And here we go again, as the "Guild Wars 2 effect" is slowly coming, and i can't play any other games, i'm making the review.
So what changed from the first BWE (Beta WeekEnd)?
-First, the game run smoother, not that much lag at max setting, even with a lot of peoples around. And not that much connection problem, as i only had two of them.
-They changed how you can get your Traits. Actually there is three Tier for the traits lines: Adept, Master, and Grandmaster. Now, some Traits are specific to one of those tier (It wasn't before) so you can't get some skills as soon as you unlocked the first Tier Traits (Adept)
I'm not sure how i feel about that, as it may break some peoples build idea at first. But at least, that mean peoples will try a few others traits, and won't be able to get the most powerful Traits right away.
-Also, they changed the Gem Store (The place where your pay for real money for stuff) it's still mostly about cosmetic or EXP boost. Still no worries about "Pay to win". They added a few items, which may be overpriced for now, like a "Fun box" who is mostly shooting fireworks and giving costume to peoples once you placed it, but it looks quite expensive.
They gave it a proper name (Black Lion Trading Company) and it also look better.
I must say, that i rarely want to pay additional money in a Cash shop, as most game force you in a way or another to use them, or put Pay-to-win stuff in it; but the Guild Wars 2 shop is actually decent, and respectful to peoples who don't pay, and some items are really fun.
As an example, i did tried the Pirate costume this Beta Weekend, and it had some absolutely funny skills attached to it. My character could fake a fall into water, or deploy a Pirate canon (Which do 0 damage, btw) It was absolutely and utterly useless, but it was really fun. So Guild Wars 2 may be the second game (First one being 'Killing Floor') where i spend money for cosmetic stuff, and because the company deserver it. We'll see at release.
-They added a few higher level content too, not much to talk about except some Event can be really hard in there if there is not that much peoples around. But it's still possible. Doing them alone is challenging, but not impossible.
They still kept the Personal story stuck at Level 20, so i can't say where it goes after this. And i already talked about this previously.
-They are also doing some change with the cinematic, even if we don't really see it from our side. But as a result some conversation's audio was buged, like no audio line for some characters, and whatnot. They did knew this would happen, as they are actually making some change... So everything is "fine" here, we'll see what happen with it next BWE.
And i think that's the only thing that changed... So i'll talk a little about what i experienced this time.
I did kept playing my Norn Ranger from the Stress Test at first, with a friend. I'm still not sure which weapon i'll use with her, as all the weapons are nice. At first i was expecting to use something more classical, like Longbow and sword, or something like that. But actually i ended up using Axe+Warhorn and a Shortbow, and now i can't stop playing with this combo because i like it, even if it wasn't my first choice... Definitely a good thing when a game make you think outside the box. So, when you'll hit the game, try different weapons, you may be surprised.
Then i made a Female Charr Guardian, and Guardian are really good. And it's quite helpful in terms of support, as you can buff others peoples, protect them, etc... Without making you just a support-only class, as you can be specialized into whatever you like (Heavy damage, or tanky tanky), or not specialized at all, and be a jack of all trade guy; like any other class actually (No Trinity, f*ck yeah)
Female Charr looks really nice, though you still can make as ugly as possible too, but most of them looks nice. And badass. An heavy armor Female Charr is as impressive as a Male one actually. Their voices is fine too, and they have this tough-guy speech too. Don't mess with the Female Charr, or things could end badly for you, that's for sure.
Beaside the Personal story line, i mostly did Event in the Human area, as i had already seen the Charr area. And i did liked to be running around in another area that is not bound to my character at my earlier level.
Most mmo don't allow you to go to another Race area until level XX, here i did it right away, and could play as a Charr with Humans, doing Humans Event, buying stuff in the Human City, etc...
And i also did that with my much higher level character, my Male Charr Warrior, who was level 27 or something. And i could get into the new starter area of the human, and still gain some decent experience. Even level up.
I was sidekicked to a lower level, to suit the area, so i was not completely steamrolling in the area. But it was still easier than it was for real low level, as i had more skills, traits and equipment then they do.
So, peoples who thought that losing momentarily was a weird choice, and didn't saw any in this are wrong. Well actually they are right on the "weird" as it's not really common. But it keeps a little challenge, and you can play with friends whatever the level difference you have (I was playing with a level 15 friend, while i was 32 in the end, and it was not like i was holding his hand, showing how the big guys do it) but you are still a bit more powerful than a genuine lower level.
I did found quite really great and funny stuff during the weekend, i wont talk about all of them, as you will see them by yourselves, but i still can give you an example of what may happen in Guild Wars 2:
*Random event Spoiler now*
In the first BWE, i was in this Level 15-25 Charr area, doing my own business (Actually moving to a skill challenge) when i saw a big explosion not so far to me, without any enemy attacking me, or player around. I literally didn't know what just happened. Until this Weekend.
Going back to the area, because i wanted to, and in GW2 you can keep winning experience in area who have a lower level than you, and an Event pop-up... I had to protect the Cows from some Mad Charr while he was working on his machine... "Wait, what? How is this related?" you'd ask. Well actually the Charr wanted to move Cows from one place to another really quickly... And the machine... Is a catapult.
Yes, that's what you think. The catapult was shooting cow in the direction i was in the previous Beta Weekend. Mystery solved! The "explosion" was just Cows falling from the sky after being shot by a catapult built by a Charr engineer. Simple as that, and absolutely normal.
Oh yeah, and you actually really see the Catapult being loaded with Cows and see them fly over. I even have screenshots of that (I'll added them if some peoples want to see them)
*Spoiler end here*
The only thing i can complain in this BWE, was the choice to tag some servers as "French" or "German". Not all servers are tagged, but they did choose to put tags on a few servers were the French or Germans community were higher. I don't like that idea, even if it was just to help peoples find others peoples with the same language, it feels more like Language-specific servers (It's not, as it is allowed to speak whatever language you want in the chat)
it will split peoples, as simple as that, or make less populated servers (Because let's face it, peoples avoid Language-specific servers)
My Friends wanted to go to a server who had a decent French community, so i followed them into the one where the biggest French Guild Wars forum did go. In the first BWE it was not that much of a problem, as the Servers didn't had tag, so i did saw mostly English speaking peoples in the chat (Or others language). But this Weekend it was different. And i really don't want to be stuck playing only with French just because my friends want to.
Hope they will rethink this.
Still no PvP done this Weekend. Sorry guys, that's for the next Beta Weekend.
And a quick note on the Final event for the end of the Beta Weekend: It was really awesome, even if it bugged for some servers.
It ended up in some sort of huge PvP in the PvE area. Where peoples were put against each others. It was the "Normal guys" against the Corrupted guys", and the "Corrupted" were actually monsters from the game, using the same skills as the said monster. They literally played as the mobs of the game.
We even had some iconic NPC running around, and even a Dragon flying in the sky.
Really awesome finish.
So, for short, this Beta Weekend was awesome. It did run smooth, not much problems (Actually, the Final event was the most bugged thing of the Weekend), a few bugs here and there, and the Devs testing a few things. but the game looks quite close to release (Expect a "This Fall" release, though) it even works better in his beta stage than most other game at release... Some developers should take this as a lesson.