Guild Wars 2 and GWJ: Launch Date And Final Beta Weekend

Holy crap this was fun. I played pretty much all weekend and it feels like the new 'MMO' I was hoping for - interesting skill system and somewhat action based combat, extremely pretty, lots of niceties that gel with my playstyle quite a lot - I'm definitely going to be playing this.

The thing with the combat is that you can play with as much twitch as you want. You can play this like WoW where you move into range hit auto-attack and fire off your specials when they come off cooldown. But you can also play with active dodging and kiting and strafing. I think the former will help transition a bunch of the casual WoW players and the latter will appeal to those looking for anything but.

Doom and gloom? Well fortunately this BWE seems like the adjustments they are making are going in the right direction. It shows that they can have a strong vision, implement it and then improve it over time. A lot of the good weapon/class pairings got better and a lot of the average to above average weapon/class pairings became solid. The warrior and guardian do not have a bad/mediocre weapon choice at all, which is a feat because the warrior has a lot of (the most?) weapon choices.

The only gloom I have found is that I do not like the Asura starter area, the hub city and some of its personal story quests. (I made 4 asura with a variety of background selections and mentors) Don't get me wrong, the city is a magnificent piece of architecture visually but the functionality of it... sucks.

Well, the other gloom I found was the Hunger Royale event. It was a neat idea but lacked in execution. I guess the biggest flaw was that it was spread out way too far. Or if they really wanted a Hunger Games vibe, they would have started everyone in a big pile together so that some could charge and others could flee.

fangblackbone wrote:

I'd like to add that I think as with most mmo's trying to learn the ropes during overcrowding and zerging is not the best place. So I can understand the luke warm responses "I am not seeing the next big thing here."

The depth is there and while I feel they have done a bang up job making all of the weapon/class selections fun, it won't sink in until you find the right pairing for you. My first impression was disappointing too. I started with the necro and I was so looking forward to it but I struggled a lot getting the necro to level 5.

Not sure if i poisted last BWE, but last time and this time again the Necro finally clicked for me and i was enjoying it. PVE and PVP. PvE things seemed almost too easy. I soloed the Bear lady for the Norn starting area skill point at level 3. The entire time i did pve with it i felt over powered. PvP i was doing well and only had problems with the normal type stuff. Guardians, and burst warriors.

There also seemed to be some kind of new pistol build for theives. I was gunned down in a blink more than a few times.

Not sure if i poisted last BWE, but last time and this time again the Necro finally clicked for me and i was enjoying it.

Yeah, I just wanted to point out that i struggled at first and that the necro was a class I had to come back to after more experience. The necro is great now, especially with a staff. I think my disappointment came because they start you with an axe, which was the weapon I envisioned going with, but that turned out the opposite of my experience with the thief that played exactly as I had envisioned. I came back to it later and got a routine going with the axe/horn combo. But it wasn't until later when I tried the staff that I had an "Oh!" moment.

I'd like to add that I think as with most mmo's trying to learn the ropes during overcrowding and zerging is not the best place. So I can understand the luke warm responses "I am not seeing the next big thing here."

The depth is there and while I feel they have done a bang up job making all of the weapon/class selections fun, it won't sink in until you find the right pairing for you. My first impression was disappointing too. I started with the necro and I was so looking forward to it but I struggled a lot getting the necro to level 5.

Then I tried the thief and my build was exactly as I had envisioned and planned in my head which never happens. Then I tried the elementalist and it was the perfect storm because I went from something that turned out exactly as I planned to something that was a complete and most pleasant surprise. With some reservation because there are always exceptions, I would highly recommend starting with an elementalist. They seem complex but in reality they are the most straight forward and you can play them in a simpler fashion by picking fire and sticking with it until you get more comfortable with the game. Which leads to another brilliant part of the game: you can even play it on a simpler level with half of the weapon/class combinations by running around and auto-attacking things.

Here is a list off the top of my head of classes you can auto-attack with and have fun:

warrior - 2 handed sword, hammer, bow
elementalist - staff
guardian - mace/anything, hammer, 2 handed sword
necro - staff
mesmer - staff, scepter/anything but I like pistol a lot
engineer - dual pistols
thief - pistol/anything but I love dagger
ranger - 2 handed sword, I liked shortbow better than longbow

There we are, release is upon us and I only managed to try 3 professions out of the 8...

I think I'll roll guardian on release, but this weekend I played necro in WvW exclusively. I wanted to avoid the new PVE content and keep it fresh for release (but I did play a lot of human and charr PvE in the previous events).

Ended up liking the necro a lot : you can yank people off the castle walls, how fun is that ? (almost as fun as playing with fear at the edge of a cliff).

