Guild Wars 2 Preview

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CardinalPiggles:
I missed the Beta weekend due to having to work 3 double shifts in a row, but when the next one comes around, I'm all over that. Oh and I'm buying the game as soon as it comes out too, it looks like a great game to start trying out the MMORPG genre.

I don't know if you already have a beta key or not,but if you don't you'll need to pre-purchase the game to get into the next beta weekend.

Berenzen:
The first few weeks are going to be pretty horribly balanced in terms of WvW. However, they have said that there will be a ranking system in place, so the worlds that win all the time will be placed against worlds that win all the time.

Yeap, just like in DaoC. Also... maybe I am biased, but don't think this weeked balance was horrible, we needed to have a golem and use almost all our gold in siege to have a chance against the green and blue keeps; there was also a big ass guild leading the charge and even then we barely took blue.

Now... if you were to say "the first few weeks are going to be zergy in terms of WvW", that i can get behind.

Gardenia:
Not to start a flame war or anything, but I'm not going to prepurchase (or even preorder) this game. Why? I'll tell you;

The first Guild Wars was all about complexity, and adapting your skills and tactics to the situation, and the monsters you were going to be fighting. Are they using mostly fire based damage? Equip fire armour, and bring some skills that alleviate burning. Then perhaps you should bring some spells that target their mages, preferrably damaging them the more skills they use. Are they "fleshy" (as opposed to skeletons, wraiths and so on)? Perhaps some bleeding, disease and poison would be nice? Or perhaps they are melee only, and you should look into making their attacks miss.

With the right amount of preparation, and a good deal of ingenuity, you could complete an area in 10 minutes alone, whereas an 8-man party would spend 3 hours and perhaps even fail. The character level, armour and weapons were so easily maxed, that all you really could judge a person on, was how well they picked their skills, and how adept they were at using them.

Now what do we get?
"Do you want a sword, bow, hammer or a gun? OK, now go out there and hope you manage to dodge their attacks."
To me, it just seems like they dropped all the Magic the Gathering stuff from the game, and that was what really made Guild Wars shine for me. At least I don't have to spend 4000 hours on the sequel.

(and yes, I know that you can have 2 weapon sets, it still seems shallow and simplistic to me)

A few things.

First: Build Wars was terrible for most players, particularly new players, or players who insisted on playing a unique snowflake build even if it was a bad build. How often did you ask a player to ping their build, and it was some horrific Mo/R beastmaster with healing prayers and a bow? Choice is great, but when the vast majority of skill combinations are objectively terrible, why even have them? Particularly in an open-world game like GW2, I don't want an event to scale up as a result of some guy bringing the aforementioned terrible Mo/R build, dying or being useless, but making the event more challenging for me. The fixed weapon skills ensure that, at bare minimum, every player has 5 skills on their bar that work well together and focus them on at least one role.

Second: You're being incredibly simplistic when it comes to describing your choices prior to combat. You have your weapon selection (which makes an enormous difference in your playstyle), your secondary weapon, your heal, 3 utilities, and elite. Then, you have traits; if you've read through the trait list (which you probably haven't), you'd see that traits can dramatically change your build. A thief that drops a crippling caltrops every time they dodge is going to play differently than a thief who doesn't have that trait, for example. Then there are sigils and insignias, which offer plain stat bonuses or additional effects (like a % chance to summon a golem pet on critical hit).

Third: Combat is not just pushing buttons anymore. PvE in particular in GW1 was pretty darn similar to PvE in most other MMOs; you walk up to a group, aggro the group, and push your buttons in a rotation until all the red dots are dead. There are skill combos, yes, but there's really little else to worry about beyond "don't step in the fire"-style movement. GW2 PvE demands so much more than that, I assure you. You HAVE to dodge to stay alive. Players who stand there taking hits die quickly, particularly once you leave the beginner area. So while you may have more options in GW1 for ways in which you arrange your bar, once you get in combat you're not going to be doing pretty much the same thing for every mob.

TL;DR: there are far more choices in GW2 than there appear on paper, and you have far more MEANINGFUL choices in terms of how you build and play your character than you had in GW1, because the majority of choices you made in determining your build in GW1 were obvious once you understood the game. YMMV, but I really think you should take another look; the game is not nearly as simple as you think it is.

I've never played an MMORPG before, but I quite like the sound of this. I'm glad to see there's no subscription fee and they're going for a micro-transaction system.

