30 things about Guild Wars 2’s beta weekend

While I’ve gotten a little face-time with Guild Wars 2 in the past — at PAX and briefly during the prior press beta — this was the first chance I’ve had to just sit down with the game and explore it at my leisure.  Many metric tons of words have already been spilled over this past beta weekend, so I’m not looking to bore you with more of the same, but rather just a list of various impressions, thoughts, likes and dislikes that I cultivated during the past few days.

I will say this: While more time is needed to get a long-term feel for the game, I’m quite comfortable in stating without hyperbole that Guild Wars 2 is a game that I’ve fallen in love with.  I’m not saying “best game ever!” or “makes all other MMOs suck!” or anything like that.  I’m just saying that it brought flowers and a winning smile, and I’m its.  It’s a quiet, knowing sort of love, the type where I’m not bouncing off the walls looking forward to release, but content and surefast in the knowledge that when it happens, it will be terrific.

For the weekend I played a race and class I wasn’t planning on touching at launch, which in this case was a Human Thief.  The Thief is adequate — double-pistols was more fun to me than knives — but I’m still more interested in the Engineer, Mesmer, and possibly Necromancer.

So here are 30 impressions from the beta weekend:

1. It’s insanely fast to get into the game.   I’m used to LOTRO’s 2.5 minute bootup time, so it surprised me that Guild Wars 2 carries Guild Wars’ tradition of being lightning-fast from clicking on the icon to being in the game proper.  Like, measured in seconds, even with the crush of the beta weekend.

2. Very nice pistol and gun sounds and visuals.  I really dug my thief’s double-pistol action, because not only did the game provide shots that had oomph in the sound department, but it looked really neat — smoke and flying embers all over the place.  It has the feeling of early pistol technology, as it should.

3. They don’t put boobs on the female Charr.  And since this is ArenaNet, home to shameless flesh window shopping, I’m quite impressed.  The female Charr looks female, she just doesn’t need a bosom to sell that point.

4. This is a world I genuinely want to explore.  After giving some of the heart activities and events a try, I spent most of my time simply exploring Queensland and Divinity’s Reach.  If you’re going to approach GW2 by rushing through it, let me tell you that you’ll be missing so much.  The world is absolutely alive in its details, nooks and crannies, and I had a blast doing things even as mundane as reading gravestones for 15 minutes or so.

5. The hand-painted approach works for the UI.  I used to think that World of Warcraft or perhaps RIFT was the gold standard for UIs, in aesthetics and functionality.  No more.  Guild Wars 2 swats the old guard down to the ground with its elegant pseudo-painted style where straight lines are eschewed for brush strokes and clean, elegant interfaces.

6. The cash shop doesn’t feel unbalanced.  ArenaNet gave us all 2000 gems to play around with, so I spent them on a key to unlock a couple mystic boxes I got (which had nice prizes but nothing I’d kill over) and a whole bunch of minis.  Most of the store seems skewed more toward cosmetic and convenience items — boosts, keys, outfits, minis, and the like.  Nothing shouted to me “OVERPOWERED!” in the least.  The megaphone was gone.

7. The strategy notes under the enemy UI are helpful.  Different enemies have different special abilities, and I learned to ignore these at my own peril.  Will this next guy regenerate fast or call friends to him?  The game outright tells me so that I can adjust my attack accordingly.

8. It all feels very, very Guild Warsian while still being its own creation.  This is hard to explain, but Guild Wars 2 feels quite familiar to anyone who played Guild Wars 1, even though it’s a new game.  There’s just enough of the old, particularly in style, to carry on the tradition and keep the connection between the two games alive.

9. How smooth are those map transitions?  So smooth.  Not only does the map pull up right away, but by scrolling the mouse wheel you can zoom in and out across the whole world quickly.  It’s a jewel of the UI, that’s for sure.

10. The overflow server works but it’s confusing.  I got put on the overflow server three times, so that’s already way better than waiting in a queue.  I wasn’t exactly sure, however, when the game transferred me to the regular server, and I would’ve liked to have been informed about that.

11. No quests requires a different approach to the game.  GW2 isn’t going to get me to swear off the traditional quest log — I still love having a list to work through — but I do appreciate what it’s doing.  By disguising and minimizing the quests, it creates a feeling of freedom that lends itself to more exploring and adventuring.  I have a loose path I want to follow through the heart areas and my personal story, but I don’t feel pushed to do any one thing, and I’m free to just go about and explore.  It’s a lot more laid back and spontaneous because of it.

12. The XP gained sounds like a slot machine.  When you gain a chunk of XP through exploring, heart quests, or events, there’s this neat thing where it flows down to your XP bar and fills it up with a tinkly sound.  Makes you feel like you’ve won something.

13. Events are surprising and frequent, if chaotic.  With so many people there, the events turned into zerg affairs where we always won and no alternative chained events spawned (which was a shame).  Felt a lot like RIFT’s rifts or WAR’s public quests, just better.

14. Rewards from events are… meh.  I really wish that you got a piece of loot in addition to the karma/XP/coin gain.  Most public quests in other MMOs do so, why not here?

15. I was in screenshot heaven.  There aren’t enough words to describe how gorgeous and detailed this game is.  I’ll share some of my favorite screenies later this week.

16. Jeremy Soule is always welcome in my house.  It’s not a Guild Wars game without Soule’s score, and I just grooved to it.

17. Achievements are addicting.   Every zone has a list of four major achievements: waypoints unlocked, landmarks unlocked, heart quests completed, and skill challenges completed.  The loading screen and map screen remind you of these.  On top of those, there are a host of other achievements (including dailies and weeklies), and before I knew it, I was hard on my way to filling up all those bars.  If you like this sort of thing, there’s a lot of it to chase after.

18. The camera moves too fast.  It’s a little hard to explain, but the camera felt like it was moving too fast and that made me dizzy and disoriented because my eyes couldn’t focus on what was going on sometimes.  It just felt a little too loose and too willing to zoom all over the place if you got in tight quarters.

19. Female human faces are attractive… if you like Barbie dolls.  Plenty of people have commented on this, but sheesh, it’s just creepy.  Pretty girls are one things, ones that looked like they traded their souls for immortal porcelain perfection is another.

20. Divinity’s Reach is more than a quest/vendor hub — it’s a proper city.  Usually, “huge” isn’t a desirable attribute for me when it comes to in-game cities, but with Divinity’s Reach I don’t mind so much.  It’s terrifically fun to explore and feels like an actual city.  I love going in all the houses.

