Skip to content

Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend – General Impressions

May 4, 2012

It just struck me: I’ve already made two posts commenting on a couple particular issues about Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend but I haven’t posted a General Impressions discussion. This should do it, I hope 🙂 I did not take any Screenshots from the Beta (for some reason my keyboard’s SS button decided to take a few days break), so all pictures you see are someone else’s. Whenever I can find them, credits will be posted.

– –

So the Beta has ended a couple days ago now. I was highly anticipating this past weekend, just anxious to get my hands on this game. I’ve been following this game closely for over a year now, and I believe I had seen every video about it avaiable on Youtube and read every major article about it. So expectation was peaking. And I can positively say I didn’t feel disappointed in this game, at all.

Let’s start in the beggining. Character creation. This is something that ArenaNet and a lot of other folks have discussed and hyped a lot about. GW2’s character creation system offers players a huge amount of possibilities for customizing their basic character’s appearance. Honestly, I didn’t spend more then 2-3 minutes on it. I was more anxious to start killing stuff and enjoying the beautiful world of Tyria. I don’t mean to say that character appearance isn’t something I’m interested in. But I figured, since I had only the weekend to play, and a big part of my weeked was already reserved for my activities outside the virtual world, I’d just skip the appearance stage. I did, though, arrange a cool color scheme for my armor 😛

Doesn’t quite look like her, but it’s close / Credits to talesoflumin @ Youtube

After hitting Play I was presented with a relatively short clip describing my character’s origins and whatnot. The art in that clip was amazing. ArenaNet’s decision to mix in those hand-stylish graphics was right on track if you ask me, not only is it visually appealing, I get the feeling it matches the whole Guild Wars theme. After that I appeared outside Divinity’s Reach, surrounded by I’d say about 40 to 50 other players. As you may know, the Human starting experience puts you “in charge” of a battle against an invading army of centaurs that also summon some sort of elemental. The town in question, Shaemoor, has this very dark atmosphere around it at this time, it’s raning, the sky is dark and covered in clouds, there’s smoke coming out of buildings and whatnot. Right off the bat it puts you on a scenery that induces some feeling of danger and peril.

I really enjoyed the starting experience in Shaemoor. After watching it so many times on different videos, it felt truly amazing to be experiencing it first hand. I felt that new players were a bit thrown into the lion pit here though. In my opinion, you’re thrown into battle even without knowing your the game at all. Yes, these are fairly easy battles, but still, if I hadn’t seen a lot of videos before, I think I would have had a bit of trouble with it. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it might be a way to tell new players “Hey this won’t be an easy task, here’s an harsh situation to learn it the hard way”. But no one likes dieing. It’s a fact. Even more, no one likes dieing AND not knowing exactly why and how it went down. In my opinion, ArenaNet needs to change the starting experience a little bit, because it will be a bit overwhelming to new players and that might mean they’ll stop playing the game (think a player on a GW2 Trial or trying the game out somewhere).

From that point on, the game flourishes. You get introduced to your Personal Storyline (truthfully it starts with the centaur attack on Shaemoor), you realize you already have two skills on your left action bar (!!) and you’re out killing centaurs on the same place you destroyed the Elemental from the start. Taking a deeper look into your UI, it might seem awkward at first. Sometimes I found myself searching for something in the UI that I was used to having easily accessible (such as Guild Panel). It takes a bit of time to get used to how it is laid out, but it’s nothing major in my opinion.

Credits to Bettadenu @ AlienWare Gamer Forums

By now you probably already encountered your first Dynamic Event and you’re either put off or overly excited about it. For players who expect a loot reward for every task, most dynamic events will be disappointing, you  “only” get an XP injection, karma points and some cash. Karma points are a kind of points that you can use to trade for stuff at Renown Hearts vendors for example. I feel this is an issue a lot of players will have problems with, maybe myself included. We’re used to getting a sweet ass sword after killing a hard monster or group of monsters, it’s “common sense”. I think giving players some loot at some particular Dynamic Events (think Shadow Behemoth at Godslost Swamp) would be a plus and yet another incentive to go out and explore the world.  I know we only had the opportunity to play the very early game and therefore might not have a good idea of how it works, but then again, that’s where players decide if they stick with the game or not.  Now, if you played the BWE, you’ll know there were some issues with the scaling of events. Some would easily become zergs through waves of mobs, some would be invincible Shamans that you could not kill (poor, poor Charr players). That’s (hopefully) a Beta problem, it needs some tuning so I won’t bash on it at this moment.

What? A giant boss like that at level 16??? / Credits to Anime-envoy.com

Let’s discuss combat. This is one of those breaking points in an MMO if you ask me. Its most of the fun for me, and if a game’s combat system does not appeal to me, then most probably the game won’t either. A good example of this was Lineage 2. The combat felt so boring and sometimes so unbalanced that i ended up not playing the game ever again. I’m sure there are a lot of good things about it, but it just lost me with it’s combat’s stillness. WoW in my opinion had a very strong case on this. Combat was a lot more fluid then before and that was about enough to capture me (in all honesty, i was also a Warcraft universe fan, it played a huge part as well). But GW2 takes a giant leap forward on that. Combat is now more in the style of an action game and movement is more important than it ever was in an MMO. I have never payed much attention to GW1 and it’s lore, but nonetheless I felt compelled to play and explore more about it, because the combat felt awesome and fun. I would say this is probably on the top 3 pluses for GW2.

Hard to show how combat is with a picture, but this one looks really cool / Credits to CodLab.eu

For quite some time have I been trying to fulfill the void in my gaming (oh so corny :P)  that WoW left. Never again did an MMO get me so excited and hooked up, until Guild Wars 2. Maybe it’s because its something completely different and I get the same feeling of experimenting something new and truly exciting as I did back when WoW appeared. Maybe its something else, all I know is I’ve been in love with this game and the Beta Weekend definitely put the ring on my finger for good. Is it me or no other game out there feels interesting now?

 
Advertisements

From → Guild Wars 2

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: