Polygon updates Guild Wars 2 review, going from 8.5 to 9.0
If there was one concern I had about Guild Wars 2 when I initially reviewed it in September 2012, it was the future. An MMO lives or dies by its updates, and since ArenaNet chose a non-subscription model for its game, it theoretically had less reason to provide consistent, free content updates.
I'm happy to report that if that temptation existed, Guild Wars 2 has dodged it completely. While the game had big updates monthly from the start, beginning in April of 2013 ArenaNet launched an ambitious plan to provide meaningful new content every two weeks for free. It sounded unbelievable — it still does! — but it has been pulled off almost flawlessly.
These updates run the full gamut of what's available in Guild Wars 2. They've included new zones, more story content and changes to the player-versus-player and world-versus-world systems. Most recently, ArenaNet introduced a major overhaul to character progression and some huge quality of life changes in a rare mechanics-focused update.
While Guild Wars 2's population has fluctuated, the mix of constant new content and no subscription fee has made it easier for players to jump back in whenever they feel like. And the additions to the game are, by and large, very good — whether it's wacky platforming challenges like the April Fools Day-themed Super Adventure Box or serious ongoing stories like the saga of the villainous Scarlet Briar and her effects on the whole world.
ArenaNet is not only matching the quality of update I'd expect from a subscription-based MMO, it is surpassing the quantity by leaps and bounds. Between the unmatched speed and the dedication to these updates, Guild Wars 2 has improved greatly from its already impressive launch.