Why I Stopped Playing Guild Wars 2 PvP and PvE

I’ve been a Guild Wars 2 player since beta. I was a huge fan of Guild Wars 1 which in my opinion was one of the best MMOs I’ve ever played. Guild Wars 2 is very different from GW1 and there’s hardly anything similar about the two other than the name and the continent of Tyria. I’ve played every aspect of Guild Wars 2 – PvP and PvE – and after almost two years, I’ve given up. I’ve tried to drag it out for as long as possible especially given the amount of time I’ve invested in it. But enough is enough. I can’t take it anymore, and here’s why. Let’s look at the PvE and PvP aspect separately.

Guild Wars 2 PvE

There are two things wrong with GW2 PvE:

Not Enough Solo Play

I don’t like to team up with people. I prefer to play alone at my own pace. I know, I know. It’s an MMO and all that jazz. But so what? MM stands for “Massively Multiplayer”, which only means that you have the ability to interact with others and team up. It doesn’t mean you have to. It’s not that you can’t roam around solo – you most certainly can. I explored all of Tyria and even managed to craft my legendary. Though I had to team up to complete the dungeon runs necessary to obtain a certain dungeon gift.

You need a team to complete almost every dungeon

You need a team to complete almost every dungeon

GW1 on the other hand had almost every aspect of PvE completely soloable. You had 8 heroes towards the end whom you could equip with all the best gear and take with you into the most dangerous parts of the game. Except for perhaps the Domain of Anguish (DoA), I was able to complete all dungeons in solo mode. Sure it could take longer than with a team, but it could also take less time than with a PUG. Most importantly, you were always in control. I could leave my heroes hanging around while I went to get something to eat. Even go shopping with my wife, come back, and pick up from where I left off.

In GW2, there no chance of that happening. Just about every dungeon has some kind of mechanic that requires other human players to be present. Whether it’s the Citadel of Flame with the four braziers or the Crucible of Eternity with the switches next to the lasers, it’s not just a question of it being tough to solo them. It’s impossible to solo them.

And that pissed me off. It meant that for the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the game I had to rely on other human beings with their own schedules, and styles of play. It meant that you could end up with someone who didn’t know what to do, or didn’t know the optimal strategy. And it meant that you had to follow along with the group schedule. You can’t just take a break and come back.

So GW2 fails in the solo department big time. While there’s no doubt that I enjoyed teaming up with others a few times, I would like the ability to choose not to and still have access to almost every part of the game. Guild Wars 2 is very solo unfriendly. And for a guy like me who often actively dislikes having to interact with other players, it finally got to a point where I abandoned PvE entirely and shifted exclusively to PvP for over a year.

Not Dark Enough

The second thing that bugged me about Guild Wars 2 PvE was how “cartoony” the environment is. None of the enemies look really threatening and more than that, the environment was too cheery. Full of flashy glowy lights and very few shadows. Even the “end zone areas” like Orr where just too non-threatening. The so called “zombies” were just laughable (Everyone…come!).

For comparison, look at some of the zones in GW1. Anyone remember the Domain of Anguish? How alone and messed up that was? That kind of thing plays on your psyche. Many of the Nightfall areas were spooky with demonic figures hanging around every corner.

Glowing animations, flashy butterflies. It's just not

Glowing animations, flashy butterflies. It’s just not “dark” enough

Perhaps much of this ties in with my first sore point – no solo play. When you’re alone, things are more scary in general. There’s no one to help you. No champion comes running along to take down that monster. You’re on your own in the dark with your heroes. In GW2, there’s no sense of dread. There are tough enemies and champions, yeah. But I was never afraid of them. Does anyone remember running into Borrguus Blisterbark in Sacnoth Valley in the “Eye of the North” campaign in Guild Wars 1? Even though he wasn’t demonic, or had a scary form, that guy commanded respect. In fact in GW2, the enemies are just generic “Champion whatever”. They don’t really have names, or personalities.

