ArenaNet kicked off its first ever mass closed beta event with folks who had prepurchased the game in droves being allowed to try it out over the past weekend. As with all things, not everything went as smoothly as both developers and players might have hoped. Additionally, with all the hype surrounding Guild Wars 2 for the last year or so, some players were left wondering if this really was the Holy Grail of MMOs as they had expected. Take a look at the top five things people are asking after this weekend, and you tell us: is it justified or just the beta blues?
5. No Asura, No Sylvari
During the previous closed beta press events, journalists were allowed to try out the Norn, Human and Charr races. Each was written about extensively and most were hopeful that the illusive Sylvari and the hysterical Asura would finally make their appearance in game. Sadly, we were all disappointed on logging in this weekend to find that neither was included in this particular event. Still hope springs eternal and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the next event.
4. Cartoonish Character Models – Norn & Human
There has been a lot of talk about the character models in Guild Wars 2. Many people feel that the characters have a much more “cartoonish” style to them and are less “realistic” (if such a thing can be said of pixelated characters) look than models in Guild Wars 1. I know that I found myself disappointed with the character models. Oh sure, they’re OK and they’re certainly not bad. They’re just, I don’t know, not what I expected somehow. I was expecting something more along the lines of Rift’s character models which are quite varied and have a realistic edge to them. The character models, at least the Human and Norn that I tried out, seem soft around the edges.
While I’m at it, did anyone else notice that female hands and arms in cut scene quests were HUGE? My gal was pretty slight all in all but had the arms of a weight lifter and the hands of a basketball player.
ArenaNet has actually done something good with the way that overflows are handled in that players can continue their gaming experience in an overflow area if the main area is full. Once there is space, players are moved out of overflow and into the main game world.
That said, players have raised the concern about overflows splitting up parties and making gaming together much more difficult. I know that I was thrown into an overflow when the rest of my group was in the main game world. Luckily when one person entered an instance, we all were dragged along so that was good. Still it’s a valid concern and one we hope is addressed.
2. Changing the MMO Game Play Paradigm
This is one that I actually like when it comes to Guild Wars 2 but that won’t stop people from kvetching about it. Guild Wars 2 does not follow the same paradigm as every other MMO out there. Players choosing to play GW2 the same way they do LOTRO or Rift or even WoW will find themselves struggling to survive. It will be essential to dodge and weave and move and use ranged and melee attacks for nearly every character type out there. In a way, it’s sort of like combining the dynamic dodge system that TERA utilizes with the more traditional form of MMO gaming. But if you leave one or the other out, you’ll find yourself dying a lot.
Oh and that every character can heal itself thing? Simply awesome and it does require grouping to be more of a thoughtful process rather than simply spamming for members of the Holy Trinity.
This weekend’s event was plagued with lag nearly from the time the doors swept open. Honestly, who would have expected otherwise? I know that there were times when it would be so bad that my character would reach the other side of a lag spike dead. This isn’t something new in MMOs by any stretch of the imagination but I think that a lot of players were surprised at the gigantic amounts of lag they experienced. By the event’s end, however, a lot of that lag had cleared up, probably largely due to players dispersing somewhat throughout the game world but also due to some nicely applied patches from ArenaNet.
So, did you play in this weekend’s event? What did you think? What did you love? What did you hear people complaining about? Should the folks making crazy demands after a weekend beta test just chill and wait for launch before panicking? Let us know in the comments below.