Lion’s Arch

We’re having connection and performance issues in the beta at the moment… too bad. But that plus me being really tired, I decided to take Paerocharr (guess her race!) for a stroll through Lion’s Arch. Yes, this will be a game where my “print” button will have to suffer. Poor thing.

Don’t expect any long postings from me during this weekend… ;)


  1. I just ducked out due to the same issues… saw they had a new build ready so decided to take a quick break.

    I’m really enjoying the gameplay despite the lag issues being fairly fierce on this first evening (not completely unexpected if we’re being fair here…) I was pretty sure the interwebs would hit those servers hard and fast tonight, and so far that looks like the case…

    Human necro
    name: Anec Dotal
    Server: Eternal Grove

    So far I’ve just been doing the low level PvE, and getting a feel for the profession… necro is the cockroach who just won’t stay squished… amazing resiliency, and I’m not having any trouble killing fast enough either.
    Still getting basic weapon skills unlocked, but it looks like axe and warhorn are an early favorite. Going to be unlocking daggers (both main and off) next run in… which should be… right about…. NOW!


    1. There we go. Gave up on my warrior at level 4. ;) She’s an ok class but something draws me back to the mesmer. Will try her out in PvP and see if I still like her then. ^^

      I messaged you earlier in game but I have no idea if that even works. I didn’t get an error message but we are on different servers, after all.

      I’ve seen a few changes and so far, I like them all. Nice work that ArenaNet did there. Part of the “good changes” is also the lack of breathing sounds for my female charr. I do hope it stays that way. I don’t need to hear her all the time. Especially as the sound she made was annoying… but I think I’ve said that often enough and they did say that others criticised that as well. ;)


      1. Did you send mail or a whisper? I’ll have to double check mail when I get back in after a brief nap… not sure if whispers work between servers… or mail for that matter…

        Off hand dagger is pretty damn nice for the necro… fully in love with the #4 and the #5 is ok. I’ve got to at least give the staff a more honest try tomorrow… stopped unlocking the skills midway thru #4 because the frist three were putting me to sleep. I guess I’m just not a “distance” style player… much prefer the nasty “inyourface” type skills on the axe.

        Btw… going minion-less necro seems to work out just fine so far… did a brief run in the mists with full compliment of traits and skills and let’s just say at no point was I anywhere even close to going down… nasty little combination. Well of Blood is a much superior heal to the minion and well worth the skill point investment in PvE… went with Signet of Locust as my first utility and the speed boost+emergency heal combination are definitely worth it so far.

        It was brutally hard, but I have managed to defeat a mob 7 levels higher with the necro too… that monstrously BIG pig up by the Hunting Lodge (level 16) and I managed to get him down when I was level 9… very touch and go fight… which took entirely too long, but still a satisfying conclusion to it.

        Looks like necro and guardian are gonna be the two professions that are almost impossible to down if they are played well. Extremely resilient.

        5am here now… so time for at least a little bit of sleep before hitting it hard again tomorrow. I spent most of this evening on overflow servers (which beats the hell out of sitting in a queue!) and there was some pretty bad lag at one point, but for the most part I’m very impressed with the degree of polish and quality on a product that is still in beta testing.

        Oh… did you take the high dive in Lion’s Arch yet? Pretty cool… I got just a hint of vertigo right before I hit the water…heh


  2. Transmutation stones… SO cool :-)

    Just a quick break to keep from starving (only managed about 5 hrs sleep, but that’s more than some folks got.) Latest build is running MUCH smoother, and this game just keeps getting more impressive as it goes…

    I did stick it out with the staff for the necro, and have to say that weapon grows on ya, and once you get the hang of em, the marks (skills 2 thru 5) are pretty damn effective… might even be worth taking a look at specific traits for them…

    Random luck on the drops has netted a pistol, short bow, and dagger of high quality… so I guess I’m going to experiment with a thief next… wasn’t the highest on my list for when the game actually launches, but I’m just “going with the flow” for this first weekend.

    Hope you’re having as much ridiculous fun as I am :-)


    1. By the way, I’m in a party with people who are on different home worlds! THAT is impressive. ^^

      Also, I’m currently exploring Lion’s Arch. Did that yesterday for two hours and today for… oh, another two or three? Both times with breaks in between. So I didn’t really spend 5 whole hours in there. But it’s so big and I don’t know how many screenshots I already took. But the best ones will be published here later. I need to share this prettiness. ;)

      I tried playing other classes but whenever I started – even though I liked the classes – I went back to mesmer or warrior. So I guess those two classes will be my main characters. ;)

      I’m still a bit disappointed with the performance (server crashes mostly and the lack of optimization although they already said that it’s lacking that before the BWE even started). But I hope that’ll be much better for the next BWE. Other than that, I’m happy. I love exploring cities! :)