The cheery effects and glowy surrounding don’t help create a dangerous atmosphere either. Tyria is just too friendly a place in Guild Wars 2. And it grates on my nerves.

These were my two biggest problems with GW2 PvE. Because of them I gave up playing it entirely and switched my attention to the PvP arena. I focused on that for over a year until Anet decided to pull the carpet out from under us. Here’s what happened.

Guild Wars 2 PvP Problems

Let me be upfront and say I loved GW2 combat. I have never experienced play so fluid and dynamic. Evades, movement while casting skills, and jumping all made the action really fast paced and exciting. PvP was just what I needed to get my blood going. And the best part was that I didn’t really have to team up with anyone. Sure, we all played in a team and had to coordinate somewhat. But there’s a huge difference between playing with other people and teaming up with them.

Every once in a while I would play in a nice team and the others would send me an invite asking me to join their group, which I would accept. Only to be reminded in a couple of games why I like to go solo and leave again.

More importantly however, Guild Wars 2 PvP was completely separate from PvE. All gear and armor you obtained while in PvP was inaccessible to those outside. Which meant that it didn’t matter how much of a hero you were in PvE. Once you entered the hallowed grounds of PvP, you had to earn the right to wear that armor. You couldn’t tout your rewards in one part of the game in the other.

The other awesome thing about PvP was the ranks. The more you played, the higher rank you got. And the last rank was r80 which was a very, very, VERY long term goal (with little rewards along the way). After playing for so long I just managed to make it to r56 and each set of 10 ranks is exponentially harder than the ten before it. It meant that there was a way to distinguish the long time players from the new ones. Also, each set of 10 ranks had its own finisher. Having a shark rank meant something. It meant you were r60 and above and had been around a while. I had something to work towards. I had to get the next rank. I had to get the next piece of armor.

It was great. It was awesome. And then Anet ruined it.

The Death of Hardcore. All Hail the Casuals!

On the 15th of April, Anet destroyed PvP. It did this in two ways

1. They essentially removed ranks

First off they bumped everyone at r55 and above to r80, suddenly elevating a huge chunk of the PvP population to the highest level with nothing left to play for after that. In GW1, the highest ranks took years upon years to reach. And those who stuck it out and played above and beyond were rewarded for it with distinctive looks and rank emotes. But by shoving everyone up the ranks, Anet essentially made the game all about casual play. Anet was saying “Ok, you played enough. There’s nothing more for you to achieve here”.

Suddenly the Dragon finisher is meaningless. Everyone has it!

Suddenly the Dragon finisher is meaningless. Everyone has it!

Actually, I got lucky. I’d only reached r55 when they bumped me up to 80. I feel terrible for those poor players who had put in hundreds and hundreds of PvP hours more than me only to hit the same level cap of 80 that I shot up to. Way to reward your most loyal players Anet.

This move was made worse by the second of Anet’s changes

2. They brought in PvE gear

The April 15th update allowed players to bring their PvE skins and rewards into PvP. Which meant that suddenly we had hordes of newbies coming into the arena flashing around their legendaries while the rest of us loyal PvP’ers had nothing to show for our time spent. Skin for skin and reward for reward, PvE always gave more than PvP. If I took all the time I’d spent in PvP and put it into PvE, I would have gotten at least 5 legendaries by now. Not to mention more achievement points, insane amounts of gold and other skins. But that was ok since the two game modes were separate.

After April 15th, there was no telling a seasoned PvP player from a PvE one. In addition to getting bumped up to r80 and having nothing more to play for, Anet removed all prestige of armor and other skins in PvP because now everyone could have the highest gear simply by playing in an unrelated mode.

Legendaries in Guild Wars 2 PvP. Ugh

Legendaries in PvP. Ugh

So what was the point anymore? No more rewards (I’ve already reached the highest cap), and no way to tell who was a new player and who was a veteran. Anet just went and diminished the dedication and hard work that thousands of players had put into PvP and essentially gave out freebies to everyone.

