BWE 3 thoughts – Rylar edtion

Our final beta weekend has been and gone, and I thought I’d add my thoughts and impressions to Mozu’s while we all play the waiting game.

Unlike previous betas, I spent a lot of the weekend sampling classes other than my planned main. Sure, I got my Warrior up above 15 again, but I also spent a good amount of time with the Guardian, Necromancer and Elementalist. I also made a character from every race except human. I did however spend a bit of time in every race’s starting zone.

Some thoughts on the starting areas – the Charr, Human and Norn areas have been beefed up since the last BWE. There were more events, and entire structures and areas that I didn’t remember.  I think it successfully broke up some of the zergyness sometimes.

As far as classes go:

Warrior – still the profession for me. Guardian was fun, but I just enjoyed the warrior more. Still no clue as to what weapons I’ll use in the end though.

Guardian – I can see why every is having so much fun with this class! I didn’t even get to hammer, but mace/shield was a great defensive setup, especially in groups. I really felt like I had lots of built in support options, whereas with the warrior, you have to spec that way more consciously. I’ll be making a Norn guardian as an heir to a character I played in Torchlight.

Elementalist – Pretty fun, but man, unlocking all of those skills is a pain in the ass. Advice on how to speed that up would be welcome! I liked scepter-focus quite a lot, but didn’t get any other weapons unlocked completely. I have an Asuran char planned for this profession.

Necromancer – Felt like a more visceral, grimmer caster when compared to the elementalist. I loved loved loved axe as a mainhand weapon, and duel daggers was also pretty fun, even though apparently Necros were nerfed a bit this time around. Totally making an alt with this profession, probably Sylvari.

As for the races:

Norn- I tried a different story arc this time, and it was a bit more compelling and fun as engaging to the one from last beta. Voice acting was still ‘eh’, but the actual plot felt more fun.

Asura – I adore those mad little geniuses. Between the technology, snarkyness and fabulous fabulous technobable, I very much enjoyed their starting area. Playing one was pretty fun – they feel like a little ball of barely managed inertia as they run around (if this makes any sense).

Sylvari – Hands down, one of the most fun character creators I’ve played with. Loved the Grove, loved the starting area. The early storyline was quite compelling.


Melee felt fun and viable as compared to BWE1. Event scaling was working better, though in large groups, some of the low level stuff felt overly easy to me. There are some tweaks to be made with AI, and balancing of various things, but I think the game, when it comes out in August is going to be in pretty good shape. There might be a few more tweaks to scaling to class balance, and some more bugs to find, but I cannot wait to get my ass back into Tyria. I’ll post about TDM’s final beta get together another time. We had another delightfully fun get together, this time in Metrica province. No cows this time, but lots and lots of wacky rat people.

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4 Responses to BWE 3 thoughts – Rylar edtion

  1. Neeks says:

    Lol that’s a great way to describe the Asura. I had alot of fun with mine, till she opened her mouth and I saw all the sharp teeth. /ward gremlin :) But yah, their animations are the best, methinks.

    As far as unlocking skills, maybe I’m imagining it, but it seems to unlock faster using the skill just before the one you want to unlock. ie, using #2 alot when you’re trying to get to #3. Not sure if that’s truly the case or if it just seems that way, but even the placebo effect might ease one’s patience. ;)

  2. Battlecat says:

    For the Elementalist, I found that the support powers are way easier to unlock in a group. I had fire maxed out on all weapons within 5 levels, but the water powers were frustrating solo. But in a group I had those unlocked in no time at all. Just takes a bit more patience than the other classes but the reward is well worth it!

    Have to agree that melee was completely viable when compared with beta 1. I had a blast playing my warrior and he’ll certainly be my first alt. Good summary, can’t wait till launch.

  3. Drew says:

    Regarding unlocking skills:
    It seems to me like killing mobs is the key. Simply using the skill doesn’t create progress; your target has to die. I’m not sure if you actually need to make the killshot yourself, but given the overall game design, I’m guessing no. This would support Battlecat’s impression about group play. Another conclusion to take away from this is that killing lots of easy mobs is a faster way to unlock skills than going after a few hard ones. Armed with this info, I found unlocking to be pretty quick; I suspect an Elementalist can easily get all their weapon/element skills unlocked by L10.

    Regarding Elemntalist play:
    I find that for most elements, Dagger/Focus and Scepter/Dagger gave me better skill selections than the more obvious Dagger/Dagger and Scepter/Focus. The offhand Focus gives some nice ranged moves when using short-ranged mainhand Dagger, and the offhand Dagger gives more raw offensive abilities to go with Scepter, versus the more utility-oriented Focus.

  4. Rylar says:

    Thanks guys. I think you are right about playing with a group. I’ll try to hook up with some folks or latch onto a zerg when I take my elementalist out for a spin. I didn’t get anywhere near the daggers, but I’ll try to get one next time! Wait, I mean I’ll try to get one at release. Hee!

    As far as the rules for unlocking skills – I believe it happens when you contribute to a kill -so no need to worry about who makes the killing blow.

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