This is a continuing blog post of my time in the final beta event for Guild Wars 2. Follow the Better Late Than Never or Guild Wars 2 tag to continue reading.

During the heyday of the original Guild Wars, my PC was top-notch, characters had to walk around even the littlest bump, and scenery was enjoyed in passing. In the sequel, low graphic settings are recommended for my PC, leaping takes on a whole new meaning and there are quests that let you enjoy the detail in this massive world. The times have changed.

A view from one Vista just outside Soren Draa

After completing my first Guild Wars 2 quest by helping Calcutician Doola, my floppy-eared Asura dusts himself off and takes in the senery outside Soren Draa. It’s amazing even on the lowest graphic settings; ample green trees make up a lush forest, wildlife roaming the forest entrance and players coaxing the wildlife into fights. It all put a smile on my face.

My PC, built for the original Guild Wars some-odd five years ago, isn’t top of the line anymore, which made me doubt its power to run the sequel. Dwayna must be looking out for me because I can play, but on minimal settings.

For those that are technically savvy, my rig is an Intel Core 2 Duo running at 2.66GHz with an ATI Radeon HD 3850 graphics card with 256MBs of RAM. My system barely meets the minimum recommend specs for the beta.

Even though I can’t see the sparkles in the water or the criss-cross of cloth in my armor, the game is still fun.

Working out combos with my different skills to pulverize any Moa Bird or Jaguar that got in my way was entertaining to say the least. There is a ‘dodge’ command which is effectively a jump (or flip in the case of the Asura) backwards or sideways that evades an attack — on a side note, I suggest binding ‘dodge’ to another key than double tapping a directional key; it’s just faster. Jumping has gone from being a foreign concept in Guild Wars to a full-fledged tactic in Guild Wars 2.

Jumping is not only a combat tactic though. In Guild Wars 2, there are quests called ‘Vistas’ where players need to jump their way to the top of buildings to see the surrounding landscape. Some are easy to find your way up, others not so much. At the top there is a floating scroll that marks the Vista. Upon reaching the scroll, it will trigger a small cinematic that circles the building you are on (top picture showcasing one cinematic). It is quiet breath-taking.

Empty interconnected triangles means the Vista is undiscovered. Start climbing!

My Asura manages to jump his way up to a few of these Vitas around Soren Draa. It is funny when I did manage to find my way up because other players sitting there would seem surprised to see another toon up there.

The Vistas I found are small in comparison to some it seems. Some of these landscape quests are quiet high off the ground which makes these jumping puzzles very intriguing to complete.

The fact that my PC can handle Guild Wars 2 means I can (thank the Gods) play this game and save my coins for a new computer down the road. By adding the jump mechanic, the MMO gives combat and exploring a more free feeling; if I can jump, I feel like I won’t get stuck in a small crater or I can find a higher advantage point over my enemies.

Don’t miss my next post where I go over playing the Mesmer!