Monday, July 23, 2012

Guild Wars 2 BWE Review & Planning

Of course I played the final Beta Weekend Event of Guild Wars 2. Unfortunately with the server count reduction, WvW was unplayably laggy and then I got sidetracked running around Metrica with my guildies, so I didn't get any PvP action this time around. It was definitely fun hanging with the old gang on TeamSpeak, but I really gotta find me some PvP peeps.

The Asuran race was so much better than I expected. I feared they would be over-the-top comical and make me feel silly playing one. I remembered the snide comments from EoTN the NPC Asurans would make all the time and I simply didn't like the race or find them at all amusing. So at first I had thought to make them evil like the Tleilaxu of the Dune Universe, so I made my character with grey skin and tiny black eyes and the smallest ears possible.

But their diminutive size makes them endearing, and the NPC Zojja, voiced by Felicia Day, has a wonderful personality and spunky attitude that isn't repulsive like the EoTN Asurans, so that warmed me to them quite a bit to start. My character more resembled a cat. Here I've decided there is no way I'm even attempting that climb and series of jumps on tiny poles to get to that vista point (the floating map in the sky).

A hint of familiarity hit me when I caught a glimpse of some other Asura's big ears point up for a second during gameplay, but the heat of battle distracted me and the thought disappeared. Then today I saw someone mention the Asurans' similarity to the Disney character Stitch... That's what it was! I am so going big-eared and big-eyed next time.

The most enjoyable thing I found about the Asurans was that the comic side was directed more at their creations - their robotic golems. These poor little golems in the Maguuma Jungle would get confused so easy - and then fall apart or say silly misinterpretations like an inept version of Data. Hilarity made me happy.

Sylvari race is very pretty, just like I expected. Their character creation options are wonderful; I always want more options but since it already took me thirty minutes just to make a temporary character, I suppose more options would be a bad thing. I felt very entish with this "hair" style.

Their starting boss is the most amazing I've seen.

Their starter area is so rainbow-y I find it overdone. Fortunately the rainbow plant kingdom seems to be limited to one small map area.

I scheduled a vacation day a month in advance because I wanted to make sure I got to play in a beta finale (I've missed all the others due to choosing sleep instead), so I was very disappointed that this Hunger Games based finale was frustrating and too spread out, not enough silliness, too much seriousness. The final ten minutes were the best, but that wasn't much because all we got were fun boxes with random bonuses for silly play. I wanted some monster to come out and slay us all, but nope, just a blink and the server connection was lost. Nothing I should have stayed up for. Meh. One of the fun box bonuses makes your character gigantic. I feel like I'm in Super Smash Bros. Brawl here.

Now I have a month of planning and pondering ahead. On my to-do list are character choices and trait education.

To-Do #1 - Mull class choice for first/main character:

No warrior or guardian because there's no tanking skills. Although I saw someone say a warrior had CC skills on a PvP video. What were they talking about?

No necro. I had a MM in GW1 back in the days of 30+ minions. That felt like pure head-rush power, complete with a maniacal laugh and hand gesturing. Nothing will ever excite me about minions again after that experience.

My favorite classes thus far, in order (subject to change-duh):

I'm not fond of the ranger so far, except with the shortbow. The pet is annoying. I had heard others complain about the pet dying and I didn't want to judge without trying the class myself - and I now agree. Many times I was oblivious to the fact my pet had died till it came walking back to me with the "revive" symbol over its head. If it's dead, why is it walking? Dumb.

The mesmer and engineer I'm about equal on liking. The elementalist is definitely a fast killer, so it's hard to say no to it.

I miss my thief. I didn't know they were going to wipe our previous characters and was planning on spending most of my time playing her. If a thief doesn't turn out to be my main, it will at least be my second.

To-Do #2 - Mull race choice:

No Charr. I tried a Charr once. Feels traitorous to the very core of my being (I earned LDoA).

Human - mesmer and/or engineer
Asuran - ranger? or mesmer
Sylvari - elementalist or thief
Norn - thief, and only for the tattoos

Humans show off armor the best and Sylvari are exquisite to look at. Asurans are delightful, not in a sappy way but in a neat way; they feel smart and adorable but tough. I don't like the bulkiness of the Norn but I might make the tiniest one possible just for the tattoos.

This isn't my image below; I forgot to take a screenshot of the Norn character I made. This is a pretty Norn, I just don't want to be broad-shouldered. Another image I found shows a shoulder tattoo - there's not as many images available of the tattoos as I thought there'd be.


Aigh. So hard to decide.

To-Do #3 - Study traits
I have barely skimmed the surface of all there is to learn about traits. I need to narrow down class choice before I overwhelm myself.

Post release I have just a couple must-do-right-away plans.
Post release #1 - Weapons
Buy starter weapon(s) of preference from the first weapons merchant in sight so unlocking skills will be over with sooner. Unlock preferred weapon for PvP and jump in.

Post release #2 - Gathering
Buy gathering tools of all kinds to get XP for gathering and to begin collecting and selling materials. Since gathering grants XP, it's a no-brainer to carry them along with you everywhere you go in PvE.

I have a countdown app on my phone. Thirty-two days to five+ years of 24/7 entertainment (judging from the time I spent in the precursor). w00t.

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