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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Since my wife pre-bought got me Guildwars 2 with free beta access for Father's day this was the first beta weekend and the last before the release of the game. It turned out to be a big event at the house/LAN center. I was only able to join the fun for part of the time Friday night but it was almost non-stop for the rest throughout the weekend. I played a Asura (http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/races/asura/) Necromancer (http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/professions/necromancer/) I did not get to play that much but what little I did the game seemed to have a lot of potential. The interface is WoW'ish and the game has no monthly fees to play. They plan on making their money with expansions and selling in game items. Also things like realm/world changes they charge for.

There are some things that at first really threw me. One is different kinds of weapons give you different abilities. So you are questing along and find something cool. You equip it and your skills change. Get a good offhand and it adds some cool new abilities. Equip a two hander and you lose the off hand and it's abilities. Kind of throws you off to have to learn a new way of fighting so I ended up sticking to the same kinds of weapons. Also when you swim underwater your above water weapons are swapped with underwater weapons and your abilities are changed.

Questing is somewhat different. When you fist enter a new area you look for a spyglass on the map. You go talk to that NPC and she/he shows you that general area of the map. You will see hearts on the map and the spyglass NPC will circle them and give you a brief outline of what help they need. You run to one of the NPC with the heart and they will give you tasks/quest to do. The difference is they will give you a number of tasks but it doesn't matter which ones you do. As you do them the heart will fill in. Once the heart is full you are done and you can move on to the next NPC with a heart. While you are doing the heart quests events spawn up and you can work together with everyone else in the area to take care of the event. Event quests will pop up for example "kill the lead spider". Events spawn up regular so if you complete the heart you may want to stick around for that hearts event.

Travel is very portal centric. There a way points clearly marked on the map as a box. You run by one and the box fills in. Once you have filled in a box then you can port to it whenever you want. The way point boxes are revealed by the spyglass NPCs. There are portals to get from land to land or city. The portals seem to work even if you have never been to an area before. I was able to port over to where my kids were leveling and level with then even though I was a different race.

My kids who are all adults loved the World VS World pvp BG. I wanted to try it but never got a chance. I wish I had so I could report details about it. World VS World is realm against realm in a BG that they explained as AV on crack. It would be like the realm "Spirestone" taking on the realm "The Forgotten Coast" in WoW. Anyway they loved it. The only issue was one of them was on a different realm which by chance was the one the others were fighting against. So everyone in the room kept pounding the crap out of the poor one off player.

To sum it up the game looks interesting and I think it will be a hit for a while when it comes out the end of next month.

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