I might put a pre-order in when there's a release date.

I was on the fence about GW2 and this review went a long way to helping me decide that it is worth the price since there are no pesky sub fees.

When I played the Beta, the only things I didn't like were Beta-related problems.

Things like only 5 character slots despite 8 classes.
Charr starting zone having a very odd difficulty curve with layout of event-based quests being all over the place and mostly hidden.
Performance issues.
Mesmers feeling underpowered (yet fun).

Those problems can easily be fixed via testing feedback.
It's an MMO worth keeping an eye on.

Being granted exp for reviving a random player is brilliant. It gives an incentive to actually use your ability to revive other players.

Well, I'm still going to wait and see, but thank you for at least coming up with some good arguments rather than "OMG U CAN CHAENG WEAPONS SETZ NOOB", which was more than another guy expressed similar concerns on the gw2 forums.

And I LIKED "build wars"

Thanks, Justin. I'm glad you had as much fun as we did this past weekend.

scw55:
Being granted exp for reviving a random player is brilliant. It gives an incentive to actually use your ability to revive other players.

Is it, isn't it? There's even a special title you can get for reviving people, so even antisocial completionists and achievement-chasers have incentive to run with or near a group.

SOLD! Just take all my monies right now! Seriously though i was on the fence with this one but after that vid I'm defiantly gonna give it a crank.

Simonoly:
I've never played an MMORPG before, but I quite like the sound of this. I'm glad to see there's no subscription fee and they're going for a micro-transaction system.

I might put a pre-order in when there's a release date.

One of their slogans is "If you like MMO's, you should check out GW2. If you hate MMO's, you should really check out GW2"

Here is their manifesto

I'm just really excited for this. From it's inception 5 years ago up until release there won't be another game I can fully enjoy.

Gardenia:
Not to start a flame war or anything, but I'm not going to prepurchase (or even preorder) this game. Why? I'll tell you;

The first Guild Wars was all about complexity, and adapting your skills and tactics to the situation, and the monsters you were going to be fighting. Are they using mostly fire based damage? Equip fire armour, and bring some skills that alleviate burning. Then perhaps you should bring some spells that target their mages, preferrably damaging them the more skills they use. Are they "fleshy" (as opposed to skeletons, wraiths and so on)? Perhaps some bleeding, disease and poison would be nice? Or perhaps they are melee only, and you should look into making their attacks miss.

With the right amount of preparation, and a good deal of ingenuity, you could complete an area in 10 minutes alone, whereas an 8-man party would spend 3 hours and perhaps even fail. The character level, armour and weapons were so easily maxed, that all you really could judge a person on, was how well they picked their skills, and how adept they were at using them.

Now what do we get?
"Do you want a sword, bow, hammer or a gun? OK, now go out there and hope you manage to dodge their attacks."
To me, it just seems like they dropped all the Magic the Gathering stuff from the game, and that was what really made Guild Wars shine for me. At least I don't have to spend 4000 hours on the sequel.

(and yes, I know that you can have 2 weapon sets, it still seems shallow and simplistic to me)

I'll disagree, rather completely with you. What made Guild Wars such a pleasure to play was its simplicity, rather than its complexity. While the game had over 1000 skills to choose from, only 8 can be played at one time (7 if you're talking PvP; NEVER go in without res sig! [monks exempt]). Preparation didn't solve all of your problems in the first game; areas often had a variety of types of foes, fleshy, non-fleshy, physical, spellcasting. The best thing you could do is learn what skills could cover you in a variety of situations so you dont get shafted in a particular section of an area (Tombs of Kathandrax, I look at you).

I have my copy paid in full already (but no experience with this first beta weekend Q.Q), and I've waited long enough to gorge myself on the details of this game. I am quite pleased the beta response is overall positive, and I'm liking what I think I'll find familiar to the first game, while also liking what's new and what may be changing.

And heads up, weapon sets are pretty much integral to proper play in Guild Wars. Its rudimentary 'spear and shield' (for that extra bit of armor), and your offensive sets, but switching sets is near basic to competing and doing well in latter portions of the game.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

lancar:
I'm still under the impression that this game's core focus is PvP (not sure where i got that, tho).

I'm going to copy and paste a post from SomethingAwful's HungryGerbil:

GW2 is basically three games in one:
- PvE with your personal campaign and dynamic events
- world PvP with dynamic events
- structured PvP

You can do all three or just do one of the three without looking at the other two and so on.

