From my experiences in the first beta weekend and the recent stress test, PvP in Guild Wars 2 promises to be some of the most dynamically engaging and thrilling MMO PvP to date. From the epic scale of World versus World, to the small unit tactics of structured PvP, trait build speculation and team composition theorycrafting are two rabbit holes that will only get deeper as we get closer to launch. However, there is one consistent truth I have observed across all of GW2’s PvP: team composition is more important than any one individual’s trait/skill/weapon build.
Don’t get me wrong, choosing the right traits, weapons and skills is clutch, and mastery of your class is a huge element of success. However, too many of the PvP demonstrations on youtube focus on a lone wolf mentality. While there are certainly some cool solo builds out there, each profession TRULY shines when they coordinate their support abilities with their allies. However, unlike other games where choosing to play a support role locks you into the monotonous task of buffing and debuffing, boons and conditions in GW2 are much more tactical.
The Archer’s Paradox describes the phenomenon whereby an arrow aimed directly at the centre of a target will invariably miss. The bowman must account for the flex of the bow, the wind and the myriad of other external variables each time they release an arrow if they want to hit the target every time. The Guild Wars 2 Ranger profession might seem to be the same entity as it was in Guild Wars 1, but ArenaNet have made some significant alterations whilst still retaining the charm and lure which the profession holds in fantasy RPGs.
The Ranger was one of the core 6 professions in GW1. It always struggled to find a place in the typical PvE team – coming under the umbrella term of “DPS”. A Ranger would often find it difficult to worm its way into the standard setup due to having a lower damage output than Elementalists, Necromancers and Ritualists, less armour than Warriors and Paragons, a less reliable interrupt than a computer-controlled Mesmer, and virtually no support capabilities. It was a jack of all trades, and (at least in PvE) a master of none.
Coming out of the first Beta Weekend Event and Stress Test, many of us got the chance to finally try the professions we wanted to. Some of us, undoubtedly, still have no clue what we’re playing, whereas some of us immediately knew what profession we were going to play as soon as we got through the tutorial. I plan to play the Engineer, a steampunk-inspired, gadget-wielding, elixir-chugging daredevil whose archetype is fairly untapped by the MMO genre. Below is my list of 5 reasons to play the Engineer: Continue reading →
It doesn’t need to be said that since the first Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event, the floodgates, as they say, have been opened. And by opened, I mean busted down with a swelling tidal wave of chatter, media, rants, and raves. But most of all, media. In the lull between events, fans are eagerly devouring everything the ‘net has to offer to ease the pain (I know I am).
Our lovely resident videographer, LoremasterKaae (you may have heard of this fine lass before) was hard at work filming and editing some of her adventures over the weekend.
Thanks to her efforts, we’ve (finally) got some fun videos on our youtube channel. I thought I’d point out a few of my personal favorites for you guys to take a look at, if you haven’t already:
I was a noble, a fancy Memser, and a vision in pink and purple. I was the most flamboyant man in Tyria – really, a Mesmer in pink/purple armor, you think you can top that? – and I was gorgeous. I slicked my hair back as I admired my reflection in the mirror. No, I wasn’t going to go all cray cray and ask the mirror who the fairest of them all was because I knew in my heart that it was me. Period.
Though I was born to riches and a silver spoon – literally – in my mouth, I knew I didn’t want to become one of those fat, jolly men who bathed in gold and didn’t give a tinker’s toot to the plight of the less fortunate. Yeah sure, we were rich now and could afford all kinds of luxurious fabrics and exotic meat from the land of Tyria but we should never ever tempt Fate because the cosmic universe just loves to throw you a curveball when you least expect it. And what that happens, all you horrible human beings who’ve never known hardship will be thrown out on your asses and starve to death.
And seriously, dolyak meat? Really? What the hell is wrong with you people?
For many people, the first open beta event for Guild Wars 2 can best be described by grabbing your nearest thesaurus and looking up the word “awesome.” It was our first look at Lion’s Arch; our first look at armor and weapons associated with all 8 dungeons; our first opportunity to, well, play the game we’ve been drooling over for 2+ years. Long have we loitered fansites and forums speculating about professions and skills and scouring youtube for videos of gameplay footage. This past weekend was the first opportunity for thousands of people to immerse themselves in the game that is the talk of the MMO scene.
The sylvari, together with the asura, are the races we haven’t yet gotten to play either in the closed beta or during the first beta weekend event. They both were playable during some gaming conventions (like GamesCom 2011), so we know they exist in a playable state, at least! But of course, not having been able to play them myself, I am very curious about them. I know I will love asura. There’s just no doubt about that. But what about the sylvari?
For me, they come close to what elves represent in other fantasy games. Think of your standard fantasy settings and now think of how many games include some kind of elves: Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft, Everquest, Rift,… the list goes on. Elves are usually the fragile, elegant, gracious, wise and oooooold race. The sylvari are all of that with one exception; They are a very young race with the oldest sylvari being 25 years old. I’d assume that sylvari will most likely be the race to play when you’re usually an elf-lover because of their looks. But from their personality and their background, they’re rather unique.
They are a tree’s interpretation of humans. (Kristen Perry in Talk Tyria’s lore interview)
Let’s take a look at the sylvari: They can have elf-like ears (pointed, that is, in case you didn’t know). You can find a video showing the early sylvari character customization here (it starts at around 3:30). Their ears are pointed because they’re leaf-shaped. Which, oddly enough, is what Tolkien had in mind for his elves (see Wiki entry above). But it’s not that easy. Sylvari aren’t simply “the elves”. You have to look a bit closer to see the differences between elves (or humans) and sylvari. They are, in fact, plants that were built after humans because the Pale Tree, out of which they were “born”, knows what humans look like and modelled the sylvari after them. ArenaNet had published a blog post about Kristen Perry’s redesign of the sylvari (they did actually look very much like regular elves before). Continue reading →