Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Fantastical Journey: Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event 2

So this weird thing happened about two weeks ago. It was Friday, I was at work browsing Reddit because pfft work, and I saw a thread on AskReddit about "What moments in your life became epic after learning the details?"

And for once, I thought to myself, "hmm, I actually have a good story about this type of situation!" So I typed up my story while cautiously minimizing Reddit every time I heard footsteps...

Then I went back to work, doing statistical analysis of a whole bunch of measurements, generating graphs, and all of that other mathematical wizardry that I do...and in about an hour, I slacked back to Reddit...and THIS happened: I started freaking out at my desk. Luckily my office is at the end of the hallway so nobody could hear my girly squeals of excitement. I quickly grabbed my keys and went down to the bathroom so I could do a quick "this is so cool!" dance. And when I got back to my desk, THIS happened:

So then I started freaking out even more. I spent the rest of the day at work smiling like a fool and checking my email continuously to see if I had gotten a reply yet.

One week later...

Wow! So here I am playing a game that I've been excited about for the last few years. For some background, I played the original Guild Wars for about 2000 hours over the course of two years, created a nerdy guild called "Dragons of Eternal Twilight" (wow, that's lame, blame 15 year old me), met some incredibly amazing people, and lost my virginity (but that's a whole different story).

My Guild Wars 1 main character in the final area of the original storyline.
To be honest, I've been avoiding Guild Wars 2 information for a long time like a little kid covering her ears, shouting "lalalalala". I have been avoiding press releases, information about betas, release date speculation, everything - because in the past I have encountered a little thing I like to call, "hype-burn", which is kind of like heart burn but not really at all. Hype burn happens when you follow a game for so long and get so hyped about it that when it finally comes out and you get to play it, it can never meet the inflated expectations that you have created from obsessively following kick ass screenshots and cinematic previews.

But clearly the universe wanted me to experience Guild Wars 2 now, so how was I going to say no to that?

Oooooh Castle!
So anyways, instead of boring you with long descriptions of why the Guild Wars 2 beta absolutely blew me away and broke the limits of my hype-o-meter and left me in a deep, seething depression now that the beta is over... look at all the pretty pictures I took! 

The environments are so damn colorful and nice to look at. Just running around and exploring all of the different areas kept me occupied for hours.

The main human city was MASSIVE. Stop looking at my character's butt. There's an auction house, bank storage, tons of merchants, and crafting seems like it's going to be a huge part of the game...for me anyways. It's really nice because the bank storage has a slotted tab for all different types of crafting materials so you never really run out of space to put your 300 tanned hides and you can send crafting materials directly from your inventory to the storage from any place on the map.
This vendor said, "I have everything that you need!" ...I don't even like tomatoes, you sarcastic asshole.

I think they did an excellent job with character customization. It's nice when everybody looks a little bit different and unique. Armor dyes are unlocked by character and then you can use them at any time which really saves the hassle of buying individual dyes for every piece of armor like in GW1. Also each piece of armor usually has multiple dye slots so you can make your armor rainbow colored if you really would like. That makes me happy.

I can't get over how beautifully crafted the environments are... This is in Lion's Arch. The lore explains that Lion's Arch was destroyed by a massive flood caused by a dragon and the people came together to rebuild the important hub town using ship parts that remained from the destruction. You can see that influence in the architecture and I think it's absolutely brilliant.

I found a bug while I was playing...

And then there was this kid... I think this child somehow stumbled from the Skyrim universe into the Guild Wars universe.

The combat is superb, absolutely THE best that I have ever experienced in an MMO. Other MMOs that I've played have grown a little bit stale. You end up paying more attention to pressing shortcut keys than actually being involved in the battle. The Guild Wars 2 combat system absolutely fixes that awful trend by implementing a very fluid movement-based combat system. You can roll, dodge, run, and move - all while casting spells and delivering powerful attacks. Dodging becomes increasingly important in battles such as this one. This boss randomly popped up out of the swamp and about 30 people rushed to the area to fight it together. This Shadow Behemoth would launch area attacks that were basically a one hit kill if you didn't get the fuck out of the way with a well-timed roll dodge.
Should I be running towards this monster or away!? Yikes!

Victory! After we defeated it, everybody ran in to grab their share of the giant loot chest. As you can see in the chat window, we were all pretty fucking pleased with the experience.

WvWvW - aka extreme clusterfuck PvP battle of doom. Here is a group of about 25 people from my server attempting to capture a fortified post being guarded by 20 people from another server. It was glorious, glorious chaos. Pictured: my incredible fireballs of doom raining from the sky.

Treasure is that much better when it comes from a chest that is two times as tall as you.

One thing I wasn't expecting... fully crafted underwater environments with underwater residents and even underwater combat. I can't imagine the kinds of crazy underwater boss battles there will be. You also have a specific, unique skill set for underwater combat which will certainly make for some more diverse fights.

Well okay, I like Quaggon too I guess...
I have no idea what this is going to be for in the final game since it didn't do anything in the beta...but it looked freaking awesome.
At some point in the beta, I joined a guild of some pretty cool people. We partied up, went on voice chat, and stood majestically on a mountain like a band of benevolent heroes...with a canon.

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I was extremely impressed with the beta. Now I just have to wait until it gets released for real... So until then... maybe I'll finally finish Mass Effect 3, HAH, right.

1 comment:

  1. Just... wow! Even I would have freaked out, lolz.