PvE in this game is like what happens if you add SWTOR's story (only scaled back a bit) to RIFT's rifts (only expanded a LOT). You start at level 1 and make your way up to cap, just like any other RPG.

"World PvP"--which, in this game, is actually "world vs world"--is set in four enormous maps that are separate from the main PvE world but still include the dynamic events of the PvE world, and in which three servers are paired up every two weeks to fight each other. It's very much along the lines of DAOC's three-faction PvP. You can level to cap doing nothing but this, if you choose.

And structured PvP is your basic TF2-style PvP events. You are leveled up to cap automatically and everyone is on equal footing in terms of gear, so it's more about skill than anything else

You can choose to play any one of those three games, or a combination. And all for $60. You really can't go wrong.

Right. So no instances or raids then, I presume.

Ipsen:

Gardenia:
Not to start a flame war or anything, but I'm not going to prepurchase (or even preorder) this game. Why? I'll tell you;

The first Guild Wars was all about complexity, and adapting your skills and tactics to the situation, and the monsters you were going to be fighting. Are they using mostly fire based damage? Equip fire armour, and bring some skills that alleviate burning. Then perhaps you should bring some spells that target their mages, preferrably damaging them the more skills they use. Are they "fleshy" (as opposed to skeletons, wraiths and so on)? Perhaps some bleeding, disease and poison would be nice? Or perhaps they are melee only, and you should look into making their attacks miss.

With the right amount of preparation, and a good deal of ingenuity, you could complete an area in 10 minutes alone, whereas an 8-man party would spend 3 hours and perhaps even fail. The character level, armour and weapons were so easily maxed, that all you really could judge a person on, was how well they picked their skills, and how adept they were at using them.

Now what do we get?
"Do you want a sword, bow, hammer or a gun? OK, now go out there and hope you manage to dodge their attacks."
To me, it just seems like they dropped all the Magic the Gathering stuff from the game, and that was what really made Guild Wars shine for me. At least I don't have to spend 4000 hours on the sequel.

(and yes, I know that you can have 2 weapon sets, it still seems shallow and simplistic to me)

I'll disagree, rather completely with you. What made Guild Wars such a pleasure to play was its simplicity, rather than its complexity. While the game had over 1000 skills to choose from, only 8 can be played at one time (7 if you're talking PvP; NEVER go in without res sig! [monks exempt]). Preparation didn't solve all of your problems in the first game; areas often had a variety of types of foes, fleshy, non-fleshy, physical, spellcasting. The best thing you could do is learn what skills could cover you in a variety of situations so you dont get shafted in a particular section of an area (Tombs of Kathandrax, I look at you).

I have my copy paid in full already (but no experience with this first beta weekend Q.Q), and I've waited long enough to gorge myself on the details of this game. I am quite pleased the beta response is overall positive, and I'm liking what I think I'll find familiar to the first game, while also liking what's new and what may be changing.

And heads up, weapon sets are pretty much integral to proper play in Guild Wars. Its rudimentary 'spear and shield' (for that extra bit of armor), and your offensive sets, but switching sets is near basic to competing and doing well in latter portions of the game.

Simplicity out of the complexity, then.
And yes, weapon sets were very important, but you could be a full on spellcaster with a shield and sword and not have a sword attack or shield block skill in your bar. I'm basically lamenting the lack of choice offered.

That level of movement is what I had thought SWTOR was going to have when they were announcing it - THAT is what a dynamic take on traditional MMO gameplay should look like. If I was going to take up an MMO, it would be GW2.

lancar:

EmperorSubcutaneous:

lancar:
I'm still under the impression that this game's core focus is PvP (not sure where i got that, tho).

I'm going to copy and paste a post from SomethingAwful's HungryGerbil:

GW2 is basically three games in one:
- PvE with your personal campaign and dynamic events
- world PvP with dynamic events
- structured PvP

You can do all three or just do one of the three without looking at the other two and so on.

PvE in this game is like what happens if you add SWTOR's story (only scaled back a bit) to RIFT's rifts (only expanded a LOT). You start at level 1 and make your way up to cap, just like any other RPG.

