[GW2] Tales of BWE3

I came back from a long internet-less vacation on Saturday night. Exhausted from driving for 9 hours, I still had the will and energy to play a bit of the final hours of the Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event 3. Like Zubon, I knew going in to this beta weekend that for pre-release play, I was satiated until launch. Yet, it was still fun to get in there and play, even if temporarily.

Metrica Province

I decided to try an asura guardian in order to get a sense of the asura. I was actually a little unprepared for how my vision of their advancement over 250 years did not align with ArenaNet’s. Instead of the sterilized environment of Science, I was expecting, the asuran region still maintained a lot of organic depth. Sure, it was no palette of nature that the sylvari hold reign over, but it was clear that within the Eternal Alchemy, the asura feel intertwined with their environment.

In fact, the asura in Metrica Province appeared to act as field scientists as much as lab scientists. Skritt and hylek populations were fair game. A nearby lava pool decided the flavor of a pit-fighter golem.  And ooze were everywhere. Unlike the charr, the asura seemed to want to adapt or shape the environment rather than strip mine it.

The asura also lack the rigid control found in the charr race. One asura’s experiments might be completely destroying the environment as ooze run amok. Another asura’s experiments might entail heavy use of hylek poison. It’s just expected that there will be anomalies. Asura experiments act more like mutations in nature where in Darwinian fashion one eventually rises like cream to the crop. They might understand the most about the internal workings of the universe, but they are also as dumb as a human three year old wondering if she touches the hot stove she will get burned again.

The Mr. Ooze Story

There is a champion ooze around the level 8 mark in Metrica Province. He sits like lord of the camp for he is above all the mook oozes and veteran oozes. He is also bigger than the nearby tents. All the surrounding asura fear is mighty presence, and rightly so.

The problem is that Mr. Champion Ooze sits in the middle of a path that adventuring heroes feel the urge to travel. It runs right by a renown NPC on the way to another renown NPC further below. There is plenty of space to travel through the glades below around the ooze, but who wants to do that.

It was a tough battle ending with roughly a dozen players beating on the gelatinous being. It also was the best scaling boss I have seen to date. Oh, it’s champion level for sure meaning one or two players are going to have an impossible go at it. A couple more should do the trick. Add a few more and it really lays in to some nasty ground pounds and starts spitting out mini-oozes to harry the attackers from behind.

My action in the event was limited. As a starting guardian, I had acquired only melee weapons to that point, and the ooze was extra vicious in close combat range. I was also underleveled by a level or two making most hits against me veritable one-shots. I still had a role. I was the mini-ooze medic. I could still kill the additional oozes with righteous fury, and all the people actually attacking the champion ooze were still going down at a decent pace. My job was to prop them back on their feet with an “atta’boy” in the hopes that their small intellect would will them towards continuing the fight. This worked especially well on the norn. Only the system seemed to notice that I was not actually attacking the ooze, and I only received silver participation despite being in the full fight.

It’s okay. I’ll be back though when I am not underleveled, and with the idiocy of that asura with his ooze experiments, I’m sure Mr. Champion Ooze will be too.

Sky Jumping

My favorite part of the weekend was when I was taking on the challenging jumping puzzle starting on the east southeast side of Metric Province. There is a hidden cave amidst a bunch of jaguars with a small jumping puzzle leading up to a warpgate. That is only the beginning.

This jumping puzzle is so intricately designed that it is quite a sub-zone on its own. A helpful golem warps players to the first of four areas (after that entry-level jumping puzzle). The elements of wind, lightning, ice, and crazy asura test player’s platforming ability. Thankfully each portion is saved for a while so once I beat the wind portion, if I failed in the lightning portion (and players will fail) I would restart at the lightning portion.

There were small tricks to the puzzle, mostly dealing in not taking the obvious path at first, but the puzzle was definitely solvable, and for the most part clear. The Guild Wars 2 theme of death being part of the experience showed in full force as I plummeted off the sky realm dozens of times. In this case I would not die-die to the degree where I would have to warp back to some waypoint with damaged armor, but failure would happen.

The best part was that along the way I serendipitously bumped into ArenaNet’s Martin Kerstein (sleeping on the job) and Massively’s Elisabeth. Elisabeth helped me at one point before falling to her doom right in front of me. It was extra fun to run the jumping puzzle with friends. This jumping puzzle (Goemm’s Lab) is a must see for people at launch.

Server In Memorium

My launch server will be Sanctum of Rall. The story behind this server is noteworthy because it is named after a guild member of Gaiscioch that passed away about a year ago. Roger “Oldroar” Rall was one of the first people in Gaiscioch to start to discuss Guild Wars 2 as a next step in the guild’s journey. Unfortunately, Rall would not see his guild enter Tyria at launch. Gaiscioch worked hard to gain ArenaNet’s trust, and the whole time they petitioned harder to see Rall’s name entered in to the Guild Wars 2 books. His name would become a server. A home for many in Guild Wars 2.

This is one thing that I love about ArenaNet. They build community through the game. Lore hunters were immortalized in a library in Vabbi in Guild Wars Nightfall. The story of Amaranth caused a developer to add the NPC in to the game. Players can find at least two NPC aspects of Massively’s Elisabeth in Guild Wars 2.

In a way, the community is shaping parts of the game. There is a depth found in the game beyond vanilla lore. The story of community can be found throughout the entire game. I am proud to join Sanctum of Rall both for Gaiscioch and ArenaNet.

