Alisha Adkins is an author, gamer, and zombie enthusiast. She is currently pursuing her dream of writing and quietly starving to death.
As a long-time player of World of Warcraft (WoW), I tend to judge other MMORPGs with this game as my central point of reference.
I started playing Guild Wars 2 (GW2) after looking for something new that has similar elements to WoW. Since there are quite a few other gamers out there who have experience playing WoW and wonder how other games stack up against it, I thought that a comparison of these two games might prove helpful.
So, without further ado, here is a side-by-side analysis of WoW vs GW2.
Character creation has become a fairly standard experience from one role-playing game to another. Nonetheless, there is some variation between these two games.
Races and Classes
WoW is way ahead in terms of playable races. It has 13 races, 7 of which are available to each faction. GW2, on the other hand, has only 5 races, although more could be added in the future.
The playing field is a bit more even when it comes to classes. WoW has 11 playable classes, although not all classes can be played by all races. GW2 has eight playable classes which are available to all races.
While not revolutionary, Guild Wars 2's character creation system does offer a lot of ways to customize your character's look, from body size and girth to the angle and length of facial features. Comparatively, Warcraft's options are quite simplistic. For each race, there are a limited number of skin tones, faces, hairstyles, hair colors, and one other feature that varies depending upon race (such as markings, piercings, etc.).
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Both games utilize key-bound skills.
The skills your character has in WoW are based upon core class abilities, specialization skills, and chosen talents (as well as some profession-specific skills).
Although GW2's weapon-specific skills are an interesting twist, they don't necessarily make the system better. Fundamentally, the style of gameplay remains the same.
Talents or Traits?
WoW uses a class talent system. Talents have evolved a great deal over the years. In their current incarnation, the talent system consists of a choice between three class-specific talents that become available every 15 levels.
In GW2, players acquire traits instead of talents. Characters receive their first trait point at level 11 and then earn 1 additional point each level, for a total of 70 trait points at level 80. Players spend these trait points into trait lines; these points increase the attributes associated with the line, enhance character skills, and unlock the line's minor and major traits.
The traits system of GW2 simply offers more depth. In a stand-off with WoW's current talent system, it wins. However, it is worth mentioning that RIFT (#3 in this MMORPG race) has a deeper, more interesting talent system than either game.
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Here is a rundown of how professions differ between the two games. Please keep in mind that these are my initial impressions; I have not yet reached the maximum level with any GW2 profession.
Gathering and Crafting
In WoW, gathering is a profession. However, in GW2, it is not—all toons have the ability to chop wood, mine ore, and harvest plants, and salvage materials, which is a nice convenience. All you need is to have the appropriate gathering tools. Unfortunately, these tools are consumable items that come in stacks. Further complicating things, different types of tool are required for different difficulty levels of gathering. This seems unnecessarily complicated. WoW's approach, requiring a single tool (such as a mining pick) in the backpack, is far less of a headache.
Like WoW, in GW2, characters can have two professions. There are eight to choose from: Armorsmith, Artificer (creating staffs and scepters), Chef (unlike in WoW, where Cooking is a skill all characters can use), Huntsman (creating bows, guns, and war horns), Jeweler, Leatherworking, Tailoring, and Weaponsmith. There is a lot of overlap with WoW's eight crafting professions.
The most notable difference here is in the secondary skills that are made available to all characters. While GW2's gathering skills are essentially secondary skills, Warcraft offers some of more depth. WoW's secondary skills are Cooking, First Aid (admittedly, this one is pretty useless), Archaeology, and Fishing. Archaeology provides background story and unique vanity items, and fishing is essentially its own mini-game.
Experience, Discoveries, and Location Requirements
WoW does award some experience for gathering (although it didn't always), and GW2 does as well. However, GW2 also rewards experience for items you craft, and depending upon the item, the amount of experience rewarded can be quite substantial. It is possible to gain quite a few levels for your alts, simply by using materials you have gathered on your main to craft.
WoW has begun to dabble with the idea of recipe discovery, particularly in alchemy, but it is still a small part of the crafting experience. GW2 allows you to combine ingredients to discover loads of new recipes. This fun little extra element is practically a mini-game in itself.
Since WoW's addition of the thermal anvil, crafting of all but a very few rare recipes can be performed pretty much anywhere. In GW2, you must be at a crafting station in order to perform crafting. However, the ability to teleport from anywhere somewhat mitigates this inconvenience.
Despite the glaring absence of fishing, GW2 still has the best profession system.
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Traditionally, WoW has had a pretty static game world. Sure, which faction holds a PvP zone may change every few hours, but fundamentally, the game remains the same. The three exceptions to this rule are:
- Introduction of New Content: When unlocking a new raid (such as the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj) or zone (typically introduced via patch), content changes as realm progress is made. This content frequently takes the form of dailies, which may change with each new stage.
- World Bosses: In the past, world bosses required full guilds to defeat, so they were essentially just first-come, first-served raids. However, more recently, bosses such as the Sha of Anger have become lootable by any one of the winning faction who participates in the kill, thus inviting cooperation among players who are unacquainted with one another.
- Seasonal Events: WoW celebrates a good number of in-game holidays and events, such as Hallow's End and the monthly Darkmoon Faire. Unfortunately, for veteran players, these events can feel stale since they change very little from year to year.
