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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Guild Wars 2: BWE Day One Thoughts

Posted by MikeB Saturday April 28 2012 at 1:30PM
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Day one of the Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event has now come and gone and I've got a couple of thoughts on my experiences. I'm not going to get into too much detail as you'll have a full preview probably sometime next week, but I did want to give some first impressions and other thoughts.

The most important thing (for me) to address is whether or not Guild Wars 2 passed the test I mentioned in our recent Beta Weekend Experience Expectations piece: does GW2 really just have things going on everywhere in place of quest content? Can you just run around and find things anywhere?

YES!

I spent most of my first day testing this out. Going anywhere and everywhere and seeing if I could find things to do. Literallly almost everywhere I went I'd find some sort of event or activity going on and I never once had to think about having to find a group for anything due to the awesome implicit grouping design. Participate in the fight with someone else? Get full XP. Get full loot. Provide area buffs? Everyone is affected, regardless of whether they are grouped or not.

I also want to talk about all the activity on our forums regarding performance and such. Guild Wars 2 is not optimized yet, so yes, you may be experiencing some really crappy performance. I have a ridiculous rig and getting above 40FPS in most instances is not very likely (Known Issues: SLI is non functional and the game is CPU bound at the moment). The latter bit is extremely important, it means you are not going to see an appreciable framerate difference in lowering your graphics settings if your CPU is the performance bottleneck. I'm sure some of you are getting way worse framerates, but the suggestions I've seen along the lines that ANET shouldn't launch in 2012 due to these issues are a bit much. That's, in part, what these weekends will help ANET improve.

No, you don't need to sit around filing bug reports. Just playing will give them tons of information and hopefully they will be able to improve performance significantly. I've been part of many beta tests in the past and I can tell you that these sort of things can change very quickly. Once the game is no longer CPU bound players should see some vastly improved performance (especially when dropping to lower settings, if necessary).

This also applies to complaints that X content is too hard/too easy. Numbers in a spreadsheet can be (and likely will be) tuned if they are over or undertuned at the moment. I can tell you that the story quests I've done definitely seem overtuned (too hard). But these are just numbers in some files somwehere, they can be adjusted.

Lag and other technical issues? Same thing. I realize you guys are super frustrated. I had my own friends say they wanted to switch servers because latency was unplayable at primetime last night. This sort of thing is to be expected. If you end up participating in the next couple of weekends and aren't seeing improvements from event to event, then sure, be concerned. Right now? I think it is all a bit premature.

What were your day one experiences like? Share 'em in the comments below!

