So far I haven’t had much time to play in the Guild Wars 2 Beta this weekend; between Createspace and my Canadian citizenship application (a topic for another time) I don’t have much time to spare.
So far it’s proven fun and runs well on my laptop with a 2.27GHz i5 and an Nvidia GT330M graphics card. One nice feature is that it optionally renders screenshots at a much higher resolution than the game normally uses, so the quality is much better. The graphics are pretty good, while still retaining obvious similarities to the original game. However, I suspect some features either haven’t been implemented or have been disabled for performance reasons (the screenshots, for example, don’t show any player shadows).
In a few hours play I only saw one crash, and no other obvious bugs, so it seems fairly polished but not perfect. Only three of the five races seem to be implemented, so clearly there’s more work to do there.
While they’ve improved the quest mechanic in some respects it’s not as revolutionary as it sounded; you still get quests, but they’re less the ‘kill a dozen rabbits and bring me their ears’ and more ‘stop the bandits who are stealing things from the farm’. Which is better, but I found that often I would arrive in the middle of such an event and not really know what I was supposed to be doing.
This was particularly true in the initial tutorial area where half the time I wasn’t really sure of what was going on. The game would tell me to go somewhere and then the gates closed as I got there, and was that my fault or did I just not get there fast enough, or…? Who knows.
Overall it’s a very different game to Guild Wars. In some respects that’s better, but we’ll have to see how hard some of the early events become when the newbie zones thin out and there aren’t twenty players in each event any more.