"World PvP"--which, in this game, is actually "world vs world"--is set in four enormous maps that are separate from the main PvE world but still include the dynamic events of the PvE world, and in which three servers are paired up every two weeks to fight each other. It's very much along the lines of DAOC's three-faction PvP. You can level to cap doing nothing but this, if you choose.

And structured PvP is your basic TF2-style PvP events. You are leveled up to cap automatically and everyone is on equal footing in terms of gear, so it's more about skill than anything else

You can choose to play any one of those three games, or a combination. And all for $60. You really can't go wrong.

Right. So no instances or raids then, I presume.

There's going to be 5 player explorable dungeons/raids. Not sure how many, but it's a substantial amount.

lancar:
Right. So no instances or raids then, I presume.

There will be 8 dungeons at launch, each of which has two modes: story (easy, with story cutscenes) and explorable (hard...VERY hard). Every explorable mode dungeon will consist of roughly three paths, only one of which can be taken at a time, each with different objectives. All dungeons will also feature dynamic events along the way; which ones you get will depend on many different factors.

So technically we'll be getting about 24 dungeons at launch, 32 if you also count the story modes of each. The first one comes in at level 30, then one every 10 levels; there will be 3 at level 80, which is the cap. You also get scaled back down to whatever level the dungeon you're doing is, so they will always be a challenge no matter what level you are.

Of course there will also be more dungeons added after launch.

Good video guys, and I had a great time with the beta weekend as well. The game feels tight and pretty accurate and everything happening has the chance to get crazy as all hell so it becomes a tense battle pretty often. I think the game will be a lot of fun come release!

if_then_else:
I played the beta event and had a blast, I'm loving the game so far, altough not perfect and a bit over-hyped, this is definitely the MMO I'm going to play.

Some of my impressions so far:

- The "work together" concept is perfect. Kill-steal is gone, you're actualy looking forward to play with other players, instead of just try to avoid them so you maximize exp/loot gained.

- Combat is fast paced thanks to the dodging mechanic, downed state, and not being dedicated tanks/healers, although the attacks have a bit of a delay, that can be anoying if you're not used to like me, and the lag doesn't help.

- The hearts quests are sometimes a bit generic and not that exciting, but most of the dynamic events were great, at level 15 you have a really epic "raid-like" encounter.

- Fully voiced-over and with cinematics for your personal story. The scripting is not that good actualy, it's very cliched, but at some points I was able to choose between different paths whitch really added to the game story (while rescuing some minotaurs, attack the enemies all in or trick them to get drunk and
fall sleep?)

- Just gorgeous, the world feels alive, the cities are massive and the painted artstyle is beautiful. Even the UI looks amazing.

- No subscription fees. Nuff said.

Looking forward to the next beta event and the final release.

Im assuming you played norn ( you mentioned minotaur) I suggest trying out humans next weekend ,a lot of people were complaining that the norn personal story is a bit cliche I've played the humans and they've got a much more interesting story

Auesis:
The best example is probably in the personal story. For my human female thief, I was attempting to gather information from a captain at a brewing monastery (they literally worship mead), when centaurs try raiding the place. Dual daggers and shortbow in hand, I had to fight back wave after wave, dodging arrows and avoiding slashes with my eyes fixed to the screen. Eventually, the centaurs' leader turns up at the front gate and starts shouting to see the "hero". The captain looks at me disconcertingly and says I should probably see what he wants. I step outside the front gate to see the leader, and he starts screaming about how I think I'm better than he is, and challenges me to a one-on-one duel, immediately charging at me. This is where skill and forethought comes in to play, unlike other MMOs where I would just hit 12341111234231:

The moment he puts that sword ahead towards me, I throw down Caltrops (mini-spikes scattered all over the ground). I jump back as his hooves land on them, and he immediately groans and limps, a lot slower than before (condition applied). Taking advantage, I pounce forward and use Leaping Death Blossom (basically a front-flip over the opponent while striking with both daggers). He's now bleeding rapidly (condition applied). He turns around as I throw a knife at him to cripple him even further (condition applied?). He suddenly raises his shield and the knife comes flying right back at me. Somehow, my immediate reflex is to hit Shift, which luckily was my custom dodge button. I roll out of the way as the knife skims exactly where my face had been. He keeps the shield raised and remains still. Smiling to myself, I switch to my shortbow and fire. Obviously, he still thinks his defence will work, but I had actually fired an AoE arrow, cluster bomb. It sails overhead and I detonate it, raining loads of explosives over the top of him. He starts limping away to get some distance, and I leap forward with Heartseeker (a dagger pounce that does more damage the less the enemy's HP is). It connects directly and he falls dead. His friends immediately make a run for it as I turn around.

