Guild Wars 2 vs. The Traditional MMO

After two days of downloading over the university’s internet connection, I finally exit the launcher for Star Wars: The Old Republic and start packing up my laptop. One of my friends had given me one of the seven-day free trials they were passing out to subscribers so we could play together, and with a strange curiosity I accepted. There was a lot of confusion on how well SWTOR was going and whether people liked it or not. As I was still waiting for any info from ArenaNet, I wanted to see what it was like for myself, and what Guild Wars 2 was going to compete with. Trying to have an open mind, I set everything up and jumped onto Skype, joining the server my friends were on.

It's the golem that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

This isn't going to be biased at all, is it wallpaper?

My friends had a few mid-level characters on the Jedi Republic side, so they decided it was best that we all started on the same side at level 1, going for the Sith Empire. A few adjustments in the face maker and I was now Corrupt, the Twi’lek Sith Inquisitor, my other friends being a Bounty Hunter and a Warrior. A few looks around the starting room and I was initially confused as to where my Hunter friend was; he was actually on another world’s tutorial. Well, it’s probably a short tutorial, I thought, so I decided to follow my friend out into the desert. The very start of the game is of course the perfect time for friends to go suddenly go AFK and get food, so I decided to muck around and whack stuff with my yellow training sword while I waited, gaining a level off killing sand creatures in a bonus quest. When she returned, she saw the level difference and was not happy. In annoyance she told me not to do anything while she did the killing quests and got up to level 2, saying that we both needed to be even with levels as much as possible.

Already, I was starting to see why Guild Wars 2 was breaking conventions with its levelling system. My friends had to start at level 1 to play with me properly, and were very rigid on that we had to level together. The ability to go join with a newly made character after the tutorial and do the events without having to be on the same side or level was something that we could have used if I really wanted to go Jedi. The statistics of levels being based on the zone makes sense as well, as they could join my quests and story which they probably haven’t seen before.

Even the supposed “endgame