GW2 Beta was Awesome!

Last weekend I devoted my entire weekend to playing Guild Wars 2. It was an amazing gaming experience. My advice: make time for ‘real’ meals, and sleep. I looked like a pale tired zombie Sunday. I had dark circles under my eyes, and I was ravenously hungry. Don’t get me wrong, I ate, but a bag of dried cranberries and sandwiches made from crackers, kippers (canned fish) and cream cheese are not very satisfying.

I’m going to be sharing my impressions of the Environment, Professions (that I played) and share some funny bugs from the beta.

Divinity’s Reach

I was impressed by the sheer size of Divinity’s Reach. I spent several hours exploring and only made it through about 4 of the 6 districts. On the map Divinity’s Reach looks like a wheel. In the center of the wheel is a garden, which is sheltered by a glass dome. Giant mechanical sun, moon and stars  turn slowly above the garden. At the north end of the garden you can Queen Jenna’s Palace, Seraph Headquarters, and the Shrine of the Six gods. If you are curious about it, there is a tour guide NPC that will show you around the central plaza. There are 6 high roads that are like the spokes of the wheel stretching in each direction dividing the rest of the city into 6 districts.  The high roads are actually roads that are raised above the rest of the city. Divinity’s reach is full of inns, taverns, and attractions like the Mechanical Orchestra and Haidryn’s Menagerie. One district is called the Great Collapse, because the foundations of that district gave out and almost the entire district was swallowed into a deep dark chasm. You can cross a rickety rope bridge and peer over the edge at the frightening depth of this monstrous hole. Currently the chasm is inaccessible, but it looks like they will be using the Great Collapse for adventuring.

The Guardian

I found out this weekend that the guardian is not the profession for me. The guardian has a lot of good points, like the awesome ability to do protective magic and summon spirit weapons like a necro summons blood fiends. The guardian is able to withstand a fair amount of damage, but its attacks are not very strong and they tend to be a bit slower than many of the professions. Like all profession your weapon choice determines your skills. I have to admit that it was difficult for me to effectively use the guardians skills. The guardian is able to use a few ranged weapons. I used the scepter and the staff mostly, because I could start attacking from a short distance off. The guardians range is much smaller than say an elementalist or a necro. One of my favorite things about the guardian is the protective skills, like the reflective wall. My only complaint is that it does not last very long. You can improve this by building up your traits. The guardian is a fun character to play, but I don’t think that will be my main profession.

The Thief

I did not think that the Thief would be a fun profession, but I made myself try it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the thief is really fun. I did not devote a whole lot of time to playing the thief, so I can only give you my first impressions. The thief is super quick, he has wicked short range attacks, and weak defense. The thief is a killer when it comes to one on one combat. The moas, and minotaurs barely get a chance to attack. The one draw back is that against  a group of foes the thief will get slaughtered.

The Necromancer

I’m not usually a fan of the dark arts, but being a necromancer is now my favorite profession. Necromancers have a ridiculously long range. Many of their attacks are symbols written on the ground that trigger conditions when stepped on. Necromancers have the opportunity to be extreme strategists. I found myself mostly using the staff. 4 of my 5 skills were condition related, so I would use them to my advantage. I would find a target booby trap the area between me and my prey with all of my condition symbols, and then I would attack them with my claw of death to lure them through the booby traps where they would conveniently collapse at my feet. Ok, so it isn’t called the claw of death, but it sure looks like it. Another benefit of being a necro is that you have a blood fiend. Blood fiends not only attack your enemies, they heal you with every attack they make.

I also tried the elementalist and the engineer, but I did not play them long enough to get an accurate impression.

Beta Bugs

There were a few funny bugs I noticed during beta and one that was not so funny.

First there was an exploding watermelon. The watermelon was spraying juice and leaves through its shell, as if it were being destroyed, but at the same time it was not broken, cracked or bruised.

Then I kept hearing creepy noises. It sounded like I was being stalked by a goblin who was slobbering and breathing heavily as it contemplated all the ways it could cook me up and eat me. It was an extremely disturbing sound that had me on edge. I later found out, that it was supposed to be whispering. Its not a bug, but it was darn strange.

The bug that was not so funny was a skill lag. I  was being attacked repeatedly, but my selected skill would just blink, and it wasn’t because it was recharging. I would have thought the whole game would be lagging when that happened, but I could run around and select targets without a problem, I just couldn’t use me skills or talk to NPC’s for that matter. I think they fixed the problem, because after I reported it, it did not happen again.

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