Although these are now all over the place, I could not let another day go by without linking to the nine-part high-quality series of videos posted to GameTrailers.com on the Guild Wars 2 demo:
Among the promises made by ArenaNet that seem to have come to fruition are: persistence in the open world (that boss fight is not instanced), instanced personal storyline, scaling dynamic events (e.g. the broodmother’s sweeping tail attack), environmental weapons, ambient voice acting, downed mechanics and self-healing not assuring easy-mode, active combat including the ability to fire off attacks even out of range of enemies, and cross-profession combinations.
Promises made that were touched on but have not been seen in full: out-of-combat activities such as the shooting gallery could be seen but not participated in during the demo, and due to ANet’s efforts in keeping the demo experience active at all times, the dynamic events were set to cycle on much faster intervals than in the live game so that we cannot make any conclusions about their persistence within the world. I did, however, over the course of several videos (and I have watched so many by now that I wouldn’t even know where to begin to find the specific link) that certain events were at different stages depending on who was participating and how successful they were.
One more issue has been raised by both Rubi of GuildCast and Crimson Starfire of Word of Shadow, and that is the pop-up notifications of event status and location. My better half and I fall firmly into the camp of wishing that these were not present, and not only expected to, but would prefer to wander through the world happening upon events randomly. I can’t help but suspect, though, that ANet has seen too many people run by events in progress during testing, unable to retrain themselves to leave no stone unturned in lieu of searching out exclamation points. Perhaps I underestimate my fellow gamers and overestimate ArenaNet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. It’s also possible that the notifications only exist for demo purposes, again to keep demo players notified and involved due to reduced playtimes.
Only time will tell and prove me right or wrong. I eagerly await confirmation either way from the ArenaNet staff. Note to ArenaNet staffers: I will settle for toggle-able notifications.
I also feel the need to link to two more videos from the French site Univers-Virtuels showing footage of Beetlun, the Temple of the Ages, and wandering around in Kryta. I include these to show that the demo was not constrained to some 10- or 15-minute segment of the game world with no exploration possible (as some have claimed). Swimming is in (amusingly, it was allowed although a warning popped up politely requesting that the demo tester get out of the water) and it’s evident that some of our familiar spots from Guild Wars 1 have fallen into disrepair in a believable way over the 250-year interim between Guild Wars 1 and 2.
Also? Epic swamp monster.