Finit writes: I've been having a blast in the Beta. Don't get me wrong there are some issues, and I think some direction on where things are would be nice. Specifically finding out how to get to WvW and getting siege blueprints, but overall a very good experience. I had lag issues last night, but before and after that the game was running exceptionally well. PvP is very easy to get involved and instantly fun. WvW is a little complicated to start out, and may be a little frustrating at first, but lets just say when the action gets going, its amazing. PvE is pretty good too, the personal story is captivating (a little glitchy atm) and the dynamic events are varied and interesting. Believe the hype, this game is good. Sat Apr 28 2012 2:17PM Report
gaeanprayer writes: Loving every minute of it. Only reason I'm in the forum in the first place is cuz I can't play and eat at the same time ;p Sat Apr 28 2012 2:48PM Report
Zeroxin writes: Only reason I'm on the forums is I have two screens and I'm playing GW2 in windowed mode. Sat Apr 28 2012 3:02PM Report
UsulDaNeriak writes: well, i hate the disconnects, but to fix that is the task after this beta. in SWTOR i had at least a queue, but here i just get an error-message. i am far a way to have a final conclusion. all i can say is: this game is different. at the end its all kill x mobs, but the way you do .... Sat Apr 28 2012 3:03PM Report
Meowhead writes: Well, I'm taking a break from GW2... but only to clean my room so a RL friend can come over and play GW2. I thought I'd share the wealth. So far I've had a blast. Oddly enough, great framerates, even though people with better rigs have less sometimes. Not sure what's going on there. I didn't overclock at all, and the GW2 site suggests non-OCed systems perform better, that might be it. Anyway... hard to tell if it'll hold up in the LONG run, but in the short run, kicking the crap out of things is enjoyable. If I can get my money's worth out of most MMORPGs (Sans the sub fee), I'm pretty sure I can do it with GW2. :) Love the scenery. I have EVERYTHING on max graphics settings allowable right now. :D Sat Apr 28 2012 3:25PM Report
Meowhead writes: Well, I'm taking a break from GW2... but only to clean my room so a RL friend can come over and play GW2. I thought I'd share the wealth. So far I've had a blast. Oddly enough, great framerates, even though people with better rigs have less sometimes. Not sure what's going on there. I didn't overclock at all, and the GW2 site suggests non-OCed systems perform better, that might be it. Anyway... hard to tell if it'll hold up in the LONG run, but in the short run, kicking the crap out of things is enjoyable. If I can get my money's worth out of most MMORPGs (Sans the sub fee), I'm pretty sure I can do it with GW2. :) Love the scenery. I have EVERYTHING on max graphics settings allowable right now. :D Sat Apr 28 2012 3:25PM Report
tallguy writes: This game f-in rocks my socks off bro. Seriously, screw the rest and I've tried most of them. The dynamic events, and especially the boss fights are amazing. You can walk near an event and join in and get XP and loot for helping out. What a frigging blast. I can't wait for the launch. Sat Apr 28 2012 3:53PM Report
tallguy writes: This game f-in rocks my socks off bro. Seriously, screw the rest and I've tried most of them. The dynamic events, and especially the boss fights are amazing. You can walk near an event and join in and get XP and loot for helping out. What a frigging blast. I can't wait for the launch. Sat Apr 28 2012 3:53PM Report
RCP_ut writes: REally great game, loving it so far. Sat Apr 28 2012 4:05PM Report
Eir_S writes: I'm having a lot of fun, it's what I expected it to be and will only get better I'm sure once I'm out of the "milk the cows" starting areas. Bring on the dragons! Sat Apr 28 2012 4:08PM Report
Adiaris writes: I agree on the story quests... and glad am not the only one that feels that way! Regular PVE though I find is the right level of challenge, it never gets "frustrating" in any way Sat Apr 28 2012 4:11PM Report
Spellshaper writes: Imho GW2 is the best MMORPG ever made (even now). Btw personal story is too hard? Ok, I also died a few times, but I dont want to just go throught it with 1 button mashing. Sat Apr 28 2012 4:17PM Report
fdisk81 writes: I have had next to no lag; the only thing I had to turn off was FXAA and make the shadows Medium instead of Ultra. Other than that the game performs beautifully. My only issues have been with lag which I'm sure they will completely get rid of once the game is proper out. Sat Apr 28 2012 4:29PM Report
grimfall writes: "I'm sure some of you are getting way worse frame rates, but the suggestions I've seen along the lines that ANET shouldn't launch in 2012 due to these issues are a bit much. That's, in part, what these weekends will help ANET improve." Sorry, but what the hell are you talking about? They shouldn't be doing public beta events if they don't have basic things like this down, and if they need a public beta to realize that their engine doesn't balance CPU and GPU usage properly.... really, what can you say? Amateurish on A-Net's part and on your part for making excuses. This quote could almost be taken verbatem from Age of Conan public beta. Sat Apr 28 2012 5:03PM Report
neurojame writes: I was able to get in for a little while yesterday. Very fun but the framerate was really bad. (I've got a high end gaming rig that blows away the requirements) Today I was unable to log in due to multiple error types. I'm not mad because I realize this is the beta, but if the finished product is like this then it will be the most beautiful and unplayable MMO out there. Sat Apr 28 2012 5:06PM Report
Dragviper writes: So the game being CPU bound, is just temporal? Sat Apr 28 2012 5:38PM Report
allegria writes: CPU bound games are due to engine designs. It is not trivial or something that is a normal part of development. It can end up being a big problem for GW2. Sat Apr 28 2012 6:41PM Report
allegria writes: Of course the CPU bound problem could be additional stuff going on ( network for example ) used in open beta for analyzing / debugging things. ( let's hope this is what it is ) Sat Apr 28 2012 6:43PM Report
diabis writes: Well if you look at it from improving and working. I was awke at 3 AM EST and had the drop issue start. Bill was posting and updating in the forums. I see a game being worked on as we play. I love the fact I am not having to go to NPC 1 and kill then going to NPC. Also we all know it is not coming out tomorrow we can wish though. It has been a very long time, since I logged into a game at this level of Beta and thought it is just like they said and I wish it was live :-) With information they are getting we should have our game sooner than later. Sat Apr 28 2012 6:52PM Report
dimasok writes: I dont like it. Difficulty curve is extreme, cant find things to do (was wandering around aimlessly for a whiel warping from waypoint to waypoint), pvp is prety boring and the solo quests are dull too. The cutscenes, voice acting are drab (rest assured i skipped through everything)... It was one of my most anticipated games and the only redeeming feature for me at the moment is that its free... Lets hope I will change my mind with teh forthcoming events but for now I am very unsatisfied IMHO Sat Apr 28 2012 7:42PM Report
Mardukk writes: Are all mobs dynamic content? I hope they have some static mob camps as well as the dynamic events. Also is the loot a universal loot table or do specific types of mobs drop different things? Sat Apr 28 2012 9:08PM Report
Gandolfi writes:

