A Look at Guild Wars 2's Core Population After Heart of Thorns

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By raptorakDate: Nov 14 2015 Views:


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With Guild Wars 2’s first expansion having been released a few weeks ago, it’s a great time to look at the community within the core game. The expectation going into this is that due to the core game going completely free to play, there should be enough players to give a lively feel to the game. Along with this, the expansion, of course, would also be pretty lively, as many players have chosen to upgrade. A fear many potential new players have with the game is wondering whether or not they are actually going to have enough people to play with, sothe end goal here is to see whether or not a completely free player can experience all the game has to offer, or if the population (or lack thereof) will dampen that ability.

Guild Wars 2

World vs. World

Being that WvW is a huge part of Guild Wars 2, it was the first area to be evaluated. Since most of the borderlands are usually desolate (to a point) except for some random small groups, this was done through Eternal Battlegrounds. On multiple trips here, there were always siege groups, and enough commanders to organize siege parties and take enemy structures. Along with this, it was very clear that there were other worlds actively sieging as well, giving a very populated feel to the area. Do note, however, that the number of players has shrank considerably since the game’s original launch (groups of 20-30 aren’t unheard of, but having 50+ is somewhat rare now), but there are more than enough players to have great skirmishes across the different worlds (and in the case of Anvil Rock, the populations seem to be about equal across all three).

Structured PvP

Structured PvP is another pretty popular area of GW2, and most players will be happy to hear that it still has a pretty active player base, with players in the Heart of the Mists at all times, day and night. Along with this, there are more than enough games to choose from, and tournaments still pop quickly. This makes sPvP a very viable solution to leveling both day and night, and gives the opportunity to take a break from WvW or questing at any time and jump into a match with other players to earn experience tablets or work on reward tracks. The population has gone down from its peak, but it is still solid enough to not cause any complications.

Guild Wars 2

World Bosses

World bosses take a lot of people to take down. Luckily, due to their spread out spawns, there are players that still hunt all of them. There are not as many as there were in the past taking part, but with 10+ players most of them can be downed pretty easily (and in most cases, there are many more than that taking part). On dead periods of the server, however, it may be a bit harder to get some of them down, just depending on how many players show up. That said, by doing a bit of server skipping and making other players aware of which bosses are up, forming enough players to slay them can be done almost anytime.

PvE – World Completion and Tasks

These have been slowed down quite a bit for a while now, with a lot of players being forced to solo their way through different tasks or to get to objectives for the world completion. Lower level areas are a bit more active due to the influx of new players that are working their way through the content, and as you get to a higher level, the population does seem to dwindle off a bit. That said, it’s a bit more active than it was in the past when it comes to areas for lower levels, as a lot of existing players were already working on the end-game content. But on the way up through the level brackets, definitely expect to have some slow periods, depending on the time of the day, what zone you’re in, and what specific tasks you’re working on.

For those that are looking at taking part in the game’s dungeons, this is still easily open to everyone. Through a great LFG system, it’s quick and easy to find (or start) a party for any of the available dungeons, as well as things like the personal story, Fractals, and other things. A solid population ensures there are always others working on the same content, so you just have to match up with them and go for it!

Guild Wars 2

A Fulfilling Population

For a game that relies heavily on a strong population, the effects of Heart of Thorns to the core game have been somewhat minimal. There are areas where a noticeable decrease in players can be seen, but they don’t at all detract from the viability of being able to experience everything the core game has to offer – even as a completely free player. Feel free to jump in, complete the original game, and then upgrade to the expansion if desired, all with no pressure. You’ll find many others along the path that are in the same boat, of which some will upgrade and some will stay free, giving solid friendships that will last regardless of your decisions.

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