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Deep Dive into Guild Wars 2 [Everything You Need to Know]

Most Recent Update: August 2, 2020

August 30th, 2019: Guild Wars 2 Living World Season 5 [Announcement]

Explore the ever-evolving world of Tyria through the eyes of a commander. From the depths of the ocean to the sandy plains of the Crystal Desert, the world contains countless zones to explore and conquer.

Defeat enemies that threaten the magical balance of life. Lead the charge or follow along completing world events for rewards. Openly roam around looking for trouble, or squad up in the LFG (looking for group) system. Test your strength and knowledge in PVP.

Fight for your faction in WvW (world vs world) by protecting giant fortresses and running supply. Go on the offense, beat down enemy walls and claim land for your world. It’s a never-ending war, jump in and join the fight for Tyria.


  • Dungeons, Raids & Fractals
  • Explore Massive Open-World
  • World Events (METAS)
  • World vs World & PVP
  • Elite Specializations & Mastery Skills
  • Unique Mounts (each has special skills)
  • Gliders for Mobility
  • Rewarding Jumping Puzzles & Minigames
  • Fashion Wars (you wanna look good right?!)
  • Holiday Festivals
  • Personal Story 
  • Living World Seasons (additional story content)
  • DLC Expansions (Heart of Thorns & Path of Fire)


Character creation consists of race, gender, profession, body and face selections. Race will determine what you look like, your starting zone and your personal storyline. Profession will determine your skills, weapons and armor type. Each race has their own special abilities and armor that no other race can use.

Norn Select - GW2 Character Creation

Norn Race

Norn are the giant-like people who live up in the icy Shiverpeak Mountains. This racial model offers special war paint features and towering body frames. Their physique is similar to humans, but are significantly larger in muscle definition and height stacking at roughly 9 feet tall.

Norn Female Character

Charr Race

The Charr are large, cat-like humanoids who reside in the Blood Legion Homelands. These Charr have a special animation, running on all fours. They are taller than humans but still shorter than the Norn.

Charr Race

Human Race

The once-dominant defenders of Tyria reside in Kryta. The humans have a slender frame and retain the median height amongst all races.

Human Race

Asura Race

These tiny creatures are well-known for their intellectual prowess and technological creations. Making them the smartest race in Tyria. Residing in the Metrica Province, Asuras have tiny frames and oversized heads, ears, hands and feet. Their average height is maxed at about 3 feet tall.

Asura Race (Male Character)

Sylvari Race

One with nature, the Sylvari “awaken beneath the pale tree”. Sprouted from the earth their appearance is that of a plant; leaves have been interwoven to form their physique. Skin color options are colors that can be seen in nature. Special skin patterns can be customized in addition to the face, hair and body choices. Hair is not traditional hair, but instead leaves, branches, mushrooms, and flowers growing from the tops of their heads.  

Sylvari Race (Female)


Selecting a profession will pre-determine a couple of things. Armor weight and weapons are all tied to the class (profession) you select. Each class will have a different set of skills for each weapon it can use. A Mesmer’s skills when wielding a greatsword will differ heavily from the set of skills a Guardian has when wielding a greatsword. Making it a unique experience when playing each class.  

Each class, in addition to their respective standard set of skills, are given elite specializations. Only one elite specialization may be equipped at a time and will unlock new sets of abilities and weapons to play. Currently, each class has two new unique elite specializations to choose from and are unlocked by purchasing the expansions (Heart of Thorns & Path of Fire).

Warrior Class

­­­­Heavy Armor. The Warrior class unique mechanic is Adrenaline. Adrenaline builds up while attacking, and is used to unleash powerful attacks, unique to the weapons equipped. Weapon selection is the most versatile compared to other professions. Unique skill types consist of banners and stances. Boosting themselves and their surrounding teammates.

Warrior Class GW2

“Warriors are masters of weaponry who rely on speed, strength, toughness, and heavy armor to survive in battle. Adrenaline fuels their offensive power—the longer warriors stay in a fight, the more dangerous they become.”

