Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Positively The Last GW2 Post : GW2

Until the next beta weekend, that is. When is that, anyway?


  • First attempt Saturday night: complete failure. Couldn't even find the zone. Went through the Mists, ended up in Lion's Arch.
  • Second attempt Sunday night: found the zone straight off. What kind of an idiot would miss it? It's right there!
  • Three very enjoyable hours defending a massive castle. Saw three more keeps on map, one for each world. Never went anywhere near them. Thought that was the whole thing Marveled at the size of it. Realized reading the Wiki this morning that was just one of four WvW zones! Understand now what all those portals in Lion's Arch were for.
That's me on the left, protecting our door!
  • Fighting was constant, fluid, fun. No lag, no hitching, no strobing. Died just three times in three hours, recorded fourteen kills. Doesn't sound much but the Monthly WvW Kill Target Achievement is only fifteen. No clue what causes a kill to register. Must have been involved in ten times as many. Contribution? Killing blow? Nifty hat?. Who knows?
  •  Verdict: Great if it stays packed. That's a lot of space, though.

Random Stuff I Liked

  • Charr running on all fours. Bounding, really. Feels gloriously non-human.
  • Creatures running at low health. Better still, creatures running, meeting a stronger ally, joining up and coming back. Saw this happen repeatedly with rock drake hatchlings and rock drakes.
I will if you will...
  • The vertiginous climb and dive in Lion's Arch. Bit of a Baywatch vibe going on in Lion's Arch, now I come to think about it.
  • Buying and selling from anywhere but only being able to collect money and goods from a Broker in town. Ideal compromise between facility and worldliness. Bet that gets changed.
  • Creatures fighting each other. Harpies hunting warthogs on Diessa Plateau sticks in my mind but there were others.
  • Discovering recipes. Yes it's all on a wiki already but I have enough willpower not to look until I'm stuck and fed up. 
  • Talking rats! Found one in a Lion's Arch and a Citizen too! Player race! Player race!

Random Stuff I Didn't Like

  • Animals dropping weapons and armor. What is it with game developers? How hard can it be to put appropriate drops on mobs? Spend all that time banging on about immersion and then stuff your wolves with magic swords.
  • On a related note, what's with the Globby Goo? Drops off everything. Beta placeholder for unfinished loot tables or global parasitic infection? Either way, get rid of it!
  • The extreme speed of learning skills. Shortbow dropped for me around level 16. Off a warthog probably. Pigs are notoriously skilled archers. Took around 15 minutes to unlock all five skills. A few hours per skill would be better. If skills are going to unlock in minutes might as well hand them out with the weapon.
    Let's see your papers "Citizen"
  • The extreme speed of leveling. Level 19, give or take, in a weekend. I was locked out of the game for a few hours, had to learn new game systems and environments so that's fast. Too fast. As I said in feedback in game. If the famous flat level curve (can a curve be flat?) is still in the plan that means level 80 in around a week. Call it a fortnight to allow for work and sleep. Six months would be better. Three at the outside. Maybe it does slow down. I hope so.
  • Super-fast crafting. That thing where if you make a stack of items the first takes a second,  the next half a second, the third a quarter of a second and so on. Really annoying. Watching the progress bar tick down remorselessly on a stack is one of crafting's great pleasures. Also good for making coffee and checking email.
  • Naming WvW teams Red, Green and Blue. The enemy's already anonomized enough with all names removed. Hard to work up any "World Pride" when no-one even knows the name of the World.
  • Personal Story. I could do without this. Mine was good, but it's out of kilter. Instanced single-player RPG storylines don't fit with an open party open world. Can you even invite someone else into your personal story instance?
That's all I made notes on. Nothing game-breaking there. Not even game-bending. I was enjoying myself far too much to quibble. Not that quibbling isn't enjoyable in itself

Roll on next Beta Weekend. Better yet, roll on launch!


  1. In a way, due to how skills are unlocked and how the significance of levels is diminished by the whole scaling and side-kicking, I couldn't come to care about leveling in GW2. I didn't even realize when I 'dinged' (think I was level 13 at the end).
    The only time I was reminded of the concept was when I explored where I shouldn't explore.

    The flat leveling curve adds to it all; leveling is going to be one of those things that just happens 'while you're playing GW2' and not what you're playing for. that's how the difference feels to me, anyway. only question I got left is why they included levels at ALL for GW2 - the game would've been fine with skillbased progression only?

    Maybe a topic of its own sometime: "How GW2 removed the (joy of) DING!" lol.

  2. It's a good point. For me, though, making the little bars move is a pretty important aspect of MMO gameplay. Take that away and a good deal of the compulsive element goes along with it.

    I've found leveling and skill progression too fast in every MMO since about 2006, though, so I don't really expect much else these days.

  3. I'm not criticizing - just asking a question...

    You wouldn't rather reach level 80, and have your full compliment of skills and abilities open to you to choose from, and then continue exploring/adventuring through the world and still have the content be challenging through the scaling?

