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Preview: GW2’s Stronghold of the Faithful Raid Wing Mixes Elements With Mixed Results

Yes, I’m a PvE Carebear. Dungeons and raids are my thing. Love them. Can’t get enough of them when they are done well, and when they are done REALLY well…look out, I’ll be spending a long time in your game. Maybe that’s why I just play Guild Wars 2 very casually. I still remember my very first dungeon run in Guild Wars 2 way back when it launched. It was a chaotic nightmare. No trinity, no targeted heals, it was a mess. My pick up group died and died and died. It wasn’t fun either. Yes, most of that was probably getting used to the “no defined role” nature of Guild Wars 2, but it never really got better in my opinion. It got a hell of a lot easier, but not more fun. Fractals then cemented the “not very fun” and “little incentive to zerg the content” thoughts in my head and Guild Wars 2 quickly became a game I play for other reasons, certainly not for the dungeons. Later, when the MMORPG went free-to-play and Heart of Thorns introduced raiding, my curiosity was piqued. “This game with no real “defined” role system and limitations on party buffs was going to implement raiding??? How was that going to look?”

Well, if you’re a hardcore Guild Wars 2 player, the answer probably is a bit of a mixed bag. In the raiding introduced so far, reviews have been mixed. The mechanics and challenge? Most people enjoy those and give ArenaNet high marks in these categories. The fun factor? Depends on the boss according to most reviews and forum posts. And don’t get trapped into the mistake of comparing raiding in Guild Wars 2 to other MMORPGs. It just isn’t the same and likely is never going to be…nor is it meant to be. You’ll either like it or you won’t and if you don’t, and today’s update and new raiding content is probably unlikely to change your mind.

Knowing all of that, I headed into my raid preview with Jason Reynolds, Raids Game Designer, with mixed feelings. Seeing the latest content in a game is always exciting and seeing the third wing of Guild Wars 2’s raid was even more so for me. Stronghold of the Faithful, Part 3 of the Forsaken Thicket raid, takes players on a romp to take out the White Mantle, an exciting prospect to be sure, and players jumping into that new content today are likely pretty excited about this “high profile” group being brought into the game.