Okay, now that both are out of NDA, I can safely talk about Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) and WildStar. This is going to be a very short post, I might post a longer reflection at some later time, but these are the initial thoughts I’ve had on my head for a while and wanted to share, and now that I’ve decided to up the gaming content on this site, now seemed a good time to push this out.
Both are good games. Both are worth the $60 entry… however… based on the closed beta and open beta weekends with ESO, I’m not sold on the game for a subscription. It strikes me very much as a multi-player Skyrim, which in of itself isn’t bad. Continue reading ESO and WildStar→
Not sure if the world’s greatest game Guild Wars 2 is for you? What? The tons of posts here didn’t convince you? 🙂 Want to try before you buy? The final Beta Weekend Event is coming July 20th to the 22nd, if you can get some game time in that weekend then try to win one of 20,000 keys. http://www.curse.com/betas/guild-wars-2
I missed the last Guild Wars 2 Stress Test on June 27th due to a massive headache. I got in some, but didn’t feel well enough to record more videos or take more screenshots. Lucky for me there is one more Beta Weekend Event coming near the end of July before the Guild Wars 2 releases… My original plan was to get a few more screenshots and videos that I could do commentaries on later, such as the release date announcement.
I also wanted to spend a lot of time in sPvP, and while I got there, I couldn’t figure out how to actually get into a sPvP match… lack of homework on my part. Perhaps due also in part because I skipped the tutorials… 🙂 Anyhow, I got to the loby area, but never figure out how to get into the matches from there. Apparently there is a crier or something that can get you into the matches. I’ll have to look next BWE.
I really don’t know if there will be much Guild Wars 2 news between now and release… save perhaps details of the upcoming Beta Weekend Event. No word yet if one or two of the remaining races will be playable or if they’ll just keep them until release. There hasn’t been details yet about when we’ll be able to link our Guild Wars 1 account with our Guild Wars 2 account if we created the GW1 account after we made the 2nd, or some people skipped it or couldn’t do it at the time due to technical hiccups. ArenaNet has promised they would open that stuff up before release, so we’ll trust them on that. The only reason to link them, at least for those of us at low levels, is name reservation since names are unique to the whole game, not just per server. The head start is August 25th, for those of us who pre-purchase the game, so there is still some time to go before they have to make sure the system is in place. I would guess since they announced a date, they could do it at any moment, but my guess is that they probably will hold off until August.
There is one more Beta Weekend Event that they also announced on July 20th to the 22nd. No word if they’ll do another stress test or slip in a public beta before release, but this frankly is all I would expect.
All the more reason to get it now if you haven’t already.
There is an interesting post over at the Guild Wars 2 Reddit expanding on an idea brought up on the recent Guildcast (June 20th edition, which I had started to watch but didn’t finish before posting this originally). The question is if all the Beta Weekend Events sort of diminish the game in some ways and if that goes into ArenaNet‘s release date plans for Guild Wars 2.
I’ve had a few thoughts about Guild Wars 2 and in the very, very unlikely event somebody from ArenaNet actually stopped by, I thought I would toss out a few suggestions for the game.
First I have to discuss the pending character wipe before the head start/launch. I am fine with the wipe, but I would really like to be able to bring select character(s) back and restart them, keeping their physical appearance. Say I want to keep Sthel in the screenshot here as she is without having to figure out what settings I used when I try to recreate her. She would be just reset to level 1 and have to start her adventure over, but the physical creation and perhaps the story line choice made during beta would stick… basically I dug how she came out and not sure if I could do it again. 🙂
Okay, now to the camera. Pressing Print Screen is fine, but I would like to have another option, let’s call it Shift+Print Screen and/or CTRL+Print Screen. What this does is decouple the camera somewhat from being centered on the character, and move them to the side so that one can follow the Rule of Thirds. This is what the Shift+Print Screen does. The CTRL+Print Screen simply overlays the lines on the screen (that don’t appear in the screenshot) to help align the shot while also decoupling the camera as the Shift+Print Screen does. There could be an option in options menu for different type of lines, be it Rule of Thirds (both 6 and 9 square versions), center cross hair, Golden Ratio and some other common ones. This is of course in addition to the first person view to allow shots without the character in it… sure one could have a friend go first person then line up the shot for you and send you the photo, but I think a slightly de-coupled camera would be nicer. This isn’t a fully remote camera, it still keeps you character in frame, just more freedom on where in the frame they are (more so to the left and right since vertically I think we already have a decent range).
