Originally Posted by Aiani
I need a new game since both D3 and SWTOR have disappointed me. I have a couple of questions for those of you who might have spent some time playing the GW2 beta.
Is there a sense of exploration to this game? One of the things that really killed SWTOR for me was the fact that every new character you make goes to the same planets (there aren't very many of them) so you see those same planets again and again. It gets very boring and there is no feeling of exploration.
There's a lot of exploration. Many dynamic events are off the beaten path, as are many skill challenges. There's also cinematic events that were added in the last beta, called vistas, that are sometimes difficult to get to. There are also a lot of jumping/exploration puzzles that sometimes lead to interesting areas and boss fights. Though you don't have to explore, you'll want to explore.
There are also a lot of zones for multiple levels. Each race has their own starter zone, and there are several zones for each range of levels. You don't have to go to each zone, but if you don't you'll be missing out on story, events, skill challenges, ranger pets, etc.
Originally Posted by Aiani
Second question, is combat challenging? I'm kind of tired of games that are too easy. SWTOR was so easy and I'm a rather casual player so if it was easy for me I can't even imagine how easy it must have been to hardcore gamers. I just want a game where I feel like I have to try.
I have Skyrim and it fulfills those things but it is lacking the social aspect.
Difficulty is something that is, as far as I'm aware, still being balanced. The first two beta weekend events were very hard, but the third was very easy due to a worldwide bug that has since been fixed.
There's also different kinds of difficulty. If you're good at dodging and avoiding damage, the game will probably seem very easy. Ranged characters also have a slight advantage over melee characters, but it's really only noticeable in large events or against large bosses that throw down one hit kill attacks with little warning (something they've said they're working on).
The highest lvl character I got during the bwe's was a lvl 18 guardian, and one thing I noticed was that lower levels (1-10) were pretty hard because you don't have access to all of your tools and there's often little margin for error in dodging big attacks. Around lvl 12-13 that started to change as I had access to utility skills, weapon swaps, etc. that allowed me to mount a more proactive defense.
Another thing, some events become ridiculously easy given enough people participating in them, even despite scaling. Others are challenging no matter how many people seem to be around. I think there's still a lot of fine tuning going on.