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.



Xenoblade Chronicles Impressions

I’ve been wanting to play Xenoblade Chronicles for a long time.  XC is a Japanese game that localized in Europe first since NOE has been localizing more games than NOA.  I modified my Wii to play import games, thinking that would be my only way to actually get to play, but my importing plan fell through.  Luckily, only a few months later the Stateside release was announced and released last Friday.  You can pick up XC from Gamestop (exclusive, which sucks) now!

Xenoblade Chronicles Box artXenoblade Chronicles has a really interesting game world.  The world, instead of on a traditional planet, is on a vast ocean.  On the ocean are two gigantic mechanical beings with people inhabiting them.  From the perspective of the people, they know they’re on these beings but it looks like a normal planet to them.  It’s like Halo; you think you’re on a planet but you’re not.  The humans (Homs) live on the Bionis, and the machine enemies (Mechons) come from, I think, the other giant entity.  From what I can tell, I think the enemies cross over from the other giant entity to fight.

The story starts out where the Mechons were thought destroyed, but then resurface and attack a village.  The only thing that can harm the Mechons is the Monado Sword, which was originally in the hands of another character that was injured a year previous.  The main character, Shulk, finds that he has the ability to use the Monado Sword and has special abilities that the previous wielder did not have, such as seeing the future.  Now Shulk and his friend are leaving the colony to find the Mechons and get revenge for the death of their friend.

Xenoblade Chronicles open world
The world is large, open, and feels very much like a MMO.

Game World

The world feels very large and open.  XC feels a lot like a MMO.  There are NPC’s with side quests that give rewards and experience.  The quests can be to kill certain monsters or find things and bring them back.  You don’t have to do any of these side quests if you want to focus only on the main quest. When fighting monsters, some will BAF (bring a friend, aka they are social).  Like EQ2 had, there are collectibles to find on the ground (glowies) that you can put in a collection book to earn rewards.  Lots of to do. The best way I can describe the feel of the world is an offline MMO.

Some very cool features of the game world are the day night cycle and monsters appearing at only certain times of day.  You can form connections with towns people and really get into the world beyond what you would normally expect in a JRPG.