Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On the frontlines of Guild Wars 2: The First Few Days (updated)

I've had Guild Wars 2 installed on my computer since the beta but have only been able to fully play since a few days ago. I pre-purchased the collector's edition because I deserve it after two years of waiting and its worth it. The 10-inch Rytlock statue is amazingly detailed and is a great collector's piece. The rest of the collector's edition comes with a book, custom art prints, a frame, a music sampler, and the game disc. I wouldn't really say it's worth $160. Maybe 120 at least. A Making Of DVD would have been better than the book.
But I'm not really here to talk just about the collector's edition, this is about the game itself. Since its fairly new there are a few rough edges this early in the release, of course. But these problems are prevalent and immediate; things that should have been fixed in the several betas leading up to release day. I just have a small list of things that are negligible but are constant, looming problems.

-Random audio cues cause confusion. I don't know whether I just passed an NPC or if its shouting at me from the area I just teleported away from.
-Armor dealers are segregated into levels of 5 and you can only start buying armor from Armorsmiths at level 10, and even then you WILL find something of better use out in the wild than waiting to level up for the appropriate gear.
-You need a newer model computer to run it smoothly with full graphics. I'm sorry to say but it looks  best at mid-level, or at least with the shaders turned off. For some reason the shaders cause an improper light texture on the character model, even when covered by shadows.
-Thankfully, the game was planned out that the random events that happen throughout the world are joinable by all people while the minor enemies respawn quickly. Sometimes too quickly. Several times I've found myself between a couple of bandits with less-than-half health.
-The Down But Not Out is both a blessing and a curse. While you never really die in this game you simply teleport to a waypoint of your choosing at the mere cost of money. There are a few times where you'll simply be outnumbered or overpowered and even then the DBNO can't save you. You simply don't heal yourself well enough.
-The game modifies your level depending on what area you're in. Say you're level 20 and have headed back to the starting area, you'll be scaled down to the same level in order to make it a fair fight. I understand that doing so adds a bit of realism and the only way you can overpower the enemies are by your armor and weapon power, but it negates the skill levels that you may work so hard to earn.

I play a ranger, its my favorite class. But it seems to have been nerfed by the changing of the skills. -You can no longer switch out skills individually. This time the skills in your bar depend on what weapon you are currently carrying. If I'm wielding a short bow then my attacks will be quick with not a lot of power or range. A long bow will yield greater range with slower but stronger attacks. Additionally I can choose to fight with a sword this time around. And my attacks will be tailored to that weapon.
-The ranger class has been reduced to a support role, not a major damage dealer or one that can hold its own in a fight. It seems that the creators were hellbent on forcing the player to have a pet around the whole time. Which leads to the problem of pets being more trouble than they're worth. They cause a greater aggro circle and will sometimes wander off or stay behind to attack whatever enemy that was passed by if approached too closely.
-Ranger targets what it wants to. That's a major problem and there's no excuse for it. It makes me miss the auto-targeting of GW1.

I'm sure many of these issues will be fixed but some of them are design decisions that just turned out for the worse. I'm going to keep playing and if you want to, feel free to join me on the BORLISS PASS server. Look for Marcone Antelius.
Also, for the g1s out there, I created the guild Screwattack (wouldn't let me use two capital letters) with the clan tag GOne (wouldn't let me use numericals), so come find me.
No one joined, possibly because no one cared, so I deleted the guild.

Keep Playing.

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