I have participated in two of the three Beta Weekend Events for the soon to be released Guild Wars 2. In each of them I tried out different professions and races. In the last, for the first time, I was able to play all five of the playable races that are going to be available at release. I played a Charr Engineer; Sylvari Ranger; Asura Elementalist; as well as Human Thief. The one I personally liked the most was the Norn Warrior.
I seem to always gravitate towards tanks classes when I play MMOs, but I also like to play alts a lot as well. As it turns out the one that ends up being my main is some type of tank though.
Well it was no different this time. Of the five toons I make and experimented with during BWE #3. My warrior made it the highest and had the most experiences with not only the Personal Storyline, Dynamic Event encounters, as well as exploration. I must also point out that I like to solo a lot.
Personal Playing Styles
MMOs are my way of relaxing and escaping from the real world for a short time. Other people do this by going out and doing or watching some type of sporting event. Some do several type of hobbies. That is just how it is when you have to leave the normal events of your live for a short time. It is natural and wise to do. It keeps you out of trouble usually. So playing MMOs is mine. I have been sitting in front of a computer and playing these games since the mid 1990's. I always hear the hype about a game making itself fun for those that play it. To date they have fallen short. Always catering to those with the loudest whine and never really listening to those with honest criticism. Time and again PvP has been their way of making what they call end game. That has never been nor ever will be something I look forward to doing. The only gaming I have PvPed in that I felt was fun was Mechwarrior. I would comment here about Mechwarrior Online, but I am under a non-disclosure agreement not to, so I wont.
Well for the first time I feel I have encountered a game that actual works for my type of playing style. I know I am not the only one that plays MMOs in this fashion. To me Guild Wars 2 is actually made in a way that tries to satisfy all different ways people entertain themselves and I welcome it. Now I actually feel I can fully relax and explore a game at my leisure and absorb all the nuances the way I wish too. While those that wish to have what is revered to as "Open World PvP" in the Mists; can go and look for those lower then themselves and kill them to their hearts desire, without causing me any loss in my game play pleasure.
FOR THE GLORY!
In Both of the BWEs I was in I made a Norn warrior. I took what I felt I had learned in the first and applied them to the second.
The trading post
The first thing I learned is to use the trading post as much as possible to sell items and sparingly when buying them. A typical common sense act. When I did shop there I used the advanced search option which cut down the amount of items pulled up when looking for the particular item I was wanting for at that moment. All weapons and armor had bonuses to: Power; Precision; Toughness; or Vitality as well as others. I personally mixed these stats throughout the different pieces of armor and weapons I was using. I know others like to stack one bonus type ignoring the rest. Others would do an 80/20 split and that is fine. To each their own personal way of playing.
When I did shop for upgrades I usually did it at level two, then level five, eight and ten and so on following these numbers. The highest level I made it to during the two BWEs was level 14, which I attained in the last one.
At level ten I avoided the trading post for my helm. I went straight to the armor vendor in Hoelbrak, since every time I looked, even the base helm I purchased for around forty copper was for sale in the trading post for at least five silver.
As I ventured out into Wayfarer Foothills. I traveled to the renown hearts and performed the task in the vicinity of each one and participated in the dynamic events that popped up time to time near them as well. One of the first things I did was get the weapons I wanted to learn. These were the hammer and the greatsword. I maxed out each one's abilities over the next couple of levels. I personally found that I liked to use the greatsword when fighting against one adversary, but it worked well against more then one as well. With the hammer I felt it worked best when I was in a group situation like when doing a dynamic event with other players.
Once I hit level seven the option to swap weapons became available, which made it easy to switch between the two when I felt it was needed. Also at level seven I took up the long bow and headed over to the Sylvari starter area of Caledor Forest. Here I proceeded to learned the five skills associated with it. Time to time switching over to the greatsword, when I felt it was needed, which really wasn't as often as I expected. Especially after the third ability unlocked.
