The first day of the Penny Arcade Expo is winding down, and what a day it has been! ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2 are a major presence at this convention – between the panels that seem to be constantly running in room 2B, the massively popular PvP matches at the Alienware booth, the Guild Wars 2 booth itself, and the advertisements and t-shirts everywhere, it seems like one can hardly turn around without being reminded that Seattle is Arenanet’s ‘hood.
My day started at the Guild Wars 2 booth, waiting in line for the demo. I didn’t have any particular fire to get out of bed at 6 to get in line in time to be part of the first massive wave into the expo hall, but with only three people in front of me, I felt pretty good about my wait for my turn with the newest demo build. While in line I ran into a couple folks from the Guild Wars twitter community (big thanks to BigCat72 for holding my spot while I ran a couple errands!) and got to chat with a few devs. It was a really neat experience, personally, coming back to the second year of PAX and seeing devs again: PAX is such a bizarre little universe unto itself, there was an odd sense of continuity that really messed with my sense of time. Wasn’t it just a while ago that I was here, talking to these devs, wasn’t it just weeks ago that the first GW2 trailer was released? Aren’t these the same lines I waited in just a while ago?
The demo quickly debunked me of that notion: time has passed, and the ANet staff have been busy in that time!
Pardon my obvious Colin reference, but I feel this new skill acquisition needs to be brought into further review even before the Gamescom demos begin. Allow me to further quote the man with the golden smile.
“We just don’t want players to grind in Guild Wars 2. Noone enjoys that, noone finds it fun; we want to change the way that people view combat.” – Colin Johanson, GW2 Manifesto
If this is the case, then why does this new skill system exist?
I got mad skills! No, really. I do.
The old system
Hello and welcome everyone! BigCat72 here with a new article on something that has been a recent subject of much hype and circumstance; underwater combat. Underwater combat in Guild Wars 2 has been a selling point for the Game Breaker TV crew and after having watched a Gamespot video featuring Jon Peters showing off with a Necromancer, I am BLOWN away by the way this has been implemented into the game. So for this article, I will be going over my thoughts on the video and small things I’ve noticed. For reference the video is linked here and it appears that the level of gameplay is only in the 30’s.
Jon Peters is a Game Designer for Guild Wars 2 and in the video, he is showing off the underwater combat for the Necromancer but a lot of my general questions are answered here as well. For me, I have only read about the underwater combat system but reading is not nearly the same as seeing it take place (even if it’s a YouTube video). I have played games in the past that had “underwater combat” capabilities but it was clunky and the skills you used didn’t interact with the environment at all. You also you had to pay attention to how much breath you have left as well. So in reality you really didn’t have an underwater combat system, you just had a land based combat system that applied itself in water. When you enter water you are bogged down in movement speed to that of walking, not to mention the breath timer forcing you to keep near the surface so that you can’t fully explore the underwater areas.
Wait, hear me out. I am not missing the pug that made you weep and run to Guru’s cursing out that stupid player that over agroed everything, cursed in chat, and then quit right when you were about to finish causing all those minions he had up to go wild and attack you along with those last 4 groups he pulled on to the group. I also wish that I was making that up.
Raeya Sun and the Lich
No, I am missing the group you found in Vizunah Square, and you stuck together working as a team until you found yourself at Gyala Hatchery running the mission the front way because no one knew about the back way yet, and you found yourself finishing with expert because one turtle died, and you are proud of the great work you did. The pug you hated to leave but well you had been playing for way to long and your wife is giving you that look that if you try and continue you will be sleeping on the couch. And for a moment you think one night way be worth it. That is the pug I miss and the pug I am afraid I will never again see in my beloved Guild Wars.
And here is why:
Would you take advice from a warthog? I know I wouldn’t. Put your past behind you? Codswallop! Hakuna Matata? Poppycock! Problem free philosophy? Fat chance! If you don’t learn from your mistakes then you never get anywhere! So, with this in mind, what has Arena Net learned from Guild Wars 1?
They don't allow wild animals to take night classes.
1. Instances are lonely
Koss isn’t much of a talker, and the look in Livia’s eye when she reconnects the bones and sinew of your fallen comrades is no comfort to the weary adventurer. The instanced world is a barren land full of red-named nasties just itching to eat your skin or roast you over a campfire. There is little in the way of emergent interaction – if you venture out into the world unprepared there is no one there to come to your aid.
With Guild Wars 2 ANet has flip flopped on the instanced world and given us a persistent one to play in instead. Now, if you find yourself alone on a road surrounded by angry and lecherous bandits, maybe you can catch the eye of that passing band of Norn Guardians and they will come to your aid!
Like many of the fans this past weekend, I brazenly walked into the gaming lab on Friday determined to play every single profession at least once. Needless to say, that sure as heck didn’t happen. While I dabbled with the thief and engineer at most 20 minutes each, when it came down to the dungeon run I found myself lured to an age-old favorite; the necromancer.
After taking a small while to check out my skills and come up with a “build” of sorts, it was time to get down and dirty with the undead. A current minion master fan, I selected three to take with me: the blood fiend, bone fiend, and bone minions. Ghost armor and well of suffering rounded out my last five skills. The weapons of choice were scepter/focus, occasional dagger/dagger, and staff.
Getting the hang of the minions was actually a bit tough; the mentality to simply summon and forget is hard to shake. In fact, minions in GW2 are extremely different than GW and require some thinking and strategy. Given that their destruction has great utility, it was a shame I didn’t make more use of them. By the end of my time with the necro (technical difficulties forced me to switch computers / instances), I was finally getting the hang of using the minions as more than just extra damage but actually taking advantage of their toggle skills. Putrid explosion for AoE (normally when a group of mobs are low on health) and rigor mortis to hold off on an enemy if I was getting mauled in the face.
My experience of going through the Catacombs dungeon at ArenaNet’s recent Fan Day was perhaps the single most enlightening experience of the entire wonderful day . It had everything – the companionship, the fun, and the visible fulfillment of many promises and bold statements on behalf of the developers. It was, effectively, a microcosm of the event as a whole: in it, one could find all the elements which defined the success of the entire venture.
also: everything was gorgeous