Wash Your Paws Before Dinner

Hunter, you were spot on. I am RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED that charr run on all fours (At least until they pull out weapons, then it’s back paws only). I don’t think I can over-state how excited I am about that. It scratches my bestial itch. I’m not a furry, but I do enjoy the primal nature inherent in beast-like classes and races. The charr give me the same satisfaction that I had from playing a feral druid in WoW. And now I can feel bestial and cast spells if I want to! (instead of being an overweight moon chicken) It kind of puts the kibosh on skirts though. My mattress is on the floor and if I try to wear a nightgown to bed (sometimes I feel like being ye olde Tiger) I just end up tripping all over it and eventually breaking either the nightgown, nightstand, or myself.

I’m clumsy. Shut up.

Where was I? Charr on all fours. Excellent.

Also special thanks to Guild Mag for posting the unofficial gameplay video of the charr on their itunes stream. I can see that at work. More please!

The first videos I saw, however, were of the human starting areas.

Here’s some of my initial reactions:

• I’m not a fan of the glowing halo around monsters and allies. After watching the charr video though I think I’ll be able to get used to it. It will certainly make selecting monsters and allies easier. In GWC I rely heavily on tab-targeting and my party window. Every time I try to select from models on the screen I fail miserably and give up in disgust.

• I’m pretty underwhelmed with the User Interface, but that’s not a big deal. Remember what the GWC beta interface looked like? (I actually liked the beta interface btw)

Yeah. I’m sure it’ll get a nice coat of “ooh shiny” before the game goes live. As far as the layout of the interface goes I like it just fine, actually I like it a lot. If there’s clickable things on the left I wish they were on the right where the energy bar is (e.g., swapped) but that’s just because that when playing I usually keep my mouse in the right half of my screen. GWC offers a stupid amount of built-in customization options for the interface. I have no reason to doubt it’ll be any different for GW2.

I’m getting a strong WAR vibe from it. I think it has to do with the objectives being in an itemized list in the upper-right hand corner. That’s not a bad thing, I really enjoyed WAR. I think that vibe comes from just seeing the human areas however. Once I saw the charr video that vibe wasn’t there, but once again, I’d like to stress that I don’t consider the WAR vibe to be a bad thing at all.

Also, hunter you have my eternal gratitude for posting a screenshot using photobucket! It’s hanging out in an extra tab, not pulling bandwidth (like a video would) and not getting me in trouble. You’re awesome man.

(notice how I just gave up using bullet points? Yeah what happened there?)

In the video that GuildMag posted, Martin seems to be playing a warrior and I’m excited to see that the character still feels very lithe. I’m not a fan of big and bulky which is why I usually shy away from heavily-armored professions. If I can get the lean jungle cat feeling from the charr I just might be sold on playing a warrior.

My thoughts on the charr video:

• Martin doesn’t do a very good job of “don’t stand in the bad” but I guess if you’re a developer playing a tricked out character it doesn’t matter all that much.

• Gender lines for the charr are feeling a little blurred. It’s probably just because of the video quality but I really have to squint at those tails.

• That dual-mace spin-attack skill looks really cool. I want ten.

• I like the brush-stroke activation bars. More of their painterly aesthetic.

• Turrets! Turrets are always fun.

• Steeleye Span can be overrun. I’m thinking it probably won’t be mobile. Ah well.

• I like the map functionality. The zoom and fade effects when pulling it up and down are very nice. It looks big. I mean really big.

• Also moas. /cheer.

• The sounds in the NPC communication ‘windows’ (they’re not exactly windows) reminds me of Kingdom Hearts. I’m not too crazy about it. (I didn’t care for Kingdom Hearts and I don’t feel its cartoony aesthetic fits with GW2.) That’s just my opinion though, and the sound could have been distorted.

• Who let those harpies out of Elona? Bad harpy, no biscuit! I haaaaaated Elonian harpies. Heket too.

I was really excited to finally hear from some animators on ArenaNet’s blog. I love working in 3D in general, but animation is my passion. Heron Prior mentioned that the dragon wasn’t mocapped and I’m curious to know who asked about that. How do you mocap a dragon, really? Toss a cat on the ground? It would just be easier to animate by hand.

All in all, it’s still a game I really want to play. I can’t wait to see some higher-quality in-game footage. That’s going to be fantastic.

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  1. they could mocap an iguana, except iguanas don’t move a whole lot. they could mocap andy circus jumping around like gollum.

    some good observations in here tiger like the brushstrokes. and the more you point out the parts of the UI i don’t like the more I think you’re right. That main health bar is so boring. shape is fine but add some liquidy dynamics or something.

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