  3. A little late on the commenting but I think it might be interesting to share my impressions so far.

    My experience has been the opposite of yours, Paeroka. I found the Mesmer a little too complex for my tastes as a complete newbie. So when I saw another player with a charr running around I decided it might be best to just give in to temptation and make one too. I decided to go with a warrior since a more straight forward classs would be better to learn the basics of the games and so far it is working well. The warrior just feels more right to me than a mesmer. :)

    Only problem now is that I am getting attached to the idea of a charr warrior and I want to have one character of each race and I already decided my charr will be a engineer… *sigh* Altitis sometimes is a curse! ;)

    It also didn’t occur to me to try and get one of each weapon type to unlock the skills until I read ArcherAvatar comment. I guess I was expecting to just get some favorite weapon and stick with them. But it makes more sense to test different weapons and weapon combinations early on, unlock their skills and see which ones you like best. It also makes sense to keep different weapons too for different circunstances, I guess. Like using a melee weapon in a fight and then a ranged weapon in another fight.

    Another adjustment I had to do in my way of thinking was to dodge and move around. Years of MMORPGs instilled the idea of not having to move and just use my skills. This one though I am getting better as I play my warrior. :)

    Overall though I am loving the game. Aside those two adjusments in mentality, all the gameplay feels very natural and intuitive. I am also very impressed with the level of polish during the beta, so much that I keep thinking like in terms of a real game, worrying where I will spend my skill points, hoarding crafting materials, etc. I only remember it is a beta when one of those feedback boxes pop up or I think about the personal story and how I must be careful with it to not be attached too much or spoil myself!

    The beta isn’t even over and I am already wishing the game to be officially launched so I can throw all restraints out of the window and just do everything I want in the game! :D


    1. I can really relate to that last paragraph! There is nothing I would love more than being able to continue playing on Monday… it may still be beta, but it’s already better than any other MMO imo.

      Regarding the dodge skill: I don’t why I didn’t think to mention it before, but probably the single best piece of advice I would give to anyone picking the game for the first time is to move the keybinding for “jump” to somewhere else and bind “dodge” to the spacebar. Being able to hit dodge with your thumb while your fingers are busy with movement keys (any direction) and skills is an absolute must for me.
      Personally, I just moved “jump” to one key over (the left ALT) and this made getting comfortable with using “dodge” much easier.


      1. It seems I’ve gotten used to using the double-click with the mouse by now. I did bind it on left ALT now but I didn’t use it. On the other hand, I bound the skills 7 – 0 on letters and haven’t used those either. Always takes a while to memorize that for me, though.


        1. To me I prefer to leave everything on default, including dodge. It is just easier to me to just tap on the direction key that I want to go. Holding a key and then hitting a direction key would be too complicated to me.

          The skills keys are also fine for me where they are as I hit 1 to 4 on the keyboard and the rest I use the mouse for it. Might not be the fastest method but it has been working nicely for me so far. :)


          1. I had a few very handy letters like “Q” for Blink in World of Warcraft for my frost mage. So I definitely want a few of those instead of 7 – 0. My right hand is on the very left side of the keyboard, so there’s a few letters left that I can easily reach. But I’m not sure I need or want another key for dodge. I assigned a different key for dodge but I already got used to double-clicking. So we’ll have to see whether I can get used to something different now. ;)


    2. It’s always interesting to read people’s impressions. :)

      I have to take back the “ok class” comment. Whenever I tried out any other class, even if I found them interesting, I always went back to the mesmer OR the warrior. Both offer me something different and I love both playstyles. I’ve only played the warrior to level 8 now and oh, it’s so difficult to choose a main character! Both, mesmer and warrior, will most likely be asura, though. I do definitely want a female charr and I have no idea which class that’ll be.

      I’ve played the mesmer a bit with the staff now to get a feeling for a different playstyle (used sword and pistol most of the time now) and that one’s nice as well. But definitely “too much” to learn for me when I jumped to structured PvP with her. I died so often and even though my team won, it wasn’t because of me. ;)

      I’ve reported several bugs and all of them are about “polishing”, I guess, or making things clearer. I didn’t get stuck in the environment, I didn’t fall through the environment etc. All things I remember too well from Warhammer Online during their open beta AND post-launch.


      1. Only a few bug reports here… one pathing error… one escort event stuck… and one graphics anomoly…

        it’s roughly 3 am here… a full day even with the brief interruption (which worked out since I had dinner then) but I am really tired now… gonna go for a long, full sleep and hopefully have enough left in the tank tomorrow for one last marathon session.

