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I played GW2 for about a month after release. But I was also curious to see what MoP brought to it's title, World of Warcraft. For me, MoP lasted about as long as it took to get a toon to 90. (not very long) In fact, at the instant I dinged 90, I immediately logged out of the game right there at the quest giver turn in, canceled my sub and uninstalled the game. I'll never give another look at Warcraft. After that, I started playing Rift's Storm Legion expansion. Can't say there was anything wrong with it, but I just couldn't find anything about the class changes to the rogue I could relate to. The play styles, I had built around at 50 were no longer there...Not the way I played. And I didn't want to re grind a new character as I had invested so much time in the rogue. So, I canceled that one too. This left me to play GW2. Hey No sub right????
Dam right!!! On a whim, it was the best choice I made. After I set aside my preconceptions I had from release and accepted the fact that the game had not lived up to my initial expectation. I started playing it again. Only this time with a clear and open opinion. What I had found was that looking at this game through my prior MMO experience was actually preventing me from enjoying this game in a way I could. It's not the easiest concept to try to share since it's mostly internalized, but one example of how this was different is in the way you build. In games like WoW, you build based on what's proven. Almost invariably, Someone has figured out the best way to optimize your role and you either build that way or you perform under your potential. But in GW2, there isn't an established role. There is a function you can play, but not a role. So when my Guardian hit level 80, the 1st thing I did was craft my Berserker set of exotics and proceeded to get my butt handed to me in dungeons. What I lacked was the experience and know how to play the guardian as a berserker (Glass Cannon). So even though I researched a viable build around high damage, it wouldn't work for me. I experimented with condition builds, healing builds and ultimately settled on a damage build with high toughness to mitigate incoming damage while my health was sustained by many small but consistent heals. So even though I had a small health pool, I can still hang. My damage output was less, but my survivability increased.
I didn't mean to get into build strategies, what my point is, the game provides me with the ability to evolve my play style. It changes based on my competency and experience. This of course also provides me with a sort of gear grind as I try different styles I need to constantly try new items. Even though exotic gear has the same stat pools, it's the stats that are allocated that affect what piece I need to wear. But this is all done at my own pace and rate of play. Unlike Games like WoW, different gear with different stats are ally still fully viable based on how you play.
But at the end of the day, the options that this “evolution of character” offers me has me sold on this game. It is one of the things that has kept my interest in GW2 going at endgame. I am having a blast and now have 2 at level 80. Once I get some more gold built up, I'll probably go for a 3rd.