|6 posts found|
4/30/12 5:38:24 AM#1
After typing all this out I realized it was somewhat disjointed for I appologize for that.
Okay, let me start with the usual background of how I got to the point where I played the GW2 beta this last weekend. I had heard about GW2 and some of the systems they were planning a while ago, but it didn't really show up on my radar until a friend of mine was telling me that they were going to play it and I started asking about it. After he started explaining the game to me I decided to look up videos and more information and was intrigued to say the least. I seriously doubted that they could pull off as much as they were saying, but it sounded like a fun idea. So, somewhat excited, I decided the game looked like it was worth $60 and it didn't have a subscription fee so I pre-ordered it a few days ago.
Now, going into the beta I was fairly excited, but wanted to keep myself objectionable because I was going to be telling others about the game and whether I thought they should get it. In addition to myself keeping tabs on it I also had my fiance and brother look the game over since they come at things from different points of view. What we ended up seeing was a fairly strong game with some possible concerns that need to be looked into if they haven't already.
My fiance had the easiest time. She only ended up playing with the character creator over the weekend. Overall, the three of us were able to make pretty interesting and cool characters. As with a lot of MMOs there were far too many choices that baffle me as to why they're in the game. So few people end up using certain hairstyles that it just seems to waste space, but that's fine. Weird colored hair and eyes made things slightly difficult, but not overly. The only real complaint was the lack of good looking faces. Too many women looked like they were young teenage girls and too many men looked... well, like they were teenage girls. The charr characters were a lot more interesting to make for sure and I am intersted how the other two races will be.
The combat was a mixed bag. Some of the classes we played, Guardian and Elementalist stand out, were amazingly fun. Even though there were times I felt weak it didn't keep me from enjoying elementalist a lot. And guardian was just fun, period. There were other classes that were definitely lackluster. Theif was almost impossible to enjoy. I've read now that using a shortbow helps in combat, but doing melee was impossible for me, even doing relatively well at dodging. This was mostly an issue in events. Engineer was another class I just wasn't feeling. I wanted to like Engineer a lot. Everything from the eyepatch monocle to the ability to use kits and turrets just screamed awesome. In the end though, it just didn't have the kick of some of the other classes for me.
It took a little while to settle on a character, but I eventually did. A human, elementalist who grew up as a commoner and always had wanted to join the circus. Armed with my character I went off in search of adventure. And there was plenty to be had. I can safely say that in the state I played I found no end to the enjoyment of exploration and adventure. I loved running near and far and exploring every nook and cranny of the map. The events were a ton of fun. Even though by the end of the weekend I was saying, "Oh, looks like bandits are attacking the farm again" I had yet to find that dull. And there were times that I was out in the field and a couple players would run by me, causing me to just join them. It was ad hoc adventuring at its finest.
However, that brings up my major concern with the game. With so much emphasis put on these events and encounters I am worried what the game will be like 3-4 months after launch. Exploring a lot of these things took the effort of multiple people working together and I am somewhat concerned that as people split off from the areas that it will be harder and harder to adventure. Now obviously scaling is supposed to help this, but as it stands right now it doesn't seem to help in most situations. There were rarely events that I would find solo that I could take on. And some of the things, like the Cave Troll in Queensdale would have been impossible without a good number of people. So my question is where will that leave new players or alts in 6 months or a year? Now I'm not saying the game is doomed, but I do see this as an area that needs to be adressed, preferabbly prior to launch.
Exploring was definitely a reward unto itself and there were a lot of things to do in the game that had no tangible rewards. At one point I came across a child who's pet moa had run away and I was able to shoo the bird back to the kid. It wasn't an event, I got no XP or items and really there was no reason to do it. Still, I felt a sense of glee that I haven't really felt from a game in a while. It's the free form adventuring and play that really made me happy with the whole experience. The details and work put into the world had me hooked.
Game difficulty is, for lack of a better word, a difficult subject. I personally enjoyed the challenge of the game and think that it worked well in the experiences I had, but if the scaling isn't done better there could be a lot of problems in the future and right now melee classes could using some balancing upwards. However, that doesn't mean the game is too hard and in fact it is refreshing to have to work and think instead of rotate skills and pray.
