BWE2 - Reports from the Frontline

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

How's BWE2 for you guys?

My server from BWE1, Elona's Reach, is a total crapshoot right now. Just transferred to O'brien's Retreat or something. Sounds like a good place to hide from server disconnects and the general unpleasantness of a huge fucking crowd.
Other than that, I'm experiencing quite a lot of crashes. Guess that's a thing now. Maybe that's not-yet-quite ready optimization of the code?
Still sorely missing the option to toggle off 'auto center camera'. Guess I should have made a thread on the Beta Forums. Figured somebody else would do so for sure. Cool thing though - mutator keybinds are in! Sexy.
 
Playing a smoking hot elementalist named Tesla Bolton (guess it's really hard to end up with anything other than a uberbabe human female). Love it. Especially now with mutator keybinds, controls feel so much tighter - pefect for the whole attunement swapping deal of the elementalist. Planning to do mostly PvE this time around. Maybe I'll reach bwe2 lvl cap and get to play some dungeons.

#2 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Made 2 new characters and basically only did WvW with them. Warrior's a bit boring. Necro's only slightly better.

#4 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Falling in love all over again.

There have been some server issues, making changing zones somewhat troublesome. Now they're deploying a new build already.

So I was yet again exploring Divinity's Reach and Lion's Arch. Those zones are put together with an insane amount of love and care. Love exploring in Guild Wars 2 so much. Did 2 levels just by walking around and looking at stuff - and I'm being brilliantly entertained. There's virtually no copy and paste architecture in the capital city zones - it's incredible. Every named character has a story to tell, and so does the environment around them.

The elementalist is the most fun class I've played thus far. It's highly likely I'll roll with an Asura Elementalist as main. Tesla Bolton zapps dudes in the face with gusto - and the 'death by electricution' animation is proof positive how much care they put into this game.

#5 Posted by Liber (648 posts) -

The framerate is good now.

#6 Posted by Grixxel (763 posts) -

Eh, kinda bothered that last weekend I was playing with everything maxed and game looked amazing and now for some reason I only have medium textures available and my god does it look like shit. At least the characters anyways.

#8 Posted by Rohok (554 posts) -

Smoking hot? That's disgusting, all of the female characters look like little girls.

#9 Edited by geirr (2483 posts) -

Working fine for me but the gameplay and graphics are really not doing much for me.

Hoping elves and the little dudes will be more interesting whenever they're ready for beta.

@Rohok said:

Smoking hot? That's disgusting, all of the female characters look like little girls.

No they don't.

#10 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

After SW:TOR being incompatible with podcasts, it was really great to listen to the GB's e3 podcast playing GW2. Loved doing that back when I was playing WoW, kinda petered out since. Great timing really.

#11 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

Better framerate, zero bugs, and I only got disconnects on my old "full" server. It's damn near perfect, I say. A little more optimization would be lovely: my PC should be able to handle the game smoothly on high (and ATM, it's looking like a 'medium').

Oh! And a couple more balance passes on the personal story quests would be nice--they're sort of kicking my ass like BWE1.

#13 Posted by D_W (1129 posts) -

Haven't played much of it yet.  Though they reset my key bindings. That's pretty annoying. Who uses "A" and "D" to turn?

#15 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -
'Nuff said.
#16 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

@pepsimaxofborg said:

Working fine for me but the gameplay and graphics are really not doing much for me.

Hoping elves and the little dudes will be more interesting whenever they're ready for beta.

The Sylvari are plant people, not elves. Just putting that out there. Educating dudes, one at a time.

#17 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

'Nuff said.

Fuck yeah - and we motherfokin WORKED for that. T'was a good day.

#18 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@PollySMPS said:

@project343: Yeah, I don't think the balance is quite there yet. I'm not getting a sense of progression so much as I'm getting a sense of "Oh hey, brick wall, but the area just 4 yards back that way was piss easy." It's not fun stepping into a new area and getting either completely mobbed or one-shotted.

Thing is, if you're one level lower than the content at hand, shit's really hard. Regardless of lvl though, GW2 is rather tough when playing solo. Long fights, need to constantly evade and move properly. It encourages teamplay everywhere. I'm more of a lone wolf naturally, so that's not necessarily my favorite aspect of the game - but it makes a lot of sense.

Depends all on how it will pan out, when the population is spread out across all 80 levels and 42(?) zones. It could be a little easier and solo friendly. Maybe allow players to be 2 lvls ahead of content, rather than just 1 lvl max.