Guild Wars 2 Warrior page

Guardian Class

Heavy Armor. The Guardian class unique mechanic is Virtues. These virtues provide the player with defensive passives, and when activated, transfer to surrounding players. The Guardian class defends and protects the group. Their elite skills and active defensive abilities make them arguably the most durable profession. Utilizing spirit weapons and shouts to aid allies in battle.

Guardian Class

“Guardians are devoted fighters who protect their allies and smite their enemies by drawing from the power of their virtues. True guardians are brilliant tacticians and selfless defenders who know how to empower their allies to achieve victory.”

Guild Wars 2 Guardian Page

Ranger Class

Medium Armor. The Ranger class unique mechanic is Pets. Pets, serve as the ranger’s companion aiding them in battle. A wide variety of animals can be tamed and collected. Each animal providing unique skills in battle. In addition to pets, Rangers use a variety of traps and nature spirits to aid in battle.

Ranger Class

“Rangers rely on a keen eye, a steady hand, and the power of nature itself. Unparalleled survivalists with traps, nature spirits, and a stable of loyal pets at their command, rangers can adapt to any situation.”

Guild Wars 2 Ranger Page

Engineer Class

Medium Armor. The Engineer class is a group of mechanical geniuses. From damage to defense, the engineer’s unique mechanic is their Tool Belt. Kits and gadgets can be equipped, consumed, or placed aiding the engineers in combat.  

Engineer Class

“Masters of mechanical mayhem, engineers love to tinker with explosives, elixirs, and all manner of hazardous gadgets. They support their allies with alchemic weaponry, deploy ingenious inventions, or lay waste to foes with a wide array of mines, bombs, and grenades.”

Guild Wars 2 Engineer Page

Thief Class

Medium Armor. Trained in stealth and deception, thieves’ trick and trap their opponents. Their unique mechanic is Initiative. All weapon skills have zero recharge time, but instead, cost a certain amount of initiative to use. Initiative recharge replaces skill recharge.

Thief Class

“Experts at stealth and surprise, thieves move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Thieves practice an agile, acrobatic fighting style, which makes them very hard to hit.”

Guild Wars 2 Thief Page

Necromancer Class

Light Armor. These masters of dark magic summon dead minions to fight alongside them. Siphoning life from foes, the necromancer’s unique mechanic is Life Force. Gathering a foes life force allows the player to transform into a Death Shroud, unlocking new skills that drain power from the stored in the form of Life Force.

Necromancer Class

“Practitioners of the dark arts, necromancers summon minions, wield the power of ritual, and heal themselves with blood magic. Necromancers feed on life force, which they can leverage offensively or use to delay their own demise.”

Guild Wars 2 Necromancer Page

Elementalist Class

Light Armor. Call upon the elements to perform magical spells in battle. The Elementalist’s unique mechanic is the elements themselves. Wield fire, water, air and earth for unique sets of abilities. Conjure up elemental weapons and enhance your magical powers with glyphs.

Elementalist GW2

Elementalists are multifaceted spellcasters who channel elemental forces, making fire, air, earth, and water do their bidding. What they lack in physical toughness, they make up for in versatility and the ability to inflict massive damage.

Guild Wars 2 Elementalist Page

Mesmer Class

Light Armor. Deceive your opponents by cloning yourself. The Mesmer’s unique mechanic is creating and shattering illusions (clones) in order to confuse and damage your opponents. True masters of glamour, phantasms, and mantras. Confusing your foes, crippling them from the inside out.

Mesmer Class GW2

Mesmers are magical duelists who wield deception as a weapon. Using powerful illusions, clones, and phantasmal magic to ensure that their enemies can’t believe their own eyes, mesmers tip the balance of every fight in their favor.

Guild Wars 2 Mesmer Page

Revenant Class

Heavy Armor. A revenant’s unique mechanic is summoning the powers of Legends. By manipulating the power of the mists, they can call upon Legends of the past to aid them in battle. This class is only available to players who have purchased one of the two expansions. (HoT or PoF)

Revenant Class GW2

Channel legendary powers to slaughter foes and unleash chaos on the battlefield with our brand new profession: the revenant. Enter the field of battle heavily armored and equipped with the otherworldly powers of the Mists.

