Guild Wars 2

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elgaucho
 
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:19 pm

Figured that as long as I'm on here I might as well do a brief news roundup on GW2.

I participated in the recent beta test for Heart of Thorns - it was a pretty compact test (and from their pov a stress test) but it gives a flavour of what they're doing. Mechanics complexity currently follows a lot of the groundwork they've done in Dry Top and Silverwastes, with map wide event chains that all build up to a main event, and the area we trialled will have a similar mechanic, whereby the pact build defence events during the day and then have to survive the night.

There were loads of people on during the test so hard to tell the impact of the Revenant class due to scaling, but first impressions were interesting - the class has "legends" mechanic where you pick two GW legends that you can alternate between and whose abilities you can use - the test was restricted to Jalis and Mallyx (for those who know gw1). It's a pretty unique class design and feels very different to the other classes - similar to many others I'm expecting it to be easy to get into, but with plenty of depth to become a grandmaster, and I can already see it being bloody popular in pvp. It'll shake things up a tad.

The area also had one of the new "adventures" that will exist throughout the world - these take the form of mini challenges - the one we had access to was a timed challenge with bronze, silver and gold ranks awarding the new "mastery" currency.

In other news - loads of media snippets throughout, but most of it, as always, on the website:

Information on Crafting Precursors (so no more RNG for Legendaries YAY). As a side note, WvW is no longer required for the world exploration ingredient either! That's live now!

Information on the new WvW borderland. This will replace the existing borderlands when it launches, and both sets of borderlands will probably rotate over time. This map is intended to change the balance of offence and defence, and the fastest paths will be blocked if you don't hold locations. Some interesting buff mechanics exist too!




A recent patch introduced a number of camera changes which allow for much broader FoV and even first person views - so play GW like you play ESO if that's your thing!

Overview of the Revenant Class!

The new PVP arena type - Stronghold!

Masteries - GW2's new progression system

More information on the PVE environments in HoT!




I'm sure there's more out there, but hope that's of interest to someone! 8)
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Medicine Man
 
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Medicine Man » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:33 am

Heart of Thorns expansion...


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elgaucho
 
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:13 pm

Pre-purchase is available, but I'm not entirely happy with the format.

The entry level option doesn't even include a character slot for the new class, which seems a basic to me for an expansion introducing new classes. That means that players wanting to try the new class need to fork over an extra £8.50 on gems for a slot, or liquidate in game savings to be able to play the class. That's just bad practice, and a slap to the existing client base.

Especially when the bundle includes the core GW2 game, which every existing player already has.

Really should have been: Option 1: Core and Expansion, Option 2: Expansion and Character Slot, and then the bonus editions.
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Vykromod » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:35 pm

elgaucho wrote:The entry level option doesn't even include a character slot for the new class, which seems a basic to me for an expansion introducing new classes.


Some relevant news I just stumbled into. The important bit's the first section. If you've had the game since before the expansion was announced and pre-purchase it then there's a free character slot for you.
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elgaucho
 
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:30 pm

Yes indeed.... +1 for community power changing minds.

As soon as that post came up I pre-purchased the ultimate edition of the expansion - it was always the one I was going for, but I no longer need to be a conscientious objector!

Also - yesterday was a big pre-expansion patch. The new trait design for each of the existing classes is now in, and the PVE / PVP / WVW meta is now entirely up for grabs again.

Conditions are stupidly overpowered with caps up to 1500 stacks for each condi type, and ANet have already stated that further balancing will be required, but it opens some interesting possibilities.

The new LA is also a very pretty place - interesting to see the huge transformation from its original design!

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Raid
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Raid » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:57 am

So as of this morning, the base game is now completely free. They're still charging for the expansion, but it sounds like all of the original content is there with no restrictions (other than a few minor things to prevent abuse and gold farming). Given that I was strongly considering buying it recently, this is a good thing.

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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Rusty » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:42 pm

This is a good thing as it means my son can now play his own account rather than tying up mine all the time.
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:32 pm

The F2P model they've adopted seems generous enough to give players a really good taste, without giving everything away. There's still some solid benefits to buying the game if players enjoy it. And, tbh, with the base package now including the expansion that's about to come out, I think that's a pretty good deal for anyone wanting to jump on board.

