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Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 

Beta Weekend Event Reviews & Impressions (Archived)  » My hype was over the roof and... (first look/reviewette)

14 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/09
Posts: 204

OP  4/29/12 10:30:18 AM#1

During the first hours my overblown expectations were hit hard because of the initial problems, but now, after 3 days of playing, I am confident to say the beta lives up to the insane hype, however the game needs tweaking still. Here are my first impressions:

Note: Most of the screens are made in low/medium details due to low beta performance.

A little background about me first. I was a long-time LOTRO player and Tolkien fan, but grew tired of the same old grindy, static combat like in all other MMO's. I love open world, and am not a huge PvP fan. Also, I am a lone wolf, and tend to play solo most of the time. Also I've waited for GW2 for almost 2 years now, and was one of the strongest supporters of ArenaNet.

I'll start with the negatives first.

The Bad:

Let's face it, the servers did not hold and were crushed by the tide. Even now after three days, I find myself ending up in overflow servers that are filled to the brink with restless fish.. er I mean people. I've barely managed to get once into WvW, it was full as well, and the queue is broken atm, but they are working on it. We need more servers! Look at this screenshot, this is how it looked on the overflow server (!)

Performance is very low right now, but we knew that before playing, it was a known issue, it's beta, the client is CPU bound and they will fix it. Also I have an ATI card and so far they only looked at NVidia. I can accept this, since it's beta, but had to mention it here.

The Good:

PvP Battlegrounds are amazing! That comes from a PvE guy! I admit, I'm a fan of TF2 and this is so much like it! I have spent the entire first day only doing PvP on my Thief (I always seem to play a thief-class in games). The first few hours it wasn't very stable, but later most problems got fixed, and there were no more issues, almost no lag, and no more disconnects, really smooth FPS considering everything.

PvP is very balanced, if you pick sensible traits and skills, and don't make too many mistakes (which happens to me a lot hah). The combat is fun and addictive, and almost never frustrating unless you're alone against 2 people on the map but that's natural ;)  There are *so many* different ways you can play your character, it's overwhelming. The action is fast paced, and very dynamic, it really feels like TF2 in so many ways (minus the hats).

Dynamic events - some are dull others are totally epic. After helping an NPC gather some maggots in a cave, we exited towards the lake. From the other side of the river a huge troll champion began to make his way towards us, killing everything on his way. I charged him but got incapacitated really fast, as he was a group boss. But another guy joined and took the heat, giving me time to stand up. We proceeded to kite and fight him all across the map, getting downed occasionally, but constantly keeping him busy. Eventually more and more people started to join, and the battle began for real. Even though I was too low level to do any real damage, I still felt I can contribute by slowing down the troll and reviving downed players. Finally the beast fell to our combined efforts.

Another time I helped to escord a caravan to a nearby monastery, and started to kill some bugs in the garden. The place was so nicely looking, and peaceful. The next second all hell broke loose. Portals opened everywhere and dark demon-monsters swarmed the place killing almost all players around. But more players fell though the gate and quickly organised into a natural raid combating the new threat. Again, I was way to low level to seriously harm the demons, even so I could contribute by reviving fallen NPc's and players, eventually earning gold contributon status.

Everywhere you go, something happens, just as promised. It's not always amazing, some tasks are mundane. But you do have the sense of exploration, you can go where your eyes take you, and not where some floating ! signs are. You don't even need to talk to any NPC's just jump right into the action.

Combat is dynamic, especially in PvP as a Thief, it's just sick what you can do. You're all over the area, jumping over their heads, strafing, dodging, shadow-stepping, porting to traps you set and so on. Same goes for PvE, you're constanly in motion, if you stand, you pretty much get killed fast.

Character creation blows the mind, even though I would still wish for more sliders, in fact I did suggest that on the beta forums :) Especially Charr creation shines, they look intense! Most realistic looking characters by far, with very life-like movements and facial expressions.

The zones are huge, from what I saw. It was one of my main concerns, because I love huge worlds, and so far only LOTRO had zones large enough and designed well enough to satisfy me, more or less. Luckilly, it seems the zones in GW2 are huge as well, I really didn't feel I'm enclosed at all.

