During the GW2 Beta I spent much of my time exploring and doing “hearts” to level up. There is still much that could change in the game, so I didn’t focus on the storyline or grabbing screenshots for any real (in character) blog entries. However I still took a lot of pictures anyway and thought I’d share some of them here. Enjoy!
Mirianda was the first and only character I created during the beta. I wanted to see if playing a ranger was viable for this blog. It was my first preference to play, and I was worried about whether the pet would constantly get in my photos.
The first obstacle wasn’t the pet, it was the lack of first person view for taking landscape screenshots. I later found a work-around, but it was pretty annoying and inconvenient to use. I’m sure a lot of people have complained about it, so hopefully it will be implemented later. The pets never really got in my way. Some of them were more useful than others, but overall I didn’t pay much attention to what they did in combat (unless they died).
My guild had a good turn out in the beta. Our leader Theresa scheduled a bunch of events and group shots, all of which were a blast. I really enjoyed grouping with 10-20 people as opposed to the normal 8 (if you have all the right classes) in GW.
It felt amazing when I first caught a glimpse of the wizard’s tower in the distance. Until this point, I had a hard time tying the two games together. But seeing the tower really made me feel like this was still a Guild Wars game.
My favorite moment in the beta was completing the jump quest in Diessa Plateau (to do a skill challenge) with a guildie. It was incredibly frustrating at first, and then as I started to jump up the wall ruins I felt kinda sick to my stomach. I’m somewhat afraid of heights in real life, so I felt pretty uneasy during the challenge. But because a guildie worked alongside me, it gave me confidence to move on. I couldn’t just walk away and not help him kill the boss. *laughs*
The worst moment occurred when I teamed up with 4 other “high level” (25-30) players to do the Ascalon Catacombs dungeon. At first the key didn’t spawn, so we had to leave and re-enter the dungeon. That’s when none of the players were able to join the same instance. We tried a lot of different things like disconnecting and trying the overflow server, but nothing worked. It was really frustrating and I don’t have the patience to level up to 30 again to try it in the next beta.
Another huge disappointment occurred when I spent 30 minutes figuring out the Flame Temple Tombs puzzle with pugs, only to be one-shoted by the end boss. It was still a good learning experience, but it also felt like a huge waste of time.
Most of the pugs/random people I worked with in game didn’t disappoint me. I’d say most of them at least knew what they were doing and were helpful. Often times I’d complete content such as skill challenges (as pictured below) with the aid of only 1-2 people. I only met “mobs” or a group of random people consisting of 10+ people when a difficult event appeared on screen. I’m not sure if this was due to my server (Jade Quarry) or not. Perhaps other people in different areas met more mobs consistently.
Moving on the finale:
An hour before the beta ended, there was a special event. The first part had us run around killing animals (and veteran versions), followed by fighting this incredibly tough bunny. It was pure chaos! I have a pretty sweet computer but during the mayhem pictured below I had a fair bit of slow down.
After killing the bunny, we moved onto fighting a less tough but much deadlier Champion Bloodthirsty Black Moa. These birds spawned all over the place, even in towns where you’d need to get armor repaired. And yeah, the moas killed the armor repair guys. Not fun! ;) The mob that formed on my server camped Svanir’s Dome and immediately attacked the moas that spawned.
There isn’t much I can tell you about the game that hasn’t already been said. The ranger was an enjoyable class to play (never gave a thought to re-rolling), not all the pets sucked (bears and the devourer were awesome), and the work-around for first person screenshots was annoying ( /sleep and zoom in).
When the game is released I plan on writing a weekly blog following Mirianda’s adventures. The thought of a daily blog sounded appealing at first, but that’s just way too demanding to maintain. On the beta I rushed through the game to experience as much content as possible. Resulting in reaching level 31 with a total World Completion of 33%! But when the game is released I will be taking it nice and slow, so the first month of actual game play may just result in blog posts about the lvl 1-15 content.