Guild Wars 2, Storm Legion or Planetside 2?

Guild Wars 2

Is that a bazooka or are you just pleased to see me?

It’s almost the Christmas holidays and I can’t wait. I love running my own business but geez, does it keep me busy. Although I take some holidays throughout the year (I still have 12 days vacation time remaining which says a lot though), the festive period is the one time of year when most non-retail businesses either slow down or shut up completely meaning I should have a pretty long, uninterrupted break from Christmas Eve to the start of January. Bring on the MMO gaming.

Although I downloaded Planetside 2 today, I’ve purposefully ignored everything about it along with Guild Wars 2 and Storm Legion, the RIFT expansion. All are games I’m itching to try and, by all accounts, all are excellent and come highly recommended… but which to play? They’re each very different, one being an expansion to a traditional style MMO, one being hailed as a completely new MMORPG experience and the other being a massive, fast-paced FPS. I’m finally growing weary of dabbling in WoW and I think it’s time to get stuck into something new.

Planetside 2 is maybe the easiest to call given it costs absolutely nothing to get started with and has no subscription. I’m sure I’d probably end up buying stuff and actually spending money on it but it seems like the type of game I could dip into occasionally without having to commit too much to. The FPS nature of it also seems to suit that approach and, as much I want to see different takes on the MMO genre, I don’t see this as being something I could ever play seriously long-term.

Now the tough call. Guild Wars 2 or Storm Legion? I like RIFT a lot and feel like I never gave it the time or opportunity it deserved. I know it’s not exactly a radical departure from the traditional MMO gameplay model but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing that puts me off is that the expansion seems geared to high levels only and I’m not sure how much of it I would actually get to experience with my lower level toons.

Guild Wars 2, on the other hand, intrigues me tremendously and I’ve yet to experience any of it. It released far too close to the Mists of Pandaria WoW expansion for me to purchase it but it’s definitely on my wish list. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I’m keen to give it a shot. However, I’ve never been a stickler for money but, if I’m honest, the price point does put me off a little. £50 for a digital PC game seems a tad excessive especially considering I will likely buy in-game items as well. I appreciate there’s no subscription fee but it’s going to be hard to convince me that the F2P model is necessarily better value for money than a flat subscription.

Anyway, it’s a tough call and I don’t want even to think about other games like The Secret World or EVE (CCP keep sending me offers to resubscribe and it’s very tempting). Maybe I should wait and see if any magical Amazon gift vouchers wing there way to me from Santa and splash out on all three. It is Christmas after all. Failing that, I really should make my mind up.

Guild Wars 2, Storm Legion or Planetside 2 – which one would you pick?

-Gordon

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14 Comments

  1. bhagpuss says:

    Forget Storm Legion. Not that it isn’t good but unless you want to go into house decoration in a big way there’s nothing there for you if you don’t have a solid max-level character already. Someone else may correct me but I think apart from the housing literally ALL new content is for 50+ or maxed crafters.

    Planetside is great by most accounts. It’s an MMOFPS not an MMORPG, though. It has RPG persistence and character development but its all about the fighting. I did a litle beta and liked what I saw but it’s a very different beast to playing an MMO as I understand it.

    GW2 is a huge, rounded, deep and detailed MMORPG. It isn’t the paradigm shift that was promised but it is different enough in some ways to excite a jaded MMO palate. Basically, though, it’s just very good in most departments. Dungeon play was reckoned to be the weak link but the Fractal Dungeons apparently help with that. End game is thought to be a problem for some but you clearly don’t need to worry about that right now.

    Leveling up and exploring the vast, complex, detailed world is a pure joy. The classes are all interesting and highly playable. Since you mentioned recently that fighting players not mobs is really your thing, make sure to pick a good but not too-good WvW server. I’d go for one in T3 or T4 unless you know people already that you’re going to play with. Do your research here http://mos.millenium.org/matchups#NA

    I’m biased, of course. I’ve played almost nothing but GW2 since it launched and I imagine that’s going to continue for a good while.

  2. pitrelli says:

    I’m biased but gw2 easily, it’s only £33 in hmv but even at the digital price its money well spent imo. I’ve played over 350 hours and only just rolled my first alt….its just a great game.

    Oh and am on desolation eu if you wanna hand getting to grips with things.

