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Thoughts of a very new player to GW2


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Just for fun I thought I'd offer the perspective of  someone who's just recently come into the game.  This late in an MMO's lifespan it can be a bit unusual to see someone's first impressions and it might prove illuminating to the devs who are undoubtedly trying to court more people into playing.

 

The tl;dr is the world feels highly creative, but also impersonal; the combat's mechanically complex but overall mostly satisfying; and I can already tell inventory management is where most of the friction is going to come from.

 

BACKGROUND

 

A bit of personal history before I start.

 

I've spent the past year getting deep into Elder Scrolls Online so my opinion's going to be colored somewhat from that experience.  Before that I frequented City of Heroes.  Months ahead of the closure  I'd purchased the base game of Guild Wars 2, but didn't get very far because my computer at the time couldn't run it.  So I have the 5 character slots in GW2, but that's about my only current advantage.

 

Occasionally in the intervening years I dabbled in Champions Online and Star Trek Online but neither really took.  So while I've had experience playing other MMOs before, there's no doubt it's not as comprehensive as some others here.

 

The sunsetting of CoH 7 years ago is what swore me off to ever giving NCsoft any more money.  To be frank I didn't trust them to not pull the plug on another title, and was a little bitter towards the publisher.  Recently with the lack of crackdowns on fan servers I've eased up on my stance and decided to give GW2 another chance.

 

As such, my perspective is from someone who joined the game without friends or a guild pressuring me to do so.  I'm currently flying solo, apart from all of you wonderful folk.  Also for anyone curious I'm freely switching between my gaming rig and my phone with a Razer Kishi attached.

 

With all that out of the way, the Living World giveaway is what first drew my attention to coming back.

 

STARTING OUT

 

I'd decided to start with a Sylvari Elementalist.  Thinking that the profession was as close to a pure DPS as one might get, and thus an easy role to learn on.  I'd soon come to know this was a lot to take in for a first character.

 

Along with a fair number of options that I chose with a semi-random inclination.  Honestly I've still no idea how important some of these choices are.  But steeling myself against the uncertainty I pressed on.

 

Overall impressions of the character creator were quite good.  There's a seeming lack of dyes at the start, and I spent far too much time customizing the colors of the armor, only to learn that there's an entire unlockable system.  My first mistake, oof.

 

So off we go to kill a tree dragon.

 

Dodging, no global cooldown, weapon swapping.  Okay, all pretty digestible.

 

Even though it does all come at you pretty quickly.  I couldn't help but feel that I was missing and overlooking a ton of information.  The overly detailed tooltips were something I wish I could par down to their concise core elements.  If the interface defaulted to simple tooltips, which you could then change manually after you got a better feel for the skills it'd have made life for my green-friend a lot easier.

 

Maybe even with a bindable toggle if some kind dev was feeling generous.

 

The first big plus, there's a cat in the starting area.  Okay, I can work with this.  He's pretty cute; the termites and grubs decidedly less so.  But the world is shiny and gorgeous and that's enough to keep my attention.  And I'm reminded of the fact that the game released at the height of a trend where designers cranked their bloom to ridiculous amounts.  Why create highly detailed textures when you can just blind your audience?  Brilliant.  Note for later, I might need to install reshade to tone some of this down.

 

Anyway, I'd have to worry about a proper rotation later, for now keeping things off cooldown would be the best I could manage.  Hopefully this will be a little more forgiving than Dark Souls.  And it is, but still... as soon as I get comfortable with the skills, they change on me!

 

What I'd not known before jumping into the game should be obvious to all of you.  Weapons change your skills.  But there was a gap in my knowledge, it doesn't make intuitive sense for a dagger to change skills based off of elemental magic.

 

Hmm, maybe I should rethink the logic of having a flammable plant be a pyromancer.  But I quickly place that thought aside realizing that people are flammable too.

I appreciate the depth and complexity of the system, but if I'm just getting my feet wet that's a little much to throw at a player.  If the devs staggered that information over more time, it'd have felt like more of an achievement unlocking that level of progression.

 

Each new weapon feels like a new way to play.  Yet each time my bar swapped it felt like backtracking.  The entire experience let me hesitant to explore new gear apart from simple stat boosts.  And ultimately, exhausted.

 

Exploring the valley was a visual delight.  Rescuing some plant dogs from spiders went fairly well.  What is it with fantasy games and spiders anyway?  Visions of Skyrim briefly cross my memory, and I wonder with amusement if I'll get some frostbite venom.

 

Keep in mind at this point I'd never even heard of a Norn.  

 

Capping my first Vista was an unexpected treat.  It's surprising how the little things can be their own reward.  In other games movement is considered empowering.  So it doesn't take long to gain the ability to fly or run at superspeed.  But rarely did I feel accomplished just by being somewhere.  Moving, sure.  But just standing and taking in the sights, rarely if ever.

 

That said, man I really miss having a mount.  Someone else is riding a dinosaur or something, there's a flying manta-ray, I'm totally ready!  Where's the stablemaster?  Oh wait...

 

So that's a bust.

 

It's probably for the best.  I might have been tempted to drop a few gems towards one.

 

THE STORY

 

Around level 9 I have to reassess things.  It's a nice enough world, but it's a bit lonely.  The NPCs only have barks, and they don't even ask me directly for help.  Heart quests just feel kinda there.  And my impact with their story doesn't exist.