Art design is first class, there is simply no other MMO that can match it right now. Even though the technology of the engine is not on par with say AoC or Crysis, the areas look fabulous, extremely well designed, making them look better than the mentioned games in many cases. And that on low settings, because of the beta! Of course if you look very closely, the textures are not the sharpest, nor models too detailed, but that's just the thing, art style makes them look better nontheless - and will continue to do so long after the more technically advanced games will look outdated.

Underwater feels like underwater, once you dive, whole soundscape changes and you feel submerged, fantastic effects. I haven't had the chance to play a lot under the surface so I can't say more atm.

Divinity's Reach - makes you speechless, enough said :) From what I've seen of Lion's Arch, it's amazing too and very huge, yet still containing narrow paths you can get lost in.

WvW - I've spent only about 20 minutes there so far, due to how hard it is to get in. Even so, I got into a 1v1 duel, participated in taking of a keep, and shot with a trebuchet at a gate. Then I've raided the gates of the Stonemist Castle with many allies, while fighting off the defenders on the walls, until the ram destroyed the gate, and I got too carried away and charged mindlessly inside, not noticing that all my friends fell around me (or went another way) and I was alone, surrounded by many angry Red Invaders. Didn't end well, but was fun :) Definietely something I want to further explore, it is very promising.

Natural grouping and helping strangers in need, something no other MMO has managed so far - it really works! You really don't treat other players as enemies that steal your kills, and you really want to help them. People will revive you if you fall down, and you will feel the urge to do the same. You naturally join others wherever you meet them, groups and raids seem to form quickly both in PvE and WvW.

The rest:

Personal Story - so far, it's pretty cool, and engaging, I've tried it only a bit, don't want to spoil too much for myself once the game goes live. It wasn't anything reolutionary, at least the first few missions.

Crafting seems more or less traditional, haven't had much chance to test it in depth.

All in all, after the initial negative shock on friday, now, after 3 days, I am satisfied with the gameplay I have seen, the hype is justified, most of the things I hoped for seem to work as I hoped they would. I would preorder it again, if I haven't already done so. The PvP alone is worth the full price, and I - a PvE player - will probably spend a lot of time there. Can't wait for the next event, and see how the performance will be after they fix the engine.

I feel like at the beginning of a fantastic journey, it looks promising, but it's too early to give a final verdict, for who knows what lies beyond the hill?

My Guild Wars 2 First Beta Weekend "reviewette" :


Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/12
Posts: 122

4/29/12 10:36:03 AM#2

I kinda agrees with you.

I am happy with BE so far, but i hope Anet can take the feedbacks from players and improve the game into a truly epic game.

WOW: The Most Well Known Non-Free Non-Browser Client-Based 3D Fantasy MMORPG In Some Parts of the World.



Joined: 8/14/07
Posts: 4933

4/29/12 10:36:37 AM#3


THIS review most reflects my OWN experience with GW2.  I haven't written a reviewette and don't think I need to now.  The only thing I'd add is that the overflow servers are ANNOYING in that they separate your party into different servers and then you can't play together.  THAT has to change.  Otherwise.....I think I'll just sign "I agree" to the bottom of this reviewette.  :D

President of The Marvelously Meowhead Fan Club


Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/11
Posts: 1984

Minister of Propaganda for GW2 Fascist-Capitalist Party

4/29/12 10:38:37 AM#4

I want more BWE, with an extra layer of HoM.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/29/09
Posts: 157

4/29/12 10:41:57 AM#5

I was very angry and sad on friday! But since saturday everything is smooth like butter!

 I think the personal story is AMAZING and fighting mobs in the upper floors of an inn is great :>


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/20/12
Posts: 61

4/29/12 10:46:06 AM#6

kinda agree, what i'm asking myself is: Is only one beta week at month really helping the game? Onestly my answer is NO.

Not so much time to test many of the really huge aspects of the game

Not so much time to report, discover new zones/levels so to find new bugs/problems

One at month is really a LOW schedule, in a month you can change a whole game, i mean we are here to find out problems, from crashing, problem to log in etc what do we do are goin to test?

I really hope for them to change their mind at have at least 2 beta at month, this game need players to get the PRISTINE shape, i think we did a lot and will do in future.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 717

4/29/12 10:54:45 AM#7

Kudos! nice writeup.

