Misc Notes from GW2 Beta
It was getting too long as an addendum on the previous impressions post, so I'm moving it to it's own entry. (This list will grow as more things occur to me.)
Resource & $$$ Management
* Armor repair is pretty cheap if you just died once or twice and want to fix things up so that you're not vulnerable. If you get to the point where you've got armor pieces "falling off", the repair cost gets prohibitively expensive (I found this out by repeatedly dying to the giant moa in the bugged DE I mentioned). Try not to die too much when you're lowbie and have no money.
* The price for teleporting via waypoints increases with distance travelled. Overall, the price range I've seen has been about 12-23 copper, which is about the loot off of 1-3 mobs (in the level 1-15 area of course). So it's not too expensive.
* You can also teleport from inside a major city to a waypoint outside, and vice versa. It's generally more cost effective to teleport first to the waypoint at the city gate and then to your actual destination though, since teleporting inside the city is free. (Yes, the cities are large enough that they have a bunch of waypoints in them for convenience.) Teleporting outside the city also equates to re-entering the explorable zone; so that means you get put into the overflow queue again if the server's full.
* The major cities have level 10 armor & weapon sellers. Prices range at about 40-80 copper. The karma merchants outside the Seraph HQ also sell level 40 EQ for about 9k karma each. I'm pretty sure the charr & norn cities also have equivalents to these but I haven't come across them.
* It's probably not worth it to salvage when you're low leveled, and just sell the salvageable items for money, since you have a more immediate use for cash. Gathering foodstuffs is kinda fun for the items you get (blueberries, carrots, onions, lettuce, mushrooms...), even if you don't plan to cook. Gathering wood I would skip. But the mining pick I would pick up, because while you are gathering mineral resources, there is always a random chance to pick up upgrade rocks, which you can immediately apply to your EQ/weapons to give it buffs. The pop rate isn't common, but I picked up two of these on the human and 3-4 on the charr (I mined more on the charr).
* You get at least 1 small bag from personal quests, so don't buy all four bags for your slots immediately.
* Not all normal [Merchant] people sell the same thing. And only a subset of merchants sell the tools for resource gathering. The nearest merchant to when you finish the initial tutorial is one of them. There are also different grades of those tools, with higher level ones sold by higher level merchants. Basically, each tool gathers a set # of resources (there's a counter on it that decrements on use kinda like salvage kits do). Higher level tools have higher starting counters, I guess (I didn't buy any).
* Banks (account storage) is only located in the main cities; mostly so to make the golem bankers in the cash shop worth something, maybe? However, there's always a waypoint near it, so you can teleport there anytime (for a small fee). The only time I could see that as an issue is if you're grouped and teleporting in/out of the city kicks you to an overflow server while the rest of your group is still in the actual server.
* I don't see the point of having crafting stations anywhere but in the cities next to the bank storage, but apparently there are crafting stations out in the world at some towns.
* Personal story quests give a lot more XP than anything else. I think they give on the range of 2200 XP on average. They do have minimum level suggestions which they will warn you of if you are underlevel. I suppose if you're really elite in combat you can still do them when underlevel, but there's really no point since you'll be even more underlevel for the next one. I don't think there's ever more than one PE for the same level.
* Dynamic events give around 200-600 XP. I forget what heart quests give but it's probably around the low hundreds range. Mobs give something like 12-15 per kill with occasional bonuses of +20-25 (no idea what gets you a bonus, might be if you're killing something as part of a DE). To gain a level you need something like 6250 XP (I don't think that increases as you level, but I can't be sure). So yeah, you are going to have a harder time leveling if you don't do the personal story quests.
