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Taolas
04-30-2012, 02:13 PM
Ok, here's my writeup. My lasting impression is that the game is difficult from level one (after tutorial) and doesn't hold your hand, nor does it break you upon death (damages your equipment and nothing else). I love difficult mmos and especially low levels that aren't mindless grinds. The game doesn't feel perfect or completely live up to my expectations, but it's different and fun. Plus, the higher level content feels like it's gearing up to be better. Items aren't diverse enough in the low levels, but I started seeing more unique stuff around level 20, and equipment runes started coming into play.

Classes: (Mesmer, Warrior, Elementalist)
All of the classes I tried felt underwhelming at level 10 (all attack skills unlocked at 10 for most classes, so it's about the time you start getting a feel for a class). This was due in part to limited skill choice, zergfest low level events, and 1-hit boss fights. I played the elementalist to 20 and I overcame my initial unhappiness with them, and rather enjoyed it in the end. Not sure if I just needed to play the other classes some more too.

Warrior: I'll explain my problem with them by talking about a weapon set. If you use axe main hand you get a basic/auto attack combo that does 1 hit on the first attack, 2 on the second, then 3 hits on third. The third attack may have been the most(?) damaging attack the warrior gets. Plus all basic attacks hit multiple targets, so you can really kick butt with them. The down side is skill two is a low damage aoe (bigger area than basic attack) and skill 3 is a low damage cripple (only good for stronger enemies). So most of the time it felt like you'd just sit there with basic attack running, derp. Off hand weapons were more utility than damage, except for the off hand axe, which gives a short crit buff attack and a whirlwind attack that lasts 3-5 seconds while letting you move around while spinning... but low damage. If you could hit everything with basic and didn't need to kite, you'd use attack 1 and attack 4 when running dual axe. Do not like.

The bow, with aoe ranged dps and stuff, was a bit slow and clunky for me. Didn't use it much. The rifle was more reliable and quick, and I HAD to use it during some events, because running in for melee was death. Ranged warrior wasn't as fun as I'd hoped. Had more fun in WvW with it.

Adrenaline skills: Build adrenaline and then use one special skill based on your main hand. Did not like the adrenaline skills, most seemed to do regular damage (triple hit basic did more damage than the axe adrenaline - that I saw). The 2h hammer was probably the best with an AoE stun. Sword did a flurry of attacks and was maybe the highest damage adren skill, but it roots you in place for a few seconds while you repeatedly hit stuff in a cone. Rooting yourself is very dangerous.

Defense. The Warrior had crappy defensive skills on their weapons, unless you were fighting 1v1. Shield blocks for 3 seconds every 30 seconds or so (wonder if there's a trait for that). Mace main hand has a block/counter attack once every ~10 seconds, sword offhand has the same every ~15 seconds. I was killing things 1v1 and taking low damage, by using mace/sword, but if there's more than one thing, there's no real point. Mace offhand has a knockdown... would probably use that over a reactive defense. Active defenses like cripple, knockdown, etc seemed more powerful overall, but helps ranged users more.

Overall. I couldn't settle on a weapon set I loved, wasn't really feeling effective as a ranged user (lol Ele rape), and just couldn't get into it. I should mention I saw a level 14 Warrior tearing stuff up with a greatsword near the end of beta... if you like moving around a lot with melee, there's hope.


Mesmer: Tough call. It seems like you're supposed to use clones to confuse your enemies and draw aggro away... this rarely/never happened in PvE, so it was left up to me to tank damage. Ouch. I'm not going to say much, because I couldn't get them down very well. Wasn't feeling their specific mechanics and would probably go Necro if I wanted a class with more "special" skills. Didn't try necro.

Elementalist: 90% of the time /win. I wasn't initially feeling them, because I wanted to choose my favorite Element and do good with it, with some added utility based on what I chose. Instead, water is like slow/heal. Earth is like defense/knockdown. A bit too... Strict? Specific? I rarely switched to water on some sets, because all the skills sucked for my weapon loadout :( Also, the damage vs character level (or something) is rather odd. Half the time dagger/fire sucked, the other half I raped everything. There are no specific elemental resistances afaik.

Staff: AoE machine. Large event with a lot of guys? Staff it. I seriously felt like there were two or three Elementalists instead of just me when I really got going. A fight against a large attacking army would be something like: (all persistent AoEs, lasting for awhile) Earth: rock wall (cripple), AoE damage, reflect projectile shield. -> Fire: small AoE firepit, possible slow cast AoE meteor shower, firewall -> Water: AoE slow, AoE delayed nuke -> Air: Run speed, circular AoE that stuns when enemies enter/exit. Then at any time I could use an utility called arcane blast (pbaoe), which would combo with most persistent AoE's for added effect and huge damage. I missed the best chances to get a video of it :( I'll look back through my small bit of footage. Taking damage is a major threat in those large events. Cripple and reflect projectiles (5s?) helps, but you can get caught up and have to run away to heal. Still, I felt I was doing the work of multiple people and was satisfied I was effective vs large groups. It wasn't always enough and I still lost some events that were really hard (too hard probably).

Scepter/dagger was my solo set. This is where the water line sucked. Very poor heals, very poor damage. I sometimes used a short duration slow or a heal that removed 1 condition (long cooldown), but mostly didn't use it. Fire was high aoe damage, high DD vs burning foes. Air was blind/knockdown. Earth was armor/knockdown/blind. I used this on a boss that could 2-hit anyone in our group and no one died, they were quite defensive too. Great for solo exploration. I found a small room with hard/annoying shadow monsters and solo'd that, then their veteran semi-boss version. The veteran shadow guy took like 3 minutes to kill and I had very little room to move, but somehow evaded getting spanked. Always surprised at how survivable you can be if you play correctly.

Special mention: Dagger/water Vapor blade - hits twice in a line and applies vulnerability (lower armor) on each hit. Stacks up to 25 times. In zergfests against bosses someone would always spam this to hell, plus it's a really fun skill, because it boomerangs. You can get a trait to increase damage by 10 or 20 percent vs vulnerable foes while using water magic.