 

Even if I didn't help someone else would.  I can't shake the feeling that they're quest-givers, not people with their own lives and their own stories.  That lack of connection makes it hard to care.

Is that all this game is?

 

It's not made clear that the tutorial encompasses the first 10 levels.  And the Personal Story essentially starts shortly thereafter.

 

Clearly narrative isn't going to be a huge draw, but I do appreciate the general worldbuilding in the most ubiquitous sense of the word.  I truly believe someone somewhere wrote a history of the setting, and there's a lovely charm to it all.

 

Time to put this salad aside.  Time to roll someone new.  Stepping aside and doing a bit of research for myself I decide that the class that will tax my control scheme the most is a Mezmer.  If I can tackle that with a controller it should hold up to anything.

 

I decide on a human this time for a different flavor.  Oh she's fine, I love seeing clones and causing them to explode on cue.  It's just the world is so dull!

 

Farms, fields, and little fishing villages as far as the eye can see.  It's so rural.  Where's the political intrigue, the cutthroat backstabbery.  I long for the macabre while trapped in the shire.  The Sylvari had an alluring alien aesthetic, this is just rote generic township #17.

 

At level 7 I've had enough.  Screw it, if the game wants to keep my attention it'll have to do better.  Maybe one of the higher leveled zones will flex and impress.

 

Oh wait, I can actually go through the gate to the giant city?  It's not locked?  Hmm.

 

Holy smokes, this is what I'm talking about!  Over the next hour or two I just walk around like an abandoned kid on the Las Vegas strip.

 

There's circuses and arenas, aquariums and arboretums.  Kids chasing and playing with one another; something so rarely seen from bethesda.  There's neighborhoods on the walls.  On the walls!

For the first time I feel a little bit of that magic you find when visiting a new exotic country.  I wish I could take in the scent of the spices at the marketplaces, and I'm so thankful I can't smell the sewage that comes from medieval cities.

 

So many people.  So many players! And they all look so creative.  There's an unrestrained-ness to them.  I see an immodest woman made of starlight.  A cat person with a pet golem in toe.  There's music playing on the bridge.  Wait, I know that melody.

 

It's Jurassic Park!  How the hell is someone playing the theme to Jurassic Park?  This city doesn't just have bards that strum emotes, it has buskers.  How amazingly creative and cool is that.

 

And that's when I know... My wallet's going to hurt soon.

 

THE STORE

 

There's a decision to be made.  Games like this, that is to say free to play MMOs, have a reputation of being designed to be inconvenient.  Already I'm reaching the limits of my modest little bag, and inventory space will surely be a problem soon.

 

I could and I should look into fixing that as soon as possible, if at a reasonable price.

 

On the other hand, buying the expansions will cost about as much.  New lands to explore and the level boost would open up a quick way to reach endgame.

 

But here's the rub, I know myself.  And in the hours I've sunk into this, half have been working on the UI.  The truth is, I'm still a scrub at playing.  At this rate I'd probably be a liability to team fights.  And although it pains me to admit it, getting to 80 the long way is probably the smart move.

 

So I break down and get 4000 gems.  1400 go to 2 shared inventory slots.  1000 goes to the Passkey to the mist-station.  800 to the Copper-O-Matic.  Which leaves just enough for glasses and cat ear cosmetics.  Because cat ears.  Come on, I'm not a monster.

 

Instantly I am rich and poor in equal measure.  The last 99 gems get exchanged directly to gold in what I can only assume is a bad deal.

 

Yes, it's not a good look, but it nets me around 25 gold to play with on the market.  And oh boy, I'm ready to spend.

By now I have a full roster of toons.  For anyone keeping score that's a new Sylvari Ranger girl that I've decided to keep as my main, an Asuran male engineer, a little Norn who has some serious Kitara vibes, and the two you already know.  And you know what?  They're all looking kind of darb.

 

The most expensive dye I get is Celestial white, but everything else is quite reasonable.  Even the blackest blacks are only 1 gold each.  Yes, I know paying market rate instead of properly waiting for a deal is a good way to get ripped off.  But whatever, these aren't for resale.  And some seller's going to make bank so everybody wins.

 

At the end of my shopping spree I'm left with around 14 gold to expand the inventory on everyone.  That knocks me down to earth again with 55 silver.  Less than what I started with at the beginning of all this.

 

Well, easy come easy go.

 

I chat up a few kind veterans and they let me know the easiest way to get gold is to work on your dailies.  Sage advice if I weren't under leveled by 65.  It might as well be 65 thousand.  But I file it away like a taco; food for thought later.

 

And I stay there high above the world for a while.  Just watching people come and go.  There's an active community here.  All manner of beast, shape, and creed.  Everyone with an opinion and

somewhere to be.  A monster with their name on it, a craft that needs crafting, or the call to explore.

 

I decide I like Guild Wars 2.

 

Sure it might not be everything I want.  What I look for in a game can be very persnickety.  But clearly there is something here that people love.

 

I might not stay, I might not even stay long.  But I'm glad that I came.

 

Imagine my delight when I return the following day and am rewarded with actual story.  Even a campaign!  At this moment all I can write is my excitement.  The details will come in their own time, but it's something to be appreciated in the now.

