Let's begin the surgery:
The personal story is the storyline or main plot of Guild Wars 2 which, along with events, makes up much of PvE gameplay. The personal story is independent from random world events and is always available to follow through the game world and the events which occur there. The personal story is told through character specific instances and is personalized by decisions made before and during gameplay. There are potentially thousands of variations in the stories which can be experienced.
What I have bolded really does show and prove some of the hypocritical rubbish i've seen in certain remarks of late. For starters, when someone says they want to do the 'storyline', we are met with 'why are you playing an mmo if you want a single player experience'. Well, young and old, like any other mmo, not only can you take players with you on your questing, BUT and what is key, the "character specific instances" which IS a single player experience in the realm that other players are never required to do it.
so anyone crying about why people just want to do the storyline maybe need to put on them clown shoes and look at the fact that the storyline alone can be done singularly and is also THE most important aspect of the game.
Now we remove the tumour:
The story is played from one character's perspective for that character's story. Other players can help with another player's story but are not able to make choices which affect the outcome, though they can choose to accept the outcome as their own. The story instances scale with the number of players participating
This part made me giggle. not only have they made the storyline single player without the requirement of another player, they've also made it scalable. now heres the hilarious part. If a player chooses to do the storyline by themselves, and doesnt really do much else in the world because they truly want to do the storyline, the storyline quests will not scale to your level. when i was level 6 i was given the next storyline quest, recommended level 11. thats a helluva jump if you ask me. it also suggested i go back into the world and 'grind'. aka, do anything and everything to level up.
so no, not only does the game give you the CORE storyline quests far above your level, if you decide that exploring, crafting, skill hunting, and doing the odd renown heart and DE, you will never EVER be able to do the 'character specific instances' simply on their own merit.
basically as many others are discovering and has colin has said, the game forces you to level up constantly to keep up with whatever level is required for the next stage in your storyline. now you might love to map a zone, but so many do not, and what really astounds me is that not only have Anet failed to allow people to 'do what they want' because, you simply CANNOT do the storyline on its own merit unless you do other things you may wish not to, but that the entire philosophy of the game is counter productive. lets examine...
Levels dont matter, yet, a level 6 cannot do a level 11 quest unless i level up. levelling up requires me grinding things i may not want to do until later on in my mmo experience of the game. so that right there was a lie 100%.
The other thing which makes me laugh is the apparent near limitless amount of 'outcomes'. but as is already clear, the instanced storyline path lets you choose one or the other, just like in gw1 BUT by and large you're on a rollercoaster that occasionally allows you to change paths. what is the real con job, is that most if not all mmorpgs makes the player feel like they're important through choices or different dialect that is spoken to them etc.
why is it a con? you get 5 character slots. i read a while ago someone was willing to spend $1600 just so they could cover ALL the character choices available. character choices which really make f'all differences.
see, what people fail to realise, is that even with a single player game like Skyrim, Mass Effect etc, simply starting a 'new game' allows you to do an entirely new experience. create another save file and boom, you're done.
but they've tied it into the slots. if you're the type to believe this game truly gives you world changes based on your 'instanced' storylines, which obviously will not carry into the persistant zones and only stay relative in 'instanced areas', then Anet stand to gain a substational amount of cash from those people.
WoW has phasing, the ability to change your ENTIRE perspective on certain characters, parts of the world and they stay that way forever. if you killed a monster as part of their phased quest system, it stays dead forever. this lasts for your entire WoW experience.
Since GW2 controls every aspect of your gaming experience by claiming theres 'choices that make big differences' in the world, well, its a lie. pure and simple. more clever PR but thats all it is.
and for anyone crying i brought up Skyrim, since the storyline is instanced, since it doesnt NEED players, and is essentially a 'single player' tacted into a multiplayer, then its fair to compare it to other 'single player' rpgs out there that just wipe the floor with it.
Operation was a success, we have identified the true nature of the disease.