Pax Prime 2011: Guild Wars 2 Preview

Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet’s sequel to Guild Wars has really stood out among the rest because of their innovative ideas: Creating a Dynamic event system that does away with the standard quest and progress playstyle; ditching the holy trinity and allowing all classes to tank, DPS, support, and heal in their own way. These new ideas as well as continuing their no-subscription model has made this game soar to the top of everyone’s lists.

For Gamescom and Pax, they showed off PvP for the first time. Conquest is the game and Khylo is the location. Players battle one another to take over key locations, with the assistance of a trebuchet; the task isn’t easy as players can always bomb the other team out of a control point. Movement and teamwork are key as points are gained by defeating the other team in combat and controlling the points; the first to 500 wins.

Aside from PvP, they have also introduced new areas in PvE for players to explore. Players had the opportunity to experience the Charr starter area and witness the ghosts of Ascalon first hand. Players could also play as the Sylvari, a race of honorable plant humanoids as well as the tiny Asura, a race of very intelligent people in the Sparkfly Den where the Undead are laying siege to the area.

Starting my demo, I choose to create a Sylvari Engineer, because nothing says honorable plant-like person than running around with a flamethrower, turrets, and grenades. Using the character creator was a blast, I love creating characters, so I took the opportunity to explore what it had to offer. I was able to change my hair type and color, as well as face type and ears. I created a sleek looking male Sylvari with silver hair and tannish-orange skin. A rare sight in character creator, I was able to dye my clothes right out the gate, though I reserved myself a bit and stuck with natural greens and browns.

After creating my Sylvari, I hopped right into Sparkfly Den and set out to explore the world. Not soon after battling a few drakes, I notice skulls on my map. These represent dead players so I rush off to revive them – trying to be a good citizen – honorable Sylvari and all. Then I run head first into a dynamic event, it seems the undead have claimed a variety of Hylek(Frog Beastmen) villages and I was task with ridden them and restore peace to the area.

Combat in Guild Wars 2 is more engaging then the combat you see in other MMOs. Position is key and movement plays an important role. Although not as action-oriented as Tera, Guild Wars 2 features dodging that allows you to move away from any attacks and makes you briefly invulnerable. The drawback however is that is used energy that slowly regenerated, so I was only able to dodge a few times before having to wait for my energy to fill back up.

While I was fighting drakes before I found the undead event, I would see it gather breathe, shortly after it would spew a giant green ball at me that poisoned the ground and damaged anyone in it. Doing a quick dodge as it spewed its foul concoction I was able to avoid damage and engage the beast while it was recuperating.

Even the skills played a role in how I engaged the enemy. Playing an Engineer I had a variety of skill to play with, each one influence how I went about doing my business. I had a skill that deployed a net trapping the enemy so I could fire away with my rifle without worrying about the enemy closing the gap to soon. I had an ability that did increased damage the closer I was to my target. Therefore, when my net shot wore off and the enemy closed in, I initiated that skill doing a nice burst of damage. On top of that, I had another skill that hurled the opponent as well as myself back, so following up the previous skill with this skill, instantly increased the distance allowing me to finish the fight with basic rifle shots.

That became my steady routine but I had a lot more skills to use. In Guild Wars 2, like its predecessor you have a 10 skill hot bar. The first five are dedicated to the weapon you are using, while the sixth skill is solely for a healing spell, the next three are your utility skills, these skills provide unique flavor to the class. The last skill is your elite skill or what I liked to call the ‘ohs***’ button – a power skill, meant to turn the tide of battle in your favor.

Going back to my dynamic event with the undead, I experimented a little with the utility skills. I, of course had to try the flamethrower. It replaced my first five skills and I was able to toast opponents, shoot napalm at them, throw down a firewall as well as suck enemies into my kill zone. Effectively creating a powerful close-quarters character oppose to the distance ranged attacker I was playing before. I also experimented with the Rifle turret, that increased my damage output and I became more like a sentry sticking close to my turret mowing down the opposition.

Going back to my dynamic event with the undead, I experimented a little with the utility skills. I, of course had to try the flamethrower. It replaced my first five skills and I was able to toast opponents, shoot napalm at them, throw down a firewall as well as suck enemies into my kill zone. Effectively creating a powerful close-quarters character oppose to the distance ranged attacker I was playing before. I also experimented with the Rifle turret, that increased my damage output and I became more like a sentry sticking close to my turret mowing down the opposition.

As I progressed through the demo, I was able to catch my bearings, learn how to dodge, and utilize the various skills of the Engineer to be effective in any given situation. At the end of the demo, I was able to clear out the undead, raise the dead Hylek NPCs, and bring an area that was remotely unpopulated to an area that was teeming with life.

 

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Author: Jeremy Goodson View all posts by
Jeremy is the Managing Editor for Vagary.TV. He has been gaming since the days of the NES and has no desire to stop anytime soon. He's also a veteran Blogger and Podcaster. When he's not writing, recording, or playing games, he loves spending time with his wife and son, reading, and watching a good movie or TV show.