Guild Wars 2 Revenant Release Page


Guild Wars 2 server choice is quite different than most MMO’s. The server does not dictate the people you see in the world or restrict PvE gameplay. Server choice only affects gameplay when entering World vs World (WvW). Server choice, AKA your Home World, will be the zone you represent while playing in WvW.

PvE will have zero impact. When entering PVE zones you are not entering your server, but instead a map instance. To quote Wikipedia, “Map instances are created on a virtual server shared by all worlds.” This idea is also referred to as a Megaserver.

If you are someone who enjoys being the best world in WvW, take a look at the WvW current rank standings. For some gems (in-game currency) you will be able to transfer to a new Home World. Swapping regions is possible between NA and EU. China is a region of its own and cannot be transferred to or from.


Everything you do in GW2 will accumulate experience. Killing enemies, completing map explorations, hearts, personal story (story quests), world events, crafting, and dungeons are all ways of leveling. Max level in GW2 is 80. Once 80, experience gained levels up account-wide Mastery Skill Lines. 

Map Exploration

Viewing vistas, finding POIs (points of interest), unlocking waypoints, and completing hearts all are ways to “explore” a zone. Entering a new area of a zone will uncover the new points to discover. Each of these map locations will be represented with an icon. The map keeps track of progress, providing a visual percentage representation for all zones.

GW2 Map Exploration

Zones are level capped. You will see the recommended level clearly marked over each zone. The zones won’t scale your level up to the preferred level but will instead lower your level. So if you are level 80 and enter a level 10 zone, you will see your level reflected to match the zoning cap. 

Heart Quests

Hearts are equivalent to quests in other MMOs. Instead of finding a person to speak to, simply be within proximity to the NPC heart and a quest will appear on the top right side of your screen. No need to speak with the NPC first, complete the activity within the proximity bubble and you will see the heart skill bar fill up. Once finished, the reward will be instantly delivered by way of a notification, and the heart NPC will become a vendor. Providing a place to sell, and purchase items. Each heart NPC will sell different items.

GW2 Hearts

Heart quests in the base game are one-time quests per character. In the expansion zones (Path of Fire), heart quests will reset daily, AKA they are repeatable on the same characters. 

Personal Story

Every 10 levels will unlock a new playable segment of your personal storyline. Personal stories reflect the choices you made in character creation and unlock lore. Gear, experience, and special rewards will be given for completing these story segments. Rewards will be unique to your race and profession. Story progress is tracked and stored within your Hero Panel (H). 

Personal Story

World Events

A world event, or METAs, are playable activities that pop up within the PvE zones. Notifications for these events will pop up on the right side of the screen, when or just before an event spawns (becomes active). On the map, they can visually be seen in the form of an orange circle with cross sword icons. Typically, METAs will be a large boss to defeat that spawns in a specific location within a zone. World events repeat every couple of hours.

Leading up to a zone META, mini-events will spawn on a timer, the same orange circle will appear if you are near the activity. Wikipedia has a Guild Wars 2 Event Timer that tracks the META (main) events. Loot and experience are rewarded for all successful events and METAs.


Each character is allowed two crafting disciplines (2 additional slots can be purchased via Gem Store). To unlock a craft, speak to the master craftsman near the preferred crafting bench station. To switch disciplines simply pay the master craftsman.

Crafting benches can be found in all major cities. Leveling up a discipline will also grant overall experience. Making crafting a method for leveling up new characters.

Crafting materials are salvaged from gear, gathered from nodes and looted from finishing events and activities.

List of Crafting Disciplines:

  • Armorsmith: heavy armor, consumables
  • Leatherworker: medium armor, storage bags
  • Tailor: light armor, storage bags
  • Jeweler: Trinkets
  • Chef: consumable foods
  • Artificer: staffs, scepters, focus, tridents, agony resistance infusions
  • Huntsman: ranged weapons (bows, guns), consumables
  • Weaponsmith: melee weapons, shields·      
  • Scribe: guildhall decorations, crafting bench inside guild halls **Heart of Thorns Expansion Required**


Dungeons have two modes, a story mode, and an explorable mode. The story mode needs to be completed before being able to open a dungeons explorable mode. The story mode lore continues the tale of Destiny’s Edge, a guild with deep Tyrian roots.

