Currently playing human necromancer (nobility, missing parents, Trickster Demon aspect, worshipper of Balthasar, good at using charm).
Great experience aside from typical launch issues. Gaming world is very complex, and just investigating its dynamics is lovely.
As for the guys complaining about lack of end-game... they are trolling, please ignore them. Just by reading any decent review (ign.com, gamespot.com) you are likely to learn enough to make an informed decision yourself - the short version goes like this:
- characters core attributes are scaled down at lower level areas - so while your equipment is superior, you can and should revisit previous areas - there is so much content, that yu cannot simply play in one go or by yourself
- true high level play, the World versus World mode, is immediately accessible
- dynamic events at later stage are much bigger. Nothing like a fending off an army of opponents, only to mount a counteroffensive afterwards only to fall into a trap and lose badly - along with tens of other players
- personal (instanced) play can be also played in groups (higher level example: defending city from a marauding dragon - a dragon the size of Titanic)
For those of you going into Guild Wars 2, read this and take it as a warning. Hopefully they do not screw you all over as they seem to be doing with the City of Heroes community. Good luck and may you all last longer than my favorite MMO.
Guild Wars 1 is still around. Also, you need to remain profitable to stay in this business - someone needs to pay for servers and support staff.
So, it's sad to hear that but that's natural selection for you. If your business model cannot adapt, well, tough.
One thing I don't like is the run jump puzzles  to get to the top of some views.
If I wanted to play a platform game I'd play super mario. They have no place in a MMORPG IMO.
It is not mandatory - it's for overachievers and those who enjoy such challenges. Also, one of the vistas  is located over a skill challenge  - if you solve the jumping puzzle leading to the viewing vista, you may complete the challenge from the safety of cliff.
For the uninitiated:
 Jumping puzzle - a place one can reach only by navigating various terrain features, usually by jumping. It takes a bit of skill and reasoning to plan approach route in more difficult cases.
 Viewing vista - a place, from which one can activate a view of surroundings (a camera performs a flyover), marked on a map as two red triangles. Such places are usually located in remote locations requiring completion of a jumping puzzle to reach.
 Skill challenge - a combat challenge to gain a skill point. In some cases, activating the challenge requires standing still near a spawn area of a powerful monster.
|Klaus van der Kroft|
I'm having quite a bit of fun with the game. Tried the Engineer, Mesmer, Guardian and Elementalist, and currently sticking with the first two.
At first I thought the game was a bit lacking on the skill department, that classes, while different from each other, where internally very similar, and that two Engineers would play essentially the same.
Until I noticed I was missing 80% of the deal, with each class having a completely different skill set (and thus gameplay) depending on the weapons and accessories you use. Not only that, but classes then get access to Utility Skills that grant you kits, special forms of equipment that hand over even more skill sets!
For example, the Engineer can use pistols, rifles, shields and torpedo guns (for underwater play. Each class has a unique skillset for when playing beneath the waves). Equiping a pistol in the main hand grants access to three skills, Explosive Shot, Poison Darts and Static Shot, plus two more if you dual-wield pistols, which are Blowtorch and Glue Shot. However, if you equip a rifle, you don't get access to any of those, but rather to a five skill selection that includes Hip Shot, Net Shot, Blunderbuss, Overcharged Shot and Jump Shot. If you mix a pistol with a shield (I know, I know) you get access to two double-skills (there are many skills in the game that have double, triple or even quadruple forms, that change when you use them), Magnetic Shield/Magnetic Inversion and Static Shield/Throw Shield.
Then you have the Utility Skills, which range from setting up automatic rifle turrets to hurling random-effect elixirs at your allies. Depending on which you use (there are always many more skills than what you can have hot-keyed at once), you can completely change your skill selection, such as equiping the Grenade Kit, that gives you access to six grenade-related skills, such as Frost Bomb and Blinding Grenade, or the Bandage Kit, that turns you into a field medic throwing healing kits, antidotes and whatnot around (thing is, you actually throw them around, so people need to pick them up to work). Or set up a healing turret and gain access to a Healing Mist/Detonate Turret double skill. Or build a flamethrower (which you equip as a weapon) and get yet another six new skills.
And this changes for each class, so an Engineer with a rifle has a completely different skill set than, say, a Fighter with a rifle. And considering how big the weapon/accesory selection is, the amount of possible playstiles goes into the insane numbers. Furthermore, some skills give access to "Combo Zones", which in turn unlock "Combo Finishers" from other skills. This allows to both combo with your own skills or with those of other players, and even then there is more variety, as different types of Combo Zones will cause different Combo Finisher effects.
Besides that, the world is truly impressive. I had never played GW1, but had heard that it was entirely instanced, something that makes me skip a game if I can help it (Age of Conan took me by surprise on that aspect, sadly). It seems they got their act together, though, since besides capital cities, the world is continous and open, or at least all that I have seen so far is. The vistas are simply stunning (the Asura capital is one of the most amazing cities I have seen, if only for the sheer scale of stuff), the NPCs are everywhere and always interacting between them with surprisingly good voice acting (the quest-related voice acting is less spectacular, though. Not bad, but nothing to cheer about either).
While the game has quests, I really like the way they are implemented. There are essentially three types of quests I have encountered so far: Story Quests, which relate to your personal story and change according to the choices you take during character creation (each character has two class-related and two race-related choiced, which are different for each class and race, as well as a demeanour choice I don't quite get what's for yet), and work on the traditional "Get quest here, go there, then go there".
Then you have Renown Quests, which you don't pick up, but rather participate in when you approach the quest area, such as walking up to a farm and finding out wurms are infesting the crops and thus you join in to kill them along with everyone else who's participating (all Renown Quests I've seen are public and share the progress between players. Once finished, you get a prize based on your level of cooperation).
Finally, you have Dynamic Quests, which mechanically are very similar to Renown Quests, but with the exception that they happen at random times and possibly at random locations (and more than one can happen in the same place, as far as I understand).
This system makes the classic Quest Hub model unnecessary, since besides your Story Quest (which is always one, as you progress on it step by step), which is not mandatory to do, all quests are scattered around the world and you don't need to take them in order to do them. Which has been great, since it makes exploration much more rewarding, avoids those "Heck, I forgot to pick up the quest before venturing forth" situations, lets you play a particular quest only for as long as you want without wasting the work you have already done and, best of all, is a great way to get people playing together.
Having played countless MMOs at launch, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised in how well this one worked from the start. Sure, there were/are some issues (particularly the Trade Post/Auction House, which seems to be down all the time), but the game as a whole works great.
Now, as for the bad stuff I've seen so far:
-Low number of character slots (5). Those of us who enjoy making alts will suffer from this. Although you can buy more slots in the cash shop.
-Crafting forced on crafting stations. Crafting itself is very fun, a nice mix of the traditional systems with a good deal of experimentation. However, I'm not a fan of being forced to craft exclusively at static locations.
-Lack of action bars. I get why they are limited, in order to force people to specialize their skill selection. However, I miss the room to put in some macros, food and potions for quick use.
-The map has some clipping issues. I've ended up stuck several times under bridges and rocks when teleporting with my Mesmer.
Keep in mind I have only been playing for the past two weeks, so it is still an early stage and the goggles may get less rossy as time goes on. But so far, I'm very pleased with the game overall.
I'm enjoying the game so far...
I have a human warrior, who just reached level 10, and started out a plant-people Mesmer, and a human ranger, just to see what they were like. I have to admit that playing the Mesmer made me relax a bit playing the game, so that changed and made the whole experience easier and vastly more enjoyable. (Before I was trying to do everything by keyboard and number-line).
The human city, Divinity's Reach is beautiful, to say the least. And I just finished exploring the city completely. (Got 3 tokens to change the appearance of armor. Probably useful for higher levels, as my armor doesn't look all that great right now.)
I like how the game world (outside the instances) is much more engaging with quests and such popping up in the middle of nowhere.
The graphics are mostly beautiful, but somehow I keep thinking that Guild Wars I was prettier in many ways. I might start that up again if GW2 doesn't work out for me.
A thought just occured to me... Since we can have multiple guilds, would anyone be interested in a Paizo Forum guild? It'd be worth it just for purposes of finding dungeon runners and helping each other out with mats and whatnot. Anyone interested?
Didn't someone already set up a Pathfinder Society guild? Or was that name already taken on launch day? I think I lost track. :)
|Klaus van der Kroft|
I tried to register it on Tarnished Coast (the RP server) on launch day, but it was taken.
I assumed it was someone from the forum, but so far no notice has been made of such, I'm afraid.
In case it is not, we could create it under a different name.
I believe that guild names have to be globally unique, so it's not even guaranteed that the guild in question is on Tarnished Coast.