21. NPC dialogue is interesting but poorly paced. There’s a lot of great incidental conversations that go on around you, particularly in the city, and most of it’s both informative and entertaining.  However, the pacing is way off on it — there’s basically no pause between the back-and-forth, making it sound like first-year drama students who have memorized their lines and are more concerned with spitting it out than anything else.

22. The Skritt taunted me when I died.  “You ran from Skritt!”

23. The challenge level ramps up fast.  If you think that you’re going to breeze through the first ten levels, think again.  Before too long, the mobs will be kicking your butt if you’re not paying attention — and even if you are.  Even one level above your own presents a significant challenge, and I found myself dying quite often.

24. Downed state is awesome.  Instead of going straight to “dead,” you’ve got a chance to get back into the game or have someone save your hide with the downed state.  You get a small handful of skills — in my case, it was a basic attack, a smokescreen, a bouncy attack, and a small heal — and you can bounce back if you either kill the mob or can heal up to full.  It feels quite natural and adds an interesting dynamic to the game.

25. The beta wasn’t without issues.  Lag was a major problem, with thousands of folks cramming into the same areas, and I couldn’t progress in my personal story at one point because the instance creator failed.

26. Skill challenges are fun.  Every map has a handful of skill challenges that, if completed, award you a skill point.  One guy simply gave me one while another required me to beat down a tough mob, Chhk the Windmill King.  I like having to work for your skill points.

27. Looting is cool in a Guild Wars game?  I really didn’t like how meaningless most of the loot was in Guild Wars 1, but here it feels like a regular MMO, and I was often looking forward to seeing what I’d loot from the next mob.  I like just hitting “F” to loot while in the vicinity rather than having to click on the mobs too.

28. Underwater combat may yet win me over.  I didn’t think much of underwater combat going into this, but it is definitely engaging and (pardon the pun) fluid.  It feels like you’re flying underwater, and the different type of attacks change up the standard combat experience.

29. The personal story is nice, but I found myself wanting choices in it a la SWTOR.  ‘Nuff said.

30. The beta weekend genuinely felt like launch, not a beta.  With all the excitement, our guild forming up, and everyone leveling like mad, it felt like the first day of release.  And it’s quite sad that it wasn’t and that we’ll have to wait.

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82 thoughts on “30 things about Guild Wars 2’s beta weekend

  1. Nice list and I find myself nodding in agreement at most of it. I do however think we are still some time off from release which was disappointing.

    I’m sad to say the overflow servers was econfusing and grouping was broken (spent around an hour on Skype trying to find a work around with my bro in law)

    Still like you I saw enough to assure me its gonna be one hell of a game come live release.

  2. Damn! I did not know about the F key for area looting! A little nugget for next time!

    Another option issue for me was figuring out how to go to the WvW area. I could not find that option anywhere I looked (on the map, the WvW stat screen [N key], or the menu options at the top of the screen). Took a buddy of mine to point to the PvP section of your ‘H’ero screen.

  3. Ryver, I don’t think ‘F’ did any actual aoe looting, it just let you loot the one nearest body with an item.

    Very nice list. I, too, agree with most of it.

    “Most public quests in other MMOs do so, why not here?” Maybe because then it would be more obvious the Gold folks got a better item rather than letting bronze folks just build up the karma to be able to get the same items? Not sure. I seemed to only get bronze when I was in the area of an event, but did nothing, so the ranking was a bit skewed anyway.

  4. Regarding 14… you do get “items” from karma vendors since one of only two ways to get karma is events (the other being helping out a friend’s personal story). There is a definite disconnect, and I even forgot to check the renown vendors until later. Still, you can buy some really, really good stuff from those vendors… and have it tailored to your character.

  5. Jason, last I heard you will still be able to work on points in the HoM for unlocks after launch. Although I guess finding time to tear away from GW2 to play GW may be a tiny bit more of an issue. :) Do you have a guild in the original yet? If not, and if you are interested, my guild has a spot open. #shamelessrecruiting

  6. Think they tried to compensate for the lack of boobs on the Char by increasing the size on the other females and making the usually skimpy armour that little bit more skimpy >.>

    Still was a fun weekend though, just want them to add in Shift-key modifiers, a queue for WvWvW that actually works and tweak the fps and i’m good to go ^^

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  8. While I hate lockboxes with keys bought from the item shop, I am glad to hear that the megaphones are gone. Hope they stay gone too. The item shop makes me wary of the game, which so far looks to be awesome.

  9. Very nice list!

    One thing though, about #29: How far in the personal story did you go? I finished the personal story available in the beta for the Charr and I found myself having lots of options a la SWTOR! I don’t know all the consequences since I didn’t try all the branches but it definitely felt like I was the owner of my own story.

  10. It’s an interesting game to be sure. Though it had a lot of issues I’d like to see ANet address before launch. (Really? Another AAA MMO without the ability to disable the damn smart camera? A Feature that’s been standard for damn near a decade? What the hell.) The PvE still didn’t feel very refreshing to me, though I did like legging it everywhere to earn my skill points, even though I had a hell of a time soloing some of them. There was also a snowball fight event in one of the norn villages that was fun, so clearly the possability for interesting PvE exists. But the PQs for the most part feel too damn easy and simple, beat up X number of dudes and maybe protect Y number of guys, even on the occasions where there weren’t 40 people crammed into the same area. Hopefully that’s just because they’re noob zones and ANet has more interesting events further on.

    Overall, I feel confidant in saying that if it weren’t for the WvW I’d regret my pre-order. Though even that was kinda lame because of the lack of communication and money to buy seige equipment. Melee is, as always, an utter death trap. Woe unto whomever is dumb enough to roll a Guardian to WvW with like I did.

  11. The game seems pretty fun. The frame rate was downright awful on my rig, though (like 3-5 fps in WvW battles). At that rate, I couln’t really enjoy the game play.

    I hope it improves when they optimize the game engine. Although, I have no idea what optimizing the game engine entails. It’s probably a fancy term for me buying a new computer.

