GW2: Posting this from the overflow blogging server

Having re-subbed to WoW this weekend… no wait.

GW2! Best game ever! Yay!

Wait wait… GW2, still worth the $60, I guess. Much better.

Talking about the hours after a major launch is always subjective. My first hour with GW2 was an unplayable mess of lag and disconnecting. If I had logged off during that time, I could easily write a post today calling the GW2 launch yet another disaster in the storied history of MMO launches being disasters.

Of course, being a true MMO gamer, I took the game being unplayable as a challenge and soldiered on, and things improved. Others on vent reported similar issues, although others did not. I did not have an issue with the login server, but again others did. I was able to log right into Jade Quarry, but others reported it being full and had to later transfer.

Again, from what I’ve personally experienced and heard from others, overall the GW2 launch might be the best in MMO history (pending the ‘true’ release, but at this point I’d be shocked if come Tuesday the game has launch issues), so congrats to Anet for that. Maybe now going forward the question of “will the MMO be playable on day one” won’t be such a one-sided ordeal.

Gameplay wise the game is what it is. Some will tell you it’s solved all MMO woes (and be serious…), which amazingly was STILL happening in-game. One must wonder when that blind fanaticism will die down, because it truly is quickly becoming the worst aspect of GW2. My guess is the day those ‘dynamic’ events follow the path of WAR’s PQs (and they will) and becoming ghost-towns, but even then I’m not convinced.

The biggest grip I have right now is the overflow situation. I tried to play with my wife twice and both times the game made that impossible. Some have said the overflows are better than queues, and while I agree if you are playing solo, I’m not convinced from a multiplayer perspective. Again I’m guessing this will only be a short-term issue, because otherwise it’s going to be a MAJOR pain considering how often you zone in/out of areas.

I’m also curious how WvW queuing is going to work, as reportedly Jade Quarry had a permanent queue the entire time, and I could easily see Anet having trouble balancing population demands between servers. If Jade Quarry is all PvP players, and server X is carebear land where hardly anyone enters WvW, how is Anet going to balance total server population? If you limit it based on Jade Quarry, server X will have 10 people in WvW and get stomped. If you balance based on server X, Jade Quarry will forever have an insane queue for WvW. Something to keep an eye on as time goes by, and more people hit 80 and finishing leveling.

Overall though a good start for Anet and GW2, even with that stupid baseball cap they gave out to everyone that instantly kicks immersion in the nuts.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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30 Responses to GW2: Posting this from the overflow blogging server

  1. theJexster says:

    It’s the best park I’ve experience, but it’s still a park. Needs more box elements to take it to the next level. That hat, yeah, they should have at least made it, and the other store stuff, aesthetically fit the W2 world.

  2. Shadow says:

    Hat? Must have missed that.

  3. bhagpuss says:

    Mrs Bhagpuss agrees with you about the baseball cap.

    We didn’t have too much of a problem with Overflow. Some minor annoyances but in general we were never in OF for longer than 5 minutes. I’d far rather be in on the wrong server than out and looking at a queue timer regardless of whether I was trying to solo or join friends. If I was in a queue I wouldn’t be playing with friends anyway – they’d either be not playing too or playing without me so I don’t see where the argument is against this one.

    Overall, though, it’s apparent already that for explorer types like us this is the best MMO out the gate since Vanguard. Expecting to be playing this one for a long time, although never to the exclusion of other options.

    • SynCaine says:

      Two people queue up, 30 minutes later they are in-game and playing together until they log out.

      In overflow, you play 5 minutes together after spending 10 finding each other, you zone, back to overflow for however long (its long on JQ), do the rejoin dance, five minutes later zone again and you are screwed again.

      • bhagpuss says:

        You’d have to be running from zone to zone like a troll with his trousers on fire for that to happen. I like to think we roam around a lot but I doubt we changed zones more than once an hour at most. Five minutes lost out of every 60 isn’t too much of a problem.

        Actually our router gives us more trouble than any MMO queue or overflow ever did.

        • SynCaine says:

          Keeping up with the personal story will zone one character at least once every 30 min. Between two, and with how random the queue timers are between two characters, and it’s still a nightmare.

        • Kobeathris says:

          Syn, are you aware that if you are both on different overflow servers, you can right click on your wife’s portrait in the party window and choose join? When you do that it will zone you to the same overflow, and then it won’t ask you to travel to the main server until both of you are at the top of the queue.

        • SynCaine says:

          As of last night, that feature was not working for us on JQ.

        • Kobeathris says:

          Weird, it was working fine for me, the only time I had an issue with it was if one of us was in overflow and the other was on the main server.

    • Aerynne says:

      We had a similar experience. My boyfriend and I played together all weekend and although we were in different overflow servers a few times, we rarely (i.e. once) had a problem rejoining each other. I was pretty impressed with how well it all worked.

      I also agree with you about the explorer aspect of this game. It looks beautiful and I look forward to exploring it all fully.

  4. Dril says:

    “I tried to play with my wife”

    You’re married?

