Our coverage on Guru’s articles and videos (May take a bit considering the amount):
Character Creation Videos: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/character-creation-vids-curse/
Guild Features Present in Press Beta http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/guild-features-present-press-beta/
Editorial on Guild Features: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/1597/
Profession Skill Videos: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/curses-video-rundown-profession-skills/
Achievement Video Summary: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/achievements-achievements-here/
Server Overflow Mechanic : http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/arenanet-explains-server-overflow-mechanic/
End of Press Beta: World Special Event: http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/press-beta-world-special-event-video/
While, as I mentioned earlier, there are still quest givers and floating green stars, that mechanic is only used for your Story Quests — a quest chain that is personal to your character, instanced, and based on your race and the decisions you made at character creation. Every other quest and event, which will likely make up the bulk of your Player vs. Environment experience, are world events that just naturally happen.
You’ll hear that a farmer needs help tending his field, or will be informed that a group of harpies is launching a raid on a nearby rock quarry. And as you start running towards these battles, you’ll see that most of the other players in the area are, too. When you start fighting or assisting, all you have to do is jump in and start working on quest objectives. You don’t need to group up or join a party, you don’t need to worry about mob tagging or kill stealing, and you won’t miss out on experience or loot as long as you participate in some way.
Because it’s so easy to work together, and because there aren’t any negative consequences, Guild Wars 2 is the first MMO I’ve played where I actually feel connected to the rest of the player base. Rather than hide from other players, or compete with them for quest spawns, I found myself actively looking for opportunities to help others. Instead of running the other way when I saw large groups of people, I’d start following them, since I assumed they were heading somewhere interesting.
How the Trinity Is Broken:
The trinity as you know it is absent — there are no tanks, no dedicated healers, and no classes focused entirely on DPS. Every class feels unique both in terms of weapon skills and mechanics, and every class can contribute significantly in terms of dealing damage and helping the party with support and utility. You don’t need any particular party composition to complete the PvE dungeons in Guild Wars 2 — my group was made up of two Rangers, two Guardians, and an Engineer. According to the developers, the game has been explicitly designed so that you can grab anyone around you and run a dungeon, without worrying about which classes you have in attendance.
World PvP Impressions:
Throughout the weekend, the World PvP was consistently compared to the Realm PvP system of Dark Ages of Camelot, both by multiple members of the press and even some developers. I haven’t played DAoC, so I can’t confirm just how similar or different it is, but the general gist is as follows. Three entire servers are pitted against each other in a two-week, persistent battle across four connected maps. Three of the maps are virtually identical, and serve as each server’s starting base of operations. The fourth map is a unique one in the middle that generally serves as the central hub for the fighting. You can freely travel to any of the four maps at any time through portals, though, so raids and incursions into “home base” territory are common. The goal is to capture various structures such as supply camps, keeps, and towers, and hold them for as long as possible. The more structures you hold, the more points you earn. The server with the most points at the end of the two weeks is the victor.
The basic idea may sound simple on paper, but in practice it’s anything but. Keeps and towers can acquire fortifications and weapons that can be manned and fired. Players can repair gates and walls as they’re attacked, and also have opportunities to purchase upgrades for the entire structure — but only if they have the money and supply to do so. Supply camps send out supply caravans to keeps and towers, but are lightly defended. A keep that’s well supplied can last for hours during a siege, as long as there is at least one player inside to initiate repairs. Cut the supply lines and blockade the entrances, and the gates will fall fairly quickly. Add another team into the mix beyond the traditional two, and you have a fluid, complex PvP system that I found to be quite enjoyable, and I normally don’t participate in PvP scenarios.
Our coverage of the video – http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/gamebreaker-declares-gw2-gets-right/
The skill system is not quite what you’d expect from your standard MMO, as you level-up, more skills in your action bar become unlocked. The quicker you level, the more you’ll have access to. What is the most surprising though is the lack of any desire to keep your eyes glued to the level-up bar. ArenaNet keep you so damn busy and engrossed that leveling almost feels like by-product.
With skills assigned to the numbered action bar hotkeys, the controls are very familiar to anyone who has played an MMO in recent times so there’s no huge learning curve. ArenaNet also added a dodge mechanic to the game, so even though there is auto-targeting you can move out of the way if you are quick enough with the dodge key but it takes a little practice. Trick is not to dodge backwards into another pack of enemies, something that I did on more than one occasion.