On a side note, based on my own experience and general criticism of the game I've seen on forums, I feel that the renown hearts are currently the most shaky part of the game. I'd say they contradict ArenaNet's design philosophy in at least 3 ways :
- They are repetitive. Most of them require you to do the same action a lot of times to actually complete them.
- They make you compete with other players for resources. Or do they? I'm not 100% sure about this one. But they give you the impression you have to compete with others, so either way there's a problem.
- They are designed to make you waste time. Granted, it's for a good cause : that you stick around long enough until a nearby event starts up.
But more importantly, they seem to confuse players. The difference between renown hearts and dynamic events is not explained clearly enough, and the way they are presented gives the false impression that they're the meat of the game's content, while the events are a nice little novelty on the side.

The ones that need help IMHO are the ones that transform you into something else in order to do most of the tasks and the ones that are click heavy (pick up this, click on that and then talk to this in order to get heart credit).

The ones that transform are bad because I am trying to learn my class and you are throwing me into another "class" to do busy work for the quest giver? Most of those I just stay in my class and kill nearby critters for quest credit.

The click heavy ones suffer from the same problem. I am trying to gain experience to unlock new skills for my weapon and you are forcing me to pick up a shovel with a whole new set of skills and then find the right object to use the shovel on to trigger a conversation where I may or may not have to then kill the thing I am talking to which requires me to either use the shovel or drop it to attack. (to then pick up the shovel and do it all over again)

Great ideas... poor execution and not for the lower level areas.

My impression is that DEs are more waypoints guiding you through an area than they are 'the way to level', DEs being centred around those hubs.

The other thing is I think hearts will probably get rarer as you go through the content, leaving DEs as the guts of the content. The starting zones are likely very static as they need a stable environment to train people in, but later on they can change things more and get into more complex chains. In Orr they've said there are no hearts, but purely DEs.

Training weapons seems like a very early concern, and very quick to get over. I think that speedbump is to prevent the initial information overload, and people can have the time to look at their new skills and work out how to use them over their first few hours. You're talking a few dozen kills to max each out, which is nothing in MMO terms.

I started with the sylvari ranger on Friday afternoon, and damn was it crowded. I was quickly frustrated so I decided to create another character and come back to the sylvari later when hopefully less people were on.

Then I promptly created an Asura. It totally didn't register for me until I was into the starter zone how stupid that was... just as crowded, duh. Man I felt stupid.

So I putzed about with a human guardian for the rest of Friday, then went back to the sylvari on Sat and it was less crowded. Got to see the sylvari up to about 11 or so. I actually think the sylvari story was pretty decent up to that point, certainly better than the norn one and beginning human noble one I've done previously. Sylvari and Asura starting areas are amazingly gorgeous. They actually make me wish ANet would do another pass on the norn and human starting areas but I'm sure it's far too late for that.

Played ranger a bit after listening to Eric Flannum from ANet on the quartertothree podcast mention they were his favorite class. I actually found it a tad bland. After unlocking all the weapons I think I actually preferred... axes? That seemed kind of strange for a ranger. Anyway I still hate having to rezz the pet every 45 seconds or so. I think I'm going to focus on Warrior on release instead. Warrior and Guardian. Well, warrior, guardian, and an elementalist alt. Probably.

Warrior and Guardian. Well, warrior, guardian, and an elementalist alt. Probably. I promise... Well maybe another alt, but no more than one, or two. And that is only 3-4 total alts so I may as well round it up to half a dozen, um...

FIXED for accuracy!

Scratched wrote:

Just wondering, does anyone have any predictions of doom for GW2? Right now there's the new game, 'saviour of MMOs' buzz going on, and although subs aren't important for GW2 what downside do people see for after launch?

The one I'm concerned about is event scaling, with either a too small or too large population events might be a bit anti-climactic.

I think the only "doom" that could happen is either with the game living up to personal, lofty expectations of individual players or the attrition, and subsequent diminishing returns, of completing so many events. For the latter, WAR had a ton of these public style events, but they all required medium-large groups to complete and they all started to blend together, losing originality quickly. It always boiled down into a lot of kill grinding, fighting some elite mobs, then fighting a boss encounter. The early events have some nice diversity in options of completion, so hopefully that continues into late game content. As for the former part, gamer expectations, there will always be people who thought they were getting one thing and then be disappointed when it's another. I can already see tons of ranty posts online about how it's just another MMO, there's too much grind, and other usual claims that it's not different enough from what's already out in the market.