    That must have been fairly recent, I vaguely recall you referring to as your girlfriend not more than a month ago.

  5. adam says:

    I played in the beta in early May. I found the combat too spammy. The movement was too floaty. The world was too “planned out.” From what I’ve heard, none of that has changed.

    Oh well.

    • bhagpuss says:

      “The world was too “planned out” ” is a good criticism. I thought that too. On the other hand, so’s an art gallery or a formal garden.

      Much though I prefer a bit of chaos and conflicting design idioms, I can live with some planning if the result is as beautiful as this.

    • coppertopper says:

      Whenever I hear “the combat is spammy” it makes me cringe. Jeff Gerstman of Giantbomb said thesame thing. Truth is blocks and evades must be timed, and the main attack of each weapon is a 2-3 attack chain that is on autoattack after you activate it until you start another ability, resumes again after the other ability is over, and continues until your target is dead.

      • adam says:

        This sums up my thoughts on the “spammy” combat:

        Not having any resources to manage could be a good thing, but I never felt like it was when I played. I mostly just felt like I’d hit every DPS ability when it was off cooldown and every utility ability when it seemed appropriate, all of which required no more than 3 of my 15 brain cells.

        Even in PvP I found that spamming my abilities was just as effective as trying to be “strategic” since combat still mostly devolved into waiting on cooldowns while whaling on the ’1′ key.

        Now, maybe you can tell me it gets better at higher levels. I wouldn’t know. This was just my experience with 3 or 4 classes through level 10-15.

        • coppertopper says:

          ok once again you mention the 1 key – this is the default auto attack for every weapon, so hit it once and let er go. And you are missing out on the finer points tbh. Spamming abilities causes damage yes, but conditions/boons and how to counter them, as well as dodging to avoid big hits, and mastering timing on blocking abilities takes skill and class knowledgeg. In PVE look at the enemies picture after you target him – those are his abilities. Learn to counter them, and that will translate into success in PvP.

        • adammtlx says:

          If I recall, the 1 key wasn’t auto-attack back then. You had to hit it manually. They must have changed that.

          Anyway, spamming probably wouldn’t win me a lot of 1v1 matchups with more experienced players, but when I played, I did just fine with button mashing. What about in larger groups? Doesn’t seem like you’d have to do much besides mash. Sure didn’t when I played.

      • coppertopper says:

        Yes its amazing how helpful making that first ability auto attack is! And no – all subtlty is lost in large scale combat. But its perty seeing all those aoe effects.

  6. Cesar Malari says:

    Re: the overflow issue – if you’re in a party with someone and in the same zone as them (but not the same instance), right-click their portrait and pick “join in “, and you’ll be connected to the same overflow instance as them (space permitting). If that doesn’t work, have the other person do the same to you. Just don’t do it at the same time :)

  7. zaphod6502 says:

    I am enjoying GW2. It suits my casual playstyle and the game is simply gorgeous. It’s obvious the amount of love and craftsmanship that has built this game. Yes it is a themepark but a very good one.

    I can forgive the launch issues as the game has only been down a couple of hours for me since the beginning. The rest of the time has been reasonably seamless and for the most part I’ve been able to group with guildies using the old zone-in/rejoin trick.

    The biggest positive for me is that I no longer have to “Keep up with with Joneses”. If I am behind my fellow guildies either in level or gear it doesn’t really matter due to the auto-levelling function. I still feel relevant within the guild and am not forced onto the solo train and miss 50% of the games content (cough .. TSW .. cough).

  8. Azuriel says:

    WvW had a permanent queue over on Northern Shiverpeaks too, the Auction House was down the entire weekend (and still down), and guilds sorta did/sorta did not work for the first few days. I guess the game being playable makes it “best launch evar,” but that is a depressingly low bar.

    • coppertopper says:

      Team Legacy is on Northern Shiverpeaks. They are a super well organized and large guild that plans on dominating WvW for their server. Good luck getting with the wvw queue.

  9. Pingback: Guild Wars 2 – Officially Live Today « The Ancient Gaming Noob

  10. kalex716 says:

    Are their plans to rotate WvWvW matchups? That way all these alleged “pvp pro” servers can climb up the ladder to play against each other?

    • SynCaine says:

      Yea that’s the whole point: after every two weeks, the winning servers move up, the losers don’t. Eventually things will shake out and the top-ranked servers will go at it.

  11. 123 says:

    The animations are lame. Characters seemingly skate and I feel disconnected from them. Jumping and falling are done all wrong. The little polished details like sound effects on character movements, hits, deaths are missing. Combat consists of not even a tab — just face your target and spam a button. Mindless, unimmersing, and boring. Even GW1 felt more immersive.

    • saucelah says:

      I have to strongly disagree with the combat bit here. There are some setups that seem to encourage spamming buttons, but many where that would be a bad idea. Similar to LoL, if you’re constantly spamming your abilities just because they are up, you won’t have them when they are actually needed. And many of them are situational or can be used more effectively in some circumstances than others.

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