As I said, it makes perfect sense for a MMO. Like when I'm doing something solo and another solo player - a perfect stranger - comes around, we will end up fighting together, because it's just how it's meant to be played, and it's perfectly adapted to be played that way too. No mob tagging, loot generation for everyone seperately, participation in events isn't competitve. Extremely cohesive gamedesign. GW2 actually is built to be an MMO, and not what WoW and the likes have turned into - solo games with group-centric endgame.

P.S. You are doing it wrong. Explore captial cities. Travel to other starter zones with Asura Gates. Only play level-appropriate content. Even being one level down makes content really hard in GW2, it's as much of a level disparity as you can handle really. The MMO term is 'Learn to Zone'. It's more important in GW2 than in other MMOs.

P.P.S. As a freshly baked Human Elementalist, I've stopped questing at around lvl 4, because there's a hump in natural progression there, and I went exploring Divinity's Reach and do the level appropriate bits of the personal storyline, I was lvl 7,5 when I was done with that and perfectly fine to pick up questing in the human zones again. I'm now level 10, with lots of lvl 8,9 and 10 content at my disposal in the Human starter zone.

P.P.P.S Always be talking to scouts to get a look at the map and see the level progression of the zone you're in, before venturing out.

#19 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Epic WvW moments this morning. That moment when we saw a trebuchet firing at our keep from a tower in the distance: amazing.

#20 Posted by Bollard (5304 posts) -

I just found the most awesome insane thing under Lions Arch! There's like a whole hidden sewer system, and apart from one of the points of interest is down there which is pretty cool you can actually swim miles underneath the city through these tunnels. Then I found this area with tons of giant shipwrecks! Also this glitch:

Wut missing texture win
#21 Posted by Cake (210 posts) -

Hey if anyone from the guild is on and sees this, mind adding ugahay.2318 please? Thanks!

#22 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3171 posts) -

Crummy computer performance is making this 15-25 zone WAY harder than the first one. I spent about 2 hours trying to clear icebrood from three event locations in the same region, after 90 minutes I finally got one of them done, then after banging my head against another I got killed and saw on the map that the one I finished earlier was contested, so I couldn't rez there. Instant rage-port (is that a term?) to PvP. GW2 is not an easy game to play when you're angry.

@Cake said:

Hey if anyone from the guild is on and sees this, mind adding ugahay.2318 please? Thanks!

I'll go do it right now.

#23 Edited by Adamsons (877 posts) -

Upto 31 with my warrior, whats massively frustrating is that multiple zones have 1 skill point guy that is broken. I have 2 zones 100% and 2 more that are completed excluding 1 skill point npc which is broken in each. Beta be beta.

Going to try to get a group for ascalon catacombs.

Edit - re: performance. Its better but still needs work.

#24 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

I've focused almost exclusively on sPvP, trying to find the perfect build for my guardian. Still my favourite game mode by far. I just wish they would add more maps and modes.

The sPvP servers have been down almost all morning today though so I've been trying out builds on the golems/NPCs.

#25 Posted by insane_shadowblade85 (1401 posts) -

So, you add the account name and not the character name to the guild? If that's the case, can someone add insaneshadow.1654 please? =)

#26 Posted by Rawson (136 posts) -

Posted without comment.

#27 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

2 days into BWE2, got my elementalist up to lvl 19 from scratch.
 
Other than the crazy respawn rates, which I hate with a passion - it's pretty much the perfect PvE leveling experience for an MMO. A true step up. Nailing social play and exploration and world building like no one before. And damn there's a tonne of 'magical moments' content to be discovered.
 

#28 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3171 posts) -

@insane_shadowblade85 said:

So, you add the account name and not the character name to the guild? If that's the case, can someone add insaneshadow.1654 please? =)

Sure thing, if someone else hasn't already.

@Rawson: That's preeeetty good.

#29 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

@PollySMPS said:

At this point, I'm not sure where in the world or what in the world they want me to do at level freakin' 6. Everywhere I go gets me one-shotted or mobbed by enemies that are 5-6 levels higher than me, and areas that I am in I've already done everything in reap no rewards whatsoever. Maybe I'm just loldoinitwrong but good lord has this become boring and frustrating. :/

From my perspective, the goal should be to fill up those completionist bars for each zone--they'll move you across each zone into every nook and cranny, cross paths with some neat events, and cumulate in a big chunky reward if you 'finish' a zone. Unless you go around looking for events or you start doing some WvW stuff to supplement the experience gain, you'll probably end up under-leveled. I recommend exploring the capital cities and venturing into another race's starting zone. Because you're always scaled to the content and the content's rewards are (mostly) always scaled to you (experience/loot), there never a reason not to venture into lower leveled lands unless you've already been there.