  12. Yup, I loved the beta. I wrote a post about my thoughts on oggy.jux.com. Agree with all of this list. For me, this is everything I expected MMO games to be, but they never were. It’s actually fun, which is saying something. And I totally loved playing it. It felt smooth, slick and still felt like Guild Wars, as you mentioned, despite being really different! Very impressive game. The level of detail was the most astounding thing, I think. And you can definitely see why it’s taken so long to make. You feel limited by time, rather than what level you are. I never once had a point where I thought ‘I can’t go here yet, I’m not high enough level’. But I did have a few points of, ‘I can’t believe I’ve not even explored this area yet’. Can’t wait to get the retail version and play the Sylvari!

  13. Disagreed by underwater combat i loved it it was great the underwater comb was the greatest thing ever

  14. I definitely saw some consequences of failed events; when we failed to protect a logging mill from skritt, the next event was going into their lair and retrieving tools they stole. And there was another time in the Battle for Beetletun event chain when we had to rescue farmers we failed to keep from getting kidnapped by centaurs.

  15. Hell year you’re daemon right :) This is exactly what I was feeling when playing this game :) What I want to add is the size of the cities some times I was adventuring around looking around and then coming into a “small” outpost. But it isn’t really small I never saw a game with such big outpost in our guild we always said “Oh look there is another main city out there ;)”. And then another point to add is this lucky thing about the events. So we ever started to go any where to do some skill challenge or what ever. The we arrive at the next event (even daily events and so on) and decied “hey letzs participate” here and we finished it totally forgetting what we orginally decided to do. It was so much fun because we did what we like :) not what we were forced do do… you know what I mean :) I love it and I hate waiting until the release :) as you said it already felled like beeing the release :)

    Kind Regards :)

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  17. Just wanna say that u dont get automatically moved to Normal/Overflow server, the game asks you first if you want to do it, so that can’t be confusin. But the fact that you pretty much can’t play with ur friends because of random overflow servers is the real problem. It’s great that I can play instead of waiting, but if thats already possible, why don’t they let me to play with friends? Another bad thing was the performance for many people (including me), FPS drops etc … It’s not even bout the PC, just overall issue in the game, hopefully they’ll fix it. Beside that it’s great game with a great future!

  18. Not trying to troll or anything but the beta actually made me want to cancel my pre-order.. I played a Charr ranger and this is how i experienced the beta:
    – Imo the combat is extremely boring and uninspired and i found the dodge function to be completely useless.
    – I switched between shortbows and longbows but the abilities seemed to be pretty much copy/paste from other MMO’s.
    – The graphic was a huge disappointment, the game looks bad.
    – The event system was a complete mess, especially the “boss encounters”. People dying everywhere, and there was no sense of co-operation or tactics. It was like a huge group of people played single player in a “raid group”..
    – The personal storyline was packed with forgettable characters and awful voice-acting. The missions themselves were also very difficult due to the fact that my “warband” members focused on the main mob and let every single other mob focus on me, killing me instantly.
    – The event quests were incredibly generic and had no impact on the game-world as far as i could tell. I thought that the game-changing aspects of the events were the whole point of having them instead of guests? I also missed an explanation for why i was killing the various mobs, i got no sense of purpose at all from the quest objectives.

    All in all, this beta was a hugely disappointing experience for me =/ I had hoped that this would be a cool game to play when i take breaks from Tera, but at the moment i can’t imagine doing so. And please don’t flame me for this.. It’s MY opinion, not speaking for anyone else.

  19. Regarding 14: as far as I could tell every one could loot event bosses (I.e. the flame legion shaman). Though not all were good drops.

  20. “I wasn’t exactly sure, however, when the game transferred me to the regular server, and I would’ve liked to have been informed about that.”

    You’d know if it had happened to you. It only happened to me once all weekend, You get a big pop-up because when you move you get transported to a teleporter pad in the zone you’re in at the time.

    I pretty much played on the Overflow servers all weekend long.

  21. #18 for sure with me as well. Other than that, I had a fantastic time during beta! With a few tweaks, I think this could be a fantastic game!

  22. On #14, there are events that give actual look, mostly boss events. In the Godlost Swamp there was an event that summoned the Shadow Behemoth, a world boss, and after his defeat a giant chest spawned with some pretty nice stuff in it.

  23. i loved the game, the FPS was a problem sometimes, specialy in crowded areas, but i hope they will fix it, maybee put some option that aion had (automaticly change graphic setting to keep constant FPS), the owerflooded maps was a BIG problem for me, since me and my friend couldnt play together, but that seem to be a top priority thing to get fixed,

    all and all my score for the beta was 6/10 would give it 8/10 if it wasnt for the owerflood map problem

    what i do love with the game was the imo NICE looking worlds, it was realy beutifull,
    the underwater combat was kinda “new” for me, never seen it in anyoter game, and i LOVE it =D

    the weapon swaping ability open up ALOT of diffrent ways to fight

    the fact that all players get the same gear and weapon/skills in PvP is great (PvP should be playerskills not player gear)

    there where loads of content to explore, and i never had the “damn i cant walk here” issue

    the difficulty of mobs 1 – 2 lvls over your own is great, tho it can be frustrating from time to time =D

    The events where nice, thou i feel like some of them come abit to often, but still real nice

  24. @Grimjaw91 I really would like to punch you in the face right now =] Ofc I will not do it, but you probably don’t understand the game at all.
    1. Graphics boring? You probably didn’t play gw2 at maximimum quality then, and only played wvwvw or rushed to many places. Did you try to play human or norn? I hope you did if not then please do not say anything about graphics are boring.
    2. What you want to expect that bows do, shoot lazerbeams?
    3. This point is the most funny one, people dying everywhere and no tactics and all..LOL..
    Ofcourse people die everywhere, you don’t have 100 skills and 100 ways to heal anymore like in WoW or any other Mmorpg. Suddenly people have to rely on their own skills and you just can’t blindly charge into a group of centaurs or something like that, so people die a lot by not knowing. Could say so many things from here on but I’m not going to.
    4.The personal story line depends on what situation and which plot of the story line, I can kinda agree that some of the plots are way to hard whit some of the proffesions. Like this one quest from the norn where you have to accompony an carravan with the charrs. I just could not finish it as an mesmer, the guards died way to fast and if you ressurect them they instantly charge the enemy again. Well it was only this quest which I sucked in really hard. But for the rest personal story is really great! Voice acting is great, but what I think it is lacking is that when you are in dialouge with an npc, that if feels way to.. stiff.. It could’ve been more lively. It’s like what’s written in the blog ” there’s basically no pause between the back-and-forth, making it sound like first-year drama students who have memorized their lines and are more concerned with spitting it out than anything else.”
    5. This one thing I kinda agree with you, I don’t have the feeling that it has any impact on the world when you fail an event. But that’s maybe because I didn’t really fail an event so far, or it has impact later on but I can’t tell because I had no time to find it out. There is explanation enough when you have to do an quest, but maybe sometimes it is not enough explanation. Altough for me it does not really matter, when I have to kick someones ass, then I just do it. Just because I can.