Loving it. I play with three of my sons so there are 4 accounts logging on in our household. Main problem we had was the login problem, so did not get to play much on Friday night (UK) but seems fine now (Sunday morning GMT). Once in though, the game runs beautifully - I have a reasonable but not extreme gaming desktop and have all settings maxed and it is very smooth with no lag at all. My sons have reconditioned Dell notebooks with Quadro FX (ie not gaming) GPUs and these run the game on default settings smoothly too. Guess we're lucky on that score.

Really enjoyable spontaneous play, would be my first impression. First few minutes running through the rain fighting centaurs in Shaemoor on my warrior with my oldest son's guardian at my side, then on to the earth boss, had me laughing out loud because it was so much fun. Earth boss actually seemed quite easy, although later on the difficulty increased but not disproportionately so - just need to laern to use the skils and dodge better I think. I do love the spontaneous feel to the play - my six year old son loves this too and gets on better than other games he has tried, as he can just run around and play without worrying too much about the details.

Sun Apr 29 2012 3:31AM Report
drel writes:

Really fun game once you get the hang of it.  LOTS to do! Loved the events!  Good storyline, great music, graphics are outstanding.

All of the characters have their own unique talents. I liked the Mesmer and the Necro probably the best so far, but they're all fun to play.

Sun Apr 29 2012 3:49AM Report
someforumguy writes:

We didn't get to play much on Friday. It took hours before we managed to log in and then lost connection a few times after. Today it was a lot better though.

The performance on my pc was worse then expected, but now after reading your post I'm a little reassured that this will improve with time.

As for gameplay. I loved it! At first most events I experienced seemed a lot like WAR public quests. I didn't notice much of the chaining. Untill we got to Heartwood Hold? its called I think. Players were already fighting there and when we joined no one seemed to know how to recapture that hold from the Centaurs. We wiped a few times lol, it was so frantic. After a while when we figured out how it worked we slowly managed to take back the hold. This fight was awesome! Also when seeing the npc's return to take post in the hold. But then it still wasn't over, because the Centaurs tried to take it back and we had to fight off waves of them.

I'm not sure if there was something following after this, because we had to go back and repair and sell lol. Anyway, this so far was my best PVE experience in GW2 :)

Sun Apr 29 2012 5:47AM Report
karmath writes: Engine is fundamently flawed if it still lags like it does ergo, its allways going to be a lag fest. This is the marketing beta, not a beta test. Game will launch in a month or less, not even remotley enough time to deal with it. Sorry, its another dud. Sun Apr 29 2012 9:56AM Report
someforumguy writes: Launch in a month or less? I bet we have another beta at the end of next month :p And probably another one after that. Sun Apr 29 2012 10:01AM Report
dageeza writes:

This is a fantastic game but anet really has to do something yesterday about the framerates..

GW2 has so much to do that it is staggering but first you have to break past the traditional mmo mindset before you can actually see how to utilize and enjoy it..

Here is to hoping anet kicks the lag monster in the nads for the next event, i have 3 machines and my medium and low end both have fps problems respectively while my big rig cuts through all but the most active WvW with little trouble...

 

 

Sun Apr 29 2012 10:02AM Report
gladosrev2 writes: Here is my first look at this weekend : [url]http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/4944570/thread/349125#4944570[/url] Sun Apr 29 2012 11:08AM Report
Bolongo writes:

Troll alert! karmath is talking out of his ass. ;)

The engine is not "fundamentally flawed", it's unoptimized the way any graphics engine is during development.

The game is most certainly not coming out in a month. It looks to be on track for an August/September launch IMO.

