Raphia’s BWE3 Journal: Day Two

If you didn’t come in at the start, the first installment is here.

Friday was my Ranger day, as I knew I’d be frequently interrupted I didn’t want to be busy trying to learn a new profession. I basically just re-created my Ranger from the first two BWEs/stress tests (he actually looked pretty much the same, even though I didn’t change any of the character creation defaults except dye colours). Even with frequent pauses to chat with guildies and send guild invitations, I got him to level 12 over about eight hours of playing time.

Saturday was my first chance to try out one of the new races: I rolled a Sylvari Necromancer. I have a GW Necro that I rarely play, so this wasn’t one of the professions I expected to enjoy in GW2, but I was once again mistaken. The Necromancer in GW2 is a lot of fun, and I may create one as an alt when the game releases.

Switching Servers

Picking up the guild situation from yesterday’s post, after setting up our temporary guild on Sorrow’s Furnace, I sent out invitations to everyone who’d told me what their first character name was going to be (but not everyone was able to start playing immediately). By mid-afternoon, Sorrow’s Furnace was full again, so players were showing up on other servers. On Saturday morning, I looked at the guild roster and saw that a clear majority of the late-comers had gone to the Isle of Janthir. Since there was still (some) room on Janthir, that’s where most of the guild ended up transferring. A few are still on other servers, but at least we finally managed to consolidate the bulk of the guild in the same place.

Does Green Make You Feel Blue?

The starter area for new Sylvari characters is green. It’s very, very green. Pretty, no doubt, but I was finding it hard to distinguish between the personal quest indicator and a lot of the background scenery. You awaken from the Dream and the first thing you need to do is talk to Caithe, but she’s very hard to pick out from the mass of fellow newly awakened characters and the surroundings. Either I got used to the green-on-green distinctions by the time I got to level 3 or it’s not as bad once you get past the start of your personal story.

Slow Motion

Lag was still an issue early on Saturday, although it seemed to get better in the afternoon. In the local chat, I saw lots of discussions where someone complained about lag and got half a dozen responses like “No shit, Sherlock.” I had several combat sessions where the fight would actually be over before the animation for my first attack was complete. Then I’d have to wait a few more seconds while the rest of the animations played out and then I could collect my loot.

Gimme the Shovel!

One of the first activities in Caledon Forest (the Sylvari starting area) involved a termite infestation. There were termites that needed to be dug up so you could fight them, but as far as I could tell there was only one shovel in the honeycomb of ponds beside the Village of Astorea. Every time I’d find it, I’d go dig up a termite, drop the shovel to fight and someone else would grab the shovel and run off. It took me as long to track down the shovel as it did to do all the finding and exterminating.

Those Aren’t Clouds

While I was taking part in a couple of dynamic events along the road just north of Astorea, something caught my eye. What looked like a huge creature was briefly visible over the next hill. I wondered if there was a herd of heffalumps wandering around. When the mosquito attacks were over, I headed to the hill to see what the motion had been. It wasn’t elephants or heffalumps. It was tumbling rocks in the sky. Big rocks … small islands even. It was one of the few times when I really did laugh out loud while gaming.

Black Lion’s Hiccoughs

Yesterday, I mentioned some items that just seemed to disappear from my sale list at the trading post, but didn’t show up in inventory or in the pick-up window. When I checked my trading post list on Saturday morning, the missing items had re-appeared in the for sale list. Overall, the trading post seemed much faster on Saturday than it had in the previous BWE/stress test.

Party, Party

There are still a few bugs in the party mechanic, as Natural Necro and I discovered. If a party member gets disconnected or logs off, they still show as a party member, but cannot communicate with the rest of the party when they reconnect. That can be quite confusing, as the other players may not realize that what they’re saying doesn’t appear in the party chat for the player who disconnected.

Jumping Puzzles: The Devil’s Work

It’s okay, ArenaNet developers — I know you’re still delighted that the GW2 game engine allows players to jump. That’s really great, and I’m ecstatic that we can now jump over knee-high obstacles with grace and ease. I understand that you’re proud of the way you’ve resolved the technical issues, and a few jumping puzzles here and there are fine. No, really, they’re fine. But do you have to put jumping puzzles every quarter mile along the road?

I exaggerate, but only a bit. I’ll give a new jumping puzzle a few tries, but I do get discouraged when the Jump-Jump-Fall-Splat cycle ends in death. Here’s a quote from some other poor non-jump fan at the Grove last night: “Whoever came up with this mushroom staircase is a massive troll.” Jumping puzzles are a neat time-waster for some. For others, they’re a massive PITA. I’d prefer if they didn’t tie all the completion rewards to managing to cope with jumping puzzles of one sort or another.

WvW: Does that stand for Waiting versus Wilting?

I’d planned to do some WvW with fellow guildies last night, but in the early evening I was seeing lots of complaints about the long wait times to get in. Later in the evening, Natural Necro and I tried to get into WvW, but we were put into a queue. We each took the opportunity to step away from the keyboard, refresh our drinks, take a bio break, etc. Half an hour later, we were still waiting to go in.

Not long after we gave up and went back to do some PvE, there was a system-wide message that ArenaNet was taking WvW down for maintenance and I didn’t see a follow-up that it was back before I logged off around 2:30 in the morning.

Click here to see the entry for the final day of BWE3.

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