Agree with most. The overflow thing, as alrdy mentioned, could prove troublesome, but i'm sure Anet will address that in time. Server issues really were not bad considering all the people. i was able to log right in at the start of beta a half hour early! I've only been disconnected twice and i've been playing alot. Performance has been a non issue for me. I have all settings maxed, with the exception of shadows and reflections off. I'm running smooth all the time. with a mode of 1920x1080 and FSAA enabled, its gorgeous. the artwork is awesome. best i've seen in any game. PvE, PvP, DEs, the cities, all of it, is just first rate.

The game delivers.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/09
Posts: 204

OP  4/29/12 11:06:26 AM#8
Originally posted by just1opinion


THIS review most reflects my OWN experience with GW2.  I haven't written a reviewette and don't think I need to now.  The only thing I'd add is that the overflow servers are ANNOYING in that they separate your party into different servers and then you can't play together.  THAT has to change.  Otherwise.....I think I'll just sign "I agree" to the bottom of this reviewette.  :D

According to the beta forums, the devs are already working on keeping groups intact within the overflow system :)

My Guild Wars 2 First Beta Weekend "reviewette" :


Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/11
Posts: 88

4/29/12 11:16:20 AM#9
Originally posted by wrightstuf

Kudos! nice writeup.

Agree with most. The overflow thing, as alrdy mentioned, could prove troublesome, but i'm sure Anet will address that in time. Server issues really were not bad considering all the people. i was able to log right in at the start of beta a half hour early! I've only been disconnected twice and i've been playing alot. Performance has been a non issue for me. I have all settings maxed, with the exception of shadows and reflections off. I'm running smooth all the time. with a mode of 1920x1080 and FSAA enabled, its gorgeous. the artwork is awesome. best i've seen in any game. PvE, PvP, DEs, the cities, all of it, is just first rate.

The game delivers.

Yea this is something i noticed also reguarding the shadows, i was running the game on the lowest settings and still having trouble but then i tried turning off the shadows and now i have it all maxed out and its running great, has to be the most amazing looking game to date.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/31/11
Posts: 61

4/29/12 11:55:03 AM#10
great review, well said

Novice Member

Joined: 4/22/12
Posts: 347

4/29/12 12:02:03 PM#11
......ditto. Thanks for posting my experience. You don't....have cameras in here do you?

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 147

4/29/12 12:07:52 PM#12

Great review, thanks. I for one am really enjoying the move away from the generic MMOs that I've been playing for the last decade. ANet has done a great job with GW2 and I'm confident that this game will keep me interested for more than a month. Finally!!



Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/10
Posts: 50

4/29/12 12:20:30 PM#13
Same here... PvP is EPIC. :D

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18487

4/29/12 12:22:55 PM#14
Originally posted by SIRKRA

kinda agree, what i'm asking myself is: Is only one beta week at month really helping the game? Onestly my answer is NO.


Of course it is. why? Because this is what they did with Guild Wars. They iterated and iterated and when it was released it was a really good game.

Honestly? People here need to get their expecations in check. Something's happened to players and it's very disturbing.  It's as if the world owes them. Like they are entitled.

Of course there are problems. With so much demand and hype the flood of players was just too much. Should they have known this? Well, the surface answer is "yes".


Having said that There's "the truth and "THE TRUTH"

It seems that no matter how mny mmo's are released no matter how many experienced companies and people make them that more often than not there are problems with them in their first beta events and launch. A few expections but there aren't many.

As far as the game? There's some beautiful work there. Some things I don't like, some that are very fun and exccting. Some not so much.

But it's only a game. No developer, no matter how good is going to make "the game in your head". And tha'ts not directed at you it's at everyone. Myself included.

There is so much of Guild Wars in this game. Even the movement is reminscent of it (which I finally realized after playing it a bit at some ungodly hour this morning.

But again, people need to start tethering their expecations and stop letting their desires run away with them. Because if this is the new paradigm for highly anticipated games then there are going to be some extremely bitter people out there.

In addition, I don't think having the "prepurchase our game and get into beta" helped their cause. If they made this first one free/open they would have had a lot better reception. Is this A-Net's fault?

hmmm, I've played many NC Soft games and for quite some time and this smells of their doing.

But regardless, this is the bad pill that peole have had to swallow and it's going to bite them a little in the butt.

I have no worries about the game other than some people are just going to be dissapointed because they have created "Uber Guild Wars" in their heads and have essentially fallen off the map.

"And beyond this place, there be dragons..."