You need to get yourself Guild Wars 2 and meet me in game… or just enjoy yourself on your own time.
If there is a way to set the dyes on town clothes I didn’t see it… though in all honesty I didn’t look to hard. I didn’t mind my character’s town outfit and color, she looked very sharp indeed, but her armor dyes were set to a set of colors for a reason… then again town outfits probably should have a variety anyhow. This could have been in the gem store, which I didn’t really look at, but I think two outfits would be nice, with hopefully two dye options… So she could have her pretty red outfit that she had in this BWE, but perhaps another green one that matches her eyes… You could then also have the option of having one or both match the armor dye set or have both match eachother or both separate as I noted already…
The big ending events during the Beta Weekend Events should be put in as monthly mega events if they can make a few more large events like those to keep things fresh… and then they should repeat more than just one time so that more people can participate. They shouldn’t occur as often as other dynamic events, but every 4 or 6 hours or so, a little past the 2 hours that people typically play on purpose.
One of my favorite things in World of Warcraft was archealogy. I really hope to see something like that in the game someday… they already said they are adding fishing down the line, but wouldn’t be in by release… so archaeology ArenaNet… make it happen.
You need to get yourself Guild Wars 2 and meet me in game… or just enjoy yourself on your own time.
Skip to 30 seconds in to get past the long black screen. I forgot to set the time of the title video to 3 seconds and it stayed at 30 seconds…
She has to change her clothes midway as I didn’t notice she was flashing us every time I looked up to the city for a while there… as I said in that previous post though, from a role play perspective I’m not sure she would mind.
This is the new non-fuzzy version. The issued turned out to be the Sequence setting was too low and knocking back the 1600×900 video down to 720×480, and while I scaled to fit, that fix didn’t stop the fuzzy… and it turns out when I made the preview window really big in the old version, it didn’t look as good as I thought. So a few lessons learned about Premier… I understand that CS5.5 and CS6 fix some of those issues by making the sequence from the video clip itself. I am using CS5. Continue reading My “Let’s Play” Of Guild Wars 2 from the Beta Weekend Event 2 this Weekend→
It is just a day into the Beta Weekend Event 2 for Guild Wars 2. So far so good. Some (if not most/all) people who pre-ordered from the US Amazon store have gotten in. This created a stir, since everyone else had to pay the full $50 to pre-purchase the game to get in (pre-orders cost a $5 deposit). I personally don’t care. If the people cancel, Amazon bites the bullet on those orders since I am sure they have to pay whatever price they pay for each key they give out. It wasn’t what ArenaNet (the developers) wanted, but at the same time they want to keep Amazon happy. I understand people being upset, I mean we paid $50, the pre-order people paid $5 or so, and we can’t cancel, they can, but personally it doesn’t matter to me, I am enjoying the hell out of the game and wouldn’t want to cancel.
So far I have the 9th and 10th off, so I hope I can stay off and get in game a lot that weekend. Hopefully I can get some really good game time in as I am super stoked about having some real time in the game, which I didn’t get last time, and nearly none at all during the stress test day. Continue reading Guild Wars 2 – BWE 2→
In my previous posts about Guild Wars 2, I talked about the 5 character slots that were available during the Beta Weekend Event at the end of April. At the time I argued for more slots, I am pulling back on that. I think 5 is fine as a default. However, I think that those of us with Guild Wars (1) accounts should be given at least one character slot for having the main game and one for each expansion campaign we have linked to Guild Wars 2 prior to the game’s launch. It would be cheaper for a player to buy additional slots via the ArenaNet store, but this, along with the recently announced name reservation system, would be a nice bonus for Guild Wars players. Like the name reservation system, there could be a rule requiring you to have logged in since January 1st of this year (for the purpose of the character slot extensions, you get credit for the campaign expansions even if you didn’t play them so long as you logged into the main game or one of the expansions). If a player has all the expansions and unlocked the Hall of Monuments perhaps could gain one extra slot in addition to the ones I said, regardless if the characters are declared ancestors or not. This idea is especially important if they drop the character slot limit to 3 as with the original game, in which case they really need to give Guild Wars 1 players additional slots for the game and expansions as a reward.
One of the key features of Guild Wars 2 is the dynamic event system.
