It’s been a while since I played any MMOs, including GW2. Since the expansion is coming up, I decided to play and try to make up my mind if I would splurge on getting a copy of Heart of Thorns. I probably will, since GW2 is so easy to dip in and out of. The catch is I might wait until a sale occurs since it isn’t like I have tons of characters at the level cap ready to burst into the jungle.
So I logged into my higher level characters, and felt a bit lost. I had an exclamation point in the upper left corner that basically said “you need to re-pick your build” and when I went to look at the changes, the UI was totally revamped.
As Syp lists in his post on coming back to formerly played characters, it can be disorienting. I have a level 80 and 74 in GW2, I kinda didn’t want to ask a series of dumb questions in chat. 😉 Instead I went to the wiki and started reading a bit before putting that aside – I’d rather figure stuff out again instead of studying the game before playing. How hard can it be to start a new char – won’t the developer smooth the learning curve?
As it turns out, yes ArenaNet did. At least so far. Last time I started a character, you had to swap weapons in order to use each one a number of times to unlock skills – 3 for main hand weapons, 2 for off hand weapons, 5 for double handed weapons, etc. Now it appears that early skills are unlocked by level, and swapping weapons (manually, dual wielding in order to quickly swap isn’t unlocked for me just yet) gives a notification that a new skill is learned immediately.
Another thing I noticed is underwater sections don’t have the breath timer… however that might be something that comes back in later zones.
I have a bunch of birthday scrolls, both level 20 and level 30, that would instantly bump my new characters up, but I am determined not to use them. First, getting to level 20 isn’t that much time, and second, I don’t want to miss the gradual introduction of new mechanics; that’s half the reason I started some new characters!
I re-rolled a Guardian, and deleted a Thief in order to roll an additional Mesmer. Both are Asura because for various reasons, I really like that race. I couldn’t get into the culture of the Norn or Charr, humans are a standard race, and my other Mesmer is a Sylvari, which isn’t bad, but not as cool (to me) as Asura. I like the look of the capital city Rata Sum, the mad scientist/inventor vibe, and also like short characters in general. Nothing is so fun as having a short character beating on a giant landscape mob (e.g. hobbit taking on a mountain giant in LoTRO).
Graphics appear to be revamped as well, in early Metrica Province I don’t remember so many translucent neon effects, holographic plants and storm effects. It looks great!
I only had an hour to play, so I work on my new Guardian. An hour of leisurely exploring and basic shopping (purchase available weapons) got me to level 6. I hit a few scenic vistas, filled in some hearts, and had a fun time.