Raphia’s BWE3 Journal: Day One

Well, in spite of all my stated good intentions from previous entries, I doubt I’ll get into the Ascalonian Catacombs this weekend … but I’m far from the only one with that worry. I’d expected a server reset between BWE1 and BWE2, but when that didn’t happen I started to entertain hopes that we’d be able to keep our existing characters for BWE3 as well. That hope was crushed earlier this week, when ArenaNet announced all the new content for BWE3, but also confirmed a full wipe both before and after the weekend. Still, it’s not like there’s nothing to do this weekend…

The Server Squeeze

If you’re one of the many guild or alliance leaders trying to get your guildmates organized for GW2, you have my sympathies … just getting the players in our current alliance to agree on a server for the event has been a challenge. We had initially decided to stick with Cavalon (in spite of its low population and resulting poor WvW performance), but Cavalon was not one of the worlds for BWE3. I suggested that we go back to Sorrow’s Furnace (our original server, before it hit the population limit in BWE1), but there were voices calling for two or three other choices.

The process of trying to make everyone happy is harder because we don’t have a single place to share information: we’re a single-game alliance, so we can’t use a non-ArenaNet game to keep in touch with inactive members (and we have a lot of inactive GW players who are just waiting for GW2). For the last few weeks I seemed to be having the same discussion over and over again in alliance chat. It’s like a big Venn diagram: the players who are still actively playing in Guild Wars, the players on our Facebook page, the players on the alliance forum, and those who only stay in touch with fellow guild members through Vent or email. No one message gets passed to everyone, and we seem to be playing “Telephone” sometimes as messages transform in the telling.

The majority of support seemed to be in favour of going back to Sorrow’s Furnace, so that was where I established our BWE3 guild early on Friday afternoon. A couple of hours into the weekend, I started getting complaints that Sorrow’s Furnace was full again and people couldn’t get on the server. One player posted on the Facebook page for everyone to switch to the server he was on, and several people did so. I think we’re scattered over half a dozen servers again.

The Rush

I can understand why ArenaNet is offering the headstart period … trying to log in and create a new character on Friday afternoon just after the servers went live was a string of long, long waits between my action and the server responding: it’ll likely be much worse on the 28th of August as the rest of the gaming world tries to join us.

Space Oddities

I got some very weird graphic overlays during the start, showing the tables in the inn in the human starting instance on a field full of charging centaurs. For the first half-dozen cut scenes, there was a very long delay between the scene being triggered and actually starting, leaving my character standing in place half in the normal world and half in the cut scene.

There was another odd graphical issue when I visited the throne room in Divinity’s Reach: both in the mini-map and also in the main display. On the mini-map, the point of interest marker was replaced with a large starburst icon that concealed all the surrounding details on the mini-map. In the main window, the guards and councillors appeared to be floating in the air and every step I took changed the background colours of the room, sometimes showing walls and details, sometimes just brightly coloured flat walls.

Jumping Puzzles: Urgh!

When I first heard about the new jumping puzzles I thought they could be amusing, although I’m not good at jumping games in general. Now that I’ve seen a few of them, I’m less happy. The first of them I saw was a mini puzzle to get to a vista in Divinity’s Reach.

Remember I said I wasn’t very good at jumping puzzles? I may never get all the vistas in DR if they’re all at the end of jumping puzzles. The one I encountered seemed to have two distinct areas: a low semi-circular ring that was possible for me to get to (after a few embarrassing jump-fall-splat cycles), but there didn’t seem to be any way to get to the pillar that had the vista at its pinnacle.

Knocking Over the Trading Post

I’d been very enthusiastic in earlier posts about the Black Lion Trading Post, but there seemed to be lots of issues with the trading post yesterday. We were warned in the known issues that ArenaNet posted to the official forums yesterday, but things were worse than they thought.

I’d done quite well in my transactions last BWE, so as I started accumulating things that I didn’t need, I was putting them up for sale at the trading post. A couple of hours later, I checked the status on what I’d offered to sell and found some items that I’d expect to sell quickly were still waiting for a buyer (crafting items, mostly). I took those items out of the trading post, but they didn’t re-appear in my inventory. They seem to have just disappeared, as they weren’t in the collection pane and they weren’t in my inventory. Perhaps half an hour after that, I couldn’t get into the trading post at all.

Click here to carry on to Day Two.

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