        Most of today was on elementalist profession… went staff early and stayed with it… very interesting class mechanic and generally plays well. Despite all the versatility and support stuff, I still found myself missing the necro and it’s dogged resiliency… some of the utility skills for the ele help make up the difference a bit (like the mist form and earth form skills… both very good “oh shit” buttons) but they still don’t close the gap to the degree of ruggedness the necro gets from just it’s class mechanic and base weapons skills.

        One thing I can say for the ele is it definitely fine tuned my dodging skills… I only switched to the ele relatively late in the day, and only reached level 10 with it (so no traits applied in PvE yet) but I think I will be either going back to the necro for the final day, or trying out one other profession before things wrap up on Sunday. Maybe I spend the day in PvP this time? Both first days got me completely caught up in the PvE stuff – to the point where I only got in a couple of matches on the necro on Friday close to the beginning.

        Oh… the new mouse has worked out fantastic… razer naga hex is a quality product so far in my book.


        1. Heh. I guess I am the lucky one. I didn’t have to report any bug yet. Although I guess maybe I should write a suggestion about the difficulty of the charr area events. Compared to the newbie human area I found them to be way more difficult. The flame shaman event for example I always see a ton of people dead when it is going (including myself *cough*). The one with the earth elementals near the Black Citadel is another I found to be way too hard as the respawn is too fast and it is easy to get surrounded without any way to take some distance to recover.

          As for gameplay I think I am going to stick with the warrior for the remainder of the Beta Weekend. I want to test other classes out but then I keep thinking about the personal story and how tempting it might be to just do then…. Anyway, I like the class. For a relatively simple class it certainly has a lot of flexibility due to different weapons having different purposes. I can easily see a warrior carrying a few different weapons for different situations. For example a two-handed sword where fighting groups of enemies are more common or a mace where stunning the enemy might be the best tactic.

          I think I might give a try to the World vs. World PvP today, assuming it is in this beta and I can find how to join it. I think there was a NPC for it in the Black Citadel?


          1. Just hit “H” to bring up your Hero panel… look at the tabs along the left side – the bottom one is for PvP… select the 2nd option “be in the mist” and you will be teleported to a newbie PvP area… there are three tasks to fill hearts (extremely easy – takes about two minutes) and then you are thru to a large PvP lobby… in the lobby, directly ahead of you and to the left is an asura gate to WvW… the one to the right takes you to Lion’s Arch (highly recommend visiting that if you haven’t already… absolutely beautiful place!)
            Safe travels :-)


          2. Yeah, I found out where the option was after I posted my comment. I really should explore more the different panels… :x

            Anyway, I liked the World vs. World. It felt like a medieval siege. I might jump in there after release from time to time and try to stick to stuff like repairing, helping with events and so on. I will leave the killing to the ones who are good at PvP since like I expected I got killed in seconds when I found an enemy there. :)

            Oh, I also took ArcherAvatar’s advice to go to Lion’s Reach and the place was really beautiful. I got almost all the Points of Interest there. There were a couple I was having trouble to find then my patience run out and I decided to go back to the Charr starting area to do a bit more of exploring over there.


          3. One or two are in the underground map, two are in the upper floor. Took me a bit to realise that, especially as you can’t immediately see those areas when clicking on the underground or upper floor maps. But I really loved that part and exploring the map like that!


          4. Yeah. I found one of the underground ones. The top one I spent some time looking for a way to it but couldn’t find it. And the last one I had no clue where it was. But I agree, the points of interest are a cool way of leading players to explore interesting places and rewarding them at the same time. :)


          5. I haven’t done that much in the human area, I think, but I agree that the ghosts especially were really hard. I was in the Charr area earlier today and died twice or so to regular mobs. That didn’t happen in the norn area.


          6. Yeah, the ghosts were hard. But I found the Flame Legion to be worse. Every time there was an event with them my first thought was “Oh, gods! This is going to hurt!”.

            And indeed, I think I died more in the Charr area due to the difficulty than in the human area. In the human area I died more due to playing a squishy class whose mechanics I didn’t understand well.


        2. I want to be a right-hander! Of have mice like that for left-handers. It looked really cool with the number keys on the side. :(

          I’ve done a bit of structured PvP with my warrior and loved it. Switching between ranged and melee is great. And I apologise if I’ve already written about it before… I comment here and on G+ and don’t always remember what I said where. ;)

          Anyway. We were away during the day, so we just returned about an hour ago. Fortunately, this evening we could log on without any issues and I’m back in there playing. It’s just so sad that the progress won’t stay. I’m only level 9 but I’ve seen the starter areas too often by now. ;) I’ll definitely leave Sylvari and Asura for post-launch even if they enable them in the beta (I’d create a Sylvari or Asura and move them to the other starter areas instead).


