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Well, after achieving level 80, getting crafting up and spending some time looking back at the experience so far, as well as the experience ahead (or whats left)... I am left with a different impression of Guild Wars 2 as a whole.
While its safe to say Guild Wars 2 is a very good game and worth the money, it is not safe to say it had a great launch and events post launch showcase a game not ready for "consumption".
I am ultimately left a bit dissapointed, primarily because it is such a great game with so much "potenial". That at its core is what makes it a bit frustrating.
Here is a list of what I personally have experienced with the game since then and what has fought agaist the good experiences I have had.
1. Log in issues. The verify email server was never actually sending out the emails to verify, so a week was nearly lost just trying to log into the game which was originally working fine in the headstart.
2. In game mail stopped working. This means If I sent (which I did) my gf nearly a gold in money and items, they would just dissapear into the void never to return.
3. Trade Post down. Lots of items and no means to sell. When it was up, multiple items were bought due to some server issue, causing multiple weapons and gear to be purchased...i only needed 1.
4. Bonus items for preorder went missing after day 1. This means 1000 influence for the guild (which is important) and a unique mini pet (for those collectors out there).
5. Storyline broken half of the time. Sometimes the story wouldnt make sense, the game would think I made choices I didnt make and intruduce characters I already met and fought alongside earlier in the game. Its as if they didnt tie the story together very well at all. The quests themselves were good but either imbalanced or bugged (scripting). One of the big bosses in the game, which is known as the eye of zhaitan (the top one) bugged out 4 times in a row...making him invincible. This means you have to leave and start all over again. On the fifth try, he bugged out and just didnt even attack me personally but stayed in a corner where I was able to just shoot him to death. In fact It was so slow I just left, grabbed a drink, flipped on the tv and came back when his health was getting low. Thats how bad the quest was.
(spoiler) The final quest was just as bad. They shove you and your party into an airship with camera clipping issues, of which you can barely see whats going on half the time because of it. Then Zhaitan shows up, big dragon he is (though small once you see him) and pew pew he takes a hit from the ship. Then his cut scene is sloppily cut together, making him jump around in weird ways, finally it shows him grabbing onto a pillar and bugs our some more, not once attacking you or your party. Nope, you just get on a turrent and go Pew pew pew (in short, mash the 1 button for 15 minutes). Then he dies and everyone is like "yay good job" and thats the end of it. The rewards do not even reflect beating a giant dragon who raised an entire undead continent known as Orr...maybe that was a good thing though since he just bugged out most of the time.
In short the personal quests were not polished nor ready for player consumption.
6. One of the rewards for finishing the storyline is another tome of influence. Because the game destroyed my account bound one on day one, i needed another 1000 influence to get the guild bank for the small guild I ran (mainly used by myself and one other). Upon using that 1000 influence tome (which would have unlocked the guild bank feature), i noticed the points also didnt register with the guild. This means twice I was cheated, by the game, out of the influence needed to make my personal guild functional.)
7. Looking up the problem seen in #6, the new official forums (which were also missing at launch) showed me this is a common problem. 52 pages and counting...people are experiencing the same issue. So they post their guild and server so it can get fixed for them. Great, I go to log into the forum and it asks me to accept the terms and conditions. Ok, then error. It wont let me respond to the support forums. Wonderful, using the official forums is also broken.
8. The further I progressed into high level zones, which there are few of, the more I noticed the content started to suffer. I got stuck in two rocks meshs because there was no blocking volume placed in areas in which the face normals were reversed (face normals tell the game engine which side of the mesh the texture will show on, having it show on both sides is more cpu intensive so game engines generally dont go that rout.). The only way out of getting stuck inside the rocks was to go to a way point, either way from lions arch or from within the mesh itself, I am suck paying a couple silver.
9. Wanting to buy a piece of armor from the temple of Grenth was a no go. Why? For weeks on end the temple has been bugged. Dynamic events that lead to putting the areas in Pact control get stuck. Players then exlpoit this because a non stop stream of enemies come rushing in, resulting in easy loot, xp and other such goodies. The economy already has been damaged, and this is just one of many cases where it occurs.
10. Recently more accounts have been hacked & hacked accounts result in spam bots. So my personal experience involves constantly blocking and or reporting the insane number of channel spam selling gold and leveling services. It is nearly non stop in some areas.
Honestly, If I continue to think back I can probably find 10 more to add to that list. Needless to say, some of those are experiences a player shouldnt have to have in a game that is ready for release.
As a level 80, I have to ask myself...what next? On the PvE front...it seems people are now just farming karma through a zerg that goes around in a circles for hours on end killing champion creatures. They go down so fast you barely get a hit in (this cannot be what Anet intended). The other alternative? Farm the dungeons over and over to get tokens for gear (some of which probably doesnt have the stats or sigils you want in armor) and are not all that much better than yoru cheap TP gear. If its crafting, then they made sure the ingredients were either rare or extremely expensive..and with the antifarming code they implimented, farming for materials can lead to a lot of wasted time...even for those fully decked in magic find gear. This cannot really be considered fun. Are the rewards (new skin for armor) worth it? I dont really know yet, though none of those armor skins are driving me to spend countless hours grinding or exploiting a broken event to get it. I can understand why they wouldnt want to make the stats drastically better than even cheap mob drop gear, but they should also know it is those very same stats that create the incentive.
On the PvP side... the free server transfers have resulted in players all jumping to the top pvp servers, those of which dominate the others in world vs world. The rewards are not enticing enough to cause a player really stick through it. IF one transfers to another more pvp centric server, then the expecation of intensly long wait periods just to get in occurs. If structured pvp, then great... you can compete against other players. The reward only applies to sPvP, and the only downside one can really see in it is that you are limited to the actual "battlegrounds" you can play...very limited. It does get old, and fast.
So essentially, despite Arena Net marketing a non grindy, non "WoW" kind of end game, at the moment we are left with something sadly very similar.
I have no doubt this will change in the future, and that more content will be coming our way... but it seems that at least for now, they will be busy fixing more than adding.
Anyways, after 80 and looking back, it is a bit frustrating to see GW2 in the state it is in. How some of the broken end game events havent been fixed yet and how some very basic functions cannot be relied upon to work. The personal storyline was great, but broken and anti-climatic for what they built up. I would advise those playing to delay finishing it as much as possible. I also advice those to go through the game as slow as possible, since there is nothing really happy at the end of the road at this point in time, at least based on my experiences.