Kotaku takes us through their weekend of beta testing by diving deep into the beautiful world that the developers at Arenanet have created.
Except, of course, that I would. Because of the way that quests and missions pop up around the world, as live events, it’s easy to get carried away. Step across an invisible perimeter (which then becomes visible, on your map), and you’re in range for a ring event, quest, or straight-up mass melee. Up comes an alert, whether it’s for a farmer whose corn you can water or for a giant wasp who’s so far got a full dozen players running for their lives. Cross out of the circle again, and you’re on your own, the plea for aid vanishing from your screen as if it had never been.
Trained by other MMOs, I tried to stay respectful. When someone was fighting a centaur, I backed away; when someone was harvesting apples from a tree, I moved to another node. Only after several hours did I finally realize that the game was aiming for cooperation, not competition, and that kill-stealing was more or less impossible. If a nearby character and I teamed up on a kill, we both got credit and full loot, even without being grouped. Likewise, spawned bosses, like the giant wasp, are fights for any and all hands in the area. Anyone can heal themselves, and anyone can revive others. The game actively encourages the human impulse to come running over and lend aid in a crisis, which for me made a delightful change from the usual gruff “stay out of my way” mood I have felt in other games.
After our weekend in Guild Wars 2 we couldn’t agree more and really loved the cooperation aspect of the game.