Recently I created a New Players Beginners’ Guide to Guild Wars 2 that was heavily supported and seemed to help a lot of people out. Many of you had stated that I should also make a level 80 and beyond guide, so here it is.
If you haven't seen my beginners' guide for Guild Wars 2, please check it out, because there is some content in there worth knowing about that I won't go as much in-depth in here, as I do there.
Understanding & Gathering the Essentials
Once you're level 80, the real fun begins. Most of the game's content is heavily revolved around level 80, hence why it's fairly easy to level up to max. However, with the many things to do in-game at max level, some players can find it hard to get started on anything. This is what causes a good number of players to even quit the game once they get to 80, missing out on all of the end game content Guild Wars 2 has to offer.
Just like when you first start the game, one of the first things I’d do when getting to max level is obtaining the essentials. This includes max level gathering tools that can be bought from any merchant (they will be blue colored), 20 slot inventory bags (which can be bought from the trading post, or crafted), and at least rare gear (they will be yellow, and can be bought from the trading post, crafted and gained from world bosses, story missions, and other parts of the game).
Essentially the main goal is to get your exotic gear, and if you have the gold for it, go ahead and buy it because you’ll have better stats and be more competent. If you don’t have enough gold, upgrade your weapons first, and then start upgrading your armor and trinkets. If you happen to be very poor, make sure you continue to salvage everything to earn more luck to increase your magic find and chances of getting exotics as drops. Otherwise farm for gold, which will be easy to accomplish with the many things you can do from here on with your yellow gear. As long as you know how to dodge and play your class, yellow gear should be fine for some of the end-game content, but get orange gear as soon as possible! Now would also be a good time to look at runes and sigils for your exotic gear, if you have it, which synergize well with your build. Note orange runes and sigils cannot be slotted to anything lower orange gear.
As much as earning gold, and gearing up to exotics is important, it’s also important to ensure that you have all your skills and specializations unlocked from your Hero panel. If you still are missing some skills and specializations, use your hero points or complete hero challenges throughout the maps to gain more points. Specializations make a difference in all of the end game content and this should be a priority. Upon unlocking all of these it’s best to fully understand your class now, understand how certain skills can work well together, and how certain traits in your specializations synergize with skills, weapons, and your choice of runes and sigils. If you’re completely stumped and don’t know where to begin you can always use an online resource such as MetaBattle to see current top builds.
PVE, Dungeons & Fractals
When it comes to completing content there are several routes you can take, and I’ll be going over them all in terms of difficulty, be aware these are opinionated and you may find some easier.
Now that you’re max level it’s important to have goals, as I mentioned in the previous guide, this game is heavily goal driven, and once you’ve completed your personal story (which should be done by now), the game doesn’t really push you in a direction anymore, you pick your own. Completing the world map is one option as you’ll get enough hero points to max out not only your specializations and skills, but also gain progress on your Elite specialization and Tyria masteries if you have Heart of Thorns.
Your Elite specialization gives you more skills and traits, and your mastery tracks give you special perks for PVE, such as auto-loot, more rewards from fractals, legendary crafting and more. These mastery tracks can be completed through gaining experience throughout Tyria, which pretty encompasses everything in this guide. To complete these tracks and unlock the perks you need mastery points, which again, can be earned from completing a variety of content in the game.
If you’re not feeling like going through each map however, I do recommend checking out all of the world bosses that you can now participate in, or some of the higher level map events in the Orr maps such as the Cursed Shore. Both of these options give you lots of loot, gold, experience and mastery points. There’s a ton of content in Tyria to explore, including mini-dungeons, jumping puzzles, and map meta-events that all give you experience and loot and should be very accessible now since you’re level 80. Feel free to explore and enjoy the game, there’s no rush.
If seeking for something more challenging and rewarding you can try out dungeons and fractals. You’ve probably already done a few dungeons prior to level 80, but now, you can try all of the dungeons and complete them a lot quicker. Each dungeon has several paths to clear aimed towards level 80 characters and gives lots of loot, a good amount of liquid gold (even more so if completing the Dungeon Frequenter achievement which requires 8 completed paths), and experience.
