Gathering Together Guild Wars 2 Beta Looksies

By Craig Pearson on February 21st, 2012 at 3:47 pm.

I guild have been a guildtender. I guilda been somebody
If, like me, you were left out of this weekend’s Guild Wars 2 beta then you’ll know the tang of anger and the boiling of bile that welled up inside, directed at those that did. Felt good, didn’t it? Don’t lie: that directed spew of internal grrrrr made you feel all war-like, yeah? Me too, which is why I’m starting a guild of non-Guild War 2 players. Our mission: to not be playing Guild Wars 2 while others are enjoying it and videoing their fun. We shall, instead, watch them with twitching eyeballs, consuming all the video we can and learning about their ways, ready to exploit any weaknesses we witness. Join me, for I will be your leader and guide you through the land of Guild War 2 beta videos, unless I’m invited to play, in which case I never knew you and I was never here.

First up is the Yogscast’s four part look at the Norn starting area, with the guys taking Engineer and Mesmer classes. Of all the videos, this is the most complete run-through you’ll find. It matches my experience of Gamescom a few years ago: an hour of learning how to play before the world opens up .

Parts two, three and four take you through the rest of the tutorial world and a bit into the main world. You’ll see the beginnings of the player’s personal story.

Curse’s coverage aimed to look at PvP and PvE battles from different class perspectives. The Engineer class starts off with some interesting dynamic destruction (okay, he breaks windows) before setting to his opponent.

And then there’s Elementalist , Guardian, and Ranger action. I’m pretty poor at teaming, so the solo experiences here gives me a lot of hope.

My favourite group of videos though, are Mike B’s city tours. The first thing that really got me excited about Guild Wars 2 was the incredible art that Arenanet were releasing. It made me want to explore the world. Mike B’s covered bits of it already. I’ll be honest, I had a quick peek at each before clapping my hands over my eyes and remonstrating with myself. I really want to experience these for my self. This stuff constitutes more spoilers than any number of PvP and quest videos. If you don’t care, here he is wandering the Charr’s Black City.

And here’s Divinity’s Reach the Human home city, and Hoelbrak of the Norn’s.

RPS will have our own coverage soon. Promise!

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85 Comments »

  1. Icyicy9999 says:

    I’ll be waiting for your coverage!
    Did anyone else from RPS make it in the beta this weekend?

    • pasdcvbc says:

      There are already too many open world MMO, there was only one Guild Wars. I would be happier with more of the same, but better, if I want something diferent, that’s what other games are for. http://ho.io/3154

  2. bglamb says:

    Your first sentence doesn’t read right!

  3. GrandmaFunk says:

    When can we expect Alec’s post about his press beta experience?

  4. pakoito says:

    To be fair what I liked most was the World v World vid on IGN. Everyone is playing Mesmer BTW.

    Probably will buy day 0 if I have money.

    • Nardom says:

      Same, will buy at day 0 if i have the cash. If not, i’ll steal a physical copy from some store. No no not download, downloading is risky these days! And you’ll get some hardcore punishment compared to just stealing it.

      (besides it being kinda useless as it’s an account based MMO)

  5. Lobotomist says:

    -1
    to Anet for not inviting the entire RPS staff to beta weekend

    • Necroscope says:

      ArenaNet should be jolly well ashamed of themselves for not inviting those who comment under RPS news stories

  6. Unaco says:

    Looks like WoW. Is that an intentional thing, or can no one make an MMO that looks different?

    • Ian says:

      Now you’ve done it.

    • Chris D says:

      Back under your bridge or I shall set the goats upon you!

    • Unaco says:

      @Ian

      What did I do? Aesthetically, in the interface and the effects, and the world itself, generally the way it looks to me… It looks like World of Warcraft. I’m asking, is that an intentional thing? Are they aping that aesthetic? Or is it unavoidable… is it just how an MMO of this type will look?

      @Chris D

      Are you implying I’m a troll? Why is that? Because I asked a genuine question?

    • AMonkey says:

      “Aesthetically, in the interface and the effects, and the world itself, generally the way it looks to me… It looks like World of Warcraft.”
      Being serious

      Pick one.

    • Unaco says:

      Why do I have to pick one? Can I not think that it looks similar to WoW in more than one way?