Overall: The elementalist picked up past level 10 (and after unlocking a shit ton of skills), but not sure I would want to play them for 80 levels. The more enjoyment I can find in different weapon sets, the better, which is why I was happy when I realized how good the Staff was in AoE situations. Tons of fun in a group, and you always feel like you're contributing. Since you're ranged, you are much more survivable too.

Taolas
04-30-2012, 02:14 PM
Events:
The low level events definitely felt like newb events. Lots of people playing them, lots of zerging from both players and enemies, nothing too special about them (usually). It gave sort of a bad impression overall. Defense during large events takes getting used to. You have to know how far you can extend yourself, have a feel for avoiding full hp -> death in 1-2 seconds, etc. I spent 90% of my time in the level 1-15 zones. Things seemed more epic in the second tier zones. There was a WvW siege arrow gun during one event and it looked like there was more expansive area control going on.

Events don't all start on their own. You have to be on the lookout for people who want help, then talk to them. Other events might start by finding something in the world. So you have to be a bit proactive.

One "push" event as I like to call it: The charr push to start a forward camp near the ghosts, and you have to escort them there (win) -> a charr who dies real easy wants to attack the ghosts and you have to escort (win) -> the camp gets attacked before you can even make it back from the escort. Defend the camp tents for 6 minutes... we never made it past about 2 minutes. I tried hard to finish it about 6 times, but the tents had super low HP and there were at least 25 ghosts spread out :(. Other similar events usually involved a forward camp/outpost (with a waypoint that unlocks when they are safe), then pushing into the outpost/fort proper and holding it like a capture the hill event. They were all really hard, and part of me was surprised we somehow didn't get steamrolled immediately... in some of them we did eventually, but not immediately. I think many people missed these events and got a bad impression from kill-the-zerg events.

Maybe I'll write more on events later. Running out of steam. Questions? Certain aspects people are interested in? Bosses in any event take some getting used to. If it's just one guy vs a large group, it can be fairly easy with offensive CC all around. Otherwise, you have to run around like a chicken to not get flattened. Lag was a big factor in up close survivability. Dodge roll usually didn't protect me due to lag, I think.

Jumping Puzzle: I played the biggest jumping puzzle they had (heard the others were shorter/easier). We were on it for at least 2 hours, but that's just because we died a lot and had to restart. It was devious with traps, a very hard hitting boss, and more traps. One of the best parts of the game is naturally congregating and working with other players... we had about 6 people doing the puzzle and working together without grouping up at all. It's always really cool when you get an impromptu group with people outside of zergfest events. We ALL loved it, despite the difficulty and felt it was a highlight of the beta event.

Screenshots introduced graphical bugs that weren't in the game, sorry about that. Had to crop some up.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v674/Taolas/gw0072.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v674/Taolas/GW2draw.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v674/Taolas/gw2panara.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S3zUx-RcWg
Wish I recorded the better first half of that event.


This is someone else's video. Being able to fool around like this can make me love an MMO. GW2 is definitely more than just fighting mobs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps2yGreDGwk

Wulf
04-30-2012, 04:07 PM
Here are my impressions so far. I played the Guardian mostly (to level 15). I also tried the elementalist and mesmer in PvP and played warrior to like level 5.

The guardian was by far the coolest class that I've played and it seemed like one of the best melee options.

You start out with 1h mace/shield. Your class mechanic are the virtues, which are really cool. Basically you get a DD every 5th attack, regenerate health, and get something akin to bladeturn every 40 seconds (block the next attack against you). But you can make the choice to lose those bonuses and instead give them to every one of your allies around you for a short period of time (you lose them for a longer period from what I remember)

Mace is the most overpowered thing ever at early levels (in PvE). Your autoattack is kinda neat, but the cool part is the 2nd skill you get which is a ground targeted aura that heals you and damages your enemies. The 3rd skill is kinda cool too - you stop attacking and assume a blocking stance which blocks attacks against you and your allies in an area, and after blocking you counterattack. The 1st shield skill is kinda lame, gives you and allies protection while dealing minimal damage to enemies. The 2nd shield skill is cool though, it pushes enemies around you out of the way and creates a bubble that blocks all ranged attacks.

I tried the torch, which basically gave me a lame cone area of effect skill that did bad damage and the ability to set myself on fire and damage enemies for bad dmg as well.

Overall I would say the focus is a much better offhand. I don't recall the 1st skill it gets, but the 2nd is a shield that blocks up to 3 attacks against you within a set time period. Or, if it doesn't block anything the shield explodes and does damage to your enemies.

So basically go shield or focus for your offhander, they're both pretty good (I would say focus is better).

Then you have some options... you could go for a support spec (not my cup of tea), or you could go for some crazy mobility and damage (which is what I did).

Sword - sexy sexy mainhander. I would say sword for PvP, mace for PvE (though Mace is pretty good PvP as well, the healing aura is awesome).

Sword - autoattack, nothing spectacular here, damage is ok.
2nd skill - you teleport to your enemy (huge in PvP where everyone kites), do a slash attack for some bad damage, and you blind them. Blind basically makes them miss their next attack (I had it written here that you could go invisible but realized this was another skill, total noob moment)
3rd skill - you create a barrier against ranged attacks and basically unleash wave after wave of cone area damage in front of yourself. Damn sexy skill, the DPS was really good from what I saw.

2h Hammer - this one sucked, no matter how much they tell you this is the AoE damage spec don't listen to them. The damage sucks and the utility blows too.

2h Sword - my weapon of choice.

Autoattack - nothing special as always
2nd skill - ground targetted damage aura similar to the mace, but no healing (more damage instead.) I found it to be really useful in PvE and to put out good DPS.
3rd skill - stand in place, spin around (like barb whirlwind), has good range and sends waves off in every direction dealing damage.
4th skill - leap to your enemy, pretty good damage - but more importantly gets you into combat.
5th skill - really cool, you send out chains into every direction, once you hit people, you can hit that hotkey again and everyone you chained gets pulled directly to you and knocked down. I found the chains to be hit/miss, but when they worked they were great. Pretty much hit everyone with chains, pull them to you, as they're knocked down hit your DD aura followed by whirlwind, collect PvP kills.

