I was able to log in at the appointed second. Literally. I had the radio on and as the last pip of the GMT time signal for 7pm sounded the game began to load. That's some impressive precision.
Yak's Bend is supposedly one of the busiest of the U.S. servers. I was playing there from the U.K. during an event meant to test the infrastructure. We'd been warned to expect connection issues and lag. In five and a half hours I had one single lag spike that lasted maybe five seconds. I'd say they passed.
I still think it's fast, compared at least to the old-school pace I can't shake as some kind of subconscious benchmark, but I'm no longer convinced it's too fast.
|Look at me! I'm flying!|
Allow for general pottering and you're looking at a couple of months for someone not bent on burning through, even if they play every day. Mix in five intriguing races, each with its own extensive starting area, eight classes offering significant variations in playstyle, glissando content so it stays relevant at any level and long-term replayability doesn't look like much of a problem any more, even if the levels do tick through quickly.
Combat Difficulty - At Level
|No, you go in and I'll stay outside and keep watch|
Honestly, it was even easier than last time!
|Mind that oil lamp!|
The biggest gap I managed was five levels. At 20th there were level 25 mobs I could kill. Not all of them, I had to look for soft targets. Grubs were good. Drop back a level to 24 and I could pretty much take my pick. Two at once was rarely a problem.
On anything from even-con to three levels above me there was never much doubt who'd win, even if I got adds. In one very satisfying battle I downed a stream of something like a dozen fast-spawning level 22 and 23 Skales, fighting them in twos and threes without respite for several minutes before they finally overwhelmed me with their endless respawns.
Combat Difficulty - Autotuned
Might need some tweaks.
|I think we got Elementals again|
I liked it, but then I like being overgeared for content. Heaven knows what it would be like if I was really level 80.
Stuff That Fights With Other Stuff
|Throw another prawn...|
Ascalonian Separatists fight with black bears. I didn't see who started this one. Maybe the separatists were hunting, maybe the bears were being bears. Works either way.
Dredge are moles. Did you know that? I didn't. I do now because I found an event where you pick up a very large hammer and try to whack Dredge as they pop up out of the ground. Ring any bells?
I also found out where they live. Moldavia.
Anyway, I have my whimsy-proof craft-knitted cardigan and fluffy slippers ready so I'm not scared. Do your worst, ArenaNet! Roll on BWE2 and roll on launch!