Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beta Day 2 Impressions

Guild Wars 2 (PC)

15-20 hours in, still loving the game.  The game has its flaws, but seeing how far the MMO genre has advanced, I think I can accept them.  This world is interactive, expansive, lively, and fresh.  The fact that you form spontaneous groups to do the quests make them that much better.

I'm level 20 on my human thief and things are going pretty well.  I experimented quite a bit with different builds in 5v5 matches, continued my personal story, explored the nooks and crannies of Lion's Arch, moved to Kessex Hills as well as trying out the Charr starting area downleveled,and continued our realms conquest in WvW.

The game is less laggy than yesterday and I am understanding the game a good amount more.  I'll start with 5v5.  I have tried several builds with several different trait and item equips.  I like having around 12-13k hp and keeping my damage near max.  All of my utilities involve stealth or survivability and that tends to work out well.  For some reason this mesmer and I were the only ones placed in the 5v5 round after round and we got to practice a good amount of 1v1.  Thieves seem to have the advantage in these fights, and both classes can escape fairly well if you need to run.  Warriors seem to be a little overpowered, and guardians continue to live forever.  Pet AI has definitely improved, though a rangers pet dies so damn quickly.  In WvW, almost every rangers pet goes down during a big fight, and it seems a little odd.  Elementalists and mesmers seem the weakest at the moment and will probably need some fine tuning.  And yes, in the heat of the moment the clones of a mesmer are very confusing.  Though with time you learn that the clones health bars are at full where the real mesmer won't be.  The best mesmers seem to try to stay at max health for as long as possible to create the most confusion with clones.

Personal story is still pretty good, and still a bit buggy.  The little cinematic conversations are well voiced in general, but I am seeing a tons of glitches.  The npc can be mute, the npc can be saying something completely different than the text, and I have seen some text when talking to people that has been misspelled etc.  Overall the quality is good, but again needs some polish.

Okay, so I told my friend I just wanted to explore a city for a couple of minutes.  Those couple of minutes ended up well into an hour. Lion's Arch is amazing.  The nooks and crannies are brimming with content. Citizens seem to have random, but very interesting chatter about recent events.  I met my first Kodan! (I am in love with that race)  I found the headquarters of the Order of Whispers, and let me tell you it is no bed and breakfast.  (you will only get the joke if you've been there...)  For example, I went inside some broken gate, got lost in these tunnels with Hylek (frog people), found the Order of Whispers, and explored the hell out of some underwater area (but I'm not sure what its there for.  I jumped off the top of a mountain into the water below on a diving board. (What? Some NPC told me to.) I explored the old underwater region of Lion's arch, stared in awe at the lion statue with the moving ships, and explored the ship-like construction of archways.  It was amazing, and I just couldn't believe that there was no copy and paste in the world.  Everything seemed to be hand-crafted and the attention to detail was astounding.

Kessex Hills definitely has a lot less people in it than Queensdale.  Again the attention to detail in the world is simply amazing. If this game had nothing else, exploring and seeing what's beyond the next hill will keep you going for hours.  I've probably played close to 15-20 hours and have not finished anything in content. Kessex hills was very fun featuring this floating castle in the sky (possibly Wizard's Folly or something of the sort), an elementalist town, tons of ettins, a girl that fell in a hole, and centaurs raiding a seraph stronghold.  I had a blast.

WvW once again is always a completely unique experience.  I even transferred to my brother's realm to PvP with him.  Both our realms were winning, so I don't feel bad that I server-hopped.  Eternal battlegrounds were full all day.  I tried queueing, but even when the queue popped, it would glitch out and say server was full.  Thus, I was in the Borderlands all day, all 3 are the same map but they are still very fun.  I also finally discovered where you take the orbs to (at least I think).  I think you give them to the Hylek in the middle of the lake, they kept asking for pearls??? I could be wrong though.  Also, for some reason local chat is all 3 servers, if you talk on it, all 3 servers can see it.  I'm not sure if that is working as intended, but there is no realm chat atm.  Towers and supply camps seem to switch hands pretty constantly.  If your keep is under siege and you need supply, you might want to consider running to a nearby supply camp and doing the running yourself.  You can then repair the door and if the attackers are relatively small group, you and another could keep the door up by yourselves.  Again, I must say that the blueprints and upgrades of keeps are just too expensive.  Maybe at 80 you will have that amount of gold, but at 20 I must say I have nowhere close

On a side note, you have to pay 10 silver to have access to your traits.  This is very steep for a level 10, and I'm not too fond of the price.  Between repairs, blueprints, and this trait cost, I'm almost always virtually below 2 silver.  WvW just doesn't seem to provide enough gold, and requires you to go back into PvE to get some.  Also, if you are looking to get gear from only WvW, please reconsider if nothing is changed.  You rarely ever get gear from corpse drops, and if you do, its almost never an upgrade.  To get the best gear, do the Heart-like quests (I forget the name, its 3 AM and I've played a ridiculous amount), and go see the questgiver.  Their wares feature some of the best equipment in the game.

I cannot figure out how to upgrade my weapons.  I added a slot to my gear, but I cant figure out how to add a gem.  Maybe I'm just dumb, but I could not figure it out.  Party chat was also down for a good amount of the day, which was a little frustrating, but again beta is beta.  Some skill point challenges refused to work also.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the game today and still learned a great amount .  This game seems to have a large amount indepth about it.  Downleveling and sidekicking works beautifully, but its still a little dismaying to see yourself die from a level 6 when you are really level 20.  I am definitely happy that I pre-purchased the game, because God is it fun.  GW2 is something every PC gamer needs to watch, and both of my friends who are in the beta and my brother (1 non-PC gamer) have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

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