Pushing people around, yelling, loud music, the smell of sweat, over-active entertainers and, most of all, the Guild Wars 2 Demo. I might have waited four hours to get my hands on the PvE demo, but I did it. I played Guild Wars 2! But I’m telling you all one thing: that it’s the last time I went to Gamescom or any other gaming convention. Gamers are just too damn crazy when it comes to free stuff and games.
When arriving at Gamescom, I didn’t think it would be possible for it to be this crowded or loud. I was already proven wrong at the entrance. About three thousand people were all waiting to get inside while a staff member was trying to get us to queue at the “line on our right”. There was no line, only a mass of people pushing each other. When he became too loud, I began to yell back, which led to the fact that I was almost kicked out. Luckily, I ran away and got in without further incidents.
The first and only hall that I visited was, of course, hall 9. It couldn’t have been a worse hall for NCsoft to put up there boot, being that the ESL was also situated in this hall, leading to the fact that Guild Wars 2 fanboys were mixed up with all kinds of fanboys who came to see the ESL competitions. When I arrived, it was clear that the queue for the PvP demo was way shorter and moved faster. Also, there was an event happening at the NCsoft boot, so the crowd was erupting in a frenzy to get their hands on a Guild Wars 2 shirt. After waiting about an hour and a half, which I spend watching the other PvP matches of Guild Wars 2, it was my turn to play the game and kick some ass. In the end, it was my ass that got kicked.
I decided to play as a guardian, thinking it would be easiest, seeing that it is kind of more protective, thus easy to maintain health. Right when I wanted to see some different weapons, the game started and I just rushed out with the rest of them, carrying the weapons that were given. I rushed to the clock-tower, and I captured it, but I don’t know what my team was doing because, suddenly, the other team captured the two remaining points. I tried to jump out of a window, when the other team came climbing up the stairs and captured the clock-tower. Now it was time to test my knowledge of the game to defeat my enemies. I blew it.
Auto-targeting is no longer the case, so I had to click on my targets. Also, the “clicking to ground-target” was new to me, so in the end, I died. There are a lot of things you have to get used to, like the targeting, 10-skills system, clicking and visual is a lot to get used too. I should have played the game on a slower pace first. I can imagine that the game is fun, different and challenging, but you have to get used to it first. What I saw during PvP was simply stunning. PvP is what I can only describe as an organized chaos that one can get used to only by playing the game. Sadly, I wasn’t able to play around with the trebuchet because the other team scored 500 points before I got a chance too.
After some time, it occurred to me that “conquest” is in many way the new Jade Quarry, only way better. Now, it isn’t about having a some luck and having a monk and a AoE profession that could capture a mine in less than three seconds. It about having a good tactic and talking and planning together with your team. It isn’t about keeping the turtle or carrier alive, but about the extra’s like the windows that can be broken, the tower that can be climbed for a better view and the trebuchet that can help your team mates. No more bad luck, only bad tactics. And for all those fanatic out there, the ones that call their team noobs when you don’t win: remember, it’s a game. And hot-join PvP is for fun, just go to structured PvP if you want to have everything your way, which I think is kinda boring. Chaos is the ultimate battle for me.
The next four hours were spent queuing to get my hand on the PvE demo. The people in line were so nice, telling me I invaded their personal space, accusing me of skipping ahead in the line and asking me if I could reduce my playing-time from 40 to 20. After all of that, combined with two showcases, it was my turn to play the game. I was torn between the human starting area and the higher level Orr region. After my defeat in PvP, it was obvious I had to familiarize myself with the controls and the game itself, so the starting area would have been better. But, after four, yes four, hours of waiting, I decided I wanted the full experience and went for a level 60 sylvari elementalist. This time, everything went a little better. I died 2 times, did some underwater combat, fought Tequatl the Sunless and had some casual playtime.
I started with some casual playing and wound up in a Dynamic Event, where I had to defend an entire region of hylek from some undead, whose numbers increased when more players showed up. This gave me a good look of how well dynamic events really worked. I arrived in an area where a lot of people were fighting. Because of this, a lot of undead kept spawning and exploding everywhere, making the fighting really feel alive and fast-paced. I saw that the south-side was not as well protected, so I went south and found three undead killing the defenceless hylek. While the more populated area was overrun by a wave of undead, this area only had three, making it perfect for solo fighting. I still had a hard time fighting these undead, and I had to pull everything besides my elite skill out of the closet to defeat them, but I managed and had a great sense of accomplishment. After I defeated the first wave, the undead came back one at a time, but then more players arrived and the undead’s numbers increased so we all had something to do. After about seven minutes, the event was complete and we all got a reward without seeing any NPC’s. I continued to explore the region when, suddenly, an event popped up telling me I had to defend a village. Sadly, I arrived too late, but there was no need to worry. A new event popped up, telling me I now had the chance to recapture the village from the undead. Three more players joined me and before we knew it, the village was saved and the hylek moved into it again.
When I wanted to explore some more, an nice little message flashed across my screen, telling me about a special demo opportunity. Yes, Tequatl the Sunless was about to rise once more. I was taken to the beach instantly and a few moments late, the dragon rose from the sea and destroyed the ruins and the remaining of the boats on the beach before he used fear on us. It really was an epic battle. While you could mindlessly blast the dragon, you also had great opportunities to destroy his minions who would blow up and poison everyone around them. Also, the turrets that could be manned were a nice addition, although the only thing you had to do was spam 1 and 2. But even in the turrets, you aren’t safe. Before you knew it, one of those Tequatl Fingers would swipe you out of them, forcing you to destroy them, ranged attacks being the best ones. And if you weren’t into that, you could also defend the turrets or the mega asura cannon, which would fire on the huge dragon and stun him for a while.
After the dragon was defeated and flew of, I took the last few minutes of my time to do some underwater combat. I used a waypoint, which was situated in the water, and began attacking the first beast I could find. Thinking back, I should’ve ran to a lake instead of just teleported my way into one. That would’ve given me a more extensive experience. It took about three foes to get used to that system, and to be honest, it’s a bit more difficult. Positioning is more important, and area of effects are more prominent. Also, swimming away from your enemies is not the best tactic.
After that, my demo time was up and I was pushed away by another fanboy. I decided that I had endured enough craziness for the day, and to be honest, my headache was getting a little alarming, so I decided to spend the rest of my time shopping in Cologne. Conclusion: 60 euros well spend.