So overall my summary of the guardian is this class is what the warrior should be.

You can check out my VOD here. Guardian gameplay starts at around 18 mins (though the PvP sucked that day - bad teams)


http://www.twitch.tv/wulfsonis/b/316609359

Wulf
04-30-2012, 04:35 PM
Just some random thoughts/impressions:

- events were kinda cool, lower level ones were zergy higher level ones were ok .
- I like the way they set up quests (helping people out), you have options for what you want to do and you can run into events in the area.
- Personal story quests were kinda cool
- I disliked the Charr starting area. I wanted to play a charr warrior, but warriors sucked and the starting area sucked and didn't appeal to me, so I wound up as a human guardian o.O Don't know how that happened, it was the last thing I wanted to play really.
- PvP felt too slow, everyone had way too much HP and ways of healing themselves, people just run away until they get to their zerg if they're losing. Even fights are very rare. Zerg vs. zerg combat is boring, everyone spams AoE.
- Mesmers are f'n annoying in PvP, never know which one to hit.
- Mesmer/Necromancer is a brutal Duo
- Necromancers are ridiculously good
- Rangers are very annoying and surprisingly tanky. Chain snaring really pisses me off.
- Tank classes seem to be kinda bad overall compared to the ranged ones.
- Elementalist AoE damage is sick but they're one of the few classes that are kinda easy to kill off. They're hard to play too, swapping between all the elements becomes essential to survival. So you're swapping between 4 element types and 2 different weapon sets, pretty much having to use like 32 different skills effectively (I don't count autoattack)

Ero Elohim
04-30-2012, 04:44 PM
Elementalists don't get a secondary weapon set, as a punishment for their attunements. Still, they get access to 20 weapon skills instead of 10. They also have some of the best utility skills, I've found. One of the few classes that actually get additional offensive skills in those slots instead of modifiers, debuffs, or self-buffs.

Wulf
04-30-2012, 04:57 PM
Elementalists don't get a secondary weapon set, as a punishment for their attunements. Still, they get access to 20 weapon skills instead of 10. They also have some of the best utility skills, I've found. One of the few classes that actually get additional offensive skills in those slots instead of modifiers, debuffs, or self-buffs.

Didn't realize that. So they really get 16 skills (autoattacks don't really count).

Taolas
04-30-2012, 05:02 PM
The Charr area was my favorite for some reason. The low level, west side of the Charr area was "meh," but after that it was good enough.

A few auto attacks, like Vapor Blade, should count. I would've spent much less time in water attunement without it.

Ero Elohim
04-30-2012, 05:18 PM
Didn't realize that. So they really get 16 skills (autoattacks don't really count).

Eh, the Earth autoattack causes weakness, the fire one is an AOE, the water one is a pretty significant heal, and the air one is basically the Thief's shortbow attack. They're pretty distinct and not just "autoattacks." Besides, you can ctrl-r-click anything and turn it into an autoattack.

Wulf
04-30-2012, 05:19 PM
Eh, the Earth autoattack causes weakness, the fire one is an AOE, the water one is a pretty significant heal, and the air one is basically the Thief's shortbow attack. They're pretty distinct and not just "autoattacks." Besides, you can ctrl-r-click anything and turn it into an autoattack.

I know what you mean, but you wouldn't really swap skill trees just for an auto attack... at least that was my experience with guardian.

Zoobi
04-30-2012, 05:42 PM
Character Customization - I'm going to preface character creation with the fact that I only made female characters, I'll likely get around to trying out the male customisation in the next beta weekend.
Character creation. There's a huge amount of customisation options when you create a new character. You have your height slider(which is limited by race, you won't have two foot tall norns because it doesn't fit in with the games lore.) A bunch of physique options for your character, you can make a busty beauty with wide hips and toned abs/muscles, or you can make a skinny girl with small boobs and little to no muscle definition. a huge amount of hair styles to choose from, with all the colors of the rainbow, you can even customize the color of the hairbands and such in some of the styles. Then you have sliders for everything to do with your face, the stuff you get in say, skyrim, like chin length, nose length, brow depth, etc.

Finally after getting your character's looks the way you want, you come to the extra options that entail your character's personal story. I'll go into more detail on this when we get to the PVE section.
Traits - Traits play a much more major role in how your character plays than I originally thought it would. I didn't get to test traits that much in PVE as I mostly played PVP this weekend, and the characters I did PVE with only got to level 10-15 which only gives you a few points if any at all(you get your first at 11 and then every level onward, getting 70 altogether by the time you reach level 80.)

I figured traits would just be minor buffs to your abilities, but I found out they change or add additional dynamics to the way you play.
For example my primary build that I used in PVP involved me using sword/dagger and buffing crit chance based on my positioning and stealth. I gained haste(which increases how fast you use your abilities) on crit 10% of the time, I gained 10% extra crit while flanking, and I gained 50% crit on my next attack whenever I went into stealth using my 5th dagger ability Cloak & Dagger, or whenever my shadow trap went off. In addition to this, I buffed dodge so that whenever I dodged it would refund 25 whenever I dodged(it costs 50, and you have 100 total), I would gain swiftness on dodge(movement speed buff,) and I did 10% more damage whenever my endurance bar wasn't full. I also had additional movement speed from this trait line, dual skills returned initiative(my resource that I use for skills other than my "autoattack", a dual skill is whatever your third button is depending on what dual weapons you're using) and I gained initiative passively every 10 seconds.
Even within these specific traitlines themselves I could go with a whole nother option, there are 12 major traits within each trait line. Also the stat bonuses you get just from putting points into a traitline generally buff that playstyle in general. The Crit trait line has precision(gives crit chance) and crit damage. The Deadly Arts line buffs condition duration and power(power is what skills scale off in damage), and most of the traits within the line deal with conditions and how you apply them. The acrobatics(which is where I got all of the dodge boosts) buffs your health and boon duration, which makes sense because it's a survivability traitline. I could easily see someone else going into the two lines that buff your conditions and how they function and playing a dot class using dual daggers and leaping death blossom, in fact I'll likely try out that playstyle in the next beta weekend.

