FYI: No fandom here, I skip out on MMOs after 2-3 weeks max so appreciate me while GW2 has my interest.
I'm seeing a lot of social debates, but I just wanted to point out that the developers designed the game to be social
- Waypoints allow you quick travel to your friends anywhere
- Shared crafting nodes
- Mail allows you to trade from anywhere in the world. No boxes needed.
- Public Events that earn completion from group rewards
- Ability to be in multiple guilds - No longer will your guild simply die from lack of participation. Now you can be in multiple
- Downleveling - Allows your friends to come level with you and tackle significant event content including area bosses, escorts, etc.
- Sharing of Personal Story/Downleveling - Allows your friends to experience the story from your viewpoint allowing them to watch your cutscenes and watch your choices be made. They also get unique loot items and experience points for helping you.
- You stay in party even after logged off - This really is a huge one. This means you can basically maintain a persistent group with friends. I'm not sure if there is a timer on it though.
- Downed state - Get experience from reviving others. You have an incentive to do so as it will aid you in helping defeat mobs. The game basically conditions you for it. You will get your ass whooped if you don't ensure that everyone is "Still standing"
- Someone mentions Sea Blood Witch is up in /map. I don't really pay attention, doing my own thing because I'm vastly underleveled, but then the players wipe and they call out for help. I immediately teleport to WP, and see tons of others arriving. It's like a freaking portkey from Harry Potter. We dive into the water and swim there en masse to revive and destroy the Witch.
- I made something for my friend(who I met ingame not in RL) and sent it to him. He sent me an item later. All immediately available.
- See 1.
- I've joined two guilds thus far and benefit from leveling with one while receiving great advice from the other.
- I was able to join my friend's instanced story line and experience his infiltration missions as if I was I was meant to be included in the story. I was given experience, the quest showed up on my tracker, and I got unique items.
- I seriously just haunt that damn swamp waiting for the event even though I'm level 20 and someone calls for help with the Wasp Queen. I immediately rush over there and thank to downleveling, am able to help, revive some allies, and also gain from the endeavor.
- I will see people rush great distances just to revive someone. The minimap even shows you were fallen allies are and I find myself running to their little skull and bones even if it is out of my way. Then, more often and not, I will find several other players contributing to their resurrection.
The game was designed to be social and can be very social, if you want to be social. I group very frequently, and when I chat in Say, almost always someone responds. Also, to be fair, /map is 10 times more mature than Barrens. There is no comparison. There are trolls, but I think the way the game is designed, makes it more about the community than competing.
What I'm trying to say is: your game doesn't have to be a flailing niche game to "be social" just because it's community is on its dying breath. I am playing TSW as well, and have to say that GW2 is leaps and bounds more social. It feels like the world is meant to have more people in it than just me. TSW does at times, but people never want to group and have likely already completed my mission. /General is dead in every area but the last few and guilds just appear and disappear like Mist.
But, even though it's more social (for me), GW2 can simply not touch TSW's missions. The combat is better though in GW2, but that's an entirely separate thread.