 

All I can really say is good fortune to you and good luck in your own journey going forward.

 

A FEW TECHNICAL ISSUES

 

Story and gameplay are one thing.  Support problems fall into their own category and I don't mean  to bore you with the less interesting minutia.  This is more for any developer who might happen upon the post.


Floaters:

--Floating numbers work well on large screens, but are horribly distracting on smaller devices.  I don't need to see a flood of 3s to know I'm doing damage.

--Even less important than combat floaters, are experience floaters.  They're just more visual noise that keep me from seeing the action.

--This is only made more of a problem with scaling issues.  To show menus properly on a tiny phone/tablet screen the elements need to be scaled to their largest which consequently makes the numbers huge as well.

 

Keybinds:

--There's no bind for Journal.  A fantasy game where your quest log is buried?  That's unwelcome.

--There's no keybinds for any tab!  Some of that I can understand like on the guild window.  But for more common actions like Dyes and Achievements?  Really, achievements?

--Admittedly this is more of an issue on mobile as controlling a mouse cursor is less precise than on a desktop.  Typically you'd be forced to use radial pie menus and other controller based solutions.  And honestly I wouldn't ask you for that.  Middleware like steam link works just fine in handling the details, so long as I could directly pull up tabs with a keypress.

--You can't toggle the music or the sound on and off with a keypress.  Not many games do this, but MMOs are grindy and users often play while watching other media.  Having a quick assignable option is just another way of making things convenient, as these actions will probably have to be repeated a few times during each extra long session.

 

UI Elements:

-The chat box background should automatically fade after a period of inactivity.  It really does help with immersion and to a smaller extent situational awareness.  Togglable would be good since some people dislike this feature.

--The map is going to take some getting used to.  It's not clear what services exist at certain levels of elevation in some of the cities.

--Being able to toggle certain services and landmarks off and on is more useful than you'd think.  A blinking icon is far easier to find than a static one.

--The fog of war is a very cool effect, but it's also slightly confusing.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.

--The compass is fine.  Just fine.  Not great or terrible.  Having an option to center that bit on the upper part of the screen would be a nice QoL thing but I'm not shedding any tears over it.

 

Gem Store:

--Something that's not communicated well is that a Total Makeover pass grants the player cosmetic options that are previously unavailable to them at their inception.  For quite a while I didn't know there even were other hair styles and colors!

--Fix your payment options.  I had to go to Amazon for gem keys.  Twice.

 

Highlights:

--The action bar's excellent.  Clearly laid out, easy to read.  No complaints there.

--There's no crazy typefaces.  Simple can be good, and I'm cool with that.

--The main menu fading at the start screen is a nice touch.  I wish more elements did this.

--Showing what professions you have on each toon at the start screen is fantastic.  That's some wonderful foresight.

Edited by Driftpaws.2031
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24 minutes ago, Driftpaws.2031 said:

Just for fun I thought I'd offer the perspective of  someone who's just recently come into the game.  This late in an MMO's lifespan it can be a bit unusual to see someone's first impressions and it might prove illuminating to the devs who are undoubtedly trying to court more people into playing.

 

The tl;dr is the world feels highly creative, but also impersonal; the combat's mechanically complex but overall mostly satisfying; and I can already tell inventory management is where most of the friction is going to come from.

 

BACKGROUND

 

A bit of personal history before I start.

 

I've spent the past year getting deep into Elder Scrolls Online so my opinion's going to be colored somewhat from that experience.  Before that I frequented City of Heroes.  Months ahead of the closure  I'd purchased the base game of Guild Wars 2, but didn't get very far because my computer at the time couldn't run it.  So I have the 5 character slots in GW2, but that's about my only current advantage.

 

Occasionally in the intervening years I dabbled in Champions Online and Star Trek Online but neither really took.  So while I've had experience playing other MMOs before, there's no doubt it's not as comprehensive as some others here.

 

The sunsetting of CoH 7 years ago is what swore me off to ever giving NCsoft any more money.  To be frank I didn't trust them to not pull the plug on another title, and was a little bitter towards the publisher.  Recently with the lack of crackdowns on fan servers I've eased up on my stance and decided to give GW2 another chance.

 

As such, my perspective is from someone who joined the game without friends or a guild pressuring me to do so.  I'm currently flying solo, apart from all of you wonderful reddit folk.  Also for anyone curious I'm freely switching between my gaming rig and my phone with a Razer Kishi attached.

 

With all that out of the way, the Living World giveaway is what first drew my attention to coming back.

 

STARTING OUT

 

I'd decided to start with a Sylvari Elementalist.  Thinking that the profession was as close to a pure DPS as one might get, and thus an easy role to learn on.  I'd soon come to know this was a lot to take in for a first character.

 

Along with a fair number of options that I chose with a semi-random inclination.  Honestly I've still no idea how important some of these choices are.  But steeling myself against the uncertainty I pressed on.

 

Overall impressions of the character creator were quite good.  There's a seeming lack of dyes at the start, and I spent far too much time customizing the colors of the armor, only to learn that there's an entire unlockable system.  My first mistake, oof.

 

So off we go to kill a tree dragon.

 

Dodging, no global cooldown, weapon swapping.  Okay, all pretty digestible.