    Don’t forget this still was a beta event. Improvements can still happen everywhere, and I’m sure that will happen.

    Question though for some people here, anyone noticed some blackouts with the game? like in that the game suddenly crashes and you can not do anything? alt f4/ctrl-alt-delete didn’t work so only option is to hard reset the computer. I had this many times and I have this only when I played gw2.. so I’m wondering if anyone had this to.

  25. @Gw2 Dude:
    1. I never said that the graphics are boring, i said that they are bad… I played on max, still looked out-dated, especially humans.. Compare the graphics to Tera or Aion graphics and you can tell that GW2 does not measure up.. And i know it’s a different style, but it’s still not good enough..
    2. I expect the developers to make the abilities a little bit more interesting, instead of copying the exact effect of abilities from other MMO’s.. It just makes it seem like they put no effort into desgning the class at all :S
    3. What i meant was that not one single person bothered to help the others by ressing them or anything.. The events were supposed to make people co-operate to survive and take down a boss.. But people don’t give a fuck and just focus on themselves..
    4. I can’t say anything about Norn and Human storyline, but the Charr storyline was bland and forgettable.
    And yeah, i understand the game lol.. it’s not hard to understand, it’s just not a good game imo..

    And btw, punch my face in because i state my opinion? Are you really that simple minded?
    I wanted to like the game, i have been looking forward to it for a long time.. And i still don’t know if im going to cancel my pre-order or not, i might buy it and then wait a year or so for the developers to actually push out the upgrades the game sorely needs..

  26. I was quite satisfied with the game, bugs were minimal. The player-flood induced lag got my elementalist downed a couple of times, but luckily most of those deaths happened near people nice enough to get me up again.
    I even found myself hoarding crafting materials, considering the most efficient way to raise my tailoring, and then… remembered that it was going to get wiped. nuoooo!
    *cough*
    On sunday, I found myself just tracking down skill challenges, exploring new areas, and ended up in an area with lvl 22-23 enemies. At lvl 16.
    I came across a sylvari outpost under attack by this giant undead troll which was of the ‘veteran’ (elite) class i think. He regenerated health, so despite kiting him for a number of minutes up and down and around the post, he had taken no effective damage (His info bar stated he was ‘unstoppable’, he couldn’t be stunned, slowed, pushed away, or interrupted in any way it seemed, making this quite challenging). Someone playing a ranger(22) appeared just as i was preparing to give up, and with their help the troll soon went down. There was a small window of a few minutes where one of the sylvari shouted about the undead massing for an attack in the swamp, and I ran around with a gourd of special water and splashed nearby sick plant people to make them healthy and ready for battle.
    People began to trickle in as the undead began their assault, and as i couldn’t do any kind of effective damage (due to level difference) I played more of a support role, calling down healing rain, placing stun fields, tossing out blinds, and helping up the people and npcs that got downed.
    It was hard, but fun, and though i only got a bronze for contribution, it was still a decent exp reward.

    That got a little longer than i had intended for this post to be ._. but w/e

    I saw a few people above saying they didn’t like how you ‘had to buy keys’ from the cash shop to open the mystic boxes (i think that was what they were called).
    You can find the keys off enemies you defeat, that’s where i got my two keys, i looted one box during the beta, which got me a karma boost item (+50% karma earned for 1 hour) and… i think an equipment upgrade stone. The keys in the shop are available in the event you have a box but no key.

  27. “29. The personal story is nice, but I found myself wanting choices in it a la SWTOR. ‘Nuff said.”
    The personal story does give you choices at some points. Nothing on the scale of SWTOR, but there are some instances were you have to make choices such as “save the hospital, or save the children’s orphanage”, or “Save a well from being poisoned, or save the life of your friend.” and even “Track down and confront someone, or risk him getting away and reporting back on what you found our first.” And you ‘do’ have a sort of play nice, act tough, be noble, type choices in some dialogs, ala Mass Effect, but they dont seem to carry over to the extent that Mass Effect’s choices did.

  28. @Grimjaw91:
    You did not pre-order the game, you pre-purchased it. A refund is not an option.

  29. @GW2 Dude.
    The hardlock some people had may be due to the fact that the vast majority of the grafics were being processed by our CPU’s not our Video cards (i saw this mentiond in one of the dev posts somwere). It hasnt quite been optimized to acutaly ‘use’ the full potential of our video cards yet. So im guessing this might be what caused a few hard-locks. Im sure it’ll clear up once they fully impliment the video card code for the game.

  30. @Grimjaw.

    You consider grafics like this to be ‘bland’? http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y60/ShadowWolf81/Guild%20Wars%202/?albumview=slideshow

    Granted, its not as ‘shiny’ and ‘metalic’ looking as Aion, but then, Aion required a super-computer at its time to play with more than 20 players on screen at once (i remember the early AION days of being in PVP inside the core and having to turn OFF player avatars to reduce lag… real fun fighting invisable people neh?). GW2 dosnt require that, its playable on ‘most’ decent computers.

    As for the Abilities. their actualy the same abilities we had in GW1, theyve just had some minor tweeks done to them. Though one that made me laugh and choke on my pepesi is:

    In a tweet reply about this when a player asked “realy?… you did this?”, we got “@thesc1ence We heard it worked on large numbers of former adventurers, so we thought we’d give it a try! ~RB2″

    Shows that the Dev’s have just as much ‘fun’ with their game as we do.

    As for people not rezing others. Thats mainly due to the ‘zerg’ mentality of wow players, and players from other games with dedicated ‘rezer’ classes, Not everyone relises yet that ALL classes can help their buddies up off the ground. That knowledge will come with time, and once you start playing with a ‘guild’ rather than a hoard of random people, it’ll become more enjoyable. Not to say that running with a pack of random people isnt fun in and of itself! the game is build for that to be able to happen, and it can definantly be fun.

