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My Computer Sucks, Your Character Name is Stupid, and Other Lessons Learned From the Guild Wars 2 Head Start [Update]

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Guild Wars 2 went live this weekend for the kajillionty people that managed to wrangle their way into the early start. I am among these people, and I've learned some important things about the game, its players, and my own technological shortcomings over the past 48 hours. Update — I have fixed my computer, as if by magic!

Let's learn together, shall we?

My Desktop PC Sucks

During the Guild Wars 2 beta events I complained that the game was suffering from low frames-per-second. As it turns out, it wasn't the game; it was my three-year-old gaming PC. Even with the injection of a Nvidia GeForce GTX 690, the most powerful video card on the market, the system really doesn't want to make this game sing. Maybe it's the early Intel Core i7 processor. Maybe it's the fact that the overclocking option in the BIOS that used to make things lovely now make my Maingear system not boot up.

(Edit: Many folks have told me my PC should run the game fine. I know it should run the game fine, and it's not doing a horrible job — it's just crap compared to a year-old gaming laptop. It's probably settings, I am tired of tweaking them. So, so tired.)

The fact of the matter is I need a new desktop. This runs 10 times better on my gaming laptop, and I cannot allow that to stand. I'll just have to sell one of my children.

Update: After a bit of tech support with the nice folks at Maingear, I determined that my computer was slow because the CPU was getting way too hot. I took out the CPU and heat sink, applied a fresh coat of thermal paste, put it back together and now it's running like a dream. Perhaps I'll give one of their newer systems a go when it comes time to retire this little beast.

There Are Already Too Many People Playing Guild Wars 2

This morning marks the first time since early Saturday morning that I haven't logged in to a message telling me that I was in the overflow version of whatever region I was in, and was in a queue to enter the region proper.

Overflow regions in Guild Wars 2 are essentially instanced copies of the main areas, only with slightly limited functionality — certain data, like World Vs. World PVP status, is not available in overflow zones. Why? I don't know, they might-as-well have just called them instances and run with that.

What's really annoying about overflow zones is that you'll get a pop up telling you you're ready to enter the proper zone, you'll port in, hop into a personal story instanced mission, hop out, and you're back in overflow. Hooray!

I expect that will be the normal operating procedure during peak hours for the duration. Oh well.

No, the Trading Post Isn't Up Yet

Stop asking. It'll be ready when it's ready.

ArenaNet is Banning the Hell Out of Stupid Character Names

Over at Guild Wars 2 Guru (since the official forums are down) there's a massive thread regarding people being banned for 72 hours because their names violate the game's official naming policy. Folks like Durk Terrorist (his real first name is Durk!) and Lonely Milf have effectively lost their early start privileges due to ArenaNet's no-warning policy. People are concerned about their freedoms. Folks are reaching out to websites like Kotaku, requesting we point out this injustice.

I really wish I could give succor in this trying time, but a) the name Succor would probably get me banned and b) the rules were laid out by ArenaNet prior to the game launching.

Here's what constitutes a non-permitted name, from the official naming policy. Names that:

  • Have offensive racial, ethnic, or national connotations.
  • Include hate speech or bigoted slurs
  • Reference sexual acts or real life violence.
  • Are pornographic.
  • Make inappropriate references to human anatomy or bodily functions.
  • Reference illegal drugs or activities.
  • Reference religious or historical figures.
  • Reference real-life people.
  • Reference names of copyrighted or trademarked characters, materials, or products.
  • Use misspellings or alternative spellings of names that violate any of the above rules.

I know it's tough coming up with something even vaguely original or thematically sound. I personally went through 75 percent of a Celtic baby names database without finding one boy label that wasn't already taken, but violence and profanity are not the answer.

And, as a role-player, I'd rather not have to fight side-by-side with Titz McGee. That's just me.

Guild Wars 2 Players are Giant Geeks

An entire hour's worth of chat yesterday was dedicated to figuring out why the plant-based Sylvari required a breathing apparatus while swimming underwater. There was talk of free-floating carbon dioxide and photosynthesis. Some postulated that the race was simply flesh and blood with plant-based skin and hair.

It was glorious. I wanted to hug all of them.

Dat Asura

The Asura are the cutest things possible.

Despite issues with angry banned people, my computer's own hardware failings and general overcrowding, I had no problem logging into Guild Wars 2 and getting my game on at any given time. I've run into a couple of bugged quests, but nothing earth-shattering.

As far as massively multiplayer online games go, Guild Wars 2 is off to a grand start. Unless your name was Boobles Nipplington.

If you'd like to play in the same general area as me, I'll be hanging out on the Yaks Bend server, trying to figure out if they do. If you're already playihng, how's it going? Tell us how 48 hours of Guild Wars 2 has changed your life forever.