Guild Wars 2 PvE First Impressions

As impressive as people believed Guild Wars 2’s PvE was going to be, I’ve never had even the slightest interest in it, for me the game was all about World vs World PvP. During the beta’s I barely touched PvE, however because of the massive queue times during the headstart weekend I was left with no choice but to dive into PvE.

Off the bat I was impressed with the direction ArenaNet took with quests; there were no quest NPCs to talk to which meant I’d never have to run back to turn-in a quest. Perfect, I hated running back anyway.  Everything was laid out on the map for me, so I began checking off the map achievements one by one. After a little while it hit me that this was extremely similar to Assassin Creed’s system. The Vista jumping game replaced the Eagle-eye climbs, public quests replaced the city quests and all points of interests are already marked on the map.

I completed the starting area map and the city map along with the storyline quests bringing my grand total of world achievements to about three or four percent before I moved on to the next map location.  Here I completed a few more quests and achievement, but ultimately it will be where my PvE journey ends.

Sadly my first impressions of Guild Wars 2 PvE will be my last as I saw nothing that really separated it from any other PvE MMORPG. Making all the quests public is nice, but it doesn’t solve the problem of having boring quests and I have no interest in completing hundreds of them before I get to some good ones.

I don’t know if the vast majority of GW2 fans are in a state of euphoria over the launch of the game, but the PvE system is the same thing as every other MMORPG out there. I love that ArenaNet took a big leap with PvP in World vs World, I had a blast in beta and for the short period of time I was actually able to get in during the weekend, but PvE is no different.

Instead of quest hubs were you gather 5-10 quests at a time, the quests are all already marked on your map; then add a few random dynamic quests along the way to increase the quest count. The only difference is the delivery system, which is definitely an improvement, but it doesn’t change the fact that your still just doing boring quests.

I’ll give it to ArenaNet that their quests aren’t as bad some some games, cough*TERA*cough, but they’re certainly not exciting enough to get me to change my mind on PvE. I’m sure the endgame dungeons are fun and perhaps even a few along the way; I just don’t want to go through 50 hours of boring quests to get to them.


  1. To me, its not that the public quest style approach is has better content, its the public part. I’ll compare to WoW, but it sort of goes for most any MMO I’ve played since WoW came out.

    The lack of needing to form a party is a very small seeming thing, but it makes all the difference. Not trying to beat the guy next to me to tag a mob is huge. Instead the world is now full of people you aren’t competing against but people you’re working with. True, the quests are, for the most part same as they have been. If you never liked that kind of PvE, you wont like this much more. But for someone who used to like it until it became a single player snooze-fest that actively punished you for grouping, its great. GW2 is not a revolution in PvE, just a bit of evolution.

    WoW got so ridiculously easy that people were making characters that never equip anything but the starting gear/weapon and getting to the end game just fine. Actually equipping gear only made the game easy easier. The lack of requiring people to form groups means people will work together for tougher challenges by default. Combine this with a system that scales on the number of players makes for actually challenging content (or easy if you stay in lower level places). When difficult PvE content needs to be treated to something akin to PvP (cc, movement, no true tank/healer), it makes the combat fun. To me, fun and challenging is what makes the PvE enjoyable.

    True, it can feel like more of the same. Especially if your alone and playing in an area where you are the high end of the level scale. But try some content that is popular (Asura zones seem to be busy) and go to an area where you aren’t being scaled down and it really can be fun. (Also, don’t play a ranger, their pet is so ridiculously good the entire game becomes easy if your skilled with him.)

  2. Well I have to say I gave PvE another shot yesterday, which I’m glad I did since I stumbled across the secret Sharkmaw Caverns in Lions Arch. Not only was it fun, but it was challenging and quite long. If these are the types of adventures I can expect the whole way through to level 80, then I might have been very wrong about GW2’s PvE system.

  3. I have to admit I quite liked the PvE … the quests dont feel so grindy, without the quest hubs it just seems to flow smoothly and seem very fast paced, it may seem more of the same but its more of the same on steroids and really feels like a breath of fresh air. Its taken the boring core part of MMORPG PvE and brethed new life into it.
    The public quest system is great, seamlessly join groups and am actually finding it easy to pick up casual friends to add to my contacts because of it which is great.
    Having said that have been playing the PvP a bit more in depth and have to say am also loving that – even though our server “Whiteside Ridge” seems to be getting panned atm.
    Variety, fast paced, social, enjoyable PvP and PvE what more do we need.?

    The overflow queues (as mentioned in previous posts) — awesome addition. Despite a couple of little niggles with the trading system, and finding friends on the map (is this just me? or is finding people on the world map not easy?) its been a pretty smooth launch so far methinks.

    Long live GW2!

  4. @Mike

    I was about to say that you should give the PvE another shot. But it seems you understood how the PvE is now. Either way great post!

  5. Gw2 is boring.
    Rpg ? In the name of the holy trinity, what role in RPG are you talking about ??

    In gw2, you’re not playing any role at all.

    have fun while you can, we’ll talk about it again in a few weeks, i’m not sinking time into this joke of game, pretending it has something worthwhile to offer as an MMORPG.

    This is a new genre, i don’t know what, but it ain’t a role playing game, it’s massive, online , yeah it’s a MMOPG for you,

    Enjoy your MMOPG xD

  6. GW2 are dynamic ?

    There’s absolutely nothing dynamic about them. Always the same place, always the same task – to the very last detail. The variety between DEs is marginal and summarized as “kill stuff/things that spawn around” or “escort X to Y”.

    The only thing making them in any way different is that they suddenly activate, instead of having npc standing there to click on.

    How exactly is that revolutionary is beyond me. Are people that blindfolded with hype ?

  7. I am glad the OP got a chance to do some pve and enjoy himself. I personally enjoy the game for much of the same reasons Xaras and Qix213 did. However I am an explorer… and have snuggled enough mountains to find tons of unmarked goodies on the map.

    For example, so far I have found at least four unmarked blue chests in the human starting zone, and 2 splendid ones. The splendid ones for example are found in hidden caves with jumping puzzles and, one with a massive bandit battle at the end.

    The little blue ones might be hidden by a veteran monster who is slightly harder either in some dark corner of the map, underwater, in a harpy nest, or small cave. If you look around this game rewards you heavily.

    Also each of those chests can be re-opened once a day so explorers are rewarded over time if they wish to collect these chests. Higher levels can go back and collect them too, and a challenge is still indeed present because the game will scale the player down to the zones level range.

    For me, 80% of my upgrades come from treasure, not from quest rewards and I find this treasure and have a blast while doing it, save my karma for other rewards. Exploration and finding bloody awesome treasure is a huge thrill of PvE i hope you discover.

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