The flat leveling curve was one of Guild Wars 2's several USPs. For a while it seemed it might take no longer to get from level 79 to 80 as it took you to reach level two after setting foot on Tyrian soil. That always seemed a tad utopian. It turns out there's a slight downhill slope to the curve (if such a thing is topologically possible) as far as level 30, after which things do indeed flatten out.That's how it feels, at least.
GW2 is not an MMO where you study levels closely, but content is gated behind them all the same and levels do matter. Traits and skills come in tiers for which you need both points to spend and the right level against your name. For traits there's a third requirement: coin. Your trainer doesn't just want to ID your level before he'll show you how to access your Major Traits, he wants a gold coin for the book that tells you how to do it.
|No, you won't be the only Pink Moa in Timberline|
Without the Trading Post he's been relying on what he finds or can make for himself. An extended and highly enjoyable romp through Blazewood and Dredgehaunt Cliffs netted enough Claws, Blood, Fangs and sundry body parts to raise leatherworking to just shy of 225, start of the next tier. Astonishingly, this means he can now make Rare (yellow) quality armor to match his adventure level. Keen claimed recently that crafting was the way to go for gear. I was sceptical when I read that and Mrs Bhagpuss more so, but it turns out to be no less than the plain truth, at least if self-sufficiency is your goal.
|Black Citadel branch of World of Leather|
It's fine because there really is a lot to do in Tyria. Tobold extrapolates a base 300 hours of PvE content from his play thus far, which may be true if you play one character systematically through all the content once, as Syp is doing. Normative MMO play would presumably be more recursive than that, although who really knows? Everyone presumably thinks his or her own playstyle is "normal". For those not limiting themselves either to a single character or a single visit to each location. My plans, such as they are, are to play all eight classes. Whether all of them will get to 80 I doubt but it's sure going to take me a lot longer than 300 hours trying.
The thrill of seeing a rare yellow weapon drop is inevitably going to diminish when you know there will already be several hundred like it for sale at no more than a copper or two above vendor. Any pride in the gear you've cobbled together through graft and enterprise may be hard to maintain against the nagging knowledge that you could just open the TP and upgrade every slot for peanuts.
On balance I'd still rather have the Trading Post than not. Drops are all very well but the one you get never seems to be quite the one you want. It's only another ten levels to my ranger's Grandmaster trait manual and that gouging trainer wants two gold pieces this time round. Have to make some money somehow.