 

Even though it does all come at you pretty quickly.  I couldn't help but feel that I was missing and overlooking a ton of information.  The overly detailed tooltips were something I wish I could par down to their concise core elements.  If the interface defaulted to simple tooltips, which you could then change manually after you got a better feel for the skills it'd have made life for my green-friend a lot easier.

 

Maybe even with a bindable toggle if some kind dev was feeling generous.

 

The first big plus, there's a cat in the starting area.  Okay, I can work with this.  He's pretty cute; the termites and grubs decidedly less so.  But the world is shiny and gorgeous and that's enough to keep my attention.  And I'm reminded of the fact that the game released at the height of a trend where designers cranked their bloom to ridiculous amounts.  Why create highly detailed textures when you can just blind your audience?  Brilliant.  Note for later, I might need to install reshade to tone some of this down.

 

Anyway, I'd have to worry about a proper rotation later, for now keeping things off cooldown would be the best I could manage.  Hopefully this will be a little more forgiving than Dark Souls.  And it is, but still... as soon as I get comfortable with the skills, they change on me!

 

What I'd not known before jumping into the game should be obvious to all of you.  Weapons change your skills.  But there was a gap in my knowledge, it doesn't make intuitive sense for a dagger to change skills based off of elemental magic.

 

Hmm, maybe I should rethink the logic of having a flammable plant be a pyromancer.  But I quickly place that thought aside realizing that people are flammable too.

I appreciate the depth and complexity of the system, but if I'm just getting my feet wet that's a little much to throw at a player.  If the devs staggered that information over more time, it'd have felt like more of an achievement unlocking that level of progression.

 

Each new weapon feels like a new way to play.  Yet each time my bar swapped it felt like backtracking.  The entire experience let me hesitant to explore new gear apart from simple stat boosts.  And ultimately, exhausted.

 

Exploring the valley was a visual delight.  Rescuing some plant dogs from spiders went fairly well.  What is it with fantasy games and spiders anyway?  Visions of Skyrim briefly cross my memory, and I wonder with amusement if I'll get some frostbite venom.

 

Keep in mind at this point I'd never even heard of a Norn.  

 

Capping my first Vista was an unexpected treat.  It's surprising how the little things can be their own reward.  In other games movement is considered empowering.  So it doesn't take long to gain the ability to fly or run at superspeed.  But rarely did I feel accomplished just by being somewhere.  Moving, sure.  But just standing and taking in the sights, rarely if ever.

 

That said, man I really miss having a mount.  Someone else is riding a dinosaur or something, there's a flying manta-ray, I'm totally ready!  Where's the stablemaster?  Oh wait...

 

So that's a bust.

 

It's probably for the best.  I might have been tempted to drop a few gems towards one.

 

THE STORY

 

Around level 9 I have to reassess things.  It's a nice enough world, but it's a bit lonely.  The NPCs only have barks, and they don't even ask me directly for help.  Heart quests just feel kinda there.  And my impact with their story doesn't exist.

 

Even if I didn't help someone else would.  I can't shake the feeling that they're quest-givers, not people with their own lives and their own stories.  That lack of connection makes it hard to care.

Is that all this game is?

 

It's not made clear that the tutorial encompasses the first 10 levels.  And the Personal Story essentially starts shortly thereafter.

 

Clearly narrative isn't going to be a huge draw, but I do appreciate the general worldbuilding in the most ubiquitous sense of the word.  I truly believe someone somewhere wrote a history of the setting, and there's a lovely charm to it all.

 

Time to put this salad aside.  Time to roll someone new.  Stepping aside and doing a bit of research for myself I decide that the class that will tax my control scheme the most is a Mezmer.  If I can tackle that with a controller it should hold up to anything.

 

I decide on a human this time for a different flavor.  Oh she's fine, I love seeing clones and causing them to explode on cue.  It's just the world is so dull!

 

Farms, fields, and little fishing villages as far as the eye can see.  It's so rural.  Where's the political intrigue, the cutthroat backstabbery.  I long for the macabre while trapped in the shire.  The Sylvari had an alluring alien aesthetic, this is just rote generic township #17.

 

At level 7 I've had enough.  Screw it, if the game wants to keep my attention it'll have to do better.  Maybe one of the higher leveled zones will flex and impress.

 

Oh wait, I can actually go through the gate to the giant city?  It's not locked?  Hmm.

 

Holy smokes, this is what I'm talking about!  Over the next hour or two I just walk around like an abandoned kid on the Las Vegas strip.

 

There's circuses and arenas, aquariums and arboretums.  Kids chasing and playing with one another; something so rarely seen from bethesda.  There's neighborhoods on the walls.  On the walls!

For the first time I feel a little bit of that magic you find when visiting a new exotic country.  I wish I could take in the scent of the spices at the marketplaces, and I'm so thankful I can't smell the sewage that comes from medieval cities.

 

So many people.  So many players! And they all look so creative.  There's an unrestrained-ness to them.  I see an immodest woman made of starlight.  A cat person with a pet golem in toe.  There's music playing on the bridge.  Wait, I know that melody.

 

It's Jurassic Park!  How the hell is someone playing the theme to Jurassic Park?  This city doesn't just have bards that strum emotes, it has buskers.  How amazingly creative and cool is that.