World events are at the heart of the GW2 experience. These events fall into one of three different categories:
- Dynamic Events: Taking the place of standard quests, which can have negative repercussions such as spawn camping and kill stealing, dynamic events are unique to specific areas and occur as a result of player interaction. These events have multiple possible outcomes and can trigger additional events. For example, a successful centaur invasion may then lead to centaurs occupying a nearby fort, triggering a new event in which that fort could then be taken by players. Dynamic events scale based upon the number of active participants and reward all players with experience, karma, and coin, so there is no need to form a party.
- Group Events: Similar to standard dynamic events but more difficult, group events are tasks designed to be done with groups.
- Meta Events: Dynamic events that tell the story of a zone, meta events are usually made up of 5 to 20 events that chain together and can branch in different directions.
Using world events in place of traditional questing is an interesting approach for an MMORPG that gives the game world a sense of life and immediacy. Although very different from WoW in this respect, GW2 is not the first to introduce these types of world events. Although utilized on a smaller scale, RIFT has been employing its own world events, rifts that pop up spewing monsters throughout the countryside, for some time now. There are definitely advantages to being a latecomer to the market; GW2 has built upon the best of what is already out there. And it works.
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Conversely, if you are a fan of the witty text associated with so many of WoW's quests, GW2 may disappoint in this respect. Additionally, if you'd rather take a leisurely approach and quest at your own pace, world events may not be your preference. For standard, old-school questing, WoW simply can't be beaten.
Winner: World of Warcraft
Auction House and Currency
WoW's auction house has been around forever. It receives periodic tweaks but remains essentially the same.
There doesn't seem to be anything particularly different or revolutionary about GW2's auction house. In fact, I find it slightly more difficult to search than WoW's. It is available as a tab from anywhere, which would be astonishingly convenient, but you still have to go to an AH location in order to obtain purchased goods.
As of August 6th, 2013, players can keep all of their currencies in one easy Account Wallet. This Wallet holds dungeon tokens, coins, karma, laurels, Guild Commendations, Fractal Relics, Badges of Honor, gems, and glory and makes them accessible to any character on your account.
I was going to award this category to WoW based on the auction house, but then GW2 announced the Account Wallet. Sharing currency across an entire game account is extremely convenient.
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Scaling Character Level
Dynamic Level Adjustment is a unique feature of GW2. Character level scales to meet the difficulty level of the surrounding environment. I'm really not sure how I feel about this. It's great if you want to play with a friend who is of a different level (although it makes running that same friend through dungeons impossible). But I find myself wondering why even label the map's level if you can gain experience anywhere? And not only does scaling occur to meet lower-level challenges, but it also appears to scale up. When I took a level 15 character to a level 80 zone, it scaled that toon up to 80 so that I could effectively battle creatures there. However, this scaling up only seems to work in maximum level areas.
This is a case of giving players greater game accessibility. And, while I do appreciate it, I wonder if it actually makes things a little too easy?
Winner: Jury Is Still Out
Modes of transportation vary widely between WoW and GW2.
Traveling From Point A to Point B
In WoW, there are established flight paths, generally from city to city, that, for a nominal cost, allow players to transverse large distances. However, some zones have few, if any, available flight paths (depending upon your faction), and flying from point A to point B can be time-consuming.
In GW2, teleports make this travel to specific points much easier. There are large numbers of teleports (10+) in each zone. These teleports are activated when a player first encounters them. From then on, at any time (except in combat) and from anywhere, a player is able to click on the any of these teleports on their map and pay a small amount of coin to be transported there. Travel by this method, no matter how far the distance, only takes as long as a load screen.
It is clearly much easier to travel quickly across distances in GW2. If this were the only way to assess transportation between the games, WoW would be left in the dust.
However . . .
There are more than 300 mounts currently available in World of Warcraft. These include ground, flying, and aquatic mounts. Not only do these mounts, to greater or lesser degrees, make travel easier, but they add an immense amount of flavor to the game. WoW mounts come in a huge variety of models and can add splendor, atmosphere, and even prestige.
In GW2, there are no mounts. But they can always be added in the future.
So, who wins here? In terms of getting around, GW2 probably still has the edge. However, its lack of mounts leaves a huge hole. Not only are mounts useful, but they're just so damned cool. A game without them is a game that is simply not as rich.
Winner: World of Warcraft
GW2's banking system differs from WoW's in several ways.
As someone who likes to play with multiple alts, I was delighted to discover that the bank in GW2 is account-wide. This makes passing items between characters so much easier! However, it also means that substantially less can be stored in the bank since it must be shared by all of your toons. I believe the reason for this is to encourage the purchase of additional bank space.
Additional bank space in WoW is purchased with gold. However, in GW2, you must purchase it with gems—a currency players buy with real money. Since GW2 does not have a monthly fee, you will find that a lot of extras like this cost you real dollars.
Although bank space is severely limited, GW2 does somewhat make up for this with the way it handles crafting items. Crafting components don't take up bank space! They all are stored as part of a separate "collection." This collection can contain large quantities of all crafting items and is shared among all characters on your account. This is extremely convenient. Whatsmore, these crafting items can be stored in your collection at any time. By right-clicking on one in your inventory, you receive the "add to collection" option. Doing this frees up bag space immediately and makes the item available to all of your other toons.
GW2 is the clear winner in this category with many new innovations to its banking system. However, I do somewhat resent the idea of having to pay for extra bank slots.
Winner: Guild Wars 2
What about everything else? Extras can really make or break a game.
WoW has a number of unique extras, including a glyph system which allows additional utility as well as character customization, archaeology, and fishing secondary professions that can function as almost separate mini-games, and Dual Specialization.