Combat -

General - I feel that the combat in this game is very dynamic. Dodging during combat is VERY important, and there are so many build possibilities for each class that it is quite frankly a little overwhelming at times.

Thief - This was by far my most played class during the beta weekend. I played around with every weaponset combination this girl had at her disposal, the only ones I didn't try out were the sword/pistol and pistol/dagger combinations as I envisioned my character only using ranged, or only using melee in a individual weaponset. Each weaponset that I tried is VERY defined in their own style.
The shortbow is an aoe monster, it's first ability is a bouncing bowshot that will hit multiple targets, it has a poison field that you can combo with your bow shots to poison people, it has clusterbombs that you can detonate mid-air by hitting it again to send out a big mess of bombs, or if you detonate it right before it hits the ground by your opponent you can have all of the clusters hit that one person for major damage. It also has a shadowstep ability tied to its 5th skill that blinds everyone around you when you shadowstep. Great weaponset for WvWvW keep/tower taking,

Next in line is dual pistols. This weaponset is all about single target DPS. The only AOE it has to speak of is Black Powder which sets up a combo field that blinds people that you shoot through it. It also has a daze that is very handy for interupting, and keeping people from casting. I have limited experience with this, I can see it being a nice condition applying weaponset via unload(rapidly shoots both pistols for like 7-8 shots in one use) and using the poison utility skills combined with the leeching venoms(steal health whenever you apply one of your venoms to a target) to keep you alive in the Shadow Arts trait line.

Sword/Dagger is by far my most used and loved weaponset. It's first skill is the basic autoattack, the third hit ends with a cripple. The second skill is a shadowstep towards your target, you can then hit it again to teleport back if you overstepped your boundaries. The third skill is my bread and butter(especially during pvp), what it does is it hits your target, and then you circle around your target very quickly and then stab them in the back for a large amount of damage. This skill was made for assholes like me that like to fuck with peoples heads during pvp. It can be really disorienting to play against someone who is constantly dodging around and behind you, I was an absolute monster to fight against between all of my stealths and my massive single target healing via the runes on my healing combined with signet of malice's passive effect. This weaponset in my opinion is all about evasion and deception via flanking strike and cloak & dagger. The sword stealth attack is pretty awesome too as it deals decent damage and blinds whoever you hit.

Dagger/Dagger was also pretty damn fun. It's a nice mix between single target damage and aoe, with condition applying. It's stealth ability is the classic backstab, it breaks stealth and deals double damage if youre behind your target, can burst pretty hard with it. Heartseeker strike is basically an execute ability, deals more damage the lower your target's health is. Leaping Death Blossom is amazing. You jump over the head of your target, hitting them three times and applying three stacks of bleed. This weaponset is VERY powerful with trait builds that amplify your conditions, although there are strict counters to it on every class, if you bring some condition clears or transfers. If a target doesn't have any condition clears, just dot them up and run away laughing while they bleed to death.

My main utility skills that I used during this beta weekend were Signet of Malice which heals roughly 1% of my health per hit no proc rate limit and heals me for ~6k on use, Signet of Assassination which passive gives power and on use amplifies my next attack to deal 50% more damage which is great for my flanking strike or c&d burst, and finally shadow trap which sets out a line trap that when stepped on teleports me behind the person in stealth works great with my 50% extra crit while stealthed from traits. The only elite skill I bothered using(the others sounded awful, I'll have to test to see if thats the truth) was dagger storm. Awesome aoe damage for 5 seconds or so. Elite skills are just oh-shit buttons in this game, long cooldowns between 2-3 minutes most of the time.

Guardian - I played guardian a little bit in PVP, mainly with staff, two handed sword and one handed sword+shield, and sword+torch.
I didn't mess with traits nearly as much on this class nearly as much as I did on my thief. They have a lot of things that amplify their consecrations(pbae ground based effects), some that help out their spirit weapons, and others that make their symbols incredibly strong.

Hammers - I feel that hammers have incredible PVE potential with large packs of mobs unlike Wulf, it does a good amount of consistent aoe damage unlike Greatswords because it's basic attack is a larger aoe. It is far too slow for the fast pace of PVP though. The Banish skills is fucking awesome though, you basically take a baseball bat swing at your target and send them flying, lulz ensue.

Greatswords - Lots of utility in this one, it's consecration deals damage to all those in it, and applies retaliation to allies(including yourself) when you stand it in. Retaliation is exactly what you think it is, whenever you get hit you deal damage back. It has a great combo though, the chains+pull, drop the consecration and then whirling blades is a massive amount of aoe damage quickly, good single target damage too. It's charge ability is fantastic as well because it blinds on impact.

Sword+Shield - Basic autoattack that ends in an aoe cone in front of you. 2nd skill is a blink that blinds your target. Third skill is a ranged projectile block and does decent damage. Shield ability is fantastic for group pvp, the damage is decent but the main utility of the skill is the protection buff it applies to your teammates reduces all incoming damage by 1/3 for ~5 seconds. The 5th skill is a bubble that knocks everyone back initially and blocks projectiles, great for keep sieging for keeping your teammates alive.

Zoobi
04-30-2012, 05:43 PM
Sword+Torch - same first three skills. Cleansing Flames the torches first skill does decent damage, but the main utility of the skill is removing conditions from allies in a cone in front of you. Will be an amazing skill for vs necros/d&d thieves/mesmers. The fifth skill sets you on fire for a short amount of time, this skill is actually better than Wulf gives it credit for when you combine it with certain traits. There are traits that allow you to deal more damage based on whether or not your target is burning which this skill applies.

Ranger - I did play a ranger for a little bit during beta, but only really for pve. Pets deal decent damage and have pretty cool effects, but die far too easily in pve. There's some ridiculous greatsword ranger builds out there at the moment that allow them to kill people in literally 2 seconds, but they feature no ability to lockdown people to do that damage so I'm not too sure if they'll get nerfed or not.