 

And that's when I know... My wallet's going to hurt soon.

 

THE STORE

 

There's a decision to be made.  Games like this, that is to say free to play MMOs, have a reputation of being designed to be inconvenient.  Already I'm reaching the limits of my modest little bag, and inventory space will surely be a problem soon.

 

I could and I should look into fixing that as soon as possible, if at a reasonable price.

 

On the other hand, buying the expansions will cost about as much.  New lands to explore and the level boost would open up a quick way to reach endgame.

 

But here's the rub, I know myself.  And in the hours I've sunk into this, half have been working on the UI.  The truth is, I'm still a scrub at playing.  At this rate I'd probably be a liability to team fights.  And although it pains me to admit it, getting to 80 the long way is probably the smart move.

 

So I break down and get 4000 gems.  1400 go to 2 shared inventory slots.  1000 goes to the Passkey to the mist-station.  800 to the Copper-O-Matic.  Which leaves just enough for glasses and cat ear cosmetics.  Because cat ears.  Come on, I'm not a monster.

 

Instantly I am rich and poor in equal measure.  The last 99 gems get exchanged directly to gold in what I can only assume is a bad deal.

 

Yes, it's not a good look, but it nets me around 25 gold to play with on the market.  And oh boy, I'm ready to spend.

By now I have a full roster of toons.  For anyone keeping score that's a new Sylvari Ranger girl that I've decided to keep as my main, an Asuran male engineer, a little Norn who has some serious Kitara vibes, and the two you already know.  And you know what?  They're all looking kind of darb.

 

The most expensive dye I get is Celestial white, but everything else is quite reasonable.  Even the blackest blacks are only 1 gold each.  Yes, I know paying market rate instead of properly waiting for a deal is a good way to get ripped off.  But whatever, these aren't for resale.  And some seller's going to make bank so everybody wins.

 

At the end of my shopping spree I'm left with around 14 gold to expand the inventory on everyone.  That knocks me down to earth again with 55 silver.  Less than what I started with at the beginning of all this.

 

Well, easy come easy go.

 

I chat up a few kind veterans and they let me know the easiest way to get gold is to work on your dailies.  Sage advice if I weren't under leveled by 65.  It might as well be 65 thousand.  But I file it away like a taco; food for thought later.

 

And I stay there high above the world for a while.  Just watching people come and go.  There's an active community here.  All manner of beast, shape, and creed.  Everyone with an opinion and

somewhere to be.  A monster with their name on it, a craft that needs crafting, or the call to explore.

 

I decide I like Guild Wars 2.

 

Sure it might not be everything I want.  What I look for in a game can be very persnickety.  But clearly there is something here that people love.

 

I might not stay, I might not even stay long.  But I'm glad that I came.

 

Imagine my delight when I return the following day and am rewarded with actual story.  Even a campaign!  At this moment all I can write is my excitement.  The details will come in their own time, but it's something to be appreciated in the now.

 

All I can really say is good fortune to you and good luck in your own journey going forward.

 

A FEW TECHNICAL ISSUES

 

Story and gameplay are one thing.  Support problems fall into their own category and I don't mean  to bore you with the less interesting minutia.  This is more for any developer who might happen upon the post.


Floaters:

--Floating numbers work well on large screens, but are horribly distracting on smaller devices.  I don't need to see a flood of 3s to know I'm doing damage.

--Even less important than combat floaters, are experience floaters.  They're just more visual noise that keep me from seeing the action.

--This is only made more of a problem with scaling issues.  To show menus properly on a tiny phone/tablet screen the elements need to be scaled to their largest which consequently makes the numbers huge as well.

 

Keybinds:

--There's no bind for Journal.  A fantasy game where your quest log is buried?  That's unwelcome.

--There's no keybinds for any tab!  Some of that I can understand like on the guild window.  But for more common actions like Dyes and Achievements?  Really, achievements?

--Admittedly this is more of an issue on mobile as controlling a mouse cursor is less precise than on a desktop.  Typically you'd be forced to use radial pie menus and other controller based solutions.  And honestly I wouldn't ask you for that.  Middleware like steam link works just fine in handling the details, so long as I could directly pull up tabs with a keypress.

--You can't toggle the music or the sound on and off with a keypress.  Not many games do this, but MMOs are grindy and users often play while watching other media.  Having a quick assignable option is just another way of making things convenient, as these actions will probably have to be repeated a few times during each extra long session.

 

UI Elements:

-The chat box background should automatically fade after a period of inactivity.  It really does help with immersion and to a smaller extent situational awareness.  Togglable would be good since some people dislike this feature.

--The map is going to take some getting used to.  It's not clear what services exist at certain levels of elevation in some of the cities.

--Being able to toggle certain services and landmarks off and on is more useful than you'd think.  A blinking icon is far easier to find than a static one.

--The fog of war is a very cool effect, but it's also slightly confusing.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.

--The compass is fine.  Just fine.  Not great or terrible.  Having an option to center that bit on the upper part of the screen would be a nice QoL thing but I'm not shedding any tears over it.

 

Gem Store:

--Something that's not communicated well is that a Total Makeover pass grants the player cosmetic options that are previously unavailable to them at their inception.  For quite a while I didn't know there even were other hair styles and colors!

