Editorials

Raphia’s Headstart Journal: Day Three

The last day of the headstart period saw lots of new players join in, as pre-order customers got their one day of early access to Guild Wars 2 before the rest of the gaming world joined in on Tuesday. Earlier headstart journal entries are here and here, if you’d like to follow along from the beginning (or see the full list of journal entries from the start of the first beta weekend event at the bottom of this post).

Monday was an abbreviated gaming day for me, as I was only able to get into game for the late afternoon and evening. I spent the first part of that time levelling up my norn guardian, then switched back to my human ranger for the evening.

Guild issues (still)

While ArenaNet had fixed many of the issues with the Guild mechanics, there are still some problems you can encounter. When I created my norn guardian on Sunday, I forgot to explicitly set my guild representation (I assumed it was going to default to the same guild I was representing on my other characters). When I logged on and selected my guardian, I found that I was not representing the Royal Tyrian Highlanders, or any other guild (I’m a member of three guilds currently).

This is kind of irritating — and a bit embarrassing — when one of the guild leaders is online for hours but not representing his own guild. On the Guild dialog box, there is a button to set your guild representation, but it stubbornly refused to work for me until just before I logged off for dinner. I took a bit of ribbing from some RTH officers when I switched back to my ranger in the evening.

Reward levels for dynamic events

Another subtle change is the relative level of reward you can receive for taking part in dynamic events. It was common during some of the beta and stress test period to find you’d gotten a gold medal for a dynamic event, but you actually had taken little or no part in it. Over the headstart period, I noticed I was usually getting a more appropriate reward for my level of involvement in the various dynamic events: bronze for being in the area and doing a little bit to help, silver for taking a more active part, and gold only for events I fully participated in.

You may get a bronze medal for an event nearby, but I haven’t seen any examples of getting more than that for being a bystander (so far, anyway).

The further adventures of the RTH mini-zerg

We didn’t get as many people interested in zerging through PvE areas on Monday night, so a few of us teamed up to help RTH co-leader Zen Nightwing complete the sylvari starting area. I hadn’t ventured into sylvari territory up to that point, but between racing to map waypoints and completing some of the renown hearts along the way, I got up to 36% completion of the area.

Natural Lie, who is doing his best to be the first RTH member to get to level 80, expressed some distaste for the underwater portions of our expedition — and I had to agree. While it’s great to have another environment to explore with its own challenges and weapon sets, I find I get disoriented very easily during underwater combat and more than once got defeated because I couldn’t tell that there was a krait behind (or above, or under) me until it was too late.

Looking forward to the return of the Black Lion

With the Black Lion Trading Post still unavailable, I didn’t do very much crafting: no point in creating weapons and armour that I can’t use on any of my characters and can’t sell on the open market. I did offer a few bits and bobs to my guildmates, but that only helped clean out a small part of my accumulated excess. We’ve only had access to the trading post since the second beta weekend, but I’ve really been missing it over the headstart.

In closing…

As I’ve said many times over this (somewhat lengthy) series of posts, I don’t want to give anyone the sense that I’m not happy with the state of Guild Wars 2: even with the problems I’ve mentioned, it’s the best game I’ve ever played, and I expect to spend 98% of my gaming time for the foreseeable future in Tyria. I only have a certain amount of time to play any sort of computer games (generally evenings and weekends), and Guild Wars 2 offers so many different ways to play that I doubt I’ll be getting bored any time soon.

I’d like to acknowledge the in-game help of my guildmates (especially Natural Lie), for helping keep my face out of the dirt and moving in the right direction so I’ve had lots of experiences to write about in these journal entries. Couldn’t have done it without you, guys! Mistakes and omissions are all my own.

Earlier journal entries

If you weren’t following the series, here’s the entire set of journal entries from the first day of the first Beta Weekend Event:

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