From what I have seen so far Guild Wars 2 offers excellent RPG style character building. Character creation includes a few key choices about the characters background, allegiance and outlook. It’s an interesting take on the standard MMORPG style of rules based number crunching, where actual backstory plays little if any role.
These choices are not superficial as I am now finding out. I’ve created an asuran mesmer, a charr necromancer and now a sylvari elementalist. In each case the choices I have made have a direct impact on the personal stories in a dramatic fashion. I’m playing both the asuran and the charr as part of a static – so I get to see on my partner’s computer what his choices for his asuran and charr lead to story-wise. Some NPCs are the same, some locations are the same but generally the stories are very varied (at least up to level 13 for my highest character).
Each character has had to make a real choice which feels like it has impact on character’s journey in the game. The choices mean so much more to me because they relate to the original character creation decisions I took. Eventually I may unlock new character slots and play through again to see different paths. The stories certainly capture well the different races in the game and their perspectives on the world – it’s such an improvement on Guild Wars 1 not to be trapped in human-only mode.
Note: I always prefer to avoid spoilers in my blog, so I’m leaving out details of plotlines, actual choices and so no screenshots either.
Beyond the excellent storytelling, I also continue to be amazed by the stunning beauty of this world reborn. The imagination and layers of detail in the various starter zones is simply breathtaking.