--Fix your payment options.  I had to go to Amazon for gem keys.  Twice.

 

Highlights:

--The action bar's excellent.  Clearly laid out, easy to read.  No complaints there.

--There's no crazy typefaces.  Simple can be good, and I'm cool with that.

--The main menu fading at the start screen is a nice touch.  I wish more elements did this.

--Showing what professions you have on each toon at the start screen is fantastic.  That's some wonderful foresight.

The dye unlocking system seems to function similarly to ESO. The nice part about skinning and dying in GW2 which I find far superior to ESO is that you don't have to go to any station. You can apply skins and dyes at any time and at any place.

 

Here's a tip about unlocking things like dyes quickly: In the trading post, you can buy a stack of unidentified dyes fairly cheaply (I think a stack of 250 costs about 11 gp. You surely don't have to buy that many at once if you're still working on increasing wealth.). Then you just keep clicking on that stack and it will identify new dyes (each time you do, it takes a separate inventory slot). If you want the dye, consume it to unlock it for your entire account. If you don't, you can sell the dye back to the TP (most aren't very valuable, but if you're lucky you might find you've unlocked dyes worth 6 or 8 gp a pop, even upwards.) You will get a lot of duplicate dyes, so the ability to sell them back if nice. You can ALSO throw duplicates into the mystic forge, and it will combine four dyes into a new one (which might also be one you already have).

 

For a fairly small investment, you can unlock a good variety of dyes pretty much instantly.

 

Inventory management in GW2 can be almost as much of a pain as in ESO. However, you don't need to have a subscription (indeed there aren't any) to use material storage. So most crafting items won't be taking up inventory or bank slots until you have more than your material storage can handle. There's a button in your inventory's top right where you can deposit all the materials in your inventory to your account bank's material storage all at once, or you can right-click each one and choose to deposit them individually. Like ESO, materials are available account-wide, and you don't need to bring them with you to the crafting stations (though you will need to have them in your inventory to throw them into the Mystic Forge).

 

Bank slots are a good investment, and you can also increase the stack-size of your materials by spending gems. You can also craft bags of up to 32 spaces a piece to put into your slots, so if you're looking at 4, 5, and 8 slot bags, that's something you can change fairly quickly as well, and fairly cheaply. You can buy some bags, but you can also build up your crafting in some professions to make them. Also, some achievements award bags. I think you get 5 bag slots on a new character without purchasing more. You can increase your inventory up to 160 items without making one purchase from the gem store if you're patient enough.

 

GW2 and ESO have very different feels. You do have to pursue achievements in GW2 rather than having them walk up and present themselves to you, though there ARE npcs who will do that. The hearts are a little annoying, but each heart npc becomes a merchant upon completion. It's well worth buying some of the odd looking items you find there, as they will unlock collections that lead to greater rewards and more interesting content. Also, when you get to lvl 80 maps, many of the hearts need to be completed each day you wish to make purchase from that merchant, so it's well worth purusing their inventories and buying what you can if you don't want to repeat them at a future date. Those hearts will have infinity icons on them on the map after you've completed them so they are easy to identify, and everything below lvl 80 map hearts (I believe) will remain unlocked forever upon one completion.

 

I hope these tips help you with inventory and dyes. There are a lot of similarities between ESO and GW2. Sometimes, that makes it trickier for players coming to one from the other, because just when you think you understand what happens next, things are totally different.

 

I hope you enjoy Tyria!

 

OH! One more thing... Unlike ESO, GW2 changes DRASTICALLY after you reach lvl 80. The mastery point system kicks in and you can really start working on a lot of interesting things that ESO gives you right up front, but in its own fashion. GW2 is fun in the lower-level maps, but it really comes alive once you reach 80.

Edited by Danger Ferret.6342
One more thing!
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3 minutes ago, Danger Ferret.6342 said:

The dye unlocking system seems to function similarly to ESO. The nice part about skinning and dying in GW2 which I find far superior to ESO is that you don't have to go to any station. You can apply skins and dyes at any time and at any place.

 

Here's a tip about unlocking things like dyes quickly: In the trading post, you can buy a stack of unidentified dyes fairly cheaply (I think a stack of 250 costs about 11 gp. You surely don't have to buy that many at once if you're still working on increasing wealth.). Then you just keep clicking on that stack and it will identify new dyes (each time you do, it takes a separate inventory slot). If you want the dye, consume it to unlock it for your entire account. If you don't, you can sell the dye back to the TP (most aren't very valuable, but if you're lucky you might find you've unlocked dyes worth 6 or 8 gp a pop, even upwards.) You will get a lot of duplicate dyes, so the ability to sell them back if nice. You can ALSO throw duplicates into the mystic forge, and it will combine four dyes into a new one (which might also be one you already have).

 

For a fairly small investment, you can unlock a good variety of dyes pretty much instantly.

 

Inventory management in GW2 can be almost as much of a pain as in ESO. However, you don't need to have a subscription (indeed there aren't any) to use material storage. So most crafting items won't be taking up inventory or bank slots until you have more than your material storage can handle. There's a button in your inventory's top right where you can deposit all the materials in your inventory to your account bank's material storage all at once, or you can right-click each one and choose to deposit them individually. Like ESO, materials are available account-wide, and you don't need to bring them with you to the crafting stations (though you will need to have them in your inventory to throw them into the Mystic Forge).

