Assortment Box of Beta-ness

 Posted by on March 8, 2012  Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2
Mar 082012
 

Nope I haven’t quite disappeared. I’ve been lurking in the background, half keeping an eye on Guild Wars 2 stuff, half trying desperately to juggle real life stuff. The job is hectic, the guild has sprung back into life, and to top it all off I’ve exceeded my download limit for the month watching Guild Wars 2 videos. Anyway, here’s a selection of the random thoughts that have been bouncing through my head of late.

Hot topic of the month has to be trait refunding, if it’s good or bad, disruptive to gameplay or a good way of making choices matter. I don’t wish to weigh in with my opinions on this matter (mostly because for once I don’t have one) but I do want to remind people that attribute points were not always freely re-distributable in Guild Wars. From launch to September 05, the concept of Attribute Refund points existed which players gained through gaining xp or completing missions – each point allowed you to decrease an attribute by 1 point. Increasing an attribute was free. It was hard work to reassign your points and I’m told by those who were playing at the time, a pain in the backside. The point is this – even fundamental stuff can and will be changed after launch.

So what about those things I was looking for before the floodgates opened? The ranger’s pet seems to have improved in it’s performance but seems quite squishy. I’ve seen quite a few videos of people running around with their pets dead which to me indicates that either people don’t immediately see the value in the pet or it dies so often it’s less hassle to leave it dead. I do like that even while dead it still follows it’s owner around though – very nice touch.

Mesmers I’m still not convinced about. Illusions and clones are looking less exciting than the first glance indicated and there seems to be a lot of emphasis on them. I’d have preferred to see more of the other skills. But all the footage needs to be taken with the pile of salt that is new players and early game.

Guilds… oh my what’s not to love. So many options. I can’t quite express how much more elegant the influence & building system is than guild hall upgrades. Activity brings more benefits which brings more activity. I also like that the benefits are so varied, including options for parties. I’m also delighted with the server system providing home servers and the concept of visiting – it’s a better but not overly dissimilar solution to one I proposed nearly a year ago. It elegantly provides the flexibility to play with everyone while giving WvW a sense of meaning.

Speaking of which, I’ve been pretty disappointed with the footage of WvW we’ve seen. I think it’s because the maps weren’t overly full but I haven’t been able to get a good sense of what it is like to play in WvW. The keeps and castles look amazing though and I can’t wait to give it a go myself.

Course we have no idea when that will be yet but I did join the million other people who signed up for the beta. Fingers crossed!

  5 Responses to “Assortment Box of Beta-ness”

  1. Haha I think its a little odd that my dead pet will be dragging his own corpse around after me, but I suppose it does make practical sense.

  2. Beats having to fight your way through a dungeon cos you lost the bloody thing!

  3. We definitely haven’t seen certain skills used in an “optimum” fashion yet… I’m thinking specifically of the “deadly swarm” skill associated with the necro’s warhorn, and pretty much all of the clone and phantasm skills of the mesmer.

    There seems to be a disconnect in the minds of the folks playing those classes so far that prevents them from understanding the concept of a PBAoE (point blank area of effect) and thus we see those skills often wasted, instead of having their full possible effect.

    In the case of the necro’s warhorn skill, deadly swarm, most of the players seem to only activate it A: when they are already very low on health, and B: when they are trying to run away from opponents (be they other players or NPCs) which completely negates the effectiveness of the skill.

    It’s a mobile PBAoE lifesteal… activate it once you’ve taken a little bit of damage and CHARGE your opponent (instead of running away) and you’ll see it both damage the opponent and steadily maintain your own health over the course of it’s duration. Essentially, it’s a skill you use to prevent yourself from getting into a low health situation in the first place, rather than attempting to recover health once you’re already at death’s door.

    And I’ve simply lost count of the ridiculous number of times I’ve seen mesmers exploding clones when they are not even close to being in the vicinity of an opponent… unless every single one of those is trying for the fourth option of a reflective shield, then we are seeing a LOT of mis-used / ill-timed abilities being used there.

    Given that 3 out of the 4 options are only impactful IF the clones are shattered near an opponent, you’d think you would see more of that sort of thing happening, but no… not really…

    All of which is to say that the game certainly has some depth and nuance required to master the use of many abilities, and clearly the “press” weren’t quite up to the challenge for the most part. (Thankfully there were at least of couple exceptions to this, so we did get see some examples of quality gameplay… Lewis B from Tap Repeatedly, and Mike Baka a.k.a. Fony from Gamebreaker are two that standout in memory.)

  4. […] Attached To Keyboard — Assortment Box of Beta-ness. “Nope I haven’t quite disappeared. I’ve been lurking in the background, half keeping an eye on Guild Wars 2 stuff, half trying desperately to juggle real life stuff. The job is hectic, the guild has sprung back into life, and to top it all off I’ve exceeded my download limit for the month watching Guild Wars 2 videos. Anyway, here’s a selection of the random thoughts that have been bouncing through my head of late.” […]

  5. […] Attached To Keyboard: Assortment Box of Beta-ness. Tasha recaps her thoughts in the info from the last couple of weeks. […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.