Before going on, perhaps it would be helpful to see how most games and MMOs in particular work, for my non-game playing friends/family/visitors. Those familiar with the basics of quests can skip ahead. While walking around you may see a NPC (Non Playable Character) have an icon over their head letting you know they want you to do a quest (do something) for them. You talk to them and they will let you know what they want. More and more this tends to be voice acted rather than having a long text box to read, but either way you are normally given a chance to accept the quest or not. Normally if you don’t pick it up then you can at a later time. If you pick up the quest and fail completing it, you can normally abandon the quest and pick it back up again. After finishing the quest you will turn the quest back into the quest giver or somebody else, which could be across the game map.
As I’ve said again and again and again… I really enjoyed last weekend’s Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend Event. The developers at ArenaNet did a really great job of putting together a really terrific game. Not just a great MMO, which is in itself an amazing feat, but a great game overall, one that challenges standard MMO conventions, much to the chagrin of those that are used the more hand holding that others give at the early levels.
There are a few weeks to the next expected beta weekend event. Odds are it will be near the end of May, as ArenaNet has said they don’t have a date, but they should be about once a month. So what to do until then, and just as importantly what to do during that next weekend? Continue reading Next Time in Guild Wars 2→
While I’ve been talking a great deal about Guild Wars 2 a lot lately, it may be a good time to note that it has that 2 at the end…
Like Guild Wars 2, the game doesn’t have a subscription fee. There is the original game, and three expansions, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Night Fall and Guild Wars Eye of the North, which sort of bridges the game between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2… But you can get Guild Wars and the first two expansions for only $29.37 at Amazon (see link below). So for price of just one of the first two expansions you get all 3 and never have to pay a subscription fee. With the first game you get 4 character slots and two more for each expansion pack so that should be 8 character slots in the trilogy pack, add two more if you get the Eye of the North expansion.
Given how great Guild Wars 2 is, I wonder how many people who skipped the first Guild Wars went back and got it?
Gamebreaker posted Seven Take Aways From ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend, and the TLDR version is that they loved it. Obviously since they get to play games for a living, or at least in part, they spent far more time in game then I did and got to explore far more of the content. I barely scratched the surface and the highest I got my “main” was 8… I really didn’t get to play nearly as much as I wanted at all this time around, thanks largely to Real Life… work… kids… etc… Anyhow, on to more Guild Wars 2 news/notes…
They mentioned the confusion lots of players had, and how GW2 is very different than any other MMO. There is a mention of the overflow server issues and how some people had luck with one fix, and ArenaNet is looking into it, but do you want to be split and play or have everyone stuck looking at a counter until the map is ready… and it turns out the overflow isn’t for the world but for a specific area, which explains why I got sucked out of the city and into the foothills when playing, I was probably qued in the foothill overflow, crossed into the city, but the game never took me out of the que for foothills overflow. Unfortunately the bug reporting system is shut down as that still qualifies as a bug IMHO…
The lag was bad Friday but I was fine Saturday night and Sunday night… especially Sunday.
And the cities. I commented in one of my thoughts of the game that the cities were amazing… unbelievably amazing. They were proper massive cities, not just something you had to pretend was a city.
Anyhow, it is a pretty good article and makes many great points.
So this last weekends beta event is over now and I got a couple to a few more hours in the game. To follow up my first thoughts of Guild Wars 2 here are some other pluses and minuses I came away with from this weekend’s Guild Wars 2 Beta Event.
+ Huge areas, especially the cities. Stormwind in WoW should be like Divinity’s Reach here. The size of cities in WoW was a huge disappointment. SWTOR was better than WoW, but I really enjoyed Divinity’s Reach. Hoelbrak was cool as well (no pun intended).
+ Good server performance and little lag… well after the first day or so of issues they seemed to get things under control, that first day was tough… That said I see some people complaining about lag, so perhaps it was hit and miss for some. I think the key issue is picking the correct server, when the server list came up for me, the European ones were first though I live in the US. It should be local servers arranged by density then alpha, then out of country servers by the same arrangement. If they add Asian/Oceanic servers as well as US and European, then I am sure they could figure out which set to display after the local set.
+ Questing. I like the story mode quests, the heart quests and the dynamic events. The story mode quests aren’t as strong as SWTOR story mode is, but very strong none the less. No quest hubs is a general plus for me. It would perhaps be nice if there were a couple odd quests that could be picked up at odd points, but I liked the heart quests overall… of course one could argue that hearts and dynamic quests are just quest hubs without the normal quest givers… Continue reading A Few More Hours in Guild Wars 2→
So I’ve had a few hours in Guild Wars 2 during this weekends Beta Testing Event. There have been some clearly beta issues, servers crashing under the strain and the like, but I am overall very impressed with the game.