Speaking of the expansion, launch date confirmed for October 23rd!! :D

Oh, and they've finally decided to incorporate some Raid content into the game, with 10-man raids to be released a few weeks after launch:



Should be interesting to see how they decide to incorporate the challenges in a game with no classic trinity.

Most of the Elite specialisations have now been revealed, and I have to say that the Reaper (Necro) specialisation is huge fun. I'm also looking forward to trying the new thief Specialisation, Daredevil, in next weekend's beta test. Might also give the Warrior Berserker specialisation a go!
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elgaucho
 
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:25 pm

I have to say, I'm always a little sad that I'm one of the few who posts in this thread - I fee like the perennial spammer, or maybe some kind of game promoter for GW2.

That said, I can't hold back on sharing some very early impressions of Heart of Thorns.


In a nutshell - it's a visual spectacle! The environments are so lush and alive and full of detail that the new areas are a joy to play. The soundtrack is immersive and beautiful and subtle and emotive all at the same time. (check it out for yourself on Soundcloud). I thought that the whole verticality of the maps was going to be a gimmick, and that they would end up mostly being one map with an underground / overground area.... but no! We're talking GIGANTIC chasms, Cloudswept Tree Canopies, Tree Trunks as wide as Rata Sum, updraft breezes for gliding up to higher levels, bouncing mushrooms that send you every which way, and all you can do the whole time is to just marvel at the scale. It's a tapestry that should be visited by anyone with an appreciation of art or even level design.

I'm loving gliding down canyons looking for hidden crevices near the bedrock and my imminent doom. Finding those skill points that I need to unlock my specialisation in PVE is a challenge, and one that I welcome! I'm motivated, and with that comes a desire to explore! Gliding down until you see an ancient entrance deep in the bedrock, far below the last landable platform you saw is exhilarating, and finding out it's how you get to your guild hall is a fun sense of discovery!

I haven't tried the new Elite specialisations yet - I'm just happily exploring the game and contributing to the capture of our new Guild Hall (more on that in a sec!).

I've fought a few against a few new builds in PVP - Reapers and Daredevil's have a lot of evades when played properly, reapers aren't as strong as I thought, but everything in general is up for grabs right now! It's interesting!.

The new World Vs World borderlands are astonishing in their beauty.... Huge swathes of land as far as the eye can see, ravines and cliffs and an oasis in the middle - lots of choke points to encourage ambushes and lots of paths to allow small infiltration parties to navigate around zergs - so much possibility that I truly hope is realised into some fun gameplay. A giant laser in the middle is an opportunity to weaken every structure and let the match be rebalanced by an opportunistic server!

Guild Halls are actually a major thing in this - they represent a whole map unto themselves! I mean that they're HUGE! AND they are pretty expensive to upgrade, even for a big guild! TCS is a big guild with lots of gold and assets between its members, but It'll be weeks or even months before we have everything done - I can't wait to compare what they look like then compared to the ruins we've just moved into. :D

Fractal redesigns are pretty interesting so far - no more do 4 instances at once - each level is one instance now, AND no RNG for Fractal Weapons! - earn the currency, buy the one you want! (as long as you've done F50)

There are plenty of bugs. Some not insignificant stability issues causing client crashes, some people getting stuck in story instances,etc etc. But as a whole the launch was seamless. Up when it said it would be, and very very playable.

There are moaners too. Mostly the entitled folk who feel they should be able to experience all the content on day one, and raging that they have to play the content to unlock skills to explore other areas. it'll be a moot point in three weeks, so why they are raging now is unclear to me. Ignore them if you see them.

Guild Wars 2 is about playing and experiencing the game. In so doing, you unlock what you want just as a matter of course - it should be an almost seamless transition. Yes, these early Masteries represent some level of grind, but we're talking a handful of hours on the grander scale.

I'm actually overwhelmed by the amount of content at the moment, as Halloween is also on, and I do enjoy the mini games that represent it!

I'll try and post some screenshots later!

I'd love to know who's actually playing and their thoughts too!