    And on the point of the dodge function. Its not meant for you to dodge every single swing a monster throws at you, its mainly intended to get out of AOE’s (the red circles that show up on the ground) or to dodge out of range of the ‘bigger’ attacks mobs toss around. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, its a great feature and adds more ‘flow’ to the fighting.

  31. @GrimJaw91 Go play Tera with its 2 hours queues with minor bonus when you enter. Go play a game when you only die because you got ganked or did anything stupid like charging alone on a BAM or a mob 5 lvl higher. Spend 1 hour in server queue and you will find any game boring. Tera graphics are nice but everyone look the same (1 nice face for 9 ugly ones when you create your character), in Tera you only have to rush story line and do some of zone quest to get to max lvl. In guildwars the early content is still challenging at max lvl because of downlevels and you want all the skill points/heart so yeah you will do the early content again because you know you need it.

    14. I did not aggree for this. If you want good rewards you should do the big events. Like the one in queensland’s swamp that after you destroy the 3 portals it spawn a giant dark mob that protect itself with other portals, we spent more than 20 min on this raid boss (we were ~7 lvl 11-12 for a lvl 14 boss). When you kill it, a big chest appears with some real rewards (mostly 5 to 6 green items wich is GREAT at this level). I had so much fun because this boss was very hard to kill and everyone did their best rezzing and avoiding red circles, I found it very rewarding at the end.

  32. I can not believe (unless some of the comments are from women) that y’all are actually complaining about the bodaciousness of the Norn and human females. I’m a self professed gaming geek perv I was dissapointed at the pre-set “physique” templates. You let me adjust the chin but not the boobs? Come one :) My wife actually created my human thief and picked a body with big boobs (this is why I married her – kidding).

    Seriously, though, I really enjoyed playing. Made me wish I had a larger display with full surround sound.

    1. Wish you could still point and click to move (if you can, it wasn’t working for me). Muscle memory from GW runs deep.
    2. Wish using an attack skill would auto engage you in combat. If that is not the norm, I will get used to it. Another GW habit.
    3. This is kind of trivial but given how pretty the game is and desire for many screens, I wish the camera would stay centered on characters even when sitting, kneeling or sleeping instead of having them disappear behind the skills bar.
    4. I experienced consequences as well. Failed to fend off a mob with my Mesmer and had to go rescue the kidnapped party guests.
    5. LOVE that you can die from a fall. I tried to slide down a giant water pipe and slipped off and fell to my death (1,000+ in damage). The jumping isn’t a gimmick it actually allows you to escape when otherwise you might get pinned and die.
    6. Can’t believe the beta is over (sniff). The idea of leaving work and going home to no access is so depressing. I’ll just have to stare at my screenshots I guess.

  33. #15: Did you see the High-Res Screenshot bind? It takes a scrrenshot 16x the resolution of what you are playing with. It’s soooo “LOL I’m just gunna hang my wall with GuildWars 2 !” . Loving it.

  34. My wife and I played the Beta this weekend.

    Some thoughts:
    – Totally enjoyed the game. If this is merely the Beta, the real game should be amazing.
    – The graphics were cartoony even on the highest level, but keep in mind that your CPU was rendering most of the graphics, My graphics card sat at idle most of the game (570GTX).
    – The pay for teleport needs to go.
    – The lowering your level for an area is a great idea, but they went too low. When you are an ‘acting’ level 4 going against two level 3s and get killed, it is too low. I think the level should be set where you can fight a group of three enemies to a standstill. In other words, three level 3s vs. your level 5.
    – The healing skills are a bit too weak, a small buff would help them here –> faster recharge?
    – The spawning and respawning was too fast. The spawns need to spawn at a slower rate. Several times I would be rezzing someone and two enemies would spawn right on me that we had just killed…yeah, I died. Also, have the spawns come from somewhere…i.e. the wolves spawn out of a cave and run out, etc.
    – Just read that the Golem Banker guy that comes in the Deluxe Digital and the CE version of the game is temporary (5 days then gone). I would suggest that it would be better if he was a permanent item (permanent summoning stone) available through /bonus BUT only in the large cities. Letting him be used in the world once every 24 hours would be a nice bonus too.
    – Give us a way to earn gems through quests.
    – Have crafting contribute a small amount of XP to main characture XP.
    – Give us a select key please (‘C’ in GW1).
    – Allow us to change worlds once for free in the first 30 days of the game, then charge for a world change. When my wife came on, my world was full. We wanted to play the game together.
    – Give us an ‘aggro’ circle in the radar and mark the enemies on the radar (ala GW1. I would suggest 1000 as the measurement.

    Thank you ArenaNet for this great game, and GW1 too. Several of my chars celebrated the six year mark recently.

    Atlas

  35. First, please put the flamethrowers down. If someone didn’t like the game, telling them they are stupid isn’t going to win them back.

    @Gussy2000
    Ctrl-right click sets autoattack, fyi.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say that I was pleased with the beta and the sandbox-iness if the game. Also, for tjose wishing

  36. First, please put the flamethrowers down. If someone didn’t like the game, telling them they are stupid isn’t going to win them back.

    @Gussy2000
    Ctrl-right click sets autoattack, fyi.

    Anyways, I just wanted to say that I was pleased with the beta and the sandbox-iness if the game. Also, for those wishing for SWTOR-like choices, I disagree. Choices in SWTOR rarely had any effect, were not varied enough, and IMO just bogged things down. Not enough to really RP, but enough to be a nuisance. I speak from having played a Light Operative and Dark then Light (switched at around 30) Sniper to 50, making wildly “different” choices and still getting the same storyline.

  37. Thanks guys, I’ll remember that for the next beta; still loved mesmer combat :)

    Oh and I think Faera’s post is great; wish I had been there :)

  38. Great list though I disagree on point #14. Getting karma to spend on items that you want is more rewarding to me than receiving equipment that may or may not be better. Receiving karma for PvE and PvP events means you can pool your rewards from both game types.

    My only issue with the karma system is that it’s not intuitive at all on when, where, or how best to spend it.

  39. I think this beta was genius, with no release date they’ve gathered some massive feedback and most of it constructive

  40. “Give us a select key please (‘C’ in GW1).”
    Check your key-bindings. It’s there.

  41. Just to add to the list of failed events:

    As a Norn, there was a castle that kept getting taken over by some monstrous creatures. We’d fight them off and resurrect the vendors, then attempt to repel the counter-attack and lose, which would push the event back to having us re-take the castle. It went back and forth for quite a while, with a lot of deaths on both sides, and until we finally gathered enough people to re-take it, that waypoint as well as all of the vendors in the castle were unavailable.

