Guild Wars 2 Review Log 03: Structured Competition
Posted on Monday, August 27 @ 19:00:00 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Many people think of games like Counter-Strike, Dota, and StarCraft when they hear the words ‘competitive gaming’, but in the past few years MMOs have gained recognition. What has kept the genre from evolving into a widely-accepted eSport is its tendency to lean toward raiding progression, compromising the competitive side in the process. Guild Wars 2 looks to break that barrier by offering an engaging PvP component that is as inviting as it is balanced.
Unlike World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2’s PvP is considered a primary focus of its developer at launch. In order to make it hassle-free, Structured PvP is separated from the PvE side where you can quest, run dungeons, and engage in other standard MMO fare. As a result, you can enter Heart of the Mists and queue for level 80 sPvP from the moment you make your character. More importantly, beholding powerful raiding gear doesn’t translate into being an unbeatable sPvP player, and instead skill and teamwork are at the forefront.
However, that isn’t to say that there isn’t anything to collect and earn from sPvP. Glory is accumulated from participating in PvP battles and the more you contribute and succeed the quicker you’ll find yourself with enough to purchase more impressive looking gear. The important thing to note is that there’s no way to get gear that makes you more powerful, but that’s not to say that the grind isn’t worth it. I have been nothing short of impressed with the difficult to obtain gear, and much of it is absolutely staggering.
There are presently four maps available for play which include Battle of Kyhlo, Forest of Niflhel, Legacy of the Foefire, and Raid of the Capricorn. They all vary in topology and structure, but each of them breeds a fun PvP experience. I found myself particularly enjoying Battle of Kyhlo where there are a large number of choke points, fantastic spots for intense combat, and some complex geography to use to your advantage.
For those that end up falling in love with Guild Wars 2’s sPvP there is a lot of gear to unlock, over 80 ranks to obtain, and lots of tournaments. Best of all, sPvP progression is account-wide so if you end up getting sick of playing a particular class or finally realize that you made your Norn too fat you can create and/or hop on another character and resume.
There’s an auto-balancing system which moves players from one team to another if someone leaves which can break apart private groups and move you to a losing team which is frustrating. Also, there is no pre-game and you’re literally thrown from one game to another until you decide to open the menu and exit. Thankfully, these are small issues that merely blemish one of the most exciting PvP experiences on the market.
WvW is another enticing way to compete against other players in Guild Wars 2, and we’ll be covering that and more in our future review logs.
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