When a dungeon becomes available (reflected by your character level) you will be notified via in-game mail. At level 30 the first dungeon’s story mode becomes available, then at level 35, the explorable mode for that dungeon is unlocked. This pattern continues until the max level (level 80). Completing these as they become available will grant large chunks of experience for faster leveling.

Multiple explorable modes are available for all the dungeons. Each taking you down a new path, unveiling more lore, a new pattern of challenges, and bosses to defeat. Some dungeons require some puzzle-solving, while others are more slash and dash.

All dungeons give experience, drop loot bags, coin, and token rewards. Tokens are a special currency specific to the dungeon you enter. Twilight Arbor, for example, rewards the token Deadly Blooms. These special tokens can be traded with a merchant in Lions Arch for unique armor and weapons.

Dungeons are marked by a double door icon on the map. In-game mail will tell you where to go but if you delete the message look for the icon. Wikipedia’s Dungeon Locations Page is available if you don’t feel like searching for the icons.


When you hit character level 80 you will be able to enter the Mistlock Observatory (portal located in Lions Arch) to test your strength in a series of a unique, scaling assortment of mini-dungeons. Fractals require a max number of 5 players to complete. Each fractal will test your strength and mental fortitude. Employing puzzles in addition to defeating bosses. 

Fractals can be compared to Dungeons. They are instances for a party of 5, the difference is two things. First, they scale; levels 1 – 100. Secondly, you will need Agony Resistance in order to successfully keep up with the difficulty. 

Players entering Fractals with a level 20 and higher (fractal level, not player level – must be level 80 to participate), will require the Agony Resistance stat in order to survive. Completing Fractals will reward players with materials intended for crafting ascended, infused, and attuned equipment. Ascended, infused and attuned gear (armor, trinkets, and weapons) provide special Infusion Slots where Agony Resistance can be applied.


Raids are 10 player elite dungeon instances. These have a heavy focus on strategy and build competency, testing your team’s ability to work together. Utilizing the roles of tank, healer, and damage effectively. Designed only for max level players (level 80). Rewards are weekly, meaning one chest – per account – per boss, a week. 7 raids currently in GW2. Wintersday festival unlocks the Secret Lair of the Snowmen raid, only playable during the festival.

GW2 Raid Location


Represent your World in this PvP/PvE game mode. Three Worlds are paired up each week to battle in order to climb the ranks in the hopes of being the superior world. Each world is represented in the main WvW zone, Eternal Battlegrounds. In addition, each world is provided an outlying Borderland zone.

Capturing Ruins of Power in borderlands will reward your world with Bloodlust. Bloodlust will grant additional bonuses to player stats. Capture all Ruins of Power (in all borderlands) for a max 30% bonus to stats.

Capturing keeps, towers and camps will award you with experience. Experience gained in WvW earns you many rewards and abilities via loot bags dropped from enemy players, Reward Tracks and Rank.

Reward Tracks grant selected loot for time and active participation spent playing in WvW. Tracks reflect items earned throughout Tyria. Unlocking activities and expansions in the main game will unlock the reward track in WvW (and PvP). For example, purchasing the Heart of Thorns expansion will unlock the Heart of Thorns Reward Tracks. Making it possible for you to earn exclusive items from those zones without having to actually play in the zones.

Leveling your Rank (earning experience in WvW) will reward you with a title, and World Ability Points to spend on various abilities that increase your effectiveness while playing WvW. Progress and abilities are tracked via the Rank and Abilities tab in the World vs World panel (hotkey B).

Free accounts can access WvW at level 60. Purchased accounts have access at level 31. While inside the WvW zones your character is boosted to level 80, giving all participants a fair advantage.


Instead of endless questing, GW2 has achievement tracks, and achievement lines to unlock and earn. It’s a different take on questing, instead of talking to an NPC and walking through a mini side story, achievements are a more casual way to play content and unlock exclusive rewards. 

Some achievements send you out on a mission to kill a series of bosses or craft or track down different hidden items. The best way to describe it would be to relate the achievements to a scavenger hunt. Giving players exploration and freedom to roam rather than running back and forth between NPCs. 

Rewards range from titles to gear, weapon skins to miniature collections, mounts and more rewards. Plus completing achievements gives achievement points that can be gained toward your account and rewards are given at achievement point milestones.