    • thebwt says:

      Tekken is a street fighter clone, and soul caliber is a street fighter clone. Mortal Combat is a street fighter clone. Marvel vs. Capcom is a street fighter clone. Bars across the top showing HP, punches and kicks tied to the buttons, esoteric hand blistering methods create dazzling on screen displays.

      Everyone knows street fighter invented all that stuff. And everyone just wants to copy them.

      obligitory: well if they didn’t invent it they definitely perfected it.

    • GrandmaFunk says:

      GW2 looks like WOW in the same way that Random RPG A looks like Random RPG B.

      do they share extremely basic and general concepts of the genre? yes

      is the character design similar? not even a little bit
      is the world design similar? nope

      Statements like yours mostly point out one thing: you know very little about either of the things you’re comparing.

      It’s the equivalent of saying “all techno sounds the same”.

    • sneetch says:

      @Unaco

      Most third person fantasy games look somewhat like this, somewhat like WoW; they have a bunch of standard UI elements because they’ve proven useful enough to become a standard, WoW didn’t invent any of them and it wasn’t the first MMO to have them.

      I played WoW for 5 years and I don’t think it looks all that much like WoW at all, I think it looks like Guild Wars.

    • Tams80 says:

      Is Guild Wars like WOW? It’s a sequel to Guild Wars, so I doubt Guild Wars 2 is ‘aping’ WOW. Guild Wars might, but then I’ve not played either. There’s nothing wrong with having a similar style though.

      You damn well know what you have done.

    • Unaco says:

      I’m not saying it’s a WoW clone. And why are people getting so defensive? I’m asking, like MK to Street Fighter having similar layouts and systems… is that aesthetic of the interface (bars along the bottom with quick skills or whatever, the names over character’s heads, the blocks for text at the sides, the icons dotted around, the minimap) the only one that can work for an MMO? Has it been tried a different way? Did it work? If not, why not?

      I’m not criticising the game. I’m asking a question.

      BTW… Probably “Yie Ar Kung Fu” which invented that aesthetic, or the look of, the interface for Fighting games.

    • thebwt says:

      @Unaco I’m not trying to sound overly defensive, more dismissive is what I was going for.

      And the flaw in my argument was inserted on purpose… and you completed my point. Thanks!

      To your point, early everquest had a mildly different interface, though effectively the same. You could really argue that mapping different utilities to the number keys is a relic of FPSes (doom interface). So you need easy mappable keys, and a way to refrence those mappings.

      Essentially given the nature of the presentation, this is the only way that makes any sense.

    • Unaco says:

      @sneetch.

      Thank you. That’s the sort of response I was hoping for. It’s a staple/standard of the genre, I see. I’ll ask again, have any other (fantasy) MMOs tried radically different interfaces? What were the results?

      @GrandmaFunk.

      I didn’t say anything about art style, character design, world design or anything like that. I was talking about the interface, and some other aesthetic parts. And yes, I’m pretty ignorant about MMO’s. Never played one really (unless you count a few days on Anarchy Online when it went free). Hence me asking a question… Hopefully trying to be enlightened of my ignorance. I apologise if that offends you.

    • sneetch says:

      @Unaco
      Thank you. That’s the sort of response I was hoping for. It’s a staple/standard of the genre, I see. I’ll ask again, have any other (fantasy) MMOs tried radically different interfaces? What were the results?

      None that I’m aware of, WoW has the most variation that I’ve seen (due to the flexibility the addons API allows) but at the end of the day most of those addons tend to just offer variations of the standard UI. I suppose the main reason for that is that if you don’t have that information you’re at a disadvantage to those that do.

      I do like the fact that in Guild Wars 2 all the combat specific UI elements are at the bottom of the screen together, having them in the same place makes sense, none of that “health in the upper left, map in the upper right, hotbars in the middle of the bottom” nonsense; it means that you spend less time looking at/for the UI and more time looking at the action, vital for a PVP game especially.

    • Chris D says:

      Unaco

      Well your first post did look fairly provocative. Everyone else has covered most of this already but In terms of aesthetic design they’re both fantasy MMO’s but that’s about the extent of it.

      In terms of interface you have certain elements that you have to put somewhere and there’s an argument that the best place is where people would expect to find them, although most MMO’s will allow for some customisation.

      From where I was sitting it looked as if you were saying “This new game everyone’s so excited about? Just a clone of the old one.” I’ll take your word that wasn’t the intention but probably a little more detail to begin with would have helped.

