While I maxed out a lot of characters playing Guild Wars 2 previously, the Guardian wasn’t one of them. After trying out the Dragonhunter Guardian, however, I think this will cease to be the case. The Dragonhunter elite specialization gives the Guardian access to a longbow, which I find to be an amazing aesthetic. It also gives Guardians access to traps, which I think will also give the Guardian more interesting ways to play (some offensive, some defensive). Add in the new active components of their virtues and a new elite skill that vortexes enemies in and holds them there with a barrier, I’m definitely more interested in investigating the Guardian more.
Besides the new profession and elite specializations, I also explored part of the new Heart of Maguuma zone. The beta dropped me off right at the beginning of the expansion, where my NPC party and I had crash landed in the Maguuma Jungle. The Heart of Maguuma is vast, and pretty different than any other Guild Wars 2 zone I’ve previously encountered, with an immense feeling of height and depth to the map. At times I felt a mile above or below areas I had been to previously. I could also see clear similarities between the zone and the Maguuma Jungle zones found in Guild Wars 1, which I was happy to see.
I wasn’t able to mess too much with Masteries (a new advancement system that includes new ways to navigate terrain and reach new areas) this beta weekend. While I advanced some in one of the tracks, I didn’t gain enough mastery XP to unlock a new transportation mode. I’ll certainly be delving more into this on a later beta weekend.
Overall, my first impressions of the beta weekend were solid. I’d seen the game in action and played a tiny bit at PAX East this year, but my experience this weekend gave me a much better feeling. I’m looking forward to seeing (and playing) more! Thanks to Arenanet for providing the beta weekend key!