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.

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  1. I came from Runes of magic to Gw2 and also was decieved.
    I love de typo of mmos where you are rewarded by your efforts, special armors, weapons, and your time: putting stats you win, rise the tier of your weapon, progress and be powerful enough to solo dungeons and challenges. Gw2 with a casual wearing the same armor like you is a unfair game. And ascended or legendary is not a big difference. And the downlevel zone system sucks.
    Im looking for new mmos with real progression and goals, maybe Black desert or Blade and Soul.


  2. I played GW1 back -before- heroes were even a shade of an idea. You couldn’t do shit solo.

    I don’t know what you expected. In every mmo there is a segment of the game that will require you to team up to do. I highly doubt you did the Warden or the Deep solo, heroes or no.


  3. Well, I get OP’s point, MMORPG is all about bragging rights, even under a team there will always be the leader and the leader is the strongest one, if you have played CABAL online, they have there a nation war composing of two nations, you can join one nation and the highest scorer on the nation war (depends on damage dealth) will be labeled “Luminosity/Storm Bringer” and will be the most sought/popular player in the game and will set the trend in armor/weapon set, skill build set, hunting dungeons. But still, this kind of game is better to be played with others, but OP got a point, a strong solo player can solo a dungeon meant for a party of 2-4. MMORPGs should also cater for solo players, that’s why it has the RPG (role playing game) like in real life where there were independent persons living alone, doing alone, this is not MOBA like LOL and DOTA 2 where you really is required to team up.


  4. erikmalkavian says:

    I completely agree with you about the PVE. Its all very WoW, cartoony like and annoying. Its like they designed it for 10 year olds instead of adults.


  5. If they didn’t remove heroes soloing this game would be a breeze. I suspect one reason they wanted to dump everyone on the same map is because its cheaper for them to do so. If they have multiple zones the PC can port to every player porting in and out of places would add overhead to load balancing. So they probably though hmmm how can we address this and capitalize off it? Magically they removed everything dealing with ease of play including the loss of hot swappable skills, as that alone probably requires them to design rigorous formulas. All in all GW2 is just a game designed to capitalize off what people liked about GW1 and they used shiny graphics and a new engine to do it.


  6. Arena net would rather pay for ESPAHTS players college funds (50k tourneys with 400 viewers on twitch and 10 competitive players total–worldwide) than make gaming great again. They push ideologies and punish anyone who speaks out against their idiocy. Their devs are mealy mouthed idiots–just watch their live streams. It’s like they just came back from a lobotomy. Especially that perpetually butt hurt retard Jon Peters. FUCK that guy.


    • In reply to disappointment

      That Esports is rigged tournaments and we had evidence about it.Complained on forums and was trying to get people to notice got me faster banned that you would not believe it.


  7. What are your thoughts on the new PoF exp?

    I personally found it to be extremely lacking, there’s only five areas and you pay essentially $60 to be presented with what I call the mount wall. You work your ass off to acquire your in game content which you “already” paid for, maybe it isn’t fair to say this but I just find it absurd that you waste quality time on essentially something that serves no real purpose after the end game.

    So all those hoops you jump through to gain your paid for mounts are basically wasted and you are just another digit in arena’s micro transactions, dump another sixty plus on a bunch of skins on your mounts and jog around Tyria like an idiot.

    I personally like Rift Online better not because they have an in game store, but because everyone wins and also because you can play the way you like with or without people. You also don’t waste your brain space thinking about situational outcomes, your toon can evolve in so many ways the level of depth is ridiculous. On the plus side if your coming from Guild Wars 1 you will really enjoy this, everything is open world and all about closing rifts. It has a pay what you want thing going for it and works.


  8. Cantha_farmer says:

    Now we’re in 2018, and things are way worse than before.
    the game feel like a hollow shell. Beautiful yes, full of content, but quantity doesn’t mean quality.
    Meaningless tasks disguised as achievement are not fun to do (unless you’re a completionist).

    Elite specs brought by HoT and PoF completely ruined everything.
    Powercreep killed the challenges the game had to offer.
    The introduction of mounts…even if the dev said they won’t in 2012, just to sell more skins in the Cash shop was just a poor move (this da*ned cash shop…).
    Fractals are ruled by elitists, PvP is just a joke (balance patch take ages to come), WvW is just a shadow of it’s former self (the downfall started late 2013).

    I was a player of the first Guild Wars, and the experience was fantastic. The game have flaws, but It has a mystical vibe, a feel of seriousness and epicness that sadly Guild Wars 2 can’t recreate. Guild Wars 2 lost its soul in the successive attempts to reach a larger audience.


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