The briefest stress test so far — just one hour — meant there was really not much that I could do that wouldn’t run the risk of being longer than the stress test access period. No point in starting a new character, especially as I’d created a warrior on Friday, the only profession I hadn’t tried before. While the Sylvari area was fun, and I certainly hadn’t completed it on my warrior, I didn’t want to jump back in quite yet.
I decided to just use the time to start exploring the Kessex Hills, the second area for human characters after Queensdale. However, when I loaded in to Queensdale, I realized that there had been several new points of interest added since the last time I’d been there with my ranger. I’d received the map completion reward, but now my map was incomplete again: a challenge than nicely fit the time I had available.
First things first: unlike Friday’s stress test, I noticed no lag issues at all and zero rubberbanding. During the last twenty minutes of Friday’s stress test, the rubberbanding had been quite bad, forcing me to cover the same dozen steps over and over all through Lion’s Arch. Today: not a single rubberband issue.
All in all, I spent my hour-and-a-bit pleasantly re-exploring Queensdale, finding those new points of interest, taking part in a few dynamic events, reviving downed players and NPCs, gathering, and just enjoying myself. The biggest event I took part in was to kill a diseased ancient oakheart with about six other players: I used my swap pet capability several times during the battle. Once it was over, we revived our fallen and went on in our various adventures.
It’s still one of the things I like best about Guild Wars 2: that half a dozen strangers can band together for an immediate task, complete it, assist one another, and then carry on. Spontaneous grouping is great!
The stress test ended soon after I’d moved on to Kessex Hills. I was trying to work my way into the bandit encampment just off the main road as you enter the area from Queensdale. I levelled up shortly after arriving and was hoping to complete the renown heart near the Sojourner’s Way waypoint. But it was not to be, at least not this time. Still, a brief visit to Tyria is enough to brighten a rainy day. Oh, and a personal best: although it was close a few times, I never went into downed state during this stress test. That’s easily three times my average!