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This is NOT a review of the game per se, instead it is aimed at players who are looking for a different MMO or who have not yet played any MMO. Hopefully the screenshots and text on this page will give you some idea of what you may be letting yourself in for. Do remember that MMOs can become addictive and if you continue to play the Free To Play version they can also get expensive if you become obsessed. Playing a couple of hours a day if you can is ideal. GW2 is a good starting point for your first MMO journey.

GUILD WARS 2 is an MMO which has three buy-in cost options: each includes the Core game which can be downloaded and played for FREE

1.  STANDARD  £25.99 which gives you Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire   Max-Level Boost

2. DELUXE  £47.99  Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire  Max-Level Boost   Additional Character Slot   Identity Repair Kit    Sunspear Outfit   Lily of the Elon Permanent Pass

3. ULTIMATE   £69.99   Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire   Max-Level Boost   Additional Character Slot    Identity Repair Kit   Sunspear Outfit   Lily of the Elon Permanent Pass   4000 Gems



Like all free-to-play games in the MMO genre the company publishing and producing, in this case ArenaNet, obviously has to make money. With over 5 million copies of GW2 sold they have had plenty of cash come in, a lot of which has gone back out again on development and expansion; the game cannot be allowed to stand still otherwise it will lose its players and once gone most don't come back - the old adage "you should never go back" really counts for MMOs. There is a large percentage of the core game in the free version, somewhere between 70% - 80% which gives you plenty of game time to play and understand the type of game GW2 is and if it is for you. Of course you will find places you cannot go, things you cannot do and character classes you cannot reach - paying customers get the advantage of these.

Pay-to-play has numerous rewards, not just additional skills and better equipment, but full player interaction, going on Raids, using the Auction and Trade Posts. If you don't have Gems (Gems cost dollar$ in real cash) then anything that is bought for Gems in the game is out of the FTP player's perametres, basically the FTP game is a fun trial, you are allowed to see the All You Can Eat Buffet but you aren't allowed to eat anything more than a vol-au-vont or two from it.



I like the idea of playing a character from scratch and building it up, that's what MMO playing is all about for me, but I have to admit that being able to create a level 80 character just to play around and discover what your build-up-character can look forward to is great. Characters can be one of these Professions: 
Engineer.  Necromancer.  Thief.  Elementalist.  Warrior.  Ranger.  Mesmer.  Guardian. There are five playable races that you can choose for your character in step one. That choice determines your starting location, personal story, and racial skills, as well as differences in appearance and lore. The races are designed to be balanced, such that no one race possesses an unfair advantage over other races. 

Asura tango icon 20px.png Asura
These alchemagical inventors may be short in stature, but they're intellectual giants. Among the asura, it's not the strong who survive, but the clever. Other races believe they should rule by virtue of their power and strength, but they're deluding themselves. In due time, all will serve the asura.
Charr tango icon 20px.png Charr
The charr race was forged in the merciless crucible of war. It is all they know. War defines them, and their quest for dominion drives them ever onward. The weak and the foolish have no place among the charr. Victory is all that matters, and it must be achieved by any means and at any cost.
Human tango icon 20px.png Human
Humans have lost their homeland, their security, and their former glory. Even their gods have withdrawn. And yet, the human spirit remains unshaken. These brave defenders of Kryta continue to fight with every ounce of their strength.
Norn tango icon 20px.png Norn
The race of towering hunters experienced a great defeat when the Ice Dragon drove them from their glacial homeland. Nevertheless, they won't let one lost battle - however punishing - dampen their enthusiasm for life and the hunt. They know that only the ultimate victor achieves legendary rewards.
Sylvari tango icon 20px.png Sylvari
Sylvari are not born. They awaken beneath the Pale Tree with knowledge gleaned in their pre-life Dream. These noble beings travel, seeking adventure and pursuing quests. They struggle to balance curiosity with duty, eagerness with chivalry, and warfare with honor. Magic and mystery entwine to shape the future of this race that has so recently appeared.


How to create a character according to GW2 Wiki

  1. Select Race
  2. Select Gender
  3. Select Profession
  4. Select Appearance
  5. Select Background: Profession-specific question (no impact on personal story; determines non-ranger's starting equipment or ranger's pet)
  6. Select Background: Personality-related question (no impact on personal story; determines starting personality)
  7. Select Background: 1st race-specific background question (determines Chapter I - level 10 of personal story)
  8. Select Background: 2nd race-specific background question (determines Chapter II - level 20 of personal story)
  9. Select Background: 3rd race-specific background question (determines Chapter III - level 30 of personal story)
  10. Character Name


All character Professions and Races require or have inate particular skills. You can find out more here:


Characters move between regions via teleports and are directed to the next part of their main or current quest via an arrow in the top right of the screen. The mini map, bottom left, shows where you are where you need to get to but it doesn't show that your destination might be across several regions through as many teleports as required.


Combat is not always mandatory and there are occasions you can outrun a fight, but it's not that easy if you are new in the area as you are just as likely to run headlong into another adversary. If you run past lower level creatures they rarely attack you but anything equal or above your level will automatically induce combat. Your character has several types of attack, or they will do as they gain levels, which are shown as icons on the bar bottom centre. These can be accessed by the appropriate key or by clicking the cursor on the necessary icon but most of them have a one shot time limit so you cannot continually blast away with your favourite or strongest ability/skill/spell. If you die you generally regenerate at the last spawn spot.


You have Quests as I mentioned, given to you by NPCs found in numerous places in villages and on the road for examples. You are directed to these by the aforementioned arrows but if you want to go exploring before continuing on a quest the game has a sandbox style freedom. You can purchase Mining and Collecting Tools and then begin to pick flowers and dig out ore deposits. As you do more collecting your skills get better until you can buy and use a better set of tools. Resources collected can be sold or used for crafting. If you are playing the FTP version then it's ideal not to bother with crafting as you don't have the capacity to Bank or Carry as much as a pay-to-play character has.


If you are new to MMOs games as established as WoW may be a bit overwhelming for you to begin with but although GW2 is also well established it also has a sort of "friendly" feel about it which is weird because unless you are playing a paid for version there is little communication with other players, in fact at times it is as if they cannot even see you or know that you are there. It is a fairly easy introduction to MMOs for new players and the FTP version gives them a chance to discover if the MMO game style is for them.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015