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Should you boost to level 80 in Guild Wars 2?

Guild Wars 2 Patch Notes

If you just bought the full expansion pack set for Guild Wars 2, you may notice that a Level 80 boost was added to your account. The max level is 80 in GW2, and you get this boost regardless of what version of the game you buy. So the question is, should you skip right to level 80?

Considerations to make for using the boost

Now should you actually use the level 80 boost? The answer depends on what kind of player you are. If you want to rush to level 80 in Guild Wars 2, you certainly can, and it’s not a bad idea. Most high-end content is locked or restricted in some way. If you want to engage in the following activities, you need to be level 80 in Guild Wars 2:

  • Fractals – 5-man intro Dungeons that are the first true step into max-level PvE
  • Strikes – 10-man PvE Dungeons that act as the precursor to raids.
  • Raids – Endgame 10-man PvE Dungeons
  • Various Zones – Max level zones locked behind the expansions
  • Gliding
  • Mounts

What about not using the level 80 boost?

But also, you might find some things lacking if you do it right away. A brand new player who just got into the is better served leveling their first few characters by hand. The main reasons for this are two-fold.

For one thing, you actually learn a class inside and out by leveling it. You earn tons of Hero Points that can be used to unlock class upgrades, these help you get a better feel for how to play a character.  And with a ton of build variety in the game, there’s a lot to learn. You may find that you want to change your build around as you level, which is much easier when you don’t have to pick and choose blindly what skills to keep.

Specializations are the core part of why this is a problem. Each class has 7 of these to choose from, and you pick three to make a build. Each Specialization element has nine traits within that must be chosen to determine your playstyle. These also include weapon choices and dozens of utility skills that you need to pick from. This choice is heavily reliant on game knowledge you might not otherwise have. imagine trying to drink from a firehose, that’s what getting hit with all this at once is like.

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The developers do make this a bit easier by giving you some basic gear and a generic build to work for the class, but it’s kind of weak. And if you’ve never played the class before the rotation of abilities may not make sense to you.

What else could go wrong?

Another thing to consider is that it may actually deepen your understanding of the world. Knowing the layout and level breakdown of different zones as you explore is key to learning this MMO. If someone wants to go do an event in a certain level 70 zone, and you have no idea where that is, you’re going to be lost and look like a fool. Sure, most players understand that the level skip is a thing and will be very accommodating when this happens, but there is a problem, By not traveling through these zones you will run into situations where you need to use a travel waypoint that you likely won’t have unlocked.

Also, what if you decide you don’t like the playstyle of a class when you boost to 80? I started playing the game and enjoyed Elementalist leveling quite a bit, although I found I liked Necromancer even more. What if I had used the boost on that first character and then had to hand level my Necro? How many times has this happened to you in other games?

It’s not all bad though. If you decide not to use the boost, the grind isn’t that bad. It’s never going to take you weeks or months to grind out to level 80. If you’re superfast at grinding out Events and Heart Quests, you can hit max level in a few days if you try hard enough. I don’t recommend this though, as that kind of breakneck pace can burn a lot of players out.

But really, whatever path you choose isn’t locked in. Guild Wars 2 is a game that can be played in myriad ways. You don’t have to level every character the same way.

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