PVP - The structured PVP in this game is pretty awesome. Battle of Kyhlo is a basic capture and hold map(like alderaan on SWTOR for example), however it has a twist in that each side has a trebutchet that can one shot people if they hit squishy targets. You can destroy the other sides trebutchet though, but they can also repair it. Interesting dynamic.

The other battleground(don't know what else to call them) in the game is Forest of Niflhel . It has the same premise as Battle of Kyhlo except it's extra dynamic is different. At two different points on the map there are bosses that spawn. Upon death, whichever side gets the killing blow gets 50 points(need 500 to win) and an aura of power that lasts 30 seconds and buffs your damage pretty greatly. Controlling these bosses is as important as holding the points on the map. For instance, I was able to win a match where it was 472 to 456, and whoever got the killing blow on the Chieftain won. I ended up coming up behind the three people killing him, finished them off with my elite skill and then killing the boss allowing us to win 522-456, was an awesome way to end a tense match.

Unfortunately I didn't get to tool around with WvWvW that much because the area was full practically 24/7. The little bit I did mess around with it reminded me very very much of NF in DAOC. Keep sieges operate essentially the same way, beat on a door and use siege weapons to kill people on the walls. The one interesting dynamic that I loved was stopping groups of players from escorting caravans to their keeps, myself and a ranger(I was on my thief at the time) came up behind a group of three players, managed to kill them through excellent kiting and then stop the caravan from making it to the keep. I think cutting off supply lines will be an important role when the game goes live. Supply is used in everything in the wvwvw, from making and placing siege weapons, to repairing doors. There's a lot of oppurtunity for small man grouping in this, you can go and take supply depots, maybe even hit an outlying undefended tower and shift its supply towards your server. I'm not sure if any kind of 8-man island style group vs group will emerge, but that remains to be seen.

PVE - PVE was excellent from the get-go. I like the boss events that happen in the starting areas. They're all pretty cool and feel epic. I haven't found an event that I hadn't liked in the norn and human areas. That said PVE can be incredibly frustrating as a melee player. The way aggro works in this game is whoever is closest to the mobs and is dealing the most damage to them gets targetted. This becomes a problem when mobs clump up and you're hitting all of them. I can dodge twice, but this doesn't guarentee that the mobs will drop threat. This has lead to me dieing many times over. I think ranged is most definitely going to be superior for large events with large packs of mobs. Melee seems to do fine vs single mobs though(bosses). There is a huge amount of timing vs the bosses that I encountered. For instance when I was doing an event in a mine versus the dredge(a mole like people) the boss that we fought did a pbae ground attack that would one shot my squishy thief self. However everytime he did this there was a tell that he was doing it via a very specific animation. Once I saw this I just knew to dodge out of the way and then go back in. I didn't get very far in PVE but from what I saw I liked it.

Graphics - The graphics in this game aren't the highest fidelity you will find in the MMO market. However the games art style is absolutely breathtaking. Every single inch of the game feels like it was handled with care and had special attention to it. The four major cities that are currently available in the beta (Divinity's Reach[Human], The Black Citadel[Charr], Hoelbrak[Norn], and Lion's Arch[Not Affiliated with a specific group]) are all absolutely breathtaking, from the aquariums and the garden in Divinity's Reach to the massive lodges in Hoelbrak, I was absolutely wowed at every turn in these cities.

World Impact - Marou specifically was wondering(a couple months ago at least) what kind of impact you can have on the world doing these events. One event had us defending a lumbermill from skritt(rat people) that were trying to steal tools. After we suceeded in defending it, the foreman decided it was time to get revenge, we had to escort him to the skritts cave(meanwhile fending off big packs of skritt trying to kill him) where he blew up the caves supports and we had to get out before it caved in. The events in that area weren't available for a good half hour while the cave was dug out by the skritt(or at least thats what I imagined in my head, in reality the area probably just reset and the chain started again). I actually played the failed version of this event first where the skritt succeeded in stealing the logging tools and we had to go to the cave to get them back.

Exploration Options - Alex and Draconian specifically were interested in what kind of exploration options are available in the game. In addition to the jumping puzzles previously mentioned by Taolas, a huge number of the events that you can and will run into aren't even marked on the map. The event where I had to defend the water supply in the human lands from bandits trying to poison it was completely off the beaten trail and I only ran into it by chance because I wanted to see what the giant pipes were for when I ran by the area. I also found a farmhouse that you could go into in the human lands with the basement opening up into a huge cave with a champion boss bandit waiting to be killed. There is reward for actually exploring and going off the beaten path(yes you can go off the beaten path Alex, it's not straight lines from A to B like GW1)

As a last note, to people with Marou's mindset, you WILL NOT find a Skyrim level of randomisation in the game. Each chain of events has win conditions that lead into different events, and fail conditions that lead into others, but they eventually do reset and you get to try it again(if you're in the area). Everything is neatly scripted, there's very little random stuff you will see in the world. However, Within each chain of events, different things can happen that you didn't see the last time you were there. For example, in one event where I went through on my thief you have to destroy earth elementals at a dam and plug leaks in it. The second time through on my ranger at the same event it was being attacked by young harpies that we had to fend off before we could continue on the regular event. So there is incentive to run through the same areas more than once on different characters. NPC's don't have their own daily lives, but they do offer random events at certain times of the day.

Graveworm
04-30-2012, 06:29 PM
Posting my review here before reading the rest of the thread:

General Summary

I've been building hopes and expectations for 5 years now, and I am actually surprised to say that I am not the least bit disappointed with any aspect of the game. Due to spending the last few weeks reading everything I could on Guild Wars 2, I had about a 95% correct impression of the game going into the beta weekend, and even the things that were subtly different than what I thought it would be like made sense and weren't a disappointment. If I had to summarize why I am in love with Guild Wars 2, it would be that the game feels like a new generation of the standard MMO model with an abundance of Guild Wars flavor and, to top it all off, a new generation of DAoC's RvR endgame. In more detail, these are the major points I want to talk about:

The Quest Model

The combination of dynamic events and karma merchant unlocks provide a surprisingly familiar questing progression throughout a zone. The key differences between Guild Wars 2's system and more traditional quest-based systems are the more fluid and flexible nature of progression. There are no prerequisites or quest chains* in Guild Wars 2. You find an appropriate area (i.e. anything about your level or below) and go there, looking for people to help. Maybe you'll see a group of players tackling a dynamic event in the distance, or perhaps NPCs will ask you for help. If its not something you want to do, you can ignore it and move on, looking for something else to do. It's something you really have to see in action to appreciate, but it really is a vastly superior iteration on the standard quest model.