          1. I am surprised there isn’t a company that doesn’t make devices like that for left-handed people yet. It probably could earn a lot of money.

            I didn’t try structured PvP since that isn’t my thing. But I did use a bow and a rifle on PvE and I agree, it is great. The bow and the rifle didn’t feel like an extra weapon to just pull mobs that were far away. It felt like a valid weapon for a warrior just like all the others. :)

            Underwater combat also felt pretty good and not clunky as I was afraid it would be. :)

            Hmm… That was not something I considered. Since we won’t keep any progress for the next beta I think I will after all just stick with my charr for as long as I can. Then on the next one I will try a Norn Thief (since nothing says “sneaky” like a big guy!) and play it as much as I can to test it out and see if I can find any bugs.


          2. We’re only 10% of the population or so. That said, I do adore my Nage left-handed mouse. Even though it doesn’t have any extra buttons. I had another one before – forgot the brand name – but the “surface stuff” went off really fast and it didn’t feel good afterwards. Then I already had a Razer mouse but it was a symmetrical one and then bookahnerk surprised me with this left-hander edition. I’ll definitely get another one if this one breaks. It’s just so much easier for the hand!

            I love PvP! Just as much as I love idling around, crafting, doing solo-PvE, doing group-PvE etc. I need a little bit of everything to be happy and it seems that GW2 will give me just that. :)

            I tried underwater combat in Brighton and was surprised that it didn’t scare me. When I tried it here at home, even with bookahnerk sitting next to me, I felt the fear rise and get stronger with every minute. That was in Lion’s Arch with no enemy mobs around. I had to get out after two minutes or so. I’m still trying to get rid of my phobia (I’m a psychologist. In theory, I know how to do that!) but it’s a slow and difficult process. :( Maybe I should get a therapist but it feels silly to go to one just to play an MMO afterwards. ^^ Anyway, what I did see about the underwater combat, seemed to be really good. I love that you have special weapons and thus, special attacks!

            I may try an engineer next time. I still need to find something that I want to play as a charr as both, warrior and mesmer, will be Asura. ^^


          3. Well, the way I see it, it is worth trying to tap into a niche where there isn’t much competition, make a good product and get some loyal costumers.

            I never found PvP to be very interesting myself. But I do need lots of different activities that can be done from level 1 (or close to it) to keep things fresh too. And yes, Guild Wars 2 seems like it will be very enjoyable in all those areas. Only thing I wish is that it would have housing…. But I can live without it since the rest of the game is so good. :)

            I can sort of relate. I have a very embarassing and silly phobia of cockroaches…. Well, actually pretty much any insect bigger than an ant. But anyway, insects in games don’t bother me, no matter what the size they are. Except for cockroaches…. If I have to fight those I need to do it quickly and then move on as fast as possible. The longer it goes on the more sensation of fear, repulsion and sickness I get. Fortunately they usually appear in post apocalyptic games. Unfortunately there aren’t many of those. And yeah, I don’t feel like seeking treatment to it either. Even if it makes real life a little harder some times. >_<

            Not sure yet what class my asura will be. I guess I will decide it when the game is launched and I create the character.


          4. There’s still hope for housing: I haven’t hear anything else about it than this. But I certainly hope we’ll get to live in that world at some point. ^^

            It’s always nice to have somebody understand phobias. Even though having a phobia isn’t, of course. ;) I also have the typical phobia of spiders (though it’s only big spiders and not tiny ones) but in games, those don’t scare me at all. The funny thing is that I don’t have a problem with sharks but I do have a problem with whales and icky things underwater that shouldn’t be called “animals” because they don’t look like they are animals… bah. O.o And, of course, dark water. That’s pretty bad whereas light areas aren’t that bad. Especially if they’re whale-free. ;)


          5. Whoa! I didn’t know that! O_O

            If they do it well, which they probably will considering the rest of the game, it will be perfect!


  4. Just past 3 a.m. EDT and they pulled the plug on me… /sigh

    I finished down near the border of the human and sylvari lands… fighting zombies to help the small sylvari encampment there. My necro (Anec Dotal) only made it to level 21 total, and I kind of wish I had just stuck with him the whole time instead of playing the thief and elementalist professions for most of Saturday. If nothing else this pretty much confirmed my choice of “main” even though I will have a small army of different characters.

    Both of the other professions I tried were fun in their own way, and ANet have done an amazing job of giving each profession it’s own “vibe” but the sheer audacity I felt while playing the necro simply couldn’t be matched. Fearless doesn’t even begin to describe it… leaping off cliffs and using DS to break my fall… fighting elite mobs solo… taking on overwhelming odds time and again just made for an experience that ws incredibly memorable. So many epic moments.

    Tomorrow is going to be very, very rough…


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