I've never had a fight like that in any MMO. Ever. It's just incredible.

Here's the thing: that big paragraph of action you described? I'm willing to bet that, in terms of input, it doesn't look much different from your "other MMOs, 12341111234231" description of combat. Sure, it sounds more exciting, but that's because you made it a narrative instead of describing the buttons you were pushing.

I read that paragraph and it makes me think of playing a trap-master hunter fighting elite-master trolls in Lord of the Rings Online: lay trap, focus, quick shot, blood arrow, penetrating shot x2, swift bow, wait for the trap to catch, run out of range of his stun stomp, heart-seeker, quick shot, distracting shot to mez him while you run off and lay another trap...

Sure, I could write that out as some wannabe-epic narrative of narrowly evading his massive foot just as my bear trap snaps into place and arrows zinging and etc., but it's the same mechanics regardless. Your fight description doesn't sound revolutionary to me; it's as simple as "lay caltrops, leaping death blossom, throw knife, roll, cluster shot, heartseeker." So that's, what? 4, 1, 2, Shift, 3, 5? How is that so much more exciting than a standard skill rotation in any average MMORPG?

Seriously, I get that you like it and all, but I don't understand your hype over this. From where I'm sitting, the player interrelation mechanics sound more fresh and interesting than the combat mechanics.

lancar:

Right. So no instances or raids then, I presume.

There are instances that 'branch' out there's 8 at release which doesn't seem like much but consider this first:
The first time a person goes into a dungeon (5 man instance)they go through 'story mode' which is what it sounds like, the story that the dungeon has to tell which is quite interesting it is also a normal difficulty, then after that is finished there's what's called 'explorable mode' of that dungeon which is basically 'hard mode', also in this dungeon there's 3 different explorable paths with dynamic content, certain events may or may not happen along these paths. This along with it being only 5 man with no tank/healer/dps means teams have to co-ordinate exceptionally well and communication will be essential to success.

Now as for Raids how does open world boss raids sound? They are out in the open world where anyone can stumble upon, most will have a large chain of dynamic events leading up to the crescendo boss fight, these are multi layered fights, not just 'don't stand in fire and keep spamming at boss for 20 mins till he's dead' Boss will be sending out adds to destroy seige weaponry at your back lines, if you don't defend them they will be destroyed, if they get destroyed a repair caravan will be dispatched from a nearby outpost and you can escort it and protect the repair krewe while they get the seige weapons back up, and that's just one layer. hmm lemme get out a video..

this is from a pre beta demo at gamescom last year, also I'll just say because it was a demo they had the event playing every 30 mins or so, so everyone could try it out, this normally isn't scripted to a certain time, also the diffulculty was dumbed down quite alot because the people playing it had never played guild wars 2 before. Also as the guy talking in the background is saying this is one of the 'little dragons' he's just a mini boss at level 60-ish the level cap is 80 ;)

Shjade:
Seriously, I get that you like it and all, but I don't understand your hype over this. From where I'm sitting, the player interrelation mechanics sound more fresh and interesting than the combat mechanics.

When you break it down, EVERY video game is about pushing buttons (or whatever other crazy control method they use, but ultimately are just different kinds of buttons). But Guild Wars 2 combat feels like that narrative. There is actual action which requires constant attention, far more than simple "don't stand in fire". It doesn't feel like you're just pushing buttons and managing a rotation, it feels like you're fighting, which is more than you can say for any other MMO out there except maybe TERA/Vindictus.

The best argument is, as always, "Play the game and find out". ...and prepare to get stomped past level 10 if you play GW2 the same way you play other MMOs. heh.

You are right about one thing though, the player interrelation mechanics are even more exciting than the combat.

Gardenia:

Well, I'm still going to wait and see, but thank you for at least coming up with some good arguments rather than "OMG U CAN CHAENG WEAPONS SETZ NOOB", which was more than another guy expressed similar concerns on the gw2 forums.

And I LIKED "build wars"

I'm pretty prolific on Guru; I've probably responded to the "there's no choice" complaint at least a half-dozen times over the past year in various threads. By which I mean, there ARE decent people on the forums, but sometimes it requires a poster to sift through a lot of cruft.

