MMORPGs tend to follow a pretty standard pattern. Fight monsters and do quests to reach the end-game, then start playing high-level content. But according to ArenaNet, it was important to change that dynamic in Guild Wars 2. The developer shared some thoughts on how it rethought the concept of end-game content so players could enjoy that feeling throughout the game, even before reaching high level caps.
An official blog post details the thought process. It notes that that the game starts with a large boss encounter to set the tone for the rest of the game. Then, players can explore as they wish, be it the branching explorable mode for the dungeons or giant bosses for those who prefer epic battles. Through this method, the studio hoped to let players experience content like an end-game throughout the game. The studio says it "didn't want to force you to master an entirely new subset of the game" upon reaching the end.
It does note, of course, that once you hit the level cap at 80 the battles and events become significantly larger. But rather than grinding your way to that content to get to the fun, ArenaNet aimed at making it a smoother transition. Did they succeed? Check out Ozzie's impressions to find out, or chime in with your thoughts.