    Overall, I had great fun. Made a nice big post about it on my google+ page.

  42. I too felt that choices put into the personal story like SWTOR would have added something more to the personal story system. However, aside from the lag, I actually liked the game – a lot. I love the feeling of “Oh, look, a hill…. wonder what’s on the other side…” only to find that it is indeed NOT empty, but full of players beating down attacking Centaurs.

  43. @Grimjaw91
    
- Imo the combat is extremely boring and uninspired and i found the dodge function to be completely useless.


    I found the combat to be very interesting and a relief from the usual “target mob” mechanic most theme park MMO’s utilise nowadays.

    – I switched between shortbows and longbows but the abilities seemed to be pretty much copy/paste from other MMO’s.


    There are only so many ways to skin a cat. At least GW2 has tremendous combat graphics and very good sound effects.

    – The graphic was a huge disappointment, the game looks bad.


    Disagree strongly. GW2 graphics are even better than LOTRO which IMO set the benchmark for graphic excellence. I notice you favour Aion and Tera. I find those two MMO’s suffering the usual Korean MMO garish colours and graphics and unrealistic looking characters. I really can not stand Korean MMO’s. It’s a personal taste thing of course.

    – The event system was a complete mess, especially the “boss encounters”. People dying everywhere, and there was no sense of co-operation or tactics. It was like a huge group of people played single player in a “raid group”..

    Disagree strongly. The battles were chaotic and large. Just the way I like it. I am so tired of the usual tank, range, heal mechanic that has been done to death in other themepark MMO’s.

    I agree with you about the Norn area. I was not inspired by the nature quests and even the initial big battle in the snow arena was nothing special. Other races had much better impact on the player in their respective starter areas. A shame since the Norn are promoted as the big bad warrior race.

    For me the beta was a huge surprise. I was expecting a very rough game with lot’s of problems. Instead we got a glimpse of a fully realise MMO which far outstrips the recent SWTOR with many great modern MMO features. GW2 gives the player a world built for exploration and not just bouncing from one letterbox quest to the next. I am looking forward to the full release.

  44. @Krovan

    Uh, I’m pretty sure the release date has been set since the game went on pre-order. It’s 6-26-2012.

  45. Just my impressions from beta:
    1- the overflow system need go: trade it for a channel system, like SWTOR;
    2- your choices affect the story, aparently everyone know about the choice what building will go burn, but there are a lot of other choices: if you start as noble or peasant, if you choose to invade the lord house or go to the nobles party, if you choose Logan or other NPC for fight with you at the trial by combat, if you decide to invade the enemy hideout or set a trap. Playing as norn I just had to choose how I wanted to fight the giant leader: craft a magical weapon (that need kill a specific mob for the ingredients) or please the Wolf Spirit. If you please the Wolf Spirit, when you arrive for fight the giant leade you get morphed to a dire wolf…To put it, you cannot have the same story with two diferent toons.
    3- combat is harder than normal MMO: no healers, so you need know what are you doing.
    4- if you change your weapons, YOU CHANGE ALL YOUR COMBAT SKILLS: know what your weapons do and learn what are the best time for use them. My norn warrior was using two hand sword (because it have a nice close combat AOE) and rifle for long range combat (some mobs is a lot better go long range combat, warrior is not a tank but dps). Same choices with a lot of diferent weapons, just change your weapon if your elementalist want attack individual mobs or AOE everything you see.
    5- sooner or later, people will learn how to make massive battles: everyone know only the holly trinity, give time for people learn to rez who falls (including the NPC), not charge mobs, everyone use AOE against too many mobs, etc. After fight that boss at ice dragon fortress I just learnt some tricks for that encounter: run around the ice pillar, use ranged attack, rez the NPC guards (they will die faster, but they will mantain boss at a same place while you use ranged weapons).
    6- crafting is interesting and not trivial: you need experiment for create some recipes. After some time, I learnt how crafting works and created a nice armor for my guardian.
    7- there is no obvious path for follow: you can explore the world for find the public quests, so there is more freedom. But there are people taht not like freedon, they want a linear quest game.

  46. @Krovan There is no release date as of yet. Anything you see on pre-order website and such is just a guess. Arena.Net hasnt posted a ‘release’ day yet at all.

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  49. 1. I had fun with every class, some more than others.
    2. It was extremely hard to think, what classes do i want as my 5 that i focus on.
    3. The only thing that bugged me during the BWE was having to give my 1 to 5 opinion on events. Don’t get me wrong, i voted on just about every single one until the last 2 hours of the BWE….when i finally noticed there was a cancel button.
    4. Another thing that bugged me was when you are playing with friends. When i was pushed to the overflow servers, and so were your friends. Not a single one of your friends were on the overflow with you. I want that to be something that is allowed.
    5. The 5v5 – 10v10 was very fun. But didnt have a feeling of “This elementalist is different from me.” I loved the games never the less.
    6. The WvWvW was astonishing. I couldn’t really put the correct words together that added everything up. Putting events where all keeps were and if more was happening at said keep, there were additional events that could be completed. On top of that, even if you failed you received credit for participating.
    7. I enjoyed the dynamic events that went on, and how they scaled (to an extent) with how many people were there.
    8. Having a good group combo made me feel like i was playing a game that had amazing depth, especially when the classes you have combo’d and those other players begin to start taking real advantage of those combos.
    9. I couldn’t stop looking at the game with such amazement, players cooperating together.
    10. Another thing i hated, was the game was lagging like no other, i admit my computer isnt near the greatest. But neither is it a thing that couldnt handle this game. I looked at my CPU usage, and it was less that 15% when i got into the massive 50 people attacking one keep it still didnt use my computer very much, even my graphics card was saying “stop tickling me”. I would like to see my computer AT least using 50%. Lagging when the graphics are at the lowest of the low at 1 frame per second is a little odd even for me.
    11. I really liked how the guild wars 2 community was actually communicating often. It even amazed me thinking “Wow, im seeing better cooperation and a lot more nice people than i did in World of Warcraft”. Im not comparing, im seeing an improvement by the looks of it.
    12. Raids could happen at any time in events, so im not really missing out on the feel of “end game” right from the start i have a feeling of accomplishment.
    13. Moving to other servers to play with friends, i only did it once but i liked it.
    14. 1 Mob could kill a very immobile person playing this game.
    15. I felt like once i hit the second questing area, the 15-25 area’s. It felt like the “noobs” were weeded out. Or the people who couldn’t decide on a class.
    16. I loved the personal stories, though some were maybe a little more difficult than others. I still had loads of fun with these.
    17. Weapons, how many 1 class could choose again just amazed me. I actually used every single skill….often at that. I have no complaints in this department.
    18. I would have tried the Necromancer and the Warrior, but by the looks of it. I enjoyed playing the supportive way. The Necromancer was very… well he focused only on himself type of class. While the Warrior was not so much, i just didnt get to play the warrior in general.