GW2 includes the addition of toys—vanity items that players can equip to their set of town clothes. However, although they look cute, they don't actually do anything, and most only seem to be available in exchange for gems (i.e., real money).
Pet and Gear Customization
Both games contain pets. In GW2, these items are vanity pets called minis. In WoW, there are 580 unique pets and more are being added with every patch. The vast majority of these are battle pets, many of which can be found throughout the game world and tamed. These pets can level up, battle in the wild, and can even engage in pet battle PvP. Battle pets add an entirely new dimension to WoW, and some of its players prefer to engage almost exclusively in this element of the game.
Both games offer ways to customize the appearance of your character's gear. In GW2, single-use armor skins are available from the gem store, and a huge variety of armor dyes exist in the game. Once a character uses a dye color, he or she "learns" it and can use it at any time thereafter. In WoW, players can customize their gear through transmogrification. This process allows players to change the appearance of their gear to that of any other compatible item that they have in their possession.
In the extras category, WoW truly shines.
Winner: World of Warcraft
Both games have an Initial purchase cost. The WoW Battle Chest is available through the Blizzard Store for $19.99 and contains the original game, its first two expansions, and a month of game time. However, that still leaves two additional expansions: the Cataclysm expansion ($9.99) and Mists of Panderia expansion ($39.99). All told, for the full level 1-90 experience, you will pay $69.97. GW2 retails for $49.99.
Additionally, WoW charges a recurrent monthly fee of $14.99 to play.
GW2, on the other hand, does not charge a monthly fee. However, many utility options (such as additional character slots and bank slots), as well as vanity items and other frivolities, cost gems, which are purchased from the in-game store with real money. So, unless you want the bare-bones experience, you will probably eventually spend at least a little money on the game.
Winner: Guild Wars 2 (at least for most players, but this could vary depending upon the user's playstyle.)
So who is the winner?
If you've never played either game, pick up GW2. In terms of innovations, it's clearly the more cutting edge game.
However, for me, in spite of all of GW2's wins in individual categories, WoW is still the overall winner.
Why? Nostalgia? Brand loyalty? It is my sentimental favorite, but it's not just that. GW2 is victorious in so many individual categories because it is a newer game. But WoW is the original innovator. It's much easier to build upon someone else's winning formula than to create one from scratch—and WoW is that original formula. Although new expansions can become old quickly, thanks to the creativity and highly detailed work, I'll still always want to play the next one. Blizzard has proven itself; I know it retains the ability to surprise me.
Winner: World of Warcraft
© 2013 Alisha Adkins
Jujesabz on December 11, 2019:
could agree with something u said but ...
"But WoW is the original innovator. It's much easier to build upon someone else's winning formula than to create one from scratch"
do u rly think wow is the first mmorpg ? really ?
tbh wow isn't shit , its just over rated and thats because wc3 was a good game and the stories of arthas and illidan in that world which HAD a good story were nice , thats all
btw i played wotlk alot and after years i came back to wo to see wow is basicly copying many things right off the gw2 , so no ty , blizz is just getting all the money and doing only taking bigger shits on the game , only pvp in that game is better now , all the other parts specially the parts u ppl started playing it for are just gone now , it is now a perfect game for a real lowlife
give the same money wow is making to gw2 and see if even 1 soul would stay on wow , not even those who playing it for 15 years will stay , eve if its their last day on earth.
Dragos Cristea on October 11, 2019:
Winner WoW in quests? WoW still has fetch quests and back tracking, two things that suck in MMO's. You don't talk with an NPC then go to the other side , do something and then come back.. that's busy work.
There are no mounts in GW2? Looks like you didn't played Path of Fire
Paul on November 28, 2018:
I just wanted to point out that you forgot to mention ships and zeppelins in wow, which add a lot of flavour and atmosphere to the game
(Thunder Bluff - Orgrimmar is my favourite ^^)
Nick on October 30, 2018:
The results are skewed, but at the same time, a point system isn't all that objective because here 1+1 doesn't always equal 2. The categories are usually weighted by personal preference.
For instance, I love collecting mounts, but don't really care for extensive character customization so while WoW would definitely win mounts, and GW2 wins customization, I'd give WoW the edge because of how much more important one category is to me over the other.
Andrew on September 11, 2018:
I played both WoW and GW2 and truthfully, I wouldn't pay a dime dor it. It is a good game, but not 14,99$/month (or how much is it) good and even more if you buy expansions. GW2 instead is free, most probably you will pay for some expansion in real cash, but you still get so much from it, like instant 80 lv ticket (plus benefits from it), entire new quest line, masteries, elite specialization etc...
People may love WoW, but honestly, when you level up, doing all quests is pointless, bacause you become such a big level, that it becomes insuficient. In GW2 your character assimilates it's lv acording to the zone you are in, so that way you won't one shot anything and still can get some damage, while having some advantage.
I don't care if you love more WoW that GW2, but don't skewer the result, just because you love something, I understand the nostalgia factor, but it is not big enough, so you can just say "Yeah GW2 won in more departments, but I still love WoW more, so the winner is WoW, because f**k you". When giving a result, then just give what the data gave you, that's all
John on July 30, 2018:
WoW wins because it's the "original innovator"? That's a very bad reason. For example, Star Trek TOS is the "original innovator" of Star Trek, yet is one of the worst Star Trek series.
Just because something is older doesn't mean that it's the best of its kind forever. There are probably about a dozen MMOs that are better than WoW simply because of its age, but old-minded gamers wouldn't even give them a chance.
