Guild Wars 2 at Eurogamer EXPO 2011 - London

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Guild Wars 2 at Eurogamer EXPO 2011 - London

Postby Varda » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:20 pm ... al-eu-show

Klok, Mori and I will be going on saturday 24th of September. Anyone else thinking of popping into this con at some point to have a look at gw2?
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Postby Muppet » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:16 pm

So... did ya get a go? what did ya think?
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Postby Beraton » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:39 pm

That's a point, I went to the event on the Friday (along with Varda and someone else who has sort of skirted round the edge of the guild a bit). May as well put my thoughts forward too!

I got two goes on GW2 (the lines were pretty mad and between a developer talk and wanting to ramble around and look at other stuff, that's all I really managed). The first one was a high-level Sylvari elementalist and the second one was a newbie Charr guardian.

I will start with the elementalist because I'm just bursting on that subject. It was so much fun. Being able to switch between attunements on the fly like that is really enjoyable. You can freeze an enemy with a water skill to slow them down, then switch to air or fire to give them a bit of a pasting, then as they get closer to you, you can either switch back to water to snare them again or go to earth which is has the same sort of role as in GW1 - protect yourself and give some pretty good short-range damage. I was very impressed with how unique the skills felt. Lightning whip in particular was a great slot 1 skill to have. It was part of the reason I loved dagger-dagger as a weapon combination so much.

The dodging mechanic is good and solid, only really being let down by user error - not realising that the bar's run out and trying to dodge again. It also became clear that dodging and distance was really the way to go with this play style. You could keep the enemy fairly well at distance and not have to worry about being clobbered by a single enemy. Near the end of the demo, I was avoiding almost all damage from melee enemies and able to switch to water to keep myself topped up when undead hylek started poisoning me from afar.

I did a bit of random enemy smashing all over, but I also got to take part in sinking the ash horizon (which was achieved weirdly fast! :S) and the showdown with Tequatl the Sunless. That epic feeling when facing a dragon really is powerful. It really did feel like this huge, very important event. And when the screen suddenly faded to white with "thank you for playing the GW2 demo", I nearly had a heart attack, I was concentrating so hard.

I also had a chance to try out both Ele elites available. One was Summon Fiery Greatsword, which looked pretty cool and was probably quite powerful, but I summoned it at the wrong time and partially wasted it. The other was Tornado form, which was so much fun, it probably shouldn't be allowed. Giant mob of enemies bearing down on us, health going down quickly - not a problem! Tornado form did pretty nice damage and simply scattered any enemies you hit, which was satisfying!

Now on to the newbie guardian. I did certainly like the feel of the Charr lands. The black citadel wasn't as dirty as I was expecting. I was expecting grime and oil and chains tying everything together like in GW1 Charr architecture and weapons. But with all the cogs in the walkways, it felt more like Planescape's Mechanus (for those of you familiar with it).

However, my impression of the melee combat was a little less positive. And I think this comes back to dodging being the way to go. If you're starting to feel you're in trouble and want to dodge out of the way, sure, that's a good technique. However, as a ranged character, you can keep attacking. If you start with only a rusty mace, it also (obviously) means you're no longer causing damage either, which just felt kind of lame. It could well be that this was coloured by being a newbie and only having 3-4 skills. Or maybe I just wasn't doing it right. Perhaps once I can switch between a melee weapon and a ranged one for when I need to flee, I'll like the class better. At least no class is tied to using melee only in GW2. If I get a chance to play a high level character again, I'll make sure to go for ranger, guardian or thief with one weapon set melee and one long-range.

Other things to consider - the dynamic event system is awesome. Don't want to do a certain type of content (eg escort missions)? That's fine. You can easily help the locals other events and resing allies and area objectives and killing random enemies and, and, and...!

Also, the thing they've said about ad hoc groups is at least kinda true. I found myself clearing a few dynamic events with a thief who happened to turn up at the same spot I did and we just sort of adventured onwards together a bit.

The TL;DR summary: GW2 is good. WANT.
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Postby Mori » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:56 pm

I got to play myself a couple of times. It played very similarly to how I expected from the materials I've seen so far, but it was definitely awesome to try it. Unfortunately without my special headphones I couldn't experience the sound, but it's confirmed in my mind as a must-buy on release!

I tried two low level characters - a Norn Guardian and a Human Elementalist - and I have to say I agree with Bera's assessment of the melee combat, although I have a feeling my ineptitude contributed to that quite a lot. You have to manually move close enough in order for the auto-attack to kick in - meaning movement and positioning is super important both for melee and ranged types.

I really enjoyed the Elementalist, although I had barely any skills and only remembered that I could switch attunements towards the end of my session.

I also had some experience with the random grouping up, as Anya joined me in the Norn areas and we wandered around questing a bit. Would have been much better if I hadn't still been fumbling my way around the controls and UI for the first time but it seemed to work reasonably well!
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