    • quaunaut says:

      @Unaco

      A lot of the older games used radically different interfaces, but they found they didn’t work near as well. The reason so many people are taking this kind of badly, is because to an MMO player, this interface is a huge departure from what we’ve seen before, so few abilities, no huge unit frames(hp/power bars for you and your target, no huge menus, etc etc. A lot of us felt like seeing their UI was a breath of fresh air.

      Even in aesthetic, they take a very different approach- the painterly feel hasn’t really been attempted before, and the use of color they have is extremely different than the ‘norm’. When you look at the design of MMOs, it’s generally rather difficult to actually get rid of a lot of the UI features without massively inconveniencing the player.

    • ffordesoon says:

      It does look like WOW. The WOW I’ve always wanted to play, I mean, as opposed to WOW as it is.

    • Kent says:

      I think it barely looks like WoW. Especially if you consider that the aesthetic principle of WoW is to look like a RTS from 2002.

      I think the largest similarity comes from its level design and creatures. The rest in the game looks like Champion’s Online and that bodes ill for me.

      GW were a good game though. For those of you that didn’t check it out, you missed out baldy… let me tell you.

    • Rankith says:

      Guys he is just saying the interface looks like WoW, it was worded kinda bad and vague but thats what he meant. And the interface is “similar” to WoW, and most other MMOs.

    • John P says:

      is that aesthetic of the interface (bars along the bottom with quick skills or whatever, the names over character’s heads, the blocks for text at the sides, the icons dotted around, the minimap) the only one that can work for an MMO? Has it been tried a different way? Did it work? If not, why not?

      Considering all the things Arenanet are doing differently from other MMOs, they probably experimented with a lot of UI possibilities and concluded this is the most useful. Given everything else, I doubt it’s a case of being unambitious.

    • jjujubird says:

      “I do like the fact that in Guild Wars 2 all the combat specific UI elements are at the bottom of the screen together, having them in the same place makes sense, none of that “health in the upper left, map in the upper right, hotbars in the middle of the bottom” nonsense; it means that you spend less time looking at/for the UI and more time looking at the action, vital for a PVP game especially.”

      You’re absolutely right. A lot of good WoW PvPers would use mods to change the interface so this info was in 1 section of the screen. If your eyes have to dart all over the screen you end up having worse positioning and such because you’re not able to pay as much attention to it.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Why is interface redesign an end in and of itself? If someone wants to say that the gameplay is too similar to WoW, I guess you could make that argument, but as long as you’re going to have a class-based fantasy combat MMO, there’s no reason we need to find a non-standard layout for status bars and icons with every game. If someone thinks up a better one, good. If what we have is the best it gets, that’s fine too.

      Outside the interface, you’re left arguing that the art style and graphics resemble WoW. Which is just nonsense–if it’s ripping off anything, it’s ripping off latter Final Fantasy games (8, 10, 13). Unless you want to say that all brightly-colored fantasy games look alike, saying GW2 looks like WoW is a joke.

      Obvious one-liner trolling followed by feigned outrage when people take note seems to have become your modus operandi.

    • Edradour says:

      Im reading rps now for maybe 4 month and even I have figured out that Unaco is a Troll ( and one of the really annoying kind )
      So why do you still feed him?

    • Necroscope says:

      I heard a rumour in the slaughtered nun that the beta was locked down to lo-rez grafix.

  7. Oof says:

    This looks sort of pretty and enjoyable. Too bad it’s an MMO.

    • Feriluce says:

      What does that have to do with the enjoyability of the game?

    • Nick says:

      no sub and a number of personal single player storylines (that can also be coop’d), its not got the usual mmo only downsides imo.

    • Oof says:

      Grind diminishes the enjoyment of what there is to enjoy. If there’s not some overarching goal to the game, beyond “level up”, it just feels like a waste of time.

      Although what Nick says sounds interesting. More on those parts, RPS.

    • Brun says:

      Okay? Not every MMO is grindy…unless you’re in Korea.

    • Feriluce says:

      There isn’t really gonna be any significant grind in the traditional sense. The leveling curve flats out around lvl 10-20, and you’ve got your personal story for that singleplayer experience.