Karine on July 13, 2018:
I'd like to add a few points as this post is old:
1. You can unlock any armor or weapon skin which you obtain and assign it as a skin in the Outfits tab just like WoWs transmog. GW2 legendaries can actually be skins, unlike in WoW.
2. There are mounts now which can be trained and used for specific actions like: gliding, jumping to hights or over cliffs, blink forward and used to make damage. They are also very fast so you can cover far terrains in a matter of minutes. Bonus: you can dye the mounts with the dyes you obtain, just like the outfits and there are also obtainable skins that change your mount's look in the game store.
3. You can exchange in game gold currency for diamonds so you don't have to buy it with real money.
swordart on July 09, 2018:
Your informations about wow is out of date.
WoW has 12 classes:Paladin,Death Knight,Warrior,Shaman,Hunter,Druid,Demon Hunter,Rogue,Monk,Mage,warlock.Priest.
SO since you have wrong classes i am sure you have wrong few more things.
matt on March 31, 2018:
WoW doesnt need a cash shop because the game itself is full of content. Plus you can play for free with in game gold or buy any other Blizzard game + loot boxes + cosmetic for any other game on the Blizz app with wow gold :).
Neil on March 15, 2018:
I paid for GW2 originally, have paid for each expansion pack and have spent what I consider a good amount on Gems and the game is now unplayable with crashes that everyone else is experiencing. Have raised a ticket and every aspect of my equipment has been scrutinised and at the end of the day its...... the game itself. What a waste of time, money and effort.... looking for an alternative game... any advice??
Pablo Figasso on February 15, 2018:
Ive been playing WoW for 8 years now I have stopped for some time . But when I swap to Gw2 this is just like another level of MMorpg :) Some new players can be confused but after few months You will learn it :) Gw 2 is better in almost every aspect . Im still big Fan of WoW becouse Ive spend playing this game about 25 % of my life :D But WoW should LEARN from Gw 2 in every aspect . Also GW2 dont have problem with Hackers / Botters etc .. If someone want win PvP using bot hahhahaha Good Luck Thats just impossible :)
Cu in Tyria / Azeroth :)
Mario Mares on February 10, 2018:
This is a very good, objective, impartial and comfortably neutral review and I loved it. Both games are absolutely great, they have their strong points and weaknesses and instead of fighting over which is better, it's probably better to just play both. That's how good they both are.
Hey on January 19, 2018:
Hmm, seems the author of this article didn't know you can convert ingame gold into gems to buy cool extra accessories, bank space etc without spending real money.
Also as other people said, gw2 has mounts now and looks way better than WoW.
But ye I gotta give WoW that it is fun running around with quests and doing stuff for first time. After that it gets repetitive. Gw2 uses so much of the same content.
Combat system is way better in gw2 tho, WoW is so terrible in that area....
They ought to already release WoW 2, its pretty annoying that its the most populated MMO while being unable to attract new young players in the genre.
cyberf4n on January 09, 2018:
all games are stupid when you compare them to WoW, they wasn't original, but BLIZZARD did it BETTER than anyone. GODS of gaming
These People on December 04, 2017:
I don't think people get that WoW wins not because of the better gameplay, but he feels emotionally attached to it, and it's ONE OF THE first big MMO's out there.
Rg on October 02, 2017:
GW2 now has mounts (under path of fire expac). Advanced mounts with skills too. I havent played WoW. been playing GW2 for a year. Everything is good from character creation to combat system. But WvW and PvP seems too bland (in my opinion). Story wise is good, voice overs. I have maxed out to 257 achievement (which is the maximum). Legendary weapons in GW2 however are just skins (eye candy) aside from the stat can be changed on demand. but heck you dont change stat every now and then, and despite the hardwork and effort you did building one is just a skin. I am now looking for something more fun. I mean, c'mon legendary is supposedly something else. Books, movies and novels, when you say legendary -- it means something.
really digga on September 23, 2017:
really? gw2 wins in everything but WoW won for you? lol better pay more WoW money so they keep doing bad games like HS and OW...
Bugsy on September 10, 2017:
Your scores don't add up to 'wow is the winner' - ya might want to check that.
I've played WoW through 5 expansions - we're up to Legion now - and although I'm really tired of the same ol' same ol', there simply isn't another MMO out there where I don't go, 'oh god, this isn't even a good WoW wannabe'.
Nothing else stacks up.
I've been hoping some of the ex WoW devs would have come up with something better, but I'm still waiting...
kai on September 10, 2017:
this is a stupid review both games are really different you cant compare them comparing final fantasy and wow would make more sense, but this is stupid and honestly anytime comparing two games that are totally different is really retarded. also clearly according to your review gw2 wins, but then you say wow is the winner, which makes no sense.. are you on your period when you wrote this?
clearly wow is the superior game in terms of traditional mmo gw2 is trying to create its own style, not to bash any gw2 players or fans, but i think its not that good (personal opinion here), but i give them points for trying even though its a failure and clearly gw2 is a dead game, i have yet to hear any gamer or mmo players talk about it or even praise it..
Just for the record on July 19, 2017:
I like how you say wow is "innovative" "original" ... Did you not know bliz stole all those original ideas from its predecessor such as everquest. Also how do gear and pets correlate? The gear in gw2 is WAY better and you dont need to pay real money. They have a currency exchange system aswell does wow. Also for you to not even mention the dodging in gw2.. Also the down states gw2 offers..Wow is just a click fest number game... In gw2 you can dodge/block takes some actual skill.
dimitris on July 13, 2017:
So here is an objective post.There are 7 points for Guild Wars, 1 tie and 2 points for WoW so the overall winner is wow.Something doesn't add up...