    This is all i could think of for the time being, the good and bad.

  50. Like Syp, I have fallen completely head over heels in love with GW2. Going into the beta, I already knew I would like the game a lot, but how much I actually ended up loving it was surprising to me.
    The combat is insanely fun and very challenging. If you don’t get into the mindset of “this is not -insert MMO of choice here- and if I don’t start moving and dodging, I’ll die”, you’ll die. A lot. There’s a quite sudden and steep increase in difficulty as well, starting ar around level 7 or 8. Large events can be quite confusing, because with a lot going on at once, it’s hard to see when you should dodge. Still, the events are awesome, and with no kill-stealing in the game, everyone was doing their part and helping others out. Unlike a poster above, I found myself on a server where people actually went out of their ways to res others. Even from this short beta weekend, it’s clear GW2 is all about teamplay and I have no doubt that, once people have settled into their professions and are starting to know their way around the combat and the game world, teamplay during events will become a lot more fluid and intuitive.

    But the one moment I knew this game rocked and rocked hard, was -spoiler ahead- when I found myself at that cemetery with all the readable headstones, on my way to a personal story instance, and there was this woman in white. I had been at the cemetery earlier with another character (doing the same story) and did not remember seeing this woman in white. The difference was that it was now night time. There was a low-hanging mist which gave the place and even creepier atmosphere. The woman in white could be interacted with, and I did so. She asked, in a ghostly voice, if I could please help her go home. Which I did. Upon leaving the cemetery grounds, she suddenly realize she was dead and could never go back. That made her mad and she attacked me. I busted the ghost and got a nice bag as drop.
    This event was so out of the way of all the others, the only way you’d know about it is if you crossed the cemetery at night on your way to the bandit cave for your personal story. This little nugget of an event was what made me wonder how many more of these might be waiting for me in the game world.

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  52. @Atlis
    -Have crafting contribute a small amount of XP to main characture XP.
    The Devs admited (to someone at Gamebreaker or it could have been Tales of Tyria) that the crafting system was broken and that characters should be getting experience.

    One thing, crafted related, I heard about was being able to sell in trading house or send to your bank crafting items by right clicking them while traveling arround the world. I’ll definatly have to try this out next BWE.

  53. @grimjaw91
    “- I switched between shortbows and longbows but the abilities seemed to be pretty much copy/paste from other MMO’s.
”
    Is there an MMO or any other game pre-2005 that had these skills on bows other than the original Guild Wars? oO

  54. Thanks Jymm.

    Good info to know.

    I think a very small amount though. Last thing I want to see is someone hit level 30 just by crafting. They would be less then useless.

    Atlas

  55. GW2 well it had a few issues but all and all it was fun. I would like the drop rate for coins to be better the armor repairs was killing me. Frame rate was tough on my pc I will play with my nivida card to see if that makes a difference. I missed the red dot targets on mini map. All and all I think it will be great if they get the armor repair price down or the coin drop rate up.
    Compared to runescape GW2 rocks with graphics and non grinding content..

  56. I forget who mentioned the ‘Everyone can rez’ thing…but it sounds lot like the same situation I see all the time on DCUO. Everyone can rez a downed character there, too, but it seems like only a very few actually bother to do it, even when *not* in combat themselves (I mean, you’re cruising through from point A to point B, see someone down–be a good player and lend them a hand. Costs you nothing but a couple of seconds, and then you continue on your way. Not hard at all..)
    One of GW2’s biggest problems will be all the people complaining because it *isn’t* like the numerous WoW clones out there…while of course at the same time another group–possibly even overlapping with the first, absurdly enough–will be complaining because it’s too much like WoW.

  57. @Mmm…very good point. His arguments, are of course, subjective but not very substantial.

  58. 1) Am I the only one here who thinks the overflow servers are amazing invention?!? (Although they were buggy in a way that you and your friends as a group weren’t always in the same server… it WILL be fixed though, Anet said they are already on it)

    2) The difficulty NEEDS to be atleast as hard or maybe a bit harder.. I only felt the game challenging when I was trying to solo boss monsters like the cave Troll. ( = They should amp up the difficulty more when there’s more people around. Now it felt like easier and easier everytime there were lot’s of people around you..)

    3) The artstyle and especially the music was AMAZING :)
    ( I sometimes really want to punch someone’s face who starts babling about some graphics shi*t and other nonsense… really guys, graphics is the least important thing in any videogame.. good graphics may sometimes be an added bonus, nothing more. This is an opinion of course but as I see it, most of the time a game based on “good” graphics is just a marketing gimmick.)

    4) The game was laggy in both the performance (’cause of the only one CPU core usage) and in server lag ( Anet wasn’t prepared enough but they managed to fix the servers pretty fast). This is a beta though so I wasn’t surprised at all, I actually was impressed of how fast they were able to fix the major problems. And I’m 100% sure these problems will be completely fixed maybe in the next beta event or atleast before the game launches.

    5) Well, I really don’t like the idea of the gemstore that much but as for now it’s perfectly balanced and working.. Many people seem to forget that you can actually buy gems with in-game money so that’s just even more good news :)

    6) Although the classes were now quite balanced, I felt that they need to have more unique abilities and skills. By more I mean, they need to change some of the abilities as some of them felt a bit copy pasted and meaningless.

    7) I really liked the “chaotic” nature of the battles and some of the events in general. Anet still needs to improve some of the events as some of them felt extremely fun and immersive and had a lot of impact on the world others were quite stale and they just started again and again and again without changing much (this was propably because they were too easy and people were able to complete them every time. Also the spawn rate of some mobs and events was either too fast or too slow.)

