GW2 – Path Of Fire Demo, Take Two

This morning I tried the Path of Fire demo again, and it went much better. Thanks for the encouraging comments on my last whiny post. :)

In fact, the second time through, I got all the way through the burning village and killed the two Veteran Forged Warhounds without dying. Then … the client disconnected.

That was disappointing, to say the least.

So I had to go through it a third time. I got through it all again without dying. I put out all the fires in the village, got the Raptor mount, met what’s-her-name and what’s-his-name, and got out into the city. (I actually saw the city before, because if you rage-quit the episode like I did yesterday, it drops you into the city.)

I really only did three things differently to get through the combat: 1) I actually bound Dodge to the key I expected it to be on, 2) I kept moving constantly, and 3) I hit every ability on the hotbar as soon as it came off of cooldown.

Just doing those three things I managed to stay relatively damage-free for most of the fighting. (I stuck with the scepter, too.) I had spent too much time playing more “traditional” MMORPGs and forgot that playing GW2 is basically like playing a shooter from a third-person viewpoint. If you stand still for any reason, you’re going to die in seconds.

Anyway, the new city looks nice, although there’s a very noticeable drop in frame rate. GW2 is not a game that appears to be rendering a lot of high-end graphics, but it certainly chugs like it is.

Mounts are one of the major selling points of this expansion. I can say that the Raptor is neat, the jumping is neat (if somewhat imprecise and frustrating), and the tail swipe is neat. I don’t see it fundamentally changing the game in any way, though, except that it will allow the developers to add different kinds of jumping puzzles. So … yay?

Other than the mounts, I just saw more of the same GW2 continuing into a desert zone. I’m starting to rethink whether $30 is cheap enough to buy this expansion. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I feel like I should work on finishing Heart of Thorns and the Living Story Season 3 before I think about venturing into the Crystal Desert.

3 thoughts on “GW2 – Path Of Fire Demo, Take Two”

  1. Glad you made it!

    And thanks for this paragraph:

    “I really only did three things differently to get through the combat: 1) I actually bound Dodge to the key I expected it to be on, 2) I kept moving constantly, and 3) I hit every ability on the hotbar as soon as it came off of cooldown.”

    That explains more to me about the perceived difference in difficulty in GW2 than just about anything i can recall reading before. The style of gameplay you describe having changed to is almost exactly how I play all the time (except that I click my dodges from the arcs on the hotbar, being an inveterate clicker who only ever uses the keyboard for movement and chatting).

    You might think I play that way, without even thinking about it, because I’ve been playing GW2 non-stop for five years but the fact is I play most MMOs that way and have done for a lot longer than GW2 has existed. I can, in fact, say when that started – it was in Vanguard back in 2007.

    Vanguard was the first MMO I remember playing that allowed casters to cast while moving. Once I discovered that I was away! I never stood still if i could move. I strafe all the time in every MMO that has strafing, not for any purpose but because I love to be always in motion. I often run in circles as I fight just for the fun of it.

    As for cooldowns…I generally treat every ability as essential and try to fire them all at all times they are available. I have never really understood the concept of a “rotation” – my rotation is everything that’s not on cooldown as fast as i can hit the icon. Given that I also try to play classes with the maximum number of open AES – especially PBAEs – you can imagine how that goes. I like chaos and I like explosions – what can I say!

    Finally, dodges. Prior to GW2 I didn’t expect to enjoy dodging but as soon as I tried it I loved it. I dodge constantly, regardless of whether I need to or not. I just love being a blur of motion. I also find GW2’s dodging mechanic exceptionally easy to use – no other MMO dodge feels anything like as organic or natural.

    So, it appears that, without really thinking about it, I was probably already playing instinctively in the way ANEt wanted people to play before I even started GW2. (I did play a ranger originally because I was worried about the “action combat” and the dodging, ironically, but that worry vanished the first time i got my hands on the game).

    I might cannibalize this comment for a post. Thanks for the insight – it really has clarified a lot of things for me.

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