You people are making me sad. y u no make threads about GW2 beta weekend? Are no Alla peeps playing it? The beta forums are closed and I have no GW2 stuff to read. It's almost like you guys aren't revolving your lives around me at all.
So who did the beta? What did you think?
I shall start with my official review, which I posted in my guild forums, in order of my personal hierarchy of the most important MMO features:
Hairstyles and outfits: frankly, I was disappointed in the hair. None of the styles were great. And no barber shop? I cannot work under these conditions. However, the outfits are nice, although some tend too far into skimpy. Best part: they can be dyed at any time, from anywhere, for free.
World immersion: some people don't care about the RPG aspect, but for me it's really important. The setting has to have a certain almost indefinable pull, and I have to care about my character. This is why I left Rift even though I like the gameplay mechanics, and why I keep coming back to WoW even though I'm sick of it. The winning game is the one that can actually make me feel something when I give Sara Ladimore her father's ring, or Sylvanas her necklace. Okay, so maybe it's not indefinable, maybe it just needs to involve jewelry. Either way, GW2 is not there yet, and it's what I think they need to work on the most, but I can see great potential.
Combat: Very movement based, which I love. I am not sure I found any spells that required me to stand still while casting them. Dodging is taking some getting used to for me.
My favorite feature: of the classes I played, only 2 had a resource pool of any kind. And neither was a caster. No mana! Everything is cooldown based instead. I found this fun and not as unchallenging as you'd think.
You have a limited number of abilities on your toolbar at any given time, and these are dependent on what weapon you have equipped. I like this a lot, and not just because I'm getting too old for the time-honored Remember The Uses, Placement, and Bindings of Forty Different Things system. Having your weapon choice be this meaningful is a fun twist.
The pace of combat is good and a lot of the animations are fun. Despite all this talk of cross-profession combos, I don't think I ever saw one actually happen.
General Gameplay: I did not do any PVP or dungeons, but the game has some nice features that make leveling and running around solo fun, and that help a lot with replayability. Questing is made more interesting by the personal story, which is your own questline, more similar to a single player RPG than an MMO. This adds some variety to the the Kill X and Gather Y hamster wheel.
The lack of dedicated quest hubs encourages exploration, which is nice.
Dynamic events happen often and there's no need to party/group up/get organized, you all just pile in there and everyone gets xp and rewards according to their contribution. Sometimes the dynamic events merge into one another, which can result in total chaos and a lot of fun.
Classes. No. Wait. Professions:
My goal for the beta weekend was to try different classes and settle on one to be my main at release. I was not successful. I still can't decide.
Mesmer - This is the first class I'll play the next BWE. I love the idea of it, and that it's unlike the other classes I've played in other games. I had fun trying it out but it seemed complicated and frankly, I feared I was too bad to play it effectively. We shall see.
Guardian - Can breathe fire. 'Nuff said.
Elementalist - Fun idea, essentially a hybrid mage who can switch elements (kind of like stances) to suit the needs of the situation, be they single target, AOE, control, or defense. But damage/survivability ratios seemed like they needed tweaking.
Warrior, Thief, and Ranger - I tried all three bow-wielding classes because Skyrim got me into archers (insert your arrow-to-the-knee joke here, if you dare). The archery in general seemed clunky. None of these classes particularly excited me. The ranger was least fun. The thief was most. But none of them seemed to be doing anything all that different from other warriors, thieves, or rangers that I've met in other games.
Engineer and Necromancer - Did not try.
Review in a nutshell:
I really enjoyed this game. It did not play nice with my graphics card, which concerns me. But I will definitely play at release and during BWE's prior to that.
Edited, May 3rd 2012 7:58am by teacake