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Guild Wars 2 – Doing WvW Naked

If you have followed any of my Guild Wars 2 guides and “we play” articles, you may have noticed that I always run world vs world nude. While some would argue that this is so that I can play without having any of my gear damaged (and therefore be forced to pay for it), it actually goes deeper than this. In fact, it is something that I think anyone who wants to play the game seriously should consider doing.

Naked Means Weaker, Right?

Well, yes and no. In some games, playing naked does not affect your damage output or health, and instead just changes your defense. In others, like Guild Wars 2, it affects your health, damage and defense. By having no gear, you are really setting yourself up at a disadvantage. But this is also where the idea shines.

When you want to get better at something, you need to try to challenge yourself. The more challenging the thing is you are going for, the more effective you are going to get at it. This requires practice, of course, but if you are steam rolling everything you are never going to get better; if anything, you will start to lose some of your edge. In games, especially MMOs, we get this edge by taking on other players. The better we get, the more challenging the enemies are that we go seeking out. By setting yourself up with a tough situation like being naked, you are simply adding to the challenge. If you can take part in PvP effectively with no gear, imagine how overpowered you will be when you are fully geared up!

It is important to realize that while you are weaker in every sense of the word, the point of playing while naked is not so that you can win through brute strength. There are many builds for each character, many skills and even active abilities that can be used to dodge attacks and use terrain to your advantage. It is these things that the naked playing really helps out with. On a straight damage perspective you are going to lose every time; if you are using your brain to outsmart your enemies, you will stand a fighting chance.

Dealing With Others

An interesting situation I have been facing with Guild Wars 2 and playing naked is that… well, nobody really cares. I am sure that in some games this could cause some issues with guilds or other players not wanting to play with you. It is also possible that it is the server I play on within Guild Wars 2 that has an impact, but in any case you should be playing the way you want to. After all, you paid for the game too and you should have just as much say as anyone else (just like they are able to choose how they want to play).

You are likely going to run in to at least a few people that disagree with playing like this, because Guild Wars 2 is a game that is strongly based on team work and world vs world is where that really starts to come together. But what you really need to realize is that while you are a naked player, there are many others as well. As such, your impact on the whole team is minimal when you are playing on populated servers. Of course, this also means that as you get to smaller and smaller groups, your impact grows. Regardless, though, you are still useful while you are learning; if nothing else, think of it as being like a fully geared player that is new to the game. It would work in pretty much the same way.

Preparing for the Worst

I am not going to sugar coat the situation. You are likely going to die in world vs world, and it is likely going to be happening a lot. There are many things that will kill you in one hit when you are naked. Things like Arrow Carts do massive damage (and, depending on where you are when they are set off and what type of arrows they are firing, may kill you in a single attack). Ballista are in the same boat; if you get hit by one you are probably going down. On top of this, whereas some players may be able to leave a skirmish with some health left over, you are going to be killed often by general AoE attacks your enemies are throwing out.

What you have to do through all of this is just let it go. Realize that it is going to happen and there is nothing you can do about it but learn how to play better. You will start to learn how to dodge attacks, how to kite enemies, and a multitude of other things that will enhance your survivability. Every time you get in to a fight, you will enhance your skill level and become a better player. Some annoyances coming along the path to greatness is just something you will have to get used to! If you ever succumb to it and let it bother you, it is more than likely going to cause you to give up. This will lead back to the same normal path of not challenging yourself enough. Challenges are supposed to be hard.

Testing Your New Skills

When you are ready to go out and venture in to the world to test your new abilities, you simply throw on your gear. You will see a massive improvement over your effectiveness prior to and after adding your new gear, and it will go to show that your time has not been wasted. Be careful not to get yourself caught up in the marvel of how awesome you are with gear, though, as you want to continue to practice without it on a regular basis. Gaming effectively requires you to continually train, much like if you were playing a sport or something. If you allow yourself to lapse and just let things roll on their own, you are going to get a little worse and all the training to that point will have been lost.

What I do to counter this problem is I gear up from time to time while I am out in the world, and before I go to sleep I always remove my gear again. This allows me to spend some time fully geared up, but I always know when I log in the next time that I am back to my learning stage again. You can handle this any way you wish, but I have found this to be the best method for me since it takes out the chances of forgetting (and falling back in to bad habits again).

Conclusion

Playing Guild Wars 2's world vs world system naked can be fun and rewarding. It can be used to help you learn how to play the game much better, should you be willing to take the time and effort to use it as a learning experience. At the same time, it can also be one of the most annoying things you do in a game; you are setting yourself up to die over and over, sometimes by a small number of hits (or even a single hit from certain weapons). This means that it requires both patience and persistence, but if you do it and you follow through with it you will notice that your game play ability will be enhanced considerably. You will be able to compete with others much better, and you may even find a new hobby! Just keep at it and all will be great!

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