Recent Infographic:

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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby gpa-gone-west » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:14 pm

I played the first Guild Wars and all the expansions and loved it. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get into this. Don't know why. There was nothing wrong with it, I just didn't like how it played compared to the first.
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Sly Boots » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:24 pm

Played this for an obscene amount of time really over it's first couple of years, think I burned out on it in honesty. I got back into it a bit about a month back when my dad started playing - it was fun showing him the ropes while I levelled a new char. But as soon as I hit 80 again I just had had enough of it, really.
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:45 pm

5 years since it's launch, and Guild Wars 2 announced it's second expansion this week, which will be taking players to Elona!




I don't think the announcement itself was particularly earth shattering, although i am impressed in how quickly this follows from the last living story chapters, and the fact that they're ready to go with more living story within a month or two of launch. That's a lot of content at a solid pace that they've been dropping!

And the quality of content this year, from Raids, to new Dungeon (Fractal) encounters, long term goals for WvW and PVP seasons are all good for the game. If the expansion quality matches the six new maps from this year, this should be fun!

If you haven't been on for a while you'll find a lot of new encounters and old encounters reworked, and there's lots of fun to be had for a game with a one off entry fee.

Regardless of whether you're invested, there is an open beta next weekend for the Crystal Desert maps, which is open to all players. It's a good chance to have a fresh look at new and upcoming content without commitment.

Launch is set for September 22nd. :D
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:48 pm

Apologies in advance for the wall of text that will probably follow this post:

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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby Sly Boots » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:50 pm

How is the expansion, Gaucho?
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Re: Guild Wars 2

Postby elgaucho » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:05 pm

So... Path of Fire.

I've been wanting to write something about this for days. weeks.

But the honest truth is that writing about THIS game to you lot is bloody difficult.

You know I love this game. I know I love the game. I have good reasons to do so. But most people have made up their mind on whether it's for them or not.

And I acknowledge that most of you don't or won't try the game, or try it again.

I think it's a shame, but i get it.

So if i'm going to write something, what do i write? What do i say that is objective and useful, and that might get that spark of interest up in any one of you?

I'll start by saying that I was vastly underwhelmed by the marketing and announcement and pre release hype. It was pants. It IS pants. ANet do not how to market.

There's no big selling point to the expansion. Nothing in there that would get the interest of new players. It appealed to GW1 players by pitching the Crystal Desert, and the existing player base who was mostly going to buy it anyway.

Maybe that was intentional? Maybe the game is doing so well economically that they don't need to bring in new people? I honestly don't know.

______________________________________________________________

What I do know is that the Living Story that followed from Heart of Thorns was good. Not mind blowing, mind you. But DARN good content. Solid, decent playtime, including new maps with interesting mechanics with each (give or take) quarterly release, and short and long term goals included, that offered days or weeks of replayability for the hardcore players.

Storytelling has improved by leaps and bounds! And so much dialogue. Such incredible scores. The best thing this game did in years was lose Jeremy Soule as composer. I like his stuff, but Maclaine, Lena and Stan are doing such a great job that there's no way I want to go back.

And all this content came free to play. For anyone. As long as you logged in during the living story timeline.

Still, when Path of Fire was announced, I controlled my hype. Mounts? ok.... the desert? What am I to make of that? New locations are the de facto expectation. No real indication of why i should be hyped about it. New elite specs? Yup, as expected. Some funky mechanics, but let's see how the balance team does, and whether they're FUN.

Despite this, I did pre order in the first few days it was made available. I loved that i could do that in game this time around too!

My logic was that the work and pace that's been going on for... what? 18 months now, since Mike O'Brien took back the reins, has been so consistent and solid, that even if there is NOTHING exceptional about this expansion, I would be getting a solid round of really good content and new maps. I can't really lose, right?

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_______________________________________


And so it is. I've now played through all of the campaign, and put countless hours into pvp. I haven't tried all the new classes, but i've certainly experienced the receiving end of them!

How do I feel about the expansion?

Broadly, it's what I expected:

- Seriously beautiful environments and architecture
- A moderately predictable main line story, and set up for the next living world.
- Mounts
- A mix of successful and mediocre elite specialisations.

What do I want to shout about?

- The ENVIRONMENTS!

I mean... wow! Such biodiversity even. I was expecting deserts, and more deserts. But no.... we have rolling canyons and ravines, and mountains, and such wonderful transitions from arid lands rising up to hilly mountains and then snow covered tops.

