More Detailed Review and Suggested Update to Ratings
Positive Messages: This game encourages cooperation. The heroes are those who help others, who defend the weak and help those in need, and who do what is best even when it is not in their own best interest. There is a lot of positive emphasis on education, preserving and respecting the environment and honoring military service. There is also emphasis on how each of us has a part to play to use our talents to the best of our ability to do what we can to make the world a better place.
Positive Role Models: The characters who are held up to be revered and respected are those who serve and protect their community. They value honesty, honor, hard work and personal sacrifice in the service of the common good. They believe in using your gifts and talents for the good of others and not merely for your own selfish gain.
Ease of play: The complexity doesn't really increase as your level increases - once you've opened up all all 10 skill slots across the bottom of the screen, that's all of the buttons that you have to press. What is complex is choosing trait lines and gear to optimize your stats - but this is a level of detail that the casual player does not really need to delve into in order to enjoy the game. If someone did want to tailor their character to this level of complexity, the game does have a wiki, and there are plenty of community-based guides. In addition to this, because it is a cooperative community, as opposed to competitive, there is plenty of help from other players.
Violence: You do fight in this game - that is pretty standard in any story-line that includes a battle of good vs. evil. There is no gore. When a character is defeated, they collapse the ground as if unconscious and then disappear. There are quests that are fantasy exaggerations of acts most would consider acceptable in "real life" such at those to save dogs from spiders, to put grub repellent on grubs in gardens and to save people from swarms of mosquitoes around lamp posts. There are also elements of the game that are not related to fighting, like crafting and puzzles. Most of the fighting is done against NPCs (non-player characters that are part of the game's construction), but there are designated realms to fight against other players. Because there is no gore, and because the bulk of the fighting is defensive or in defense of others, I would give less weight to this violence rating. It could probably be lower.
Sex: There is no sexual activity in this game. The player does not engage in romantic relationships with NPCs. There is no nudity. The player's armor/clothing can be stripped down to the equivalent of a modest bathing suit.
Language: The review cites language used, but I've never seen it. I did some research to try to find where it was in the game to see if they had edited the dialog in an update, but I was unable to find any reference to it other than reviews saying it is there. Before seeing the reviews I would have said there was no profanity at all, so it is obviously not pervasive in the dialog. As for profanity or coarse language from the community at large, is option in the settings to add a profanity filter to the chat in order to filter out profanity from other players. You can also filter the chat by layers. For example, I usually turn off the Map level chat and leave only my Guild and Party chat. This way, I can see what my friends are saying without having to see a bunch of chatter from strangers. This rating should be lower.
Consumerism: There is no subscription fee. After the initial purchase of the game, you do not need to invest any "real money" into the game. There is a working economy within the game through an in-game trading network. You can buy cosmetic items and upgrades, and you can, but do not need to use real money to purchase them. Currency is earned by helping others and completing missions. Players can also earn other types of currency (tokens, badges, karma, laurels, etc.) from dungeons daily completion and that function as currency with special vendors. There is also a bank where you can store the money that you earn on each character. The economy within the game provides an opportunity for children to learn about managing money - saving, buying and selling. The trading network also tracks the comparative price between gems and gold coins which is a great introduction to the concept of currency exchange. This is a learning opportunity that was not identified and given adequate weight. A lesson on how to save up for the things that you want is very important in today's debt-laden society.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: This rating is too high. It is an element to be aware of if alcoholism is a sensitive topic on your family or if drinking is something that you feel very strongly about, but this game is not teaching children that it is a good to go out and get drunk. There is a drinking mini-game, and your character can drink alcohol, but it is not a central part of the game. It is not necessary to the story-line or to any quest, and your character is never forced to drink alcohol. There are instances of NPCs drinking in this game; however, drunkenness is presented in a negative light. Your character can break pirates' rum bottles to keep them from drinking more, wake up passed out patrons, and talk down drunken patrons to stop a fight. None of these tasks are required to complete the achievement (they are just elements along with other possible tasks). While some parents might choose to avoid this content, this can also be a teaching opportunity. This is a point in the game where your character is a good role model trying to help people in trouble, and there's nothing glamorous about a Norn passed out in the snow.
Privacy & Safety: This rating should be lower. You use an account character name (not your real name) and your real-life information is in no way ever displayed to the gaming community. Being part of a guild is encouraged as part of the social and cooperative play aspect of the game, but it is not required. When a player is part of a guild, they are not required to reveal any personal information. The guild members see your account character name (not your real name) and the name, profession and level of your character currently or last logged in. There is no sanctioned forced exchange of players' personal information within the game. Voice communication within guilds is done using third-party software that is not part of Guild Wars 2. The game gives the player every opportunity to maintain their privacy and safety. Whether or not your privacy is maintained is completely up to you.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking