I didn't quite stick it out until the bitter end, which came at seven in the morning our time, and I missed a big chunk of Saturday due to the small matter of having to go to work but I still managed to spend more than twenty-four hours in Tyria across the weekend. That's a huge endorsement right there but I've got an even bigger one: the only time I tabbed out was to do a search after a crafting hiccup. For three nights and two days there was no blogging, no browsing, no commenting, posting or reading. I just played. And made notes.
No question then that I really like Guild Wars 2 a lot. I had a great time and if the servers were still up I'd be playing now rather than typing this. Just wanted to make that clear because when I read my notes back it turns out they're mostly complaints. Well, I shouldn't be surprised. If there's one thing nearly all MMO betas I've played have in common it's that the longer they go on, the more the bits I like get watered down or removed. Viz and to wit:
The New Skill/Trait System
|Bet you ten silver I can limbo under that bear|
I have a strong aversion to game mechanics that require me to place traps. In the first beta weekend I didn't put a single point into any trap skills. This time I was compelled to spend several points on skills I will probably never even slot into my hot-bar let alone use regularly, just to open up the third tier of Slot Skills where I can get my greedy leather-gloved paws on the essential, game-changing Signet of the Wild.
|Yes, but you can always smell honey|
If that wasn't bad enough, the three "Utility Slots" into which you place these skills are level-locked at 5, 10 and 20. Signet of the Wild is in the third tier so you now have to wait twenty levels before you can get it. Edit: No you don't as Winged Nazgul points out in the comments!
The changes to the Trait system didn't bother me as much. Or at all. I can't actually remember how they worked before, come to think of it. It doesn't do to become attached to any of these systems anyway. Next time they lift the velvet rope things may have changed again and you can guarantee all systems will change many more times after the game goes Live. Rarely for the better.
Deep breath. Carry on.