Monday, September 3, 2012

Settling In : GW2

Over a week in and how green is the grass this side of the fence? Green as green, and scattered with daisies, that's how green. Oh, there's the odd dandelion here and there, and one or two molehills, but that's one fine lawn I'm looking at.

A few passing thoughts as I lie back in my striped deckchair sipping iced tea through a straw...

Auto Attack

Did you know you can set any of your main weapon skills as your Auto-Attack? There's a tiny line of text in the mouseover that tells you. Just highlight the skill you want and hit Ctrl-Mouse 2. Since every weapon only seems to get one skill with an instant refresh I'm not sure how much of a gift this is, but it's nice option to have.


If you can use a torch you can set things on fire! No need for an elementalist - be your own combo. No wonder my charr ranger keeps yelling "I make a great team!"

One of my very favorite things as a pyro in Rift was being able to throw down a casting circle at my feet and stand inside it flinging spells. It was the most magelike thing I've ever seen in an MMO. Then they took it out and let you cast and move - boo! hiss! As a ranger I start every fight by setting the ground around me on fire with my torch, then I swap to my bow and fire arrows through the flames, setting both the arrows and anything they hit on fire. Trolls hate that so much!

An unmarked jug fills faster

Who would have thought that filling a progress bar to complete an event would be so much more entertaining than completing a count? Events that ask you, for example, to reduce the morale of centaurs without telling you exactly how many centaurs you need to kill are radically more emotionally involving, for me at least. The fewer actual numbers I see, the more I believe in what I'm doing.

Trains are back! 

Really, who could have predicted that? When a mob reaches the end of its leash and gives up it becomes non-aggressive as it runs backs to its stamping grounds, but other than that, fair game! I've been mining silver and had people run up to join me with a train of angry ettins and the ettins have preferred to stomp me first. I've had people run past me with something hot on their tail and had it spot and jump me instead. And with every train comes a potential derailment, the old trick of plunking an arrow into a pursuing predator and pulling it off its fleeing prey. Perfection!

Faction too

For a game that doesn't seem to have bothered with a faction system, boy does GW2 have a deep faction system. Play Attenborough for a while and go observe who doesn't like whom, what likes to eat which, whose territory must not be encroached. It's a complex nest of liking, loathing and toleration. And you can play one off against another to your benefit. Hours of imaginary anthropological research ahoy!

Falling Is funny

Did they get Disney in to do the character animations? No, it's more like Warner Bros circa 1942. Wonderful knockabout stuff. It's worth falling off something high just to see the flattened animation. Never seen the wind knocked out of a character more convincingly. When my Wolf-Bear gets hit with a knockback he flies through the air and bounces or lands spread-eagled like a hunting lodge rug. It's comedy gold!

On the molehill front, the blasted Trading Post still isn't working. Other than that nothing worth mentioning. A few rough edges that will soon smooth off. Onward and upward.


  1. "It was the most magelike thing I've ever seen in an MMO."

    I was sooooooooo sad when I returned to my Rift Pyro and saw the field removed!

    Love everything you described in this post btw! so true aboout trains and falling, and I didn't actually know about the torches! (btw I left a comment on your last article today but blogger ates it :()

  2. Bad blogger! I've had so many comments eaten by Disqus, WP and the rest of the obstacles put in the way of communication that I copy everything to the clipboard before posting without even thinking about it now.

    1. Haha I do the exact same thing! :D

    2. ...I realize now, I meant to say it should be in your spambox. It showed up for me at first and disappeared later (which is why I dumped the copy - alas blogger outwitted me there lol).

    3. Ah yes! Thanks for pointing that out. I am terrible at remembering to check spam/wwaiting moderation. It was there and now it's re-instated.

  3. Thats a great tip about turning on auto attack for any weapon skill. Totally agree with your assessment so far. Really wish the trading post worked but otherwise such a beautiful game in every way!

  4. Actually my molehill is guild invites that dont seem to be working. I either dont receive an invite that gets sent mutliple times or get it and get a network error when i hit 'join'. This is most annoying in WvW - see a group of players doing the tactics i prefer (small skirmish/supply taking), get asket to join their guild, then the invite process is totally borked and fist slamming and cursewords follow!!! Early adopter blues, but between the grouping, guild, and somewhat questionable banhammer useage, Anet needs to make some infrastructure updates doublefast please!

  5. @unknown Yep, we've had issues with the guild invite thing too, and also with trying to find each other while grouped. The dot-on-the-map is far from reliable, even when you're not in overflow. It's nothing I've not seen, and seen worse, in other MMOs but you're right - the grace period for a new launch is fast running out and these structural, mechanical problems do need to be fixed soon.

    1. Well the workaround to guild invites seems to be to add the person to your party. I was getting invites but when i went to join got a "network error". When the invitee added me to their party the guild 'join' button worked.

  6. Haha! Yes, falling is quite hilarious. I absolutely love the animations and things the characters do in the game, adds an endearing touch!


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