Xinku on February 19, 2017:
idk how I came to this article lol, but i'm a bit surprised with gw2 winning almost all the categories and at the same time wow being the overall winner (???).
i guess i can somewhat relate because i guess this article came out when pandaria was all the rage right? i was in love with wow back then. also tried gw2, saw it was kinda cool but i had a lot of fun with wow so meh. then the expansion that shall never be named came and i still endured. and now we have legion.
i used to level up all the chars in my account, but right now? i just can't be bothered. my guess is i'm just burned out. got sick of wow. i'm having a blast with gw2 though
Sam on February 06, 2017:
I looooove WoW and the Warcraft franchise in General, but Guild Wars 2 is hands down the better MMO
Octagon7711 on January 28, 2017:
"It's much easier to build upon someone else's winning formula than to create one from scratch."
Games have been trying to imitate WoW for years and not too many have succeeded. What is interesting is that Blizzard has succeeded by taking idea from the competition and redoing them in their own style, even WoW was created based on other games around at the time.
The one thing I like about GW2 is that their original philosophy was a game based on fun and providing a reduction of things that cut down on fun like mini-managing inventory and travel times.
Both are great games.
Sloppy Pinksocl on January 22, 2017:
imho WoW took a huge dive when they added timeless isle aka free shit island. Since then its just become a grind and not a fun experiance like the vanilla BC days with proper schedualed raids etc. Its also caome to be HEAVILY reliant on addons and mods in order to do any raiding at all. The base game isnt enough for end game if you want to be competetive. so you constantly have to add/update/tweak, addons/mods which can be a huge chore. Sometimes ive spent more time updating/reinstalling and programming mods than actually playing the game.
Mila Veux on January 14, 2017:
Hello! Thanks for your comparison article! As someone who has played years of WoW and I'm fairly newer to GW2 I have a few opinions to add. I know all of this probably has been said before in the comments but I just wanted to clarify. Also, just wanted to add the reason I came here was because I started playing GW2 and alot of my friends started playing WoW again. They keep telling me to come play WoW when I ask them to play GW2 but I just can't find a reason to.
First off, WoW isn't the original innovator, and if you do research on any of Blizzards games you can see they're not known for being innovators of anything really. WoW pretty much just rode off the coattails of other already existing great MMO's. I even remember when it first came out and everyone was saying it was going to be the 'Everquest Killer.' Even on their latest game Overwatch they haven't really done anything new, they just compiled great aspects of different already existing games. Blizzard are experts at compiling aspects of already existing games, adding polish, then spending millions on advertisements to make you think it was your idea it was a great game.
One thing I would say Blizzard did do first was the idea of the traditional MOBA game such as DOTA. Unfortunately for them, they didn't think the idea was 'going anywhere' and kept it as just a minigame inside of capitalizing off of it. So they lost their playerbase to LoL when it came out and now everyone thinks DOTA copied LoL. Which is actually hilariously ironic given that's what Blizzard has been doing to other games for years. Releasing a polished version of other games and people thinking Blizzard created the idea because it's popular.
Again, I think Blizzard is a great company that makes alot of great games. Just stating they haven't 'innovated' a whole lot. They even mention pretty often how they get their ideas from other games.
Bob on January 10, 2017:
Dude!.... come on!
Dale on December 08, 2016:
Played vanilla wow right up to the newest expansion well was new at the time draenor expansion and it was ok tbh but what killed it for me was that stupid relic armor which gave stupidly high stats to low end characters and the level 90 boost also being able to buy gold with real time money that ruined it and also rehased material and enemy skins blizzard lost originality just money grabbers who only see their fan base as a walking wallet I now play gw2 its a more polished mmorpg with better graphics and mechanics more friendly user interface and u don't need to team up to buff other players who are fighting the same enemy u don't get noons who troll either its more mature the raids are better and the dungeons are fun and the game just feels more fluent as a game no monthly subscription u have to actually play to get stuff not slap aload of money into the game to boost or get lots of gold
Clyde on October 14, 2016:
Mostly everyone who played WoW before GW2 would prefer WoW over the later, and everyone who prefers WoW over GW2 played WoW before the later.
But as someone who started playing both at around the same time, I'd say that GW2 is a more polished MMORPG in every sense.
The only thing that WoW wins is the lore, given its long history. As someone who grew up with the warcraft franchise before the MMO, I'm somehow affected. Now just imagined others who had spent years in the MMO. They will deny it, but it's really a psychological thing that makes them say WoW is the better game.
GW2 is definitely the better game, that is objective. But what you personally enjoy is subjective, so in the end it all depends on you to decide which game you'd like to play.
Rey on September 26, 2016:
Played a bit of WoW as I got a free month and some expansions from Lootcrate. Started as Worgen and was fun for a while but had to do elven quests and that just got tedious and boring.
Krissey on August 09, 2016:
The no questing is great for GW2. No more "get this quest, do it, return for reward." No, instead they have Renown Hearts, which are essentially quests. There is nothing to turn in and you stay in the area of the heart to complete it.
I will never go back to a questing system, or even a game without dynamic movement. Dodge roll ftw!
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on August 03, 2016:
Nauditore, that wouldn't necessarily have to be the case (a bias to the first game played) if GW substantially improved upon the play experience. And the person is a she. :)
Nauditore on August 03, 2016:
I knew WoW would be the winner once I read that the person played WoW before he played Guild Wars
DimXL on July 12, 2016:
Wow is 12 years old, still alive. Gw2 died after 3 months of its sorry-assed expansion.
