The March patch was somewhat disappointing as far as content, with the Living Story quests being lackluster at best. What had the potential to be extremely unique and exciting, was once again turned into a grind-like process with nothing new to really add to the story since implementation. The world vs world patch did manage to alleviate the culling issues found when large groups would be present in any of the games player vs player and world vs world content, however the unique abilities that each person can spec into are hardly worth the time, energy and effort necessary to achieve them. It seems as if Arenanet has a skeleton crew working on content for the game, and the much anticipated “ascended gear/weapons” aren’t anywhere to be found. Instead of releasing more weapon skins such as the “fused” weapon skins (which ultimately look like what the COF weapons should have looked like to begin with), why not release the content that will entice people to continue to play? I guess what I’m really wondering is what is the hold up? They’ve released ascended rings, amulets, and accessories (amulets/accessories still aren’t able to be infused) but no ascended armor or weapons. With another big patch coming in the next few weeks, the game seems to be moving in a very weird direction. More items are coming out on the gem store, which are completely useless in game. I don’t want a hoodie, I want content and better looking gear!
The classes still aren’t 100% balanced, and frankly, they never will be. As long as people keep complaining about a specific character class, the developers will always look to change the class, rather than simply saying “why don’t you do something differently in your play style?” I have over 1000 hours invested in one of my characters (Thief) but I also play a wide variety of classes/races and have yet to find one class that’s super over-powered as everyone says they are. I feel as quite possibly these players consistently complaining need to re-evaluate what they’re doing, rather than causing the potential ruination of a class. The various classes have a lackluster approach to armor, that quite frankly is a disappointment. I feel as if more personalization is needed. Rather than allowing me to simply change colors of my armor, I feel as if a better option would be to swap individual pieces of armor (left shoulder and right shoulder) to make a completely unique look is needed. The April patch has been rumored to be assisting in this department with new armor appearances, however I speculate that it still won’t be anything more than an aesthetic change, and there won’t be any additional stat point difference from exotic armor sets currently in game. Hopefully along this same line, Arenanet will finally buff up the legendary weapons currently in game to something worthwhile. It’s been talked about for so long, that many of us that still currently play, are losing faith and hope that this disappointing fact will be rectified. Also, many legendary weapon appearances or animations need to be updated to something more outstanding. Frostfang and Incinerator are two to name a few. Both have a very small animation on characters arms, when they should definitely have something like an Aura that Quip or Predator have.
Guild Wars 2 was praised as being the best MMO of the year, and it has definitely had some surprises since release however, the game is still lacking in the content area. Arenanet is trying to bridge this content gap by releasing things to help distract players from its lack of content and most recently with their release of the Super Fun Box, Arenanet has taken a proverbial time machine into the 1980’s/early 90’s of gaming, transitioning to the 16 bit world, rather than introducing the whispered expansion. The Super Fun Box, released in the March 26th patch is a dungeon type instance, similar to their already implemented structure of 3 instances per complete dungeon, each rewarding players with a “treasure chest” where they have the potential chance to find new weapon skins. The super weapons have a unique animation and look, unlike anything else in game. While having additional content is exciting when newly introduced, this still doesn’t detract from the lack of content currently experienced by players. Gamers still find themselves in a currency grind, achieving “baubles” and “bauble bubbles” (new currency for weapon skins), between doing guild missions and earning guild commendations, and laurels from doing dailies, and fractal relics from doing fractals etc. etc.
The game has a lot of potential, but it is truly up to Arenanet to take these suggestions and make something happen if they want to compete with games such as Elder Scrolls Online, Neverwinter and the far from complete Camelot Unchained. Would I recommend this game to others, certainly? I find the lore and questing to be unique and fun when leveling characters. I think, as previously stated, the game has a lot of potential, and definitely has a strong player base behind it. The UI isn’t hard to navigate as many other MMO’s such as WoW or SWTOR. There are only 10 abilities on your toolbar, with an F1 ability as well (some F1-F4 *casters). I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars overall.