As promised, part 2 of my Guild Wars 2 review. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.
In part one I talked about leveling and the experience on the road to reaching your maximum level. In this review I will tell you everything you want to know about having reached that maximum level. Now again you can split the game up in multiple sides: Instanced PvE, World PvE, World Versus World PvP and battleground PvP.
Instanced Player Versus Enviremont
Once you hit level 80, you have the option to obtain better gear. You can do this in many ways, and one if them is through instanced PvE, also known as dungeons. You can enter a dungeon with 5 players and you have to fight your way through traps, mobs and bosses to acquire gear. You can do this in either story mode (easier mode) or explorable mode (hard mode).
I'll discuss the positive points first. There is lore attached to the dungeons, and whilst fighting your way through cutscenes will appear to tell you all about it. There are no tanks or healers in Guild Wars 2, so while fighting with your buddies everyone is responsible for their own health.
Aside from the standard "trash" mobs there are also other fun obstacles to watch out for such as traps. You have to watch your step and deactivate them in order to pass. Once you slayed enough creatures and passed enough obstacles you may finally reach a so called "boss". Each boss drops loot, and everyone gets their own loot. This is great as there will be no fighting over loot, and no one can steal eachother's loot. Loot will always be compatible for your character, since your own personal loot will only drop loot that you can equip. The dungeons are quite long and have a broad amount of bosses. Most dungeons look quite nice with certain outside areas, whereas other's look a bit dull, mainly the areas inside.
That's about all the positive feedback I can give about them. The trash (even in story mode) is way to hard, and the bosses can be killed spamming the same abilities most of the time. Certain traps are unclear, and others you can just walk over and pass. Story mode can only be completed by a group of experienced gamers on ventrilo, or just players who know what their doing as long as they have done it before. Explorable mode is just a nightmare, which in my eyes is quite good, but there is a limit. Personally I find most bosses quite dull and the trash mobs need a Nerf to make it enjoyable. Also the boss mechanics could have been better and more diverse.
It is also notable that there are only 5 man dungeons (as opposed to also having 10 man and 25 man dungeons in other MMO's). This might seem bad, but speaking out of personal experience 5 man and 10 man dungeons work the best for most people, and can still be just as competative as 25 man dungeons.
World Player Versus Environment
Aside from the dungeons, there are also bosses in the open world. They get triggered by other events and spawn every now and then. This makes the world feel very much alive which is a big plus. Not only that, most bosses are enormous and look very badass.
These bosses are designed to be killed by a big amount of people, up to about 50. Some of their mechanics are very nice and well thought out, but while actually fighting them you usually do not have to pay much attention to it. This is really a shame as the mechanics were pretty amazing, and now people can simply not pay attention to it and attack whatever they can attack. They also don't have to stick to a so called 'rotation' as we know in most MMO's, at the world bosses spamming your "1" key will suffice and get the job done, which also really is a shame. As long as you get enough people running to the area, who are also willing to revive allies, you are quite certain of a kill.
Another thing to mention is that the graphics in this game are gorgeous, and so is the environment where you kill these bosses. The towns really are amazing, and exploring this wonderful world is really joyful. Also, the water in this game is the best looking water I have ever seen in a game (including those of upcoming titles).
Conclusion: Dungeon's are to hard and their bosses are quite boring, world bosses would be awesome if they received a boost and would be made harder. For now, spamming auto attack on world bosses is quite boring as well.
Wold Versus World PvP:
This really is a fun game mode which works pretty awesome. I must add that it becomes a lot funner if you play it with friends and have some sort of tactical plan. However, after X amounts of games they really do get less interesting, and there is no real goal. Also it never ends, the scores keep updating forever, there is no way to win. With these two factors in mind, you really do not feel motivated to return to World versus World aside from obtaining gear, which is a shame.
World Versus World does have some awesome features and stimulates tactical play, such as picking off enemy supply transports and getting certain locations, but if there is no reason to hop in to this game mode, than all the hard work they put in to this awesome game mode has gone in vain. However, this still is really fun to hop in to from time to time, just because it's so well designed.
This is where the professional and hardcore teams come in to play. This game mode serves both newbies and die-hard players very well. It's strategical, fast phased and dynamic, and actually quite realistic as well. This is also very nice to play on your own and serves you well if you want to test certain skills out.
Aside from this, ArenaNet hosts tournaments in this game-mode, the winners receive great prizes. It requires a good strategical plan, good communication and a good balance in professions (classes). This game mode stays dynamic as each match can be different, one match the clock tower will be completely destroyed, the other match it survives without a scratch.
This being said, I think battleground PvP is very well designed, fun, competitive, awarding and dynamic.
Endgame gear can be obtained through World PvP, dungeons, open world bosses and battlegrounds. The last way to obtain gear is through crafting. Crafting grants you the best gear in the game. I strongly disagree with that decision of ArenaNet. Why? Crafting is a lot more boring then PvE'ing or PvP'ing, so why not let us get the gear there? This completely takes away our motivation to go and farm gear in either battlegrounds or dungeon's, and sets us to do some boring crafting instead which makes you get fed up with the game easily.
All this being said, I'm quite disappointed with the current state of the endgame. Their ideas were really great, and if they had worked it would be an amazing experience. However, as it stands now some areas need a lot of attention, and they need to add a reason for us to go and play endgame. As for now, I do not feel motivated to start up the game to farm something or have fun in general, which I did have with other MMO's.
But! Guild Wars 2 is new, and MMO's need time to develop themselves, that's just how the genre works. ArenaNet will patch the game on a weekly bases, add content here, change some gear there, etc. Hopefully they will pay some attention to the endgame shortly and give us a reason to explore it further. I'm sure it will all get sorted out if the community will give it a chance, but most MMO's do not make it because the playerbase just stops playing to early so the game cannot develop itself.
Endgame content is not polished, which itself is not a huge problem. However, it is also not motivating. People can cope with the fact that something is not polished, it will get fixed in the future, but if the game does not motivate people to play the game, than something is very wrong.
I give the endgame a 6.5/10, because the ideas are excellent, just the implementation leaves much to be desired.
Adding the 9.5 from the road to endgame, this game receives a total score of 8!