My jaw dropped a fair number of times, and i've stopped all over the place just to admire the beauty of this game. It really is awesome.

And there are architectures and constructions and lays of the land that are... immersive to wander through! I would buy this game just to explore the lands. It's that pretty. I love it.

- Relaxing

Heart of Thorns was tense.

You were deep in the jungle. Layers upon layers of jungle and tendrils crawling up everywhere.... tangled depths and drops and overbearing moods.

Wildlife and Mordrem every 5 paces, and nowhere to hide from it. FIGHTING to get those mastery points, (both the experience and the points), JUST so you could survive longer. It was tiring and draining. Superbly challenging at times, but hard work.

The Desert doesn't feel like that.

The beautiful, vast open spaces have plenty of room to breathe. While a degree of verticality remains, it's so palmed down from HoT that you don't have to worry.

Mastery points are easy to come by, and the experience required to upgrade each one is vastly reduced.

So basically, you're on a scavenger hunt for the first few days. After that, you're FREE! Free to do events, story, collections, exploration, or whatever else takes your fancy.

I love this. i go back to the desert because i WANT to experience it, not because i need to. This is a GOOD thing. I don't have to grind. I can get straight into the experience of the game. I wish everyone did this.

- Mounts

ArenaNet said they wanted to do something different with mounts. And i believed them.

I liked the concept they proposed, with each mount having unique skills.

But I thought - this is a gimmick. It's not really going to add much to the game. To how it FEELS.

I've rarely been more wrong.

Mounts are amazing. I can't even describe why i think that. It's a subtle combination of so many little things.

The way they move is designed individually for each mount.
The animations are tailored so carefully and with such care that they really feel like an extension of you.
The skills are integrated so intelligently into the game.
- leaping over giant chasms that are otherwise unreachable with your raptor
- Jumping up cliffsides on your springer, to reach mountain plateaus high above you
- Skimming over water to reach otherwise inaccessible islets, or just to avoid swimming!
- Criss Crossing the Devastation on a Jackal, using sand portals to teleport across great swathes of space in a hop, hop, hop!

Each mount feels unique.
Each mount has its uses.
Everyone has a favourite
And they can all be used on any map in the game! World exploration has been revitalised!

And i think one of the best things is that getting on or off a mount is almost instantaenous - about 0.5 seconds. So you'll be hopping on and off them all the time!

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And that's it.

Yes there are other things i could mention. Collections. Events. Bounties. The new guild hall. The elite specs.

But for me, just those things above are enough.

Enough to justify my purchase. Enough to justify my time.

Anything else is a bonus already.

Guild Wars isn't like any other MMO i've played.

I love not having to grind.
I love being able to pick a collection each week, month or year, and slowly work towards achieving it.
I love that i don't have to login every day. I choose to. (Although there are incentives to do so too, yes)
I love that every quarter (and probably January next) there is a new map and story chapter
I love that Fractals (the 5 man instanced content) just keeps getting more and more maps, and that these are getting insanely challenging.
I love that i haven't had to upgrade my gear in years, and that i won't need to in future. (except for cosmetics)
I love the raid content. I don't have time for it like i wish, but i can't deny it's brilliant. Challenging encounters, hard modes, but always fair. I've not seen one boss event where i thought... WOW. Not doable. Mechanics CAN be identified on the fly, and attacks are well telegraphed. When it goes wrong, or I go wrong, i know WHY it happened. And it encourages me to be better.

I like PVP, even though the community is way too small, and people are salty. I play a selfish game when i play, because i still can't do ranked queues with more than 2 people.
I find that open world pvp (wvw) has improved a lot in recent months. Long term goals have been added, gliding has been added, and there is content there for those with the time. Again, I've compromised my wvw commitment due to time.

Every day there is content that i can enjoy, and more to do each day than time allows.

This game is content rich.
This game is experience rich.

So yes, i love Guild Wars.

And if you're fed up with everything else, you should give it another go.

No subs. Just an expansion every 2 years. And 50 Euros gets you Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire at the most basic level. The core game is still free.

Now I'll add my bias back in.

I urge you to try it!


And one last thing.... despite the fact that i cannot find screenshots or videos to even remotely justify how beautiful the in game experience is, I do like this one:

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