With the release of the Secrets of the Obscure expansion, Guild Wars 2 (GW2) is creating quite a buzz in the gaming world. This excitement is drawing in both veterans of the game and new players, as well as luring back those who last touched it a long time ago. But what’s changed, and why is GW2 rapidly becoming the best casual MMORPG on the market? In this guide, we’ll delve into what GW2 does exceptionally well, recent improvements, and how it’s setting the standard for casual MMOs in 2023.
Open World Exploration
Guild Wars 2 has always emphasized open-world exploration. The vast, evolving world is a major draw for players. Whether you’re adventuring with friends or going solo, you’ll come across real-time events that keep the world feeling dynamic. The open world is one of GW2’s standout features.
Buy Once, Play Forever Model
One of GW2’s strengths is its buy-to-play model. For just a $30 purchase, you gain access to thousands of hours of gameplay, and this value only increases with expansions and Living World seasons. The absence of a subscription fee means you can enjoy the game at your own pace without feeling pressured to log in regularly.
Gem Shop and In-Game Currency
GW2’s gem shop stands out because it allows players to trade GW2 gold for gems. This means you can earn virtually everything in the shop through in-game activities. Cosmetic and quality-of-life items, like glider skins and bank tabs, can be obtained by simply grinding for gold. This feature is beloved by players who prefer earning items rather than spending real money.
GW2 boasts one of the best character progression models in the casual MMO RPG genre. Once you earn a piece of gear, it always remains relevant and requires constant upgrading. Exotic gear, the tier just below ascended and legendary, is relatively easy and affordable to acquire. This ensures that players of varying commitment levels can enjoy the game without being left behind.
Recent Changes and Improvements
Legendary Armor and Open World Content:
With the “Secrets of the Obscure” expansion, ArenaNet has put a significant emphasis on open-world exploration. Now, players can earn legendary armour, the best gear in the game, by completing open-world content. This removes the requirement to participate in structured PvP, World vs. World, or raids, catering to the casual mindset.
The Wizard’s Vault:
The Wizard’s Vault has revamped the daily login rewards. Instead of a predefined path, it offers players choices on what they want to work towards each day. You’ll earn Astral Claim, the new in-game currency, by logging in daily. Weekly objectives, such as completing strike missions or jumping puzzles, provide additional progress options. Even if you miss specific items during a quarter, they’re moved to the Legacy Vault, ensuring you can earn them whenever you return to the game.
Astral Claim Currency:
Astral Claim allows players to purchase various in-game currencies like gold, Laurels, and Mystic Coins. This change simplifies the process of acquiring materials needed for legendary items and other in-game purchases.
Skyscale Mount Accessibility:
The Skyscale Mount, one of only two flying mounts in the game, was previously accessible only to players who owned the “Path of Fire” expansion and Living World Season 4. However, “Secrets of the Obscure” introduces a faster method to unlock it, making this quality of life mount more accessible.
Why does Guild Wars 2 Stand Out?
Guild Wars 2 is redefining casual MMORPGs in 2023 due to several key factors:
- Consistency: GW2 has remained consistent throughout its lifetime, unlike other MMOs that have experienced ups and downs. It retains its player base and keeps attracting new players.
- No Subscription Model: Unlike some MMOs that require monthly subscriptions, GW2’s buy-to-play model respects players’ preferences and doesn’t obligate them to log in regularly.
- Player Community: GW2’s community is known for its friendliness and willingness to help newcomers. Players often assist newbies in starting zones, creating a welcoming environment.
In an era where the popularity of MMO RPGs has waned, Guild Wars 2 is thriving by catering to an audience with limited gaming time and a desire for quality over quantity. Its consistent performance, lack of subscription fees, and welcoming community make it the go-to choice for casual MMO players. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer, Guild Wars 2: Secrets of the Obscure is redefining the casual MMORPG experience in 2023.