So go do that. Go play around in another zone. Have some fun.

#31 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Exploring Kessex all day today has been the greatest PvE leveling experience ever. The amount of batshit awesome 'secrets' I found, astounding! My best PvE experience to date.

Saw a tiny little hole following a mountain river... and then I was canyoneering for like half an hour through an immensely awesome cave! Pure adventure. So effin' good - I have a hard time believing the sheer amount of ingenius concepts and ideas - and how well they've executed on them.

Exploration being the absolute bestest the genre has brought forth. Immensely successful in that discipline.

#32 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3171 posts) -

@Seppli: I was floored when I fell off a cliff and turned around to see a shabby-looking door wedged between the rock. I went through and found an Order of Whispers hideout with printing presses chugging away and a few NPCs, each with unique dialogue. There was another door in the back, and when I went through it, I was standing on a ledge about halfway up the mountain and a quarter of the way around from where I entered. Then I looked up and saw that it was directly beneath a fort I had been in earlier, and if I had just thought to look down I would have seen it.

All that with no skill points or anything to direct players toward it. The level of extraneous detail in this game is simply mind-blowing.

#33 Posted by Brians (1458 posts) -

I finished my Characters personal story for the beta. It said the rest will be in the full game lvl 20 is about where it stopped.

#34 Posted by Lagaroth (169 posts) -

Why did they have to do this MLG weekend? I've played maybe half an hour since it started.

#35 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Calling it a night. Got my elementalist from lvl 1 to lvl 26 in a single BWE. Had an extremely good time for the most parts.

It can be a bit too tough for my taste, playing solo - mostly because of ridiculously quick respawn timers. Other than that, I had an absolute blast.

Elementalist is currently leading the pack with a good margin before the ranger, as far as my class selection goes. Love the attunement swapping mechanic.

#36 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Highlights of BWE2:

WvW

  • Walking down a path, a friendly tower to the left, and an enemy keep to the right. Two trebuchets bombarding the keep while a horde of Yak's Bend fighters sieged the door.
  • Holding a keep with Lincoln Force for an excruciating amount of time, thinking we were going to lose it. Finally though, cannons were built and we made those mothas flee.
  • Another moment of Lincoln Force awesomeness, showing up to a keep that's being attacked and in moments turning the tide of battle.

PvE

  • Watching a cave troll stomp it's way through some farms and having a group of players and some npc bandits take it down before fighting each other again.
  • Finding an order of whispers hideout in Lions Arch
#37 Posted by Evelgest (122 posts) -

Did anyone else think melee was made a bit stronger for this weekend? As a warrior, I found myself surviving more battles and killing mobs faster. I'm not insinuating I improved as a player, but perhaps it was the lack of lag?

#38 Posted by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

I've rekindled my love for the ranger, but I still hate the forced pet mechanic. That really needs to go. Will likely be my alt at release.

#39 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: Yeah that's my main gripe with the ranger. The pets seem to be useless.

#40 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3171 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: @Maystack: A lot of the complaints I've heard stem from the pets not avoiding AoE, and if that's the problem you guys are having remember you can toggle the pet to passive to get them to run back to you. I personally haven't played ranger yet, so I can't comment on it from experience, but it seems as though the tools are there to make the pet a force to be reckoned with.

#41 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: @Maystack:

Pretty much every ranger I've met during the two BWEs did not properly use their pets. Yes - you read correctly. Pets. Plural.

There's a little button next to the petbar to open pet-management, where-in you can chose a primary and secondary pet. I usually chose a tanky pet like a bear, and a ranged pet like a spider or devourer. Each pet comes with a unique active skill attached to it, which you can use with F2. There's over 30 unique pets total, adding an amazing amount of additional customizable utilitly to the class.

If a pet dies in combat, there's a hotswap functionality, just like for weapons. The dead pet gets benched and the secondary pet takes its place - at which point the hotswap button is on a 30 second cooldown. Once the cooldown is up, the previously dead pet is ready for action again. I believe the default hotkey is TAB for this profession-specific action.