And don't get me wrong, I love GW1. I've been playing it fairly actively for the past 7 years. Build Wars were fine for the game that it was (though it DID pose some problems in PvP...), by which I mean it worked well for a lobby game with instanced combat areas and 8-man teams. GW2 is not that game, though, and I recognize that the GW system a) has problems, and b) would not work in a persistent open world.

@Shjade: I have to echo the above; every videogame consists of pushing buttons. The difference is that GW2 requires much more than the "walk up to enemy, kick each other in the shins until one of you falls over" gameplay that most other MMOs have. Being forced to actively kite, snare, block, and dodge makes the gameplay much different from what you're used to in "traditional" MMOs. This starts small at lvl1, but you really see it around lvl10-15, which is when you leave the starting area.

I played the public beta and one feature I thoroughly enjoyed that needs more mentioning was the automatic down-scaling to the area.

As you're questing and leveling in the open PvE content, your character is always down-scaled to an intended level for the questing area. However, the loot you receive and crafting materials you gather are rewarded at your true level. This makes exploring and questing very open and completely your choice where the game remains challenging and rewarding no matter where you go. Many encounters are designed to be a real challenge and pit you against mobs 3-4 levels higher than you. It's never trivialized because you fully completed the previous zone and are now ahead of the leveling curve for the next quest hub. There's no optimal questing path you need to worry about. I found I could go where I wanted and enjoy it all.

swm934:
I played the public beta and one feature I thoroughly enjoyed that needs more mentioning was the automatic down-scaling to the area.

As you're questing and leveling in the open PvE content, your character is always down-scaled to an intended level for the questing area. However, the loot you receive and crafting materials you gather are rewarded at your true level. This makes exploring and questing very open and completely your choice where the game remains challenging and rewarding no matter where you go. Many encounters are designed to be a real challenge and pit you against mobs 3-4 levels higher than you. It's never trivialized because you fully completed the previous zone and are now ahead of the leveling curve for the next quest hub. There's no optimal questing path you need to worry about. I found I could go where I wanted and enjoy it all.

I am still loving this concept. On some occasions I felt underpowered to be in an area, but that was typically because a large group was near that pushed up the difficulty and I got seperated from it. I never had the feeling of being overpowered for an area. Yes some areas were easier than others, but a misstep or two and down you go.

Kinda related, there is still some work to balance melee focused players, as I found interupting attacks with stuns and blinds tougher to do. Some enemies do not telegraph attacks well, and in a big fight, its pretty tough to see whats going on. As it stands I feel the game promotes ranged play and kiting a tad too much. But hey, beta is beta, I am sure that balancing will be done.

This game fixes everything I find wrong with the current state of MMO's.

I always liked ranged damage dealers, but since tanking and healing are much more required I usually have to wait like half an hour to get in a group for a dungeon in WoW. The Hly Trinity is a broken model for me.

The focus of outdoor raids also sound nice, since games are too instanced nowadays.

And no stupid faction division or race-class restrictions.. yeah!

I played in the last beta weekend and the combat feels so unlike a typical mmorpg.
No articles or videos can describe the depth lurking within the game's combat mechanics.
It's so hard to describe. lol
It just feels so organic and ridiculously rewards clever use of mobility, player positioning, and combos.
You feel involved and motivated to engage in more skillful play.

Are there race perks at all? Similar to wows?

pointless vandalism:
Are there race perks at all? Similar to wows?

There are racial skills, but they're mostly just for flavor. They don't want to force anyone, even min-maxers, to play certain race-class combinations.

Also, the race you choose determines the basic part of your personal story. For example, two sylvari can have very different stories from each other depending on the choices they make, but they'll both be more different from a charr's story than they are from each other.

Don't know if they'll have unique racial emotes (like extend/retract claws for charr, or something), but I really hope so.

pointless vandalism:
Are there race perks at all? Similar to wows?

There are racial elite skills (the last skill on the right). For example, Norns can transform into a werewolf, werebear, etc. Humans can "pray" to different gods (don't know their specific effects), Charr can use a Charrzooka, among other things.

Edit: Ninja'd. D:

I am going to preface this with the fact that I played GW1 extensively and have prepurchased GW2 already. I've played a significant amount of mmos...