* - I lied. There is one quest chain in Guild Wars 2, and that is your personal story. The good news is that personal stories depend not only on your race but also on the questions you answer during character creation, so replayability is high. You won't have to make any two characters go through identical stories. Furthermore, there are branching paths within the stories themselves (via A or B choices made at critical points), adding to the variety. That being said, the stories will converge at major plot points, but that is to be expected. All things considered, the questing system in Guild Wars 2 is simply better than any other quest system I've ever seen.

The Combat System

The combat system in Guild Wars 2 is fantastic. The dynamic nature of the combat, the lack of a mana pool, and the ability to revive other players all make for an outstanding system that works as well as I hoped it would. I definitely found myself self switching from fairly stationary DPS (read: staying mobile in a small area) to healing to fully mobile DPS (read: chasing down or fleeing from enemies) a lot during combat, whether it be PvE or WvW (more on WvW later). Basically, the combat system delivered on everything ArenaNet said they wanted to do. Again, it's something you really should check out for yourself because it is amazing.

World vs. World

This is the most important part for me, and probably a whole lot of you, because World vs. World is absolutely Realm vs. Realm. This is the first time RvR has been done right since DAoC, and it is GODLIKE. There are some tweaks that could be made to improve it, but the core system is there and it is wonderful. I would be happy with World vs. World if it went to release as is. I honestly don't think DAoC's RvR would ever feel epic again after experiencing WvW.

Sorry about going into less and less detail as I went on, I'm under time pressure and I'm sleepy so my mental energy quickly dwindled. I'll definitely read the other' posts later and leave some more responsive feedback, though.

TL;DR: Guild Wars 2 is godlike. Buy it.

Wulf
04-30-2012, 07:24 PM
Needs to be viewed in full size:

http://i.imgur.com/fW2z6.jpg

Zoobi
04-30-2012, 07:33 PM
Yeah I linked that to Taolas when I first saw it on my ranger :D.

Draconian
04-30-2012, 10:01 PM
Graveworm:

What about Wulf saying it was mostly zerg vs zerg with constant spamming - you say WvW is an improvement in the RvR world, but IMO WAR also, on paper, improved the RvR concepts with neat features - but the actual act of fighting out there was nothing but AoE spamfest zergs and was shit compared to DAoC.


How do they prevent this? Why did Wulf have that experience yet you didn't - how did you avoid it?

Graveworm
04-30-2012, 10:29 PM
Graveworm:

What about Wulf saying it was mostly zerg vs zerg with constant spamming - you say WvW is an improvement in the RvR world, but IMO WAR also, on paper, improved the RvR concepts with neat features - but the actual act of fighting out there was nothing but AoE spamfest zergs and was shit compared to DAoC.


How do they prevent this? Why did Wulf have that experience yet you didn't - how did you avoid it?

You can certainly zerg surf if that is your thing (and I spent a good amount of time doing it as I do enjoy it somewhat), but keep sieges can hinge on whether or not the defenders have any supply remaining, and small groups are great at disrupting the supply chain by attacking the caravans and the supply depots (something I also spent time doing). The main difference is that you won't see 8-mans (5-mans) looking for an open field fights because there is organized PvP for that. Everything is objective-based.


I know what you mean, but you wouldn't really swap skill trees just for an auto attack... at least that was my experience with guardian.

The elementalist auto-attacks are different enough to be relevant to the decision making process. For example, even though the fire auto attack is AoE, the air staff auto attack is better against a pair of enemies. Sometimes I would swap to my water staff auto attack on keep doors, even though it does shit damage, in order to hit people using melee on the door with the AoE heal effect. Also, as mentioned the water dagger auto-attack is the main reason to be using water dagger. Don't discount skills just because they have no cooldown.


The other battleground (don't know what else to call them) in the game is Forest of Niflhel. It has the same premise as Battle of Kyhlo except it's extra dynamic is different.

They are referred to as maps. All of the organized PvP maps use the same format (capture points) with a different twist on each one. I believe 4 is the number of maps they are aiming for at release.


The event where I had to defend the water supply in the human lands from bandits trying to poison it was completely off the beaten trail and I only ran into it by chance because I wanted to see what the giant pipes were for when I ran by the area.

The best part is that if no one stops the bandits, the people in town will actually get sick and, if you talk to them, ask you check the water supply.

Draconian
04-30-2012, 10:51 PM
Hmm... ok so sounds like you have some flexibility... that's cool that there are supply chains. What about the stealth game though? Thieves & Rangers? Any translation of DAoC stealth-RvR to this version of RvR? Can you be a duo out there doing scouting and hit & run tactics against people working on objectives (or en route to them)? Or is it a bit more focused and not as loose as DAoC's RvR. What I mean is, an active DAoC RvR often had a few things going on, so lots of people moving about, no real single focus unless there was one keep getting raped or a relic raid or something... in GW2 is it always a specific objective for each realm in the WvW so everybody is doing something revolving around one place/event, or is it fluid and loose like DAoC where you could make your own objectives within the greater goal of realm defense/conquest?

Zoobi
04-30-2012, 11:09 PM
Hmm... ok so sounds like you have some flexibility... that's cool that there are supply chains. What about the stealth game though? Thieves & Rangers? Any translation of DAoC stealth-RvR to this version of RvR? Can you be a duo out there doing scouting and hit & run tactics against people working on objectives (or en route to them)? Or is it a bit more focused and not as loose as DAoC's RvR. What I mean is, an active DAoC RvR often had a few things going on, so lots of people moving about, no real single focus unless there was one keep getting raped or a relic raid or something... in GW2 is it always a specific objective for each realm in the WvW so everybody is doing something revolving around one place/event, or is it fluid and loose like DAoC where you could make your own objectives within the greater goal of realm defense/conquest?