    Looking at your bullet points list, it's obvious we differ in opinion on a number of things, but I guess I just found this particular one extremely odd. Personally, the freedom to explore without having to "grind" levels, combined with always having to take the local wildlife seriously (not being able to run mindlessly through an area just because I'm so much higher level than the inhabitants) is simply the perfect mix. I want the full facility of my character available to me, and I don't want "god mode" due to levels.

  4. I've really been enjoy your screenshots. You take some of the best I’ve seen. Thanks for sharing these. Please keep them coming.


  5. Good points, some of which had not occurred to me. Funny too.
    I like things a little slower too. Heck, my main in Vanguard has to kill about a half dozen creatures to get 1% of a level. A quest, when I can find one, gives a whole 2%(!). That's too slow, but you get the idea.

  6. @archeravatar Oh, I want everything, that's the real problem. Yes, I agree it will be great to have the whole world scale so it all stays relevant all the time. I did get high enough during the BWE to see that happen. Traveling through level 1 - 10 areas when I was 17 and not even noticing at first was a wonderful experience. On the other hand, it was very clear that even ten levels above the real content level mobs were much weaker opposition than they had been on the way up, so there may be some tuning to do.

    @Randolph Carter Thanks! It's really good to hear that.

    @Ernest Yep, there's a Goldilocks spot somewhere when leveling feels just right but not many MMOs seem to hit it. Vanguard after about 40 gets realllyyyy slooooow!

  7. I agree with most of your points, except for two of them:

    * Superfast crafting: to me that's absolutely a plus. If I need to go eat something or check the mail, I can simply get up and go do those things. I don't think adding an artificial delay to these mechanics for the sake of "tradition" or to justify to ourselves we leave the game is good enough reason. Pretty much everything else in the game was made to avoid downtime and unnecessary annoyances, I don't see a reason not to do the same here.

    * Personal Story: Yes, you can invite other people to your instance, so it's not necessarily a single-player affair. If you have other people on your party and on the same area as you when you enter the instance (they can be on the other side of the city, as long they are on the same map), they will get a notification asking if they want to join you. It helps a lot of some of the steps.

  8. Oh thanks for that Kemwer! I thought I'd read a long time ago that other people could come into your personal story instance but in-game it didn't seem that way. I should have gone and done some research so thanks for doing it for me!

    My personal story progressed fairly smoothly, although on one step I watched from the floor while a horde of NPCs finished the battle for me. On her personal story Mrs Bhagpuss hit a wall on a mob she couldn't kill, mostly because she hadn't gotten accustomed to the combat style yet. I was able to play her character and kill that mob, although it was an extremely hard fight. It would have been much more fun to have gone in as my character and helped. That possibility does remove a lot of my reservations, although i still dislike the instancing.

    As for the crafting, what can I say? I just like watching progress bars tick down! I even enjoy watching the timer bar progress on a loading screen. But yes, that weird idiosyncrasy aside, even by the and of the BWE I was already quite comfortable with that feature. It's something I won't even think about when the game goes live, even though I'd never have designed it that way myself. (I'd have had separate recipes for bulk refining and production instead).

  9. I'm with you on how stupid animals dropping axes and coins are!

    The nord sounded a bit silly to me though. Their voice acting seemed a bit forced, idk. In love with the humans so far.

    I loved how I am not penalized for exploring and "getting out of the path". I think I'll have a lot of fun in GW2 :)

  10. For some reason, I'm not getting any posts from your blog in Google reader posted after this one. Not sure if the problem is on my end or yours, but figured I should mention it.

  11. Hmm... thanks for letting me know, Pai.

    My page views haven't dropped so I'm not sure if it's a general problem. When Blogger decided to change the address from .com to .co.uk without notice, that caused some problems but that was a while ago. I might try adding Inventory Full to Google Reader under one of my numerous other Google accounts so I can check stuff like this.

    Have you tried re-entering the Inventory Full url into Google Reader? Also, did you just do what I do and cut&paste the address in or did you Follow me? (If you did you're in a very exclusive club!)

  12. I've tried both clicking the Subscribe button and copy+pasting the URL.

  13. Okay, Flosch sent me an email about this too. I think I broke something when I added Feedburner. I just removed it and I *think* the normal Blogger feed should now be working. If it's not, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know and I'll tinker with it some more.

    Thanks again to both of you for the feedback - I'm Following myself now so with luck I'll notice next time I break something.

    1. I'm getting updates again now, so yep it worked. =)

  14. Do you think there is any realistic prospect of any major MMO launching in the future which has a time-to-level-cap tuned to your tastes? It seems increasingly unlikely.

    1. No, not really. Although I am extremely fickle on the topic of leveling speeds. The real problem for me is that I generally much prefer the bottom end of an MMO to the top end, but the leveling speed progresses in inverse proportion. The low levels always fly by much too fast while the last 20% of the leveling curve seems to move in geological time.

      I did revise my comments re leveling speed in GW2 in the post I did after the Stress Test, though. I think it will be fine.


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