‘Guild Wars 2’ Sunday Morning In-Game Review: Problems Still Plentiful

Good Morning gamers. I am taking a break from playing Guild Wars 2 to bring you the latest news from inside the game. Its 4:00 am CST, Sunday morning, and I will admit that I am having a good time, despite the many issues that are still unresolved.

On a positive note, questing has been quite pleasant. There are literally hundreds of general quests that players can pick up from the various hubs, so leveling has not been a grind. The story line quests are exciting, and challenging, plus they offer some sweet rewards and a generous amount of XP (experience).

Another factor that makes Guild Wars 2 enjoyable is the plethora of different ways to earn experience points besides questing. Both crafting and exploring will help you reach the level cap of 80 much faster than if you just complete quests.

Not only can you make money, and produce items to improve your character, but crafting is an veritable XP factory. Players can have two active crafting professions at a time, and every time you create an item you gain experience. The real payoff comes when you add the final point to max out a profession, and you receive a sizable portion of bonus experience.

Exploration in Guild Wars 2 is interesting, challenging, and gives players tons of experience. There are hard to reach vistas to climb, important points of interest to locate, quest hubs to complete, and skill tests to pass in order to fully explore each zone in the game.

In addition to abundant experience points, exploration actually has some nice perks for your character, instead of just being a time sink to keep you playing longer. The skill tests bestow valuable points to purchase new spells, and completing the zone rewards players with several great loot items, many of which are quite beneficial for crafting.

I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention that reaching some of the vistas is so challenging you may want to punch a hole in a wall after you fall for the 20th time, die from the impact, and have to start over. But, oh my, what a feeling of satisfaction, when you finally climb that ridiculous cliff face, and reach the last vista to finish exploring the zone.

Several of my mates from the Lethality Guild on Sea Of Sorrows server suggested waiting until you get closer to level 80 to complete zone exploration and max out your crafting skills. This will give you a substantial quantity of experience, which will come in handy, since the leveling always tends to become a bit more of a grind as you near the cap. Simply save the last point of each crafting skill for later, and leave every zone with one unconquered vista.

So much for the good stuff. Now, sadly, I have to address the problems that still exist in the game. As I did yesterday, instead of giving you a quick summary, I am going to share the latest update directly from ArenaNet:

Guild Wars 2 Update for Sunday:

Account Security: Read this! If you don’t want your account hacked, don’t use the same email address and password for Guild Wars 2 that you’ve used for another game or web site. Hackers have big lists of email addresses and passwords that they’ve harvested from malware and from security vulnerabilities in other games and web sites, and they’re systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts.

We’re doing everything we can to protect you. But to protect you in this case, we have to start with, “the hacker knows this person’s account name and password; now how do we keep him from stealing the account?” That’s hard to protect against. Don’t let it get to that point. Please immediately change your password to a new, strong, unique password that you’ve never used anywhere else.

Hacked Accounts: Our customer support team is prioritizing tickets from customers with hacked accounts or who are otherwise blocked from logging into the game. If your account was hacked, please follow these instructions for submitting a ticket, to make sure that your ticket is correctly prioritized and to make sure you’re submitting all the information we need to restore your access.

For hacked accounts, expect a response within 72 hours. As of this writing we’re working on tickets submitted August 30. If you submitted a hacked account ticket on August 29 or earlier, and haven’t received a response yet, your ticket may not be correctly prioritized. In that case, please submit a new ticket using the above instructions, and in the title write, “Hacked Account – Ticket submitted August 2x – Ticket number xxxxxx-xxxxxx” (fill in the date and ticket number), and we will prioritize your existing (August 29 or earlier) ticket.

Reset Password: We’re leaving the “reset password” feature disabled for now. If you forgot your password, please contact the customer support team.

We’re leaving this disabled for now because we believe that a significant number of customers are unaware that hackers have the passwords for their email accounts. If we enable “reset password”, a hacker who can get into an email account can use that access to get into the associated Guild Wars 2 game account.

Email Authentication: Email authentication is a feature we use to prevent hackers from gaining access to an account even if they know the account name and password.

We suffered an outage of email authentication mails today, preventing players from authorizing logins from new locations. This is now resolved.

When you receive an email authentication message, or any other email from noreply@guildwars2.com, do not mark the email as spam! If you do, your email provider may prevent you from seeing any future email authentication messages.

Parties, Guilds, etc.: We’ve made significant fixes to parties and guilds. However, you may still see intermittent outages. These outages cause symptoms such as party members not appearing on the map, party members not staying in the same overflow servers as they travel between maps, party members not joining dungeons together, and guild invites not working.

Trading Post: We’re periodically opening the Trading Post for testing. This morning it was open to all players for six hours. As of this writing, the Trading Post is offline so we can apply further bug fixes and performance improvements.

This morning during testing, some users purchased items and didn’t immediately receive them, or sold items and didn’t immediately receive the gold. We do have record of these transactions and are working on completing them. Check the “pick up” tab on your commerce panel to see if your transaction has completed.

PvP Tournaments: PvP tournaments were temporarily disabled today. We have now restored them.

Overflow: During this initial surge of high concurrency, and especially while most characters are low-level and thus playing in the same starting areas, it’s common for players to be directed to overflow servers. If you want to play with a friend, but you’re not on the same overflow servers, you can form a party together, then right-click on your friend’s portrait in the party list and click “join”.

We expect the use of overflow servers to naturally subside as players spread out more through the world.

Forums: Our most important priority at the moment is to ensure that the game runs stably and flawlessly. So as to not create additional demand on our infrastructure and on our programming team, we made the decision not to open the forums until the initial mass influx of players has calmed down a bit.

Unfortunately, there is one more issue for ArenaNet’s official list. The dungeon instances were inaccessible on Saturday. Either we couldn’t get all our team members on the same server, or the instance was full for extended periods of time. During other attempts to enter an instance, some group members were locked out for no apparent reason. We were not able to start a single dungeon all day.

There you have it; a brand new game with amazing potential, that is still struggling to get everything operational, safe, and secure. The parts of Guild Wars 2 that work are quite enjoyable, but many of the problems have been unresolved since the very first day of launch, and it is starting to become aggravating.

After years of playing redundant, unimaginative games, Guild Wars 2 has brought a slightly imperfect breath of fresh air to online gaming. We can only hope ArenaNet gets their act together quickly, so we can really enjoy all the cool stuff Guild Wars 2 has to offer. However, the grumbling is starting, and while players are still in a relatively forgiving mood, their patience wont last forever.