I've spent this past weekend doing some additional exploration of the beautiful world of Guild Wars 2. This was my third and final BETA weekend participation. Now I just have to sit and wait impatiently for the game to launch next month. Very impatiently. I'm still enjoying SWTOR, but I've become charmed by GW2 and want to spend some time exploring all its new places.
I was excited that they gave us the ability to play Asura this time, as I had been looking forward to play the adorable wee creatures. I am, after all, a huge fan of the gnomes in World of Warcraft. The other big addition to this BETA weekend was the addition of the scenic vistas, most of which are accessible via platform jumping or scaling up vine-wrapped architectural supports.
I am not terribly good at figuring out the datacrons in odd places in SWTOR, but so far, I have been able to get to all the scenic vistas I've spotted on my map in GW2. Granted, I've not gotten past level 13 due to all my race and class jumping around so perhaps they ratchet the difficulties up a few notches as you get to higher levels. In addition to a small amount of XP, accessing a vista rewards you with a cutscene that is a sweeping view of the area your character can see from their vantage point.
My first weekend of playing I spent the bulk of my time on the Charr Mesmer you see above. Although fundamentally I don't think Mesmer is the right class for me (as weapon swapping and dodging out of the way of damage is not something that comes naturally to me), I am a big fan of the beautiful Charr and will definitely be playing at least one of them through to the end of their story.
I recall being a little frustrated while playing the first two weekends with the difficulty in keeping my professions leveled up in synch with my character's level. This was due in part to not having had much luck selling items in the auction house. This weekend on the other hand, I was able to offload many items in the auction house, and thus could afford to purchase the supplies I needed to level up artifice and tailoring on one character to 25 skill. While this didn't quite mean that I was keeping up with my ability to make gear at my own level, I did still craft a piece or two for myself to wear, so overall I'm good with its progress. Additionally, it seems as though the quest rewards have possibly gone up a little bit. I am just not finding myself as cash strapped as I did in the earlier BETA weekends. And that is a very good thing!
I briefly played around with a Sylvari Ranger and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed a ranger class for a change. I can't say that I've had the best luck in the past with them, but in the name of trying out all my ranged options, I had rolled one this weekend. I like that GW2 makes it easier to manage your pet's health -- when they need healing they limp up to you so you can take care of them -- no searching through a monster-infested bog to see where Mr. Whiskers expired!
I'm not sure I can say that the Sylvari grew on me (no pun intended.) It was nivec that Wrenz and I chose different options on character creation, so we were able to see two of the forms the character story can go depending upon some of the alignments chosen. But overall the plant people are just not sucking me in to their story. Perhaps they just take a little bit longer to charm you than the Asura and Charr.
Rather than starting a new blog to capture my Guild Wars 2 adventures, I think I'll just work them in here. And once the World of Warcraft Mists od Pandaria expansion launches and I pop into that for a while, you'll see that here as well. Hope to see you in game!
P.S. leave me your GW2 player name so I can add you to my friends list!