Fractals on the other hand have always been a bit more challenging for me as there are many more mechanics involved, some puzzle solving, and instabilities to overcome. If you get into fractals and complete most of the lower scales, these fractals become more difficult the higher you climb the fractal ladder. The higher you climb, the better rewards you’ll get as well. This is a great place to acquire ascended gear too which is even better than exotic gear, and will be explained more about a bit later. It’s also key to understand that the higher you go in the fractal ladder, the more agony resistance you will need too. Agony resistance is basically a stat of defense for higher level fractals, each higher level requiring more and more agony resistance, which is earned from completing fractals and can be slotted into ascended gear. Both fractals and dungeons give you the opportunity to earn skins too for your armor and weapons that are exclusive to those PVE modes (excluding PVP and WvW reward tracks).
PVP & WvW
For the most part, you’ll probably want to do dungeons first since you won’t need ascended gear as you do in higher tier fractals to benefit from the required agony resistance. Aside from these activities, WvW and PvP are still part of the game too. Now since you’re level 80 and understand your class a bit more, you may want to participate in a lot more PvP. Once confident enough you can participate in ranked PvP that allows you to climb through a series of ranks depending on how well you play, and how much you win. This is basically another reward track that rewards you with a badge next to your name, gold, and dyes. On top of this, you can still earn rewards from the normal reward tracks that are offered. Similarly, WvW may now be more suitable for you too. With your skills and specializations unlocked you can now be a bit more competent in WvW, whether you want to follow a commander or learn the maps and strategies to command one of your own squads. WvW has a lot to offer, for guilds and for personal rewards, not to mention you can make some new friends. Every server either has a TeamSpeak or a website where you can participate on to learn more about WvW, or simply just follow a tag on the map to be a part of the action in killing armies of players and capturing keeps and towers.
Living World & Story
If you’re ready to get back into the story, you can always begin the Living World season missions if you have them unlocked or start the Heart of Thorns content. Each living world episode gives you loot, some mastery points, and a great story that follows the original personal story. The Heart of Thorns story will take you through the new maps and allow you to experience yet a second personal story sort of. Each of these maps are a bit harder than regular maps you’re used to in Tyria, but there’s a lot to do. Whether you like mini-games and want to complete all the adventures, are an explorer and want to map complete, are an achiever and want to complete the large number of achievements to fully experience every map and boss, or just need some gold by participating in the map meta-events, there’s something for everyone. Since you’re in the Heart of Thorns maps now too, you’ll also be able to progress through your Heart of Thorns mastery tracks which offer perks such as gliding, bonus rewards, ways of traveling through the map faster, and gaining advantages to kill mobs in the area. Similarly you’ll need Heart of Thorns mastery points which can be earned from completing achievements and exploring the maps. These maps are also great for progressing through Elite specializations as hero challenges here give 10 points instead of 1.
Each of these maps also have skins for your armor and weapons, so if your into fashion you may want to consider looking at each of these games modes (dungeons, fractals, and Heart of Thons maps) to gather all the skins. Dry Top and Silverwastes also offer great ways to make gold quickly, gather mastery points and unlock even more skins too, so don’t forget about those either. These work very similarly to Heart of Thorns maps and are also a tad harder than the normal Tyria maps.
Raids, Legendary & Ascended Gear
If you’re still looking for even more of a challenge and want to really max your character out you may also want to look at raids and ascended gear. Ascended gear is heavily recommended for raids, and should be on your radar as soon as possible since it can take a very long time to craft these, if you aren’t sitting on top of mountains of gold in which you can then just buy your way into making them. Ascended gear is better than exotic gear, and just like exotic gear you should look at upgrading your weapons first. However, if you’ve been playing the game for quite some time now, you’ve probably earned enough tokens such as laurels, fractal relics, guild commendations and Badges of Honor to buy your ascended trinkets, so be sure to check those first. Once you have if not all, but some of your ascended gear at least you could try to participate in raids.