Once the bow was maxed out I returned to Hoelbrak and continued in my personal storyline. Then I was high enough to head in the northern section of Wayfarer Foothills. Where I took advantage of a DE that took place just as I entered the area. Once done, I entered into an area full of Jotun and proceeded to work my way into the main encampment. Once inside there I gained access to a small chest.
In my first experience in a BWE, I continued the personal story, but in my second BWE experience I decide to push further north. Here I encounters my first big boss fight for this character, which was a shaman on an ice lake. I started the fight with my hammer but soon realized I need to change my tactics and so I got out my bow. This helped especially when the shaman was on his last stage of live since he became quite the challenge.
My last dynamic event encounter took place at an outpost manned by the Lionguard. Here I was exposed to a full give and take type group of events. A large Sons of Svanir encampment was just north of this outpost and due to lack of activity from players the dynamic event had progressed to a point that the Svanir were coming into the outpost and nearly took it over. Then other players and myself came to the rescue and proceeded to push the Son of Svanir all the way back into their encampment. Here once we took control of it the boss appeared. It appeared to be an ice animal of some type on all four. Was too busy fighting to get a chance to note the name and write it down. As it ended up it gave me my next lesson in boss fights in GW2. I need to learn to pull the screen further out so I can get a full grasp of the battle. If I had I may have dodged in time to not get myself killed three times. If I would have used the bow I don't know, but pulling back the screen to get a better view definitely.
Once this fight was done it was time to head over to the Asura starting area for the BWE #3 end event which turned out to be a tribute to "The Hunger Games." Not being a PvP player I was not practiced enough to handle the PvP type event and ended up being a little robot in short time.
I feel the main reason I like this game so much is the fact that it has enough to offer many different people a way to play something the way they wish too. It encourages working together and allows all to get the prize without have to do something time and again to get nothing. Or be promised something only to have someone change their mind at the last minute, and give what you have been working so hard for to someone else.
This is the first game in a long time, I feel, that I have truly been able to feel like I could relax playing or push forward and increasing my level and explore the world that has been created within the game. The latter point being what I have been doing more of since only having three days to play. I feel that when the game is activated on August 25th that I will really be able to pursue the former point, which is how I really like to play. Within my guild are those that love to do PvP and they are also happy with what they have seen. Even though they did feel there was a need for more servers upon release of the game. Which I also agree with for PvE. I really didn't like be moved to an overflow server every time I entered into an area.
I look forward to finally make it to the point where I will be able to unlock the ability to transform into a bear. It is a shame they don't make it where all the transformations can take place at the same amount of points though.
Having played all five races now. As stated earlier I like being the Norn the most, but my second favorite was the Sylvari. I enjoyed the base storyline of the race and found them to be different from other races I have seen in other game. People have compared them to elves and fairies, but I personally did not come away from my experience playing them that they had any similarities. I felt they were something actually new to the fantasy genre.
The Asura, even though short in stature make up for it in self pride and arrogance. Thus making them actually feel larger then they really were. Playing the Elementalist though made me feel like I was actually grinding though. Since once I gained access to a different element; I had to go running around killing mobs just to get all the abilities unlocked for the primary weapon I had out at the time. Since I wanted to learn both the staff and the Dagger, it took time. I was also disappointed they did not get the ability to swap out weapons at level seven, which I was able to do with the warrior, thief and ranger.
The Charr were interesting as well. As well as playing the Engineer. I did like the changes they made to them between the last BWE and the second I participated in. I wish I was able to dedicate more time to them, but that will come.
Humans to me were humans and so my least favorite to play. Playing the thief though was exciting, especially when duel-wielding daggers.
I will make the exact same characters when the game goes live. I look forward to exploring Tyria as well as exploring how my personal storyline develops for each one. I also look forward to the Meta-event webs (the advanced form of the Dynamic Events) in Orr, and seeing how the different endings turn out as different events intertwine with each other to cause separate out comes.