What a great weekend of gaming and it really is wonderful to finally have a more tangible experience. The world and your own characters feel so much more real now that the characters are permanent and the world open to exploration.
I ended up starting just 2 characters for now, a Necromancer and Mesmer and I love them both so much. It is great to be playing my necro again as I love the class and am just realising how powerful the combo fields could be in PvE and PvP. Staff is amazing for self made combos as the 3rd skill chillibains makes a poison field, then exploding your Putrid Mark on top of that does a great aoe weakness and you have a projectile finisher as well.
Many of your utility wells being dark fields gives people a decent life steal and the well of life cures conditions of anyone shooting through it, which I see as being very powerful in PvP.
I was a little apprehensive about starting a mesmer alt as I have heard tell numerous times how bad they feel in early level Questing. While I understand the issue since you really don’t have the damage others do with limited weapons and utilities it isn’t that bad. I had fun just slowly questing around the Norn area and I actually got a lot more comfortable with the counter skill on the staff which is really quite powerful.
It wasn’t all questing though and being the first weekend I wanted to indulge in everything it had to offer. There are just so many options and styles of play available, it can be almost overwhelming but it is so wonderful to be able to focus on various things depending on my flitting moods, and the moods said “PLAY ALL THE THINGS.” It honestly feels like I’m ADD sometimes while playing as there is just so much awesome stuff to do and here’s the rundown from the first weekend, it’s quite long.
This is by far the most fun I have had in large scale PvP in quite a while, it is definitely the most welldesigned. It started off with just a small group of us roaming around enemy lands and doing as much damage as we could. We took as many supply camps as possible, and beat off any people who thought to challenge us. After a lot of fun we ended having a drink break and hid out on a nice spot with a view.
I ended up making a runner spec for chasing people down which was rather hilarious. Warhorn for swiftness/cripple, 2 snares on staff and scepter, utility sigil for 10% speed boost, death shroud port to person, and grasping hands for the grab. Silly people thinking they can escape a necro.
I also engaged in a bit of zerg warfare on the middle map which was surprisingly fun as even though both sides were very large we were both fielding a similarly sized team. There was a lot of give and take to the fights and I would like to think my well placed marks made a difference in the fights (but realistically not a chance). Because the fight was so large I thought building a bit of siege might help to turn the tide so I ported back, grabbed an arrow cart blueprint and headed back to the frontlines. The fight was still raging around so I rummaged through my bags for the blueprint and activated it, however I didn’t realise the fight had advanced and the minute I had the blueprint in my hands I was gunned down. I ran back as fast as I could but alas the blueprint was gone.
Another quite epic battle was 2 large forces fighting over an event. It was this large worm thing that would have taken around 30 minutes or more to kill. In the grand scheme of things so much more could have been accomplished in that time but it was a rather epic sight to see as there was at least 100 people on each side side.
It was here I realised the deadly nature of Epidemic, 100 people on our side leave a lot of conditions and when those spread my screen filled with numbers. Each time I would see the enemy nearby panic as well as a few drop, it was hilarious and worthy of my evil laugh which accompanied… Mwahahaha! If this could be properly harnessed in sPvP it will be very powerful, although it requires a lot of effort for not much extra considering focused fire kills quicker and you really are relying on a gimmick that can be easily countered.
Sadly, all this was way to many pixels for my lappy to handle and it promptly overheated and shat itself. It performed admirably for its specs and age over some prolonged fights and after a rest it was back to business.
Once again da pvp was my main focus and it was back to using my tried and true conditionmancer, which is oh so fun and deadly. I was a little rusty at first not having played the necro since beta one. I was also getting used to my new mouse and keybinds but after a couple hours it was back in the business of wreaking death and destruction. I still need some work in placing marks down in pvp and then I might go back to the Mesmer for a bit.
During a few matches there was this particular Engi that was frustrating myself and my team to no end. He was a particularly slippery thing with amazing damage, not to mention a great player but I knew exactly what to do. First it was Corrupt Boon to turn his numerous boons to conditions, then Plague Signet to send all his conditions back, and finally Consume Conditions heal for good measure. Then I made his life hell, stalking him and shutting him down at each opportunity. After that first match he was dumbfounded as to how I was shuting him down, and leaving with nearly a full health bar. He obviously knew his spec well, was experienced and practiced as well as crushing numerous people so it really was a shock, I explained it, he laughed, and then we played on.
