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Guild Wars 2 - PvE Leveling Through Structured PvP

Guild Wars 2 is a game that is all about giving players options on how they want to play. For most things you can take part in within the game, there are multiple ways to go about it. For example, for leveling you could always do this through crafting, world vs world combat, or normal PvE via grinding and quests. Now, however, another area has opened up for the leveling of your characters: structured PvP.

At first thought, this may seem like an awesome idea. It helps push the fact that you should be able to progress your characters using any method you want; not be barred by what type of combat you enjoy. But on the other hand, it does break down the separation between structured PvP and the rest of the game, which is not necessarily a good thing. For me, it is quite the opposite.

Keeping the Gap Separated

When it comes to how Guild Wars 2 handles the structured PvP system, it is pretty much secluded from everything else in the game. It has its own levels, its own items, and its own way of allowing you to choose your skills and such. Essentially it is almost like an entire different game; but one where you can only join the structured PvP matches. In fact, it does not matter if you are level two or eighty; you are just the same as every other player of the same class (aside from changes in what weapon you choose, the armor you equip and how you set up your skills). This is important to understand because it means, for all intents and purposes, the structured PvP system is its own entity, separated from the rest of the game.

Bridging the Gap

The issue starts to come in with the addition of new items to the structured PvP system, called the Tome of Knowledge. This item costs 20 silver and 1,500 Glory, and it grants an entire level to your character (its PvE level, now PvP one). If you are at 50% experience, for example, it boosts you to the next level and 50% again. Buying these lets you go straight from level two to eighty without ever even stepping foot out in to the rest of the game.

So why am I against this? Because the two areas of the game (structured PvP and PvE) are supposed to be separated. You can not get items that help out with your PvP by taking part in PvE, so why should you be able to level up PvE through PvP? This is backwards, and it ends up creating a one way street. If anything, the system should allow you to get PvP levels through world vs world or something. But allowing one to directly affect the other, and not the other way around, just does not feel right.

The Counter Argument

At the same time that I disagree with how the system currently works, there are some people that are in the opposite side of the boat. They believe that, since you are learning through structured PvP and it is based on the end game (being that you are already level eighty and have great gear), you probably know the game better than those that only do PvE. While I can see this being true in some cases, though, it is not always. Take, for example, the fact that both the gold and Glory are bound to the accounts, not the characters themselves. I can simply use my Mesmer to gain enough Glory through PvP to buy all the levels up through eighty, then create a new character that I have never played before and boost it to eighty without ever even having touched it in PvE (aside from the tutorial, which really does not count since it does not help get a firm understanding as to how the class works, and you only get to use a skill or two within it).

Even with this, its effects vary. If you are only taking part in world vs world, your effect on everyone around you is pretty limited. If you are trying to run dungeons and such, though, it can cause some complications in that they are completely different from doing PvP, plus you are likely going to be a bit under geared for taking part in them. This is an area I do not think many people are thinking about when they look at whether the system should or should not allow you to level up without actually doing anything with a character, and as a dungeon runner I find this to be a huge deal.

Conclusion

Guild Wars 2 has altered its structured PvP system to allow players to purchase an item called the Tome of Knowledge. This item grants an entire level for PvE, and as many as you want can be purchased, effectively allowing you to easily boost any number of characters up to level eighty without ever taking part in PvE or world vs world combat. To me, this is a big problem and it shows that the system is not as separated as ArenaNet wants people to feel it is. But instead of allowing the two (PvP and PvE) to be merged, it is more like a street that only goes one way. Anything that happens in PvE can only affect PvE. And anything that happens in PvP can also affect PvE. This is simply not the way it should work. Both systems need to keep their separate identities or they need to be, somehow, merged together as one when it comes to progression.

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