However, in Guild Wars 2 when you die, you have a chance to come back to life through the “downed mode”. When you die you’re presented with a number of downed skills which you can target the enemy with in a last-ditch attempt to survive. It’s not always successful though, and when you do really die, the map pops up and you select a previous waypoint to resurrect at. The “downed mode” works incredibly well and it keeps the action flowing, it also means that you can get yourself out of some nasty situations without an annoying hike back from a resurrection point.
NPC & Quest Interaction;
ArenaNet have realized that the concept of cigarette smoking NPCs is getting a little old hat You’ll see NPCs actually doing things, wandering, chucking a ball to each other or simply nattering away. Interacting with the NPCs either brings up a simple dialogue window, or for the personal story quest line, you’re presented with spoken dialogue in a zoomed-in mini dialogue cutscene.
It’s a simple idea that makes the quests fell a little more involving. It also takes away the requirement to read streams of text which you usually pay no attention to. Having these dialogue moments make you sit up and pay attention, which is just as well, it’s your story after all.
Combat in Guild Wars 2 retains the same simple elegance as the original game, a welcome in a genre that tends to lean towards complicated mechanics involving multiple rows of confusing icons. Here your weapons determine the first five abilities in your single toolbar and skills and traits determine the final five. There’s no need to rearrange your toolbar every time you switch weapon sets; those pre-defined skill popular automatically, leaving the player free to ponder which tools to use rather than how to use them.
They also free the player to look like a complete and utter bad-ass even if they’ve absolutely no idea what they are doing (hi!). The skills and abilities are designed to work together well, launching the player into complicated spells or astounding feats of agility at the press of a button. Sure, you might waste a great deal of initiative on your thief by spanning your area-effect spin on a single creature, but when it looks this good I doubt anyone noticed me would notice.
10 Abilities Make It Easy To Jump In At Any Level:
Hitting the objective-based PVP battlegrounds (more on those later) in the Guild Wars 2 beta involved temporarily dynamically scaling your character from whatever level you might have been up to level 80. In any other MMO, taking a character from level seven to level 80 results in a highly confused player. Suddenly instead of three or four skills they’ve suddenly have dozens to deal with, and it takes them a long time to develop the same skills as a player that’s leveled on their own.
But again, Guild Wars 2 characters only have ten skills and abilities to juggle, so being level 80 doesn’t make too much of a difference. Jon Peters told me the general idea was to make everyone able to hop into a PVP match and feel like they were making a difference regardless of their level of experience.
Game Performance Issues:
As much as I would love to be able to plunge right back into the world of Tyria, ArenaNet still has plenty of work ahead of them before Guild Wars 2 is ready for launch.
Specifically they need to iron out the game’s performance issues. I played on both my powerful desktop PC and a capable gaming laptop, both of which struggled with the game on anything other higher than the lowest graphics settings. Cranking up the quality resulted in horrid frame rates, and massive world versus world battles between dozens of characters caused both systems to slow to a crawl. ArenaNet just needs to fine tune game’s engine, finding the right balance between beauty and playability.
Our coverage of thier article – http://www.guildwarsinsider.com/massivelys-impressions-gw2/
Redefining Theme Park:
Make no bones about it; Guild Wars 2 is a theme-park MMO. Now, before you get up in arms, be absolutely sure to read this next bit. It’s absolutely positively redefining what that means. Once you’ve lived a while in this incarnation of Tyria, other games’ approaches to the MMO standards will seem completely outdated and archaic, charming at best. This isn’t a sandbox in the traditional sense, and it’s not a theme-park in the traditional sense either. It’s something new. The world can be affected by you as the player, through the dynamic events system, but the changes aren’t permanent. Similarly, gone is the stale quest system of old, and in its place is the incentive to explore every inch of the large and diverse zones of Tyria, because you never know what you’ll find. No, you won’t make a house in Ashford (but you will have a guild hall if you and yours so desire). And yet, because of the events, I can’t recall a game world that has ever felt so vibrant and alive, even if the events cycle and repeat themselves. Throw in the personal story you follow on each character, based on the choices you make at character creation, and you have the makings of a very large and (pardon the cliché) epic MMORPG.
- Norn Personal story
- Human character creation
- Human Thief gameplay
- Human Thief Preview
- World vs World PvP preview 1
- World vs World PvP preview 2
- Norn Engineer gameplay
- Norn Character Creation