Finally, I watched my brother play WvW a bit and it was a very interesting experience. Agian, it is ad hoc adventuring in its best form and it has the benefit of not having the troubles I described above. The siege weapons were difficult to use, but that was a pretty good thing in my opinion and overall I thought the whole thing looked great. There was a sense of worry when the enemy was at our gates and a sense of grand acheivement when we took a tower. And since I couldn't stop humming the music from the Lord of the Rings movies while watching it I defitely feel it captures the epic feeling of fantasy warfare.
So for those who didn't want to read all that and to sum up:
-Ad hoc adventuring is fun.
-The details and little experiences make exploration a blast.
-The difficulty is nice and makes you think about situations.
-WvW is epic in scope and style.
-Some classes seemed very underwhelming.
-There is a strong problem right now when there are few to no people around that could manefest itself in months after the game is released.
-Character creation options are limited and somewhat strange.
Overall, I'm very glad I chose to get the game. I hope that these concerns are adressed because I think it can be a very exciting and interesting game in the long run. I look forward to the next beta weekend.
The best way to travel is by means of imagination.
4/30/12 6:19:45 AM#2
Also, while everything feels new and exciting now (and it really, really does and I love it), these things to chain and cycle and repeat. They will inevitably fall into patterns without a lot of oversight from Anet, I fear. That means it will become repetitive and you will end up knowing what to expect. I think that would make it eventually be little better than what we have now (though probably still better)
"There are two great powers, and they've been fighting since time began. Every advance in human life, every scrap of knowledge and wisdom and decency we have has been torn by one side from the teeth of the other. Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit."
— John Parry, to his son Will; "The Subtle Knife," by Phillip Pullman
4/30/12 6:33:43 AM#3
Originally posted by Trobon
Armed with my character I went off in search of adventure. And there was plenty to be had. I can safely say that in the state I played I found no end to the enjoyment of exploration and adventure. I loved running near and far and exploring every nook and cranny of the map. The events were a ton of fun.
Of any aspect from GW2, this has me the most interested. I enjoy adventuring and it's something I find sorely lacking in the design of many games.
4/30/12 8:35:10 AM#4
Originally posted by Trobon
Thank you for a well written review, the above is what happened to Rift. After most players leveled up to max level the dynamic events in the lower level zones where more or less undoable or to easy (and therefore giving bad rewards) and that has been a problem for new players as they are now forced to level up and then enjoy one of the major selling points of Rift.
I hope GW2 avoids this problem somehow.
Chi puo dir com'egli arde é in picciol fuoco.
He who can describe the flame does not burn.
4/30/12 9:19:21 AM#5
Originally posted by Knytta
It's definitely a potential problem, but GW2 does have two systems in place to solve it.
The first is the fact that you can do a low-level DE at ANY level at it will still be challenging and offer rewards. I experienced this myself several times in beta. I did the "flame shaman" fifth level event like 3 times or so, and I was level 12 during one of the times I did it. It was still just as challenging and gave me exp. So hopefully this will make lower level events less of a ghost town.
The second is the dynamic event scaling. Where events get more difficult as more players are around. So (in theory) two or twenty people should be able to complete and be challenged by an event.
Now, that said, I'm still a little leery about how well these systems will resolve the issue you bring up. Some events I tried in beta seemed literally undoable by one person. And while some events seemed to always be chock full of players, others were ghost towns most of the time.
IMO, I think ANet may need to extend the range that you get notified of a nearby event. Hopefully that would help bring in more players.
Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?
4/30/12 11:34:53 AM#6
I agree with some of the professions. Personally I found both Guardian and Engineer meh - but there again I didn't get very far with them. My husband spent many hours on his Engineer and at a certain point got very frustrated. I dragged him off to the PVP lobby and he spent several hours sparring and working out his favorite skills. For Engineer especially I think it just takes time to work your way into several utility skills as they are very utility based.
I found that I adored the more ranged based classes - this might also be due to the zerg nature of the weekend. Many times I couldn't even see the mob we were attacking so ranged allowed me to participate without diving too far into the mess.
As to the fears about scaling - Sunday night things got much quieter (until the end of beta event). We had made new characters and noticed that things were much more toned down, though still challenging. Hopefully they have the scaling tools that allow them to tweak zones differently so they can make things challenging for the crowds and keep them doable for the quiet times.