GW2’s First BWE: My first time playing Guild Wars 2

I’m going to go in order based on screenshots and what I remember in my sleep deprived state, this is more of a run through of playing rather than a comment on the particular build we were privy to. That being said there will be some opinions on some details and tons of screenshots. I apologize in that I didn’t check the screenshots until last night and didn’t know how to take High-res ones until mid-Saturday. Tonight (Monday 4/30) we’ll be livestreaming our (@gwreporter) beta impressions for our podcast episode. Join us at approximately 11:30EST/8:30PST in our chat room.

First, logging into the game for the first time I was giddy, nearly crying and grinning like a fool. Let me give some perspective. I’ve almost been playing Guild Wars as long as I’ve been married. It was in my life before my kids and any other real hobbies. It was my first MMO and I devoured it voraciously at every update or new campaign. Five years ago they announced the sequel in a copy of PCGamer. I still flip through the pages and wonder what happened to some of those environments and if there ever will be a Chronomancer. Yes, I still want to be one. I’m hoping that we’ll see some of them in the final release.


I thought I’d be hooked on Ranger and now that I look back on it, I think it may have been a bug (which was fixed on Saturday) and the Norn starting area that threw me off of it. Also, doesn’t this wolf look horrendous? I thought it was pretty darn bad for even beta quality. The Snow Leopard by comparison looked beautiful.


The leaping lion statue in the Piazza of Lion’s Arch. When the fish shot water into each other’s mouths it made music similar to a Japanese bamboo fountain popping back up into place. It was pretty and I yelled at Ben over how pretty it was. I explored Lion’s Arch extensively, I found a baby quaggan (or at least it looked like a very small quaggan) and some armored, colorful Hylek. I attempted to go through the beginning Norn area I got to level 5 or so and just felt lost. Not in the fact that it wasn’t obvious what to do, I felt like there wasn’t enough story available to me. The tutorial was very quick and I even tried to linger as long as I could by slaughtering nearly everything in sight. This is something that came up frequently in the forums as a huge disadvantage of playing a Norn. I randomly rolled up a Human Elementalist. What I did not think would be my main but that would certainly be an alt.


The beautiful mechanical band made me think of this video and I contemplated that there must a boatload of street sweepers in Divinity’s Reach. I made myself some more appropriate pants and explored Divinity’s Reach as much as I could.gw010

I was in love with these pants by the way, I wore them much longer than they were helpful and sincerely wished I could’ve equipped them to my town clothes panel.


I found this curious pack animal in Lion’s Arch and again when I ventured into the Black Citadel. New animal as far as I know, I’ve never heard of a Marmox up until now.


My first bug was falling through a floor on the “boat bridge” in LA. I landed on an edge of wood but the only way to get down was to dive off into the water. This was before I found the goggles and the big jump. What I found down there…gw025

So awesome. Though I think they may have actually made it too small. I swam into an underground market for illegal goods and then kept up on making my way around the city to find the super diving spot complete with goggles that change your skills. gw029

Hilarious GIF of a diving fail via @elixabethclaire.


I wandered into Kessex Hills while being super underlevelled but I really did love the concept art they used for the loading screen.


By Friday Night some of us finally all landed in the same overflow server and played together. This was a constant problem with players that were trying to meet up with friends and hopefully will be the first thing Arenanet fixes in the next build. We did some events and skill point hunting. Pictured are Sallennia (Ele), Almazar (Engineer), and Jay (Guardian) from my Guild Wars guild (Guild Wars Trilogy [GT]).

A note on our Guild name: I’m not sure if we were just acting like Community (six seasons and a movie!) but we foresaw Guild Wars coming back not just for one sequel but a trilogy. We’re a bunch of innovators! If you ever sat in xfire with us, you’d think that was the last thing we could be considered. We’re all very close and it shows that we’ve been playing together for many years. Guild Wars Reporter [GWR] was named more on trying to be obvious about who we were but we may end up switching to something less so later on.


Best. Kid. Cursing. Ever. I may have to start saying this in real life. Lord knows it will confuse the heck out of people.


An overhead view of Godslost Swamp, inside is the legacy site of Temple of Ages, which I totally did not screenshot /facepalm. This is not High-res by the way.gw045

This is the first and only jeweler recipe I was able to discover thanks to never being able to progress very far on it. It was interesting and intuitive to swap out things on the various discovery tabs.


Here’s some personal story instance on the Human Noble side, it’s basically a small aside about how the white mantle were broken in Guild Wars: Prophecies/War In Kryta. There were very small inklings to the first game in the story instances. Which, they were “broken” yet the Shining Blade have been fighting them for years. So, they’ve revived? I’m not sure how to tell where in the overarching Krytan story we really were. It wasn’t extremely clear.


I found this guys wandering almost all day Saturday. I attempted to kill him on my own just for kicks. I never even dented his health bar.


We decided to meet up outside the now famous Ascalon Catacombs to see if we could auto-level up to 30 and do the dungeon. As you can tell from the screenshot we ended up completely naked after dying 10 billion times while doing the dungeon at level 15ish. It was funny, our strategy was to try to keep Rytlock up. It didn’t work.


Here’s the armor dyeing screen. I know you’ve probably seen it a berjillion times but I wanted to show how pretty I was. Deal with it. My character is a noble, vain, dignity obsessed, adopted human.


I really wish I’d gotten a High-res of this area. When we entered the cave Ben and I both went “wow” really loudly. Frankly this was one of the prettiest areas we encountered in the game.


A huge snake. Just surprising.


I feel kinda terrible that I cannot, for all the thinking, pinpoint where this was. It was very impressive.


This is Gort, we cleared his cave of Ettins and we got a nifty chest Smile He’s also huge. I came up to his mid-calf when standing next to him.


Here’s a floating island off the coast of Isgarren’s View. I’m so upset I couldn’t /sleep in the water to hide my staff. Makes sense but still. One of the fun bugs was that you could spacebar jump while sitting or laying down. So it looked like you were leisure diving.gw100

I’m not sure of the name of the place but this was the first Asuran, Sylvari and Tengu camp I ran into. It was mishmashed into an outpost. Pretty darn cool.


The end of my story quests ended up with finding my parents’ graves. Graves. Meaning someone buried them. Who exactly? We’ll find out once we’re able to progress further. My name makes the grave marker particularly humorous. Maybe they should change the dialogue to reflect something like gender instead so it’s less “funny.”


This is the last screenshot I managed to take. I participated in the beta end event. By the time I the game threw us out my overflow server had killed many Champion Black Moas garnering 250k in Norn glory. We never got the Legendary Bunny to spawn, as far as I know, but by the end I felt like I finally knew how to play as a Elementalist and at level 21 I felt very accomplished until I read this tweet.

I was feeling kind of low. I’d worked pretty hard to level quickly and be mindful of bugs to report etc. Then this tweet made me very sad.

All of it was for naught. A little upsetting since I was expecting to keep the characters through into the next BWE. Does that mean my storage will be kept or is that wiped as well? My guild with Rank 1 Politics? I guess next time I’ll be running through Charr exclusively since that was the one storyline I couldn’t immediately get into. I tried a Charr Warrior and couldn’t deal with the distance issue. That issue being that you needed to be practically on top of your target for any strikes to connect. So if they strafed over 5 “inches” they could avoid the hits. I’ll try something like a Mesmer next time. Charr Mesmer would be very interesting.


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