This is what I am really enjoying so far, there is so much diversity in the way every class can make a build and many unseen counters to every build as well. It is so easy, even in the middle of a match to switch around a few utilities to counter certain killer combos, strategy seems very important. It is also amazing that there is no gear advantage so player skill and strategy can make a bigger difference, not to mention that anyone can pick it up without overwhelming dedication making a stronger playerbase for matches to field from.
The new map popped up a lot during my play and seemed in constant rotation. It is a well designed map but I can’t say I am a fan yet. The underwater combat while better feeling then just about every game still feels clunky in comparison since you can only use one weapon and some utilities don’t work ( even though they sound like it wouldn’t matter underwater).
The extra axis while fighting certainly makes it interesting although it really isn’t very well polished yet for PvP. It makes it a lot harder to finish people off while underwater, especially being melee orientated since if you move to high you surface and can’t attack, so you dive again trying hard to find that right balance. Also the sharks weirdly don’t attack when your on the surface, your apparently immune for no reason, they tend to do a ton of damage as well making it easily defended, they just feel like an awful gimmicky secondary mechanic. As a necro I found popping out pets and Spectral armor made it much easier to conquer the underwater point.
I finally got around to indulging in one of my favourite pastimes in mmo’s (shock horror). I always try to at least have some decent crafting abilities as I find standing over the crafting station oddly relaxing. Guild wars does crafting marvelous and not only is it relaxing in a way it is also very well thought out and has a simple complexity about it. Each recipe you try to discover is like a mini puzzle, trying all those different combinations are great and the interface is very intuitive.
Storage at the crafting stations is a touch of genius as well and the speed up function on multiple items is bliss although probably only saves the time you spent playing quantum conundrum with ingredients. I never really craft the items my profession needs or uses either but more what I think I would like, and after hearing the depth involved in cooking that was my first choice. Then it was spinning my character around while not looking and she ended up facing the artificer.
The world feels absolutely wonderful and makes you feel like some wandering adventurer out to help (or make mischief) where and how you please. The entire time I never really felt like I was “questing” and mainly just flittered around and went where the world took me. Arenanet has gone all out in fleshing out their world and making the experience feel intuitive, and they have done a marvelous job.
The vistas do a great job of showcasing the world around as well as the beautiful aesthetic of each area. It is great to see the bigger picture as you often don’t get a good understanding of the scope involved. Platforming, although frustrating can be a lot of fun too, especially watching people fall to their death
I made it all the way to Brisban Wildlands and I absolutely love Skrittsburgh. I usually loath underground areas as they appear very samey samey in terms of environment, and fighting in the tight spaces is annoying. While Skittsburgh does have these issues the large open city area is great and the inhabitants are highly entertaining. I ended up interacting with quite a few and listening to the idle chatter, I also love the various shinies vendors around the place.
I am also prepared to eat my own words regarding the social aspects of events and the mechanics. While I will still enjoy some of the forced types of grouping for establishing connections, the way ANet has built there game really encourages people to play around and with each other. It feels far more social then any mmo I have played, and regardless of communication it just works remarkably well.
There were a few resounding issues that kept annoying though, some related to the player rush of release and others not.
- My biggest issue is of course was with the overflow servers and being able to play with friends and guildies. Many times the option to join isn’t even there and even when you do use it it often doesn’t even put you in the right world or overflow. I believe I just won’t be able to play with friends from different servers since guesting isn’t implemented yet, and I don’t want to transfer away from the guild. It is great that there aren’t any queues meaning I can get home from work and jump straight on but it still sours the experience.
- The maximum group of 5 seems very inhibitive, there were a couple groups of us doing our thing in WvW and not being in the same group was just plain annoying. The targeting mechanic is very underwhelimg as well and needs more options.
- The chat options seem very limited in a sense as well, I couldn’t find an option for different colours and I believe there isn’t any abilities to make private channels.
- The UI is very blocky and immovable, I really like resizing and customising things to suit myself and this has very limited options… I would really like everything, especially the whole skill bar thing to be smaller.
- It would also be good to have better traits customisation, for instance being able to add and subtract points and majors and then locking it in. And can we please be able to save multiple specs soon, changing things around, especially for pvp in between matches is really annoying.
- Lastly, can I have a better inventory system, coming from TSW this is really quite terrible. And more spaces pls, I need it so bad… especially for cooking.