Sun Apr 29 2012 11:43AM Report
lokiboard writes: Gamespot has release date of 6/26  and they are usually correct. Sun Apr 29 2012 10:23PM Report
lokiboard writes:

oops Gamestop....i get em mixed up

 

Sun Apr 29 2012 10:24PM Report
karmath writes:

The GW engine is not built from the ground up, its the same engine as the first, but modded, hence not fundamentaly designed to handle what its being asked to.

The engine does not utilise multi threads effectivley and doesnt even remotley use a gfx chip to any reasonable level, which is what you would expect from an outdated engine. 

While its features are cool, that means jack if it lags like hell constanty with a top end rig.

Like a said, its another dud.

Mon Apr 30 2012 1:38AM Report
sigreth writes:

 

I few peeps here obviously have no idea about game design and how engine programming works. First, GW2's engine is a completely different engine than the original... Just because it looks similar doesn't mean it is the same engine and you can tell by how the world paging works. Paging and building seamless worlds into an engine that's already built is really tough, in fact its easier to just start from scratch.

As for lag and the graphics card, the two are completely unrelated. If you have graphical lag, like you stutter when you swing the camera, it's a bottle neck somewhere with the coding interfacing with the hardware. If you lag and stuff pops up and disappears then you have network issues with the servers. Which has nothing to do with your graphics card.

As for Karmath, you have no way of knowing how efficient the multi threading is or how much it uses the graphics chip without being able to test loads in a development environment. These things can easily be changed by the developers with a few tweaks.

The fact that GW2 isn't using the GPU to process much at this point means they are making sure they have all their ducks in order when they turn it on. It is extremely difficult to program for all graphics chips out there. With the advent of nVidia and ATI it makes it easier, but still tough to cover all bases.

As for Grimfall, what the hell are you talking about? Do you know anything about game development and what it takes to make a game? To claim anyone is amateurish with obviously not knowing what you're talking about is pretty asinine. I am sure you will claim you know this or that about game design, but let me tell ya, if you really knew you what you were talking about you wouldn't have made a statement like that.

Honestly that goes the same for Karmath!

But I knew he was trolling to begin with. I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of the paid trolls MMORPG uses to incite stuff on this website.

Mon Apr 30 2012 3:38AM Report
kDeviL writes:

Woah No comments on the pvp? I'm loving the positivity from everyone but damn lol.  I'll start

 

Imho Guild Wars 2 has THE greatest PvP of any game, Not mmo, Game that I have ever played in my life. This game has lived up to every expectation and more.  Thank you Anet for fixing this broken genre, I will be playing GW2 until around the time GW3 comes out.

Mon Apr 30 2012 3:42AM Report
BadSpock writes:

I absolutely loved the game, but found it was 100% dependant on the character I was playing.

I quickly got bored playing a Warrior and Theif, but Elementalist/Guardian/Mesmer were an absolute blast and I could not get enough of the game!

My favorite thing is how a weapon set change can make it feel like an ENTIRELY new class/play style.

Mon Apr 30 2012 9:42AM Report
karmath writes:

Sigreth, please stop spreading fanboi lies. The engine is the same as the original, yet modded. No matter how hard to try to convince yourself or others, the is what it is. We have seen it before and we'll see it again, thanks to those who drink the marketing koolaid.

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Guild_Wars_2#Game_engine

Mon Apr 30 2012 10:04AM Report
Skyy_High writes: At what point does "heavily modified" become "brand new"? GW1 didn't even handle a z coordinate, FFS.  Mon Apr 30 2012 10:30AM Report
saluk writes: It really does not matter if it is the same engine that has been modified, or a brand new engine. What matters are results. If the game looks good and runs good, the engine is fine. Right now they have looking good down, but running good is a different story. They know it's a problem and it's not like they are ignoring it. I really hope the engine runs better the next time out. Mon Apr 30 2012 12:10PM Report
BigHatLogan writes: Performance for me on day 1 was horrible.  The lag was bad enough to be unplayable.  The servers went down and came back up on Saturday and the game ran smooth for me ever since then.  I got a little framerate slowdown in WvWvW when there were 50 people on the screen but it was far from slideshow.  I had a blast Saturday and Sunday. Mon Apr 30 2012 1:08PM Report
Naevius writes:

My performance was actually good. A few slowdowns on Friday, but very smooth by Sunday.

Of course, I have 8 CPUs and 30ms ping to Austin. :)

Mon Apr 30 2012 2:11PM Report
Gambit728 writes: They should NOT reduce the difficulty! It makes content more challenging (also more fun) and helps to weed out the bad players early or force them to get better. Mon Apr 30 2012 9:10PM Report

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