    • GrandmaFunk says:

      this game will have very little “grind”, and the bit that is there is mostly optional.

      the goals of the game are experiencing the story, the setting and the game play. you play it because you enjoy playing it, not because you feel like you have to.

    • Oof says:

      What are the stories like? Are they WoW-like “stories”? DA2-like stories? DA:O-like stories? If they’re any good, and there really isn’t much grind, I’d love to take a look at this.

    • Chris D says:

      Oof

      This is quite old now but worth a read if you haven’t seen it.

      http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/personal-stories/personal-story-overview/

    • Oof says:

      Between you and Dominic White I think I’ve been sold on it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Also, while I don’t know exactly how it will go in GW2, GW1 was particularly made in a direction of “no grind needed”.

      The first episode (prophecies) had a regular level curve (which could be achieved with playing only the main story line), and limited level quite fast to 20. The rest of the game was made to be played on full level. With the next expansions, it was even more obvious. You had a “starting island”, with a main story and several tutorial quests, with quite large xp rewards. It was catapulting you to the max level (still 20) quite fast, so you could play the rest of the game on the main continent. GW was made to be played on max level, it didn’t really care for XP.

      As for items, there was no grind also to get max armor or items. You could buy the max armor for not much money. Legendary armors for which you would actually grind some rare materials were only aesthetical, they didn’t give you a gameplay advantage. There were some rare items, but all they had was one more stat, but nothing gamebreaking between a owner of such item, and one with a base weapon, from what I remember.

  8. Thwick says:

    Thanks for the guided city tours, that’s a heck of a find. I haven’t seen any Thief perspective videos, anyone have a link to one?

  9. Jabberwocky says:

    It looks like they’ve done a great job with this game. It’s been a good few months for MMO players. I’ll be interested to see Guild Wars 2′s payment model going head to head with SWTOR’s subscription.

    I noticed the intro quest was called “The Great Hunt”. I wonder if that’s an intentional match to the Robert Jordan / Wheel of Time book of the same name.

    • Brun says:

      The Great Hunt is also the central event in the first third of the Bounty Hunter questline in SWTOR.

      Conspiracy theories go!

    • Feriluce says:

      There is a hunt, and its quite big. Seems reasonable to call it “The great hunt”

    • Jabberwocky says:

      Wouldn’t it then be “the quite big hunt”?

  10. Kuroko says:

    TERA looks and feels better than this.

    • Telzis says:

      What the developers did with the Unreal Engine in TERA is amazing, I agree, and the combat looks fun. On the other hand, Guild Wars 2 seems to be more progressive when it comes to gameplay – the questing system, enemy scaling, skill system looks really interesting.

    • Kuroko says:

      There are some great ideas indeed in GW2, and the no monthly fee thing is a huge plus. But I’m just pissed about the skill simplification and removal of build making, which was the essence and the most fun part of GW1 for me. With this one, they took a more conventional MMO approach, and if I’m to judge it as such, I still prefer TERA. I’ll end up buying both anyway.

    • Dominic White says:

      “But I’m just pissed about the skill simplification and removal of build making”

      For the Elementalist alone, you get to pick from:

      75 weapon skills (Skill 1-5)
      30+ utility skills (Skill 6-10)
      5 Talent paths – at max level, you have just about enough points to max out 2.4 of them. Each talent path has 3 slots for Traits which notably affect your skills, and about a dozen to pick from. So yeah, there’s *tons* to choose.

      They’ve really not dumbed anything down. You can literally have 5 or 6 people of the same class in a single party with maybe 1-2 skills shared between them.

      (Edit: Now that I think about it, there’s only three heal skills per class.. so yeah, you can have three people with completely different characters of the same class before encountering *any* overlap. And there’s 8 classes.)

    • Nick says:

      and to be fair, there weren’t that many builds in GW that were particularly good, although experimenting was fun.

    • Kuroko says:

      There may be skills to choose, but you just can’t experiment and combine, since its restricted to a handful of skills they chose for you. In Guild Wars 1 you could break the boundaries of your profession and play in ways not even the developers imagined. Here you are going to fight they way “you are supposed to”. They already controlled every possible scenario so they don’t have to balance any skills.

      And yes, the skills are dumbed down, they said it themselves in one of the first interviews. Guild wars, had triggers, secondary effects, conditional secondary effects, energy management, etc etc etc… Here you have one secondary effect at best.

