Preview – After Playing the Guild Wars 2 Open Beta, Here’s What I Loved: Combat

Guild Wars 2 Release

The weekend just gone marked the first Guild Wars 2 open beta weekend . And I played it.

Guild Wars 2 took another step towards release with the first weekend beta last week

Honestly, I had never been that hyped for Guild Wars 2. Coming from someone who played Guild Wars for three years intensively – and competitively – that’s probably surprising. The fact of the matter is, though, that I’ve grown up and developed other interests and started work. So when the Guild Wars 2 weekend beta was announced, I made a last minute decision to jump in after a friend did the same. So, was it worth it?

Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely, yes. Even when I played Guild Wars, I continued to play because of an active guild who had weekly and monthly events. It brought an element of fun to what is, I think, a game easily soleable. I also didn’t buy into World of Warcraft … twice. I think it’s the epitome of boredom, a grindfest. Guild Wars 2 isn’t anything like that.

You’ll notice it from the first moment: striking music – conducted by the wonderful Jeremy Soule – and a gorgeous art style. There were only three characters to choose from during beta – Charr, Human and Norn, and I chose the latter – but all had different characteristics. Choosing Norn, I decided to play as a Guardian.


My first quest in World of Warcraft? Go and kill a certain number of enemies. My first quest in Guild Wars 2? Go find an enemy. An acute difference; a giant circle is drawn on the map, and you go and explore. There’s no specific waypoint. This was a massive relief, as I could very seamlessly fit in.

Player are also very quickly eased into combat, which is different from Guild Wars as you can (shock!) jump, roll and strafe while attacking. This means dodging attacks is important, and it’s not about tanking or healing or DPSing specifically (though all can be done). Skills are also naturally learnt as you use a weapon, effectively becoming more proficient. I used a mace and a shield, and decided to go towards a more defensive build (my preference). It worked wonderfully.

Guild Wars 2 release 2012.

Published: Monday, April 30th, 2012 Last Modified: April 30, 2012

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