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29-04-2012, 02:57 PM #1
Guild Wars 2 beta, your impressions
I've been really waiting for this game. Original Guild Wars is for me one of the player-character defining games, I loved it, spent several thousand hours in it my best PVP memories come from there.
And two days ago I played Guild Wars 2. I didn't really do that much research about how the game will be like since I didn't want to spoil the positive or negative surprise, I just had the basic knowledge about classes, races, dynamic events and some WvW.
Firstly, what I did like:
+ the idea of dynamic events instead of pick-up quests and the impact it has in the world, even though it's short-termed
+ art style
+ the map and the fluid transitions between
+ lot of polished and convenient mechanics, ie. you don't have to, for example, click on the body you want to loot, you just stand nearby and press F to do it. Comfy.
And what I didn't like
- skill system
It's beyond belief to be honest how can you can go from Guild Wars 1, which had fully customizable skill-bar, where you could make any character you desired, from an archer-healer to melee elementalist, focus your toon around any elite skill you wanted, mix whichever classes you chose. That's what I loved the most about Guild Wars, the freedom of character creation and usage, so many options, so much variability, nothing set in stone.
In Guild Wars 2 whole left side of your skill bar is locked to your weapon. Longbow has pre-defined 4 attack skills, great sword has pre-defined 4 attack skills, you can't do jack about it, nothing to be changed to suit your style more or alter the general idea of your character build. I played my ranger to like level 14, I'm bored to death already with the skills I'm forced to use. Surely I could just switch to shortbow, but that doesn't change the fact that you don't define your character and his weapon choice, your weapon choice defines your character and your gameplay, two guys using shortbows will have exactly same main skills. I can't imagine the boredom of the next 65 levels of using same 4 skills.
Apart from those pre-defined "main" skills you have your second weapon, ie. melee weapon for ranger, which has another pre-defined 4 skills of it's own, you can, and most people probably do, switch to it in combat, that's one positive. The fifth skill is healing, everyone has it, you can't put anything in that slot apart from a healing spell, you can pick one of three or four.
And then, finally, you have 3 "utility" slots, which you can change. The problem is that there's a total of maybe 15 skills to choose from, for ranger about 5 of them is, from what I could tell, PVE only. On top of that you have traits, which are utility too.
I think by now you're starting to get the picture where this game went from fully customizable 8 slot skillbar and 120-140 skills per profession and you could have two.
This probably will be fixed - can't imagine what happens to ranger class if it won't - but the pet AI is horrible. Pathfinding generally fails in PVP, it's so bad that I resorted to using ranged pets only, ie. spiders. Mind that each pet has an unique ability which is crucial to play ranger effectively. And most of the time you cant use it because your pet ran off and got stuck or killed.
- the general paradigm of how PVP looks like
Mind this is a completely personal opinion, so some people might take this as a feature.
Everyone has tons of HP, it takes literally forever, or at least a minute, to down anyone who's half-competent and able to heal himself (mash "5" button). And the arenas are pretty small. I don't think I've had a proper 1v1 fight ever in GW2, it always ends up with someone else joining up and it's a gank this way or other way. It simply takes too long, even for burst-damage gank-character like thief. In fact this more reminds me of League of Legends, where too fights are so prolonged and skills do so little damage. This wasn't the case in first Guild Wars, it was way more dynamic and entertaining. I do remember my ranger being able to kill full-hp cloth wearing enemies like mesmers in under 10 seconds if absent proper healing.
Apart from the lenght of fights, I got to say that there are times where I have no idea what the fuck is going on on my screen. The general traffic jam of overlapping skills, effects, explosions and hell knows what else make it simply overwhelming, add to that the fact pretty much everyone keeps rolling on the ground to avoid damage or escape from melee range (who the hell invented this mechanics, jesus), knockdowns and knockbacks are quite common, meaning people are flying back and forth, and in overall you have a one huge indistinguishable Vietnam on your screen.
- PVP modes
WvW is a massive zerg from what I could tell, reminds me much of Isle of Conquest from Warcraft, not my cup of tea, didn't test if further.
Arenas: either I'm blind or there is only one mode available in beta, the conquest, where are three points to be captured and held. Why no team-deathmatch arena? Why no, say, CTF or something innovative instead of this domination mode which is simply Arathi Basin in Tyria?
From what I could tell, so far there's no Hall of Heroes type of mode, though there are tournaments which arent yet available. From the description though its the same conquest-type thing but with premade teams. I simply have nothing to play in here.
- certain animations
Guild Wars 1 veterans will certainly remember that ranger had a very good looking and satisfying to use bow shooting animation. In GW2 it was replaced with blurred, pew-pew kind of thing. Annoying. On the plus side pistol animations and sound are superb.
