Guild Wars 2, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Posted: April 30, 2012 by BloodEagle in Gaming
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Although humans begin Guild Wars 2 on the back...

Although humans begin Guild Wars 2 on the back foot, significant technological advances have taken place in the years since Guild Wars.

This past weekend, ArenaNet was kind enough to allow anyone who had pre-purchased the game to beta test the upcoming game, Guild Wars 2. In wanted to do a quick article about what I thought was amazing, what I thought needed a bit of work, and what I thought was horrible. My wife and I started Charr characters together, her an Elementalist and myself an Engineer, with me also playing a Norn Ranger and a Human Necromancer. There is SO many details that I do not want to bore you with all of them, so I will hit things as detailed as I can, and move on. I will say ahead of time that I can be considered a Guild Wars 2 fanboy, but will do my best to keep all of my thoughts impartial to my bias.

The Good

The character creation, which is a 10 step process, allowed me to pick the race, gender and appearance of my character, then ask me a series of questions that would guide my character’s story from beginning to end. The way this id done with giving you choices let me feel like I was in control, and also, as an RPer, allowed me to have a solid backstory for my character at the very beginning.

Many little things you would not think of make the game so much more enjoyable! When your character stands on an incline, his legs bend and do not clip into the ground as he stands straight. Water reflections are amazing, and give you a sense of depth.

The way they have approached combat I thought was innovative, and allows for alot of customization of your playstyle. You can play as a melee mage if you like by using two daggers instead of a staff. By going through and learning all of the attacks with all of the weapons, you can decide a favorite to use most of the time, and even a backup in case you want to do a different type of damage.

The art design and graphics are just simply amazing. The world feels vibrant and alive with color, shadows, things floating in the air, and environments that do not feel plopped down.

The conversations between you and certain NPCs, where you are speaking directly to one another (via voice acting), with a piece of concept art behind you made it feel more intimate.

Not having quest hubs where you go to one spot and pickup all your quests to run into the wilderness to complete them, only to come back, turn them in, and then move to the next hub. Being able to see where all events were taking place on your map, or running into them as you ran by felt alot more intuitive.

The ability to dye your clothes, whenever you like, to change your look.

The ability to head back to any waypoint anywhere in the world that you have visited before without a cool down for just a small bit of money.


The Bad

Some of the differences of the races may have you not liking the game at the onset, which may cause people to give up before trying another race.

The guild system, while interesting in its design, feels clunky in some ways, like not knowing how to promote people.

Not knowing that you can hide your hat and shoulders.

Overflow server splitting up your party. I have no problem with the idea of an overflow server, I just wish it would take your entire party, then place all of you back in the main realm at the same time.

The amount of lag that was experienced during some of the Dynamic Events when more than 12-15 people would show up.

I thought I would have more than that, but there was not much I found too bad.


The Ugly

This one could be a deal breaker to many…. My wife and I game as a duo and have for years. If we start on different phases of the same area, I am cool with that. When we invite one another, we expect to have an easy way to join our spouse. Not having anything at all to allow us to join our friends, loved ones, etc is completely unacceptable! I will admit I did find a pseudo work around in the form of heading back and forth to the PVP area until it spit me into the same phase as she was in, around 4-5 tries, till we were able to group and play together.

When we are in a story instance together and leave, and only one of us gets moved to the overflow realm, we are both stuck until the other comes back, because we like to keep our questing and story lines together. If you are going to move us at all, take the whole party, and then move us back as a party.

As I said at the beginning, my wife and I started out as Charr. She loved the characters themselves, but hated the whole Charr experience so much, the dark areas, the bleak outlook on everything, that she almost quit. It was only when I convinced her to make the same classes as Norn that she started enjoying the game immensely and is now happy she gave it that second chance.

That leaves me with a fear that because the game is SO different from everything else that is out there, or has ever been out there, that many people may give up and not give it the chance it deserves before quitting. I hope that ANet will do something to encourage new players to check around, try all the different races to see which they like before heading off on their adventure.



All in all, I was richly rewarded for my patience in the game, and I cannot wait to get into the next beta, or better yet release, and lose myself in the fun to be had.


So what were your thoughts and experiences? Do you feel the way I do, or think I am smoking Anet crack?

  1. gameshoes says:

    The overflow issue should be solved upon release (or I at least hope it does). But I feel that the overflow issue was more of a beta issue than the game itself, so I don’t think it’s fair to brand that as an “Ugly” attribute to the entirity of Guild Wars 2.

  2. […] Guild Wars 2, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. […]

  3. Randomessa says:

    You make a good point about people needing to be aware that their choice of starter race can make a huge difference on their story experience. While your wife could have just left the charr area and leveled up entirely in the norn area without re-rolling, if she wanted to take part in her personal story, re-rolling is her only option. I also saw a lot of people saying things like “I rolled a human elementalist and I thought the story was [insert criticism here]”… not knowing that their choice of social class makes a huge difference!

    I’m not sure how the game can get this pivotal feature across any better, though… most people just don’t believe that story makes an impact on game experience since that’s the way it works with most MMOs. I mean, the devs have been *saying* as much, but who believes what devs say anymore these days, right?

    • BloodEagle says:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly! I am VERY happy that my wife was willing to take it to another race and continue, and I really have no idea how ANet could put in something saying “Don’t like the story of this race or the decisions you made at the beginning? Delete and re-roll.”

      I do think some gameplay tips could be added with the option to sht them off, as this game is amazing enough and different enough that a few tips here and there could help even veteran players learn the ropes.

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