GW2 Beta Further Thoughts
I had fun with the Guild Wars 2 beta last weekend, but the game isn't perfect by any means. I don't like to get anyone hyped up without telling them about the negatives. After thinking about it for a few days there are certain things that I think could use improvement.
Let's talk about quest flow. The renown heart system is a step in the right direction for questing. It let me wander into an area and immediately start doing a variety of tasks that fill up the renown heart. Killing monsters, collecting items, and completing tasks all contribute to the overall heart. All of this can be done without ever talking to the quest giver. In a lot of ways this is perfect for an explorer like me. I can just wander around and organically complete renown heart quests while exploring.
It would be great on it's own but besides the renown heart quests there are also personal story quests. Renown hearts are great for exploring, but when I want story I would much rather do the personal quest line. The trouble with the personal quest line is it doesn't give enough experience to sustain itself. After a few quests the recommended level is higher than my character. This effectively disrupts the fun I'm having with the personal quest and forces me to go grind out some more levels before I can continue. I think this is a huge oversight. Azuriel gives a great example of this over on his blog.
My other main complaint is that some of the weapon abilities don't really mesh well. The two handed weapons are fine but when one type of weapon is equipped in a character's main hand an a different type is in their off hand there can be issues. The first 3 skill slots come from the main hand weapon and the next 2 come from the off hand. Some combos work. Some just feel off.
Arenanet seems to be all about changes and improvements between beta events so I'll keep watching as the game develops. These aren't game breakers for me, but it would be nice to see the issues addressed.