- some little things
My camera often freaks out, it's a technical issue related to this whole and stupid roll-dodge thing, it looks like it had mouse acceleration on during it.
Game optimization is terrible at this point, but I get that it's a beta and will be drastically fixed.
This game has so little to do with original Guild Wars that I can't say it's a legitimate sequel with straight face. It probably is, or will be, a decent game on it's own, but not as a worthy continuation. I surely wouldn't pay a montly fee for this, at this point I'm not even sure if I'm going to buy it.
It's hard for me not to notice how badly this game is trying to challenge World of Warcraft, it lost it's magic to me with this horrible skill system. It just feels more like just another MMO with innovative mechanics in some parts, than Guild Wars. It's not revolutionary.
Last edited by Tres; 29-04-2012 at 04:42 PM.
29-04-2012, 04:28 PM #2
The argument Arena Net used to defend the new skill systems holds true in my opinion: While the old skill system numerically allowed for more combinations of skills, most of those theoretically possible builds weren't feasible. So locking some skills in sets certainly decreases the number of possible skill combinations and rules out some exotic yet feasible combinations but most of the skill combinations dropped in this way wouldn't have been feasible and thus won't be missed. Hopefully this will reduce the FOTM approach to builds that plagued guild wars, where some experimentally inclined individuals would pioneer builds only to be copied and varied by the masses who were incapable of wrestling with the sheer amount of skill choices to develop a competitive build on their own.
And why you didn't try out different weapons is absolutely beyond me. Even the differences between longbows and shortbows allow for completely different playstyles. The shortbow is a weapon that forces you to approach your positioning much more tactically. A shortbow and an alternate melee weapon set make for a very active and interesting playstyle with lots of dodging. I quite enjoyed if after growing tired of the long distance arrow spam that defines the longbow.
Last edited by Sinderlin; 29-04-2012 at 04:36 PM.
29-04-2012, 07:26 PM #3
i'm woefully underwhelmed. the parts are nice, i suppose, and it's all very pretty and well put together, but it's just boring. i booted up my client right when the event opened, made my character, got all excited, played for about an hour and realized i just had zero desire to keep playing. i did of course, trying out various things (pvp, wvw, progressing further in the pve content, using different classes, etc.) and they were all completely uninspiring.
perhaps i have finally outgrown mmos, but gw2 is nothing revolutionary. it's different, sure, but not in any way that improves on the old formulas (from what i've seen).
29-04-2012, 08:28 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Anyway, I cannot be bothered gushing, but it's damn fun. It's got some serious beta troubles (stuff like scaling of bosses etc is messed up and the algorithm needs sorting) but nothing that couldn't be fixed within a month (so probably for next beta weekend).
The game IS brutally difficult if you don't know how to play, though.
My only issue is the lack of a greataxe. :(
29-04-2012, 08:29 PM #5
I played at a friends house for a few hours yesterday and wasn't as impressed as I hoped I would be. It still feels like any other mmo, the animations are nicer though. I still had fun but it's definitely nothing revolutionary. I'll probably still get this since lots of friends will be playing, but maybe I'll just get Max Payne 3 and Torchlight 2.
29-04-2012, 08:44 PM #6
It's the most fun I've had in an MMO since I first started playing World of Warcraft all those years ago. The world is really well crafted and gorgeous. I feel like a god (at least, above water. I feel all bar useless underwater but then, as a land based animal you'd expect that anyhow), the moves portray real power. I'm compelled to continue playing which is something I've not experienced in a persistent world in a long time. I like that it promotes group play, the only other MMO where I've played primarily in groups has been EVE, for obvious reasons. I also like that it promotes actually doing things. Killing mobs gives you so little experience in comparison to helping out NPCs or following your story, or even just exploring places not often visited.
I've not checked out anything except for PvE so far, gonna do some PvP next beta weekend.Itsbastiat, Dawngate
Bastiat, Planetside 2, Miller NC
Therin Katta, FFXIV, Cerberus
29-04-2012, 09:12 PM #7
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
I couldn't be bothered to play more than 50 minutes. Perhaps the Charr-Intro is just unfinished, but I felt like I was dropped into the game without any sort of explanation or tutorial. I literally didn't know how to target enemies; clicking on them sometimes selected them, sometimes it did nothing. I played a fire-Elementalist and got confused regarding the area of effect of my skills/spells. THe second and third skill/spell "unlocked" for some reason (I think it had something to do with experience, though I did not level up (or if I did, I did not notice it)).