 

Bank slots are a good investment, and you can also increase the stack-size of your materials by spending gems. You can also craft bags of up to 32 spaces a piece to put into your slots, so if you're looking at 4, 5, and 8 slot bags, that's something you can change fairly quickly as well, and fairly cheaply. You can buy some bags, but you can also build up your crafting in some professions to make them. Also, some achievements award bags. I think you get 5 bag slots on a new character without purchasing more. You can increase your inventory up to 160 items without making one purchase from the gem store if you're patient enough.

 

GW2 and ESO have very different feels. You do have to pursue achievements in GW2 rather than having them walk up and present themselves to you, though there ARE npcs who will do that. The hearts are a little annoying, but each heart npc becomes a merchant upon completion. It's well worth buying some of the odd looking items you find there, as they will unlock collections that lead to greater rewards. Also, when you get to lvl 80 maps, many of the hearts need to be completed each day you wish to make purchase from that merchant, so it's well worth purusing their inventories and buying what you can if you don't want to repeat them at a future date. Those hearts will have infinity icons on them on the map, and everything below lvl 80 map hearts (I believe) will remain unlocked forever.

 

I hope these tips help you with inventory and dyes. There are a lot of similarities between ESO and GW2. Sometimes, that makes it trickier for players coming to one from the other, because just when you think you understand what happens next, things are totally different.

 

I hope you enjoy Tyria!

 

 

Thanks for the tips, friend.  I'll be sure to come back to this once I get a better footing on things in game.  I was completely unaware of the collection stuff that heart vendors give, so I'll definitely give that a second pass.  🙂

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Welcome to Guild Wars 2! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying yourself.

 

This is interesting, especially that you mention feeling like things go too fast. It seems like a common complaint on this forum is that the game is too restrictive at lower levels and things unlock or are explained to players too slowly and that will put them off, so it's interesting to hear you had the opposite experience.

 

Although starting with an elementalist definitely wasn't making it easy for yourself, that's probably the most complicated profession in the game!

 

Incidentally daily achievements (in the main daily category, which is the one that rewards 2 gold) should scale to the highest level character you've got. If you don't have a level 80 character yet you shouldn't see dailies that require you to go to level 80 areas, they should all be ones you can do.

 

(I just checked and my secondary account where the highest level character is level 38 gets the Caledon Forest event completer, Kryta lumberer and Fire Elemental dailies - all in level 1-15 maps, whereas my main account gets Mount Maelstrom event completer, Maguuma Wastes lumberer and Inquest Golem Mark II which are level 70-80. Both have Ascalon vista viewer since that can be done at any level. World vs World and PvP dailies will be the same since everyone is level 80 in those modes.)

 

Finally I'm surprised you're playing on a phone or a tablet, I didn't know that was possible. I take it you're running it on your PC and using some sort of streaming system? It's not surprising that causes some issues with the UI since the game isn't optimised for it, I'm impressed you've been able to get it working at all!

Edited by Danikat.8537
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20 minutes ago, Driftpaws.2031 said:

Thanks for the tips, friend.  I'll be sure to come back to this once I get a better footing on things in game.  I was completely unaware of the collection stuff that heart vendors give, so I'll definitely give that a second pass.  🙂

Collections are a HUGE thing in GW2. Talk to the collections merchant in Lion's Arch to get started. He's in the Commander's Quarter (?) near the laurel merchant, identifiable by a laurel wreath on the map. The collection icon is less recognizable, but he's just nearby.

 

GW2 is very subtle compared to other MMOs when it comes to discovering what's there. They'll give you hints and clues, but you have to pursue them. ESO kind of beats new players around the head and neck with new adventures. I started yesterday, for instance, and I thought I was going to go INSANE until I figure out how to move the camera without moving my character, prioritize adventures, and generally cut down on all the noise. GW2 really makes you work for things, but the collections (once you have them unlocked) and achievements you're working on are always viewable from the Hero panel in their respective tabs.

 

It's just REALLY easy to miss out on features if you're used to a game being a little more aggressive in telling you how to get started. GW2 is little like: "OK, here's how you move. Figure it out from here!" Which is super fun, but if you miss that at first, you can definitely feel like there's a whole empty world where a game should be. Definitely pursue all opportunities that seem interesting. 🙂

Edited by Danger Ferret.6342
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24 minutes ago, Danikat.8537 said:

Finally I'm surprised you're playing on a phone or a tablet, I didn't know that was possible. I take it you're running it on your PC and using some sort of streaming system? It's not surprising that causes some issues with the UI since the game isn't optimised for it, I'm impressed you've been able to get it working at all!

 

The trick to getting any MMO control scheme to work on mobile is to be able to quickly toggle between cursor and action camera on the fly.  This is even true with ESO using add-ons.  In my case I'm using Steam Link with Steam Overlay and a custom built hud.  While you can still use your finger on the touchscreen to drag and select things on the face of the device itself, using a control stick is often faster (if slightly less precise).

 

https://i.imgur.com/hLMa9KW.jpg

 

Since the phone is naturally a touch screen, I can supplement easy actions like pulling up menus with Radial Menus to activate their associated hotkeys.  Note, this is only single button presses.

