GW2 – Free Weekend

It has been a while since I played GW2, so I decided to jump back in and also try out the Mac client.

My main char, Aurora Tian, is somewhere towards the end of the storyline, on a mission named “Starving the Beast” out in Malchor’s Leap. I decided to roll up a new char instead. My two favorite professions from GW1 were ranger and mesmer, and I decided to start a new mesmer. What tipped me that direction was seeing a mesmer leveling guide on reddit, which also linked to some great videos.

I watched the first video and learned a ton. It’s kind of embarrassing actually, you see, I made it all the way to level 80 on my ele without understanding how combos worked. Ouch! I thought 2+ players were involved: one to lay down a combo field, and another to use a finisher skill. I was intrigued to see Mr. Prometheus (from the videos) doing both sides of the combo equation — and giving bonuses to his clones/phantasms! Hm… that sheds a different light on how I play my ele. I supposed I did OK in zerging action because other players were triggering the effects with combo finishers – in those situations I stayed back in water attunement and placed water combo fields. However, it seems that I can find better synergies among my own weapon skills by supplying both the field and finisher skill.

For now, I was eager to play a new char in a starter area. I went with a Sylvari mesmer (I also redid my other char slots and wound up with a Norn ranger, Charr guardian, Human thief. This way, someday way down the road I’ll theoretically be able to see portions of all the racial storylines) and dinked around Caledon Forest for a bit.

The early levels in GW2 are fun because every few minutes you are unlocking new weapon skills and the leveling is fairly fast as well. I grabbed all the weapons mesmers can use and was sure to keep swapping them around in order to unlock more skills, and then visited my Hall of Monuments to transmute all the weapons and armor into fancier looking items.

The game looks pretty good on my Mac Mini. Here is a screenshot of my mesmer standing outside the portal to The Grove:

Mesmer Costume (mac)
Mesmer Costume (mac)

and here is a screenshot of the same pose on my PC:

Mesmer Costume (pc)
Mesmer Costume (pc)

The similarity is good enough for me! Unfortunately my PC still hits the video problems I had months ago, despite always updating to newest video drivers, so I’m glad I have an alternate computer to play GW2 on. The game plays identically on the Mac/OSX as the PC/Windows. For the tech minded, my gaming notebook has GeForce 285M graphics, while the Mac Mini has Intel HD4000 integrated graphics. That probably matters for people who run insane resolutions or with every setting maxed out, but I’m happy. For my regular graphics demands, the only difference is a bit of text that says “Mac Beta” at the top, to the right of all the icons. You can spot it in this next screenshot where I didn’t hide the UI:

Mac GW2
Mac GW2

In the options menu, taking a screenshot is bound to the “Print Screen” key… which doesn’t exist on most Mac keyboards. I have an Apple wired keyboard, which also doesn’t have a Print Screen key. However, there is an F13 key and it works as Print Screen, letting me have the same easy one-key screenshots I have on my PC (at least in GW2).

Actually, I just realized there is one slight difference between the PC and Mac versions of GW2: PC screenshots go into the Documents\Guild Wars 2\Screens folder, while Mac screenshots go onto the desktop (the game client message refers to the D: drive). Basically, no gameplay differences I’ve noticed at all, and the screenshot destination is too trivial to worry about, haha.

I kept going until I unlocked all weapon skills except for spear (I don’t really like the underwater portions of the map as much as the land areas – I get disoriented trying to determine which direction an attack is coming from) and hit level 11 where I earned a trait point. I spent it on Illusionists Celerity, following the leveling guide suggestion. Sometimes I enjoy fiddling with builds and taking a different path than typical (e.g. earth magic on my elementalist) and sometimes I’m good with being lazy and following someone else’s build suggestions (e.g. my mesmer so far).

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One thought on “GW2 – Free Weekend”

  1. The early levels in GW2 are fun because every few minutes you are unlocking new weapon skills and the leveling is fairly fast as well. I grabbed all the weapons mesmers can use and was sure to keep swapping them around in order to unlock more skills, and then visited my Hall of Monuments to transmute all the weapons and armor into fancier looking items.

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