  3. Kharnamatic says:

    If you’re tired of WoW, roll another class – it’s like playing a completely different game again. Otherwise I’d recommend RIFT for something fresh. After all, with the tagline “we’re not in Azeroth anymore” it’s clearly positioning itself as a clean break from the WoW MMO format and as a new take on the genre. You can’t go wrong with a game that uses a hot naked chick for advertising: http://rpg-exploiters.com/wp-content/uploads/rift-storm-legion-box-600×600.jpg.

  4. Fidjit says:

    I’d give Planetside 2 and GW2 a shot. With respect, I’m not sure why the price is putting you off GW2. It’s a single one time cost and then you get it forever, which is a lot cheaper than WoW. They’ve also been adding more content every month than just about every subscription MMO out there. The cash shop isn’t aggressive at all either.

  5. Gary says:

    Have no idea on Planetside, but I’m not as hot on FPS so you’re on your own there. As you indicate it’s completely F2P on the dabble level, by all means go for it:)

    Rift intrigues me. I’m verging on giving it a shot, even though I realize it will play out a lot like WoW in the earlier, leveling process. Appealing things there (aside from all the max level goodies, e.g. housing), is the complexity and apparent freedom in building one’s class/spec. That’s one of the several things that finally drove me away from WoW for good, the top-down simplification of the game and the talents formerly known as trees. I am a PVPer too however, and all word is that the PVP options are rather lackluster with Rift. There is a PVP server however, and it looks like they did/will have battleground-like options, so I might still give it a whirl, if only for a couple of months. Another negative here is the monthly sub, but that just is what it is.

    Now, onto GW2. Tons to offer for you there in the way of advice, but let me preface by saying that yes, you simply HAVE to try this game. IF you approach it correctly, you’re bound to be amazed at just how much “stuff” they got right in developing this MMO. That said, it’s not a perfect game and I find myself struggling with motivation to log on sometimes, I’m not quite sure what to make of that. I still don’t regret the purchase and I feel as if I’ve received 10X the value for my money already, and I’m not yet level 70! Now onto some thoughts and advice as you venture into this experience . . .

    Don’t worry about the cash shop in GW2 at all. Seriously, there is almost NOTHING you need there. The *only* thing I found myself feeling like I kinda-sorta HAD to buy at level 35-40 was more bank space. The space you get initially is fairly limited and it will fill up on you. I went ahead and tripled my bank space, and this set me back a couple of dollars, no more. Then I was like “what the hell” and rounded my cash investment up to ten U.S. dollars and “splurged” on more bank space and a bunch of keys needed to drop the treasure chests that drop sometimes. These keys do also drop during the game, but at a FAR slower rate than the chests. The Chest gifties aren’t needed but some I’ve gotten have been fun: in other words, you’re more than safe ignoring/collecting the chests but it does suck wondering what is in them when one drops. At any rate, ten whole dollars spent in more than three months of play, that ain’t bad. Other than bank space however, I would completely ignore the cash shop unless you feel like spending some cash: there are fun things in there, but they’re ONLY fun things and are no where near needed to play the game successfully & have a blast at the same time.

    -As far as how to approach GW2, the (perhaps) wrong thing to do is to jump from quest area to quest area, complete whatever parts of the quests you find desirable, then move on. You CAN do this, of course, but to do so is to miss the very point (and indeed, the real FUN of GW2).

    -Quest & event areas are well-marked on the map, but these are meant to serve as guiders or indicators of where you might head to explore. A heart symbol on the map will yield a number of things to do in the area, depending on where the ever-changing (dynamic) storyline is “set” at the time you get there. Much of this resembles the traditional type of questing objectives found in WoW and elsewhere, collecting, killing, etc. They’re presented as a group of optional items, however, meaning you can “complete the quests” however you’d like to – or skip them altogether. You are welcome to jump right in and begin doing stuff, no particular need to locate a quest-giver and read a wall of text first, but these “quest givers” do exist and they will give you a kind of brief Q&A on the story/lore/rational behind what you’re doing — you can visit them or not, up to you. No need to return to them once the thing is complete, though they do offer good Karma (currency) rewards, so it’s worth a stop to check out their goods.

    -Here is the IMPORTANT thing on the above “questing” experience, however — a point I think a lot of gamers rush right over and never realize exists. Each of the above little activities you perform is the direct result of a storyline happening in this part of the world, a storyline that will change depending on whether you (and/or others) complete tasks or not. GW2 DEVS aren’t lying when they say that their “end game is IN the game itself” – it’s more true than you can imagine, and it is extraordinary. Run into a little village, talk to the NPCs there. Yes, they WILL talk back to you, some will engage you in conversation. Hang out a little bit if you like, watch the interactions happening around you. These NPCs have relationships and backstories and such, and you are invited to discover these. Out of what happens in these little villages and forts and bases spring the gaming activities you’re invited to complete. Complete them, and the storyline progresses — fail, and the storyline regresses and something else happens, the village you’ve visited has changed and now there is new “stuff” happening there . . .

