Profession ImpressionsJune 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 30 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
It’s a little late to call these first impressions. We’ve had 2 beta weekends and a stress test so I’ve had a bit of time to think about it. Still it’s not as though I’ve been playing the game for months so here are some basic thoughts.
I’ve got more time logged on the medium classes, thief, engineer, and ranger, so there will be more detailed thoughts there. Also as I didn’t play a whole lot in the 2nd weekend, perhaps some of these concerns have been addressed? I’m not sure.
I loved this class far more than I thought I would. The rifle is okay but I found a certain rhythm with the pistols and turrets that felt natural and felt like a character I’d like to play. It felt like I could do a lot of different things at once even without switching to weapon kits thanks to the numerous conditions and abilities of skills.
There is a learning curve when switching out kits quickly and efficiently, or placing turrets effectively, but I thought otherwise it was very diverse in play styles.
Glue Shot is my main gripe with pistols on engineer. Didn’t really get a chance to play much on the weekend so I can’t confirm if it was any different but I didn’t like it previously.
In the past I have been apprehensive about pets for rangers. I’ve advocated in particular for more complex pet control aside from being given a single pet skill to use. I stand by that. Nothing has changed in that regard.
That isn’t the only problem. I love the pets, bonding with them, the range of selection but the AI is still substandard. They should be attacking the moment I’m attacking but they don’t. Couple that with poor survivability (particularly with bird pets) and more than half the time your pet isn’t doing anything. It’s not doing damage, using its skills, or taking aggro.
That being said it is a fun class to play. One of the few melee classes I didn’t mind much at all. The skills are moving you around a lot on the battlefield, it makes you feel nimble.
Shortbow I wasn’t a fan of because it didn’t seem versatile enough, and axes just had that “felt wrong” vibe for my personal play style. Longbow on the other hand was a lot of fun in the ranged department.
At times thief felt awkward. Usually when I was using daggers or long sword. Heartseeker felt like it didn’t have the range it should, and too many times it seemed like I wasn’t attacking correctly, likely just a skillset that didn’t fit me as a player.
Shortbow and pistols though were fun and complimented each other. I felt like pistols were a great single target skill set with shortbow being great for multiple targets. Switching back and forth between those two weapons is my favourite part of that class.
Steal is a fun mechanic but because I was often playing ranged it more often put me into danger rather than saved me from it. Effective for a melee thief of course, but not my ranged thief.
Initiative didn’t appear to be as much of a problem as I had thought. I had briefly said it seemed rather pointless, and I stand by that but I’m sure some people will find it fun and it doesn’t appear to get in my way at least.
Warrior seemed like a warrior. A big armoured buffoon blundering into situations, shrugging off attacks, doing damage. Just clobbering things over the head with whatever is at hand.
The ranged weapons, rifle and longbow, felt more like something you’d switch to when you’re not doing melee. Perhaps rifle could be used as a primary weapon but I never found that to be the case with longbow.
The unique mechanic constantly has this feeling like you’re about to set off an explosion which is good. It’s a lot of fun in that way, and the visceral sense you get from a lot of the melee weapons is also sucks you in. You definitely feel like you’re in the fight.
I really liked great sword and hammer which to me sort of feel like the reason this class exists.
I don’t even really know what to say about guardian. A lot of people seem to like guardian but it isn’t the class for me. I’m sure someone will find the various things the class has going for it entertaining but I felt like it had little to offer.
The virtues are okay. They didn’t feel like a particularly great unique mechanic that wowed me but they did save my butt once or twice.
I don’t think I’ll surprise anyone who played guardian by saying that Greatsword was overpowered, and to a lesser extent for rangers and warriors as well. It just felt like you were never in any danger as long as you were using Whirling Wrath, I think it’s called.
Every person I talked to raved about using daggers on elementalist, so it’s a shame I never really got around to it. Mostly I had a scepter and focus and didn’t enjoy those weapons at all. The first two elements I unlocked, fire then water, seemed too similar. They both had an AoE that focused on a location where the target used to be. I found my targets moving or dying before getting off Dragon’s Tooth or Shatterstone.
Air on the other hand immediately became fun as it reminded me greatly of Star Wars, and I think we all know how I feel about that. Arc Lightning just has an excellent feel.
Aside from that it felt like it took way too long to unlock skills on elementalist. In general this eventually became tedious on all characters, but seemed highlighted by the number of elements you have to unlock for each weapon. I think it needs to be toned down towards the end.
I disliked this class the most, though that should be taken with a grain of salt because I’ve also spent the least time with mesmer.
Staff in particular felt like it had the most useless first skill out of any weapon on any class in the game. I do not appreciate random effects, whether they be boons or conditions. But there was also the problem of damage, where virtually every other class has a clean damaging skill to begin with, mesmer goes with out. Fortunately that is just one skill.
What was more of a problem for me was how useless I felt any time an enemy moved to melee range. My only option became dodging, which is fine, but you only have so much endurance to dodge.
I probably gave this class too little time however, as I only tried staff, scepter and focus.
The clones and phantasms were okay. I don’t think I liked their AI that much but they did their job. It’s hard to say if they were underpowered or not given that I spent so little time with them but it did seem that way.
I think anyone who liked the old necromancer will be pleased to play the same class again in Guild Wars 2. No class more closely resembles the gameplay of the original game than the necro in my opinion, whether it was a blood build, a minion master, curses or otherwise. Except now you can play them all at once, sort of.
Perhaps one of the things that stands out most about necromancer is that it has so much atmosphere. More so than in any other class, you feel like you’re playing the class you picked.
Getting to gameplay, certainly the minion master felt very similar. Having that moving wall surrounding you seemed like a bit of nostalgia.
I think I had the same problem with necromancer that I had with all the scholar classes though. They felt squishy, I felt kind of disconnected from combat, they didn’t really feel like my thing. I chalk that up to personal preference however and not their design.
Anywho, just a post I had sitting in drafts for a while that I thought I’d publish.
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