      Taking the imagination out of Guild Wars, makes it like any other MMO to me, and as I said before, as an ordinary MMO, I like TERA better.

      I’m really looking forward to the Secret World, the skill freedom with no profession and no levels makes it sound like a true Guild Wars sequel.

    • Dominic White says:

      In GW1 you could break the game to the point where many classes could be rendered completely and utterly invulnerable to all damage in PvE. A single monk could take on a dozen Lv25 critters at once.

      The system is a bit more limited this time round – just simple enough to actually be balanced – but the number of potential builds is still enormous.

    • Kuroko says:

      I don’t give a damn about balance. Being allowed to break the game in Guild Wars was one of the best things it had, as it gave me the feel I wasn’t following anyone’s rails.

      Guild Wars 2′s build system = 0 imagination involved.

    • Dominic White says:

      Given that everything is communal and persistent now, if one player breaks the game for themselves, they break it for everyone else they encounter. That’s a pretty bloody good reason to make a more balanced system.

    • Vinraith says:

      And that’s why abandoning whole-world instancing was a shit idea from the outset. Multiplayer integration leads to a need for balance, balance leads to simplification and homogenization. I loved GW1, and got my money’s worth out of it so many times over I’d frankly be an ass not to at least try GW2, but it’s clear that this one is designed with a far more MMO-like sensibility. That’s one of the worst insults I can level against a game.

    • Kuroko says:

      Just because they have a reason doesn’t mean I have to like it.

      There are already too many open world MMO, there was only one Guild Wars. I would be happier with more of the same, but better, if I want something diferent, that’s what other games are for.

    • Dominic White says:

      This is a very weird line of reasoning. If you want a singleplayer RPG where you don’t have to deal with other players, and huge imbalances that you can exploit to break the game horribly? Well, there’s a whole mess of singleplayer games to do that in. You can even cheat or download trainers and become a god without the requirement of playing the game!

      GW2 is a multiplayer game. Y’know – the second letter of MMORPG? If the game isn’t designed to function well with multiple players, then it’s not a well designed game. Yes, there’s fewer options to completely ruin the game (as mentioned, a healer could turn into an atomic mega-tank capable of soloing enemy groups meant for 8 players with the right min/maxing), but there’s still a lot of options.

      When you can have 24 players together, but with *zero* skill overlap, that’s offering a helluva lot more than pretty much any RPG I can think of, online or otherwise.

    • Kuroko says:

      There are also thousands of MMORPG as well as single player but Guild Wars was neither, and I never said I play alone, I played cooperative with friends and we had fun pushing the limits of the game together in both pvp and pve. I just don’t see how having an open world that you can perfectly do alone, while being surrounded by random strangers jerking around is gonna add anything to the experience. Thats not what Guild Wars 1 was about. Guild Wars 1 was about overcoming challenges with your friends and trying to come up with something clever to achieve that. It was never meant to be an MMORPG. as they described it: it’s a COOPRPG.

      All I see from all the footage is lone players spamming skills against lone mobs, and random players doing their thing in the background and that is NOT what Guild Wars was.

      You people just can not accept that someone does not like what they are doing with the game. Will my opinion about it diminish your enjoyment of it? Or is it that deep down you know I am right and somehow you just want to disagree to deny it?.

  11. Blackcompany says:

    What I would love to know more than anything about GW2 is this: How is the combat?
    .
    Is it real time, with actual dodging, etc? Or more WoW/Rift like, with hot keys and static animations? A blend of the two?
    .
    I am not expecting Tera-like action combat from this game, just hoping it isn’t Rift/WoW like, either.

    • Dominic White says:

      A lot of players in these videos play it like World of Warcraft. These players are most often seen face-down on the ground.

      Here’s some footage of a very low-level human warrior (only a few skills unlocked at that point) played with enough skill to evade almost all damage:

      Very mobile, very action-oriented. And that’s a heavy warrior – thieves are much more agile, and some caster specs spend most of their time teleporting around.

      By default, your basic attack combo will automatically cycle when within range of a targetted enemy, but you can disable that if you want to swing manually – any enemies visibly hit by the weapon will take damage, rather than just the primary target.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Thanks for posting that. Looks like some real time dodging there. That particular video reminds me just a little of Kingdoms of Amalur, albeit slightly scaled down in terms of its over-the-topness. That’s not a bad thing, as combat in Amalur is one thing I do enjoy about that game.
      .
      Nice to see the AAA MMO’s ratcheting up combat to something a little more enjoyable.