Crafting is my big question mark right now. I'm not sure what to take or if it will be worth the effort. Most MMOs seem to have problems with keeping crafting as a relevant, influential mechanic and sustaining it as useful throughout the growth of the character. WoW always disappointed me because everything I could craft was for someone 8 levels below me. By the time I got it, the recipes were useless. Aion was interesting because of crafting criticals, but the material grind for it was somewhat extreme. I didn't try GW2 crafting because it looked like there was a need for a lot of materials again and I figured it wasn't worth doing as progress would get wiped. There were some posts on forums about people getting decent craft upgrades and that they had a better visual look than dropped items off mobs. If anyone had some experience with it, please share.

fangblackbone wrote:
Warrior and Guardian. Well, warrior, guardian, and an elementalist alt. Probably. I promise... Well maybe another alt, but no more than one, or two. And that is only 3-4 total alts so I may as well round it up to half a dozen, um...

FIXED for accuracy!

Gah no kidding. I'm unsure of what I want to start with too. I started wanting sylvari necro. It fits them so well philisophically (what is life? what is death?(what is game?)). But I love the norn so much. I really enjoy their starting area, their main city aesthetic, and their main story quests even though many find it way too traditional/rote. 2hand hammer on my warrior was pretty fun too.

Coldtouch wrote:

Crafting is my big question mark right now. I'm not sure what to take or if it will be worth the effort. Most MMOs seem to have problems with keeping crafting as a relevant, influential mechanic and sustaining it as useful throughout the growth of the character. WoW always disappointed me because everything I could craft was for someone 8 levels below me. By the time I got it, the recipes were useless. Aion was interesting because of crafting criticals, but the material grind for it was somewhat extreme. I didn't try GW2 crafting because it looked like there was a need for a lot of materials again and I figured it wasn't worth doing as progress would get wiped. There were some posts on forums about people getting decent craft upgrades and that they had a better visual look than dropped items off mobs. If anyone had some experience with it, please share.

I dabbled a little bit with crafting, trying Jeweler only. While I did purchase a little extra copper ingots of the AH, I primarily relied on what I gathered and recovered from salvage kits. I probably burned through 100ish copper ingots and produced 6 or 7 lvl 10 rings and earrings total. At lvl 10, they definitely gave a good stat boost, as I had both a + Vit earring and ring which bumped my health up about 200 HP.

A couple of other nice features to their crafting system are that it gives very nice xp and when you select craft all, the crafting process speeds up and finishes in a matter of seconds. You can have two crafting professions active at once, and can switch to a third or all of them really, without loosing the progress you have made.Oh, and there is no node racing, as each gathering node can be harvested by everyone. After you harvest it, it despawns for you, but other players can still run up and gather from it.

There are some good youtube guides that I watched to get started but I could have figured it all out without them.

I LOVE that the crafting components can be sent to the "Account" chest directly from your inventory. That gives you some space before having to sell at a merchant.

Toddland wrote:

I LOVE that the crafting components can be sent to the "Account" chest directly from your inventory. That gives you some space before having to sell at a merchant.

Oh yeah, this is great even for non-crafters. Send em to the bank, where they have their own easy to browse tab, save up a stack and then sell em on the Trading Post.

I mentioned previously that I was disappointed that I couldn't finish the Dark Room jumping puzzle dungeon due to a (known) bug, I made up for it by spending way too much time figuring out the unmarked jumping puzzle, Spek's Lab seen in this person's video:

Badferret's post reminded of the only thing I genuinely disliked from my time playing with the beta. Jumping puzzles. I only ran across a couple, but why is this in here? SWTOR had them too for most of the data cube things. They were stupid in TOR and they're stupid here. Their difficulty is increased by virtue of the controls and the less than precise geometry that is common to MMOs. It just seems like a dumb thing to include, and I'll probably be irrationally angry if I ever run into quest content I can't reach because I can't platform in an MMO. Other than that, I thought the game was great despite my previous post.

like many other features in the game, they are (so far) all optional and were included because some ppl do like them.

If you're going to reserve your name through GW1, you need to have the character created by July 31st

http://www.arena.net/blog/reserve-yo...

like many other features in the game, they are (so far) all optional and were included because some ppl do like them.

Like me. So long as they aren't required, and they aren't required as a step for things like combat quests, they don't get too long or complicated. As a pure exploration gimmick they work as I really love being encouraged to get to find the nooks, roofs and summits. One thing they are missing the boat on is underwater cave exploration.

So far the only one I've had difficulty with is Melinda's(?) Spiral. That one has some unfair tricks. (really just bad collision spots that cause you to slip over or fall short) Other than that, I have done about 15-20 unique ones on my characters.

It is funny sometimes because the view where you activate the cinematic is better than the sweeping camera cinematics they trigger.

Yeah, that damn spiral took me a bunch of tries. I kept hitting vines and falling to my death. It's very pretty though.

