The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to some tips and strategies on the best ways to maximize your leveling efficiency in Guild Wars 2. I would recommend not feeling pressured to try to level as quickly as possible. Remember this is a game that’s supposed to be enjoyed. There’s no sense stressing out about “maximum efficiency.” But, with that said, if you follow these little tips and strategies they can greatly enhance the speed at which you level just as you play through the game normally.
Quick Breakdown of Leveling Plan:
- Immediately upon game release enter WvW and do as many dynamic events as possible to capture keeps and gain the exp, gold, and karma from completing these dyanmic events.
- When the WvW objectives have been taken go back to the starter zone. Find a merchant and purchase(and equip! don’t forget to equip) gathering tools. There are three, axe, pickaxe, and scythe.
- Travel around to all of the hearts(golden unfilled hearts) on the map to complete the heart quests.
- Gather any crafting materials you come across on the way to the hearts.
- Participate in all dynamic events(orange circles on your map) that you come across.
- Use salvage kits to break down all armor and weapons that you don’t need.
- Regularly send materials back to your bank to keep your bags empty(there is an option on the upper right hand corner of your inventory screen to do this, amazing feature!)
- On your trips back to town use up your gold and karma to purchase materials and craft food and whatever other crafting skill you choose to take(we recommend taking the armor skill appropriate for your class, as they will allow you to make extra bags)
- Purchase “boost” gems if you feel so inclined. These can give you +50% exp per hour.
1-400 Cooking guide, doing this can gain you roughly 40 levels in Guild Wars 2: http://www.thehealthygamer.com/2012/09/02/guild-wars-2-cooking-guide-1-400/
If you’re used to other MMO’s(WoW, SWTOR, DAOC, etc.) then you’d naturally assume that crafting is something that should wait until 80 to do so as to not slow down your leveling process. Not so in Guild Wars 2. Gathering crafting materials and crafting items both give you experience that count toward your character’s level. Not just a little experience. LOADS of experience. Infact it is very possible to level all the way to 80 doing nothing but gathering and crafting if you were so inclined.
A more in-depth overview of the crafting system. In my discussion with Psychopoweranger and Mattvisual we determined that if you want to level the fastest, then taking cooking as one of your crafting skills(you can have two active at a time) was the best option, because food gives you a 10% improved experience gain buff and the materials to craft food can be bought with coins and karma(another form of currency you get for completing quests).
Questing(hearts) and Dynamic Events
If you don’t know what to do, hit your map(M) and look for un-filled golden hearts. These hearts are the location of NPCs which will give you various tasks that once you complete will give you exp, gold, and karma. The other reason to visit these hearts is that dynamic events(orange events) occur regularly around heart quest givers. Orange dynamic events are also wonderful for giving you exp, gold, and karma. Think the dynamic quest system from RIFT or Warhammer Online.
If you have to choose between doing a dynamic event or a heart, always do the dynamic event.
I had no idea what boosts or gems were or that they even existed until the conversation with Matt and Luke. Here’s the breakdown:
You can purchase “gems” which are a form of in game currency for real life money. The exchange rate is 80 gems per $1 US. You can then use these gems to purchase different in game items. Here is a full list: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Gem_Store
Within the Gem Store are what are called “boosts”. These are consumable buffs you can buy that will give you different … boosts. For 150 gems(or $1.875) you can increase your experience gained by 50% for an hour, your karma gained by 50% for an hour, or the rate at which you find magic items by 50% for an hour.
So for those really wanting to reach the top the fastest then these boosts are a must. For everyone else, they might be fun to play with and pop when you find yourself in really great groups.
And I just want to add that the gem store system is not a “pay to win” system but more of a “pay to save time” system. If paying $50 or $100 in gems can save me 40 to 80 hours in leveling time to get to 80 then that is WELL worth it. For me. But then again my whole business revolves around video games so it’ll be up to you to make that determination on whether boost gems are worth it to you.
If you still don’t know what class to pick check out the Guild Wars 2 professions page here. That link contains video overviews and PvP videos of all the classes except the ranger.
Have friends that haven’t been convinced to play GW2 yet? Here’s the top five reasons why you need to play Guild Wars 2. Check out this leveling build for elementalists.