Raids are probably the hardest content to complete in the game and require lots of time, patience, skill, and cooperation with other players. These instances can be very rewarding and can also start you on your journey to obtaining legendary armor. You can look for a raid in the LFG system just as you can look for others to play dungeons, fractals, and Heart of Thorns maps with. All of the raids can be accessed from the Lion’s Arch Aerodrome just nearby where fractals can be accessed in the southern portion of Lion’s Arch.
And while on the topic of legendary armor, which requires raid completion, liquid gold, crafting materials, and collection completions, legendary weapons can be acquired too. It’s important to note that legendary stats do not exceed ascended stats. Hence, an ascended sword and chest piece is just as good as a legendary one. The difference is that stats can be swapped from legendary gear whenever you want, and they offer an awesome skin and look to them making them stand out from the other gear; it’s a way to show off your accomplishment in the game. Be aware that both legendary weapons and gear require a lot of time, effort and gold, but can be very fun to complete. With Heart of Thorns you can even go on a journey and set of missions to get the precursor for your legendary weapon which is the bulk of the hard work.
Extras & Closing Thoughts
Still with all of this content in the game, there’s still so much to do. As a level 80 and now able to acquire rare and valuable materials you can also contribute to your guild to help build your guild hall, and participate in all of the guild missions. There are also a ton of neat little achievements that range from very easy to difficult in completing collections to earn useful gizmos such as Princess to eat bloodstone dust and give back loot, home instance nodes that can be placed in your home instance and gathered by you and your friends every day, and even more rare skins and ascended gear such as unique back pieces that too have a whole set of missions and steps on their own. This still doesn’t include many of the live updates that ArenaNet patches every two weeks or so that include new current event content offering more achievements and a small advancement in the story, and the myriad of festivals that come at specific times throughout the year that offer tons of fun.
Whether you’re a hardcore gamer who’s looking for a challenge, a casual gamer looking for fun, or someone with a creative mind for décor or fashion, Guild Wars 2’s end-game has a ton to offer. And if all of this still seems overwhelming where you still feel lost and not sure where to begin, feel free to see any of the links below that go even more in-depth in explaining the processes of gaining ascended gear, completing Silverwastes, running dungeons, making gold, earning mastery points and your elite specialization, agony resistance in fractals and much more!
I hope this guide has helped you as well as the beginners’ guide, and if it’s anything that you should keep in mind from reading any of this, is that you should always have a goal and strive towards completing something. There’s a lot to complete in Guild Wars 2 (more than I can even cover), and with such a great community that is willing to help others, don’t ever be afraid to ask in map chat, or in the comments sections for help!
Thanks for reading, and happy gaming!
Guild Wars 2 Beginners’ Guide: https://goo.gl/lHeHbm
Easy Core Tyria Mastery Points: https://goo.gl/x0Pc7o
Making Ascended Trinkets: https://goo.gl/8DK370
Making Ascended Armor: https://goo.gl/45525Z
Making Ascended Weapons: https://goo.gl/R3LbiH
Completing Silverwastes: https://goo.gl/aFP6Er
Completing Auric Basin: https://goo.gl/Ll6DKX
Completing Fractals: https://goo.gl/PPaS7w
Getting Agony Resistance: https://goo.gl/ZxVoIk
Elite Specializations & Mastery System: https://goo.gl/yjrW5v
World Boss Timers: http://goo.gl/HHGU3s
Better Timer w/ HoT Included: https://goo.gl/nHnTGy
Dungeon & Fractal Guides: http://goo.gl/Wua2kj
Meta Builds: http://goo.gl/58163M
Gold Making Guides: https://goo.gl/8zQK4S
Top 12 Other Most Useful Sites & Tools: https://goo.gl/QNg8LD