GW2 Beta - first day impressions So I played a couple of hours worth of norn ranger today to get an idea of things. Tumblr has been updated with stuff. Will do some engineer/guardian the next two days.
This time I mainly did heart quests and dynamic events; stayed off the personal stories as I wanted to see how well things played without the instanced stuff. Taking into account that I spent a couple of hours just taking screenshots of the pets and looking through the character creator, I actually played maybe 3 hours or so. And at the end, got to about level 6. Overall, level progression seems to be around Nightfall level, maybe slightly slower.
Combat is nice. Actually fairly casual/newbie friendly if you turn on all the auto options (autoattack, autotarget, etc.) It doesn't actually require the hardcore kind of "skilled play" to actually get anywhere.
Graphics...hm...well, it matches up well with all the other modern games. I'm not sure what they could come up with that would make it seem revolutionary. It's met the expectations of it, which is all that needs to be said, I guess.
Animations were very nice if understated thing. I didn't notice the heavy particle effects that various press beta vids complained about, even when I was part of a zerg rush. I like the character movements in the cut scenes (much better than the melodramatic over-gesturing in STO) and the animal movements were all pretty natural (definite improvement over GW1, especially for flight-capable birds).
I was worried about the connectivity due to the moaning and gnashing of teeth on the Guru forums. I really should have known better than to take that place as standard. I only actually got logged off once. Other than that the game played flawlessly. Very little lag, even in huge groups. No rubberbanding or skills not activating until some time after being pressed, or anything like that.
Of course, the game's not perfect yet. There's also a bunch of things I think they could stand to improve on:
* Some kind of UI tutorial or in game guide is needed. Simple things like where certain menu options are located is incredibly hard to figure out. It took me 15 minutes to figure out where to find the ranger's pet panel. More than two hours to realize where the XP bar is located. I still haven't figured out where to see your current karma score other than to go find and talk to a karma vendor. Also, other things like "how does a ranger rez their pet" needs to be better spelled out.
* Important NPCs are nowhere to be found. By this I mean the vendors. The only ones that are all over the place are the ordinary merchants that you sell stuff to and the occasional repair person or karma vendor. Where is the NPC for storage? Where are the lowbie vendors for weapons and armor if the player doesn't want to use their starter weapon and they didn't have the good luck to get a drop of their preferred weapon? Apparently, you have to go all they way into the main town (for which there isn't any way markers or map markers for, by the way) and then run all the way inside for those vendors. That... isn't helpful.
* No option to switch characters without having to log out of the game. There's only two options to exit: one that logs you out and one that closes out the program. What happened to the "go back to character selection screen"?
* Charr armor are all pretty ugly, especially the closer you look. I'm losing the urge to play any profession of Charr. The Norn female faces all see to be cross-eyed. Is it just me? Someone take a look at my tumblr post and let me know if I'm just seeing things. *sigh*
* I have not found a single example of a juvenile animal to charm in the entire lowbie area. What. The. Hell. I hope I'm just missing something obvious (in which case they need to fix it so it's more obvious). Cuz the entire point of the ranger class is their ability to flip between multiple pets. Everyone else can use their F1-F4 pretty much from the get go.
* A lot of pets are very ugly. I mean, why was so much attention to detail spent on the four different species of spiders, whereas the hyenas and the lynxes all look so ugly? Why? What is wrong with these peoples aesthetics. (Rhetorical question; don't answer me.)
Ugh... I'm sure there were more peeves... but my brain has turned to mush so I'm going to call it a night right there. I'll probably sleep til noon tomorrow so no one bother calling me before then. =P