, so many MMO fans didn’t “get it”. A better comparison would be something like Baldur’s Gate or Dragon Age: Origins. A full-on story-driven campaign with party-based gameplay and very challenging, rewarding, and well-crafted content that emphasized the experience (gameplay / story) over the goal (items / crafting / grinding). It did away with pretty much every genre staple at the time: no grind, no crafting, low level cap, identical stats for max lvl items, no griefing, no open PvP, no subscription fee, no server divisions, no region divisions, proper competitive PvP (akin to DotA or other eSports), etc. A very different game, but good for a great time once you didn’t approach it like just any other MMORPG.

    Also, yes The Secret World is buy-to-play. Still need to get back to that… eventually :/


    • Ok, I’m going to have to growl angrily about the insinuation that guardian is only useful as tank/support. DPS guardians are a thing. Very bursty spike damage and slightly squishy, mitigated with blinds and blocks.

      My PvE guardian cuts through most things faster than any other class I’ve seen walking around, eg. in Southsun farming karka, in the Halloween maze farming lvl 80 mobs, in Lion’s Arch rescuing citizens during Scarlet’s attack, etc. Because I built him for that exact purpose.

      I wouldn’t take his exact build into a dungeon because it’s less group-focused and more selfish-oriented, there are more dungeon meta zerker gs guardian builds, but they can definitely be a thing.

      Bottom line, all classes are capable of being tanky or supporty / controlly or damage oriented depending on what you want and how you build for it.

      And for a beginner, I wouldn’t sweat it because builds and all can be changed around without much worry, it’s not like Path of Exile where you’re stuck without a respec.

      You’ve got 5 character slots – just pick one that sounds good, run around and have fun in the world for a while, then make more classes later. They can be all brought into the PvP area Heart of the Mists at lvl 2, to be upleveled to lvl 80, and you can play with all their skills and traits and weapons on the target dummies and NPCs there, to get a better sense of how they work and which one you favor more.


      • Ok maybe that bit came out wrong. Let’s try again:

        Guardian and thief are the two classes in Guild Wars 2 that regardless of build always have the exact same play style. Any build can be effective, be that DPS, tank, or support or a mix of any variation. But their play style is never altered significantly by build or weapon choice.

        A thief will always play like a very mobile burst DPS character. Regardless of how much you spec for tank or support, their play style will always be that of an aggressive mobile burst DPS with some mild variations depending on the type of DPS (condition vs critical vs power).

        A guardian is always going to play like a relatively static tank/support, regardless of build or weapon selection. DPS is perfectly viable and their auto-attack damage is sick (burst/spike not so much). But the play style is always the same. In the guardian’s case this is primarily due to the weapon skills: all of them are largely support-oriented, so even with all-in DPS specs you’re still doing a lot of supportive work. And even the most all-in DPS guardian is still one of the most tanky characters on the field.

        That’s where they differ from the other classes that seem to transform into entirely different characters when you change their build or weapon selection. You have to completely alter your play to be effective with different builds (or even weapons!) for other classes. Whereas guardian and thief are extremely consistent regardless of build.


  4. If you don’t mind playing squishy and dying when you screw up your positioning – which can be fairly often when you’re leveling and learning the game – thief or double dagger elementalist feel the most ‘rogue-like’ to me.

    But the caveat is that you might die a lot while figuring out combat – I know I constantly squished while leveling my thief for a while.

    Warrior and guardian are the most straightforward and do a good mix of feeling high damage plus tanky/survivable.

    Rangers and necros have pets, but only expect certain ranger pets to tank for you (the much maligned bear, for example) and it’s best to learn how to use the other pets plus dip into melee. (For all classes, there are no ranged or melee period classes, flexibility between the two is often needed.) For necro, minion master is only one possible build they could be using, there are other ways to play without pets too.

    Just go with whatever aesthetic feels best to you, imo. Like poofing invisible every so often and grey smoke? Thief. Like being darkity dark green and magicky? Necro. Like being on blue fire all the time? Guardian. Like carting melee weapons around like an armory? Warrior. Like carting ranged weapons and gadgets and gizmos around like an armory? Engineer. Like being Captain Planet and wielding the four elemental powers? Ele. (Ok, that analogy got away with me.) Like messing with illusions, confusing people and being PURPLE? Mesmer. Like bringing an animal zoo around that won’t -ever- leave? Ranger.

    Or what kinds of characters do you generally play in LOL?


    • Technically engineer is a ranged-only class. But it’s the only real exception I can think of and you can still use some melee/melee-range utility/racial skills.


