Guild Wars 2 Beta Report
Sal Thomas / Jun 19th, 2012 7 Comments
For starters I must say that I did not play the original Guild Wars so jumping into the second completely green might have been a bit of a mistake. The reason I say that is because the learning curve on this game is quite a long one, or at least it was for me. I got into the game and was expecting it to be the same kind of game play as WoW and I was dead wrong. The controls are roughly the same and that is where it completely stops. Guild Wars actually requires you to have a brain and use it wisely. You can’t just go up to a creature and press two or three buttons and kill it. Even in the beginning areas the creatures hit hard and if you don’t evade (yes you can actually roll to the side and backwards to avoid damage) you will die. Trust me I did that quite a few times on my Elementist that I spent much of the beta weekend playing with. I also was confused to the way my skills worked. They give you only one skill in the beginning of the game and as you progress in levels you unlock the skills on your hot bar. There are times where you can gain a new attack before going up a new level which was a winkle I haven’t seen in an MMOPRG. Also when you change your weapon, it auto-changes your skills which a cool but odd twist for those that aren’t used to this game mechanic. I will definitely have to explore moreon how that will affect end game content as additional beta weekends make themselves available in the future.
For the most part at the beginning, quests are mundane and feel very MMOish with the typical help / kill off certain creatures dynamic. Go help the farmer collect wheat while again and again killing the same monsters – very repetitive. I will give Arena Net credit for their main opening quest though. Unlike most MMOs that give you a starting quest where it gives you time to learn the controls and the feel of the game early on, Guild Wars 2 does not. They dump you into an actual group quest where anybody who is starting the game will not only be on the same quest as you, but will actually be helping you just as you help them on the quest. It’s a great idea and the ending of the quest was quite epic. This epic group quest right at the beginning of Guild Wars 2 makes you feel more connected to your fellow players and the world, although there is a potential drawback. This group quest was easy for 200 new characters to accomplish, but what happens when the game is out for seven or eight months and people aren’t making quite as many new characters? Only time will tell with what the Arena Net team is going to do with that or if that issue actually manifests itself as a gameplay problem.Now for the good parts – there are a lot of them. Let’s start off at the beginning / start area of the game, at the character creation interface. It is by far one of the most beautiful and well put together creation screens I have seen. The way they guide you through the creation of your character makes you feel like you want to explore every class and story background without feeling like you have seen it all before and want to skip it just to play the game. I advise you not to skip out on any detail for your character either, because the conversations you have with important characters is quite an amazing experience. You actually see your character on screen interacting with notable characters in a new and interesting way.
That leads into the second good part experienced during the recent Guild Wars 2 beta weekend – the story. While I have said previously that I had not played the first Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 does a good job of making it so that it will not hinder you in this game. While you may not know all the characters like the king and the names of various dragons, they don’t put a huge emphasis on you having to know them to play the game and enjoy the story. The sounds are another thing I actually enjoyed about this game. I usually don’t even pay attention to the sounds in a game but it was the music that got my attention for some reason, perhaps because it wasn’t too overpowering. I actually feel that it brought me more into the game the same way the music brought me into a movie, such as Lord of the Rings.
A detailed in-depth look at the beta will be coming soon, followed by a review of this amazing game that is shaping up to be deserving of everybody’s must-play list.
tags: guild wars 2 , ncsoft , preview