In addition to the World vs World PVP, Guild Wars 2 also has traditional forms of PVP to play. Enter the mists lobby via the sword crossed icon at the top of the screen, or through the portal in Lions Arch. PVP consists of 5-man teams facing off in different modes.

Capture points, defend zones, storm strongholds, and good old team deathmatch. GW2 offers a wide range of different PVP games to participate in. Automated Tournaments allow any and all players to face off to compete for special rewards. Similar to WvW, PvP has Reward Tracks to earn additional rewards. Simply activate a track and participate in PvP to earn the loot.


Living World is essentially a content update. Content updates enter into Tyria as “Living World Seasons” offering new zones, gameplay, and story to immerse yourself in. The stories bridge the gap between expansions, keeping you ever busy earning and completing new achievements.

Living World Guild Wars 2

When the season is first released it’s free when logging in. If you missed the time-frame, you can still purchase the content for 200 gems per episode.


Two expansions are available for Guild Wars 2. Heart of Thorns, and Path of Fire. Both expansions unlock a new series of zones, storylines, skills, gear, crafting, weapons and achievements to earn and complete.

GW2 Expansions

Heart of Thorns Expansion (HoT)

The Heart of Thorns Guild War 2 expansions unlocks the Heart of Maguuma. The Maguuma Jungle zones bring us layered, tangled paths and new META events to participate in. Loot dropped from these zones will aid in crafting new gear and new legendary weapons. For guildies, Heart of Thorns has a new guild hall to unlock; The Gilded Hollow.

Heart of Thorns Expansion also provides each class with a new Elite Specialization to unlock and play, expanding each classes abilities, weapon choices, and playstyles. All specializations unlock minimum one new weapon and reward the player with unique gear for finishing out the associated achievement line.

List of Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns Elite Specializations:

  • Warrior: The Berserker (torch)
  • Guardian: The Dragonhunter (longbow)
  • Revenant: The Herald (shield)
  • Ranger: The Druid (staff)
  • Engineer: The Scrapper (hammer)
  • Thief: The Daredevil (staff)
  • Necromancer: The Reaper (greatsword)
  • Elementalist: The Tempest (warhorn)
  • Mesmer: The Chronomancer (shield)

Heart of Thorns Masteries [GLIDING]

The new mobility mechanic introduced with HoT is Gliding. Gliding is unlocked within the Mastery Skill Tree (within hero panel), earned by playing and completing achievements in the Heart of Thorns zones. Full Mastery completion will allow for longer glide times, and stealthy glides (go invisible mid-flight).

In addition to gliding, poison resistance, mushroom jumping, and a few other masteries can be earned, providing skills necessary to successfully maneuver around the new Maguuma Jungle Zones.

Path of Fire Expansion (PoF)

Similar to the HoT, Path of Fire (PoF) takes us to a new region, The Crystal Desert. Bringing the largest zones ever created for GW2. New armor, storyline, META events, hearts, elite specializations, bounty boards, weapons, and mounts come with this expansion.

Bounty boards are new to GW2. Each zone unlocked with Path of Fire introduces a series of bosses (bounties) to defeat. Killing the bounties provide special loot, dailies, achievements, and gear.

Hearts have been reintroduced to the PoF maps. Similar to base game hearts, but are now repeatable daily.

Similar to HoT, Path of Fire brings new Elite Specialization to each class. Further expanding playstyles and weapon choices. Unlocking elite specializations, and completing the achievements will reward the player with unique gear.

List of Guild Wars 2, Path of Fire Elite Specializations:

  • Warrior: The Spellbreaker (dagger)
  • Guardian: The Firebrand (axe)
  • Revenant: The Renegade (short bow)
  • Ranger: The Soulbeast (dagger)
  • Engineer: The Holosmith (sword)
  • Thief: The Deadeye (rifle)
  •  Necromancer: The Scourge (torch)
  •  Elementalist: The Weaver (sword)
  • Mesmer: The Mirage (axe)

Path of Fire Masteries [MOUNTS]

All the PoF masteries attribute to earning mounts and mount skills. Each mount is unique and offers a special utility for the player. Making it easier to maneuver around all zones. Path of Fire zones have unique portals and environmental challenges that make unlocking all mounts necessary for full map completions.

