And boy was it worth the wait.
Celebrating playing for keeps by dancing the traditional dance of our people.
When I was on my Walk one of the big things I was concerned about (other than bears and tornadoes and stray dogs and where to sleep each night) was that the open beta for Guild Wars 2 would start and I wouldn’t be able to participate. I was also worried they’d break the “when it’s ready” tradition and actually reveal that launch would magically be that summer or some time I’d still be out. Nerdtastic, but I’m totally serious. Whenever I’d call and chat with my mother I’d get updates about the game. Did they release a new profession yet? How about races, any more info dropped? Any hints at a release date? Have betas been mentioned?
So yeah, I’ve been eager for this game for awhile, and now it’s finally here. And I am not the least bit disappointed. Everything I loved from the first Guild Wars is here in the second, that and so much more.
That feeling of adventure and exploration I enjoyed so much in GW is back and multiplied in GW2. This game, oh this game. It is simply stunning. The world is not only gorgeous, but filled to the brim with details big and small, and endless things to do. The cities all feel truly alive, as you run down the streets and hear snips of conversations going on around you. There are strangers to help out, missions to go on, personal stories to experience, and crafts to learn (which I have not dived into yet because omg overwhelming, but I’m looking forward to it).
I’ve seen a lot of my friends on Twitter chatting about climbing character levels and the fun tidbits they’ve found around the world. I…have not actually experienced that much. As of right now I think my highest character is level 9. I’m slowing down and really taking in each area of the game, which means not one of my three characters has left their starter areas. There’s so much to do! Vistas and Dynamic Events and Daily Achievements and hearts to fill up. Grawl to trick, baby bears to feed, mosquitoes to kill, golems to fix. Fun everywhere you turn!
Honestly, I could go on forever on how much I love this game and the details that are my favorite (so many favorites!), but instead I’ll just share my characters with you.
You get five character slots to start off. I’m trying to restrain myself and not fill them up right away. So far I have three characters, and those took me a very long time to settle on. The norn wasn’t so tough, but the asura and the sylvari took forever. So many different skin tone and patterns to choose from.
Here’s what I settled on:
Jorn Alehound, norn elementalist
(Jorn = pronounced Yorn)
Jorn Alehound in all his bearded glory.
His skin is actually a shade darker than I had wanted, but oh well.
Jorn Alehound a big friendly goofball. He is also, as his name would imply, a fan of the ale. Which is how I see all norn – as big cheerful boastful people who love their ale. I haven’t gotten too far in the personal story, but I’m looking forward to finding out what Jorn got up to during that blackout at his last party.
I’m really digging the elementalist – all the different element skills and weapon combos. Currently he’s going with Wand/Dagger set up. I’ve just today unlocked all of the skills with all the different weapons, so now I’ll venture out further and see what trouble Jorn can get up to.
Azriel M, asura engineer
Azriel M in her town clothes
“Azriel Mithros” was the name of my first and main character in Guild Wars. I wanted to carry on the name but wasn’t sure about how. There is a long ridiculously complicated line of reasoning behind this and all my other name/character choices, of which I won’t bore you with the details here but might go into in a separate post because….long and complicated.
Originally I wanted an asura with just the one name, but alas. The “M” is because someone was quicker than I in the headstart and snagged “Azriel”. :( Now I console myself thinking an asura would like the name because of nerdy M-theory references.
I love the idea of an asura engineer, always tinkering and inventing new turrets and mines and gizmos and gadgets. It just seemed very fitting, and I was very happy to find out during the betas that I actually enjoyed the engineer play.
As for the looks – if there are dreads as an option I will most likely be picking them. I really liked the look of these dreadlocks, with the little hair band and then paired with the kind of cranky looking face. I imagine Azriel as an older crankier and, of course, wiser asura.
Azriel M, ready for battle
I’ve actually made Azriel M a couple of times, having trouble getting her looks quite to my liking. The last time I thought I had it right until I grouped with a bunch of other asura during a Dynamic Event and realized I was ginormous (by asura standards) and had a freakishly large head. That just wouldn’t do. I’m happy with her looks this time but unsure about my personal story selection. We shall see….
Rosetta Stohn, sylvari ranger
Rosetta Stohn in her heritage armor from the Hall of Monuments
I love her. I wasn’t quite sure about her, but as soon as I put on that heritage armor I fell in love. She’s the best.
“Rosetta Stohn” is another name carried over from Guild Wars. Long story short, I decided my sylvari was greatly influenced in the Dream by GW1 Rosetta Stohn’s adventures and legacy and thus took her name and followed her footsteps into being a ranger.
Here are some shots of her “town clothes”, which I really did not care for at first but after playing around with the dye I’m pretty happy with. Funny how that works.
Rosetta is totally ready for a fight in her fancy leaf bikini- go ahead, say something about her town clothes, she dares you.
I had the dye green to match the rest of her leafy body, but some party members said I looked naked and was indecent.
And then to really see the patterns and the glow (which is light blue):
Oh the sylvari. I had such a hard time making her. I think I spent over an hour trying to decide. I wasn’t sure between skin colors and hair colors and skin patterns and oh the choices! But in the end I went with the green and the hair that kind of falls in her face. I like to imagine it’s camouflage for her ranger skills – blending into the jungle and peeking out only to fire an arrow off at an enemy.
After that I have two character slots left, one of which will probably be going to a human mesmer:
my human mesmer from beta
I will most likely eventually make a charr. But I have a very hard time playing them because of my human story in GW1. I know, I know, the charr were there first and the humans were the invaders and the charr were just taking their land back. But I’m all Gwen’d up and the hate is planted deep. Seeing what’s become of Ashford, Old Barradin’s Estate, Nolani….no, it might take me awhile to get over that. Though I do really like the charr animations and looks, so there’s that going for them.
So fellow GW2 players, how have you been enjoying the game? Any super fantastico favorite experiences to share?