I’m going to look for some feedback from GW2 folks in a moment. Please keep reading!
I had intended to write a post about the PoF Preview weekend, but then a fascinating GW2 discussion came up across the blogosphere. It started over at Endgame Viable where a group of us began discussing the difficulty of the story instance in the Preview Weekend. I’ll talk about that in a bit.
That led to some analyzing of the difficulty level and new/returning folks in a number of interesting posts. If you have any concerns with these topics, I suggest you check them out:
- Inventory Full: Taking It Easy : GW2
- Why I Game: Help Me, I’m New or Returning
- Inventory Full: From a Distance : GW2
- Endgame Viable: GW2 – HoT Progress and Thoughts
- GamingSF: GW2: Path of Fire trial weekend
There’s a lot of good conversation in the comments, as well.
Anyhow, the newest discussion of ranged vs. melee has me sorely tempted to roll and boost a Ranger-Druid just to test the difference (since I’m mainly a melee player). I’m not giving up on my Necro, but I am curious to test this out – For Science!
Rolling Ranger – Help Me! 🙂
Druid is actually a spec I’m somewhat interested in. But I’m a complete Ranger noob, so I’m looking for a bit of help first:
- Is Druid okay at soloing (especially HoT)? Will I do enough damage?
- Best weapon combos?
- Is there an example of a build I should work towards? I’m terrible at making a build from the ground up.
- Best armor/rune combos?
- Can I still use pets?
Basically, I’d have to put my necro progress on hold (and I don’t have a lot of play time as it is), so I want to make sure I go into this experiment knowing as much I can so I can be effective.
PoF Preview Weekend
Now, with that out of my way, on to my experiences with the PoF Preview Weekend. Because I needed to roll a new demo character for this, and I was curious how Charr sit on mounts when they ride, I decided to roll a Charr that looks similar to Nipp.
Because this was a demo, I thought it would be a fine time to try out the only job I haven’t played yet – Revenant. I mean, certainly, a demo weekend that is partially there to snag the interest of returning players wouldn’t be too hard, right?
Okay, so they shoved endgame story battle into the demo, nearly first thing. All these Balthazar jerks gang up on you… and me having not a clue what any of my skills did… I saw the defeated screen quite a bit.
I know I had no clue about my class, but really? I’d think that this would be tuned so that a new or returning player would be able to pick up the fully kitted out, newly-rolled demo character and enjoy the process.
I also had no clue until later that they put a bunch of armor, runes and food in our bags. Not like I’d have known what to do with them on a class I’ve never played.
But anyhow. I finally got past that to the raptor section — the part I was really there to see in the first place. Actually, Charr ride quite well. There is some tail clipping, as I assumed, when it comes to the raptor swishing its own tail, but not terrible.
I enjoyed my time riding the raptor and getting used to the controls. I know some people reported motion sickness due to the animations, but I didn’t have any issues there. So I hope ANet can find a middle ground that doesn’t take away from the mount too much.
The raptor felt really solid to ride. I don’t know if it had to do with the sound effects (jingling saddle!) or the way it side-hops when you start up, or how it handles. It wasn’t a flighty mount like you get in some games that didn’t have any weight. I felt like my character was on a giant, fast and leaping dino, and this pleased me.
I did finally get to the town, but I didn’t do a whole lot there. I saw a Hero Point off in the bay, but every time I tried to commune with it, I was constantly interrupted by crabs or sharks or whatever. Finally, when I had a vet shark tearing into me, I gave up on it, swam back to shore and called it a night from frustration. I didn’t want to spoil the story anyhow.
tl;dr: Playing Revenant for the demo wasn’t a good idea.
Preview Weekend Revisited
After reading that I wasn’t the only one who found the story in the demo frustrating, I decided to re-roll as a Reaper Necro to see if my troubles were caused due to not knowing my job. This time, I knew that I had runes and gear in my inventory… though interestingly, all of the gear I saw had condition damage built into it.
No power reaper for you!
So my Necro build was sub-optimal compared to what I’d normally run on, but the story instance was still much easier the second time. I knew what to expect, of course, but also playing a familiar class helped so much. I got through the story instance the second time without any deaths. And then, right before the raptor part, I got disconnected.
This was fine, because logging back in sent me to the city (I wish I’d known that before), and I already had my raptor from my previous unlock. So, now I was free to explore a lot more.
I didn’t go too far because I didn’t want to spoil too much, but I really loved riding my raptor, and the desert looked fantastic. There was just enough of a GW1 vibe here, mixed with the new GW2.
I did a heart in the town where you had to use the raptor to catch fireflies, which they adorably like. I experimented with how far the raptor could leap and getting a good feel for how to ride. Besides that, I didn’t delve too much.
I’m glad I came back and gave it a second try, though I still worry what impression that intro story instance will give returning or new players. While I gave it a second shot, that doesn’t mean everyone else will.
This will be the only PoF demo I try out for GW2 because I’m not going to PvP and I don’t really have a lot of interest in the new specs PoF is introducing. I’m still looking forward to mounts in my GW2, though!