The game is fun, when I initially opened it up... I hated it. This game is being hyped like the second coming, and it does not deliver that level of quality. The events can be VERY grindy. Yes, my quest isn't to kill 12 boars... but the characters around the dam had to kill like a hundred harpies. Give me the quick kill 12. Not all of the events were grindy, but many were. Collecting the apples... ugh. I am sure this will be fixed after this beta, but the human starting area's xp gains were botched. You could not keep up with your story quest if you just did things normally.

The overflow system they talk about SOUNDS cool, but it is really a bad version of having different zones for areas. It isn't intuitive or easy to group up with your friends because of the overflow. also, there is no way to quickly switch between overflow and the main zone, or to know if you or your friend is in overflow. I truly hope this will be fixed.

I didn't enjoy the game until I put about 10 hours in (I was on my 3rd guy) and I grouped up with a bunch of friends and we just explored higher level areas. We were 5-10 lvls down, but in a group of 4 or 5 we were still clearing it fine. THAT is something cool, that many weak players can defeat a strong enemy. We killed the swamp behemoth thing... it was epic.... until the only loot I got was like a couple teeth. I had a lot of fun with my friends, but the game, as of now, is going to have a hard time keeping a lot of interest... no raids, no dungeons until lvl 30, and very grindy quests. My buddy wrote a review on it for his website, http://clicktorespawn.com/reviews/19/guild-wars-2-beta-weekend/ .... he curses a lot... the beginning isn't his finest work, but he does articulate some good points.

ckenny:
I am going to preface this with the fact that I played GW1 extensively and have prepurchased GW2 already. I've played a significant amount of mmos...

The game is fun, when I initially opened it up... I hated it. This game is being hyped like the second coming, and it does not deliver that level of quality. The events can be VERY grindy. Yes, my quest isn't to kill 12 boars... but the characters around the dam had to kill like a hundred harpies. Give me the quick kill 12. Not all of the events were grindy, but many were. Collecting the apples... ugh. I am sure this will be fixed after this beta, but the human starting area's xp gains were botched. You could not keep up with your story quest if you just did things normally.

The overflow system they talk about SOUNDS cool, but it is really a bad version of having different zones for areas. It isn't intuitive or easy to group up with your friends because of the overflow. also, there is no way to quickly switch between overflow and the main zone, or to know if you or your friend is in overflow. I truly hope this will be fixed.

I didn't enjoy the game until I put about 10 hours in (I was on my 3rd guy) and I grouped up with a bunch of friends and we just explored higher level areas. We were 5-10 lvls down, but in a group of 4 or 5 we were still clearing it fine. THAT is something cool, that many weak players can defeat a strong enemy. We killed the swamp behemoth thing... it was epic.... until the only loot I got was like a couple teeth. I had a lot of fun with my friends, but the game, as of now, is going to have a hard time keeping a lot of interest... no raids, no dungeons until lvl 30, and very grindy quests. My buddy wrote a review on it for his website, http://clicktorespawn.com/reviews/19/guild-wars-2-beta-weekend/ .... he curses a lot... the beginning isn't his finest work, but he does articulate some good points.

Here's the thing about certain events being grindy, though: you don't have to do them. If, for example, you'd gathered a couple apples and turned them in, you could have said "This is really boring" and gone off to do something more interesting. When the event ends you'll still get credit for it, even if you're a hundred miles away doing something else by that point. You'll probably only get Bronze- or Silver-level participation, but it scales to how much effort you put in and is still a good amount. Same thing with killing harpies; you should only do as much as you want to do.

You can also travel to any of the other racial starter areas from the very beginning by using the Asura Gate in your city, and you can find even more events there.

The overflow issues are definitely going to be fixed. That was most people's main complaint about the BWE. (That and the lag, which is to be expected in a beta anyway.) The idea of overflow servers is amazing, though, so when they get the issues ironed out and, ideally, allow us to choose our own overflow server when we need to enter one, I really hope all online games will do the same from now on. So much better than queues.

As for the amount of exp gained, they've said they'll be adding more dynamic events. Definitely after launch, but some before launch as well. They want you to have a huge choice of things to do, and to be able to return to certain areas after some time and see them full of all kinds of events that weren't there when you first went through the area. (And since you get scaled down to the level of the area you're in, the content will always be relevant.)

ckenny:
I am going to preface this with the fact that I played GW1 extensively and have prepurchased GW2 already. I've played a significant amount of mmos...

