GW2: Beta Weekend Quick Thoughts and Screenshots

Figures, it’s beta weekend and what do I do?

I roll up a warrior, take a quick glance at the Berserker elite spec, decide it looks too confusing and too condition-based for me to bother trying to craft a build for it (dealing with all those items that pop out of the chest is so annoying), then just recreate my standard variant of PS/EA zerker with quick breathing warhorn and go walk around the new map.

beta-rally

After following a few event chains in a big circle and thinking that:

a) most of it feels relatively great and/or acceptable, with funny character stories (the quaggans are a dear, the nobles are a hoot),

b) there aren’t currently enough events on show to really level Masteries quickly – I’m just past the first glider unlock and bouncing mushrooms, and that was with 1/3 of the bar cheated from bringing in the reward chest from racial city exploration into the jungle

c) the Mordrem and hylek waves are really overdoing/overstaying their welcome by one or two waves too many

d) the big fat Xocotl Crusher mobs / event probably needs a serious relook at his breakbar, current amount of hp amd how it scales

In a zerg of 40+ when the beta hordes first descended, the breakbar melted super-quickly, probably because there were at least a few people testing out an elite spec that automatically applied some forms of cc, and his hp felt tanky and decidedly higher than most mobs, but not annoyingly so.

In a group of under 10 a day or two later, not only was breaking the breakbar like pulling teeth (though one can easily excuse this to players not learning yet, including timing dodges to when he draws back his weapon), -after- the breakbar was broken, it took -forever- to bring down his hp (and the breakbar managed to come back up twice.)

e) the delay on pulling up the glider is back a tinge, which is awkward, I preferred the smoother feeling of the last beta version of the glider pull out

beta-ships

I also realized that given the slow pace of Mastery leveling in this part of the jungle, and reluctance to repetively follow an event chain over and over again, what I really would rather end up doing was climbing up to high places and taking screenshots.

beta-day

beta-night

Day versus night in the jungle, pretty well done.

It all looks a lot better from afar than deep in the bushes, I have to say.

beta-cave

With the odd exception or two.

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3 thoughts on “GW2: Beta Weekend Quick Thoughts and Screenshots

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I really fear for the longevity of this design. I think by far the best time to “do” Heart of Thorns will be in the first 4-6 weeks, in the bubble. Then, it stands a good chance of feeling relatively organic and immersive.

    After that it will, at best, turn into Dry Top/Silverwastes. with interested parties stacking a map and taxiing people in and everyone else carrying on as though the entire place doesn’t exist. At that point it will be all about grinding out the points/getting the loot. That may be fine for quite a large segment of the population but not, I feel, for a majority.

    And there’s a real chance it won’t even hold sufficient interest to keep all the maps, day and night, fully populated. It seems eerily reminiscent of ANet’s original “endgame” – huge event chains in three Orr maps. That didn’t work out at all how they intended.

    If the HoT maps don’t scale well for small “zergs” then it could get quite ugly. It’s going to need a strong Living Story 3 spine and plenty of new event chains if these four maps are going to last us another three years. Surely they can’t be planning on taking that long again, though?

  2. I love those screenshots, oh my! Maybe I will have to buy this expansion at some point in the nearer future after all. *I’m ignoring the Bhagpuss Dry Top/Silverwastes comment, maybe if I close my eyes it will not become true* /denial

  3. Sylow says:

    I fear that Bhagpuss is right, but i’ll also give the thing a try. (I also still hope that they improve the Dragonhunter a lot, but that’s another thing. ) Currently the pointers on where GW2 is heading show about a dozen different directions and i can’t tell how it’ll turn out. The base game is fine for me as casual distraction and i hope the expansion can also be played as casual. There’s not even the faintest traces of writing on the wall indicating that i’d have the time or interest to “go hardcore” on GW2, so the accessibility of the new content will make all the difference if the game has a future for me or not.

    The dice are in the air and i didn’t find the time (or have the interest) to invest into the beta weekend, so i’ll see how things are at the end of October, when the full picture is available. 🙂

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