I played a few games of Guild Wars 1 yesterday with my partner, we remembered we were supposed to be working on our Hall of Monuments before GW2 comes out.
At present my mesmer and his elementalist are pretty close to the end of the Prophecies campaign. The missions, the main story arc quests, have become pretty highly tuned by this point. By this I mean that each pull is often life or death for at least a few seconds. The groups are larger than they used to be and the mobs are very powerful: usually level 22-28 so quite a bit tougher than the max character level. The creatures are built with nasty combinations of interrupts, knockdowns, ability lockouts and other similar abilities.
Fights tend to be massively stressful and manic for those first few seconds, where the enemy force is reacting in perfect unison and at speeds that only a pretty efficient computer AI can generate. Some of the creatures have elite (PVE) skills in their own skill sets so you face some pretty nasty effects at this stage.
The real problem with this is the ever present possibility of a wipe, if our whole party dies the instance is reset and all progress lost. This isn’t like WoW, with a chance to run back in and at worst have a few respawns early on – the whole thing restarts from scratch. There are usually a *lot* of nasty trash packs to kill before you get to any mission objectives as well. It really does feel sometimes that we’re back playing Sonic or Mario and that we were on the last level and died before killing the end boss. Needless to say this makes me rather mad as I never really liked that element of platform games. Sadly in 2012, at my age now, I just don’t have the patience for “redo it all over again” gameplay…
However Tyria is a very beautiful world, even if the game is marred by extreme pathing and annoying camera angle issues. The backgrops are frequently breath-taking and the architecture really varied. I’m really looking forward to Guild Wars 2 because I know that ArenaNet’s artists are some of the best in the industry. But most of all I’m looking forward to GW2 because the gameplay will be more up-to-date.