    . . . Better yet, these ongoing, developing stories (that you have a hand in altering), progress into new ones. Let’s say you’re invited to join a raid of NPCs on a neighboring fort to get supplies. Most players zipping through the area will see the raid happening, jump in, complete the objectives, then take off. But YOU, wise gamer, will stick around a bit . . . because now the plundered goods must be collected and taken back to your HQ. Viola! An escort quest. Again, passersby will participate in this escort quest with little idea they’re in the middle of a story, they’ll just do it and run. WE, however, will see it through and, if we’re successful, witness “our” HQ reap the benefits of the goods we’ve taken. But wait — those whom we defeated are regathering to assault our HQ. It’s going to have to be defended or we’ll have to suffer the consequences …. stick with the scenario long enough, you’re going to find yourself in the middle of a WoW-style Raid Boss fight.

    You get the idea. I share all of this because GW2 is about three miles deep, as opposed to a WoW, which seems three miles across and about an inch deep. One is perfectly welcome to simply skip from event to event, but lingering and exploring as described above is really the key, I think, to digging into this offering. I’ve been playing since launch and I still don’t feel like i’ve begun to scratch the surface of this game, it’s astounding.

    -Forget about levels. They seem tacked on and they mean little, other than lending a vague sense of progression.

    -Don’t worry too much about gear; you’ll pay a little attention to it but not very much.

    -Explore. Everywhere. The map markers are deceptive: some of the game’s best “stuff” is no where near a marker. Running through a field, you’ll find yourself dropping into an unseen hole thinking “WTF?” Grats, you’ve discovered a jumping-puzzle type dungeon experience! Walk into the buildings within the larger cities (yes, you can). There are sometimes surprises to be found in these places: a bar brawl that you can fight in, a library full of books that – gulp – you can actually read, an old man who will tell you a story. The other day I ventured into a small church and into a side room that held a pipe organ, one that you can actually play! I cranked up my speakers and had a concert … if I actually knew how to play I could have done a Mozart piece or something, LOL.

    -Talk to the NPCs. Play with the kids (they’re everywhere). They will share gossip or talk politics with you. Sometimes you’re given an option on how to respond: your decision will advance and alter your character and how future NPCs react to you. Sneak into a castle and listen to the Queen’s problems … now, go to a commerce district and talk to the shop girls who gossip about the Queen in the way that girls do … leave the city for the countryside and a farmer will complain about how the Queen’s tax policies are affecting his family income.

    I should stop now, LOL. WAY too much to experience in this game, and I haven’t even TOUCHED PVP yet, in game. All of this said, I do feel a strange disconnect with GW2 that I am not sure how to explain. I think it might have to do with firm & defined progression. I am so used to WoW and its very defined set of little steps one could take to feel as if I was growing bigger and stronger and better over time. Their execution on this finally drove me away, but it really WAS clear and defined: it was easy to set a little goal-for-the-week for myself and then to enjoy pursuing and gaining that goal. GW2 lacks this and, as such, I find myself not feeling the strong pull to log in as SOON as I can and to remain in-game for as LONG as I can before having to go to bed. For as much as I love GW2 (and there is a lot to love), I do find myself missing this one aspect of the MMO gaming experience.

    Good luck!

  6. ran93r says:

    I’m going to try and ease myself back into GW2 as I have left it stranded for quite a few months now.

    Tried Planetside 2, didn’t much care for it. If anything it just made me want to go and play BF3 again so I picked up Premium in the sales and have been manfaceshooting when time permits. I just didn’t feel that Planetside offered anything new to the genre in the same way that GW2 tried very hard to be your thinking man’s moomoo.

    It’s free though so by all means have a look, it’s certainly not a bad team shooter.

  7. João Carlos says:

    If you want my advice, try GW2 now, before the one month ONE TIME xmas event starts (14th december – 3rd januray). IMHO, it is possible the xmas event will give an unique item and I had some players asking me where I get the “fire book” at my back and they are evidently players that were not at the halloween event. Anyway, GW2 will have one time events too at january and february.

