Random Comments that Didn’t Fit in the Other Articles
Quest types – Made for Diversity
Yes, it’s an MMO, so you will have to kill stuff, help people, collect junk. It’s unavoidable. However, ArenaNet has improved the formula quite a bit by:
(1) Making it feel alive. Stuff happens whether you are there or not, whether you participate or not. This may not seem important, but it makes the world feel alive, and makes the whole combat very fresh and dynamic.
(2) You usually have many ways to contribute to an event. You can pick up stuff, you can help out fallen NPCs and players, you can kill foes, and/or you can destroy things. But you get to choose how you contribute, and you can contribute in multiple ways too if you want. This means that you pretty much always have choices on how you choose to play.
(3) You can join in or drop out as you want. You can help out on your way to your next objective, even if that means you are neither there at the start or at the end, but just help out a bit in the middle. As long as you contribute, you are rewarded for it. The key word is “contribute”, because leechers don’t get free points. It’s easy to contribute, just get involved.
(4) Every role is always needed. If there are a few people, you can contribute as healer or damage or nuke. Or just do the other tasks such as reviving people or collecting junk.
(5) You’re always welcome. It’s fun to play with other people, there is no sense of competition, instead it really fells cooperative.
Professions – Useful Tidbits
(1) Guardian weapon spells are very short-lived. They don’t feel like summons, rather they are moving spells. Guardians are pretty solid even without explicitly using protection skills.
(2) Engineers can pick up turrets, which triggers the turret’s cooldown rather than actually letting you carry it. It’s important to do that though, otherwise when you need your turret, it will still be where you left it, and you’ll have to detonate it and thus have to wait for the cooldown.
(3) You can fill every slot of the Necromancer’s non-weapon skills with minions, thus have 5 minion skills available, and you can easily maintain all those minions at the same time. They are decently powerful, but do expect to have to re-summon them and to have to actually use your weapon skills too. In more difficult areas, it’s quite possible for you to lose all of your summons, so beware.
(4) The ranger’s pet swap skill (F4) is really useful as an instant way to get your pet to where you are. The pet is a good solid addition to the ranger, but without it you can still be pretty decent in melee or ranged combat for both damage and survival. I would know, I did get my pet stuck somewhere once and I had to fight alone for a while. Pet AI is still work in progress.
(5) Go read the mesmer articles I wrote, there is no short way of explaining it.
(6) Necromancer minions can swim. Turrets, not so much. At the moment, there is no underwater equivalent for turrets.
(7) You cannot use teleport or jumping skills to access higher places.
Maps and Traveling – Tips for Travelers
(1) You can see stuff from a distance on the map. If I remember correctly, skill points are shown right away, whereas waypoints, vendors, etc are shown on the map when you get near (yet are still far away). So it’s actually not difficult to find the next waypoint or outpost.
(2) Waypoints are well spread and nearby enough that you won’t feel like you need a mount.
(3) If you logout, you will respawn where you left off. Be sure to log off somewhere safe (and not just safe at the moment, keep in mind that dynamic events means the area might be dangerous later). A good safe spot would be larger outposts.
(4) Skill point challenges are actually hard. Bring friends.
(5) Trying to run ahead can get you in trouble. Don’t do it. However, going back won’t make you too powerful, it will just reduce your XP gain.
Grouping – For your Real Friends
(1) In dynamic events, you don’t need to group to get all the benefits of playing with other people. Grouping happens naturally as people naturally form frontlines and backlines in the chaos that are dynamic events. Enjoy.
(2) Grouping is easy, there’s a party UI where you can add names, and you have your own chat channel. The UI shows you the health of other members of your party.
(3) Entering a dungeon was a bit complicated, but I think what you need to do is group up, then let the leader go in first, and then when you enter it asks if you want to enter the instance belonging to “your friend’s name”. If it doesn’t say that, decline, otherwise you’ll enter a separate instance.
(4) Chatting will show what you say in a bubble next to your face in the UI.
UI – Useful and Pretty
(1) You can draw on your compass. I assume that only party members can see that because in big dynamic events, I never had stupid stuff drawn on the compass.
(2) Everything is drawn with a painterly look, it’s very cool. Be sure to actually pause a moment to pay attention to those details.
(3) If you’re a Guild Leader, be sure to go to the guild page and click “represent this guild” each time you make a new character. I assume that the same may hold true for guild members of each rank too. It’s a bit annoying, but if that means we can have more flexibility in who belongs to what guild, that’s fine by me.
(4) Check your messages. The message system is useful for trading on the go, and also for receiving quest rewards so you don’t have to go talk to some far-away NPC each time.