-ARR isn't a big step for online roleplaying games in general but it's a big step forward for FF14. Proper waypoints, proper economy,and a proper interface are reasons to celebrate a game.
-The games original release boasted a number of sound ideas not executed well. Many of those ideas still form the foundation. You can still be any class what you by equipping the proper weapon or tool. You can still take on short time tasks called levequest. Some are standard while others like requiring using beckon emotes are sloths.
-Overall ARR is a familiar kind of game in which you choose a race, select a class and head out in to world in search of treasure, level up and face big monsters with friends in tow. Oddly your starting area is associated with your class and not your race. So your first couple of hours are spent doing fetch quests and killing low level monsters along side other people wearing the same armor and performing the same attacks. The upside is when you switch to another class there are plenty of low level quest to get you started. But there is an initial hump of monotony. Once you get out to the vast open world you will appreciate the environment and all there is to do.
-Heavily populated areas can lead to some visual slowdown.
-Questing is of the standard sort. Follow your way points and browse your map to find people of interest and they give you things to do. Story quest send you all over Eorzea. Sometimes so much you spend more time traveling. Such stretches of map traveling can get tedious.
-Combat is standard as are class roles. You select a target and then push hotkeys. Some monsters signal their most powerful attacks giving you a chance to move out of the way. But with no real time dodging which diminishes the sense you escaped grave danger.
-Fighting is at it's best in dungeons due to good level design and monster placement give the action momentum. While some enemies require you do specific actions.
-Leveling other classes gives nice flexibility though leveling up more classes can fell like a grind since you will be doing a lot of levequest and FATES to level up.
-Crafting is pleasurable but chopping trees or hammering armor pieces isn't that fun or interesting on it's own.
-Log in errors http://www.gamespot.com/guild-wars-2/reviews/guild-wars-2-review-6396275/
-About defeating a giant lightning breathing dragon appearing in a dark valley
-Feel like your part of a vast living landscape instead of a slave to dudes with exclamation points over their heads
-Tyria feels inviting and inventive starts with loss of traditional quests log, map serves as a journal. It directs you to points of interest, it isn't just marked activities that has you exploring. But the surprises lurking on mountain tops and hidden caves.
-In other mmos you can visit low level areas. But here your level scales downward so foes are an actual threat, and your rewards scale accordingly. Providing a reason to be there beyond a change of scenery. By rethinking a single trope. Each swamp and valley is a tantalizing destination.
-Further pushing you to roam the lands are vistas. Navigating tricky jumping puzzles are usually pleasurable enough. But the effort is always worthwhile. You activate the vista, and the camera spins about showing the spectacular environment surrounding you.
-Guild Wars 2 re-imagining of so many role playing standards, has a downside of not doing a good job introducing you to new concepts. You start to appreciate the way the game respects your time and strips away extra padding. Need to free up inventory or deposit supplies in a bank. Just do it right from inventory screen. Want to travel across the entire continent? Just click on an unlocked waypoint and teleport there.
-The moment to moment gameplay is as impressive as everything else. Combat and movement feel exceptionally responsive. Superficially, combat resemble that of other mmos due to the hotbars at bottom of screen. You can switch weapons on the fly. In doing so you access a completely different set of skills. Skill cooldowns are quick and being successful means frequently changing sets in combat. And that means staying consistently engaged in battle.
-The flexible class system gets rid of typical mmo roles which works out better in 5 man dungeons than you would think. Since you still have to coordinate targets and remain nimble.
-It has PvP at launch which Kevin thinks is good PvP.
-Still enjoys familiarity(ARR) but feels more enlivened by the new(GW2).
My interpretation of Vanord's scores bewteen the two games:
-GW2 is a step forward online mmos while ARR is not.
-He prefers exploratory(indirect/GW2) quest versus the standard exclamation(direct/ARR) quest.
-Likes content to scale in all areas(GW2) versus just specific content(ARR).
-Likes games with less padding or tediousness.
Quick travel: Both games have but in his opinion GW2 is quickest.
Inventory management: Both games have but in his opinion GW2 is quickest.
-He likes responsiveness and minimal lag. He feels GW2 is better than ARR in this respect.
-He likes his combat responsive and less UI dependent gameplay. (Cooldowns affect but don't dictate gameplay & dislikes the gamey aspects of visual telegraphs.
-Likes on the fly skill bar or class role change in combat.
Whether we prefer one or the other. His remarks on facts are right on the mark. But his score is off. A game though familar that gets most right should receive and 8 and go up or down .5 depending on his opinion.
This is where we observe the facts and then ponder if our opinions align with his or not.