This is Spunkify reporting in helping DizzyPW with the massive amount of game coverage available at PAX. During day 2 of PAX I was able to visit the ArenaNet booth and finally experience the MMO behemoth that is to be Guild Wars 2. Over the past year or so ArenaNet has slowly been showing off more and more of Guild Wars 2 at trade conventions and this year’s PAX was no exception. I was able to experience a full lineup of GW2 content both during the actual media event and afterwards at ArenaNet’s PAX party (more on that later).
At the beginning of the demo I opted to experience some of the higher level content Guild Wars 2 Gold would have to offer. I ended up picking Asura as my playtest race, the Asura being a short statured race that makes up for their size with technical and magical prowess. To complement my small Asura, I choose Guardian as his profession. The Guardians, being masters of defense, can not only protect and shield their allies from nearby pain and destruction through the use of their protective spells and barriers but can also deal out quite a bit of damage from afar, using a combination of secondary weapon abilities shot forth from the Guardians mighty staff.
After I had created my character, the developer gave me a quick overview of the control scheme and UI layout. As a veteran MMO player, the control scheme and UI felt instantly familiar and I found myself quickly adapting to the controls. However there were a few nice surprises to be found within how the game played. While the game does use hot-key command style combat, (you press a combat skill after targeting an enemy to perform the skill) there is no auto attack feature. What this means is that every attack you make is an actual keystroke action. A few of my abilities were on short enough cooldowns that I found myself constantly cycling between them without letup, ensuring maximum damage was dealt to my foes. What’s more, the game also allows you to cast abilities even if you aren’t in range of your opponent or facing them. Mashing your keys without proper timing or positioning won’t get you far in this MMO.
Once familiar with my controls I was dropped straight into combat with one of GW2 Gold fierce dragons! This dragon, which was a part of a large public style quest, was no pushover. The dragon wasted no time destroying my seemingly small health pool and I found myself having to take a rez very quickly. Unlike the previous dragon Arenanet showed off at PAX East, this dragon had an entirely different theme. He seemed to be some sort of Necromancer as he constantly crafted large undead minions to go forth and explode upon contact with players.
Of course a dragon wouldn’t be menacing if he hid behind his minions and relied on them to do his bidding. During the fight the dragon spewed huge amounts of toxic filth all over large areas. Souls unfortunate to get caught in the puddles were slowed and dealt huge amounts of damage over time that lingered even if you were fortunate enough to get out. Even those that were close, but not directly inside the range of the AOE were feared in all directions creating frantic moments where the player must react and use their dodge maneuver to avoid these spots as quickly as possible. Once I was finally able to get into melee range of the dragon only to be met with underground tendrils that shot up through the ground and grabbed any unfortunates nearby.