All in all i feel underwhelmed, but perhaps I should just try rolling a human.
29-04-2012, 09:14 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
It's especially difficult since the combat is COMPLETELY different from your normal run of the mill MMO. I don't get the people saying it's not. It's closer to fighting in a fighting game than an MMO. You can say it's tab targetting, but when I can select someone behind me and still hit someone in front of me? Yeah, it's really not.
29-04-2012, 10:20 PM #9
29-04-2012, 09:20 PM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
I only played the Nord, but generally the stuff I liked is:
The world events (pretty good - got to the frozen maw and there is a contested zone event that kicks off their and probably one of the best events in the lower level zones as well)
The new skill system. Yeah it was nice to have multiple skills to buy in GW1 but as some of the previous posters pointed out, they weren't always that effective and some were just plain useless.
What I don't like is:
There isn't an easy way of pulling groups for story instances, which if your interested in story content could be a large - point, there is local but its not the same as a group stone or something that allows you to look for a party quickly. If they added this it would be great.
29-04-2012, 10:15 PM #11
All I really can say: I liked it more than I thought I would and that makes me want to buy it now, what I didn't want to do before.
30-04-2012, 12:27 AM #12
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
As far as I worked out you unlock weapon skills using a weapon, which I guess makes sense - you tend to get your first primary weapon depending on your class right away and then unlock the next one in a few levels (or if you get lucky and pick one up from a region event)
30-04-2012, 01:25 AM #13
In terms of the PvP criticism - one thing the beta doesn't have is their true PVP mode, the 5v5 tournaments. This is the successor to GvG/Tombs and is going to be the real heart of the PvP scene. The current 8v8 maps are just to replace the random arenas as something fun to jump into for new pvpers. We'll have to see how 5v5 shapes up before judging the PvP.
In terms of skills -The addition of the dodge mechanic and the removal of dedicated healers is fantastic, both work really well. They also did need to cut down on the number of skills from GW1 drastically, it didn't help gameplay turning it into Build Wars. However saying that they could definitely use some more thought on combos between classes, conditions and chaining dazes/knockbacks are the only two right now, more diversity would be good.
WvW I did find a bit underwhelming, as the bigger zerg wins and you spend most of your time fighting a door rather than a group of players. However I can see WvW being a bit of diverting fun when played in a 20-30 size guild group on mumble.
If I was paying a sub for GW2 I'd be worried, but as a single payment game with vanity store it's pretty great.
30-04-2012, 01:58 AM #14
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
30-04-2012, 02:54 AM #15
Last edited by Bankrotas; 30-04-2012 at 03:03 AM.
30-04-2012, 01:37 AM #16
I actually loved it, and cannot wait until June. It has its deal of problems sure, but I can safely say I played an mmo and had fun for the first time since 2006.
I hope it has longevity to it.
30-04-2012, 01:55 AM #17
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
It's basically Warhammer Online....
"dynamic" events = public quests
"world" PVP = Keep PVP
The combat system isn't as fluid or responsive as WoW, so I don't like it. I don't like the generic Asian like art style or the story stuff which just seems lacklustre and the races don't appeal to me. I also find the world to be too instanced, zned by too many teleports and it just kills the exploration for me. The lack of mounts is another weird thing, you have to run miles in The Eternal Battlegrounds which just makes it so boring. On top of that it's all about the Zerg like Warhammer Online so I wouldn't be surprised if it dies like Ilum in SWTOR.
It's just the same old MMO you've played before...
Limited world PVP
Linear scripted PVE (not dynamic at all, it's just public quests from WAR) and if you do the quests it's just basic "fetch this" or "kill this" lol, the quests feel more dated than WoW's Cataclysm quests.
I don't get the hype but whatever it doesn't have a subscription fee so it'll probably have millions of people playing.
30-04-2012, 03:25 AM #18
I didn't play the beta but I was shocked by how bad it looks. For some reason I thought it's a much prettier game, at least on par with Age of Conan. Wasn't Guild Wars one of the best looking games all those years ago? This one looks like Kingdoms of Amalur :/
30-04-2012, 03:43 AM #19
What's bad, how KoA looks like?
30-04-2012, 06:50 PM #20
This beta made me sad. This is not Guild Wars, but just another generic fantasy MMO. Where is the beautiful, imaginative, skill system of Guild Wars 1, where you felt that anything was possible? Where is the genius energy system, with its shallow, but quickly-generating energy pool, that gave the game its strategic depth? Where are the interrupts and energy denial? Where is the beautiful, calm, serene world that took my breath away when I made that first walk from Ascalon City to Ashford in pre-searing?
I waited 5 years for this, and now I'm just sad...