If you’re following the news about Guild Wars 2 you probably already know that there was a beta test this past weekend for gaming press and a few fortunate others. As of 6am PDT this morning the media are able to talk about most things they saw during the beta weekend, while non-media people — like, say, a Canadian hobbyist who runs a weblog about gaming — are still legally obligated to not speak about their experiences in any way or to even admit that there was a beta.
So, what I have for you today is a curated selection of the media response to this weekend’s beta. These hopefully paint a picture of a game that adds detail in areas that previous MMOs have ignored such as character creation, of a PvE game that is strongly reminiscent of RIFT, and that World vs. World is the jewel of GW2 and will be the core of its success. Or so I’ve read. Enjoy!
On Character Creation:
“I always love a good, in-depth character creation system, as there’s a joy in spending a good amount of time making exactly the sort of character you want to play. Unfortunately, most MMOs have stripped this process down to the bare basics, which is why I’m pleased to announce that it’s actually a mini-journey in and of itself in Guild Wars 2.[...]
[The appearance settings] is the screen where you’ll probably be spending the most time, fine-tuning your looks until you’ve sculpted the character that suits you best. There’s a dizzying array of options here, starting with a basic height slider and physique selection. Be it muscly, hairy, thin, busty, or sculpted, there’s a good-looking option available (no overweight or ugly people allowed through Tyria’s customs, I guess). Charr get the extra option of fur here, and Norn can select from a fine display of tattoos.” – Justin Olivetti, Massively
On Skills and Traits:
“As you put points into a trait, these skills become unlocked. So let’s say you spend 5 trait points into the Strength branch. The first skill you unlock has you do damage at the end of a dodge roll. It really changes how you play the game. It takes a defensive move, and turns it into an offensive tool for the warrior to use. To show how this is different for other professions, the Necromancer has a trait skill that summons a minion after completing a dodge roll. This makes the roll even more defensive for the Necromancer, as it allows them to escape and use the minion to get the enemies attention. This really shows how the traits can fit any play type.” – David North, MMORPG.com
On Questing and Events:
“The game follows the traditional MMO path of having a central story mired in sidequests and grinding. Really, all the sidequests ARE grinding, as they’re less of the “fetch” variety, and more of the “help this person slay enemies in the area” type. [...]
Leveling needs to be a bit more regulated however. The main questline constantly kept telling me that I was a few levels below where I should be to proceed, but I’d completed all the grinding areas that were supposed to help me level. The fact is, you’ll need to constantly be doing quests above your level, or else you run out of things to do.” – Paul Tassi, Forbes
“What separates these from regular MMO quests is that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you help. Each area has its requests, and you just pitch in along with anyone else who happens to be around. Everything adds a blip to a bar, and when that bar is full, you’re done.
This makes a massive difference. You never have to worry about kill-stealing, because Guild Wars 2 happily shares the credit with anyone who helped. You never find yourself standing around waiting for a particular item to respawn because there’s always (at least so far) another two things you could be doing instead.” – Richard Cobbett, Rock, Paper Shotgun
On World vs. World:
“I would have to say, however, that the absolute best part of my time in WvW was being involved in a fortress siege. Madness! Sweet, glorious havoc! Catapults fired everywhere while castle defenders rained hell from the battlements and the infantry of both sides duked it out in front of the keep’s gates. It was one of the most intense, edge-of-my-seat experiences I’ve had in quite some time, and I absolutely can’t wait to do it again.” – Matt Daniel, Massively