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Guild Wars 2 Column: Garrett's First Impressions

By Garrett Fuller on August 28, 2012

So the Head Start weekend for Guild Wars 2 is over and we are not entering full launch today. I am not quite sure what that means but honestly Head Start was launch at least in my book. So I thought to write down my first few hours of play, followed by frustrations and then my epic journey Sunday night which cost me my consciousness all day Monday. Ready: here is the break-down of my first few days of Guild Wars 2. PS: Necromancer for the win!

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I failed to stay up until midnight on Friday so I missed the opening hours of game play. That was not the upsetting part. For those that did miss the beginning, they awoke on Saturday morning to downed servers. Trust me, I know that NCSoft and ArenaNet were hard at work. I know they wanted those servers up and running as fast as possible. Take into account that it was 7am EST which means you had teams working on the West Coast at 4am. There is still a massive sting involved in waking up to play a newly launched MMO and have it be down. Godbless the team as by 10am EST or so, the game was up and running. Sure certain things were turned off or not 100%, but, the game worked and that is all the many players cared about. A few extra minutes of morning coffee and some time with the kids and by lunch time I was fully invested in my Charr Thief.

I played all day Saturday and found some amazing mechanics about the game that no MMO has really done as well in the past. The best is helping other players and not getting penalized. This element is awesome. You really want to help players. You really feel like comrades in arms and it's great. I even found myself fighting through foes to help revive downed characters. It was awesome. Another element is the exploration. Even though the zones and encounters are waiting for you, the game gives you the feeling of exploration. I found myself running around the plains unlocking every Vista view spot on the map. It was just fun.

The Thief is a solid profession and as any Orc of Warhammer fame would tell you they are ‘dead killy'. I have never played Thief classes much in the past and was having a blast. Around level eight, I stopped to try out a few others. I have seen a lot of Warriors running around, which makes sense as many see them as the top profession in the game. I also tried a Guardian, which I really liked at first. But it was a slight let down though in terms of speed and attacks though and the defensive style just clashed with the speed I had gotten used to in the Thief and so I moved on. The last one I tried was the Necromancer.

Now, some say the Necro is weak in PvP or has some issues with utility. Again, don’t believe everything you read on the forums. Well I did which is why I didn’t play one from the start. However, on Sunday evening, I began my Necromancer. Char of course, and I began roaming the Plains a bit quicker having gone through them with my Thief. I was able to level better in each part of the zone and had success mastering my weapons fairly quickly. I do think they sped up the time in which you unlock your weapon skills with usage, as an aside.

The Necromancer proved to be amazing fun for me. Sure the Profession has a few weaknesses, but I found myself winning PvE fights and helping my allies. I also loved the switch into Shadow mode and dealing some burst damage with the skills. Overall the Necro had so many options I was curious to unlock each build. Whichever Profession you choose in Guild Wars 2, I say go for it. For me the Necromancer just fit perfectly with my play-style. I loved it. I have not had that much fun in an MMO in years. The funny part is, World PvP is my absolute favorite part of the game, and I haven’t even done that yet.

So, my Head Start story ends at 2:04am EDT on Monday. I was shocked at the time on the clock. Even my friend was like, "You’re gonna keep playing, OK man? Have fun." Well, I paid for it Monday. Rainy day, doctor’s appointment, work, and yes even my son’s Kindergarten Orientation and I am completely wiped out. However, the Necromancer in Guild Wars 2 is like crack, and I need another hit. The game was awesome fun and while I can throw a blame to the ArenaNet team for messing up a busy Monday for me, all I can say is it was worth it! See you guys tonight in game, after I get some sleep.

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