There is no permanent stealth in this game, stealth lasts at most 5 seconds. Stealth is more of a disruptive skill(that has the additional benefit of giving you a special ability depending on your mainhand weapon) than a tool to handpick your fights.

The zerg tends to revolve around the towers and the middle keep from what I saw. Like Graveworm said though, you can take small groups to hit other objectives(like caravans delivering supply and the supply depots) and still contribute to your worlds overall point score. If the squads/commander thing works like the devs are intending it to, I can easily see the commander having squads hit secondary objectives to not only split the forces, but cut off supply. You could potentially go out in a duo and hit common routes looking for action akin to the smallman action you saw in DAOC.

Graveworm
04-30-2012, 11:12 PM
Hmm... ok so sounds like you have some flexibility... that's cool that there are supply chains. What about the stealth game though? Thieves & Rangers? Any translation of DAoC stealth-RvR to this version of RvR? Can you be a duo out there doing scouting and hit & run tactics against people working on objectives (or en route to them)? Or is it a bit more focused and not as loose as DAoC's RvR. What I mean is, an active DAoC RvR often had a few things going on, so lots of people moving about, no real single focus unless there was one keep getting raped or a relic raid or something... in GW2 is it always a specific objective for each realm in the WvW so everybody is doing something revolving around one place/event, or is it fluid and loose like DAoC where you could make your own objectives within the greater goal of realm defense/conquest?

There were often battles on multiple fronts (at least there were on my server), and battles are marked on your world map so that you can either join the fight or find an area that looks barren and start your own trouble. It's too early to say how the WvW metagame will play out in the long run, but I am excited for what I've seen so far.

EDIT: Interesting theorycraft here... a group of 20-25 Mesmers (18 if they had perfect timing) could theoretically take turns casting Mass Invisibility and keep it up at all times. That being said, I'm not sure if the radius is large enough to hit even just those mesmers and even if you are in stealth you still cause a faint shimmer and can be targeted if someone spots you.

Sillywilly
05-01-2012, 02:11 AM
Ok so it seems to be unanimous that at the very least the game is well thought out and also well fleshed out for a beta. So somebody please tell me how the hell a company with no monthly sub fees to support it's budget and that isn't even going to be getting a monthly fee for a TRUE MMO this time around is able to accomplish all these things while major millions corporations like EA BioWare and Mythic and others can drop the damn ball so hard? Is the corporate ladder, process and greed really so stifling?

Zoobi
05-01-2012, 02:24 AM
Ok so it seems to be unanimous that at the very least the game is well thought out and also well fleshed out for a beta. So somebody please tell me how the hell a company with no monthly sub fees to support it's budget and that isn't even going to be getting a monthly fee for a TRUE MMO this time around is able to accomplish all these things while major millions corporations like EA BioWare and Mythic and others can drop the damn ball so hard? Is the corporate ladder, process and greed really so stifling?

It's no secret that games with shops make more money than games with subscription fees. The only exception to this rule might be WoW, and even then they implemented a cash shop down the line for minipets and whatnot. Plus it's not like Arenanet hasn't made a mint off of guild wars 1. It's sold 6 million copies between the base game and all of its expansions over the last 8 years or so. That and the backing from NCSoft means they can afford to fund a game like this.

F2P is the new industry standard for multiplayer games. DOTA 2 will be F2P, League of Legends is free to play, I believe I read somewhere that CS:GO is going to be free-to-play, it's just a better model in general for making money(well, other than subscription+cash shop, but most western games can't get away with that).

And before any of you says that it's technically buy2play, yes it is but it gets most of its money for server upkeep and further developement post release from the cash shop. It's akin to movies getting the vast majority of their money from dvd sales, and any money they make in theatres is just icing on the cake.

Sillywilly
05-01-2012, 06:47 AM
It's no secret that games with shops make more money than games with subscription fees. The only exception to this rule might be WoW, and even then they implemented a cash shop down the line for minipets and whatnot. Plus it's not like Arenanet hasn't made a mint off of guild wars 1. It's sold 6 million copies between the base game and all of its expansions over the last 8 years or so. That and the backing from NCSoft means they can afford to fund a game like this.

F2P is the new industry standard for multiplayer games. DOTA 2 will be F2P, League of Legends is free to play, I believe I read somewhere that CS:GO is going to be free-to-play, it's just a better model in general for making money(well, other than subscription+cash shop, but most western games can't get away with that).

And before any of you says that it's technically buy2play, yes it is but it gets most of its money for server upkeep and further developement post release from the cash shop. It's akin to movies getting the vast majority of their money from dvd sales, and any money they make in theatres is just icing on the cake.

I guess but I've always had trouble wrapping my head around the claim that F2P with shops make more money than subscriptions. I know there's no way in hell I'm spending 15 bucks a month on potions 'n shit. I have spent quite a few bucks in LotRO but that was only to unlock the quest packs and a few conviences like shared storage and the wardrobe. As for potions, XP enhancers or even mounts/pets I would only buy those with points I earned in game. Essentially I paid a 6 month subscription price in order to play the entire game for free. I've never known anyone that was was spending more than 15 bucks a month in a cash shop. No doubt they are out there but if only 1 in 4 people use the cash shop on a regular basis then that 1 has to be spending nearly 60 bucks a month to make up the difference.

I suppose the big spenders in these cash shop games are just more loose with their change than I imagine.

Valec
05-01-2012, 10:53 AM
No doubt they are out there but if only 1 in 4 people use the cash shop on a regular basis then that 1 has to be spending nearly 60 bucks a month to make up the difference.

Being a f2p game you draw in a much larger audience which means it's okay if only 1 in 4 people use the cash shop. I can't think of any games with cash shops that i'm familiar with that have been shut down, either.

Draconian
05-01-2012, 11:40 AM
I have a circle of friends who are still very competitive with LoL - they aren't pros, but they like to play a lot, regularly, and have a core group that queues up. They spend money on skins all the time. They've each probably spent about 100 or so over the past couple years. I'd say that most of it was through gifts, buying each other gift cards for birthdays and holidays, etc... but they're still all part of that cycle.