After a while I stopped playing PvP as well, which was a damned shame cause I really loved it. But I don’t just play for fun. I play for progression. For achievements. For rewards. For bragging rights. And both Guild Wars 2 PvP and PvE just took all of that away from me.

Based on the direction I’ve seen so far, Anet seems to have no intention of reversing this trend. They want to continue to make GW2 casual friendly and drive away the hardcore players. Good for them, if that’s what they want to do. I just wish they had told me earlier what they were going to do so that I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.

What do you think of this post?
  • You\'re an asshole (69)
  • Agree (36)
  • Don\'t Agree but Interesting (23)


  1. RenKiss says:

    It does seem like a lot of MMO’s are going in the direction of trying to force players to be more team oriented. I started playing one titled Perfect World International and many quests that are vital for you to level up require being in a party or asking people for help. I’m not against being in a team, but there needs to be some kind of balance. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s damn near impossible to level up while soloing.


  2. Oliver says:

    Sometimes I wonder if I should just re-play GW1. I’ve also been playing since the beta and loved the fight-mechanics. 3 months after the release I dropped it because I couldn’t feel the story and walking with the keyboard all the time felt tiring.


  3. Braghez says:

    Solo playing a MMO ? really ? then play a single player game… MMOs are sub par when it comes to gameplay, they’re what they are because you can team up with people…without those it’s pointless to play one…


    • bhagwad says:

      In reply to Braghez

      A solo game doesn’t allow you to show off your achievements, your costume etc. Without that, you’re reduced to just playing the game for fun…


      • BK says:

        In reply to bhagwad

        “i want to solo only to shove in other ppl faces than im better than them doing alone what they need a group to do, lol grouping noobs im so pro alone”

        Gosh cry more u atisocial pvp fag, if you want a darker soloable achievement shoving game with pvp go play dark souls 2 or some shit like that, its a mmo cause it needs cooperation, it has a community for that, if you only want to enlarge ur ego by telling ppl ur better than them cause u spend more time or can do solo what someone needs a partner to then ur better off the game and playing single players and post ur platinum trophies or xbl/steam achievements on facebook for your im so pro attention whore needs, go rage more cause u cant enlarge ur fake ego against noobs and cooperative people, its people like you who makes pvp and pve so elitist and toxic in most games nowadays, and the sad part is you dont even care about multiplayer or community, why the fuck u play Massive MULTIPLAYERS then.


      • bhagwad says:

        In reply to BK

        Because without a community, there is no one to see your achievements.


      • bhagwad's master says:

        In reply to bhagwad

        Yo Curry Muncher, are you fucking retarded? steam/xbl has their own communities for each game where u can go show your dick size. So rather go play singleplayer and be forever alone, while jerking off at the image of people “noticing” your achievements. IOW go an hero u lil fag.


    • hasobor says:

      In reply to Braghez

      You stupid little shit….If he wants to play MMORPG’s Solo then why shouldn’t you little whiny bitch. Get off of this site and stupid girl bitch comments..sheesh.. I hate people like you that say someone shouldn’t play if they want too!


  4. Jade Minear says:

    Well then,

    -No social interaction demanded
    -Dark environment
    -Long sought out rewards

    Tried Fable?
    How about Skyrim?
    Well, maybe you should look into some single player RPGs?

    I don’t think you know what an mmo is properly.


    • bhagwad says:

      In reply to Jade Minear

      The problem with games like Skyrim is that you can’t show off your armor, weapons and achievements to others. There’s no point in having rewards if you can’t show them off right?


