Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to give GW2 a bad reputation, whenever "bad rumors"/complaints are asked about, it's only because I picked them up somewhere without specificly looking for something to nitpick (which would be stupid before playing the game, anyway).
And yes, I have looked some stuff up myself, please try not to go the "let google do that for you" linking meme route.
Hi, long time GW2 forum lurker and currently "on the fence about getting GW2 sitter" here.
I know I could have just written something in "The One Thread", but I wasn't sure if it would have really been read and answered between all the other discussions over there, and as I don't start many threads and have a bunch of different questions about the game, I hope I'm forgiven for starting a new thread.
I'm mainly a PvE oriented player, I play mostly RPGs of any kind (Neverwinter Nights 2, Deux Ex Human Revolution, just to name 2 rather recent ones), I do play WoW a bit (please try to avoid "better than your game" flamewars), but I was never a really hyper-competitive PvP player.
I prefer to just chill back and relax with some nice PvE, shooting the breeze with guildies and friends, I guess.
My questions/"fears" about GW2 and why I'm "on the fence" about getting it:
1. How long (playing time) does it take to get to level 80 (that is max level, right ?), if you just "play along", doing just the sideline activities (like vistas), hearts and DEs that you accidently stumble across without too much exploration/research (and I know exploration is fun, I love Gothic 2, one of THE best single player RPGs for that) ?
2. I heard there are 8 dungeons, but each has a story mode and 3 explorable modes, basically making it 32 dungeons.
How much truth does this claim have in it, are the different versions really a lot like different dungeons, do the bosses, trash mobs, secrets and areas change, for example (I don't expect fully different dungeons, of course) ?
3. Is there an alternate progression system upon reaching level 80, or maybe even before that (similar to Warhammer Online or the new Diablo 3 paragon system, for example) ?
4. Are there vanity items/titels to collect, how many variations are there and how hard are they to get - I heard something about specific cultural outfits that you can appearently wear as an overcloak and dye them, basically like Transmogrification in WoW (sorry for the comparison) + the dyeing option ?
5. Some people claimed that the combat system/dungeons/dragon fights felt a little chaotic and/or penalizing melee combat - a friend of mine has some low level characters (he plays all classes at once) and assured me that ranged attacks from melee centric classes were not weaker than their melee versions (for example bows were not weaker than greatswords for warriors in terms of raw damage), so it wouldn't be a disadvantage to go melee in dungeons - my friend doesn't have first hand dungeon experience, yet, though.
6. Does the game feel "PvP centric" to you, for example, are you of the impression that balancing or a wide variety or skills are only focused on the PvP-side of things ?
7. I heard there are no "better" items as rewards at max level, just altered versions that are of the same "power level" than the gear you first get when you reach max level - are there exceptions from this rule, how much can these stats differ in one direction or the other, 10%, 40%, 95% ?
8. Some people claimed that leveling up crafting was "a chore/grind" and that the auction house (I suppose that's meant with "trading post", no clue, though) was under maintenance a lot ? Is this true, if so, to what extent ?
9. How are the crafting rewards at max crafting level ? Can you craft "unique"/hard to get stuff, that "rewards" you for maximizing your crafting skills ?
10. How does the "juwels" payshop system work ? How expensive are juwels, can you get them ingame/trade them, are there things that you can only get via juwels (think I heard about rare dye and/or character slots) ?
11. I heard you couldn't create new characters on certain realms for a time after launch and characters were counted towards your total number of character slots, even if you created them on different servers ? Are there server transfers, if so, are there restrictions and does it cost anything ?
I know some questions might come of strange, but it's just my personal perspective, not - as said in the disclaimer - trying to get negative/nitpicky about GW2 in any way, I'm not that kind of douchebag/attention whore, I promise.
Feel free to answer any (or, preferably) all of these questions in any order, every bit of information/advice would be really helpful.
Maybe I'll call for a close soon because of all the awesome insight you guys/girls provide and we'll meet in Tyria soon, where I'll try to be a helpful member of your appearently tightly bonded community !
Edit: Please try not to get too heavy into GW2 - WoW comparisons, sure, they can be fun and informative, but some people seem barely able to handle them in a constructive manner and some threads on this subforum almost got a tad derailed in the (understandbly) heated debates.