I don't get it, I don't understand it - especially in LoL where a skin is so fucking small who really cares? But - they still do it.


I'm with you Silly, I don't spend money on F2P's, but there are plenty of people who do! The one time I did spend money it was to get into a beta that I really really wanted to play, and I ended up being mad that I spent it mostly because unlocking a bunch of shit with the extra gamegold they gave me for my "preorder" (read: pay us for beta access) totally backfired and ended up giving me not a whole lot to work towards. It took a lot of the fun out of playing because I had so much unlocked and had no real mystery about "oooh I wonder what THAT class is like!". So from now on, I purposely avoid spending money because honestly, it ruins it for me. =)

Taolas
05-01-2012, 04:48 PM
You can buy cash shop gems with in-game money. So you could end up buying something from the CS without spending a cent.

Sillywilly
05-01-2012, 04:51 PM
You can buy cash shop gems with in-game money. So you could end up buying something from the CS without spending a cent.

Not bad. :headbang:

Zavon
05-02-2012, 04:09 PM
I just wanted to say thank you to all you guys who wrote up reviews and impressions. I enjoyed reading every single one.

Pyrrhus
05-02-2012, 04:36 PM
I just wanted to say thank you to all you guys who wrote up reviews and impressions. I enjoyed reading every single one.

Seconded. Been waiting to hear some varied reviews from people on here.

Taolas
05-02-2012, 05:25 PM
I hope some more of you guys try out the next beta. I think people were getting codes through amazon's preorders, rather than full pre-purchases from the GW2 site. Vkhaun might have something to say about that.

I was looking at the official forums and it seems two of the bigger issues were melee dying in scaled events and being harder to play overall, plus the leveling pace. For melee, they replied and said some things needed tweaking, but also L2P melee better. I'm crossing my fingers they don't make the game easier overall, as it was a fun challenge.

For slow leveling vs content, Zoobi and I noticed it early on too. In the human starter area we were falling behind the main story and it looked like we were finishing all the areas for our levels before being ready to move on. The point here isn't that the game needs more balancing. The game has two obvious objectives for people. The main story, which continues to roll on and out level you quickly (you're not supposed to sprint through it), and Heart objectives, where you fill an area completion meter by doing a variety of things (kill, support farms, wine taste). The thing is, the Hearts are meant to guide you to level appropriate areas and the story is meant to be a story - not a leveling machine. The meat of the game is in doing events, which feel somewhat hidden and hard to find at times. Events will pop up on the map if they're going on nearby, but sometimes you need to talk to an npc to start one or wait around after an event finishes, before the next will start.

I don't remember seeing Zoobi address this in his review, and would like to see his opinion now that the beta is over. Personally, having the mindset to just plain explore the world and find events was the most fun part of the game, and it does level you up. It just wasn't obvious in this first beta that you need to take a lot of initiative, imo. In some areas it just felt like you should have an open-world exploration mindset and maybe chat it up with the locals. Other areas were like, "Ok it's time to assault the enemy in a 4-part event."

Zoobi
05-02-2012, 06:01 PM
I hope some more of you guys try out the next beta. I think people were getting codes through amazon's preorders, rather than full pre-purchases from the GW2 site. Vkhaun might have something to say about that.

I was looking at the official forums and it seems two of the bigger issues were melee dying in scaled events and being harder to play overall, plus the leveling pace. For melee, they replied and said some things needed tweaking, but also L2P melee better. I'm crossing my fingers they don't make the game easier overall, as it was a fun challenge.

For slow leveling vs content, Zoobi and I noticed it early on too. In the human starter area we were falling behind the main story and it looked like we were finishing all the areas for our levels before being ready to move on. The point here isn't that the game needs more balancing. The game has two obvious objectives for people. The main story, which continues to roll on and out level you quickly (you're not supposed to sprint through it), and Heart objectives, where you fill an area completion meter by doing a variety of things (kill, support farms, wine taste). The thing is, the Hearts are meant to guide you to level appropriate areas and the story is meant to be a story - not a leveling machine. The meat of the game is in doing events, which feel somewhat hidden and hard to find at times. Events will pop up on the map if they're going on nearby, but sometimes you need to talk to an npc to start one or wait around after an event finishes, before the next will start.

I don't remember seeing Zoobi address this in his review, and would like to see his opinion now that the beta is over. Personally, having the mindset to just plain explore the world and find events was the most fun part of the game, and it does level you up. It just wasn't obvious in this first beta that you need to take a lot of initiative, imo. In some areas it just felt like you should have an open-world exploration mindset and maybe chat it up with the locals. Other areas were like, "Ok it's time to assault the enemy in a 4-part event."

I think I fell behind on my thief because like you said, you actually have to explore and find events that aren't marked to stay on-level. When I made a second playthrough of the human lands on my ranger I was able to actually stay a level ahead of the events I was doing because I was doing a LOT more exploration.

I actually forgot to put this in my "review"(hard for me to call it that LOL), still a lot of things I'm going over in my head about the beta weekend.

Taolas
05-02-2012, 07:36 PM
Did you prefer it that way or feel more like there could have been more direction?

Graveworm
05-02-2012, 07:44 PM
Did you prefer it that way or feel more like there could have been more direction?

I realize this question wasn't directed at me specifically, but IMO there is plenty of direction. It ranges from subtle (such as NPCs acting in ways that draw your attention and then pointing you to an active event when you talk to them) to obvious (such as map markers for every karma merchant). That being said, the leveling curve probably needs some tweaking yet and it is probably something they are still actively working on.

Zoobi
05-02-2012, 08:55 PM
Did you prefer it that way or feel more like there could have been more direction?

I prefer it that way, I want to go around in pve and do my own thing, not get my hand held like every post-wow mmo to date.

Ozoron
05-05-2012, 11:56 AM
If anyone wants to see some WvWvW action heres a DAOC guild that played in the beta event. There running two or three staff elementalists so they have group speed buff up permanently while roaming.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbRYEE1k-xk