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European Fan Day 2012 - Beta

A report on the beta of Guild Wars 2, made available the days of 2nd and 3rd of April 2012 in Brighton, Great Britain, where ArenaNet and NCSoft invited representatives of Guild Wars 2 fan sites from all around Europe.

Spis treści

Character creation and the beginning

Cooperation in PvE and PvP

Dungeons and Dragons

In Closing


Player Cooperation

Let’s go back to my engineer and his companion – the guardian. The skills of those characters fit together really well. We both picked builds that controlled the battlefield, so Killian aggroed a bunch of mobs, and when they surrounded him, I cast an area cripple, which was followed by him throwing them all around, splitting them up for easy killing. We spoke about this later with Matthew Moore from ArenaNet QA and came to the conclusion, that GW2 introduces a new substitute for the “holy trinity” of MMOs, that being damage, support and control, the difference being that each class in GW2 can fulfill any of these roles with an appropriate build.

Once we were comfortable with our characters and could work well as a team, Stephane Lo Presti suggested a challenge. We were to find a particular boss and find out if our group of about 20 people would be able to bring it down. Because it was not present in the area he usually is at, we spread out to look for it. I figured that maybe the crafty beast hid in the lake, so I went for a dive. Swimming around and not worrying about the oxygen bar is a really nice feeling. Underwater combat turned out to be quite nice as well, but I only tried it for a bit and didn’t unlock all the underwater abilities of my weapon. It’s a nice change, and enemies can attack from all sides – even from under your feet.

Bitwa o Kyhlo

Before I could get my fill of swimming in the cold water, somebody had found the boss we were looking for, so I went to the location to face it. The journey was a short one. When I arrived, its lifebar was almost full and there were only 3 people fighting it. I joined the fray, but, despite the fact that more and more people appeared, the monster’s health kept dropping at about the same pace. Also, the more people around it, the stronger its attack grew. Everything happens very fluently, and you can’t really feel when one more people just joined, and the boss doesn’t suddenly just rip you apart – on the contrary, its difficulty level kept rising and adjusting according to the number of people fighting it.

Once we defeated our enemy, something interesting happened – we just started moving in a random direction (random, because it was picked by the crowd), steamrolling every enemy in our path. However, our group quickly started disintegrating, because we didn’t meet another formidable foe. The players enjoy fighting a boss and the game adjusts the difficulty level to the amount of people fighting them, but it does not support armies that kill everything in sight. Since most people don’t find that fun in the long run, such groups quickly disintegrate.

I left my comrades in their joyful destruction and returned to exploring the area. It contained not only dynamic events, but other finds as well, such as improvised weapons – bottles, stones, discarded tools and similar items. Picking one up changes your ability bar, which changes back when you discard your find. This adds a lot of variety to the game, and helps out a lot in the dungeons. More on that later, because it was now time to try our hand at PvP.

Player vs Player

We couldn’t take a look at WvW, because there were too few of us and we were all on the same server, but we managed to create a few Conquest teams. I made a Necromancer, and didn’t regret it one bit. While minions were not much use, marks were – there’s no defense against them, and you can use them to cause AoE damage or conditions or to lay down traps and control the battlefield. Fear also works well, provided you use it at the right time – to chase away a meddlesome melee attacker or to get someone to run right into your traps.

Maps are simple enough, so you can quickly get the lay of the land and devote yourself fully to fighting. Each map has some additional mechanics, that make playing there easier or harder. In one of them – Battle of Khylo – there are the famous trebuchets, which allow a skilled player to practically control the entire map. Sitting in one of them, I was able to guard two out of three control points, taking down anyone who tried to capture them with ease. However, the machines are placed in such a way that if the opponent sees he is being shot at he can sneak up on the controlling player practically unnoticed. Thanks to this, taking over a launcher does not automatically mean winning the game.

The second map, Forest of Nifhel, also included something new and deadly, as me and my team soon found out. We managed to get ahead of the hated red team, their characters were dropping like flies upon meeting my mighty lich and it seemed like we had the game in the bag. But suddenly, their score jumped up 50 points, and we lost 500 to 497. How did that happen? Very easily – the opponents killed a special boss that appears on the map from time to time, and killing it provides a significant score boost.

The Furry Charr

I also managed – just for a few minutes at the end of the day – to try playing as a Charr necromancer, and, along with Killian (who played a thief this time), we managed to get through the first chapter of their personal story, which involved killing a giant animated statue. It’s interesting to note that the statue brought us both to our knees (or, to be more specific, to the downed state), but we managed to hold on long enough for our accompanying NPCs to finish it off.

Thus ended our first day playing the beta and we moved on to the conference hall. Next day I didn’t wait and immediately returned to my Charr. Because we were to try our hand at the Ascalonian Catacombs that day, I killed some time while waiting for the rest of the party.

Killing time involved me exploring the starting location of the technocratic furries. Somehow, I liked the plains of Ascalon more than I liked the icy forests of the Norn. The dynamic events were a bit more spread around, so I didn’t encounter one with each step, but instead had more time to focus on the ones that appeared near, without getting distracted. Similarly to the Norn events, there was a lot of variety to goals here, which means that there will be something interesting for everybody.