    Some people problably will get intrigued with the “one time” when applying it to halloween or xmas, that repeat each year. The problem is that I doubt next year GW2 halloween event will be the same next year, I doubt we will see the same story and I doubt Mad King will blow up the Lion Arch’s fountain again. There are a lot of other places for Mad King destroy at Tyria…

  8. pkudude99 says:

    I’m not into shooters, so PS2 is right out for me to suggest. I didn’t particularly care for GW1, so GW2 has no draw for me either. That leaves Rift, a game that I stopped playing about a year ago when SWTOR came out. And then I quit SWTOR when TSW came out.

    Love TSW, btw, and would highly suggest picking that up.

    I re-subbed to Rift under their “get a year for $10 a month and the expansion tossed in on top” deal. After being used to TSW’s fast animations and 1 second GCD, the slower animations plus the (mostly) 1.5 second GCD in Rift felt a little mushy until I got used to it again. They’ve done a complete revamp of the souls, so in many ways it was like coming back to a new game, plus each “calling” has a new soul as well. Warrior’s now have a ranged spellcaster soul, clerics got a new heal/damage combo soul, rogues got a new “support” soul, and mages got a melee dps soul. The new souls are all available at level 1, so that, at least, doesn’t require you to be level 50 to access new content. But with that said, all the new land areas and gear and such are for level 50+ But it’s good enough that it gave me the impetus to get my mage from languishing at level 39 and it’s now 52, my 46 rogue is also 52, and my characters that were at 50 before are also progressing nicely.

    I’ve been blogging about it over at nomadicgamers.com — the 3 most recent posts, if you care to check out my experiences in a little more detail.

  9. B.J. Keeton says:

    Maybe I’m biased, but I say GW2. I just got into it, and I’ve found it’s the cleanest MMO experience I’ve had in years. I don’t feel pressured to log on, but when I do, I have an absolute blast. I also re-upped to SWTOR for some lightsaber smashing, and it’s been a fun distraction, too.

  10. Pathak says:

    I’m suggesting GW2 as well. I’m going to hazard a guess, and say that I spent just as much on the original WoW box as I did on GW2, and I’ve probably spent as much on what would have been subscription to GW2 cash shop. Except my purchases directly benefit me in terms of bank space, bag space and an extra character slot.

    sPvP is for fun! There doesn’t appear to be any loot gain, and you can start from level 1.

    WvW appears to be for glory and fun, but it uses your PvE build, so you may want to wait until level 10 or 20, to get a few more abilities. I might even recommend level 30, for the full array of abilities to be unlocked, but you don’t have to do that, if you don’t want to.

    The exploration side is huge! My level 80 pally, erm, guardian has only seen 47% of the world!

    There’s no squabbling over nodes or mob tagging, you can gather anything, and you can help with events, without having to join a raid group. In later levels there are 3 main dragon raid events that happen just about every 3 hours, and there’s no need to join a group. Just turn up, assist with damage, healing, support, and collect loot at the end (based on your contribution, I imagine).

  11. Hope says:

    I say Rift. It is totally different from the original release. The patches are huge and come every month. It has tons of more things to do than WOW and GW2. People just go by assumption and say it’s a high graphics Wow, but everything is done better. The questing is not as linear as Wow is because there are a ton of ways to level other than questing. The only bonus GW2 has is it’sB2P pricing. If both were B2P, even thinking of GW2 would be laughable.

    As stated Rift has Story Quests, Instant Adventure, Onslaughts, Conquests, Carnage, Dungeons, Warfronts, Artifacts, Puzzles, Cairns, Raids, Chronicles, Dimensions, Fishing and Crafting, Hunt Rifts, Invasions, Zone Events, Achievements, and more… They just keep stacking more things to do, and Storm Legion questing is just like GW2 including the group questing. They took the best from GW2 and WOW and put it together.

    At the rate Rift is going, it will easily outclass GW2 in time span. It has 500% more content than it’s release in just 1 year.If you can afford the sub, Rift easily.

  12. Fumbles says:

    Honestly, I was not paying much attention to PS2 beyond the desire to check out the game engine as it will be the same one used on EQ Next. I have been sucked in! SOE offered me a beta key so I took them up on it and have not looked back.

    I am by far not the best at shooters, including PS2, but I’ll be dammed if it is not addictive in a fun way. I like that it can be a hop in for a half hour and have instant fun or spend the afternoon with a platoon forcing our will across the map.

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