If ArenaNet is teaching us anything it’s that the game we see today might not live until launch. Some interviews here are now part of a mirror-world Guild Wars 2 that won’t exist in this timeline. Yet this is the double-edged sword ArenaNet knows it is welding, and as they swing that sword again, I believe everybody on all sides are learning just a little bit more. Jon Peters spends some time on the ArenaNet Blog discussing what players will be seeing in the upcoming demo builds for Guild Wars 2 for the lucky players at gamescom and PAX. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything has he starts out by saying energy is gone.
Energy has been worn away by naysayers, testers, and other feedback. All that remains is dodge energy; now with it’s own mouse-clickable dodge button. The only thing we really know is that dodging does not use long-term energy any more. So dodge-monkey thieves might not be on par with every other profession in terms of roll amount. Whatever energy potions refill is unknown because ArenaNet is not ready to shed light on it at the moment. I wonder about this change. Are they making things more complex by having players now have to monitor more energy gauges? Time will eventually tell, and I am sure if feedback shows it’s not as great, the iteration grinder will rear it’s head again.
Another big change is that the 5-weapon skills are now learned by using that weapon. Eric Flannum says that, for example, the second weapon skill is learned after killing ten foes. Malchior at Talk Tyria chalks this change up to the addition of a wasteful mechanic or grind. I disagree. If anything ArenaNet turned the learning-skills mechanic away from arbitrarily doing things, which might involve using weapons, in order to character level in to something that directly relates to using the weapon. Grind is not the issue so much as information flow. I am pretty sure that ArenaNet will be re-touching the numbers quite often to balance that flow for all players.
I remember one thing I disliked in playing the demo was going from level 2 to 3 so I could just get that new weapon skill. It almost felt like that pressure took away from some of the early game. If I can get that weapon skill mid-level 2 now by just playing and not worrying about character level of skill trainer location, I think that would be a great change. The concern I have is finding new weapons, especially for a weapon-heavy profession like the warrior. If at level 10 I finally find my first greatsword, will it be fun or tedious to have to level up the weapon? I am hoping that it will be more fun than simply clicking through buy skills on a weapon I never use.
Oh, hey PvP. Here’s two sentences.
There’s a bunch of other stuff that is more demo oriented such as playable sylvari and the charr personal story that I feel will be better described and seen through demo player’s eyes and digital devices. Peters also hints at a new giant events in higher levels. I still watch The Shatterer video from last year from time to time, and I am sure that the video will easily be topped.
Have fun all you convention attendees, and get us stay-at-home chums some great footage and feedback.