    8) The fact that you can play this game as much or as little as you like and you still are having fun all the time is amazing. The fact that it doesn’t have a monthly fee which forces you to play the game every time you purchase more game-time is brilliant. The game still has an addicting quality to it, it just doesn’t come from any gimmicky “I need to be the best or have the best equipment and for that I need to grind, grind, grind..” it comes from the fact that this game is just pure fun to play :)

    .. ( I decided to stop here as this message became quite a wall of text already. :D )

  59. Pingback: Guild Wars 2 Beta Links » MMOverflow

  60. In regards to #8 and a few of the comments, the Mystic keys also seemed to have a low drop rate in the world as well, I and a few other of my guildies during beta snagged a couple. That and the boosters/buffs seemed attainable without paying for them with gems, through quests and karma vendors, which is a nice addition imo.
    (Though there WILL be a need for extra character slots… too many awesome classes!)

    As far as the game being ‘Hard’… it was a BLAST to really have to strategize on how to complete a few of those story quests, even at early levels… I remember having to really pick and choose pulls on my Engineer, or run screaming when things got out of hand. Only downside is, I think my guildies got tired of me quoting Monty Python’s “RUN AWAY!” in vent every time things took a turn for the worse. :P

  61. Ugh it really bothers me that so many people that are criticising the game are only doing so because they didn’t bother to try and understand it.

    – There ARE choices in the personal story, in fact you make the first couple at character creation when you choose your background. Just because you didn’t play far enough does not mean they aren’t there.
    – The mystic keys in the cash shop are ALSO dropped randomly from mobs. Not to mention you can use in-game gold to buy from the cash shop if you really need to.
    – The combat is going to be simpler in the beginner areas. Name me any MMO that didn’t have incredibly simplistic combat for the first 10+ levels… This is necessary to allow players to grow used to the system (especially in this case as it is so different to what we’re used to).
    – – Just to make a point here as well, the Ranger is rather widely being regarded as the simplest profession to play, and they make the least use of the combat mechanics due to having so many tools to stay at range. Try a melee build before complaining dodging and the like is useless (so many ranged players are claiming it’s a useless gimmick… wait til higher level mobs have gap closers).
    -There are a lot of features in the settings menu that simply aren’t mapped to keys; please check there before complaining a feature isn’t in.

    I think that’s most of the common points people keep raising. But as a general rule please think before complaining about this game, as most of the complaints I’ve seen so far have been entirely ignorant and unjustified.

  62. “Not to mention you can use in-game gold to buy from the cash shop if you really need to.”

    Just to be clear, you can buy gems with gold based on whatever players are selling gems for. Then you can use those gems to buy from the cash shop. You cannot directly use gold in the cash shop. Also, folks should definitely not assume the gem-to-gold exchange rate will be anywhere close to what it was in the beta. All players were given $25 worth of gems for free that expired at the close of the BWE. There won’t be a fraction of that many gems sloshing around come launch.

  63. Pingback: MMO Reporter Episode 77 – Please Don’t Delete My Guy After Beta

  64. 14. Rewards from events are… meh. I really wish that you got a piece of loot in addition to the karma/XP/coin gain. Most public quests in other MMOs do so, why not here?

    Regarding this, there aren’t any for most of the events. However, for the events that ultimately lead to a boss encounter, like the Shadow Behemoth in the Godslost Swamp, you get a big chest drop upon defeating them. You can tell when something leads to a big encounter because it will say something like “The swanp is eerily quiet.” Stick around, do some heart quests, dynamic events, etc. and it will eventually pop up that portals are popping up and you need to go close them.

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  66. Pingback: Link Roundup – Beta Weekend Event – ArenaNet Blog | Guild Wars 2 News

  67. You see… everything was going great but there was a moment you couldn’t get more XP to continue your personal story unless you started to grind and repeat events. And I think that sucked hardcore, hopefully they can streamline the xp gaining :P

  68. Im sorry, but any need to include something from SWTOR in this is highly misguided. SWTOR’s options were ultimately garnish and did nothing to steer your characters direction in the end.
    I find it hard to identify anything (aside from the actual IP of the game) that I would like to take from SWTOR at all.

  69. pity there isn’t a slider to sometimes reduce the ridiculous boob sizes ;)

  70. Pingback: Link Roundup – Beta Weekend Event | Guild Nirvana

  71. I agree of mostly everything. Thou about impression nr 29, that’s bull. Around lvl 10 of the human storyline you are forced to choose between two options that will change your story and home instance. If you chose to be poor the story and choices will be different than rich or middleclass. And that’s just the first crossroad for humans. In SWTOR you just wanted to skip the endless chatter and play the game IMO.

  72. Agreed with most of it. Rolled my eyes at the typical jealous, ugly cow “… if you like Barbie dolls” comment. I’ve never played an MMO that supported a graphics engine good enough to render attractive faces without some obviously bitter female complaining about it. Hey, guess what… Those male faces? They’re not your typical Joe Smith you’d meet at the gas station, either. They’re supposed to be attractive enough for you to actually like your character. Your petty insecurities aside, they’re still just pixels.

    One other thing I’d like to address is your implication that something simply being female means it looks female. To me, the female charr look like less gruff male charr. The “slender” female charr are hardly any less masculine than their “slim” male counterparts. Several of the female faces could easily be mistaken as male, the rest easily customizable to be near indistinguishable. The only truly noticeable difference is the horns. At least most of the female and male horn shapes are mutually exclusive, from what I’d seen.
    I understand that a large bust doesn’t make a female, and I completely agree that “no boobs” was a good choice. Cats don’t have “boobs” in the sense we do, why would the cat-like charr? My problem is your reasoning. The female char “look” almost no more female than male charr. In a masculinity-encouraged (if not dominant) society, I can understand why. Just call a spade a spade. I do NOT want cat-girls. I would, however, like a little more differentiation between the sexes than slightly less facial hair. I know that isn’t going to happen, but I know that saying the female charr actually look female is a bold-faced lie. At the very least, a gross exaggeration of very minor differences. The differences between the sexes of the charr are no less noticeable than those of the Asura. While not necessarily a bad thing, just be truthful about it.

    Tl;dr – Just those two points: 1, Y U SO JELLY? 2, Bad logic is bad.

  73. @Mobtekl Or increase the dismal boob sizes, depending on your preference.

  74. @keshiji!I There is no need to go back and do events over for exp just head over to a different starting area for all new events, Hearts, Exploration, and Adventure.

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