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Guild Wars 2 Review Log 02: Mobile Questing

Posted on Sunday, August 26 @ 18:03:36 PST by Jonathan_Leack

Barring a few exceptions, virtually every MMO to-date has been about enduring a painful grind to high level before partaking in the main course. However, ArenaNet appears to be tired of that philosophy, and instead an enormous amount of care has been put into the questing experience for Guild Wars 2, which you’ll spend many hours of your time with if you plan to hit the game’s level 80 cap.

Questing in Guild Wars 2 says goodbye to the traditional school of thought with quest hubs, a quest log, and an almost unbearable amount of back-and-forth travel. Instead, it’s all about being on the move and working together with people in the area to accomplish tasks. Designated quest areas, both dynamic and static, allow everyone to contribute together—Mr. Rodgers would be proud. If a fellow next to you starts attacking a penguin you need, you can go ahead and assist him and both of you get rewarded for it.

Even from the onset of the experience you’ll find yourself along with other players taking down large creatures. Although these skirmishes can feel like zerg-fests at times, assisting with properly-timed utility skills, support abilities, and reviving fallen allies can mean the difference between success and failure. At the end of each event experience, renown, and sometimes items are rewarded. Renown is valuable and can be used to purchase powerful items from NPCs who you’ve completed objectives for, so you best be helpful.

Quest objectives stay within the realm of conventional MMO design with mob killing, item delivery, and contextual objects, but the way they are presented makes them feel much more natural, and in most cases less strenuous. Static quests are easy to find on the map along with an indicated level of challenge, and typically offer three different methods of progression. Dynamic quests are triggered regularly and command the attention of everyone in the area with great reward. The mixture of the two keeps you on the move and always paying attention to your surroundings.

There are plenty of interactive items used in quests. In one quest I found myself picking up a keg, drinking it, and then throwing it at a nearby centaur before melting him with my flamethrower. In another I activated a bomb and kited an enemy pirate into it just in-time to see the results. Sure enough, it exploded and the foe went flying down a cliff. Items do a great job of adding diversity to the leveling experience and even add a bit of experimentation for the creative-types.

Quests aren’t the only way to earn experience and/or rewards on the journey to level 80, and we’ll be covering more of Guild Wars 2’s many systems in future review logs.

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