 

https://i.imgur.com/isaotU8.jpg

 

I'm not lifting my finger when pressing the button, I'm merely dragging it slight from the centerpoint of the original button and it's selection is offset on screen.

 

https://i.imgur.com/IwNxxKu.jpg

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I believe some of the things you wish you could do are available.

The Wiki (link above, or accessed in-game by typing /Wiki [topic of choice]) is a great resource for all things Guild Wars 2.

 

Here's some articles that may be helpful: 

 

For instance, you can toggle the visibility of the Chat Panel.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Options

 

The map has a legend where you can toggle on/off different icons.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Map

and https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Map#Layer_visibility

 

You can move the Compass, but only to one of two positions.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Graphical_user_interface#Compass

(Though the Wiki doesn't state how to move the Compass in that article, you can do so by dragging it by its corner to the top.)

 

You can contact the Billing CS Team via the 'Support' link above/below and 'Submit a Ticket' to get your issues with the Gem Store worked out.

 

You can control, to a degree, what's shown on the screen.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Options#Dynamic_HUD

 

Welcome to Tyria, and good luck.

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45 minutes ago, Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:

I believe some of the things you wish you could do are available.

The Wiki (link above, or accessed in-game by typing /Wiki [topic of choice]) is a great resource for all things Guild Wars 2.

 

Here's some articles that may be helpful: 

 

For instance, you can toggle the visibility of the Chat Panel.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Options

 

The map has a legend where you can toggle on/off different icons.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Map

and https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Map#Layer_visibility

 

You can move the Compass, but only to one of two positions.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Graphical_user_interface#Compass

(Though the Wiki doesn't state how to move the Compass in that article, you can do so by dragging it by its corner to the top.)

 

You can contact the Billing CS Team via the 'Support' link above/below and 'Submit a Ticket' to get your issues with the Gem Store worked out.

 

You can control, to a degree, what's shown on the screen.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Options#Dynamic_HUD

 

Welcome to Tyria, and good luck.

 

 

 

Well that clears up one or two things.  The chat panel in "hide" mode is much cleaner.  Thanks for that.  Usually when something's hidden in other games it means that it's completely invisible so this is a good solution.

 

I see the map legend you're talking about now.  I'm not sure why that isn't just toggled out of its fly menu by default.  I just assumed an eyeball in the lower left corner would toggle all the UI elements on the map, not open up a literal key.  Honestly as useful and small as it is it should always be out imho.  Maybe it's a failing on my part but I'd have never thought otherwise.  It really should be a key, or at least a caret pointing upwards.

 

But as far as the compass goes, I'm not talking about the Minimap.  I meant the arrow that spins around assorted quest icons which actually looks like, well, a compass.  The devs needing a special name for it is just begging for confusion!  But that's small potatoes ma'am/sir.  😄

 

Anyway, I've already spent way too much on gems, but the larger point is that new players shouldn't have to jump through those hoops with support.  I can only imagine that point of friction stops quite a few people who just won't bother taking it further.

 

I do appreciate all the help.  Thanks for taking the time to let me know.  There's a lot to unpack here so every bit of institutional knowledge helps.

Edited by Driftpaws.2031
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Welcome to GW2 and I want to say that I appreciate the thought that you put into your OP as to your opinions so far.  You still have a ton of content to discover that may or may not appeal to you.   A lot of it very good and some of it IMO a bit bland at times.    But that's true for most games.  Take your time to explore and learn about GW2 and I think you will get a lot of value out of it.   I want to say that I think it is nice you seem to be approaching GW2 with an open mind and eagerness to explore.   And as mentioned above the GW2 wiki is a great source of information, probably one of the best game wikis I have seen.

Edited by JustTrogdor.7892
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5 minutes ago, Driftpaws.2031 said:

 

 

 

Well that clears up one or two things.  The chat panel in "hide" mode is much cleaner.  Thanks for that.  Usually when something's hidden in other games it means that it's completely invisible so this is a good solution.

 

I see the map legend you're talking about now.  I'm not sure why that isn't just toggled out of its fly menu by default.  I just assumed an eyeball in the lower left corner would toggle all the UI elements on the map, not open up a literal key.  Honestly as useful and small as it is it should always be out imho.  Maybe it's a failing on my part but I'd have never thought otherwise.  It really should be a key, or at least a caret pointing upwards.

 

But as far as the compass goes, I'm not talking about the Minimap.  I meant the arrow that spins around assorted quest icons which actually looks like, well, a compass.  The devs needing a special name for it is just begging for confusion!  But that's small potatoes ma'am/sir.  😄

 

Anyway, I've already spent way too much on gems, but the larger point is that new players shouldn't have to jump through those hoops with support.  I can only imagine that point of friction stops quite a few people who just won't bother taking it further.

 

I do appreciate all the help.  Thanks for taking the time to let me know.  There's a lot to unpack here so every bit of knowledge helps.

Ahh, the Content Guide.  You have options.

 

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Graphical_user_interface#Content_guide

 

As far as new players not 'jumping through hoops', keep in mind that nefarious entities (Gold Sellers/hackers, etc.) are often 'new players' as well, and it is best that security is stronger rather than weaker.  It benefits all of us in the long run. 

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