Dimitris on June 14, 2016:
Well I play both games,I like both games, and like you I lean a bit more on WoW for personal reasons.That been said your conclusion does not seem fair at all.You give more points on GW2 and on your conclusion you say GW2 is better but you give the award to WOW?Whats the logic.You can not expect people to trust you when you speak subjectively on an otherwise objective debate.You could just say wow is better than GW2 from the beginning if that's the case.
Theunknownsoldier on April 22, 2016:
In their current states Guild Wars 2 - HoT is a superior game overall in my opinion. WoW has turned into a 24h to level 100 levelling route, daily quest farming and finally raid till your eyes bleed experience plus Garrison "Facebook" style questing. IT SUCKS! Guild Wars 2 is about exploring, going out there, tagging with others and questing is dynamic and automatic (just be in the same area or hit the same target as others and that is it, you all help each other). It reminds me of Vanilla WoW, where you had a world to explore and take time to level unlike the shit it has turned into nowadays. I have yet to try raiding on GW2 as I dont have much time in my hands nowadays but as far as the rest of the game is concerned it is brilliant and has no monthly subscription. Even if you play for a few months and get bored it is still worth it. You can get back to it whenever you want.
sinto03 on March 12, 2016:
I am sure that you are a WOW fan and that is why WOW is the winner. GW2 is thew inner because of:
1. Battle system
3. World events
4. Character story & creation
5. Quests (because you don't have to go to the are, kill 5 boars etc., then get back and complete the quest. Its annoying for me)
6. XP curve (the amount of XP in WOW is becoming bigger with like 10000 XP when in GW2 it becomes with like 1000 XP for every level).
I am a GW2 fan, but i think WOW is a great game too.^^ :) ;)
Freedvision on March 06, 2016:
I used to play World of Warcraft a few years ago and was going to give it a go again but... the cost of expansions and monthly just wasn't worth it to see if I really wanted to being playing again. With characters 10+ levels under level cap the game really doesn't have much appeal unless you start over.
Reading this I may have to try guild wars instead.
Nishi on October 21, 2015:
I'm really a newbie in this type of games and I literally only tried GW2, though I hope my comments make sense to some of you.
When I started GW2, it gave me a woosh impression, the vastity of the players and the extendness of the map, the nice graphics and all.
But along the game it came to my conclusion that most "not guilded"players are very on their own, not much interaction with others, and everyone works to their own level increase...said this, asking help was hard and almost set to forbidden. Also, it was very easy to upgrade in levels, but not in weaponry, so you keep stuck with very low powered weapons and very standard skills...also no introduction to how it is played or to what to achieve is given from start, it makes it just overwelhming and not very pleasant.
after 2 days of blind fights and not any help or greetings from active players I gave up and deleted it. Maybe I approached it wrongly, or maybe I was expecting too much of it, but this game really made me understand that you need a big wallet, lots of time and an iron dumbness to keep playing for nothing.
James WTF on June 07, 2015:
Guild Wars 2 is the better game hands down, wow right now is absolutely terrible. what i found funny is that most of the categories you listed guild wars 2 won, and yet wow was the overall winner, wtf kind of logic is that lmao.
Geir Illing Nordvik from Jessheim, Norway on April 10, 2015:
A very good and in-depth comparison of both games. I agree with most of what you said.
I play and love both games, and they both have pros and cons. I love the account currency, bank and skin system of GW2, the combat system and pretty much everything with it. What I miss is mounts and the huge open world that WoW gives me. I also feel that WoW has a deeper and much better lore than GW2 (which they should have considering it is almost 20 years of lore).
For people new to the mmo genre I would choose GW2 for the simplicity and easier content. WoW is fore those that either started a few years ago or are hard core gamers.
Heafus on March 13, 2015:
I liked your article and feel the same as you...a new MMO comes out, I try, some of them I like and stick around for a bit, but then I ultimately go back to WoW.
Ive been playing GW2 for the last few months and loving it, but now am starting to get burned out on it and what do you know....I'm starting to miss WoW again.
I thought for sure this time I was finished with WoW, but here I go again.
Matt on March 10, 2015:
Gotta say I enjoy both games, however at the end of the day GW2 is my fav. There's a lot of great features that don't get the right recognition imo. As for your issue about hitting level 80, once you hit level 80 theres still SOO much to do. That said, GW1 over GW2 any day, coming from a GW vet
Samuel Franklin on August 24, 2014:
I love the way you've compared the two games directly! I'm on the fence since they both have their own strengths in the MMO space and feel they are both trying to achieve different things.
Lately I've only been playing GW2 but I think that has more to do with WoW burnout than GW2 actually being the better game.
ANON on May 18, 2014:
this was a horrible verdict! GW2 did NOT build on WoW, don't forget about the success of GW1. GW2 was an improvement on GW1 which was the original "innovator" along with games like everquest. GW2 did not build on Wow!
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on May 06, 2014:
Good to know, thanks!
guy284 on May 06, 2014:
The gems in GW2 can be acquired by earning landmark achievements as well, you don't necessarily need to spend real world money to earn them. Granted it takes quite a long time to acquire achievement reward chests in GW2, but the possibility to get gem store cosmetics, more bank and inventory slots etc. without paying is there. In the end it all comes down to how much time the player is able and willing to invest into the game and character.
mmogamer on April 27, 2014:
WoW copied a lot from Everquest and was not an original thought by itself.
