One evolutionary step for MMORPGs, a great leap for gamer kind.

It wasn’t until I’d played Guild Wars 2 that I realized how many other MMORPGs seemed intent on making me dislike other people. I hated the way I’d spend five minutes battling all the way to a named NPC for a quest, only to have some jackass swoop in while I was clearing the last two enemies and claim the kill for his own. I resented how people considered the numbers on my gear more important than my competence as a player in raids, and I loathed watching other players do their damndest to outrun me to resource nodes I approached. Things like this, I believe, contribute to the culture of petty vindictiveness in chat channels and forums that give the whole genre an inhospitable reputation, and that’s why I’m happy to see that they’re largely absent in ArenaNet’s long-awaited creation. Guild Wars 2 instead places a heavy emphasis on cooperation rather than competition and skill over gear, and that alone does much to justify calling it a giant leap ahead for the genre.
You’ll see this improvement in the way that every player who’s contributed significant damage to killing an enemy gets credit for it regardless of if they’re grouped or not, and you’ll see it when helping a dying ally out of a “downed state” grants experience points. Resource nodes such as herbs, mineral deposits, and trees are specific to each player, allowing five or more people to mine from the same node and still get everything they need with no waiting. It’s even apparent in player-versus-player combat, with its sprawling world-versus-world battlefield that discourages striking out as a lone wolf, and in the structured PvP arenas (perhaps best understood as “battlegrounds”) that equalize everyone to the same gear level to place a greater emphasis on skill. Guild Wars 2 remembers that the great appeal of MMORPGs lies in social interaction (as opposed to the shifts toward single-player experiences from its competitors), and it even includes an excellent downscaling system that allows you to quest with your friends in low-level zones with only slight advantages. 

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