I’m busy leveling my Guardian in Guild Wars 2 the old-fashioned way, i.e. by actually playing rather than using an insta-ding to 80. After last weekend’s experience of diving into new content on a class I’m not familiar with, I opted to actually do this the ‘slow’ way so I get some lower-level experience of how the class evolves as it levels.
The leveling pace in Guild Wars 2 has always been pretty fast. As I wander through zones doing vistas, hearts, random events and gathering the XP piles up at a clipped and steady pace – no jumps or curves in this game’s leveling speed. I have to say I admire GW2 for this, I’m just not a fan of arbitrary massive reductions in leveling speed to make content last longer. Couple this with the auto-level sync with zones and everything is (roughly) current and relevant content to your character regardless of level. None of this is new of course, the game was designed this way, but after years of playing other games it is nice to be reminded of some of the more modern design aspects of the game.
Vistas are still just as breath-taking as they always were, I guess I’ve seen some/many of them before, but then our only level 80 characters (the Asura pair) were leveling back at the launch of the game and I didn’t complete a second play through of 1-80: my second highest, this Guardian, was level 50 when I returned and he mostly leveled past the 20s via regular runs of the Frozen Maw world boss event. Even my capped character only has map completion of 49%, so there’s a good amount of Tyria that I’ve never seen. That all adds up to plenty of little moments of discovery in recent play sessions. My Guardian is, at time of writing, already up to level 67, so 80 is looking close now.
The true test of whether I manage to stick with the game once more will come when I delve into Heart of Thorns, I’ve been holding off on this so far as I have other commitments and want to give the expansion the proper focus it deserves when I can get around to it. I have no major aims beyond unlocking gliding and one or two elite specialisations (certainly Guardian and maybe Mesmer). I’ll probably gear my Guardian in temple exotics as soon as he hits 80 as he already has enough karma hoarded.