Questioning My Love: The Final Guild Wars 2 Beta Event — The MMO Gamer

Questioning My Love: The Final Guild Wars 2 Beta Event

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I finally got to play an entire Guild Wars 2 beta event this past weekend, and I will definitely have to say that it was worth the wait. So let’s talk a little bit about what there was to see and do in the last beta weekend event.

Going into the event all characters had been wiped, creating a nice launch day type atmosphere with beta players new and old creating new characters and making their way through the first chunk of content. With two new races available to play, complete with their own unique game zones, there was a pretty huge portion of us rolling up new asura and sylvari characters.

The first thing I did this past weekend was combine a new race, the asura, with a class that I hadn’t played beyond unlocking two abilities on the starter weapon, the necromancer. After creating a diabolical looking little asura, we made our way out into the world. Gadgets and tech are the order of the day in the asura zone, and every asura citizen believes in their heart of hearts that they are smarter than every other asura out there. My personal story kicked off with me as part of an engineering team who were entered into a competition for creating the best mecha-golem, and we were of course quickly the targets of a sabotage attempt by another group. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the story was put together pretty well, and I’m looking forward to continuing it at some point.

Destroyer of Worlds

The Mecha Province asura zone is not surprisingly a gorgeous landscape with different laboratories dotting the jungle area. If you don’t know by now, Guild Wars 2 is going to be a visually stunning game, and no matter what part of the world you are in you will see things that will astound you.

The necromancer class, like most classes, offered a variety of options ability-wise which could be used to help your allies, or hinder your foes. The necromancer’s little floating pet had a tendency to be right in the way of the camera more often than I cared for, but the ability to sacrifice that tentacled blob in order to heal myself was a pretty satisfying and unique take on the self-heal that every class gets. Playing a necromancer was enjoyable for a while, but I never found a weapon combo that gave me an ability set that I just fell in love with, so after touring the zone for a while I decided it was time to switch to something else.

It only took a few minutes of final convincing to persuade a friend to go ahead and pre-purchase Guild Was 2, and we were shortly creating a pair of human sisters with which to wreak havoc upon our foes. My friend was the dark, brooding sister whose profession was that of a thief. I chose to be the bubbly, hyper-active mesmer with a bright pink outfit and bouncing pigtails. I’ve played a bit of mesmer before, and had enjoyed it quite a bit.

At this point I ran into the biggest problem I’ve had with this game by far. Upon logging in we partied up, only to realize we weren’t in the same instance. Oddly enough, it didn’t appear that either one of us were in an overflow server, as we could both see the WvW stats, but it was obvious that we were not together. After wasting 45 minutes of loggin in and out, and scrounging around the internet trying to find a way to get together, we reluctantly truged forward, hoping to be able to eventually teleport to the main server together. It was well over an hour before that happened.

To me, this is a major issue that ArenaNet absolutely needs to address, but I have yet to run across anything offical from them about it. Not only was this a problem upon initial log-in, but nearly every time we would exit a city, or an instance, we would end up seperated again. For me, being on an overflow server isn’t a big deal at all. You can do all the same quests, and participate in events, just like on the main server. But when you are trying to play with friends, which is what an MMO is all about, those friends should not be in seperate instances more than they are together. There needs to be a system in place that prioritizes keeping parties together. I don’t care if all party members have to be on the overflow server, the important part of being in a group with friends is being able to play with those friends. Again, this is the only real problem I’ve found with Guild Wars 2, but for me, it is a huge issue that needs to be fixed immediately.

The only other issue that I can think of that I’m not happy with, is that when you re-assign keybindings to abilities, the new keys to which an ability is assigned does not show up on the action bar. The default bindings show up just fine, so I’m not sure what the problem is when changing the set-up. Once you get used to your new abilities of course, it isn’t as big of a deal, but especially at first, having the re-bound key show up on my actionbar would have been a great convenience to have, and one that I think must be included.

The next day found me ready to try a class that I have not played at all, the ranger. I created a big ‘ol butt kickin’ norn ranger, and readied myself to wield my bow and jump-shot kite things to death. Needless to say I was a little surprised to start with an axe. My initial thought upon realizing the weapon I was wielding was, “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?!?”. I ran up and hit a couple of things in the face with my tiny one-handed axe, while my loyal bear, Rasputin, did his teddy bear thing. I began attacking my third victim, when I noticed something very important. My axe was not a melee weapon. I could hurl this thing a pretty nice distance, and do so repeatedly. Well, that changes everything! I quickly headed to the first weapons vendor I could find, bought a second axe for my offhand and never looked back. I spent a lot of hours this past weekend playing that ranger, and I took the time to unlock the abilities on all the weapons availabe to me, but when it was time to kick some serious tail-end, you just can’t beat chucking axes at your enemies’ faces.

The ranger had me falling in love, and fast. I even began to second guess myself when it came to what class I was going to start out with when Guild Wars 2 launches. It was time to put my love to the test, so I created a brand new engineer to see which one could earn that coveted ‘first character’ spot. I’m still not sure which race I want my engineer to be, but since the first time I played it I knew the engineer was the profession for me. The ranger has been the only profession to make me question that.

It turns out that while I do still love the ranger, an engineer is what I will be, and there is nothing that can pull me away from it. All it took was dual wielded pistols and the first couple of kit traits to remind me why I will be an engineer. Continuous fire from double pistols, grenades flying everywhere, the ability to drop med kits for my allies. All these things come together to create an MMO class that, so far, is at least as much fun as any class I’ve played in any MMO, and has the potential to become my favorite MMO class ever.

I will never doubt you again my Engineer!

There is little doubt that Guild Wars 2 is going to be a great game. While I still consider my two negatives of the party seperation and keybindings to be pretty big problems, they are honestly the only two problems I have with the game right now. I’m sure that the professions will see some fine tuning before launch, and it’ll be interesting to try all of them once the game goes live.

We are only about a month away from having Guild Wars 2 for good. No more beta events after which this specatacular game gets taken away from us. Being able to roll a character that will be mine forever is going to add a whole new dimension to my enjoyment level of this game, and I can’t wait!

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