From my experiences, the ranger is the most powerful class for PvE and PvP, especially because of its kick-ass pet mechanic, which is miles above and beyond what similar pet classes do in competitor games. I was a hunter in WoW, and GW2's pet mechanic is infinitely more thought-out and meaningful and fun.

Most everybody is just getting it wrong. Painfully wrong. Of course that's mostly ArenaNet's fault, for not including proper class specific tutorial quests - but seriously, it's not that hard to figure out.

#42 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I found that the pets didn't do much damage and lacked toughness. They would die within seconds in a group fight with AOE being thrown around.

The AI was also horrendous. Most of the time, the pet wouldn't be doing anything, and when it did attack, the attack speed seemed very slow. I also didn't find the F2 skill responsive at all. Most times I didn't even notice the pet executing it (apparently it is bugged and needs to be triggered several times for some pets, just read on the forums).

I didn't invest a single point into beast mastery though, so maybe they become more useful with some trait points thrown in there (but then you sacrifice weapon damage).

I think that with a stat buff and AI improvement they could become viable.

EDIT: These complaints are strictly based on using the ranger in PvP. I think they might be fine in PvE even in their current state (as mobs rely on the same AI as your pet lol), but I haven't tried it there yet.

#43 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

@Seppli: I only played ranger to level 5 or so in the first BWE, so I didn't get into it too much. I didn't realise you could have more than one pet though, so that might increase the usefulness. Was planning on making a support ranger at some point, so we'll see. Too bad the next time I'll have a chance is likely weeks away.

#44 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@UssjTrunks said:

@Seppli said:

I found that the pets didn't do much damage and lacked toughness. They would die within seconds in a group fight with AOE being thrown around.

The AI was also horrendous. Most of the time, the pet wouldn't be doing anything, and when it did attack, it seemed pretty slow. I also didn't find the F2 skill responsive at all. Most time I didn't even notice the pet executing it.

Either the pet is a profession flavor, or it is the a huge part of the profession. For WoW Hunters, pets hold roughly 30% of their raw DPS, more if they're specced beastmasters - which is extremely frustrating because there's loads of content not suited for pets. Hence the 'tag team throw-away' pets of GW2 make so much more sense.

Of course all but tanky pets will be killed quickly. Pets meant to hold aggro do take sufficient punishment to tank for a like 5-10 seconds. Few professions can take that much punishment. It's like with the temporary elementalist pets, all but the rock elemental cannot take any damage.

GW2's ranger is not pet dependent at all. Nor is GW2 meant to be a tank-and-spank game. If pets could tank (when there aren't any tanks in the game per se), that would be contradictory design. It's just your expectation that's wrong, not the pet-mechanics in the game. In fact, I find them to be the best I've played with ever.

P.S. You didn't know about the 'pet tag team' mechanic?

#45 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Seppli

P.S. You didn't know about the 'pet tag team' mechanic?

I did. Someone explained the controls to me in the guild chat, maybe it was even you lol.

I definitely enjoy that you aren't reliant on the pet. That would really suck if it was core mechanic for the profession. One of the things that kept me from trying the ranger last BWE was Anet's claim that the pet would be playing a much bigger role in this game than in GW1. It really doesn't do anything more though lol, the only difference is you can't abandon it. I guess the tradeoff is that it doesn't waste a skill slot like in GW1 so you can choose to ignore it if you want.

#46 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@UssjTrunks said:

@Seppli

P.S. You didn't know about the 'pet tag team' mechanic?

I did. Someone explained the controls to me in the guild chat, maybe it was even you lol.

I definitely enjoy that you aren't reliant on the pet. That would really suck if it was core mechanic for the profession. One of the things that kept me from trying the ranger last BWE was Anet's claim that the pet would be playing a much bigger role in this game than in GW1. It really doesn't do anything more though lol, the only difference is you can't abandon it. I guess the tradeoff is that it doesn't waste a skill slot like in GW1 so you can choose to ignore it if you want.

Well - if used properly, you can do amazing things with the pets. Like taking down the mini-bosses in that Niffleheim or whatever matched PvP map solo. They're worth 50 points. Just equip two tanky pets, and you got 20 seconds of tank and spank, which is insane in GW2.

Like everything about GW2's combat, it doesn't seem like much, and you can get away with spammy play - but playing mindfully of the individual skills and mechanics nuances makes a world of difference.

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