    • Dominic White says:

      Aside from a few particularly big spells/powers, everything can be used on the move. There’s no mana bar – each skill has it’s own cooldown – so it’s a matter of using the right move at the right time rather than just cycling 1-2-3, repeat until dry.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Yeah, I found it rather interesting in the Yogscast video. There were some enemies which had extremely high damage abilities that had lengthy casting with visual cues, so you could dodge them.

      At first, Lewis wouldn’t dodge anything and he was always extremely low on HP. Then he slowly started noticing this isn’t WoW and his health remarkably improved in no time. It’s encouraging to see that the game seems to be delivering on its promise of more dynamic and kinetic combat.

    • derbefrier says:

      Yeah that’s awsome the combat imo is what is going to really set this game apart from other mmos, as most everything else has been done to some degree. But as much as I loved WoW and even TOR the same old combat system desperately needs some innovation and I hope this will set a new standard.
      This will be an awesome game to play in between content updates for TOR. Mostly because I have a feeling this game is going to be primarily pvp focused and I like my progression raiding more than pvp. Of course I could be regretting saying that in a few months cause in the end it just comes down to what game I have the most fun with.

    • Dominic White says:

      There’s currently four open-world PvP maps, 2 arena PvP maps, and dozens upon dozens of PvE maps with cutscenes and branching story-lines and all that malarkey.

      The game doesn’t seem PvP-focused at all. It’s vastly outweighed by the amount of PvE content. It just offers a lot for competitive play as well due to the sheer bigness of everything.

    • Sian says:

      @Dominic: The video you linked is now private. You wouldn’t happen to know another one showing a good player?

    • Dominic White says:

      Someone below posted a higher-res version of it, which is public:

    • luckystriker says:

      Skill based action is really the right way to go. However, as someone living in Asia who gets 350-450ms lag (to US West, the least laggy), I wonder if GW2 is going to be playable for me. Even in WoW’s static combat, I couldn’t be a melee class in PvP due to the the ease of people moving behind me. If I’m going to need to rely on reaction times for caster…it’s a depressing thought if I can’t play this.

    • Dominic White says:

      GW1 had loads of regional servers (and WvW is cross-region, and apparently you can play PvE with friends on other servers easily), including several in asia. They’re pushing the E-sports style PvP fairly hard in Korea, so I expect you’ll be able to get a good ping at least somewhere.

  12. Dominic White says:

    So, this does a few things very different from every other MMO, and as such, it’s likely to be the first MMO since the original Guild Wars that I’m willing to pay for.

    First, just a bonus: No subscription. GW1 sold well just as a boxed game, offering paid extensions to your character roster or cross-character storage and the like for those with extra money.

    They’ve ditched the idea that endgame is where the game begins. You start out having big setpiece boss battles from level 1 and dungeons from around level 20 (with a cap of 80). This kinda links in with it not having a subscription – if there’s no monthly income, then there’s no reason to keep you on a grind-laden leveling treadmill forever. Content comes first and foremost.

    Second, the whole ‘holy trinity’ of Tank, Healer & DPS is gone. Each class has several roles that they can switch inbetween, sometimes with a single button-press. A warrior can be a sword n’ board damage sponge, or back off and become a ranged AoE suppression type. Each class has a dedicated slot for a self/party healing skill, and there’s currently three types of heal per class. You can also fully respec your character for free at any time you’re not in combat.

    Oh yeah – for general adventuring, parties are gone. You can formally group up with people and it’ll show their health bars and locations on your HUD, but there’s no need to formally group up. All the ‘overworld’ quests are communal, scale up in difficulty based on how hard players are pushing at it, and rewards are based on participation. There’s no kill-stealing, just rewards. If you see someone in trouble and about to die, then help them out and you’ll get rewarded.

    This means that rather than wandering around town looking for people with symbols above their head for quests, you just go out exploring. It’ll inform you on your HUD when something interesting is happening nearby, and you can participate as much as you want. Most events run in cycles, so liberating a town from bandits will make the bandits relocate to a camp nearby, where they’ll launch small raids, meaning a new event appears to clear out the camp. Fail that, and they’ll retake the town.

