Editorials

A first-timer’s view of Guild Wars 2: the second day

With my ranger pet being nerfed after level 7 (see yesterday’s post for details, including the comments), there didn’t seem to be much point carrying on any further with my ranger. I was dying regularly enough with an active pet … no point in spending the rest of the weekend practicing my “downed” skill set! (And many thanks to the noble souls who revived me a few times last night.)

After witnessing the land rush to certain servers on opening day of the beta weekend event, I now hope that ArenaNet can come up with some method of allowing long-established guilds to all start on the same server: as I mentioned yesterday, my guild only managed to get a small number in before the capacity of Sorrow’s Furnace was reached. For the BWE, it doesn’t really matter that much (except for WvW fans), but I think it’s a major concern for lots of players who want to enjoy the company of the guild/alliance they’re used to working with in Guild Wars. The transfer fee for switching worlds was waived for the first 24 hours of the BWE to help with this, but you still can’t transfer to a server that’s at or over capacity.

On the first day, ArenaNet needed to shut down the servers at about midnight (my time) for an estimated 30 minutes. This turned out to be kind of convenient: it forced me to realize that I was tired and it would probably be a good idea not to go back into game without taking a break. After writing up the blog post, the game was still not back up, so I did the sensible thing for once and went to bed.

A few more general comments from yesterday that I forgot to put in the appropriate post … the Guild management UI seemed a bit broken at first, as I had a guild invite sitting in the Invites column for a couple of hours that I couldn’t accept. Every time I tried to accept it, nothing happened: it remained in the Invites column. When I finally got tracked down in Divinity’s Reach by my would-be guildies, I explained why I hadn’t accepted the invitation … and discovered that it now could be accepted. Perhaps just a temporary glitch, but the same thing happened on Saturday, as I sent a guild invitation to another guildie who’d managed to transfer on to Sorrow’s Furnace, and he couldn’t accept it for a few hours.

Along with the accidental zerg rush out of the starting area, the other thing that got tedious after a while was the epic speed at which creatures respawned. I was entering a cave with a couple of other players (right about the time I realized that my pet was just along for sightseeing), and the creatures in the cave were respawning about a minute after we killed them. This meant that we were just barely able to move forward into the cave, because in the time it took us to take down a couple of targets, the last couple we killed were back up. I was just starting to remember to dodge, so a couple of times I dodged right back into a freshly respawned creature. It’s probably another artifact of having so many people in the same vicinity. After the game launches, similar issues will crop up until the players are more evenly spread through the map (this is why the three-day early access is a win-win: pre-purchasers get a head start, and ArenaNet gets to scale the opening period so that there are players already out of the starting areas as the general public starts to rush in).

The one weapon I was looking forward to trying was the greatsword, but I literally didn’t get one until about a minute before the shutdown notice was posted. I got to kill a few things with it, but not enough to unlock any new skills. So, while I wasn’t planning on spending a lot more time on my ranger, I equipped the greatsword long enough to unlock all the skills. It was more fun to use than I expected (I’ve never really been a melee fighter: I prefer doing my damage at a bit of a distance from my opponent). Right after that, Natural Sword the guildie I’d mentioned earlier came out to join me, so I didn’t end up rolling a new character for Saturday after all. He arrived in Divinity’s Reach on Sorrow’s Furnace and sent me a message that he’d arrived and hoped we could team up for a bit.

And speaking of Divinity’s Reach: the place is mind-bogglingly big. I still don’t really know my way around (thank goodness you can get directions fairly easily, although the “mark on your map” function didn’t seem to work for me). On the other hand, there may be a problem with parties entering and leaving Divinity’s Reach, as one party I was in had some players go to the main instance, while others had to go to the overflow server. Others in our alliance reported similar issues.

This isn’t a bug, but I think it needs a bit more attention from the design team. When you’re in a group with others, you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time ensuring that all of your group have landed in the correct instance.

Mid-afternoon (my local time), we had an unscheduled outage and lots of people were reporting Error 48 when they tried to log in to the game. On my Twitter feed, I saw Dutch Sunshine asking if it was just Europeans who were locked out, so it was all or most of us sitting there constantly hitting the Log In button.

I did manage to advance my character’s personal story yesterday. Whatever was preventing the instance from starting was either fixed (or you shouldn’t try entering personal story instances with norn and charr party members in tow). I won’t spoil any of it for you, but I will say that my character’s friend, the bartender’s daughter, must have learned how to cope with obnoxious drunks quite well, as she was a very good melee fighter in helping me clear out a cave of thugs.

The story concludes on the final day.

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