A Newbie in Tyria

Zyngor | Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Unless you have been living under a gaming rock (in which case, hello, welcome to the Internet - cats to your left and chesticles on the right), you probably heard the news that the Guild Wars 2 's core game recently went free-to-play. Obviously, there are certain restrictions in place for free accounts, but there is plenty of entertainment to be had, and no losses (other than your time - then again, you probably have plenty of it if you're wasting time reading this) should you give it a try and decide it's not the game for you.

Because I'm a cheap thrifty feller, I decided to jump on the GW2 F2P bandwagon and download the game a couple days after the announcement (to avoid the initial onslaught of accounts). Now, I will say that anything I mention in this post really boils down to 2-3 sessions of playing the game thus far. It is totally possible that my opinions & thoughts will change as I roll forward, as is often the case with something as dynamic as the world of Tyria and MMOs in general.

Guild Wars 2 offers an interesting art style. It feels very much like an animated painting, brush strokes gently swaying many of its world/UI/cutscene decisions. I'd imagine the ArenaNet studio is really some coffee club/art studio setup, with the aroma of some hipster beverage and lots of finger snapping going about. I think the dynamic nature of this game definitely works toward its favor, allowing all the bold adventurers to cross the world of Tyria and explore all its nooks and crannies. You may be climbing a tricky vista one second, and battling a giant worm the next during one of the many sporadic events that constantly pop up around the maps.

Enjoy your time spent in the game's hubs, because you don't really need to see them much
The game is another to mix the boundaries between theme park and sandbox, as seems to be the direction for many MMOs these days. Whether you want to call it a "sandpark" or a "themebox," the general aimless direction of exploration questing is novel in keeping the players out in the world, rather than constantly returning to a fixed hub. Still, the flow of certain quest and defined class aspects attempt to tug you onto some rails. To me, I don't really care what side an MMO falls upon - it's what it has to offer for me that matters more.

Map completion? Jumping puzzles? Heck yeh! Because I am solo PvE-oriented, both of these aspects are probably what may keep me hooked onto occasionally playing GW2. After listening to the eloquent rascals of Burton and Scrooge speak about their thoughts on GW2, I feel like thus far I am echoing Brian's thoughts on the game. While I'm playing it, I seem to be having a decent time. However, it's not a game that I feel I must be playing when it comes to that magic hour to decide what I wanna waste my time doing. I'm sure that should I decide to spend more time in the game, I may draw my talons deeper into fanboi-ism. However, I have not shared any real memorable experiences with Guild Wars 2 so far.

I'm also curious as to what the later parts of the game hold for me. I figure it'll eventually become a battle to try and 100% map completion. I am not currently part of a guild, and PvP aspects of some "war" do not hold my interest one bit, so perhaps I'll be experiencing a warped version of what the developers set out for the players to accomplish. I do enjoy that the game feels so alive, with both players and NPCs (with whom I often confuse as being actual characters as they are often interacting with the world on the same level as real players).

If you are a free player deciding whether you'd like to try out the game, I'd say go for it. You may want to use wikis or some form of out-of-game source to guide you into the foray of GW2, as I felt like I was a bit short on many things and some panels are a bit confusing toward a new GW2 player. Heck, while you're at it, you might as well also check out this new GW2 podcast, Radio Free Tyria, featuring three awesome hosts, Cithryth, Ethelros, and Draculetta. Their aim is geared toward the casual player, and seem to have some good experience of the game under their belt if you have any questions.

Sometimes the game a-moo-ses me a bit.
So yeh, I'd say as a whole that while Guild Wars 2 may not become a staple in my gaming catalog, it seems like a pretty solid transition and good move for ArenaNet to offer the option of making the core game a free experience. They are hoping to hook you enough in the first large chunk to keep you wanting a second pizza expansion...woops did I throw pizza in there? So far, my Charr Engineer has made it to level 20, and I have yet to spend any of my 32 points in the Training tab because I apparently picked a whopper of a first class? If you enjoy typing in random letters and would like to add me in game, my handle is Zyngor.5907 (I don't expect to be playing too much or all the time, so don't rely on me being around all the time).

Below is a pretty nice video showing some new player tips, because I wanted to see what would happen if I embedded a video. Cheers!


  1. It's my hope that after the expansion is done and launched, we'll see a move back to more periodic Living Story/World content drops - having something new to play or experience every two to four weeks can be a nice continuation of the current immersive experience newbies are encountering in the open world - with content that can be done solo and in the naturally forming groups in the open world.

    It's true that GW2 forgoes that addictive 'hook' of straightforward vertical progression. As you say, it's more freeform, each player has to choose or determine a stretch goal, if they enjoy that sort of thing. Someone may choose 100% world completion, someone else may want a complete collection of racial armor skins, another may desire one of every kind of race and class, etc.

    1. I've heard about this Living World business from others in the past. I almost feel like Tyria is a whole living world unto itself, but it will be interesting to be able to eventually experience this. Because stuff is shared across characters without the need to actually party up, it was nice to have naturally forming groups as I took on the starter area (especially for some of the hero challenges).

  2. Oh, to be young foolish again in Tyria, and, yet....

    Nice to read a fresh noob perspective because it reminds me of the basics -- that hooked a lot of us in the first place. Oh, sure, as with many games, disillusionment is always available and it's hard to go back, but if they don't get it right in the first place, well... /shrug Yep, that open free form out in that visual candy world is refreshing. Sometimes I take a lowbie toon out to fool around in zones I've already spent plenty of hours in since nearly launch, and it's still just... lovely.

    Bhagpuss of Inventory Full has repeatedly gone over, in detail, why Tyria is also great for exploring. You're not imagining it; there are lots of areas, indoors and out, and npc conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with game playing -- ever. It's fantastic.

    -- 7rlsy