The game is rather easy and fun right up to the high level end game.
Once you reach end-game, the High level Fractals and especialy Raids are very very hard to learn and complete. But it is totaly great for team play when you have people willing to learn thing or two and people willing to show you how-to high-end end-game.
I’d explain it with more details but don’t have the time at the moment, I hope somebod else will show you!
I second the idea of High level Fractals and/or Raids. I love to do both, and it’s extremely rewarding for me! The ability required for raids is dependent on how invested you can be. There’s guides out there to get one started, do take note of them. However once you learn the mechanics and whats required of each boss, you can then shake it up! Lowmanning them or changed the party comp all together (a friend just released a video where not a single person was a dps spec on a boss!).
While playing as a group, most open-world content will become a breeze. What Guild Wars 2 does differently than some other MMOs is that Dynamic Events are always scaled according to the number of players in the vicinity, including spawning higher-tier mobs (Veterans, Elites, and even Champions). As you progress through the lower-level zones, there are always harder Group Event scattered throughout the maps, which should provide your group with some decent challenge.
However, ultimately, you’ll have to also adjust your expectations. GW2 isn’t “hardcore, balls to the wall, Demons’ Souls” game, especially throughout most of the content prior to end-game and the expansions. The only real spikes in difficulty can be found in Dungeon instances, especially for pre-80s, and more so for newer players that may be unfamiliar with some dungeon mechanics. Then again, speaking from experience from my early days braving dungeons early into the original launch, it was exciting to explore each dungeon and puzzle out their mechanics with a group of friends.
Otherwise, once you and your group hit Level 80, there are Fractals, and even Raids to experience. If you need a break from PVE, you could always hop into WvW as a group and experience a whole different aspect of GW2.
You didn’t really specify what type of content you’re interested in.
Obviously, competitive game modes (WvW/PvP) will be about as challenging as any MMO that pits players against other players. I doubt you’ll experience much of a difference there.
Raiding in GW2 is fairly challenging and, unlike most other MMOs, there is no way to improve your gear. So the raids won’t get any easier as you progress through the various encounters. On the other hand, there are no higher difficulty tiers to progress through either.
Open world ranges from easy to quite difficult. The big difference with GW2 is that open world is primarily event-based. Instead of talking to a quest-giver and going out to kill ogres until you find his lost socks, you’ll see events just happen. For instance, a group of bandits might start attacking a farm and you can fight them off to earn rewards.
The nice thing about this system is that it can range from easy solo content to massive world bosses, and the events generally scale to the number of players present so that there are more and tougher enemies present if there are lots of players around than if you just show up by yourself.
There are also plenty of challenges designed for small groups that, while probably not blazingly difficult, at least won’t put you to sleep. This includes many of the hero point challenges in the expansion that spawn “champion” tier enemies.
You also have fractals, which are basically dungeons that have a difficulty scale 1-100. So you can play to your comfort level.
Overall, the game extremely, and i mean hello kitty wonder island adventures easy, fractals at tier 4 will require you not to slack, and raids will require you to optimize gear.
Thanks for the replies, you guys rock!
I was looking for info mainly about PvE, specifically while leveling. I’m glad that the end-game has variable levels of difficulty and look forward to it, and I’m also pretty happy to try out the PvP at some point, but I just didn’t want to be bored to death during the leveling experience from everything being too easy. Glad that events scale to the number of people, that should help!
One more question: if we’re wandering through a zone and the quests are becoming really too easy for the number of people we’re fielding, can we continue to wander into higher level territory and pick up quests higher level than us? Or is it somewhat level locked?
Areas are only level-locked on Free accounts. If you bought the game, you could take a starting character all the way to the hardest map in the game (and expect to die a LOT if you do!)
Also, don’t let the recommended level of a map lull you into complacency. There is high-level content in low level maps. For example, the Bandit Champion wanted events are intended for L80 characters, and that goes double for the Legendary Bandit Executioner events that usually follow. Another example is the Triple Trouble world boss. This event occurs on a L45-55 map (Bloodtide Coast), but requires a very large number of well geared max-level players to succeed.
There really are no ‘quests’ to pick up, and yes, you can enter any map you choose; the only gate will be your ability to survive. (With the exception of expansion content, and the associated Living World Season maps, of course.)