…days to go

There is a month to go. That’s it. Like Lewis B wrote here a bit ago, it’s surreal to think that soon Guild Wars 2 will be permanent. When it becomes real everything will change. It’s scary. My blogging style has always been more about my actual play sessions, which I just haven’t had as much with Guild Wars 2. Finally, I will get that back. What else will I see in the code? What new tales can be told?

I have one huge project planned. I can’t wait to share it with everybody. It’s a fan fiction of sorts coupled with postcards from Tyria… with a huge twist. Zubon, I am sure, will also be sharing plenty of insights in to his play sessions. It’s very exciting.

Feel free to share your favorite BWE3 moments below.


21 thoughts on “[GW2] Tales of BWE3”

  1. It may also bring me back out of mothballs to start writing again. Nothing else has been interesting enough for me to care.

  2. On the silver participation from the ooze event: lots of events I participated in this last beta gave me silver, despite my having participated in them from the start. I think ANet were trying a stricter formula for participation, since previously it was ludicrously easy to get gold.

  3. I saw last weekend a DE where you need save 10 skrits: humans are putting traps for kill the skrit and you need kill the humans or destroy the traps…

    So GW2 have a “save ten rats” quest…

      1. Yes, near Skrittsburg. The human bandits put traps for skrits and you need avoid 10 skrits get killed by the traps.

        While I was killing the human bandits, I heard skrits at distance saying “look! shinie things!”

        I will name that DE “save ten rats”…

  4. Was wondering why there was so little feedback about Keg Brawl, apparently most people put it on their to-do-list but forgot about it or didn’t know about it in the first place, played a few games and found it was great fun.

    Fought that giant ooze, got silver participation too, even though I was right level, helped revive players and killed the little oozes but was less focused on doing damage to the boss. Think it needs a little rework, maybe the little oozes weren’t counted. Then there was the wildly off-tuned fire elemental boss in the reactor, didn’t get a high enough level to see it, but heard about it all the time in map chat.

    Surprised by some of the well-hidden secrets and neat features in the game: the quaggan pipe organ, the secret garden in Lion’s Arch, the entrance to Goemm’s lab was really well hid too.

  5. I played the minigame/activity Keg Brawl half of the weekend and had the fun I really didn’t expect in GW2… I’d like to compare it to the 1990 NES game: Nintendo World Cup. It’s simple but you can burn hours in it.

    the other big thing for me was the BWE3 end event “Hunger Royale”, it was the Hunger Games in GW2. Never had so much fun in a PvP experience. You had to kill players from the other 3 huge teams with limited skillsets. Once dead you’re out / can watch the others as a small drone. A simple mechanic, degenerating life and rare one-time-use rations, killed off all the ones running with the zerg. Wandering alone starving to death, hiding from other players and looking for those ration-spawns was as intense as it could get. And it shows how easily Anet can come up with decent activities – I can’t wait for their ideas for the upcoming Halloween-event.

    1. Yeah, it really sucks I was not part of any ending event since I had work the next day, and it wouldn’t start until 1 AM my time. Still stuff like this really gives me hope that we will get some awesome holiday treats… as well as one-off expansion like events. Like if they decide Kralkatorrik flies over Tyria for a Crystal Desert expansion… would be cool.

      1. like the shatterer in the last BWE2 final event? :D

        In my country BWE-end events start at 8:00 A.M. so not the best time either :-/

      2. I’ve been wondering about holiday events myself. They could keep Wintersday as a human festival, since everyone can get to Divinity’s Reach to participate, and I would love to see Mad King Thorn still rocking Lion’s Arch after all these years. But I wonder if they might stray from the real world holiday bases? They could just keep paralleling them, but if the Grove has a Day of the Firstborn or something it’d be pretty cool.

        Failing which, I’ll just have to hope for a crazy asuran Easter egg hunt or something :D

    2. My thoughts exactly on the hunger royale. Some people thought the zone was too big for it but it was just right for defensive play, which is far more interesting and challenging than simply hoping to survive a zerg. That’s certainly not how the stories play out beyond the first few opening moments. You get your stuff, then you run and hide and plan your next move. It was intense. And the robots following me creeped me out. Wasted a couple assassin cloaks before I figured out they couldn’t hurt me. I just hope the complainers don’t discourage ANet from planning such events when the game goes live.

  6. “I serendipitously bumped into ArenaNet’s Martin Kerstein (sleeping on the job)”

    lol! Was he a charr by any chance? There was a sleeping charr with the Anet symbol over his head in the Sylvari starting zone, but can’t remember the name!

  7. When people used the word platforming, I went into my first jumping puzzle expecting Super Mario Bros (80s Mario at that) as I didn’t watch any videos. Instead I confronted a far more intricate labyrinthine landscape than anticipated. I’m not even going to mention the sudden surprise spider spawns. I also learned a hard lesson about attempting to solo any. Even jumping puzzle is too amiable a description.

  8. Oh gosh, that ooze. He spawned when it was just me and my husband (warrior and engineer) around. It took us about 10 minutes to get it to half HP. We were eventually joined by another person (ele, I think) and it took us probably another 8 minutes to finish it off. The thing really wasn’t much of a threat to our HP since it was so slow, but it had soooo much health.

    *Super* glad there is no mana in this game, lol. It was very challenging for us though, and I enjoyed it. Quite the adrenaline rush when it finally died.

    1. The veteran raptors near that area (guarding eggs) were definitely tough tho!

      I was playing a guardian and my friend was playing a warrior. Those were some nail-biters and we lost as many as we won.

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