This is only my second Guild Wars Beta Weekend event, and the first time I didn’t play that much, telling myself I didn’t want to spoil it for release. I started out the weekend thinking that again, but I just had so much fun I completely gave up trying to restrict myself and went all out. The two final races were added for players to explore with, including their starting zones. I’ve always been a fan of the smaller races, so I went with the Asura. I picked the engineer class because – well, on a whim actually. It’s fun! I don’t know if it’s the class I’ll want to stick with going forward, but it’s been interesting to explore with none the less.
I have been pretty good at not reading anything about the game, so anything I actually know about it I’ve experienced or asked while playing. For example WvWvW pvp confuses me to no end (that’s world vs. world vs. world). I partook in one event yesterday, I forget the name of it but the rules were pretty simple. Hold onto more ‘bases’ than the enemies. Create supplies to help reinforce things. My server was absolutely horrible at this. It seems like the pvp just goes on continuously forever, or at least that’s how it was while I played. I stuck around for more than an hour getting my ass handed to me, I got experience for taking down players / mobs but no loot (that I recall) and so I don’t really see the point of this type of combat. At the start of the zone there were NPC for repairs, recipes, guild happening and a bank, which I had no use for. Maybe I’ll figure out the ‘real’ reason for this sort of combat later.
I do have to mention a few things that sealed the deal for me, so to speak, and made me fall in love with this game even harder than I already have. To start with, crafting. In specific, your inventory and crafting. On the top right hand side you’ll see a cog, click it for options and you’ll see you have the option to send all crafting materials to your ‘collections’ which is basically just a bank tab specifically for your crafting supplies. If you’re familiar with GW1 you’ll be familiar with this. Wow. No longer do I need to run to my bank to drop off all my crafting supplies, I can just move them right from where ever I happen to be. Brilliant idea.
Crafting itself reminds me a lot of crafting in Aion, you can experiment with components, or you can use your recipes. The interface is easy to understand, and there’s a lot involved, many recipes. Many crafting classes. You can pick two ‘professions’ – and if you want to switch them out, you should feel free. See, unlike MOST games, when you drop one profession for another, you don’t lose your progress. So that means technically you could obtain max crafting in ALL the professions, and then pay a fee to switch / re-activate the one you happen to want active for that month. I am uncertain as to the cost of switching around your professions, but the fact that we’re even allowed this makes me very happy.
The third thing I had fun discovering this weekend has been Vistas. You may see them marked on your world map as triangles that you’re supposed to find and explore. What you’re actually looking for is a floating map icon – usually way up on the top of a building or in the air some place. To reach these vistas you’ll need to do some mario-esc jumping once you find the secret puzzle path that leads up to them. Clicking on the vistas gives you an amazing video view of the surrounding area, and a true appreciation for the fantastic art in this game. Of course there are achievements for completing all of the vistas, too, which doesn’t hurt.
So far? I’m completely utterly and totally in love with the game. Couple this with the fact that it has no subscription and I’m simply floored. I can’t wait until it goes live ‘for real’ – in the mean time, I have to work at not getting too attached to my characters. As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!