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on March 31, 2014:
That is a bit of an overstatement, but my point is, despite GW2 having many winning features, WoW still retains that je nais se quoi that keeps me coming back in a way GW2 simply fails to do. Of course, you are more than entitled to write your own article and tout GW2 as your winner. :)
Shadow Legacy on March 31, 2014:
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Winner: Guild Wars 2
Winner: Guild Wars 2
OVERALL WINNER? WoW 0.O
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on March 15, 2014:
Interesting point. I actually played the original GW when it first was released, but it never really drew me in - I guess I just forgot that it was WoW's contemporary.
Nick on March 15, 2014:
WoW vanilla and Guild Wars 1 came out at the same time so WoW is not the original innovator.
YamiLionheart on February 07, 2014:
To those who feel that the quest objectives in GW2 are worlds apart from the "gather X of this" or "kill x of that" of WoW, as far as I've seen,I am doing the same things in GW2. I just have a choice of 2 to 4 different kill/gather/operate chores to do, rather than being stuck to one. The greatest advancement in questing from GW2 is that you don't need to pick up the quests and turn them in, rather you just need to get to where the quest or even is happening , which is a massive improvement over WoW I must say. In the end however, you are still gather 8 bunnies and returning them, or killing 6 centaur and destorying 3 of their catapults. There is no real difference that I have seen.
Both games also have more fun quests every couple where you really do something different, like in wow you may pilot an aircraft and drop bombs on an enemy encampment, or I recall a quest in MoP where you need to snipe hozen (monkeys) to aid an npc who is detonating bombs in their village. I haven't leveled to the point where I've seen drastically different quests in GW2, but I do know they exist from seeing a friend play and watching videos on youtube.
My other argument is to those who say that the combat in WoW is static and simpler, and does not require skill. Simply because there is not a uniform dodge mechanism does not mean that they are not mobile and don't require skill and reflexes to play well. True, in the vanilla days of wow many characters who had a "traditional" ranged damage roll stood still, but Blizzard has made a lot of changes to classes to get them moving around more.
My mage in WoW can cast an ability that allows it to move while casting it's other spells, but only 3 times before it needs to recharge for 15 seconds per charge. This forces me to strategize the use of this ability around blink and frost nova to decide when I really need to cast on the move, and when I just need to freeze my opponent to the ground and blast them away. Hunters have disengage allowing them to leap out of danger and they can fire their traps anywhere on the field to help keep enemies at bay, they also can cast almost all of their abilities while moving now. Warlocks can create portals and warp between them at will to move out of danger. Priests can disperse in shadowform and reappear elsewhere. Nearly all of the classes in wow have some unique method of avoiding a death blow which I think is a nice feature and keep the game interesting. Not to say GW2 characters don't also have abilities that keep them out of danger.
Aside from the mobility portion, learning to master your classes 20-30 (or more) commonly used abilities takes quite a lot of skill and time. No there is no dodge button, but I don't believe that means the classes require any less skill to play than one in GW2 does. You just have abilities that take the roll of a dodge depending on what character you play. Some classes are slightly less mobile, but that might be a play style that one enjoys and it's there if they want it.
Either way I'm greatly enjoying GW2 (the small bit I've played so far) and look forward to the adventures that await me in both games as I still play WoW as well :)
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on December 27, 2013:
The "Questing" category is meant to be somewhat ironic. Notice that it is only one paragraph. My point is that, if dynamic world events aren't your cup of tea and you're looking for a traditional "wall of text" questing experience, WoW is the industry leader in this area. I also find it repetitive and boring. There is some witty quest text to be found there, if anyone is looking for that, but I think most people don't bother to read it.
I didn't address pvp because I had no first hand experience with it. It may well be superior in GW2.
David Smith on December 27, 2013:
How on Earth does WoW win in quests?
WoW quests are nothing but kill 20 of this creature, collect 20 of this item.. OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
GW2 has fun quests that take place when you enter zones, different types of quest, completing a quest for an npc gives you rewards from that npc, you get a much larger variety. Quests in wow are quite simply boring.
You also forgot to talk about pvp where guild wars is vastly superior. WoW wins in end level pve content since it's been around much longer and they had time to add a lot more content.
Guildwars has far better exploration. In WoW you see the same caves and the same towers all over the map. Guildwars is more beautiful and exploring is fun.
Rob on December 10, 2013:
GW2 combat is about skill, it's not specifically about time invested. What are your achievements in Wow - are they grind related or it is about how your own gameplay has improved?
Once you've mastered dodging in combat in GW2, all other combat seems rather static. That said, they are both good games, as is Rift.
Supaplue on November 04, 2013:
I agree with everything but the WoW as an innovator bit. World of Warcraft did little to innovate or change the MMO game.What they had was POLISH and IMMERSION. They did almost nothing original but instead took the best things from other MMO's and added an extreme amount of polish to the experience.
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on October 02, 2013:
It did if it could keep me engaged past the leveling content, but I wondered back to WoW before getting there. :P
Toran on October 02, 2013:
Good review. I've spent (way too much!) a lot of time in both games and agree with most of what you've said, including the corrections offered by others above. I do have a question though - in explanation of why you picked the winner, did GW2 ever have a chance?
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on September 29, 2013:
Great insights! Now that you mention it, I can see how scaling down could make your hard work in the game feel trivialized once you've achieved max level.
