GuildWars II- first impressions.

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Joined: 01/21/2009

head Start was this weekend and between house moving (yes Im pretty much moved, but not unpacked) and cleaning up old apt I got about 10-14 hours in this weekend (again, yes I spent to much time playing).

guildwars II pretty much doenst resemble its parent (guildwars) its went the way of almost all MMORPG games and copied the standard EQ/WoW look.. good or bad? I say good, the old Quildwars felt like a giant Diablo clone trying to be a MMORPG, it just didnt control well for me. The 'standard" FPS control and look feels much more natrual to me after using it for 10+ years. Where it does resemble its old self, the map, how you uncover it.. one of the best systems, and its improved and rewards you for exploring. Though there is some wierd ideas of exploring, in a small way they are mini puzzles. Certian areas have "view" spots (marked on map) if you can find out how to get to them you get a short Panoramic cut scene.. most the early ones are easy to get to , but later its like old games and secret areas.. you need to drop off a cliff in a level 15 area to get on top of a "view" you saw way back in level 10 area. I found this strangly fun at first, then a bit annoying later as I felt i needed to do them all . this game has TONS of achievements.. daily kills, kill 10 of XXX get title, revive so many players get something... harvest so much each day etc... there quite honestly is far to much to do.. One reason WoW whas so hugly succesfull in my eyes was there where so many thing to do, this game doenst skimp.. the person who like collecting.tradskilling. achiveing will be busy.. in fact as far as I can see dailies in WoW look easy to keep up with compared to what you can do "daily" in this game.

the look: looks good to me, very good, this world feels FINISHED, not 'good enough for release" like so many other games. each race has DISTINCT areas that dont look the same.. to many games have fudged on this and had multi races start in the same areas.. This game is quite good to look at .
Races/classes: again. the Brutes, the sexy, and the cute are included. the nice thing is it appears no class is regulated to a race, you can be the slow hulking man beast thief if you want.. Plenty of custom setting of races.. i was bit worried the "cute" calss would be overdone, but so far they are just rat like Gnomes.. and since I play GNOMES any chance i can get.. i been playing hte short cute class. The classes pretty much cover it all.. mages, fighters, thieves, and some off standard ones. engineers, necromancer, guardian, rangere and messmer.. some are kinda copies.. ranger and Necro are both pet classes.. mesmer might be the odd man out.. enchanter in other games.. I'm not sure if 2 will follow one and let you mutli class, i hope so, but as far as I can tell they dont.

class skills: this is a cool part i like.. you pick and chose skills buy buying htem.. and depending on what yoou have your secondary skills can change.. my engineer has a turrent he throws up to shot at enemies, when its up his secondary skill is a bonus shot (tool belt shot i think is name), but he also has a turrent that heals.. if this is up the secondary skill is a aoe heal spray. I alos have packs.. if i have one pack open i can do healing, if i have the other pack open i can be DPS.. So the Druid of WoW .. dps, or heal.. (sorry no tanking) but appears most classes can do 2 things. Also it appears every class can heal in some way.. my engineer mixes potions (which he can also throw for AOE.. he is a buffer too it seems), my warrior has a shout that heals him.. they are all on timers so must be used correctly. All skills seem to be opens with use and level.. skills also chain, so using them correctly makes fighting easier. I liked my elementelist (mage) is atuned to fire.. has fire spells.. and you have to build them up (unlock by using).. so at level 5 i ahd 4 fire spells.. but i also coudl atune to water.. but hadnt.. so when i swapped to water.. i had one spell at level 5.. i had to use it to build up to the other spells.. I like this type of stuff, some will see it as grinding.. i didnt.. it makes you try stuff you maybe wouldnt.. and you might find something out you normally wouldnt have.

Quests: standard stuff. with some mix up that looks new but really isnt. not sure they can think up anything presentation is good, just not new. you follow a central plotline throuhgt the game (it appears) but have many many side quest too. they borrowed the one thing WarHammer had that was fantastic.. Group quests.. or World events.. you will see somthing like " a new event is happening close to you" you can see it cirlced on mini map.. you go and fight and at end get a medal.. gold, silver or bronze (and reputation) you dont have to join groups, you just go join in the fun.. the big change is see between this and warhammer.. this game has way more of these. They alos have marked on maps SKILL point quests.. ways to earn more skills by doing quests. these are noramlly pretty hard, but so far it appears you can have help, or if sombody else is doing it and you help you get credit too (some complain this makes it to easy).

Pros: this game is huge, well done (not half done like most) the classes are well thought out and do duel duty so you shouldnt get bored learning them, the quests are pretty standard stuff, but the world events spice it up.. as does the exploring. the game looks great. ITS FREE!!!!!!!!!! Death system is good.. Borderlands (almost dead, if you can finish off a guy you get a second breath).. also if you do go down sombody can revive you in battle.. quicker the more people helping.. so even group fights if you go down , you can come back and help if people can get you back up.

Cons: the quest system can be a bit confusing.. at times I couldnt find where i should go. be at level 10 and go to the next quet giver and verything was level 14 around me ( die and die again).. I couldnt find any way to know where to go after a certain point. After 10+ hours I felt the first tinges of grind comming.. I dont think any MMORPG will ever escape that.. but this game held on a long time for an old vetran like me.. and I'm looking forward to playing more.. so its only a tinge so far.

Overall i would say this may be the single best 'new' MMORPG.. I hate to say that after i said Terra was good and Secret WOrld was too.. This one is differnt enough to maybe hold on a few months.. I need more time to really asses.. but if i had to pick the best MMOROPG of the last couple years.. this would be it.. SWonline had a great quest system ( talking ans such) this game is not quite as nice.. but almost.. and this game beats SWonline hands down for not feeling 100% grindy after about 10 levels.. Give me a couple more weeks.. and then let me recomment.. but right now.. its dang good.