* Event scaling seems to work...eh, mostly ok, I guess (when not bugged - looking at you, giant moa). I've been part of boss fights when it's just 2-3 participants, to when it's a huge zerg. The rewards...eh, seems to err on the side of giving you more, IMO. There was this one skill quest where I got a couple of hits on the boss mob, died, and then sat navel gazing at the rez waypoint some distance away. After 15 mins or so, some other group of players must've killed it, and I got a notification that I got gold level for that event. *shrug*
* Event scaling can occasionally be bugged (looking at you again, giant moa). I might also consider the charr flame shaman guy as well. Basically, there are some bosses whose damage scales with # of players and are apparently uncapped. This means with more than 10 players engaging it, it starts to one-shot everyone. Now couple that with AoE skills and the boss becomes near impossible to kill. The giant moa and the charr shaman could usually be found with about 20 corpses of players around them and maybe 10 players left alive trying to desperate rez their friends and putting in bits of damage to keep the boss from regenerating.
* There are some events tied to a waypoint location (usually it's one of those defend location X from mob species Y type events). When those events are occurring, those waypoints show up on the map as contested and you can't use them to teleport. I guess it's a way to imply permanent effects of the DE (especially if you fail the defense), and also a way to let people know there's some event going on there even if you're far off.
* If you pull a mob from another DE into a waypoint location, it does not disable the waypoint. It does give whoever is teleporting in a rude surprise, however. (Bad moa, bad!)
* According to people who leveled up further than I did, the spread of events is that there's a few isolated DE's in the lvl 1-6 range that's not really chained, then a few chained stuff in the lvl 10 range, and then a bunch of really complex event chains in the lvl 15-25 range. If that's true, and considering the rewards for personal quests, I'm taking back much of my criticism in my first review for the norn starting area. I still think the norn area in general is harder than the charr/human zones, but it's not lacking in content.
* Not all event chains immediately follow one after another, though some do. For many, after you finish a DE, stick around for a few minutes and see if there's any followup instead of mapping right out.
* Rallying before you've been defeated does not damage equipment. Being defeated and then someone else rezzing you does, however.
* Personally, I found the strafe keys much more critical than the turn keys. No matter what your class, you're going to need to strafe the mob you're attacking in most cases. The turn keys aren't useful unless you are running to a remote location and don't want to bother with the mouse to turn. So I ended up binding both "Q"/"A" and "E"/"D" to strafe so I wouldn't accidentally press the wrong one. And left the left/right arrow keys to turn; which I've only used when positioning my character for screenshots.
* Some of the hardest parts in PvE are not so because the mobs themselves are hard, but because it's an enclosed area (usually a tunnel going underground or a long narrow pass between cliffs) and the mobs spawn faster than you can kill them off as a casual solo player. So for instance, you kill one mob and then move further inwards, but when attacking the second or third mob, the previous mobs you've killed respawn right where you're standing and then you're in a 1v3 or worse fight. These same areas become challenging but manageable with two characters together, and easily manageable with three characters. So I'm not sure if this is perhaps an intended mechanic to encourage players grouping/helping each other out.
* Paraphrasing the words of someone on the forums - there are those few players who can take a melee character and roll groups of higher level mobs in a few seconds...and there's everyone else; and that everyone else includes all those people who rolled melee characters who will soon switch to ranged if they don't want to spend most of their time waiting for rez. Basically, it's not impossible to play melee, it just takes much more "skillz". Ranged is much more casual friendly and gives bigger room for error; it can also be more "spammy" for the hardcore inclined.
* Camera zoom in/out seems to be very limited. You can zoom in far enough to mimic FPS (like you can in GW1) and you can't zoom out all that much either to get a broad view of the landscape. While it's still playable, I'd like to see a broader zooming range available.
* Unlocking skills for a weapon requires 5 kills for skill 2, 10, for skill 3, 15 for skill 4, and 20 for skill 5. Not sure how that works for each attunement on the ele. You have to kill actual mobs with a level to them, not unleveled woodland creatures. It does make weapon unlocks a pain the more weapons you try to unlock though. I can't imagine what the warrior has to go through with the largest number of usable weapons. My suggestion would be to make it a flat 5 kills per skill to tone down the grind.
* Apparently the number icon on your skillbar changes to red when you are out of range of the selected mob to use that skill on. I learned this from the forums after the Beta was over. (Another failure for the learning curve/tutorial. -_-)