All mounts are earnable and unlockable. Some are obvious unlocks that come from simply following along in the story, and others are secrets waiting to be revealed (Griffon). Currently, there are 8 mounts, each with a unique utility. 


List of Guild Wars 2 Mounts and a brief description of all their unique abilities:

  • Raptor – horizontally jump wide distances.
  • Springer – vertical jumping to extreme heights.
  • Skimmer – “skimming” across the water and other questionable terrains (quicksand and branded storms).
  • Jackal – run and dash horizontally through the air in a puff of sand allowing the rider to safely pass through sand portals.
  • Griffon – glide/soar through the sky for longer distances at incredible speeds.
  •  Roller Beetle – the race car of the mounts, build up speed and maneuver with unique drifting abilities.
  • Warclaw – created specifically for WvW, making it the only mount rideable when in the WvW zones.
  • Sky Scale – true flight abilities, can fly, can scale walls to reach higher places, and infinitely hover above the ground at safe distances.


Everyone wants to look good! You have to admit, when playing any MMO fashion is important, you want your gear to look good, if not, the grind isn’t as rewarding. Fashion Wars is a community term created because Guild Wars 2 offers hundreds of armor, weapon and back piece skins to unlock and pair together. All with a bit more flare and fancy compared to other games. With any new update or content release, expect new armor to collect. 

Within your bank inventory, you will see a wardrobe tab. This tab contains all the skins you currently own, and skins that have not yet been unlocked. To unlock skins for your wardrobe simply equip or salvage the gear. Doing so will unlock that skin for your account and store it in your wardrobe. While some skins are only purchasable, 90% of all skins are earnable.

To change the look of your gear you must acquire Transmutation Stones. These can be earned organically or purchased from the Gem Store. This gives you the freedom to have gear with stats you prefer, and the look you desire. Thousands of different combinations can be created, giving you the opportunity to truly customize your look. If you are someone who prides yourself on unique gear, enjoys building armor, and playing with color palettes, Guild Wars 2 will allow you the freedom to do so.

Weapon colors cannot be changed, but all armor can be dyed. Armor meaning; helmet, gloves, shoulders, chest, pants and shoes. All armor gear allows for multiple sections of the pieces to be dyed. Some exotic dyes will have special effects when applied to different materials (leather, metal, etc). Dyes are dropped as loot, crafted and purchased from vendors or the trading store and gem store. 

In addition to coloring armor, all mounts can also be dyed and skinned, adding yet another layer of customizations. Mount skins are purchased in the Gem Store, but the original skin of all mounts can be dyed.

Something important to note, light armor can only be transmutated with a light armor skin. You cannot transmutate a heavy armor chest skin onto a light armor chest skin. You have to stay within your armor weight.

GW2 Outfits

Guild Wars 2 also has the option to wear Outfits. Outfits will skin your armor differently than transmutation stones. Instead of changing the look of one piece, an outfit is equipped overall and are not separable. Meaning, you can’t use only the boots, you would have to equip the whole outfit.

You can customize the color, but that is as far as customizations go. There are a couple of benefits to outfits. First, they don’t require transmutation stones, instead, they are equipped within a tab in your hero panel. Secondly, armor weight has no effect on outfits.

All outfits can be previewed in the panel, they will be greyed out so you cannot equip them, but you will be able to see what each one looks like. Purchase outfits in the gem store, or earn them through opening Black Lion Chests. Some outfits are seasonal, while others are limited-time offers.


Guild Wars 2 is an amazing game and although it is not a new MMO, it is regularly updated with major patches, which is why it is still relevant. There are many aspects to this game that make it very unique, from the art style and playable cutscenes to the mounts which all have unique abilities opposed to mounts just being cosmetic. Whether you want to PvE, PvP or WvW (World vs World) you’ll always have something to do in the world Tyria.


Here’s a few of the communities favorite Guild Wars 2 resources. Use the Event World Timer to keep track of when world events will occur in-game, find the info you need about Guild Wars 2 on the official GW2 Wiki and follow the guides on Dulfy Guides to complete quests.


Hey there! My name is Walter, I play video games.

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