Tim on September 29, 2013:
Alisha, thanks for sharing your opinions about GW2 and WoW. As a ex-GW2 player, I appreciate the fact that you invested your money and time in trying out something new and giving it a fair representation in light of your (clearly stated) biases.
My main concern before leaving GW2 as an active player (I still log on monthly to check out new updates), is one aspect that you praised it for. GW2's level scaling system is great, sure, you get to go back and do lower level content at the same difficulty. This, however, presents a problem to those who aren't interested in the grind. Being a level 80, getting downscaled to 10 and struggling against a group of level 9 mobs ruins the feeling of any sense of achievement. You've slain dragons, zombies (Risen), religious zealots (Jehovah's Witness, JK, Svanir), and pretty much been the #1 cause of the near-extinction of many species, yet your character still has to dodge, kite, and essentially make a relatively large investment of effort to kill, say, fireflies, or some lowly bandits in a starter zone...
There are other problems with the game, of course, but I think playing GW2 has reformed my previously hate-filled opinions about WoW (I now see WoW as a great game, despite having played it only once, for about an hour).
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on September 03, 2013:
I upgraded all of my characters' bank slots ages ago, but bank upgrades in WoW don't cost real money now, do they?
In terms of holding my attention, I feel much the same way as you. Lately, I've just lost interest in playing GW2. I'm not playing WoW much either at the moment (Hearthstone is keeping me occupied), but I fully expect to be sucked back in when patch 5.4 is released later this month.
Laura18 Streeter on September 03, 2013:
I'd say I agree with most of what I read here. Except maybe that bank upgrades cost in WoW too. However, and even with the great graphics of the newer GW2, I find it a trifle.. boring.
Perhaps I haven't found the right approach yet, but I have a lot more fun in WoW (which I started and learned first)
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on September 02, 2013:
Good points. I have also noticed that GW2's hp/mana regen does make for more fluid gameplay.
Perhaps I shall amend the combat portion of the article. WoW's combat while leveling was probably not fresh in my mind since I've primarily been pet battling for the past year. O.o
Lancerblade on September 02, 2013:
from the little raiding experience i had i do remember a lot of movement in the boss fights since they had specific strategies to be beaten, but i do not recall this movement importance being in any other area of pve, and raiding doesn't come until your character is a high level with a great deal of hours already invested. in gw2 there are fights where u can stand still and repeat yur skills for victory, but the need to move in combat is more common, ranging from low level enemies like the wurms, u can see where they are burrowing to and where they will pop out, u get out of the way, the bigger ones can throw boulders, but they are not really quick projectiles so u can dodge them also
and another minor note would be the flow of going from battle to another battle (or something else). gw2 has your hp regenerate at a really fast rate when u are not in combat, allowing u to almost immediately move on to whatever u want to do next, instead of having to sit down for a while to refill your hp and mana with food and drink, and also having to restock them so u can continue to do this.
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on September 02, 2013:
Thanks for your insights, Lancerblade. Those elements of GW2 combat have probably eluded me because I have only played it solo. With WoW, on the other hand, I have raided extensively in the past. For many of those fights, a great deal of movement was required.
Lancerblade on September 02, 2013:
nice comparison of the 2 games, definitely agree with most of the things yuve said but i would have to disagree with the combat comparison a lot since it seems u missed a lot out there
such as mentioning that gw2 u only pick your set of 10 skills from a large pool, allowing people with the same class to use different skillsets and bring different tools to a fight, whereas in WoW players of the same class bring the same skills with slight differences from the talents u choose
plus movement, positioning and dodging which are very important in the gw2's combat, whereas in WoW is doesn't seem nowhere near as important, instead having the RNG (from memory, havnt played in over a year), you will find yourself actively moving in gw2 combat, whether to get out of an aoe attack, or to dodge a boulder thrown your way, as well as using your limited dodge rolls to do this more effectively. from memory in WoW i found myself usually rooted in a spot and repeating a combo of skills again and again till the enemy died
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on September 02, 2013:
I did not. I've found that you can buy gold with gems. I was not aware that you could do the reverse.
thozz on September 02, 2013:
i wonder if you know that you can turn gold in to gems ?
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on August 13, 2013:
You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. I am in no way trying to disparage GW2 -- it is indeed a great game. I am playing it a lot more than WoW right now. But, once I've leveled a toon to 80 in GW2, I fully expect to be lured back to WoW.
player on August 13, 2013:
GW2 is far better then WoW in all ascpects, this is like comparing Commodore games to Amiga games
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on August 12, 2013:
"Winner" is a subjective call. It's my article, and for me, WoW wins based upon its track record.
I'm enjoying GW2 because it's new and has bells and whistles. This was the case for me when Rift first came out too. But WoW has staying power; I always return to it after I get bored with newer games. The franchise continues to satisfy me, as a gamer, over time.
Jordan on August 12, 2013:
Very interesting in your summary you say GW2 is the more cutting edge game but WoW wins because it was the original? lol i can understand best of its time but best right now just wouldn't make sense given your arguments. That would be like saying a tube television is the best because it was the original lol just doesn't make sense. ( I have 2 80's in guild wars and 5 85's in WoW)
Alisha Adkins (author) from New Orleans on August 02, 2013:
Thanks, Baimezan! I agree -- they're really both great games.
Baimezan on August 02, 2013:
Well, that was an interesting read! I'm a Guild Wars 2 fan, but I have nothing against people who play Wow. I like the pay-one, don't subscribe method, and I really like that I was getting XP for finding Vistas and exploring the world. Still, World of Warcraft is a good game nonetheless.