Outside of a few glitches, my early access experience went pretty smoothly. Unlike other launches, I didn’t have to wait in queue to log in, and although other people experienced login issues, I wasn’t one of them. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t playing in the first few hours of the launch. In fact, I didn’t even log in until almost lunchtime on Saturday because my husband and I had been celebrating our anniversary out of town.
The first order of business, of course, was creating my new characters since none of the beta weekend or stress test characters/items/cash carried over into launch. I had a hard time deciding who my Fynralyl would be since I both wanted her to fit my idea of who Fynralyl is as well as be a character I would enjoy playing past more than the first few levels. While I am really interested in most of the professions, I knew that certain ones, especially melee classes like the Thief, wouldn’t exactly be my cup of tea so to speak.
My very first Fynralyl was a gnome rogue in the first D&D game I played with my husband. There is a Thief class in Guild Wars 2, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I was very hot/cold with the class and knew I didn’t want to tie up my main name on a class I just wasn’t sure about. So, I started looking at other Fynralyls in my gaming history. More recently, I’ve had a Sith Inquisitor and a Smuggler in SWTOR, as well as my Shaman in WoW that were all named Fynralyl. The Elementalist could stand in for either the Inquisitor or Shaman in different ways, but I still think of the Elementalist as a mage-like character, so knew that wasn’t going to feel right either. Engineer is probably the closest to a Smuggler in GW2, but I had no love for the small amount of time I played one. Engineer was definitely not going to be one of my first five GW2 characters created. I was stumped. I wanted my first character to feel right as Fynralyl because no matter if another class levels faster or gets more playtime, I still think of Fyn as me.
Another first Fynralyl was the very first one I played in an MMO. Not long before Wrath of the Lich King came out, I started playing WoW with my friend (and within a few hours my husband joined in as well). My first Fynralyl, created on a PvP server no less, was a Holy Paladin. Since my friend was a Prot Warrior, we leveled all the way from 1-80 as a team and had a blast doing it. I never switched to another spec. I learned to help DPS with Holy Shock and Judgements, stacking crit to have them count (and score bonus heals). I was Holy and I was a healer, but I wasn’t just a healer.
I was hesitant to try a Guardian in Guild Wars 2 because of the whole melee thing. I’d heard that it was a lot like a pally, but I was still not sure I wanted to have a melee main, despite the fact that my Shaman was Enhancement and I’d leveled another Paladin as Prot (also named Fynralyl, but on a different server), I still didn’t think I would do well with it. And let’s face it, we all want to do well and have fun in a new game. I had played a Guardian for a few minutes during the only beta weekend I was involved in and I remembered liking the mace ability that felt like Consecration. I said, sure… why not! Worst case, I would hate playing it and I’d have to delete and reroll as a new profession.
So, as a nod to the very first Fynralyl, who was a gnome rogue in D&D and to my first MMO Fyn, who was a holy paladin, the first official character I rolled in Guild Wars 2 was Fynralyl, Asura Guardian:
Isn’t she adorable?
Naming and creating my next four were a lot easier. Vystrie, Norn Mesmer:
Kturra, Charr Thief
Nyevnen, Sylvari Elementalist
And finally, Lindria Lorlach, my Human Ranger, who is named after the first character I ever made in D&D, even before I made the name Fynralyl Raydona.
I spent most of the weekend playing on Fynralyl and had a great time. I did, however, have a few gripes that others have likely gone into more detail about. First off, grouping was not working well. A big part of that was the instanced overflow areas. I play MMOs as a way to play with specific people in my life, you know, like my husband. If we didn’t have our timing down, one of us would be in an overflow while the other was in the main map. Someone might then recommend that we not take the “travel” option and stay in overflow. Except this doesn’t work either as there are multiple overflow instances and no way to bounce between them. In fact, we came out of an instanced story that we’d participated in together as a group in a party, and were then put in different overflow instances. It was beyond frustrating. I know that it was a major issue for my friend Anexxia and her guy. I do, however, have every confidence that they’ll adjust it as they get everything ironed out during launch. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Another bone of contention for me is that the Black Lion Trading Post (ie: auction house) was down all weekend. Now, I’m not one who plays the Trading Post to make as much cash as possible, just to have it. I do, however, like selling off excess mats and finished goods so they’re not cluttering my bags or becoming vendor fodder. Not having an outlet meant that not only are my characters strapped for cash, but the single small bank that they all have to share is bursting at the seams. While raw and refined mats each have their own slot in the shared crafting bank, if you exceed the max stack, those items can’t be deposited. Also, any component pieces you make (like settings, rings and hooks for my jewelcrafter) have to go into the main regular bank that only has 30 total slots. Combine this with the finished goods I haven’t been able to unload and my bank already looks like this:
Again, I’m sure they’ll bring the Trading Post up as soon as possible, but this only served to highlight how limited storage really is in the game. If it were just limited storage, it wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s also the only method to move items between characters unless you have a trustworthy friend to mail items through. Unlearned dyes that I want a specific character to use and crafted weapons, like the dual axes in the above screenshot, have to be stashed somewhere while I wait to get things sorted out. Don’t get me wrong, the shared bank space has its perks, but I think it should be in addition to character specific space. Just like five sisters can’t share a single bathroom without catfights, 30 slots of non-crafting material bank space is enough to start a riot between my five girls.
Even with these couple of gripes I have, I’m still having so much fun playing my new game. Guild Wars 2 is definitely my kind of game. Off I go to explore some more!