    And the combat in general is much less stat-dependent than most. Movement and knowing how to use each skill is most important, as shown in that warrior gameplay video I posted. Each zone even has a level cap. If you exceed it, your base combat stats won’t grow until you move somewhere more befitting your station, so a level 80 can’t come back to a level 3 newbie zone and one-shot everything. There’s sidekicking, too, so if you want to party up with a high-level buddy in a high-level zone, they can bring you along for the ride.

    The whole thing basically feels like Arenanet looked at the MMORPG genre as it stands and perceived it as a problem to be fixed, not a formula to be adhered to.

    • Blackcompany says:

      “The whole thing basically feels like Arenanet looked at the MMORPG genre as it stands and perceived it as a problem to be fixed, not a formula to be adhered to. ”
      .
      That is a heartening sentiment indeed. I feel exactly that way about the existing MMO structure myself. Based on your description, and the videos and reviews I have seen thus far, this game seems like it could easily become a hobby sort of gaming experience for me, personally.
      .
      I like the idea of a game that welcomes and rewards exploration, and it seems this game does that. Looking forward to trying something new in the MMO genre.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      The point about classes being flexible is really remarkable. I watched some videos and I have to say it’s the first time I “got” how flexible they meant. The Mesmer class can wield a ton of different weapons, though most people stick with the basic sword at first. This means they get a lot of close range offensive capabilities with interesting phantasm and other such “pet”-like abilities.

      However, I saw a sceptre (I believe it was a sceptre) being demonstrated too, and the difference was astounding. From a nearly pure DPS build, the Mesmer became a condition dealer. Heck, the basic, spammable attack actually just piled conditions on your foe! That’s wicked.

    • Oof says:

      This is sounding awesome. I’m convinced.

  13. Reapy says:

    I’m going to buy this game just for the sake of looking at the cities and artwork, and hopefully I’ll enjoy the rest of the game along the way, but it would be an insult not to pay homage to the work being done on the game. I am most definitely NOT going to look at the city tour videos so that I can walk in to each area and go ‘oohh shit’. Hard to replicate those moments ever, no sense to spoil them!

  14. Davee says:

    My, this is starting to look like the first “Theme-park” MMO I could actually enjoy playing. They seem to have removed many of the irks I have with that type of a game (*cough* WoW *cough*). And with my friends who are more experienced in this genre taking a liking to it as well… I can see that this will very likely end up on my gaming rig. :)
    (The fact that it dosn’t require you to subscribe to play is another bonus!)

  15. Dana says:

    The only MMO im looking forward to atm, apart of Planetside 2.

  16. Sardukar says:

    Found this video of a skilled warrior in PvE using actual dodge and kick mechanics.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR0-S9SQCW4

    Pretty sweet. Note the nicely-timed dodges as well as the hilariously cool high kick used.

  17. Orontes says:

    I’m looking forward to playing this. Hopefully it will be noob-friendly for guys like me.

  18. Punchbowled says:

    “Given that everything is communal and persistent now, if one player breaks the game for themselves, they break it for everyone else they encounter. That’s a pretty bloody good reason to make a more balanced system.”

    And the internet said, “Let there be a metaphor for the end of late capitalism”. And lo, there was a metaphor, and a person on the internet saw it, and he saw that it was a good metaphor for what it was a metaphor for.

  19. MonkeyMonster says:

    Hmmm indeed, never bothered with any mmo before at all bar if you really want to include tf and tf2 or dod(s) with that it is multi player…
    This has me wondering if I will part with some greens to play a norn warrior/paladin. Most of hte demo’s show nice tight gameplay with obvious multi player fun but otherwise good looking multi missions with leveling down to stop silly swamping.
    Interesting indeed. Skyrim is of course a strong contender but something about the potential of multiplayering as well as just solo stuff is making me more that way inclined.

  20. Dominic White says:

    Ooh, another video that highlights the whole Exploration = Good + Fun thing this game is shooting for:

    Dude swims through an underwater tunnel almost completely hidden by foliage, and comes up in an enormous cave filled with traps and platforming challenges, with a reward at the top along with a fancy vista to take in.

    This is a completely optional hidden area that serves no quest purpose – it’s just a cool location.

  21. Sinex says:

    The driver’s buddy makes me feel much, much less like a nerd. I think it’s the shrill laugh and strange “AWWWWWWW He *likes* me!!!” mostly.