  5. Keep in mind that GW2 calls classes “professions.” It still confuses me sometimes.

    Just for fun here’s a poll I posted on the GW2 subreddit a while back asking which profession has the highest skill cap:

    Elementalist and Engineer came out on top with Mesmer and Thief a distant second and third. I don’t know whether Droniac mains an Engineer but there’s a heck of a lot of depth to the profession if you learn how to play it well.

    With that said, Jeromai’s pretty much covered the basics. If you want a good “starter” profession you can’t go wrong with Warrior or Guardian. From there, you can branch out to some of the medium and light armor professions like Necromancer (minion pets), Ranger (active pets), and Thief (dagger/sword/pistol). Thief doesn’t have permanent stealth, so you’ll have to get used to the relatively ephemeral nature of stealth in GW2 and learn to use your smoke fields. Thieves are quite glassy (squishy) so you’ll need to take the time to get good at them, which is why starting out with a more durable plate profession like Warrior may be a good intro so you don’t ragequit before you’ve given it a proper go.

    I honestly had no idea that I would end up being a full-time Mesmer. I initially rolled a Guardian and a Thief because I mained a Protection Paladin in WoW and had a Combat/Subtlety Rogue alt. I ended up hating Thief and only recently coming to grudgingly accept Guardian as a moderately enjoyable profession. It really depends on which profession “speaks” to you. For me, I found this to be in the persona/utilities of the Mesmer profession. The crappy phantasm AI not so much.


    • There’s a lot of depth to every profession if you learn to play it well. None of the classes in GW2 is notably more complex than any of the others at max level in the hands of a skilled player. But that’s not exactly what Izlain is looking for here afaik, nor does it have anything to do with my reasons for disliking engineer (or guardian for that matter).

      I tried engineer, but deleted it fairly early on. It may have a high perceived skill ceiling and it is a very versatile class, but it also has an extremely low barrier to entry and very little variety in combat. Your play style as an engineer is determined entirely by your build, particularly utility skills, which makes it a very repetitive class to play. It also has fewer mechanics than any other class early on and is extremely safe, being an all-ranged class. That makes it an ideal pick for a beginner with its super low barrier to entry, but also a class I found extremely dull to play.

      A slight word of caution for the warrior recommendation:
      Warrior’s barrier to entry is so low that you don’t have to play it correctly to survive early on. This teaches players to play the class incorrectly, so when the difficulty spikes in level 80 content (karka, living story, fractals, dungeons, Orr) most of them fail. That’s why most level 80 warrior players are inept, whereas you rarely see any truly inept players for other classes, least of all engineer and guardian. It’s extremely easy to pick up and play, but rather tough to play effectively (as in not die everywhere or use longbow all the time). One only needs to look at Dry Top and the hordes of dead warriors at every champion event.

      That’s what I meant by warrior requiring more attention/skill than other classes: it takes more to get to a decent playing state with a warrior. Once there, it’s actually easier to excel with than pretty much any other class in the game, except in sPvP. This contrary to engineer or guardian where it’s pretty straightforward to get to that decent playing state, but to excel with it is a lot tougher.


      • Conversely, I was and still am, having the time of my life with my engineer, between swapping kits and managing combo fields and juggling a ton of skills to produce effective single target or aoe kill rates. I play around with all its gimmicks a bunch, but for general open world leveling, go with a rifle, grenade kit and elixirs.

        The engineer is confusing because it expects you to know how to manage combos and swap skills like the elementalist.

        Yet a friend of mine started with the engineer and just didn’t like it or the game because he felt like he wasn’t doing enough damage. He was doing pistol/shield for most of it, a very condition/control combination, then played around with turrets and flamethrower, and finally caved in, read forums, and tried grenades and bombs, to which he then admitted that maybe the damage was ok. Unfortunately, the class didn’t seem to gel with him much and he seemed to lose interest after that.

        Try the classes out for yourself – they were made to stylistically appeal to different people in different ways. It’s very hard for another person to predict what you might or might not like.


      • True enough. It’s best to simply try a few and see whether they gel with your play style. I do know quite a few players who love their engineers – it’s just not my thing at all.

        Guild Wars 2 is this weird game that defies expectations. I went into it thinking I’d main guardian and play a fair bit of engineer on the side, because I usually favor tank/healer or gimmicky classes, but ended up hating engineer and disliking guardian quite a bit. Conversely I rarely play DPS in other MMOs, but love my zerker warrior and thief in GW2.

        It might be apt to mention that all this talk of easy vs hard is rather relative. All classes in GW2 are hard to master, but none are even remotely hard to learn to play in comparison to GW1 or even any jungle/top-lane champion in LoL. It can just be a few notches harder to start out than in the average MMO, that’s all.


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