Thief on release.
I loved my Human Dagger dagger Shortbow thief. She will be my main. the stealthing and bow attacks are FUN. the slice and dice of the daggers reminded me of my Witch Elf from Warhammer days, man could she julienne.

I also liked the Hunter and will likely have one as an alt.
Do you sense a theme?
I've always taken to the "1 on 1 get in quick and get out quick" kind of toons. Though the Hunter has a different feel to it, ore of a support class than the thief. Thief is mostly a loner. The archer from DAOC after it was nerfed, or should I say balanced (damn that guy was overpowered). Go in search of your mark and dispatch quickly.
I cant wait to see what she gets at higher than level 8.

Oh and may I say this, The female models in this game are among the most beautifully rendered I have ever played!
YAY! It finally pays off to play the lady!

The thing that's stopping me playing Thief is that I'm not sold on the F1 skill. It seems so random whether you'll get something useful, so it's a shadowstep with a bit of a gamble on your next ability (unless you throw the weapon away).

Scratched wrote:

The thing that's stopping me playing Thief is that I'm not sold on the F1 skill. It seems so random whether you'll get something useful, so it's a shadowstep with a bit of a gamble on your next ability (unless you throw the weapon away).

I loved that! Made it a bit more fun. The cool thing is that you don't have to use it right away. at one point I got a net and saved it for a but later when it was useful. It's kind of a bonus ability, like Mario's magic cubes!

The thing that's stopping me playing Thief is that I'm not sold on the F1 skill. It seems so random whether you'll get something useful, so it's a shadowstep with a bit of a gamble on your next ability

I went looking and wondered if steal wasn't the key to ranalins thief problem in pvp. There are a three traits that look powerful depending on how they work:
mug? that adds damage to stealing
one that adds stack of poison to stealing
and one that increases the range at which you can steal

It seems like the combination of those with traits that give a 50% chance to crit on a stealth attack, increased crti% traits, and the bleeding attacks from thief pistols will allow a lethal dose of crit, poison and bleed stacking in short order. I can attest to fire, bleed and poison stacking being absolutely vicious in GW2. You can also pump condition damage with trait points.

@groan - have you tried the bow warrior? It lacks stealth but is a monster of AoE fire damage. It is my favorite of all the bow wielding classes. They are even more devastating in groups because their AoE generates the adrenaline faster allowing you to use the 3 charge burnination skill more often!

fangblackbone wrote:

@groan - have you tried the bow warrior? It lacks stealth but is a monster of AoE fire damage. It is my favorite of all the bow wielding classes. They are even more devastating in groups because their AoE generates the adrenaline faster allowing you to use the 3 charge burnination skill more often!

If so then this will be another class I'll try. I've never equated a warrior class with bow.
My world, she is turned upside down.

fangblackbone wrote:

Like me. So long as they aren't required, and they aren't required as a step for things like combat quests, they don't get too long or complicated. As a pure exploration gimmick they work as I really love being encouraged to get to find the nooks, roofs and summits. One thing they are missing the boat on is underwater cave exploration.

So far from what I've seen, the jumping puzzles are precisely an exploration gimmick. The vistas are announced and a few are tricky. The unannounced ones can easily be missed if you're not looking for them somewhat hard.

I loved bow Warrior, but I think I am going to end up Sword-Pistol/Dual Pistol Thief as my main. To keep the Warhammer comparison, Its a Witch hunter to groans Witch Elf. Playing more of a brute style with little focus on stealth but lots of mobility. The healing signet with pistol whip is awesome.

My main is definitely going to be an Asura engineer. Love their starting area and the Asura are way cooler than gnomes or dwarves, the races I usually play in an MMO.

My alt will be a guardian, but I'm trying to decide between human male or norn female. On one hand, I really liked the human storyline. On the other, the norn female guardian is full of flight of the valkyries win. Do any of the other guardian players have thoughts?

Actually, one thing about the stolen skill may not be so much that it's random, as much as in the middle of a fight you'll need to mouse-over the skill and read the tooltip to know what it does, and think on your feet for how to work it into current fight and have it be useful.

jdzappa wrote:

On the other, the norn female guardian is full of flight of the valkyries win. Do any of the other guardian players have thoughts?

I rolled a Norn female guardian to try out the class as well and what I saw was: 9 foot tall blonde knockout, clad fully in chainmail, leaping through the air to skewer a fool before spinning a whirlwind of death with a 2 handed greatsword the size of a human. oooh yeah. I'm keeping this one.

Likewise with Arovin, I'm going to have a Pistol/Sword Thief or Mesmer for a main just for that weapon combo which I find really cool. For all the faults with WAR, the Witch Hunter still remains my favorite class in any fantasy MMO I've played.