Oh Guild Wars 2, it has been a long beta weekend. Such a laggy weekend indeed! With the pre-purchase (notice I didn't say pre-order) of GW2 it gave us access to a beta weekend starting on Friday and ending Sunday. I made preparations with some old gaming friends and jumped in this weekend. I hope you enjoy my thoughts.

First off, the game is beautiful. NCSoft has a stellar art department and their stylized art direction is consistent throughout the game thus far. Most quests have an audible cutscene to depict the situation at hand. Definitely blows reading a wall of text out of the water.

Each race has its own starting area and they feel very different. Even though I wasn't very drawn in I'll give them credit for making each race feel very distinct. We got to play the Charr, Human and Norn races this weekend. The Norn are very nature focused, revering the spirits of the animals and the spirit world that only shaman can travel into. They are large too, I was towering over my Human friends. The Humans are exactly wat you would expect, homeland lost they fight on with unwavering spirit. Nothing too special here but the female characters are really beautiful. Lastly I tried the Charr as I wasn't very excited for them. I think they have the strongest story in the beginning. They are singularly focused on their militaristic lives. I was impressed that their gritty and visceral heritage played well into their storyline.

I played Guild Wars 1 quite a bit and have fond memories of that game. Though the characters and story are easily recognizable, not much is the same. Everywhere you run there's a "dymanic quest" which doesn't feel dynamic at all. If you ever played Warhammer Online you remember the public quest system. Well, this is public quest of steroids. The quests became so repetitive and boring I actually started avoiding them.

PVP is something I participated in quite a bit. I played a battleground, which almost put me to sleep, but I kept coming back to WvWvW. That stands for World vs World vs World if you were wondering. In a 4 continent battle putting 3 servers against one another in a very long battle of taking and holding objectives, WvW can be a blast! At times it becomes mindless as you run around in huge groups zerging each other. You will quickly find out that melee is painful, being on the front lines means getting focused pretty hard. Even on my warrior I was mostly using a rifle in combat. There is much less mindless auto-attacking as you need to use skills, dodge attacks and projectiles and revive teammates. The biggest problem I faced was being unable to melee enemies in certain situations due to so much server lag.

All in all it was a fun weekend. Beta's aren't meant to be perfect and this was sure was not. Lots of disconnects, lag and bugs to report. I hope the feedback makes the release a better product. After waiting so long for this title I am a little disappointed. I miss some of the simplicity from the original Guild Wars. Now we can jump in a persistent world, but that doesn't make up for some of the best balanced collaborative PVP I ever played in the original.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/30/2012 at 12:02am

Do you see yourself playing this very much after launch?

What did your friends think of the beta weekend?

Tungsten wrote on 04/30/2012 at 12:38am

I played a lot of the first one, but never really got involved. For someone who has a problem computing to a subscription, the guild wars series definitely appeals to me. I'm glad to hear they fleshed out the char, they were prettycool in the first game.I had high hopes for the dynamic quests - so I house they fine time that to make it less obnoxious.

Tungsten wrote on 04/30/2012 at 12:39am

Stupid phone keyboard

Chowda   Post Author wrote on 04/30/2012 at 04:33am

I will play at launch since I pre-purchased it. But I am no where near as excited as I was.

Just asked my friend his opinion. He said he liked the beta, but was unsure of the WvWvW. He thought he would have liked it best and was unsure he would want to do it much at launch. Maybe it'll get better when we can level and get better gear.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/30/2012 at 05:30am

I hope so. Would you recommend picking up the old game? I never got it and maybe it's worth playing?

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