Disclaimer: This is officially not a hype post. Why? Because GW2 is out now! Lalalaa.
After launching three hours early (and me being in two hours early), GW2 was off to a rocky start yesterday noon when the EU servers suddenly kicked out everybody and went dead for three full hours. That makes me think that cannot have been coincidence – maybe the three hours early start anticipated what was to come? Just kiddin’…
Anyway, the day still ended on a very high note for me after ANet fixed the server hiccups. Many of my own impressions are resonated in Pewter’s current list of thoughts, particularly what she says about not feeling alone but part of a bigger body that is all around you. Games like Journey prove that the feeelings of togetherness an cooperation are not created merely by speech/chat. Since players do not rely that much on chat during questing, they actually start minding each other more directly and proactively; my partner pointed out how for ongoing events, even large groups would stick together tightly, keeping up coordinated formations. I find myself frequently hovering over players killing tougher mobs, just to check for their healthbars (wtb HP display here). And even when the big ass giant in Nageling wreaked havoc on an army of 50 players and I died instantly like a noob, not one but four players came to my aid! This is GW2’s cooperation – day one – for you.
Besides that. I will follow my blogging neighbours’ example in posting a few quick first day tidbits:
- While skills and tiers are still somewhat obscure to me right now (why do I still need to “waste” so many points on lackluster skills?), I recommend the following three must-get skills to my fellow rookie Elementalists. They will make your life much easier at start:
- Go straight for the 3rd superior healing skill, Signet of Restoration
- Signet of Fire is great for its extra passive boost to your crit. I like straightforward skills like that
- Get Glyph of Elementals; even if your pet only lasts 1 minute, it will save your butt by catching “aggro” frequently and offers a sense of crowd control
- GREEN is the new BLUE! That’s right, be careful you don’t dump a green item by mistake, thinking blue is superior – it’s not!
- Is anyone missing a mount thus far? I admitted before that my initial waypoint worries for GW2 were unfounded – the world is so huge that using teleports to get to more remote locations is not just convenient, but in fact a well-conceived, elemental feature. You will be walking plenty in GW2 as is, but instead of fighting your way back grinding fast-respawning mobs through an endless tunnel you just cleared before (fuuun), the game sends you on your way to go enjoy the next, new challenge. I have a feeling I need to re-visit the topic of shortcuts in MMOs again, sometime soon.
- If you’re a child of WoW, Rift and Co. do yourself a favor an re-bind some keys, such as ‘R’ for chat-reply (by default backspace) or ‘B’ for bags (by default ‘I’). Once I went through the trouble of adjusting some keys in the interface menu, I felt that my gameplay enjoyment increased drastically. Old habits are hard to break.
- There is still quite a lot for ANet to fix currently, such as the marketplace stability, WvW, guild functions and overflow….yeah, that is still a concern and I am disappointed that after so many betas, they still can’t seem to let party members enjoy the game together smoothly. Come on already!
- While I keep repeating how awesome I find the Asura (and there are plenty), my very tall Norn Elementalist is now safely home based on Desolation EU which hosts a large English speaking community. I only just found out today that I can still join my fellow bloggers’ guild on a different server despite that (shows how much I read up on guilds before!) and how awesome is that?
So much for the first day and I sincerely hope that ANet will be able to solve the current issues swiftly for all you official launch date folks out there! More juicy GW2 impressions from me next week – I have a game to catch! Happy Sunday!