Saturday, 28 April 2012
Guild Wars 2 - first impressions
So, the first Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event has now started and the servers are mostly stable - last night I could only log in briefly to create one character and then the login servers went down, so I spent the rest of the evening playing KOTOR. Today morning I got in again and I've had a brief look at all the available races - Charr, Human and Norn.
The character creator is pretty neat, and gets a ton of bonus points for soothing background music - most MMOs have some terrible blaring fanfare playing while you'd just want to take your time and calmly look at each option. You can customise your character fairly well, there are some presets for body type and faces as well as sliders for fine-tuning some features. You also get to pick a personality type and background, such as commoner or noble.
I'm really liking the art style, and the way the intro videos are animated using concept art. It's worth rolling one character of each race just to see the introductions.
I rolled a male human Necromancer (which was my main back in the original Guild Wars). I've no idea yet which race and class I'd want to play at launch, but at least I've got plenty of time now to check each one out beforehand. I'm sad that there's no Ritualist or Dervish in GW2, but I guess I'll have to give the Guardian a spin (I've rolled a Charr one) since it seems to have some of the features of those classes.
I was really impressed by the environments, especially the city of Divinity's Reach - it's easily the biggest and most real city I've seen in an MMO so far, it's simply huge and there's an insane amount of details just waiting to be found. You can enter many of the buildings, which should be great for role-playing. Here are some assorted screenshots from my walk around the city:
I partied a bit with Neesa, that's me and her lil Necro. We got our butts handed to us soon after - GW2's combat system requires a bit getting used to. It's chaotic, but fun!
My bf played a Norn Elementalist for a while, I can't say much about it but at least the starting area looked very atmospheric. Also, manly fishing:
(you can NOM NOM the fish and gain health)
I'm really impressed by what I've seen of GW2 so far and can't wait for the launch - and by that I mean I don't want to waste too much time playing betas, I want the real thing NAO. The UI is super slick and especially the maps are brilliant, but otherwise GW2 is pretty sluggish for me even with low settings - I seriously need to upgrade my PC, most of it is about 4 years old now and I just can't play games without the highest settings. Anyway, I'm really liking what I've seen so far and I think Guild Wars 2 could well become my next big thing.