      • xerido says:

        In reply to bhagwad

        Yes you can show them off in forums,blogs, friends , AND FOR YOURSELF, rewards arent only to show off others but primarly one self. Play solo games and stream how good you are, but dont request an mmo to be even 40% doable solo
        The very definition contradicts your claims


      • tyclavriak says:

        In reply to bhagwad

        people like you will ruined a specific type of game, go play Diablo3 on bnet you will be able to show your dick size , but leve MMO . Ok MMo its massively multiplayer , but really, its not the only thing, an mmo is create to be coop, you dont want coop, dont play mmo . You said GW1 was an MMo soloable, but its not true, Gw1 was not a real MMo. It was an online RPG .


      • Tyclavriak says:

        In reply to bhagwad

        Ohh and i forget, the first MMorpg was only playeable(after the leveling phase all content was coop) in group, every mmo was like this before, but with some casual pple like you , more and more game come with solo/online call them MMO but they’re not.

        You say GW2 is too much team oriented, you never played DAOC, Ultima online, warhammer online, Allod , WoW, final fantasy 11 , finalfantasy 13, wildstar, etc

        You need an online RPG with pvp (darksoul 1 darksoul 2, and you c an also find some F2P online rpg game.


      • tyclavriak says:

        In reply to Tyclavriak


        and Also GW2 is not solo unfriendly, loll , for a guys who played 2 years at this game you dont know nothing, Guild Wars 2 is an mmo with very little content orient group


  5. Astal says:

    God you are a fucking retard bhagwad, such a tool, go show off your shit to your mom or dad or something if you need validation from someone else, that is so pathetic lmao


  6. Max says:

    Maybe Dark Souls I or II would be a great game for you. Good fighting techniques grafics and the enemies are TERRYFEING. Allmost a solo game but you can still do pvp and team up with others.

    Im sorry for bad english but i hope you understood me :)


  7. Eff says:

    Wors of wisdom right here. Guild Wars 2 turned out to be a shadow of it’s former self and will only continue to spiral down towards their demise.


  8. Brian says:

    It seems like your complaints boil down to this: “Guild Wars 2 is not the same as Guild Wars 1.”

    I never played GW1, so can’t comment on specifics, but they ARE different games. There’s no reason to make another game and then make it exactly the same. Maybe if GW1 was more your style, you could just play it instead of complaining about GW2 and bashing Anet?

    I think we are pivotally different types of players, but there is a lot of what you say that I agree with, only for different reasons. I have never enjoyed PvP much, and the primary reason I play MMOs is for the community and co-op experience, not for an audience. However, I would very much like to see better solo options in GW2. Like you said, sometimes life stuff happens. We want to play, but we can’t commit a long segment of our time to a group. I wish GW2 dungeons had a “solo” mode, in addition to Exp and Story modes. This mode would not reduce difficulty, but would change mechanics that require teammates into something equally challenging, but soloable.

    I also disliked the partial merging of PvP and PvE that took place, only I’m looking at it from the other side of the fence. “Oh, PvP is PvP, and PvE is PvE, and never the twain shall meet.” I hate that it is now faster and easier to level in PvE by getting levelling scrolls in PvP. I hate that I now have a bunch of expensive weapon skins in PvE that I got from lucky rewards in PvP. And while I didn’t even know that they bumped ranks all the way up, I certainly understand how frustrating that must be.

    At the end of the day, however, GW2 is still the game for me. The gorgeous scenery, (generally) awesome community, and fantastic non-trinity combat are what attracted me to begin with, and those things are unchanged. I sincerely hope you find a game that suits your desires better.


  9. Thalassian says:

    Sorry, bud, but what you have issues with, I’m loving. If you like freaking yourself out in lonely and dark places, and are of a character that is unable to bother with patience with others and teamwork, then maybe Tyria isn’t for you.
    You just don’t have to go blame Tyria for it.
    Just leave.
    Have fun wherver you’re at.


    • Meh says:

      In reply to Thalassian

      Hacking :)

      But yes this game still stinks groups or no groups, its all about toon porn and Arenanet cock sucking. It’s just a grind fest by any other name.


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