From Grim Tidings to Shining Glory: Guild Wars 2 Experience
Initial Expectations: I overhyped myself for Guild Wars 2, admittedly. I didn’t really research it too much because I wanted it to be fresh when I first played it. I had told myself this game was going to be like the days I played EverQuest and the first year or so of playing World of Warcraft. I didn’t want to know about class mechanics, story details, or anything really. The only pre-research I did for Guild Wars 2 was a little lore background from Guild Wars, since I never played it beyond level 5. I also planned on PvPing for the majority of the BWE, so as not to spoil the story.
First Hours Playing: Originally I had planned on making an Engineer, so I created a human engineer. When I started at the Siege of Shaemoor I was really excited to start playing. The Siege was pretty straight forward and I completed it quickly, although I was mostly spamming the abilities not really knowing how to use them effectively at that point. After that I entered the Heart of the Mists and joined the queue for Structured PvP. Man was I really terrible when I got into the match. It was really overwhelming and I was getting owned because I was basically just spamming buttons willy nilly. That didn’t last long for me, as I am the type of person who hates being a liability to other players, so I quit the match. That match really turned me off from the game.
I was a little frustrated as I’m a great player and have been in top 5 guilds before (In certain games). I decided Engineer just wasn’t for me and rolled a human Thief. After getting out of the prologue I decided NOT to PvP and familiarize myself with the class beforehand. I was doing fairly well until I did some story quests. Man, I was getting owned on my Thief. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. I was questioning whether or not I was just getting worse at MMOs from lack of playing them seriously anymore. I was level 5 and couldn’t kill a level 7 boss for the story quests. I died maybe 5 times before I shut the game off.
I was really starting to question whether or not this game was for me. I was leaning towards it being a huge disappointment. I decided to take a break for a couple hours to clear my head of frustrations.
Hallelujah: When I got back from my break I decided to roll a Charr because I was tired of the Human prologue and 1-15 area. This time I rolled a Warrior. Already I was getting excited because the artistic animated scene that plays after character creation was really cool for Charr. After finishing the prologue for Charr I was feeling pretty good about the Warrior.
I decided to try out all the weapons and grinded out their abilities. I found that the Hammer, Rifle, and Greatsword were my favorites. After doing story quests and getting past my Thieves level I was feeling great. I didn’t have the frustrations I did with the thief. Now that I had a feel for the abilities I decided to try the PvP one more time, but more cautiously. I went with Hammer/Rifle combo and I destroyed people with that combo.
My views of the game were changing. I was having a really great time. The PvP was just as fun, if not more, as vanilla days in World of Warcraft battlegrounds. The Charr story was really fun to play aswell. I really loved building up my warband and killing antagonists. This game was finally feeling like what I expected before playing.
Conclusions: Overall I’m glad I spent my entire weekend playing Guild Wars 2. It lived up to the hype that I had for it after I got a feel for the game. It just takes getting used to. They don’t give you much help when you start, so it really turned me off at the beginning of my gameplay. After learning how to use weapon skills in PvE at low levels my PvP gameplay dramatically improved. I’m glad I pre-purchased and plan to play this game for a long time. Instead of grinding to the top and trying to be the best player like I have for the past 4 years of my MMO life, I’m finally going to enjoy just doing whatever I want again. Thank you ArenaNet for giving me this game, you’ve brought the MMO feeling of excitement back for me.
There are a few threads for people to discuss their reactions/feedback from the beta weekend, please keep the discussion there. Trying to avoid having dozens of individual threads on the topic cluttering up the front page.