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Guild Wars 2 - Hands-On at PAX Prime Part 2

Updated Wed, Sep 08, 2010 by Sardu

Guild Wars 2 Hands-On

This weekend at PAX Prime in Seattle, Ten Ton Hammer was fortunate enough to get plenty of hands-on time with the live demo for Guild Wars 2. In fact, we even managed to play through full demo sessions of both the low level human experience in and around the village of Shaemoor, as well as the mid-level charr content including the epic Shatterer event and a whole lot more.

Since the overall breadth of content to consume in the Guild Wars 2 demo encompasses far more than what a single article could properly cover, we have a two part look at the game in action. First, Ethec shared his experiences as a human ranger, and for the second half of our two part feature Sardu gives an in-depth look at mid-level charr necromancer gameplay. How is the game shaping up so far? Read on and find out!

GUILD WARS 2 - HANDS-ON AT PAX PRIME PART TWO

Sardu's Second Look at Guild Wars 2 Through the Eyes of a Charr Necromancer

Over the course of a major industry event such as this weekend’s PAX Prime in Seattle, WA, a common question I’m asked is what was the most interesting thing I’d seen on the show floor so far. Earlier in the event season I honestly had a hard time pinpointing only a single title as being the one that made my socks go up and down simply due to the ever growing number of upcoming MMOGs that are all high on my radar.

And while a number of those same titles were on display at PAX – Rift, End of Nations, Torchlight II, TERA and LEGO Universe to name a few – getting my first look at upcoming Guild Wars 2 at gamescom last month made the answer to that question incredibly easy for me. Having seen the game in action at a second event in a row only helped solidify the fact that ArenaNet isn’t simply saying cool things about game mechanics that only sound good in print, but rather that those mechanics are in the game and are far cooler than simple text descriptions could properly describe.


While at gamescom, I spent the bulk of my demo time playing as a low level human necromancer, so I knew going into PAX that I wanted to hit the mid-level charr areas as much as our packed appointment schedule and the equally packed booth for Guild Wars 2 would allow. My first appointment was spent almost exclusively speaking to Game Designer Izzy Cartwright – an interview which proved to be so jam packed full of details about the game that it justifies being split into a few individual chunks which we’ll be rolling out throughout the week. But I also wanted to be sure to get some additional hands-on time with the game, and as luck would have it I managed to snag a second time slot with the ArenaNet team to do exactly that on Saturday afternoon.

My initial idea was to select one of the three other available professions this time around - elementalist, ranger or warrior – since I’d spent the bulk of my time playing a necromancer at gamescom. However, I also thought it would be an excellent opportunity to compare the low and mid-level necro experience, especially with the different racial abilities and animations thrown into the mix, so that’s exactly what I did.

I didn’t spend as much time with character creation, but did find some of the background choices for the charr to be pretty cool. In particular, one choice has you deciding between different members of your warband which grants you a racial elite skill that allows you to summon them to your current location to fight alongside you for a short period. While obviously a very different racial choice than deciding which of the human gods you were blessed by at birth, the 5 different charr options fit perfectly into their background and lore.

But enough about character creation for now – there was some monster bashing to be done and I was more than excited to see things like the weapon skills, Death Shroud abilities and  of course the diverse selection of necromancer minions in action. Let me say this much up front – the level 45 necromancer experience did not disappoint.


We spoke to a number of gamers in and around the Guild Wars 2 booth over the course of the weekend to get their impressions of the game so far, including a GW2 fan named Tony (pictured left) that had just completed his time with the live demo. We asked what he thought of the dynamic events system to which he replied, "They're Grrrrreat!"

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