GW2 BWE#1 Wrap-up

I covered GW2 extensively over the weekend with my thoughts on questing, combat, Battlegrounds/Mists, and World vs. World.  I want to briefly wrap-up my thoughts from this weekend into one post so that someone wondering what I think about GW2 can easily find them.

Something about GW2 won me over.  I had framerate issues in WvW and sometimes in crowded areas, and it was clear that the game has a few months of Beta until it is read. However, I find myself sitting here wishing I could log on and play.  I miss playing.

WvW has a lot of potential if the players will stick with it while it matures.  If GW2’s community hits its stride and defends, attacks, and really invests emotionally into the World vs. World experience it will be a long-lasting form of entertainment that will give GW2 a lot of replayability.

I like the individual loot system because I don’t have to worry about something dropping and someone else getting it. There’s also very little BoP/BoE stuff, if I recall correctly.  Questing is a natural progression experience through each zone, and I like how I can go to the area and work with others to complete quests even though I’m an individual.  Playing with friends is extremely easy with the de-leveling in lower level zones.

The Cash Shop … I guess I should say, “What cash shop?”  It was as though the thing didn’t exist.  I’m not at all worried about the current state of the cash shop, but that’s perhaps what worries me the most because ArenaNet wants to make a profit.  I hope enough people want to buy those worthless (I mean totally awesome) keys and costumes.

I don’t know what’s up with the whole ‘mail everything’ system.  You can’t trade with anyone which will prove to be an oddity if stays that way.

GW2 is definitely a themepark, and there isn’t a whole lot of ‘new’ being brought to the genre.  ArenaNet hasn’t just copied WoW, though.  There is a lot borrowed from games like DAOC — qualified and proven features — that were ignored for years, and things like weapon swapping that feel innovative.

TLDR Impressions after the jump. (more…)


GW2 WvW Impressions

WvW is the closest I have ever come to reliving Dark Age of Camelot RvR.  I chose to lead off with that comment because WvW is the reason why I will play GW2, and the reason why many of my friends decided to even give GW2 a chance.  I want to begin by giving you a narrative of the video I shot below.

The video starts off with my server fighting outside the outer wall of our Western Keep in Blue’s World.  We are the invaders taking and holding Blue’s territory.  Almost right away we are pushed back through our wall just to find ourselves flanked by an even larger Blue force which broke through the other gate on the wall.  Keeps, Towers, and Outer Walls in GW2 have multiple gates.  This makes defending much more difficult because the attackers can come at you from multiple fronts.

As we are pushed back, I dive off the cliff into the beautifully done waters of our Keep’s moat.  Water combat, and water in general, are stunning and an amazing addition to the game and WvW.  We battle back and forth and eventually push Blue back to their Garrison (primary keep, awesome defense).  Moments later, as my guildies and I are retreating to our keep on our way to take a supply depot, GREEN server’s army flanks us out of nowhere inside the walls of our keep.  I LOVE three faction PvP!!!

The video ends with the end of our attack on a Tower and a look at the Orb (DAOC Relic).  We break the doors with our ram and burst through cleaning up the last of the defenders.  Slaying the Tower Lord, we claim the Tower for our server and march off to take more objectives.

Read on for more WvW Impressions. (more…)


GW2 BWE1 First Impressions

I’ve played a few hours and I want to get my initial impressions out while they are still fresh.  These are my very early impressions.

Server Issues

I’ve had a lot of bad luck getting an optimal experience in Guild Wars 2 thus far.

When I first launched the game I was getting error after error while trying to join Sorrow’s Furnace.   Others on Ventrilo with me were getting the same error.  I thought to myself that I would try another server and simply delete a character that I make and choose a new home server, but my thought process was flawed because as soon as I chose a server I realized I was locked into it.  Being separated from my guild, I entered my credit card into to obtain 2,000 free beta gems so that I could buy an 1,800 server transfer.  After several hours of trying, that feature does not work.


GW2 does not run as well as I hoped.  I immediately noticed I’m getting low FPS in many areas.  Some areas speed up and the game feels smooth, but in order to get any decent performance I need to turn my shadows to low and shaders to medium.  I’m still averaging about 20 FPS with a rig that runs every other game I’ve tried on the highest settings.  I assume this is due to the game utilizing more CPU and less GPU, as well as a lack of optimization given the beta status.

When I get near a lot of other players the game slows down considerably.  In the Human starting area the event to help the water was packed with 50 people and I was getting a lot of slow down.


I think I like it.  I’ve tried a Thief and an Engineer so far.  I will comment more on individual classes later, and create videos.  Combat in general is fun.  I really like the idea of abilities being tied to weapons.  I’ve tried daggers, guns, rifles, and each of the abilities for the classes have felt unique.  During an event in the Charr starting area I was able to utilize my AOE attacks with a rifle and I farmed up a lot of kills, but I also attracted aggro and died.

“Dynamic” Events

They’re not dynamic.  Duh.  They’re events, and that’s what I’ll call them.  The events are fine.  They feel more natural than WAR’s Public Quests, but they are absolutely an iteration or evolution of that system.   I wish they would remove stages and make the experience more organic.  The early events in Human lands were putting out fires with buckets of water, defending against waves of bandits, and feeding cows.  I’m not very impressed with the early events, but even the second stage of events are becoming more fun.

Overall Feel

I haven’t decided yet.  Movement feels odd.  I’m not yet used to it.  PvE progression is better than the standard questing because I feel more free to go about the game in my own way.  I like the level of quality in the map system (maybe my favorite part so far) and I like the overall quality.  Polish is moderate, definitely not high.

I’m going to continue testing to focus my thoughts on specifics.  WvW is next on the list. Video after the jump.