Masteries are now in a more readable UI.
One has to select a mastery that one wants to level up, and earn experience towards that goal. Seems to be an alternate advancement system for those who love the leveling aspect of an MMO. Presumably after you unlock it with experience, you can then spend a mastery point to purchase it.
I got to within an inch of gliderhood but unfortunately didn’t quite get it before the first beta closed. Let’s see if they save character progress in between each stage.
Much more of the Verdant Brink map was opened up, though only a few areas were heavily populated by Mordrem so far.
Map has a day/night zone cycle, day apparently set to 75 minutes and night at 45 minutes or thereabouts. I logged in to about 15 minutes of day, and then it quickly switched to night.
There seems to be an overall zone goal of holding/defending Rally Points, escorting Pact Soldiers to said Rally Points and bringing Pact Supplies to build up each Rally Point to eventually unlock more (unknown) stuff. So far only one or two Rally Points got defended consistently, so there will be more to do when it finally launches, I’m sure. I’m looking forward to more organized attempts at this zone goal.
(A beta map is naturally not a place for massive map coordination and organization, everyone’s squirreling off to see the new things, and about 85% of the people were Revenants unfamiliar with their skills and all that.)
After a first hour of intense battlefield Mordrem fighting, I found myself getting tired of the endless war going nowhere (need my organization fix) and wandered off to the quieter and probably still unbuilt areas.
I do hope that the designers don’t forget in their excitement over playing with complex and sophisticated dynamic event chains to look after the little guys, the solo explorers and casual levelers that need a calmer exploration fix from time to time, those surprisingly numerous players who enjoy and miss the feeling of leveling in their starter and intermediate leveling zones – more pastoral surroundings, less tightly packed and threatening mob densities.
Personally, I do suspect we will still have some of these areas, even in the Heart of Maguuma. Even the Silverwastes has its peaceful jumping puzzle, to take a breather from the constant combat chains.
From my short glance at the zone and the spaces and scenery therein, there seems to be a goal to pack a lot into it – something for groups (PUG or organized), something for achievement-oriented soloists, something for explorer-oriented soloists and so on.
But I dunno, I have no words to argue or defend the Vision that others seem to hate so much.
If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t.
So instead, I will just post the screenshots that -I- had fun taking.
I remembered to take a PURPLE one for Eri’s theory of depressing endgame maps.
I think this one is GW2’s claim to a Skyrim look-alike. The treetop textures, the lighting, the photo-realism just kinda blew me away.
I have… no words to describe the Itzel stare.
More of those Maguuma Wastes-style ruins we’ve all come to know and love in Dry Top and Silverwastes. Dying to know more about the origins or creators of these structures.
They weren’t kidding about the verticality of this zone. (I briefly considered spectral walking my way down – I played a necro rather than a revenant this time around – then in a brief fit of sanity, managed to find the NPC that teleported you into the pit.
Apparently it’s one of those new soloable “Adventures,” which usually challenge you to achieve some sort of task, except that it was either nonfunctional because it wasn’t done yet, or because we hadn’t unlocked the Rally Point that would unlock it, or I was just missing the whole point of what one had to do for the event.)
The cloudy ominous drop that awaits clumsy glider-less travelers.
There were some nearly empty caves under the Wyvern Cliffs, save for a few new Mushroom mobs, which were quite cute, in a nightmarish Mario Goomba sort of way.
And then I crawled through one snaking tunnel and went down another and stumbled into the as yet unpopulated Temple of Ameyalli. (Ameyalii possibly being to the hylek as Mellaggan is to the quaggan, an interpretation of the human god Melandru. Or maybe not and she’s just an unconnected animistic goddess of nature. Who knows, at this point.)
One moment of perfect beauty.
That’s all this explorer soul needed.