The game is fun, when I initially opened it up... I hated it. This game is being hyped like the second coming, and it does not deliver that level of quality. The events can be VERY grindy. Yes, my quest isn't to kill 12 boars... but the characters around the dam had to kill like a hundred harpies. Give me the quick kill 12. Not all of the events were grindy, but many were. Collecting the apples... ugh. I am sure this will be fixed after this beta, but the human starting area's xp gains were botched. You could not keep up with your story quest if you just did things normally.

The overflow system they talk about SOUNDS cool, but it is really a bad version of having different zones for areas. It isn't intuitive or easy to group up with your friends because of the overflow. also, there is no way to quickly switch between overflow and the main zone, or to know if you or your friend is in overflow. I truly hope this will be fixed.

I didn't enjoy the game until I put about 10 hours in (I was on my 3rd guy) and I grouped up with a bunch of friends and we just explored higher level areas. We were 5-10 lvls down, but in a group of 4 or 5 we were still clearing it fine. THAT is something cool, that many weak players can defeat a strong enemy. We killed the swamp behemoth thing... it was epic.... until the only loot I got was like a couple teeth. I had a lot of fun with my friends, but the game, as of now, is going to have a hard time keeping a lot of interest... no raids, no dungeons until lvl 30, and very grindy quests. My buddy wrote a review on it for his website, http://clicktorespawn.com/reviews/19/guild-wars-2-beta-weekend/ .... he curses a lot... the beginning isn't his finest work, but he does articulate some good points.

If it makes you feel better almost all of your complaints are being adressed... The fact that overflow servers wont let you change over to be with friends was a huge over sight, and if they didnt fix that before launch it would be a very bad move. Also the drop tables are far from finalised. I had some boss encounters with no rewards whatsoever, still a fun fight though.

I feel torn about the grind you mention. On the one hand some quests shoe horn you into doing repetative tasks, but most I found to have other options and more fun stuff going on around it. I too did that collect the apple quest in the human zone, I found it fun hitting trees to make apples drop and sometimes getting 4 apples on the ground other times getting a big spider in my face. There was a point where I felt like I was getting bored with it, and IIRC that was a dynamic quest, so I just left the area. Once other players added their contributions the quest ended and I still got credit. In that respect I love that you can join or leave dynamic quests and still get partial (or sometimes full) credit.

I played this during the beta too, and my husband and I really enjoyed it. I hope everyone gets to at least tinker with it, biases off. The more to play with the merrier. ^-^

Kordie:

I feel torn about the grind you mention. On the one hand some quests shoe horn you into doing repetative tasks, but most I found to have other options and more fun stuff going on around it. I too did that collect the apple quest in the human zone, I found it fun hitting trees to make apples drop and sometimes getting 4 apples on the ground other times getting a big spider in my face. There was a point where I felt like I was getting bored with it, and IIRC that was a dynamic quest, so I just left the area. Once other players added their contributions the quest ended and I still got credit. In that respect I love that you can join or leave dynamic quests and still get partial (or sometimes full) credit.

yes, you can leave those quests and still get credit based on what you did. I got to lvl 17... yes you have options kill this or pick that up, so I found myself going around a barracks and cleaning it since no mobs were around... it wasn't fun, I was just doing it to get the xp. They are expecting us to do these things till lvl 80. In regards to not having to do them... You kinda HAVE to do quests in an mmo... And you just can't do the story quests. I dunno, GW2 is a lot of promises that aren't fulfilled and most likely won't. I'll still play it... I wound up liking it for what it was, but my friends and I who all played can't figure out why the fans are being so rabid to defend it. ITS OK that the game is not perfect...

RedFeather1975:
I played in the last beta weekend and the combat feels so unlike a typical mmorpg.
No articles or videos can describe the depth lurking within the game's combat mechanics.
It's so hard to describe. lol
It just feels so organic and ridiculously rewards clever use of mobility, player positioning, and combos.
You feel involved and motivated to engage in more skillful play.

I felt exactly the same. In a lot of videos, the fluidity of the combat isn't entirely visible - the Escapist's video does a better job than most for this. Enemies really varied in terms of how you fought them; Ettins and Drakes being a good examples in that their devastating strong attacks were visible and avoidable, and if you played well you could take on some a lot higher than your level, and if you played badly they'd trounce you regardless of numbers.
Like you said : There's a level of excitement and joy in every fight that you can't really appreciate till you try it.

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